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Sample records for cloud-forest rodent hystricognathi

  1. Hystricognathy vs Sciurognathy in the Rodent Jaw: A New Morphometric Assessment of Hystricognathy Applied to the Living Fossil Laonastes (Diatomyidae)

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    Hautier, Lionel; Lebrun, Renaud; Saksiri, Soonchan; Michaux, Jacques; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Marivaux, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    While exceptional for an intense diversification of lineages, the evolutionary history of the order Rodentia comprises only a limited number of morphological morphotypes for the mandible. This situation could partly explain the intense debates about the taxonomic position of the latest described member of this clade, the Laotian rock rat Laonastes aenigmamus (Diatomyidae). This discovery has re-launched the debate on the definition of the Hystricognathi suborder identified using the angle of the jaw relative to the plane of the incisors. Our study aims to end this ambiguity. For clarity, it became necessary to revisit the entire morphological diversity of the mandible in extant and extinct rodents. However, current and past rodent diversity brings out the limitations of the qualitative descriptive approach and highlights the need for a quantitative approach. Here, we present the first descriptive comparison of the masticatory apparatus within the Ctenohystrica clade, in combining classic comparative anatomy with morphometrical methods. First, we quantified the shape of the mandible in rodents using 3D landmarks. Then, the analysis of osteological features was compared to myological features in order to understand the biomechanical origin of this morphological diversity. Among the morphological variation observed, the mandible of Laonastes aenigmamus displays an intermediate association of features that could be considered neither as sciurognathous nor as hystricognathous. PMID:21490933

  2. Hystricognathy vs sciurognathy in the rodent jaw: a new morphometric assessment of hystricognathy applied to the living fossil Laonastes (Diatomyidae.

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    Lionel Hautier

    Full Text Available While exceptional for an intense diversification of lineages, the evolutionary history of the order Rodentia comprises only a limited number of morphological morphotypes for the mandible. This situation could partly explain the intense debates about the taxonomic position of the latest described member of this clade, the Laotian rock rat Laonastes aenigmamus (Diatomyidae. This discovery has re-launched the debate on the definition of the Hystricognathi suborder identified using the angle of the jaw relative to the plane of the incisors. Our study aims to end this ambiguity. For clarity, it became necessary to revisit the entire morphological diversity of the mandible in extant and extinct rodents. However, current and past rodent diversity brings out the limitations of the qualitative descriptive approach and highlights the need for a quantitative approach. Here, we present the first descriptive comparison of the masticatory apparatus within the Ctenohystrica clade, in combining classic comparative anatomy with morphometrical methods. First, we quantified the shape of the mandible in rodents using 3D landmarks. Then, the analysis of osteological features was compared to myological features in order to understand the biomechanical origin of this morphological diversity. Among the morphological variation observed, the mandible of Laonastes aenigmamus displays an intermediate association of features that could be considered neither as sciurognathous nor as hystricognathous.

  3. Late Pleistocene echimyid rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from northern Brazil.

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    Ferreira, Thais M F; Olivares, Adriana Itati; Kerber, Leonardo; Dutra, Rodrigo P; Avilla, Leonardo S

    2016-06-07

    Echimyidae (spiny rats, tree rats and the coypu) is the most diverse family of extant South American hystricognath rodents (caviomorphs). Today, they live in tropical forests (Amazonian, coastal and Andean forests), occasionally in more open xeric habitats in the Cerrado and Caatinga of northern South America, and open areas across the southern portion of the continent (Myocastor). The Quaternary fossil record of this family remains poorly studied. Here, we describe the fossil echimyids found in karst deposits from southern Tocantins, northern Brazil. The analyzed specimens are assigned to Thrichomys sp., Makalata cf. didelphoides and Proechimys sp. This is the first time that a fossil of Makalata is reported. The Pleistocene record of echimyids from this area is represented by fragmentary remains, which hinders their determination at specific levels. The data reported here contributes to the understanding of the ancient diversity of rodents of this region, evidenced until now in other groups, such as the artiodactyls, cingulates, carnivores, marsupials, and squamate reptiles.

  4. Late Pleistocene echimyid rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi from northern Brazil

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    THAIS M.F. FERREIRA

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Echimyidae (spiny rats, tree rats and the coypu is the most diverse family of extant South American hystricognath rodents (caviomorphs. Today, they live in tropical forests (Amazonian, coastal and Andean forests, occasionally in more open xeric habitats in the Cerrado and Caatinga of northern South America, and open areas across the southern portion of the continent (Myocastor. The Quaternary fossil record of this family remains poorly studied. Here, we describe the fossil echimyids found in karst deposits from southern Tocantins, northern Brazil. The analyzed specimens are assigned to Thrichomys sp., Makalata cf. didelphoides and Proechimys sp. This is the first time that a fossil of Makalata is reported. The Pleistocene record of echimyids from this area is represented by fragmentary remains, which hinders their determination at specific levels. The data reported here contributes to the understanding of the ancient diversity of rodents of this region, evidenced until now in other groups, such as the artiodactyls, cingulates, carnivores, marsupials, and squamate reptiles.

  5. Another one bites the dust: bite force and ecology in three caviomorph rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi).

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    Becerra, Federico; Echeverría, Alejandra Isabel; Casinos, Adrià; Vassallo, Aldo Iván

    2014-04-01

    Mammals have developed sophisticated strategies adapting to particular locomotor modes, feeding habits, and social interactions. Many rodent species have acquired a fossorial, semi-fossorial, or even subterranean life-style, converging on morphological, anatomical, and ecological features but diverging in the final arrangement. These ecological variations partially depend on the functional morphology of their digging tools. Muscular and mechanical features (e.g., lever arms relationship) of the bite force were analyzed in three caviomorph rodents with similar body size but different habits and ecological demands of the jaws. In vivo forces were measured at incisors' tip using a strain gauge load cell force transducer whereas theoretical maximal performance values, mechanical advantages, and particular contribution of each adductor muscle were estimated from dissections in specimens of Ctenomys australis (subterranean, solitary), Octodon degus (semi-fossorial, social), and Chinchilla laniger (ground-dweller, colonial). Our results showed that C. australis bites stronger than expected given its small size and C. laniger exhibited the opposite outcome, while O. degus is close to the expected value based on mammalian bite force versus body mass regressions; what might be associated to the chisel-tooth digging behavior and social interactions. Our key finding was that no matter how diverse these rodents' skulls were, no difference was found in the mechanical advantage of the main adductor muscles. Therefore, interspecific differences in the bite force might be primarily due to differences in the muscular development and force, as shown for the subterranean, solitary and territorial C. australis versus the more gracile, ground-dweller, and colonial C. laniger.

  6. Scaling and adaptations of incisors and cheek teeth in caviomorph rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi).

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    Becerra, Federico; Vassallo, Aldo I; Echeverría, Alejandra I; Casinos, Adrià

    2012-10-01

    The South American hystricognath rodents are one of the most diverse mammalian clades considering their occupied habitats, locomotor modes and body sizes. This might have been partly evolved by diversification of their masticatory apparatus' structure and its ecological commitment, for example, chisel-tooth digging. In this phylogeny-based comparative study, we test the relationship between ecological behavior and mechanical features of their incisors and molariforms. In 33 species of nine families of caviomorph rodents, we analyze incisor attributes related to structural stress resistance and molar features related with grinding capacity, for example, second moment of inertia and enamel index (EI) (enamel band length/occlusal surface area), respectively. Most of these variables scaled isometrically to body mass, with a strong phylogenetic effect. A principal component analysis discrimination on the EI clustered the species according to their geographic distribution. We presume that selective pressures in Andean-Patagonian regions, on particular feeding habits and chisel-tooth digging behaviors, have modeled the morphological characteristics of the teeth. Subterranean/burrower ctenomyids, coruros, and plains viscachas showed the highest bending/torsion strength and anchorage values for incisors; a simplified enamel pattern in molariforms would be associated with a better grinding of the more abrasive vegetation present in more open and drier biomes.

  7. A new form of rodent placentation in the relict species, Laonastes aenigmamus (Rodentia Diatomyidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Enders, A C; Jones, C J P

    2013-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The Laotian rock rat is a relict species in a sister group relationship to hystricognath rodents (Hystricognathi). We asked whether there were similarities in placentation that might reflect this relationship or differences that might cast light on the evolution of Hystricognathi. M...

  8. Comparative phylogeographic analyses illustrate the complex evolutionary history of threatened cloud forests of northern Mesoamerica.

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    Juan Francisco Ornelas

    Full Text Available Comparative phylogeography can elucidate the influence of historical events on current patterns of biodiversity and can identify patterns of co-vicariance among unrelated taxa that span the same geographic areas. Here we analyze temporal and spatial divergence patterns of cloud forest plant and animal species and relate them to the evolutionary history of naturally fragmented cloud forests--among the most threatened vegetation types in northern Mesoamerica. We used comparative phylogeographic analyses to identify patterns of co-vicariance in taxa that share geographic ranges across cloud forest habitats and to elucidate the influence of historical events on current patterns of biodiversity. We document temporal and spatial genetic divergence of 15 species (including seed plants, birds and rodents, and relate them to the evolutionary history of the naturally fragmented cloud forests. We used fossil-calibrated genealogies, coalescent-based divergence time inference, and estimates of gene flow to assess the permeability of putative barriers to gene flow. We also used the hierarchical Approximate Bayesian Computation (HABC method implemented in the program msBayes to test simultaneous versus non-simultaneous divergence of the cloud forest lineages. Our results show shared phylogeographic breaks that correspond to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Los Tuxtlas, and the Chiapas Central Depression, with the Isthmus representing the most frequently shared break among taxa. However, dating analyses suggest that the phylogeographic breaks corresponding to the Isthmus occurred at different times in different taxa. Current divergence patterns are therefore consistent with the hypothesis of broad vicariance across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec derived from different mechanisms operating at different times. This study, coupled with existing data on divergence cloud forest species, indicates that the evolutionary history of contemporary cloud forest lineages is complex

  9. Comparative phylogeographic analyses illustrate the complex evolutionary history of threatened cloud forests of northern Mesoamerica.

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    Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Sosa, Victoria; Soltis, Douglas E; Daza, Juan M; González, Clementina; Soltis, Pamela S; Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Carla; de los Monteros, Alejandro Espinosa; Castoe, Todd A; Bell, Charles; Ruiz-Sanchez, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography can elucidate the influence of historical events on current patterns of biodiversity and can identify patterns of co-vicariance among unrelated taxa that span the same geographic areas. Here we analyze temporal and spatial divergence patterns of cloud forest plant and animal species and relate them to the evolutionary history of naturally fragmented cloud forests--among the most threatened vegetation types in northern Mesoamerica. We used comparative phylogeographic analyses to identify patterns of co-vicariance in taxa that share geographic ranges across cloud forest habitats and to elucidate the influence of historical events on current patterns of biodiversity. We document temporal and spatial genetic divergence of 15 species (including seed plants, birds and rodents), and relate them to the evolutionary history of the naturally fragmented cloud forests. We used fossil-calibrated genealogies, coalescent-based divergence time inference, and estimates of gene flow to assess the permeability of putative barriers to gene flow. We also used the hierarchical Approximate Bayesian Computation (HABC) method implemented in the program msBayes to test simultaneous versus non-simultaneous divergence of the cloud forest lineages. Our results show shared phylogeographic breaks that correspond to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Los Tuxtlas, and the Chiapas Central Depression, with the Isthmus representing the most frequently shared break among taxa. However, dating analyses suggest that the phylogeographic breaks corresponding to the Isthmus occurred at different times in different taxa. Current divergence patterns are therefore consistent with the hypothesis of broad vicariance across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec derived from different mechanisms operating at different times. This study, coupled with existing data on divergence cloud forest species, indicates that the evolutionary history of contemporary cloud forest lineages is complex and often lineage

  10. The herpetofauna of the cloud forests of Honduras

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, Larry David; McCranie, James R.

    2010-01-01

    The cloud forest amphibians and reptiles constitute the most important herpetofaunal segment in Honduras, due to the prevalence of endemic and Nuclear Middle American-restricted species. This segment, however, is subject to severe environmental threats due to the actions of humans. Of the 334 species of amphibians and reptiles currently known from Honduras, 122 are known to be distributed in cloud forest habitats. Cloud forest habitats are found throughout the mountainous interior of Honduras...

  11. The herpetofauna of the cloud forests of Honduras

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, Larry David; James R. McCranie

    2010-01-01

    The cloud forest amphibians and reptiles constitute the most important herpetofaunal segment in Honduras, due to the prevalence of endemic and Nuclear Middle American-restricted species. This segment, however, is subject to severe environmental threats due to the actions of humans. Of the 334 species of amphibians and reptiles currently known from Honduras, 122 are known to be distributed in cloud forest habitats. Cloud forest habitats are found throughout the mountainous interior of Honduras...

  12. The largest fossil rodent

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    Rinderknecht, Andrés; Blanco, R. Ernesto

    2008-01-01

    The discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved skull permits the description of the new South American fossil species of the rodent, Josephoartigasia monesi sp. nov. (family: Dinomyidae; Rodentia: Hystricognathi: Caviomorpha). This species with estimated body mass of nearly 1000 kg is the largest yet recorded. The skull sheds new light on the anatomy of the extinct giant rodents of the Dinomyidae, which are known mostly from isolated teeth and incomplete mandible remains. The fossil derives from San José Formation, Uruguay, usually assigned to the Pliocene–Pleistocene (4–2 Myr ago), and the proposed palaeoenvironment where this rodent lived was characterized as an estuarine or deltaic system with forest communities. PMID:18198140

  13. Annual Proxy Records from Tropical Cloud Forest Trees in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

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    Anchukaitis, K. J.; Evans, M. N.; Wheelwright, N. T.; Schrag, D. P.

    2005-12-01

    The extinction of the Golden Toad (Bufo periglenes) from Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest prompted research into the causes of ecological change in the montane forests of Costa Rica. Subsequent analysis of meteorological data has suggested that warmer global surface and tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures contribute to an observed decrease in cloud cover at Monteverde. However, while recent studies may have concluded that climate change is already having an effect on cloud forest environments in Costa Rica, without the context provided by long-term climate records, it is difficult to confidently conclude that the observed ecological changes are the result of anthropogenic climate forcing, land clearance in the lowland rainforest, or natural variability in tropical climate. To address this, we develop high-resolution proxy paleoclimate records from trees without annual rings in the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica. Calibration of an age model in these trees is a fundamental prerequisite for proxy paleoclimate reconstructions. Our approach exploits the isotopic seasonality in the δ18O of water sources (fog versus rainfall) used by trees over the course of a single year. Ocotea tenera individuals of known age and measured annual growth increments were sampled in long-term monitored plantation sites in order to test this proposed age model. High-resolution (200μm increments) stable isotope measurements on cellulose reveal distinct, coherent δ18O cycles of 6 to 10‰. The calculated growth rates derived from the isotope timeseries match those observed from basal growth increment measurements. Spatial fidelity in the age model and climate signal is examined by using multiple cores from multiple trees and multiple sites. These data support our hypothesis that annual isotope cycles in these trees can be used to provide chronological control in the absence of rings. The ability of trees to record interannual climate variability in local hydrometeorology

  14. Small mammals from the Chelemhá Cloud Forest Reserve, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

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    Matson, Jason O.; Ordóñez-Garza, Nicté; Woodman, Neal; Bulmer, Walter; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Hanson, J. Delton

    2014-01-01

    We surveyed the small mammals of remnant mixed hardwood-coniferous cloud forest at elevations ranging from 2,100–2,300 m in the Chelemhá Cloud Forest Reserve, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Removal-trapping using a combination of live traps, snap traps, and pitfall traps for 6 days in January 2007 resulted in 175 captures of 15 species of marsupials, shrews, and rodents. This diversity of small mammals is the highest that we have recorded from a single locality of the 10 visited during eight field seasons in the highlands of Guatemala. Based on captures, the most abundant species in the community of small mammals is Peromyscus grandis (n = 50), followed by Handleyomys rhabdops (n = 27), Heteromys desmarestianus(n = 18), Reithrodontomys mexicanus (n = 17), Handleyomys saturatior (n = 16), Sorex veraepacis (n = 15), and Scotinomys teguina (n = 13). The remaining eight species were represented by one to five individuals.

  15. Andean grasslands are as productive as tropical cloud forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Girardin, C.; Doughty, C.E.; Cahuana, N.; Arenas, C.E.; Oliver, V.; Huaraca Huasco, W.; Malhi, Y.

    2014-01-01

    We aim to assess net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon cycling in Andean tropical alpine grasslands (puna) and compare it with NPP of tropical montane cloud forests. We ask the following questions: (1) how do NPP and soil respiration of grasslands vary over the seasonal cycle? (2) how do burning

  16. Montane and cloud forest specialists among neotropical Xylaria species

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    D. Jean Lodge; Thomas L& #230; ss& #248; e; M. Catherine Aime; Terry W. Henkel; M. Catherine Aime; Terry W. Henkel

    2008-01-01

    We compared recored of neotropical Xylaria species among Belize, Ecuador, the Guianas, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela to determine if there were neotropical taxa consistently found only in cloud forest or high montane forests that might be endangered by climate change.

  17. IMPACT OF GLOBAL WARMING AND LOCALLY CHANGING CLIMATE ON TROPICAL CLOUD FOREST BATS

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Richard K. LaVal

    2004-01-01

    Abstract Significant changes in local climate and correlated changes in non mammalian vertebrate populations have been documented in the Monteverde cloud forest in the Tileran Mountains of northern...

  18. Shifts in resident bird communities associated with cloud forest patch size in Central Veracruz, Mexico

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rafael Rueda-Hernandez; Ian MacGregor-Fors; Katherine Renton

    2015-01-01

    .... We evaluated species richness, bird community density, community composition, and dominance as indicators of the response to fragment size in a fragmented cloud forest landscape in central Veracruz, Mexico...

  19. CloudForest: A Scalable and Efficient Random Forest Implementation for Biological Data.

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    Ryan Bressler

    Full Text Available Random Forest has become a standard data analysis tool in computational biology. However, extensions to existing implementations are often necessary to handle the complexity of biological datasets and their associated research questions. The growing size of these datasets requires high performance implementations. We describe CloudForest, a Random Forest package written in Go, which is particularly well suited for large, heterogeneous, genetic and biomedical datasets. CloudForest includes several extensions, such as dealing with unbalanced classes and missing values. Its flexible design enables users to easily implement additional extensions. CloudForest achieves fast running times by effective use of the CPU cache, optimizing for different classes of features and efficiently multi-threading. https://github.com/ilyalab/CloudForest.

  20. The potential negative impacts of global climate change on tropical montane cloud forests

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    Foster, Pru

    2001-10-01

    Nearly every aspect of the cloud forest is affected by regular cloud immersion, from the hydrological cycle to the species of plants and animals within the forest. Since the altitude band of cloud formation on tropical mountains is limited, the tropical montane cloud forest occurs in fragmented strips and has been likened to island archipelagoes. This isolation and uniqueness promotes explosive speciation, exceptionally high endemism, and a great sensitivity to climate. Global climate change threatens all ecosystems through temperature and rainfall changes, with a typical estimate for altitude shifts in the climatic optimum for mountain ecotones of hundreds of meters by the time of CO 2 doubling. This alone suggests complete replacement of many of the narrow altitude range cloud forests by lower altitude ecosystems, as well as the expulsion of peak residing cloud forests into extinction. However, the cloud forest will also be affected by other climate changes, in particular changes in cloud formation. A number of global climate models suggest a reduction in low level cloudiness with the coming climate changes, and one site in particular, Monteverde, Costa Rica, appears to already be experiencing a reduction in cloud immersion. The coming climate changes appear very likely to upset the current dynamic equilibrium of the cloud forest. Results will include biodiversity loss, altitude shifts in species' ranges and subsequent community reshuffling, and possibly forest death. Difficulties for cloud forest species to survive in climate-induced migrations include no remaining location with a suitable climate, no pristine location to colonize, migration rates or establishment rates that cannot keep up with climate change rates and new species interactions. We review previous cloud forest species redistributions in the paleo-record in light of the coming changes. The characteristic epiphytes of the cloud forest play an important role in the light, hydrological and nutrient

  1. Clusia nubium (Clusiaceae): a new species from cloud-forests of southwestern Ecuador

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Mats; Borchsenius, Finn

    2016-01-01

    Clusia nubium from southwestern Ecuador is described as a species new to science. It grows as a hemiepiphyte in lower montane cloud forest. The species belongs to Clusia sect. Retinostemon, a largely Andean group characterized by male flowers with a resin-secreting synandrium of completely fused...

  2. Historical reconstruction of climatic and elevation preferences and the evolution of cloud forest-adapted tree ferns in Mesoamerica

    OpenAIRE

    Sosa, Victoria; Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Gándara, Etelvina

    2016-01-01

    Background Cloud forests, characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover and fragmented distribution, are one of the most threatened habitats, especially in the Neotropics. Tree ferns are among the most conspicuous elements in these forests, and ferns are restricted to regions in which minimum temperatures rarely drop below freezing and rainfall is high and evenly distributed around the year. Current phylogeographic data suggest that some of the cloud forest-adapted...

  3. The incidence and implications of clouds for cloud forest plant water relations.

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    Goldsmith, Gregory R; Matzke, Nicholas J; Dawson, Todd E

    2013-03-01

    Although clouds are the most recognisable and defining feature of tropical montane cloud forests, little research has focussed on how clouds affect plant functioning. We used satellite and ground-based observations to study cloud and leaf wetting patterns in contrasting tropical montane and pre-montane cloud forests. We then studied the consequences of leaf wetting for the direct uptake of water accumulated on leaf surfaces into the leaves themselves. During the dry season, the montane forest experienced higher precipitation, cloud cover and leaf wetting events of longer duration than the pre-montane forest. Leaf wetting events resulted in foliar water uptake in all species studied. The capacity for foliar water uptake differed significantly between the montane and pre-montane forest plant communities, as well as among species within a forest. Our results indicate that foliar water uptake is common in these forest plants and improves plant water status during the dry season.

  4. Jewel scarabs (Chrysina sp.) in Honduras: key species for cloud forest conservation monitoring?

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    Jocque, M; Vanhove, M P M; Creedy, T J; Burdekin, O; Nuñez-Miño, J M; Casteels, J

    2013-01-01

    Jewel scarabs, beetles in the genus Chrysina Kirby (Coleoptera: Rutelinae: Scarabaeidae), receive their name from the bright, often gold, green elytra that reflect light like a precious stone. Jewel scarabs are commonly observed at light traps in Mesoamerican cloud forests, and their association with mountain forests makes them potentially interesting candidates for cloud forest conservation monitoring. The absence of survey protocols and identification tools, and the little ecological information available are barriers. In the present study, collection of Chrysina species assembled during biodiversity surveys by Operation Wallacea in Cusuco National Park (CNP), Honduras, were studied. The aim of this overview is to provide an easy to use identification tool for in the field, hopefully stimulating data collection on these beetles. Based on the data associated with the collection localities, elevation distribution of the species in the park was analyzed. The limited data points available were complemented with potential distribution areas generated with distribution models based on climate and elevation data. This study is aimed at initializing the development of a survey protocol for Chrysina species that can be used in cloud forest conservation monitoring throughout Central America. A list of Chrysina species recorded from Honduras so far is provided. The six identified and one unidentified species recorded from CNP are easy to identify in the field based on color and straightforward morphological characteristics. Literature research revealed ten species currently recorded from Honduras. This low species richness in comparison with surrounding Central American countries indicates the poor knowledge of this genus in Honduras. Chrysina species richness in CNP increases with elevation, thereby making the genus one of a few groups of organisms where this correlation is observed, and rendering it a suitable invertebrate representative for cloud forest habitats in

  5. Hydrometeorology of the Dhofar cloud forest and its implications for groundwater recharge

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    Friesen, J.; Mueller, T. H.; Zink, M.; Bawain, A. M., Sr.; Hildebrandt, A.

    2015-12-01

    Cloud forests have the ability to harvest cloud water or horizontal precipitation in addition to rainfall and, through rainfall re-distribution, provide markedly different infiltration and therefore recharge behavior. Forest interception studies required to formulate interception processes and to quantify the recharge relevant net precipitation are, however, often only possible at point or experimental plot scale and limited to the studied tree species. Groundwater recharge, in contrast, is often linked to groundwater aquifer boundaries and thus is located at the other end of the spatial scale. To be able to utilize findings from ecohydrological site studies for regional groundwater studies we regionalize field site studies through cloud forest distribution and rainfall interpolation in a semi-arid, data scarce region heavily dependent on groundwater resources. Through different rainfall scenarios, based on regular precipitation and on cloud forest modified precipitation, for two mountainous groundwater recharge catchments we can show that even moderately forested catchments provide up to 1/3 more precipitation through cloud water.

  6. Epiphytic and terrestrial mycorrhizas in a lower montane Costa Rican cloud forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rains, Kai Coshow; Nadkarni, Nalini M; Bledsoe, Caroline S

    2003-10-01

    The epiphyte community is the most diverse plant community in neotropical cloud forests and its collective biomass can exceed that of the terrestrial shrubs and herbs. However, little is known about the role of mycorrhizas in this community. We assessed the mycorrhizal status of epiphytic (Araceae, Clusiaceae, Ericaceae, and Piperaceae) and terrestrial (Clusiaceae, Ericaceae) plants in a lower montane cloud forest in Costa Rica. Arbuscular mycorrhizas were observed in taxa from Araceae and Clusiaceae; ericoid mycorrhizas were observed in ericaceous plants. This is the first report of intracellular hyphal coils characteristic of ericoid mycorrhizas in roots of Cavendishia melastomoides, Disterigma humboldtii, and Gaultheria erecta. Ericaceous roots were also covered by an intermittent hyphal mantle that penetrated between epidermal cells. Mantles, observed uniquely on ericaceous roots, were more abundant on terrestrial than on epiphytic roots. Mantle abundance was negatively correlated with gravimetric soil water content for epiphytic samples. Dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi colonized roots of all four families. For the common epiphyte D. humboldtii, DSE structures were most abundant on samples collected from exposed microsites in the canopy. The presence of mycorrhizas in all epiphytes except Peperomia sp. suggests that inoculum levels and environmental conditions in the canopy of tropical cloud forests are generally conducive to the formation of mycorrhizas. These may impact nutrient and water dynamics in arboreal ecosystems.

  7. Ecological characterization of a tropical myxomycete assemblage--Maquipucuna Cloud Forest Reserve, Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Steven L; Schnittler, Martin; Lado, Carlos

    2004-01-01

    The assemblage of myxomycetes (plasmodial slime molds) associated with cloud forests of the Maquipucuna Cloud Forest Reserve in the western Andes was investigated. Within three study sites located along a gradient extending from 1200 to 2700 m above sea level, a clear pattern of decreasing myxomycete diversity and productivity with elevation was apparent. As such, these data conform to the pattern of "reverse diversity" for myxomycetes in the neotropics, with higher diversity for less mesic forest types than for more mesic forest types. Canonical correspondence analysis of myxomycete abundances in relation to microhabitat parameters revealed three major ecological assemblages: wood-, litter- and inflorescence-inhabiting species. All three assemblages include a number of specialized species, with the assemblage associated with litter being the most diverse and the one associated with inflorescences being the most distinctive. In addition, samples from the microhabitat represented by the cover of epiphyllic liverworts on living leaves regularly produce myxomycetes in moist chamber culture but with few sporocarps and no evidence of any specialized species. At least near ground level, bark-inhabiting (corticolous) myxomycetes are uncommon in the cloud forests sampled in the present study.

  8. Acceleration and novelty: community restoration speeds recovery and transforms species composition in Andean cloud forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Sarah Jane; Rhemtulla, Jeanine M

    2016-01-01

    Community-based tropical forest restoration projects, often promoted as a win-win solution for local communities and the environment, have increased dramatically in number in the past decade. Many such projects are underway in Andean cloud forests, which, given their extremely high biodiversity and history of extensive clearing, are understudied. This study investigates the efficacy of community-based tree-planting projects to accelerate cloud forest recovery, as compared to unassisted natural regeneration. This study takes place in northwest Andean Ecuador, where the majority of the original, highly diverse cloud forests have been cleared, in five communities that initiated tree-planting projects to restore forests in 2003. In 2011, we identified tree species along transects in planted forests (n = 5), naturally regenerating forests (n = 5), and primary forests (n = 5). We also surveyed 120 households about their restoration methods, tree preferences, and forest uses. We found that tree diversity was higher in planted than in unplanted secondary forest, but both were less diverse than primary forests. Ordination analysis showed that all three forests had distinct species compositions, although planted forests shared more species with primary forests than did unplanted forests. Planted forests also contained more animal-dispersed species in both the planted canopy and in the unplanted, regenerating understory than unplanted forests, and contained the highest proportion of species with use value for local people. While restoring forest increased biodiversity and accelerated forest recovery, restored forests may also represent novel ecosystems that are distinct from the region's previous ecosystems and, given their usefulness to people, are likely to be more common in the future.

  9. Mountain cloud forest and grown-shade coffee plantations: A comparison of tree biodiversity in central Veracruz, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfredo González-Zamora

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study: The objective of this work is to compare tree diversity and richness among one grown-shade coffee plantation (CAE and two sites of montane cloud forests, one preserved (MCF1 and other perturbed (MCF2. We also develop an analysis of the importance of coffee plantations as a refuge of tree species, holding a potential role for conservation.Area of study: Our study area is the coffee region of Coatepec-Xico, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico.Material and methods: We compiled a list of all tree species in each site to determine tree diversity and floristic similarity (dissimilarity. We used different similarity indices and a cluster analysis to show relations among sites.Main results: 2721 individuals from 154 species were registered in the montane cloud forests as a whole. In the grown-shade coffee plantation we registered 2947 individuals from 64 species. The most similar sites were the perturbed montane cloud forest and the grown-shade coffee plantation and the least similar were the preserved montane cloud forest and the grown-shade coffee plantation. The high biodiversity found in all sites and the differences in tree composition between the two montane cloud forests supports evidence of the ecosystems richness in the region.Research highlight: Diversity differences among sites determine that the grown-shade coffee plantation is not substitute for montane cloud forest. CAE’s are developed under similar environmental conditions than the MCF; therefore, coexistence and recombination (replacement of species make them particularly complementary. CAE’s in Veracruz have a potential role as refuge for biodiversity.

  10. Mountain cloud forest and grown-shade coffee plantations: A comparison of tree biodiversity in central Veracruz, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    González-Zamora, A.; Esperón-Rodríguez, M.; Barradas, V.L.

    2016-07-01

    Aim of study: The objective of this work is to compare tree diversity and richness among one grown-shade coffee plantation (CAE) and two sites of montane cloud forests, one preserved (MCF1) and other perturbed (MCF2). We also develop an analysis of the importance of coffee plantations as a refuge of tree species, holding a potential role for conservation. Area of study: Our study area is the coffee region of Coatepec-Xico, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Material and methods: We compiled a list of all tree species in each site to determine tree diversity and floristic similarity (dissimilarity). We used different similarity indices and a cluster analysis to show relations among sites. Main results: 2721 individuals from 154 species were registered in the montane cloud forests as a whole. In the grown-shade coffee plantation we registered 2947 individuals from 64 species. The most similar sites were the perturbed montane cloud forest and the grown-shade coffee plantation and the least similar were the preserved montane cloud forest and the grown-shade coffee plantation. The high biodiversity found in all sites and the differences in tree composition between the two montane cloud forests supports evidence of the ecosystems richness in the region. Research highlight: Diversity differences among sites determine that the grown-shade coffee plantation is not substitute for montane cloud forest. CAE’s are developed under similar environmental conditions than the MCF; therefore, coexistence and recombination (replacement) of species make them particularly complementary. CAE’s in Veracruz have a potential role as refuge for biodiversity. (Author)

  11. Diverse tulasnelloid fungi form mycorrhizas with epiphytic orchids in an Andean cloud forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Juan Pablo; Weiss, Michael; Abele, Andrea; Garnica, Sigisfredo; Oberwinkler, Franz; Kottke, Ingrid

    2006-11-01

    The mycorrhizal state of epiphytic orchids has been controversially discussed, and the state and mycobionts of the pleurothallid orchids, occurring abundantly and with a high number of species on stems of trees in the Andean cloud forest, were unknown. Root samples of 77 adult individuals of the epiphytic orchids Stelis hallii, S. superbiens, S. concinna and Pleurothallis lilijae were collected in a tropical mountain rainforest of southern Ecuador. Ultrastructural evidence of symbiotic interaction was combined with molecular sequencing of fungi directly from the mycorrhizas and isolation of mycobionts. Ultrastructural analyses displayed vital orchid mycorrhizas formed by fungi with an imperforate parenthesome and cell wall slime bodies typical for the genus Tulasnella. Three different Tulasnella isolates were obtained in pure culture. Phylogenetic analysis of nuclear rDNA sequences from coding regions of the ribosomal large subunit (nucLSU) and the 5.8S subunit, including parts of the internal transcribed spacers, obtained directly from the roots and from the fungal isolates, yielded seven distinct Tulasnella clades. Tulasnella mycobionts in Stelis concinna were restricted to two Tulasnella sequence types while the other orchids were associated with up to six Tulasnella sequence types. All Tulasnella sequences are new to science and distinct from known sequences of mycobionts of terrestrial orchids. The results indicate that tulasnelloid fungi, adapted to the conditions on tree stems, might be important for orchid growth and maintenance in the Andean cloud forest.

  12. Birds of a high-altitude cloud forest in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisermann, Knut; Schulz, Ulrich

    2005-01-01

    The Northern Central American Highlands have been recognized as endemic bird area, but little is known about bird communities in Guatemalan cloud forests. From 1997 to 2001 a total of 142 bird species were recorded between 2000 and 2400 masl in cloud forest and agricultural clearings on Montaña Caquipec (Alta Verapaz, Guatemala). The bird community is described based on line transect counts within the forest. Pooling census data from undisturbed and disturbed forest, the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys) was found to be the most abundant species, followed in descending order by the Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus), the Paltry Tyrannulet (Zimmerius vilissimus), the Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens), the Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzi), and the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus). Bird communities in undisturbed and disturbed forest were found to be similar (Serensen similarity index 0.85), indicating low human impact. Of all recorded species, approximately 27% were Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. The most abundant one was the Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla). The Montaña Caquipec is an important area for bird conservation, which is indicated by the presence of four species listed in the IUCN Red List (Highland Guan Penelopina nigra, Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor, Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia), and 42 Mesoamerican endemics, of which 14 species are endemic to the Central American Highlands. The results presented here will be useful as baseline data for a long-term monitoring.

  13. First experimental evidence for carbon starvation at warm temperatures in epiphytic orchids of tropical cloud forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoch, Guenter; Roemer, Helena; Fioroni, Tiffany; Olmedo, Inayat; Kahmen, Ansgar

    2017-04-01

    Tropical cloud forests are among the most climate sensitive ecosystems world-wide. The lack of a strong seasonality and the additional dampening of temperature fluctuations by the omnipresence of clouds and fog produce year-round constant climatic conditions. With climate change the presence of clouds and fog is, however, predicted to be reduced. The disappearance of the cooling fog cover will have dramatic consequences for air temperatures, that are predicted to increase locally well over 5 °C by the end of the 21st century. Especially the large number of endemic epiphytic orchids in tropical cloud forests that contribute substantially to the biological diversity of these ecosystems, but are typically adapted to a very narrow climate envelope, are speculated to be very sensitive to the anticipated rise in temperature. In a phytotron experiment we investigated the effect of increasing temperatures on the carbon balance (gas-exchange and the carbon reserve household) of 10 epiphytic orchid species from the genera Dracula, native to tropical, South-American cloud forests. The orchids were exposed to three temperature treatments: i) a constant temperature treatment (23°C/13°C, day/night) simulating natural conditions, ii) a slow temperature ramp of +0.75 K every 10 days, and iii) a fast temperature ramp of +1.5 K every 10 days. CO2 leaf gas-exchanges was determined every 10 days, and concentrations of low molecular weight sugars and starch were analyses from leaf samples throughout the experiment. We found that increasing temperatures had only minor effects on day-time leaf respiration, but led to a moderate increase of respiration during night-time. In contrast to the rather minor effects of higher temperatures on respiration, there was a dramatic decline of net-photosynthesis above day-time temperatures of 29°C, and a complete stop of net-carbon uptake at 33°C in all investigated species. This high sensitivity of photosynthesis to warming was independent of the

  14. Interglacial genetic diversification of Moussonia deppeana (Gesneriaceae), a hummingbird-pollinated, cloud forest shrub in northern Mesoamerica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornelas, Juan Francisco; González, Clementina

    2014-08-01

    Recent empirical work on cloud forest-adapted species supports the role of both old divergences across major geographical areas and more recent divergences attributed to Pleistocene climate changes. The shrub Moussonia deppeana is distributed in northern Mesoamerica, with geographically disjunct populations. Based on sampling throughout the species range and employing plastid and nuclear markers, we (i) test whether the fragmented distribution is correlated with main evolutionary lineages, (ii) reconstruct its phylogeographical history to infer the history of cloud forest in northern Mesoamerica and (iii) evaluate a set of refugia/vicariance scenarios for the region and demographic patterns of the populations whose ranges expanded and tracked cloud forest conditions during the Last Glacial Maximum. We found a deep evolutionary split in M. deppeana about 6-3 Ma, which could be consistent with a Pliocene divergence. Comparison of variation in plastid and nuclear markers revealed several lineages mostly congruent with their isolated geographical distribution and restricted gene flow among groups. Results of species distribution modelling and coalescent simulations fit a model of multiple refugia diverging during interglacial cycles. The demographic history of M. deppeana is not consistent with an expanding-contracting cloud forest archipelago model during the Last Glacial Maximum. Instead, our data suggest that populations persisted across the geographical range throughout the glacial cycles, and experienced isolation and divergence during interglacial periods. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Changes in forest structure and composition after fire in tropical montane cloud forests near the Andean treeline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Malhi, Y.; Salinas, N.; Huaman, V.; Urquiaga-Flores, E.; Kala-Mamani, J.; Quintano-Loaiza, J.A.; Cuba-Torres, I.; Lizarraga-Morales, N.; Roman-Cuesta, R.M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) fires can be a frequent source of disturbance near the treeline. Aims: To identify how forest structure and tree species composition change in response to fire and to identify fire-tolerant species, and determine which traits or characteristics a

  16. Impacts of cloud immersion on microclimate, photosynthesis and water relations of fraser fir in a temperate mountain cloud forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith Reinhardt; William K. Smith

    2010-01-01

    The red spruce-Fraser fir ecosystem (Picea rubens Sarg.-Abies fraseri [Pursh] Poir.) of the southern Appalachian mountains is a temperate zone cloud forest immersed in clouds for 30 to 40 percent of a typical summer day, and experiencing immersion on about 65 percent of all days annually. We compared the microclimate,...

  17. Analyzing cloud base at local and regional scales to understand tropical montane cloud forest vulnerability to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley E. Van Beusekom; Grizelle Gonzalez; Martha A. Scholl

    2017-01-01

    The degree to which cloud immersion provides water in addition to rainfall, suppresses transpiration, and sustains tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) during rainless periods is not well understood. Climate and land use changes represent a threat to these forests if cloud base altitude rises as a result of regional warming or deforestation. To establish a baseline...

  18. Changes in forest structure and composition after fire in tropical montane cloud forests near the Andean treeline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Malhi, Y.; Salinas, N.; Huaman, V.; Urquiaga-Flores, E.; Kala-Mamani, J.; Quintano-Loaiza, J.A.; Cuba-Torres, I.; Lizarraga-Morales, N.; Roman-Cuesta, R.M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) fires can be a frequent source of disturbance near the treeline. Aims: To identify how forest structure and tree species composition change in response to fire and to identify fire-tolerant species, and determine which traits or characteristics

  19. Historical reconstruction of climatic and elevation preferences and the evolution of cloud forest-adapted tree ferns in Mesoamerica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, Victoria; Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Gándara, Etelvina

    2016-01-01

    Cloud forests, characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover and fragmented distribution, are one of the most threatened habitats, especially in the Neotropics. Tree ferns are among the most conspicuous elements in these forests, and ferns are restricted to regions in which minimum temperatures rarely drop below freezing and rainfall is high and evenly distributed around the year. Current phylogeographic data suggest that some of the cloud forest-adapted species remained in situ or expanded to the lowlands during glacial cycles and contracted allopatrically during the interglacials. Although the observed genetic signals of population size changes of cloud forest-adapted species including tree ferns correspond to predicted changes by Pleistocene climate change dynamics, the observed patterns of intraspecific lineage divergence showed temporal incongruence. Here we combined phylogenetic analyses, ancestral area reconstruction, and divergence time estimates with climatic and altitudinal data (environmental space) for phenotypic traits of tree fern species to make inferences about evolutionary processes in deep time. We used phylogenetic Bayesian inference and geographic and altitudinal distribution of tree ferns to investigate ancestral area and elevation and environmental preferences of Mesoamerican tree ferns. The phylogeny was then used to estimate divergence times and ask whether the ancestral area and elevation and environmental shifts were linked to climatic events and historical climatic preferences. Bayesian trees retrieved Cyathea, Alsophyla, Gymnosphaera and Sphaeropteris in monophyletic clades. Splits for species in these genera found in Mesoamerican cloud forests are recent, from the Neogene to the Quaternary, Australia was identified as the ancestral area for the clades of these genera, except for Gymnosphaera that was Mesoamerica. Climate tolerance was not divergent from hypothesized ancestors for the most significant

  20. [Leaf litter decomposition in six Cloud Forest streams of the upper La Antigua watershed, Veracruz, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astudillo, Manuel R; Ramírez, Alonso; Novelo-Gutiérrez, Rodolfo; Vázquez, Gabriela

    2014-04-01

    Leaf litter decomposition is an important stream ecosystem process. To understand factors controlling leaf decomposition in cloud forest in Mexico, we incubated leaf packs in different streams along a land use cover gradient for 35 days during the dry and wet seasons. We assessed relations between leaf decomposition rates (k), stream physicochemistry, and macroinvertebrates colonizing leaf packs. Physicochemical parameters showed a clear seasonal difference at all study streams. Leaves were colonized by collector-gatherer insects, followed by shredders. Assessment of factors related to k indicated that only forest cover was negatively related to leaf decomposition rates. Thus stream physicochemistry and seasonality had no impact on decomposition rates. We concluded that leaf litter decomposition at our study streams is a stable process over the year. However, it is possible that this stability is the result of factors regulating decomposition during the different seasons and streams.

  1. Saturnispora quitensis sp. nov., a yeast species isolated from the Maquipucuna cloud forest reserve in Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Stephen A; Cadet, Geneviève M; Barriga, Enrique Javier Carvajal; Barahona, Patricia Portero; Cross, Kathryn; Bond, Christopher J; Roberts, Ian N

    2011-12-01

    A single strain, CLQCA-10-114(T), representing a novel yeast species belonging to the genus Saturnispora was isolated from the fruit of an unidentified species of bramble (Rubus sp.), collected from the Maquipucuna cloud forest reserve, near Quito, in Ecuador. Sequence analyses of the D1/D2 domains of the large-subunit rRNA gene and ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region indicated that the novel species is most closely related to the recently described species Saturnispora gosingensis, isolated from the fruiting body of a mushroom collected in Taiwan, and Saturnispora hagleri, a Drosophila-associated yeast found in Brazil. The name Saturnispora quitensis sp. nov. is proposed to accommodate this strain; the type strain is CLQCA-10-114(T) (=CBS 12184(T)=NCYC 3744(T)).

  2. Leaf litter copepods from a cloud forest mountain top in Honduras (Copepoda: Cyclopidae, Canthocamptidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiers, Frank; Jocque, Merlijn

    2013-01-01

    Five different species of Copepoda were extracted from a leaf litter sample collected on the top (at 2000 m a.s.l.) of a cloud forested mountain in El Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Three of them, one Cyclopidae and two Canthocamptidae are new to science, and are described herein. Olmeccyclops hondo sp. nov. is the second representative thus far known of this New World genus. Moraria catracha sp. nov. and Moraria cusuca sp. nov. are the first formally described members of the genus occurring in Central America. The concept of a "Moraria-group" is considered to be an artificial grouping and is limited here to the genera Moraria and Morariopsis only. The distributional range of this group is essentially Holarctic, with the mountainous regions in Honduras, and probably in west Nicaragua, as the southernmost limits in the New World.

  3. Effects of competition and facilitation on species assemblage in two types of tropical cloud forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenxing Long

    Full Text Available Competition and facilitation between tree individuals are two kinds of non-random processes influencing the structure and functioning of forest communities, but how these two plant-plant interactions change along gradient of resources or environments remains very much a matter of debate. We developed a null model to test the size-distance regression, and assessed the effects of competition and facilitation (including interspecific interactions, intraspecific interactions and overall species interactions on each adult tree species assemblage [diameter at breast height (dbh ≥5 cm] across two types of tropical cloud forest with different environmental and resource regimes. The null model test revealed that 17% to 27% tree species had positive dbh-distance correlations while 11% to 19% tree species showed negative dbh-distance correlations within these two forest types, indicating that both competition and facilitation processes existed during the community assembly. The importance of competition for heterospecific species, and the intensity of competition for both heterospecific and overall species increased from high to low resources for all the shared species spanning the two forests. The importance of facilitation for conspecific and overall species, as well as that the intensity of facilitation for both heterospecific and conspecific species increased with increasing low air temperature stress for all the shared species spanning the two forests. Our results show that both competition and facilitation processes simultaneously affect parts of species assemblage in the tropical cloud forests. Moreover, the fact that nearly 50% species assemblage is not detected with our approaches suggest that tree species in these tropical forest systems are assembled with multiple ecological processes, and that there is a need to explore the processes other than the two biotic interactions in further researches.

  4. Quantitative Measures of Immersion in Cloud and the Biogeography of Cloud Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, R. O.; Nair, U. S.; Ray, D.; Regmi, A.; Pounds, J. A.; Welch, R. M.

    2010-01-01

    Sites described as tropical montane cloud forests differ greatly, in part because observers tend to differ in their opinion as to what constitutes frequent and prolonged immersion in cloud. This definitional difficulty interferes with hydrologic analyses, assessments of environmental impacts on ecosystems, and biogeographical analyses of cloud forest communities and species. Quantitative measurements of cloud immersion can be obtained on site, but the observations are necessarily spatially limited, although well-placed observers can examine 10 50 km of a mountain range under rainless conditions. Regional analyses, however, require observations at a broader scale. This chapter discusses remote sensing and modeling approaches that can provide quantitative measures of the spatiotemporal patterns of cloud cover and cloud immersion in tropical mountain ranges. These approaches integrate remote sensing tools of various spatial resolutions and frequencies of observation, digital elevation models, regional atmospheric models, and ground-based observations to provide measures of cloud cover, cloud base height, and the intersection of cloud and terrain. This combined approach was applied to the Monteverde region of northern Costa Rica to illustrate how the proportion of time the forest is immersed in cloud may vary spatially and temporally. The observed spatial variation was largely due to patterns of airflow over the mountains. The temporal variation reflected the diurnal rise and fall of the orographic cloud base, which was influenced in turn by synoptic weather conditions, the seasonal movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the north-easterly trade winds. Knowledge of the proportion of the time that sites are immersed in clouds should facilitate ecological comparisons and biogeographical analyses, as well as land use planning and hydrologic assessments in areas where intensive on-site work is not feasible.

  5. Diversity and habitat differentiation of mosses and liverworts in the cloud forest of. Monteverde, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gradstein S. Rob

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available An inventory of the understory and canopy of 4 ha oflower montane cloud forest at Monteverde, Costa Rica, yielded 190 bryophyte species: 133 hepatics, 56 mosses and 1 homwort. Thick branches of the lower canopy were by far the richest habitat in terms of number of species (99, trunks from 1m upwards had 65 species, lianas, shrubs, saplings, or living leaves in the understory had about 36-46 species each, and 16 species were found on rotten logs. The figures are illustrative of the great diversification of microhabitats of bryophytes in a tropical montane cloud forest. About 36% ofthe species, including more than half ofthe corticolous ones, occurred exclusively in the canopy. It appeared thatthe percentage ofbryophyte species restricted to the canopy may be the same in lowland and montane rain forests, in spite of the great differences in species abundance and composition in the two kinds of forest.  Ciento noventa especies de briofitas (133 hepáticas, 56 musgos, 1 antocerote fueron encontradas en un inventario hecho en 4 hectáreas del sotobosque y el dosel en el bosque nublado (1500 m de Monteverde, Costa Rica. Las ramas gruesas del dosel fueron la porción más rica en termino de numero de especies (99, en troncos había 65 especies, lianas, arbustos, árboles juveniles o hojas vivas en el sotobosque tenían entre 36-46 especies cada una, y 16 especies fueron encontradas en troncos en descomposición. Las cifras ilustran la gran diversidad de microhabitats de briofitas en el bosque nublado. Cerca de 36% de las especies, incluyendo mas de la mitad de los corticolos, se presentaron exclusivamente en el dosel. Parece que el porcentaje de especies de briofitas restringidas al dosel podría ser el mismo en bosques de tierras bajas y en bosques nublados, a pesar de la gran diferencia en abundancia y composición taxonómica de las briofitas en las dos clases de bosque.

  6. Water balances of old-growth and regenerating montane cloud forests in central Veracruz, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Villers, L. E.; Holwerda, F.; Gómez-Cárdenas, M.; Equihua, M.; Asbjornsen, H.; Bruijnzeel, L. A.; Marín-Castro, B. E.; Tobón, C.

    2012-09-01

    SummaryThis paper compares the water budgets of two adjacent micro-catchments covered by mature (MAT) and 20-year-old secondary (SEC) lower montane cloud forests, respectively, in central Veracruz, Mexico over a 2-year period. Rainfall (P) and streamflow (Q) were measured continuously, whereas dry canopy evaporation (transpiration Et), wet canopy evaporation (rainfall interception I), and cloud water interception (CWI) were quantified using a combination of field measurements and modeling. Mean annual P was 3467 mm, of which typically 80% fell during the wet season (May-October). Fog interception occurred exclusively during the dry season (November-April), and was ⩽2% of annual P for both forests. Rainfall interception loss was dominated by post-event evaporation of intercepted water rather than by within-event evaporation. Therefore, the higher overall I (i.e. including CWI) by the MAT (16% of P vs. 8% for the SEC) reflects a higher canopy storage capacity, related in turn to higher leaf area index and greater epiphyte biomass. Annual Et totals derived from sapflow measurements were nearly equal for the MAT and SEC (˜790 mm each). Total annual water yield calculated as P minus (Et + I) was somewhat higher for the SEC (2441 mm) than for the MAT (2077 mm), and mainly reflects the difference in I. Mean annual Q was also higher for the SEC (1527 mm) than for the MAT (1338 mm), and consisted mostly of baseflow (˜90%). Baseflow recession rates were nearly equal between the two forests, as were stormflow coefficients (4% and 5% for MAT and SEC, respectively). The very low runoff response to rainfall is attributed to the high infiltration and water retention capacities of the volcanic soils throughout the ˜2 m deep profile. The water budget results indicate that ˜875 and 700 mm year-1 leave the SEC and MAT as deep groundwater leakage, which is considered plausible given the fractured geology in the study area. It is concluded that 20 years of natural regeneration

  7. Water relations and microclimate around the upper limit of a cloud forest in Maui, Hawai'i.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotsch, Sybil G; Crausbay, Shelley D; Giambelluca, Thomas W; Weintraub, Alexis E; Longman, Ryan J; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Hotchkiss, Sara C; Dawson, Todd E

    2014-07-01

    The goal of this study was to determine the effects of atmospheric demand on both plant water relations and daily whole-tree water balance across the upper limit of a cloud forest at the mean base height of the trade wind inversion in the tropical trade wind belt. We measured the microclimate and water relations (sap flow, water potential, stomatal conductance, pressure-volume relations) of Metrosideros polymorpha Gaudich. var. polymorpha in three habitats bracketing the cloud forest's upper limit in Hawai'i to understand the role of water relations in determining ecotone position. The subalpine shrubland site, located 100 m above the cloud forest boundary, had the highest vapor pressure deficit, the least amount of rainfall and the highest levels of nighttime transpiration (EN) of all three sites. In the shrubland site, on average, 29% of daily whole-tree transpiration occurred at night, while on the driest day of the study 50% of total daily transpiration occurred at night. While EN occurred in the cloud forest habitat, the proportion of total daily transpiration that occurred at night was much lower (4%). The average leaf water potential (Ψleaf) was above the water potential at the turgor loss point (ΨTLP) on both sides of the ecotone due to strong stomatal regulation. While stomatal closure maintained a high Ψleaf, the minimum leaf water potential (Ψleafmin) was close to ΨTLP, indicating that drier conditions may cause drought stress in these habitats and may be an important driver of current landscape patterns in stand density.

  8. Filling phylogenetic gaps and the biogeographic relationships of the Octodontidae (Mammalia: Hystricognathi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Villota, Elkin Y; González-Wevar, Claudio A; Gallardo, Milton H; Vásquez, Rodrigo A; Poulin, Elie

    2016-12-01

    Endemic to South America, octodontid rodents are remarkable by being the only mammal taxa where allotetraploidy has been documented. The taxon's extensive morpho-physiological radiation associated to niche shifts has allowed testing phylogeographic hypotheses. Using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses, applied to all nominal species of octodontids, phylogenetic reconstructions based on sequences of 12S rRNA and growth hormone receptor gene are presented. Species boundaries were determined by coalescent analyses and divergence times among taxa were estimated based on mutation rates. Two main clades associated to the Andean orogenesis were recognized. The essentially western clade comprises genera Aconaemys, Octodon, Spalacopus, and Octodontomys whereas the eastern one included genera Octomys, Pipanacoctomys, Salinoctomys, and Tympanoctomys. Genetic relationships, coalescent analyses, and genetic distance supported the specific status given to Octodon pacificus and that given to Pipanacoctomys aureus as a species of Tympanoctomys. However, these analyses failed to recognize Salinoctomys loschalchalerosorum as a valid taxon considering its position within the diversity of Tympanoctomys barrerae. Although the origin of genome duplication remains contentious, the coincidence of the basal clade split with distinctive modes of karyotypic evolution across the Andes emphasizes the role of physiographic barriers and westerlies in shaping different edaphological conditions, selective grounds, and concomitantly distinct adaptations within the octodontids.

  9. Biology and ecology of Alchisme grossa in a cloud forest of the Bolivian Yungas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrico-Bazoberry, Daniel; Caceres-Sanchez, Liliana; Saavedra-Ulloa, Daniela; Flores-Prado, Luis; Niemeyer, Hermann M; Pinto, Carlos F

    2014-01-01

    Treehoppers (Membracidae) exhibit different levels of sociality, from solitary to presocial. Although they are one of the best biological systems to study the evolution of maternal care in insects, information on the biology of species in this group is scarce. This work describes the biology and ecology of Alchisme grossa (Fairmaire) (Hemiptera: Membracidae) in a rain cloud forest of Bolivia. This subsocial membracid utilizes two host-plant species, Brugmansia suaveolens (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Wild) Bercht. & J.Presl and Solanum ursinum (Rusby) (both Solanaceae), the first one being used during the whole year and the second one almost exclusively during the wet season. The development of A. grossa from egg to adult occurred on the plant where eggs were laid. Maternal care was observed during the complete nymphal development, and involved behavioral traits such as food facilitation and antidepredatory defense. Life cycle was longer on B. suaveolens during the dry season and shorter on S. ursinum during the wet season. Mortality was similar on both host plants during the wet season but was lower on B. suaveolens during the dry season. The presence of a secondary female companion to the egg-guarding female individual and occasional iteropary is also reported. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  10. Life in the clouds: are tropical montane cloud forests responding to changes in climate?

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    Hu, Jia; Riveros-Iregui, Diego A

    2016-04-01

    The humid tropics represent only one example of the many places worldwide where anthropogenic disturbance and climate change are quickly affecting the feedbacks between water and trees. In this article, we address the need for a more long-term perspective on the effects of climate change on tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF) in order to fully assess the combined vulnerability and long-term response of tropical trees to changes in precipitation regimes, including cloud immersion. We first review the ecophysiological benefits that cloud water interception offers to trees in TMCF and then examine current climatological evidence that suggests changes in cloud base height and impending changes in cloud immersion for TMCF. Finally, we propose an experimental approach to examine the long-term dynamics of tropical trees in TMCF in response to environmental conditions on decade-to-century time scales. This information is important to assess the vulnerability and long-term response of TMCF to changes in cloud cover and fog frequency and duration.

  11. [Historic record of Gastrotheca ovifera (Anura: Hemiphractidae): decline evidence in Venezuelan coastal cloud forests].

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    Valera-Leal, Javier; Acevedo, Aldemar; Pérez-Sánchez, Antonio; Vega, Jorge; Manzanilla, Jesús

    2011-03-01

    G. ovifera is a marsupial frog of the cloud and riparian forest from Western and Litoral sections of the Venezuelan Cordillera de la Costa (820-2 000m). This amphibian is considered as an endangered species by the IUCN Species Red List, due to its population decline in pristine and well preserved environments. This conservation status is based on anecdotic interpretations. We collected disperse data from museum records (national and international) and explored the possible association between collection records and precipitation data available for the Henri Pittier National Park (PNHP). Likewise, we carried out a systematic population monitoring of G. ovifera in historic and additional localities among the cloud forest of Rancho Grande, PNHP. We found 106 individuals in 11 zoological collections deposited during 1929-2007. After an effort of 646 hours/person we did not detect G. ovifera individuals in the evaluated localities; as well as no statistical significant associations between the annual precipitation average and the historic records of the species during 1941-1997 period (r = -0.054, p = 0.820, n = 19). We discussed the distribution, fluctuation and population changes of this species, analyzing it conservation status.

  12. [Vertical stratification and host preference by vascular epiphytes in a Chiapas, Mexico, cloud forest].

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    Martínez-Meéndez, Nayely; Pérez-Farrera, Miguel A; Flores-Palacios, Alejandro

    2008-12-01

    The high diversity of vascular epiphytes in neotropical montane forest has been explained as the result of vertical stratification of the forest and specific relationships between epiphytes and their hosts trees at local scales. In a lower montane cloud forest, we studied the vertical stratification and host preferences of vascular epiphytes in a 0.0625 ha plot where 41 trees > or = of 10 cm DBH were sampled during 12 months in 2001 and 2002. We found 43 epiphyte species growing on 15 tree genera. We tested for vertical strata and host preferences using 19 epiphyte taxa. We found strong evidence that epiphytes divided the canopy, but those epiphyte species dispersed by animals were generalists with respect to hosts and vertical strata. Wind dispersed epiphytes were vertically stratified, with a higher richness in the lowest tree strata. On average the epiphytes preferred 3.5 host species, suggesting low host preference. Two host species, Ardisia and Quercus, were avoided by the majority of the epiphyte species. Our results show that epiphytes divided the canopy horizontally and were stratified vertically, suggesting that host identity could be important determining the abundance of colonizing sites for epiphytes.

  13. Historical reconstruction of climatic and elevation preferences and the evolution of cloud forest-adapted tree ferns in Mesoamerica

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    Victoria Sosa

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Cloud forests, characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover and fragmented distribution, are one of the most threatened habitats, especially in the Neotropics. Tree ferns are among the most conspicuous elements in these forests, and ferns are restricted to regions in which minimum temperatures rarely drop below freezing and rainfall is high and evenly distributed around the year. Current phylogeographic data suggest that some of the cloud forest-adapted species remained in situ or expanded to the lowlands during glacial cycles and contracted allopatrically during the interglacials. Although the observed genetic signals of population size changes of cloud forest-adapted species including tree ferns correspond to predicted changes by Pleistocene climate change dynamics, the observed patterns of intraspecific lineage divergence showed temporal incongruence. Methods Here we combined phylogenetic analyses, ancestral area reconstruction, and divergence time estimates with climatic and altitudinal data (environmental space for phenotypic traits of tree fern species to make inferences about evolutionary processes in deep time. We used phylogenetic Bayesian inference and geographic and altitudinal distribution of tree ferns to investigate ancestral area and elevation and environmental preferences of Mesoamerican tree ferns. The phylogeny was then used to estimate divergence times and ask whether the ancestral area and elevation and environmental shifts were linked to climatic events and historical climatic preferences. Results Bayesian trees retrieved Cyathea, Alsophyla, Gymnosphaera and Sphaeropteris in monophyletic clades. Splits for species in these genera found in Mesoamerican cloud forests are recent, from the Neogene to the Quaternary, Australia was identified as the ancestral area for the clades of these genera, except for Gymnosphaera that was Mesoamerica. Climate tolerance was not divergent from

  14. Vegetation-zonation patterns across a temperate mountain cloud forest ecotone are not explained by variation in hydraulic functioning or water relations.

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    Berry, Z Carter; Johnson, Daniel M; Reinhardt, Keith

    2015-09-01

    Many studies have demonstrated linkages between the occurrence of fog and ecophysiological functioning in cloud forests, but few have investigated hydraulic functioning as a determining factor that explains sharp changes in vegetation. The objective of this study was to compare the plant water status during cloud-immersed and non-immersed conditions and hydraulic vulnerability in branches and roots of species across a temperate, mountain fog ecotone. Because cloud forests are often dark, cool and very moist, we expected cloud forest species to have less drought-tolerant characteristics (i.e., lower Pe and P50-the pressures required to induce a 12 and 50% loss in hydraulic conductivity, respectively) relative to non-cloud forest species in adjacent (lower elevation) forests. Additionally, due to the ability of cloud forest species to absorb cloud-fog water, we predicted greater improvements in hydraulic functioning during fog in cloud forest species relative to non-cloud forest species. Across the cloud forest ecotone, most species measured were very resistant to losses in conductivity with branch P50 values from -4.5 to -6.0 MPa, hydraulic safety margins (Ψmin - P50) >1.5 MPa and low calculated hydraulic conductivity losses. Roots had greater vulnerabilities, with P50 values ranging from -1.4 to -2.5 MPa, leading to greater predicted losses in conductivity (∼20%). Calculated values suggested strong losses of midday leaf hydraulic conductance in three of the four species, supporting the hydraulic segmentation hypothesis. In both cloud forest and hardwood species, Ψs were greater on foggy days than sunny days, demonstrating the importance of fog periods to plant water balance across fog regimes. Thus, frequent fog did not result in systemic changes in hydraulic functioning or vulnerability to embolism across our temperate cloud forest ecotone. Finally, roots functioned with lower hydraulic conductivity than branches, suggesting that they may serve as more

  15. Potential Distribution of Mountain Cloud Forest in Michoacán, Mexico: Prioritization for Conservation in the Context of Landscape Connectivity.

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    Correa Ayram, Camilo A; Mendoza, Manuel E; Etter, Andrés; Pérez Salicrup, Diego R

    2017-07-01

    Landscape connectivity is essential in biodiversity conservation because of its ability to reduce the effect of habitat fragmentation; furthermore is a key property in adapting to climate change. Potential distribution models and landscape connectivity studies have increased with regard to their utility to prioritizing areas for conservation. The objective of this study was to model the potential distribution of Mountain cloud forests in the Transversal Volcanic System, Michoacán and to analyze the role of these areas in maintaining landscape connectivity. Potential distribution was modeled for the Mountain cloud forests based on the maximum entropy approach using 95 occurrence points and 17 ecological variables at 30 m spatial resolution. Potential connectivity was then evaluated by using a probability of connectivity index based on graph theory. The percentage of variation (dPCk) was used to identify the individual contribution of each potential area of Mountain cloud forests in overall connectivity. The different ways in which the potential areas of Mountain cloud forests can contribute to connectivity were evaluated by using the three fractions derived from dPCk (dPCintrak, dPCfluxk, and dPCconnectork). We determined that 37,567 ha of the TVSMich are optimal for the presence of Mountain cloud forests. The contribution of said area in the maintenance of connectivity was low. The conservation of Mountain cloud forests is indispensable, however, in providing or receiving dispersal flows through TVSMich because of its role as a connector element between another habitat types. The knowledge of the potential capacity of Mountain cloud forests to promote structural and functional landscape connectivity is key in the prioritization of conservation areas.

  16. Birds of a high-altitude cloud forest in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

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    Knut Eisermann

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available The Northern Central American Highlands have been recognized as endemic bird area, but little is known about bird communities in Guatemalan cloud forests. From 1997 to 2001 a total of 142 bird species were recorded between 2 000 and 2 400 masl in cloud forest and agricultural clearings on Montaña Caquipec (Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. The bird community is described based on line transect counts within the forest. Pooling census data from undisturbed and disturbed forest, the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys was found to be the most abundant species, followed in descending order by the Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus, the Paltry Tyrannulet (Zimmerius vilissimus, the Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens, the Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii, and the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus. Bird communities in undisturbed and disturbed forest were found to be similar (Sørensen similarity index 0.85, indicating low human impact. Of all recorded species, ~27% were Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. The most abundant one was the Wilson’s Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla. The Montaña Caquipec is an important area for bird conservation, which is indicated by the presence of four species listed in the IUCN Red List (Highland Guan Penelopina nigra, Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor, Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia, and 42 Mesoamerican endemics, of which 14 species are endemic to the Central American Highlands. The results presented here will be useful as baseline data for a long-term monitoring. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(3-4: 577-594. Epub 2005 Oct 3.Las alturas del norte de Centroamérica han sido reconocidas como región de aves endémicas, pero se conoce poco sobre las comunidades de aves en bosques nubosos de Guatemala. De 1997 a 2001 se han detectado 142 especies de aves entre 2 000 y 2 400 msnm en el bosque nuboso y áreas agr

  17. Mass, nutrient pool, and mineralization of litter and fine roots in a tropical mountain cloud forest.

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    Campos C, Adolfo; Cruz H, Lourdes; Rocha O, Sandra

    2017-01-01

    We used fine root and litter mass from a tropical mountain cloud forest to assess their relative contribution to nutrient content and to examine mineralization processes during a laboratory incubation experiment. Our results showed that average fine root mass density ranged from 2.86kgm(-3) to 11.59kgm(-3), while litter mass density ranged from 72.5kgm(-3) to 177.3kgm(-3). On average, fine root mass density represented 4.7% of the mass density of the O horizon. Fine root mass density followed an exponentially declining trend with soil depth. On average, 83% of fine root mass density within the soil profile was concentrated in the O horizon. Mean element pools in litter decreased from 44.08mgcm(-3) to 0.49μgcm(-3) in the following sequence: C>N>Fe>S>Ca>P>K>Mg>Na>Mn>Zn>Cu. For fine roots, a different mean element pool sequence (C>N>Ca>K>Fe>S>Mg>Na>P>Mn>Zn>Cu) in decreasing abundance (from 2.88mgcm(-3) to 0.13μgcm(-3)) was observed with respect to litter. Regarding C, litter mineralized faster than fine roots, with a mean k value of 0.25d(-1) for litter and 0.13d(-1) for fine roots. Principal component analysis (PCA) combined with stepwise regression analysis revealed that the main mass density predictors were N, S, Zn, and Mn for litter (plitter mass and therefore the nutrient availability and C sequestration.

  18. The surrounding landscape influences the diversity of leaf-litter ants in riparian cloud forest remnants

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    Valenzuela-González, Jorge E.; Escobar-Sarria, Federico; López-Barrera, Fabiola; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela

    2017-01-01

    Riparian vegetation is a distinctive and ecologically important element of landscapes worldwide. However, the relative influence of the surrounding landscape on the conservation of the biodiversity of riparian remnants in human-modified tropical landscapes is poorly understood. We studied the surrounding landscape to evaluate its influence on leaf-litter-ant alpha and beta diversity in riparian remnants in the tropical montane cloud forest region of central Veracruz, Mexico. Sampling was carried out in 12 sites with riparian vegetation during both rainy (2011) and dry (2012) seasons. Ten leaf-litter samples were collected along a 100-m transect per site and processed with Berlese-Tullgren funnels and Winkler sacks. Using remotely-sensed and ground-collected data, we characterized the landscape around each site according to nine land cover types and computed metrics of landscape composition and configuration. We collected a total of 8,684 ant individuals belonging to 53 species, 22 genera, 11 tribes, and 7 subfamilies. Species richness and the diversity of Shannon and Simpson increased significantly in remnants immersed in landscapes with a high percentage of riparian land cover and a low percentage of land covers with areas reforested with Pinus, cattle pastures, and human settlements and infrastructure. The composition of ant assemblages was a function of the percentage of riparian land cover in the landscape. This study found evidence that leaf-litter ants, a highly specialized guild of arthropods, are mainly impacted by landscape composition and the configuration of the focal remnant. Maintaining or improving the surrounding landscape quality of riparian vegetation remnants can stimulate the movement of biodiversity among forest and riparian remnants and foster the provision of ecosystem services by these ecosystems. Effective outcomes may be achieved by considering scientific knowledge during the early stages of riparian policy formulation, in addition to

  19. Tropical montane cloud forests: current threats and opportunities for their conservation and sustainable management in Mexico.

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    Toledo-Aceves, Tarin; Meave, Jorge A; González-Espinosa, Mario; Ramírez-Marcial, Neptalí

    2011-03-01

    Tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF) are among the most threatened ecosystems globally in spite of their high strategic value for sustainable development due to the key role played by these forests in hydrological cycle maintenance and as reservoirs of endemic biodiversity. Resources for effective conservation and management programs are rarely sufficient, and criteria must be applied to prioritize TMCF for conservation action. This paper reports a priority analysis of the 13 main regions of TMCF distribution in Mexico, based on four criteria: (1) forest quality, (2) threats to forest permanence, (3) threats to forest integrity, and (4) opportunities for conservation. Due to the diverse socio-environmental conditions of the local communities living in Mexican TMCF regions, their associated social characteristics were also evaluated to provide a background for the planning of conservation actions. A set of indicators was defined for the measurement of each criterion. To assign priority values for subregions within each main region, an international team of 40 participants evaluated all the indicators using multicriteria decision-making analysis. This procedure enabled the identification of 15 subregions of critical priority, 17 of high priority, and 10 of medium priority; three more were not analysed due to lack of information. The evaluation revealed a number of subjects that had hitherto been undetected and that may prove useful for prioritization efforts in other regions where TMCF is similarly documented and faces equally severe threats. Based on this analysis, key recommendations are outlined to advance conservation objectives in those TMCF areas that are subjected to high pressure on forest resources. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Epiphyte response to drought and experimental warming in an Andean cloud forest.

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    Rapp, Joshua M; Silman, Miles R

    2014-01-01

    The high diversity and abundance of vascular epiphytes in tropical montane cloud forest is associated with frequent cloud immersion, which is thought to protect plants from drought stress. Increasing temperature and rising cloud bases associated with climate change may increase epiphyte drought stress, leading to species and biomass loss. We tested the hypothesis that warmer and drier conditions associated with a lifting cloud base will lead to increased mortality and/or decreased recruitment of epiphyte ramets, altering species composition in epiphyte mats. By using a reciprocal transplant design, where epiphyte mats were transplanted across an altitudinal gradient of increasing cloud immersion, we differentiated between the effects of warmer and drier conditions from the more general prediction of niche theory that transplanting epiphytes in any direction away from their home elevation should result in reduced performance. Effects differed among species, but effects were generally stronger and more negative for epiphytes in mats transplanted down slope from the highest elevation, into warmer and drier conditions, than for epiphyte mats transplanted from other elevations. In contrast, epiphytes from lower elevations showed greater resistance to drought in all treatments. Epiphyte community composition changed with elevation, but over the timescale of the experiment there were no consistent changes in species composition. Our results suggest some epiphytes may show resistance to climate change depending on the environmental and evolutionary context. In particular, sites where high rainfall makes cloud immersion less important for epiphyte water-balance, or where occasional drought has previously selected for drought-resistant taxa, may be less adversely affected by predicted climate changes.

  1. Distribution and structure of lotic macroinvertebrate communities and the influence of environmental factors in a tropical cloud forest, Cusuco National Park, Honduras

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    Paul O'Callaghan

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Neotropical cloud forests are a critically endangered ecosystem characterised by their unusual hydrological conditions which frequently make them important sources of clean potable water. To facilitate any meaningful research on cloud forest streams it is necessary to first describe the structure and composition of the local lotic aquatic communities and to establish which environmental factors structure them under natural conditions. The present study sampled the macroinvertebrate communities of rivers draining the montane cloud forests of Cucuso National Park in Honduras, where increasing anthropogenic pressures are threatening water quality. Using multivariate techniques a bottom-up approach was adopted to establish groups of similar sites and identify environmental factors driving the differences between these. Three site groupings emerged based largely on differences in taxon composition driven mainly by pH and altitude.

  2. Tropical Montane Cloud Forests: Hydrometeorological variability in three neighbouring catchments with different forest cover

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    Ramírez, Beatriz H.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Ganzeveld, Laurens; Hegger, Zita; Leemans, Rik

    2017-09-01

    Mountain areas are characterized by a large heterogeneity in hydrological and meteorological conditions. This heterogeneity is currently poorly represented by gauging networks and by the coarse scale of global and regional climate and hydrological models. Tropical Montane Cloud Forests (TMCFs) are found in a narrow elevation range and are characterized by persistent fog. Their water balance depends on local and upwind temperatures and moisture, therefore, changes in these parameters will alter TMCF hydrology. Until recently the hydrological functioning of TMCFs was mainly studied in coastal regions, while continental TMCFs were largely ignored. This study contributes to fill this gap by focusing on a TMCF which is located on the northern eastern Andes at an elevation of 1550-2300 m asl, in the Orinoco river basin highlands. In this study, we describe the spatial and seasonal meteorological variability, analyse the corresponding catchment hydrological response to different land cover, and perform a sensitivity analysis on uncertainties related to rainfall interpolation, catchment area estimation and streamflow measurements. Hydro-meteorological measurements, including hourly solar radiation, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, precipitation, soil moisture and streamflow, were collected from June 2013 to May 2014 at three gauged neighbouring catchments with contrasting TMCF/grassland cover and less than 250 m elevation difference. We found wetter and less seasonally contrasting conditions at higher elevations, indicating a positive relation between elevation and fog or rainfall persistence. This pattern is similar to that of other eastern Andean TMCFs, however, the study site had higher wet season rainfall and lower dry season rainfall suggesting that upwind contrasts in land cover and moisture can influence the meteorological conditions at eastern Andean TMCFs. Contrasting streamflow dynamics between the studied catchments reflect the overall system response

  3. Land use change effects on runoff generation in a humid tropical montane cloud forest region

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    L. E. Muñoz-Villers

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available While tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF provide critical hydrological services to downstream regions throughout much of the humid tropics, catchment hydrology and impacts associated with forest conversion in these ecosystems remain poorly understood. Here, we compare the annual, seasonal and event-scale streamflow patterns and runoff generation processes of three neighbouring headwater catchments in central Veracruz (eastern Mexico with similar pedological and geological characteristics, but different land cover: old-growth TMCF (MAT, 20 yr-old naturally regenerating TMCF (SEC and a heavily grazed pasture (PAS. We used a 2 yr record of high resolution rainfall and stream flow data (2008–2010 in combination with stable isotope and chemical tracer data collected for a series of storms during a 6-week period of increasing antecedent wetness (wetting-up cycle. Our results showed that annual and seasonal streamflow patterns of the MAT and SEC were similar. In contrast, the PAS showed a 10% higher mean annual streamflow, most likely because of a lower rainfall interception. During the wetting-up cycle, storm runoff ratios increased at all three catchments (from 11 to 54% for the MAT, 7 to 52% for the SEC and 3 to 59% for the PAS. With the increasing antecedent wetness, hydrograph separation analysis showed progressive increases of pre-event water contributions to total stormflow (from 35 to 99% in the MAT, 26 to 92% in the SEC and 64 to 97% in the PAS. At all three sites, rainfall-runoff responses were dominated by subsurface flow generation processes for the majority of storms. However, for the largest and most intense storm (typically occurring once every 2 yr, sampled under wet antecedent conditions, the event water contribution in the PAS (34% on average was much higher than in the forests (5% on average, indicating that rainfall infiltration capacity of the PAS was exceeded. This result suggests that despite the high permeability of the

  4. Effects of foggy conditions on the measurement of stem respiration in a cloud forest in Taiwan

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    Chang, S.-C.; Wang, H.-K.; Lin, Y.-C.; Hsia, Y.-J.

    2010-07-01

    Stem CO2 efflux of a Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana forest ecosystem was measured at the Chi-Lan Mountain (CLM) site in northern Taiwan. The site is located at an altitude of 1650 m and is subjected to frequent fog coverage around the year. Stem CO2 efflux was measured continuously at 1 m height by horizontally mounting an automatic soil respiration chamber system (LI-8100 Survey Chamber, LI-COR) on the stem surface. Every 10 min, the chamber was closed for 2 min for the measurement of CO2 concentration within the closed system. Stem temperature beside the chamber was monitored by a thermistor inserted 3 cm into the stem. Sapflow velocity was recorded using thermal dissipation probes installed on five nearby Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana trees. The data from May 2009 was used in the current analysis. Under clear weather, e. g. on May 8, 2009, the diurnal stem CO2 efflux rate vs. stem temperature showed a clear hysteresis loop. The daytime stem CO2 efflux rates were lower than the potential values, which were predicted by the nighttime stem temperature-stem CO2 efflux relation. The magnitude of the daytime depression of the stem CO2 efflux was positively correlated with the sapflow velocity. On the contrary, when the site was submerged in fog during the daytime, the hysteresis did not take place and the very low sapflow velocities caused only minor decrease in the daytime stem CO2 efflux compared to those in nighttime. In May 2009, the daily accumulated daytime depression of stem CO2 efflux ranged from 0.54 to 7.70 mmol m-2. The daily daytime foggy time had a negative linear correlation with the amount of daily depression. The effects of foggy conditions on the stem CO2 efflux measurement might have some ecological implications. The frequent occurrence of fog in the cloud forests, where the transpiration rates are low, might guarantee a less biased estimation of stem respiration by the chamber method. The measured stem CO2 efflux might significantly

  5. Mapping the montane cloud forest of Taiwan using 12 year MODIS-derived ground fog frequency data.

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    Schulz, Hans Martin; Li, Ching-Feng; Thies, Boris; Chang, Shih-Chieh; Bendix, Jörg

    2017-01-01

    Up until now montane cloud forest (MCF) in Taiwan has only been mapped for selected areas of vegetation plots. This paper presents the first comprehensive map of MCF distribution for the entire island. For its creation, a Random Forest model was trained with vegetation plots from the National Vegetation Database of Taiwan that were classified as "MCF" or "non-MCF". This model predicted the distribution of MCF from a raster data set of parameters derived from a digital elevation model (DEM), Landsat channels and texture measures derived from them as well as ground fog frequency data derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. While the DEM parameters and Landsat data predicted much of the cloud forest's location, local deviations in the altitudinal distribution of MCF linked to the monsoonal influence as well as the Massenerhebung effect (causing MCF in atypically low altitudes) were only captured once fog frequency data was included. Therefore, our study suggests that ground fog data are most useful for accurately mapping MCF.

  6. Response of epiphytic bryophytes to simulated N deposition in a subtropical montane cloud forest in southwestern China.

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    Song, Liang; Liu, Wen-Yao; Ma, Wen-Zhang; Qi, Jin-Hua

    2012-11-01

    A field manipulation experiment was conducted in a subtropical montane cloud forest in southwestern China to determine the possible responses of epiphytic bryophytes to increasing nitrogen (N) deposition from community to physiology level, and to find sensitive epiphytic bryophytes that may be used as indicators for assessing the degree of N pollution. N addition had significantly negative effects on species richness and cover of the epiphytic bryophyte community. Harmful effects of high N loads were recorded for chlorophyll, growth, and vitality of the species tested. The decline of some epiphytic bryophytes may result from detrimental effects on degradation to photosynthetic pigments. Bazzania himalayana (Mitt.) Schiffn., Bazzania ovistipula (Steph.) Mizut., and Homaliodendron flabellatum (Sm.) Fleisch. are candidates in atmospheric nitrogen monitoring. Epiphytic bryophytes in the montane cloud forest are very sensitive to increasing N deposition and often difficult to recover once they have been destroyed, providing early detection of enhanced N pollution for trees or even the whole forest ecosystem. The inference that increasing N pollution may lead to loss of biodiversity is a concern to the developing economy in western China, and should alert the government to the adverse impacts caused by increased industrial pollution during the process of China's West Development.

  7. How does canopy wetness shape evapotranspiration in a mountain cloud forest

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    Chu, H.-S.; Chang, S.-C.; Lin, Y.-Z.; Hsia, Y.-J.

    2010-07-01

    Interception plays an important role in the hydrological characteristics of cloud forest ecosystems due to frequent wetness of the canopy. The dynamics of this canopy interception processes are ecologically important for partitioning between interception evaporation and transpiration. Long term meteorological observations at the Chi-Lan Mountain site (24°35’N, 121°25’E) indicated that fog weather accounts for one third of the time on a year around and mainly prevails in the late afternoon and evening. However, it is still not clear how long the interception water could last on canopy surface under such diurnal foggy patterns and how this wetness further shapes the partition between interception evaporation and transpiration. In order to explore the evapotranspiration patterns under wet canopy conditions, three-month intensive experiment was conducted at the CLM site from 2009/4/28 to 7/21. Eddy covariance method was applied to measure the net water vapor exchange between ecosystem and atmosphere. An open/closed-path eddy covariance system, including a sonic anemometer (Campbell CSAT3), an open path infrared gas analyzer (Licor LI7500) and a closed path infrared gas analyzer (Licor LI7000), was mounted at 1.8-fold of canopy height. The S-type sap flow sensors (Ecomatik SF-L) were mounted at 1.3 m height of trunk on five representative Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana trees as an index of transpiration rate. Three leaf wetness sensors (Campbell LW237) and two infrared surface thermometers (Apogee IRTS-P) were added to monitor the wetness and surface temperature of canopy. The result showed that canopy wetness played a crucial role in partitioning the interception evaporation and transpiration at this forest stand. Evapotranspiration either under wet or dry canopy conditions was mainly driven by the evapotranspiration demand, as indicated by the potential evapotranspiration. However, evapotranspiration was lower for dry canopy condition. While total

  8. Distribution of juveniles of tree species along a canopy closure gradient in a tropical cloud forest of the Venezuelan Andes

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    Quevedo-Rojas A

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cloud forests represent a minor portion of the world forests, though outstanding in terms of biodiversity, endemisms, and environmental services provided. Understanding the factors that drive the regeneration and species composition of these forests, and in particular how light availability affects the patterns of juvenile tree distribution in the understory, is critical for conservation and restoration programs. In this study, we determined the range-size and overlap of the abundance distribution of juveniles for 20 tree species in an Andean tropical cloud forest in Venezuela along a gradient of percentage canopy openness (%CO used as a surrogate of light availability. The observed distribution of %CO was then compared with a bounded null model of community structure in order to test light partitioning as a driver of tree species’ coexistence. We measured %CO using hemispherical photography and the abundance and size of juvenile trees in 280 plots of 1-m radius spread over a 32 ha forest area. The distribution of sites was skewed towards the lower end of the %CO gradient (0.5 to 12.8%, while species abundance sharply diminished at both ends of the gradient. Nevertheless, 15 out of 20 species had a non-random distribution in relation to %CO, with many species concentrated near the lower side of the gradient. The observed pattern of species’ overlap was within the 95% confidence limits for the average overlap expected under the bounded null model. These patterns indicate that low canopy openness is the rule in this forest, in spite of the scattered tree-fall gaps, and suggest that light partitioning does not determine the tree community structure at the juvenile stage. High redundancy in light requirements among juveniles of tree species may have a positive effect on species coexistence in cloud forests, thus maintaining a high species diversity. However, other factors such as recruitment limitation and differential growth/carbon-gain among

  9. The role of frugivorous birds and bats in the colonization of cloud forest plant species in burned areas in western Mexico

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    Rost, J.

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The extension of montane cloud forests in western Mexico is threatened by several disturbances that limit their extension. In this study we aim to assess the contribution of birds and bats in the dispersal and colonization of cloud–forest plants in contiguous surface–burned pine forests. We sampled seed rain and sapling establishment over one year in two surface–burned sites, which differed in the size of their closest cloud forest patch. A total of 17 plant species were found, most of which were late–successional trees, shrubs and climbers. Distance influenced the seed rain of only one dispersed taxon (Solanum sp. and had no effect on the sapling distribution of this or other plants. In turn, marked differences were found between sites, with more seeds dispersed and higher sapling density in the site that was next to the larger cloud forest patch. The role of long–distance dispersers and the existence of seed banks before fire could explain the little importance of distance from seed source on seed dispersal and sapling distribution. Nevertheless, dispersal by birds and bats before or after fire facilitates the regeneration and conservation of cloud forests in disturbed areas formerly occupied by other habitats.

  10. Exploring interactions between payment for hydrologic service policies, landowner decisions, and ecohydrology in a Mexican cloud forest watershed: Is there a disconnect between the policy and the resource?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbjornsen, H.; Geissert, D.; Gomez-Tagle, A.; Holwerda, F.; Manson, R.; Perez-Maqueo, O.; Munoz-Villers, L.; Scullion, J.

    2013-05-01

    Payment for hydrologic service (PHS) programs are increasingly being used as a means to incentivize watershed protection by compensating upstream 'water producers' with payments made by downstream 'water consumers'. However, the effectiveness of PHS programs in achieving their target goals is often poorly understood. Here, we draw from insights obtained from socioeconomic and ecohydrological research in Veracruz, Mexico to explore interactions between PHS policies, landowner decisions, and hydrologic services. GIS analysis of land-cover changes during 2003-2009 combined with interviews of PHS participants indicated that despite lower deforestation rates on properties receiving PES payments, other factors were likely to have a greater influence on land use decisions than PHS payments per se, including opportunity costs and personal conservation ethic. The interviews also highlighted a general lack of trust and cooperation between the citizen participants and government administrators, which was reflected in the relatively low level of knowledge of the PHS programs' regulations and goals, the role of forests in protecting water resources, and a low level of co-financing by the private sector. An important premise of PHS programs is that protecting existing forest cover (and planting trees) will enhance water supply, especially in upland cloud forests that are due to their perceived role as water producers. Measurements of climate, steamflow, canopy fog interception, plant transpiration, soil water dynamics, and hydrologic flow paths were collected over a 3-year period to assess stand water balance and streamflow response under four different land covers: mature cloud forest, pasture, regenerating cloud forest, pine reforestation. Results suggested relatively minor additional inputs of fog to increasing streamflow in cloud forest watersheds, while conversion of forest to pasture did not markedly decrease dry season flows, but did increase annual flows due to lower

  11. The Seasonal and Diurnal Patterns of net Ecosystem CO2 Exchange in a Subtropical Montane Cloud Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, H.; Lai, C.; Wu, C.; Hsia, Y.

    2008-12-01

    CO2 fluxes were measured by an open/closed path eddy covariance system at a natural regenerated 50-years-old yellow cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana) forest at Chi-Lan Mountain site (CLM site, 24°35'N, 121°25'E, 1650 m elevation), north-eastern Taiwan. CLM site is located at a relative uniform south-eastern-facing valley slope (15°) characterized with year round fog occurrence and diurnal mountain-valley wind and can be classified as subtropical montane cloud forest. Based on measurement from July 2007 to June 2008, seasonal and diurnal patterns of CO2 fluxes were described and patterns under different cloudiness and foggy conditions were presented. Comparing with other cypress forests in temperate region, there is only a weak seasonal pattern of the CO2 fluxes at CLM site. Throughout the year, average incident photosynthetically active radiation in summer was almost the double of that in winter, whereas the difference of mean daytime CO2 fluxes among seasons was much less than the seasonal light difference. During summer when light intensity was higher, mean daytime CO2 fluxes reached -7.5 μmol/m2/s in July and -8.8 μmol/m2/s in August. As heavy fog accounted for 64% and 67% of the time in November and February, mean daytime CO2 fluxes dropped to -6.9 and -6.1 μmol/m2/s respectively. With comparable higher incident radiation intensity (>1000 μmol/m2/s), the CO2 fluxes were higher in overcast days than in clear days. In July 2007, clear days accounted for 30% of the month, light intensity reached its peak at midday, and however, CO2 fluxes didn't reach its highest value in the meanwhile. Canopy conductance calculated from the Penman-Monteith equation and measured latent heat fluxes both showed a midday depression at clear days, which indicated the regulation of transpiration by plant physiological mechanism. With comparable lower incident radiation intensity (<1000 μmol/m2/s), the CO2 fluxes were higher in overcast days than in foggy days. The

  12. DEFORESTATION OF CLOUD FOREST IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS OF GUATEMALA: SOIL EROSION AND SUSTAINABILITY IMPLICATIONS FOR Q'EQCHI' MAYA COMMUNITIES

    OpenAIRE

    Pope, Ian Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the nexus between deforestation, food production, land degradation, and culture contributes knowledge that is useful for development practitioners working to enhance conservation and food security. Documenting deforestation and soil erosion in the Sierra Yalijux and Sierra Sacranix in the Central Highlands of Guatemala adds new knowledge about the rates and dynamics of deforestation and land degradation in areas with unique and sensitive cloud forest ecosystems. It also suggests...

  13. The role of glacial cycles in promoting genetic diversity in the Neotropics: the case of cloud forests during the Last Glacial Maximum

    OpenAIRE

    Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Eguiarte, Luis E.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing aridity during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) has been proposed as a major factor affecting Neotropical species. The character and intensity of this change, however, remains the subject of ongoing debate. This review proposes an approach to test contrasting paleoecological hypotheses by way of their expected demographic and genetic effects on Neotropical cloud forest species. We reviewed 48 paleoecological records encompassing the LGM in the Neotropics. The records show contras...

  14. Two Lactarius species associated with a relict Fagus grandifolia var. mexicana population in a Mexican montane cloud forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, L; Haug, I; Bandala, V M

    2010-01-01

    Ectomycorrhizal (EM) fleshy fungi are being monitored in a population of Fagus grandifolia var. mexicana persisting in a montane cloud forest refuge on a volcano in a subtropical region of central Veracruz (eastern Mexico). The population of Fagus studied represents one of the 10 recognized forest fragments still housing this tree genus in Mexico. This is the first attempt to document EM fungi associated with this tree species in Mexico. We present evidence of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis for Lactarius badiopallescens and L. cinereus with this endemic tree. Species identification of Lactarius on Fagus grandifolia var. mexicana was based on the comparison of DNAsequences (ITS rDNA) of spatiotemporally co-occurring basidiomes and EM root tips. The host of the EM tips was identified by comparison of the large subunit of the ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase gene (rbcL). The occurrence of Lactarius badiopallescens and L. cinereus populations in the area of study represent the southernmost record known to date of these two species in North America and are new for the Neotropical Lactarius mycota. Descriptions coupled with illustrations of macro- and micromorphological features of basidiomes as well as photographs of ectomycorrhizas are presented.

  15. Bat-Fruit Interactions Are More Specialized in Shaded-Coffee Plantations than in Tropical Mountain Cloud Forest Fragments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Montero, Jesús R.; Saldaña-Vázquez, Romeo A.; Galindo-González, Jorge; Sosa, Vinicio J.

    2015-01-01

    Forest disturbance causes specialization of plant-frugivore networks and jeopardizes mutualistic interactions through reduction of ecological redundancy. To evaluate how simplification of a forest into an agroecosystem affects plant-disperser mutualistic interactions, we compared bat-fruit interaction indexes of specialization in tropical montane cloud forest fragments (TMCF) and shaded-coffee plantations (SCP). Bat-fruit interactions were surveyed by collection of bat fecal samples. Bat-fruit interactions were more specialized in SCP (mean H2 ' = 0.55) compared to TMCF fragments (mean H2 ' = 0.27), and were negatively correlated to bat abundance in SCP (R = -0.35). The number of shared plant species was higher in the TMCF fragments (mean = 1) compared to the SCP (mean = 0.51) and this was positively correlated to the abundance of frugivorous bats (R= 0.79). The higher specialization in SCP could be explained by lower bat abundance and lower diet overlap among bats. Coffee farmers and conservation policy makers must increase the proportion of land assigned to TMCF within agroecosystem landscapes in order to conserve frugivorous bats and their invaluable seed dispersal service. PMID:25992550

  16. Heterozygote excess through life history stages in Cestrum miradorense Francey (Solanaceae), an endemic shrub in a fragmented cloud forest habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Zepeda, F; González-Astorga, J; Montaña, C

    2013-01-01

    Comparisons of genetic diversity and population genetic structure among different life history stages provide important information on the effect of the different forces and micro-evolutionary processes that mould diversity and genetic structure after fragmentation. Here we assessed genetic diversity and population genetic structure using 32 allozymic loci in adults, seeds, seedlings and juveniles of eight populations of the micro-endemic shrub Cestrum miradorense in a highly fragmented cloud forest in central-eastern Mexico. We expected that due to its long history or rarity, this species may have endured the negative effects of fragmentation and would show moderate to high levels of genetic diversity. High genetic diversity (H(e) = 0.445 ± 0.03), heterozygote excess (F(IT) = -0.478 ± 0.034, F(IS) = -0.578 ± 0.023) and low population differentiation (F(ST) = 0.064 ± 0.011) were found. Seeds had higher genetic diversity (H(e) = 0.467 ± 0.05) than the later stages (overall mean for adults, seedlings and juveniles H(e) = 0.438 ± 0.08). High gene flow was observed despite the fact that the fragmentation process began more than 100 years ago. We conclude that the high genetic diversity was the result of natural selection, which favours heterozygote excess in all stages, coupled with a combination of a reproductive system and seed/pollen dispersal mechanisms that favour gene flow.

  17. Habitat moisture is an important driver of patterns of sap flow and water balance in tropical montane cloud forest epiphytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, Alexander; Draguljić, Danel; Glunk, Andrew; Gotsch, Sybil G

    2016-10-01

    Microclimate in the tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) is variable on both spatial and temporal scales and can lead to large fluctuations in both leaf-level transpiration and whole plant water use. While variation in transpiration has been found in TMCFs, the influence of different microclimatic drivers on plant water relations in this ecosystem has been relatively understudied. Within the TMCF, epiphytes may be particularly affected by natural variation in microclimate due to their partial or complete disassociation from soil resources. In this study, we examined the effects of seasonal microclimate on whole plant water balance in epiphytes in both an observational and a manipulative experiment. We also evaluated the effects of different microclimatic drivers using three hierarchical linear (mixed) models. On average, 31 % of total positive sap flow was recovered via foliar water uptake (FWU) over the course of the study. We found that precipitation was the greatest driver of foliar water uptake and nighttime sap flow in our study species and that both VPD and precipitation were important drivers to daytime sap flow. We also found that despite adaptations to withstand seasonal drought, an extended dry period caused severe desiccation in most plants despite a large reduction in leaf-level and whole plant transpiration. Our results indicate that the epiphytes studied rely on FWU to maintain positive water balance in the dry season and that increases in dry periods in the TMCF may be detrimental to these common members of the epiphyte community.

  18. Physiological Responses of Two Epiphytic Bryophytes to Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sulfur Addition in a Subtropical Montane Cloud Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xi; Liu, Wen-yao; Song, Liang; Li, Su; Wu, Yi; Shi, Xian-meng; Huang, Jun-biao; Wu, Chuan-sheng

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric depositions pose significant threats to biodiversity and ecosystem function. However, the underlying physiological mechanisms are not well understood, and few studies have considered the combined effects and interactions of multiple pollutants. This in situ study explored the physiological responses of two epiphytic bryophytes to combined addition of nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur. We investigated the electrical conductivity (EC), total chlorophyll concentration (Chl), nutrient stoichiometry and chlorophyll fluorescence signals in a subtropical montane cloud forest in south-west China. The results showed that enhanced fertilizer additions imposed detrimental effects on bryophytes, and the combined enrichment of simulated fertilization exerted limited synergistic effects in their natural environments. On the whole, EC, Chl, the effective quantum yield of photosystem II (ΦPSII) and photochemical quenching (qP) were the more reliable indicators of increased artificial fertilization. However, conclusions on nutrient stoichiometry should be drawn cautiously concerning the saturation uptake and nutrient interactions in bryophytes. Finally, we discuss the limitations of prevailing fertilization experiments and emphasize the importance of long-term data available for future investigations. PMID:27560190

  19. Mapping the montane cloud forest of Taiwan using 12 year MODIS-derived ground fog frequency data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ching-Feng; Thies, Boris; Chang, Shih-Chieh; Bendix, Jörg

    2017-01-01

    Up until now montane cloud forest (MCF) in Taiwan has only been mapped for selected areas of vegetation plots. This paper presents the first comprehensive map of MCF distribution for the entire island. For its creation, a Random Forest model was trained with vegetation plots from the National Vegetation Database of Taiwan that were classified as “MCF” or “non-MCF”. This model predicted the distribution of MCF from a raster data set of parameters derived from a digital elevation model (DEM), Landsat channels and texture measures derived from them as well as ground fog frequency data derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. While the DEM parameters and Landsat data predicted much of the cloud forest’s location, local deviations in the altitudinal distribution of MCF linked to the monsoonal influence as well as the Massenerhebung effect (causing MCF in atypically low altitudes) were only captured once fog frequency data was included. Therefore, our study suggests that ground fog data are most useful for accurately mapping MCF. PMID:28245279

  20. Phylogenetic analyses of complete mitochondrial genome sequences suggest a basal divergence of the enigmatic rodent Anomalurus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gissi Carmela

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phylogenetic relationships between Lagomorpha, Rodentia and Primates and their allies (Euarchontoglires have long been debated. While it is now generally agreed that Rodentia constitutes a monophyletic sister-group of Lagomorpha and that this clade (Glires is sister to Primates and Dermoptera, higher-level relationships within Rodentia remain contentious. Results We have sequenced and performed extensive evolutionary analyses on the mitochondrial genome of the scaly-tailed flying squirrel Anomalurus sp., an enigmatic rodent whose phylogenetic affinities have been obscure and extensively debated. Our phylogenetic analyses of the coding regions of available complete mitochondrial genome sequences from Euarchontoglires suggest that Anomalurus is a sister taxon to the Hystricognathi, and that this clade represents the most basal divergence among sampled Rodentia. Bayesian dating methods incorporating a relaxed molecular clock provide divergence-time estimates which are consistently in agreement with the fossil record and which indicate a rapid radiation within Glires around 60 million years ago. Conclusion Taken together, the data presented provide a working hypothesis as to the phylogenetic placement of Anomalurus, underline the utility of mitochondrial sequences in the resolution of even relatively deep divergences and go some way to explaining the difficulty of conclusively resolving higher-level relationships within Glires with available data and methodologies.

  1. Neighborhood structure influences the convergence in light capture efficiency and carbon gain: an architectural approach for cloud forest shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán Q, J Antonio; Cordero S, Roberto A

    2016-06-01

    Although plant competition is recognized as a fundamental factor that limits survival and species coexistence, its relative importance on light capture efficiency and carbon gain is not well understood. Here, we propose a new framework to explain the effects of neighborhood structures and light availability on plant attributes and their effect on plant performance in two understory shade-tolerant species (Palicourea padifolia (Roem. & Schult.) C.M. Taylor & Lorence and Psychotria elata (Swartz)) within two successional stages of a cloud forest in Costa Rica. Features of plant neighborhood physical structure and light availability, estimated by hemispherical photographs, were used to characterize the plant competition. Plant architecture, leaf attributes and gas exchange parameters extracted from the light-response curve were used as functional plant attributes, while an index of light capture efficiency (silhouette to total area ratio, averaged over all viewing angles, STAR) and carbon gain were used as indicators of plant performance. This framework is based in a partial least square Path model, which suggests that changes in plant performance in both species were affected in two ways: (i) increasing size and decreasing distance of neighbors cause changes in plant architecture (higher crown density and greater leaf dispersion), which contribute to lower STAR and subsequently lower carbon gain; and (ii) reductions in light availability caused by the neighbors also decrease plant carbon gain. The effect of neighbors on STAR and carbon gain were similar for the two forests sites, which were at different stages of succession, suggesting that the architectural changes of the two understory species reflect functional convergence in response to plant competition. Because STAR and carbon gain are variables that depend on multiple plant attributes and environmental characteristics, we suggest that changes in these features can be used as a whole-plant response approach to

  2. Comparison of leaf anatomy and essential oils from Drimys brasiliensis Miers in a montane cloud forest in Itamonte, MG, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Bruna Paula da; de Castro, Evaristo Mauro; Cardoso, Maria das Graças; de Souza, Katiúscia Freire; Machado, Samísia Maria Fernandes; Pompeu, Patrícia Vieira; Fontes, Marco Aurélio Leite

    2014-12-01

    Drimys brasiliensis Miers is native to Brazil, where it is mainly found in montane forests and flooded areas in the South and Southeast regions of the country. The objectives of the present study were to compare the leaf anatomy and the chemical constitution of the essential oils from D. brasiliensis present in two altitude levels (1900 and 2100 m), in a Montane Cloud Forest, in Itamonte, MG, Brazil. A higher number of sclereids was observed in the mesophyll of the leaves at 1900 m altitude. At 2100 m, the formation of papillae was observed on the abaxial surface of the leaves, as well as an increase in the stomatal density and index, a reduction in leaf tissue thickness, an increase in the abundance of intercellular spaces in the mesophyll and an increase in stomatal conductance and in carbon accumulation in the leaves. Fifty-nine constituents have been identified in the oils, with the predominance of sesquiterpenes. Two trends could be inferred for the species in relation to its secondary metabolism and the altitude. The biosyntheses of sesquiterpene alcohols at 1900 m, and phenylpropanoids and epi-cyclocolorenone at 2100 m, were favored. D. brasiliensis presented a high phenotypic plasticity at the altitude levels studied. In relation to its leaf anatomy, the species showed adaptive characteristics, which can maximize the absorption of CO2 at 2100 m altitude, where a reduction in the partial pressure of this atmospheric gas occurs. Its essential oils presented promising compounds for the future evaluation of biological potentialities.

  3. Water relations and gas exchange of fan bryophytes and their adaptations to microhabitats in an Asian subtropical montane cloud forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Liang; Zhang, Yong-Jiang; Chen, Xi; Li, Su; Lu, Hua-Zheng; Wu, Chuan-Sheng; Tan, Zheng-Hong; Liu, Wen-Yao; Shi, Xian-Meng

    2015-07-01

    Fan life forms are bryophytes with shoots rising from vertical substratum that branch repeatedly in the horizontal plane to form flattened photosynthetic surfaces, which are well suited for intercepting water from moving air. However, detailed water relations, gas exchange characteristics of fan bryophytes and their adaptations to particular microhabitats remain poorly understood. In this study, we measured and analyzed microclimatic data, as well as water release curves, pressure-volume relationships and photosynthetic water and light response curves for three common fan bryophytes in an Asian subtropical montane cloud forest (SMCF). Results demonstrate high relative humidity but low light levels and temperatures in the understory, and a strong effect of fog on water availability for bryophytes in the SMCF. The facts that fan bryophytes in dry air lose most of their free water within 1 h, and a strong dependence of net photosynthesis rates on water content, imply that the transition from a hydrated, photosynthetically active state to a dry, inactive state is rapid. In addition, fan bryophytes developed relatively high cell wall elasticity and the osmoregulatory capacity to tolerate desiccation. These fan bryophytes had low light saturation and compensation point of photosynthesis, indicating shade tolerance. It is likely that fan bryophytes can flourish on tree trunks in the SMCF because of substantial annual precipitation, average relative humidity, and frequent and persistent fog, which can provide continual water sources for them to intercept. Nevertheless, the low water retention capacity and strong dependence of net photosynthesis on water content of fan bryophytes indicate a high risk of unbalanced carbon budget if the frequency and severity of drought increase in the future as predicted.

  4. Vascular Epiphyte Diversity Differs with Host Crown Zone and Diameter, but Not Orientation in a Tropical Cloud Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xixi; Long, Wenxing; Schamp, Brandon S; Yang, Xiaobo; Kang, Yong; Xie, Zhixu; Xiong, Menghui

    2016-01-01

    Vascular epiphytes are important components of biological diversity in tropical forests. We measured the species richness and abundance of vascular epiphytes along four vertical crown zones and five horizontal orientations on 376 trees, as well as the diameter at breast height (DBH) of host trees in tropical cloud forests in Bawangling, Hainan, China. The relationship between vascular epiphyte species richness and host tree DBH was assessed using a generalized linear model. There were 1,453 vascular individual epiphytes attributed to 9 families, 24 genera and 35 species, with orchids and pteridophytes dominating. Both the species richness and abundance of epiphytes significantly differed among the four crown zones for all collections and each host tree, suggesting that vertical microhabitats contribute to the distribution of epiphytes on host trees. Neither epiphyte abundance nor species richness differed among the eastern, southern, western, and northern orientations for all host trees; however, both richness and abundance were significantly higher for epiphytes that encircled host tree trunks. This suggests that morphological and physiological characteristics of the tree, but not microclimates probably contribute to the distribution of epiphytes on host trees. Epiphyte species richness was positively correlated with tree DBH across the six host tree species studied, with increases in DBH among smaller trees resulting in larger increases in richness, while increases in DBH among larger host trees resulting in more modest increases in ephiphyte richness. Our findings contribute support for a positive relationship between epiphyte species richness and host tree DBH and provide important guidance for future surveys of epiphyte community development.

  5. Life in the Treetops: Drought Tolerance and Water Balance of Canopy Epiphytes in a Tropical Montane Cloud Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotsch, S. G.; Nadkarni, N.; Darby, A.; Dix, M.; Glunk, A.; Davidson, K.; Dawson, T. E.

    2014-12-01

    Tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) inhabit regions rich in biodiversity that play an important role in the local and regional water cycle. Canopy plants such as epiphytes and hemiepiphytes are an important component of the biodiversity in the TMCF and therefore play a significant role in the carbon, nutrient and water cycles. With only partial or no access to resources on the ground, canopy plants may be vulnerable to changes in climate that increase canopy temperatures and decrease atmospheric humidity or precipitation inputs. Despite their importance in the TMCF, there is little information regarding drought tolerance and water balance in this community. In this study we quantified variation in functional traits and water relations in 12 species of epiphytes and hemiepiphytes in a Costa Rican TMCF. We also generated pressure-volume curves and xylem vulnerability curves that we used as indicators of drought tolerance. Lastly, we determined the capacity for foliar water uptake in the laboratory and measured whole-plant transpiration in the field. We found that all species had a high turgor loss point (ψTLP), high vulnerability to cavitation (P50), and low bulk elastic modulus (ɛmax, i.e. high cell wall elasticity). These results indicate that capacitance may be high in canopy plants and that stored water may help to maintain high leaf water potentials during dry periods. We also found that all species had the capacity for foliar uptake and that this process contributed substantially to their water status and water balance. On average, foliar uptake contributed to the reabsorption of 70% of the water transpired over a 34-day period at the beginning of the dry season. Our results indicate that canopy plants can mitigate water loss substantially, but they may be vulnerable to changes in the overall precipitation patterns or increases in cloud base heights.

  6. New species of high elevation cloud forest butterflies of the genus Pedaliodes Butler from the northern Colombian Andes (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Satyrinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyrcz, Tomasz W; Prieto, Carlos; Viloria, Angel L; Andrade, Gonzalo

    2013-01-01

    Four new species of Pedaliodes Butler (i.e., P. adrianae, n. sp., P. haydoni, n. sp., P. philinae, n. sp. and P. rodriguezi, n. sp.) are described from the high elevation cloud forests in the Frontino massif in the Colombian Western Cordillera and the northern part of the Central and Eastern Cordilleras. The affinities of these new species with other congeners are discussed. The total number of described species of Colombian Pronophilina is increased to 208, with a particularly high total number of species (88) and proportion of endemic species (26%) in the Western Cordillera.

  7. EDAPHIC PROPERTIES PLOTS CULTIVATED WITH MILPA USING MINIMUM TILLAGE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF OAXACA, WHERE THERE WAS MOUNTAIN CLOUD FOREST.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irma Reyes-Jaramillo

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil fertility in the first 20 cm of six plots and a cloud forest (MCF still preserved in Sta. María Chilchotla, north of Oaxaca, where the predominant MCF and grown landraces were evaluated. The soils are on slopes are shallow, rocky and not suitable for agriculture. Yields are low, the Mazatec perform traditional cultural practices such as minimum tillage as the terrain does not allow entering tractor or oxen, farmers do not burn, and do not use chemicals. Soil sampling randomly obtaining composite samples were made​​ physical, chemical and biological properties were analyzed. The results showed that are medium textured soils, the pH of the MCF is extremely acid (4.5 and in the plots ranged from 5 to 6.9, organic carbon is high from 24 to 100 g kg -1, total nitrogen ranged from 1.4 - 8.3 g kg-1 medium and high values, available phosphorus was low with the exception of the plot three, the CEC ranged from 8.8 to 36 cmoles(+ kg-1. They have high iron content of 20.26 to 94.18 mg kg-1 on BMM standing there also high in copper, zinc and manganese. Analysis of variance (ANOVA showed a significant difference (р 0.5 between the means of soil properties and soil analyzed than sodium. The multiple comparison test of Tukey was applied. Trap pots mycorrhizal fungi were isolated from different species. It is concluded that the soils of most of the plots are fertile, are poor in phosphorus but everything indicates that they make up the AM fungi; no physical degradation was observed, its major limitation is the stoniness and steep slopes. The practice of minimum tillage, barriers of rocks that outcrop at the surface and leaving stumps of tree ferns prevent erosion. It aims to increase maize production experimenting with chemical fertilizers. To preserve the MCF recommends building their biological and ethnobotanical wealth, carbon sequestration mazatec could receive a financial benefit.

  8. Analyzing cloud base at local and regional scales to understand tropical montane cloud forest vulnerability to climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. E. Van Beusekom

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The degree to which cloud immersion provides water in addition to rainfall, suppresses transpiration, and sustains tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs during rainless periods is not well understood. Climate and land use changes represent a threat to these forests if cloud base altitude rises as a result of regional warming or deforestation. To establish a baseline for quantifying future changes in cloud base, we installed a ceilometer at 100 m altitude in the forest upwind of the TMCF that occupies an altitude range from ∼ 600 m to the peaks at 1100 m in the Luquillo Mountains of eastern Puerto Rico. Airport Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS ceilometer data, radiosonde data, and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO satellite data were obtained to investigate seasonal cloud base dynamics, altitude of the trade-wind inversion (TWI, and typical cloud thickness for the surrounding Caribbean region. Cloud base is rarely quantified near mountains, so these results represent a first look at seasonal and diurnal cloud base dynamics for the TMCF. From May 2013 to August 2016, cloud base was lowest during the midsummer dry season, and cloud bases were lower than the mountaintops as often in the winter dry season as in the wet seasons. The lowest cloud bases most frequently occurred at higher elevation than 600 m, from 740 to 964 m. The Luquillo forest low cloud base altitudes were higher than six other sites in the Caribbean by ∼ 200–600 m, highlighting the importance of site selection to measure topographic influence on cloud height. Proximity to the oceanic cloud system where shallow cumulus clouds are seasonally invariant in altitude and cover, along with local trade-wind orographic lifting and cloud formation, may explain the dry season low clouds. The results indicate that climate change threats to low-elevation TMCFs are not limited to the dry season; changes in synoptic

  9. Analyzing cloud base at local and regional scales to understand tropical montane cloud forest vulnerability to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Beusekom, Ashley E.; González, Grizelle; Scholl, Martha A.

    2017-06-01

    The degree to which cloud immersion provides water in addition to rainfall, suppresses transpiration, and sustains tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) during rainless periods is not well understood. Climate and land use changes represent a threat to these forests if cloud base altitude rises as a result of regional warming or deforestation. To establish a baseline for quantifying future changes in cloud base, we installed a ceilometer at 100 m altitude in the forest upwind of the TMCF that occupies an altitude range from ˜ 600 m to the peaks at 1100 m in the Luquillo Mountains of eastern Puerto Rico. Airport Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) ceilometer data, radiosonde data, and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite data were obtained to investigate seasonal cloud base dynamics, altitude of the trade-wind inversion (TWI), and typical cloud thickness for the surrounding Caribbean region. Cloud base is rarely quantified near mountains, so these results represent a first look at seasonal and diurnal cloud base dynamics for the TMCF. From May 2013 to August 2016, cloud base was lowest during the midsummer dry season, and cloud bases were lower than the mountaintops as often in the winter dry season as in the wet seasons. The lowest cloud bases most frequently occurred at higher elevation than 600 m, from 740 to 964 m. The Luquillo forest low cloud base altitudes were higher than six other sites in the Caribbean by ˜ 200-600 m, highlighting the importance of site selection to measure topographic influence on cloud height. Proximity to the oceanic cloud system where shallow cumulus clouds are seasonally invariant in altitude and cover, along with local trade-wind orographic lifting and cloud formation, may explain the dry season low clouds. The results indicate that climate change threats to low-elevation TMCFs are not limited to the dry season; changes in synoptic-scale weather patterns that increase frequency

  10. Rodents And Other Gnawers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Presents information about rodents and lagomorphs, including definitions and the characteristics of these animals. Contains teaching activities such as "Habitats for Hoppers,""Cartoon Gnawers," and "The Great Rodent Expedition." Reproducible handouts for two of the activities are provided. (TW)

  11. Interactions between payments for hydrologic services, landowner decisions, and ecohydrological consequences: synergies and disconnection in the cloud forest zone of central Veracruz, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi Asbjornsen

    2017-06-01

    hydrologic services and people's decisions, behavior, and knowledge regarding forest conservation and water. Using central Veracruz as our case study, we identify areas of both synchrony and disconnection between PHS goals and outcomes. Mature and regenerating cloud forests (targeted by PHS were found to produce enhanced hydrologic services relative to areas converted to pasture, including reduced peak flows during large rain events and maintenance of dry-season base flows. However, unexpectedly, these hydrologic benefits from cloud forests were not necessarily greater than those from other vegetation types. Consequently, the location of forests in strategic watershed positions (e.g., where deforestation risk or hydrologic recharge are high may be more critical than forest type in promoting hydrologic functions within watersheds and should be considered when targeting PHS payments. While our results suggest that participation in PHS improved the level of knowledge among watershed inhabitants about forest-water relationships, a mismatch existed between payment amounts and landowner opportunity costs, which may contribute to the modest success in targeting priority areas within watersheds. Combined, these findings underscore the complexity of factors that influence motivations for PHS participation and land use decisions and behavior, and the importance of integrating understanding of both ecohydrological and socioeconomic dynamics into PHS design and implementation. We conclude by identifying opportunities for improving the design of PHS programs and recommending priority areas for future research and monitoring, both in Mexico and globally.

  12. The effect of climate and soil conditions on tree species turnover in a Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achim Häger

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available On a global level, Tropical Montane Cloud Forests constitute important centers of vascular plant diversity. Tree species turnover along environmental gradients plays an important role in larger scale diversity patterns in tropical mountains. This study aims to estimate the magnitude of beta diversity across the Tilarán mountain range in North-Western Costa Rica, and to elucidate the impact of climate and soil conditions on tree species turnover at a local scale. Seven climate stations measuring rainfall, horizontal precipitation (clouds and wind-driven rain and temperatures were installed along a 2.5km transect ranging from 1 200m.a.s.l. on the Atlantic to 1 200m.a.s.l. on the Pacific slope. The ridge top climate station was located at 1 500m.a.s.l. Climate data were recorded from March through December 2003. Additionally, seven 0.05ha plots were established. On all plots soil moisture was monitored for one year, furthermore soil type and soil chemistry were assessed. Woody plants with a diameter at breast height (dbh ≥5cm were identified to species. Species’ distributions were explored by feeding pairwise Sørensen measures between plots into a Principal Component Analysis. Relationships between floristic similarity and environmental variables were analyzed using Mantel tests. Pronounced gradients in horizontal precipitation, temperatures and soil conditions were found across the transect. In total, 483 woody plants were identified, belonging to 132 species. Environmental gradients were paralleled by tree species turnover; the plots could be divided in three distinctive floristic units which reflected different topographic positions on the transect (lower slopes, mid slopes and ridge. Most notably there was a complete species turnover between the ridge and the lower Pacific slope. Floristic similarity was negatively correlated with differences in elevation, horizontal precipitation, temperatures and soil conditions between plots. It is

  13. New phiomorph rodents from the latest Eocene of Egypt, and the impact of Bayesian “clock”-based phylogenetic methods on estimates of basal hystricognath relationships and biochronology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hesham M. Sallam

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Fayum Depression of Egypt has yielded fossils of hystricognathous rodents from multiple Eocene and Oligocene horizons that range in age from ∼37 to ∼30 Ma and document several phases in the early evolution of crown Hystricognathi and one of its major subclades, Phiomorpha. Here we describe two new genera and species of basal phiomorphs, Birkamys korai and Mubhammys vadumensis, based on rostra and maxillary and mandibular remains from the terminal Eocene (∼34 Ma Fayum Locality 41 (L-41. Birkamys is the smallest known Paleogene hystricognath, has very simple molars, and, like derived Oligocene-to-Recent phiomorphs (but unlike contemporaneous and older taxa apparently retained dP4∕4 late into life, with no evidence for P4∕4 eruption or formation. Mubhammys is very similar in dental morphology to Birkamys, and also shows no evidence for P4∕4 formation or eruption, but is considerably larger. Though parsimony analysis with all characters equally weighted places Birkamys and Mubhammys as sister taxa of extant Thryonomys to the exclusion of much younger relatives of that genus, all other methods (standard Bayesian inference, Bayesian “tip-dating,” and parsimony analysis with scaled transitions between “fixed” and polymorphic states place these species in more basal positions within Hystricognathi, as sister taxa of Oligocene-to-Recent phiomorphs. We also employ tip-dating as a means for estimating the ages of early hystricognath-bearing localities, many of which are not well-constrained by geological, geochronological, or biostratigraphic evidence. By simultaneously taking into account phylogeny, evolutionary rates, and uniform priors that appropriately encompass the range of possible ages for fossil localities, dating of tips in this Bayesian framework allows paleontologists to move beyond vague and assumption-laden “stage of evolution” arguments in biochronology to provide relatively rigorous age assessments of poorly

  14. Rodent Research-1 Validation of Rodent Hardware

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globus, Ruth; Beegle, Janet

    2013-01-01

    To achieve novel science objectives, validation of a rodent habitat on ISS will enable - In-flight analyses during long duration spaceflight- Use of genetically altered animals- Application of modern analytical techniques (e.g. genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics)

  15. A mistletoe tale: postglacial invasion of Psittacanthus schiedeanus (Loranthaceae) to Mesoamerican cloud forests revealed by molecular data and species distribution modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Gándara, Etelvina; Vásquez-Aguilar, Antonio Acini; Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Ortiz-Rodriguez, Andrés Ernesto; González, Clementina; Mejía Saules, María Teresa; Ruiz-Sanchez, Eduardo

    2016-04-12

    Ecological adaptation to host taxa is thought to result in mistletoe speciation via race formation. However, historical and ecological factors could also contribute to explain genetic structuring particularly when mistletoe host races are distributed allopatrically. Using sequence data from nuclear (ITS) and chloroplast (trnL-F) DNA, we investigate the genetic differentiation of 31 Psittacanthus schiedeanus (Loranthaceae) populations across the Mesoamerican species range. We conducted phylogenetic, population and spatial genetic analyses on 274 individuals of P. schiedeanus to gain insight of the evolutionary history of these populations. Species distribution modeling, isolation with migration and Bayesian inference methods were used to infer the evolutionary transition of mistletoe invasion, in which evolutionary scenarios were compared through posterior probabilities. Our analyses revealed shallow levels of population structure with three genetic groups present across the sample area. Nine haplotypes were identified after sequencing the trnL-F intergenic spacer. These haplotypes showed phylogeographic structure, with three groups with restricted gene flow corresponding to the distribution of individuals/populations separated by habitat (cloud forest localities from San Luis Potosí to northwestern Oaxaca and Chiapas, localities with xeric vegetation in central Oaxaca, and localities with tropical deciduous forests in Chiapas), with post-glacial population expansions and potentially corresponding to post-glacial invasion types. Similarly, 44 ITS ribotypes suggest phylogeographic structure, despite the fact that most frequent ribotypes are widespread indicating effective nuclear gene flow via pollen. Gene flow estimates, a significant genetic signal of demographic expansion, and range shifts under past climatic conditions predicted by species distribution modeling suggest post-glacial invasion of P. schiedeanus mistletoes to cloud forests. However, Approximate

  16. Spatiotemporal variation of mosquito diversity (Diptera: Culicidae) at places with different land-use types within a neotropical montane cloud forest matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella-Medrano, Carlos Antonio; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio; MacGregor-Fors, Ian; Santiago-Alarcon, Diego

    2015-09-24

    Land-use change has led to a dramatic decrease in total forest cover, contributing to biodiversity loss and changes of ecosystems' functions. Insect communities of medical importance can be favored by anthropogenic alterations, increasing the risk of novel zoonotic diseases. The response of mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) abundance and richness to five land-use types (shade coffee plantation, cattle field, urban forest, peri-urban forest, well-preserved montane cloud forest) and three seasons ("dry", "rainy" and "cold") embedded in a neotropical montane cloud forest landscape was evaluated. Standardized collections were performed using 8 CDC miniature black-light traps, baited with CO2 throughout the year. Generalized additive mixed models were used to describe the seasonal and spatial trends of both species richness and abundance. Rank abundance curves and ANCOVAs were used to detect changes in the spatial and temporal structure of the mosquito assemblage. Two cluster analyses were conducted, using 1-βsim and the Morisita-Horn index to evaluate species composition shifts based on incidences and abundances. A total of 2536 adult mosquitoes were collected, belonging to 9 genera and 10 species; the dominant species in the study were: Aedes quadrivittatus, Wyeomyia adelpha, Wy. arthrostigma, and Culex restuans. Highest richness was recorded in the dry season, whereas higher abundance was detected during the rainy season. The urban forest had the highest species richness (n = 7) when compared to all other sites. Species composition cluster analyses show that there is a high degree of similarity in species numbers across sites and seasons throughout the year. However, when considering the abundance of such species, the well-preserved montane cloud forest showed significantly higher abundance. Moreover, the urban forest is only 30 % similar to other sites in terms of species abundances, indicating a possible isolating role of the urban environment. Mosquito

  17. The role of epiphytic bryophytes in interception, storage, and the regulated release of atmospheric moisture in a tropical montane cloud forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ah-Peng, Claudine; Cardoso, Anabelle Williamson; Flores, Olivier; West, Adam; Wilding, Nicholas; Strasberg, Dominique; Hedderson, Terry A. J.

    2017-05-01

    Epiphytes in tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF) intercept atmospheric water and, as a result, form a vital part of the hydrological cycle of this ecosystem. Our study investigates the role of bryophytes in such systems on La Réunion Island (Mascarenes). To better understand ecohydrological functioning of the forest, we investigated cloud water interception (CWI) by two locally abundant liverwort species (Bazzania decrescens and Mastigophora diclados) using a novel lysimetric approach. We also evaluated biomass and water storage capacity of our study species, as well as of the entire bryophyte community in our plots, which we extrapolated to the forest community level. Both study species exhibited excellent abilities to intercept and store cloud water, and showed distinct diurnal variation in this ability according to varying climatic conditions. The two liverwort species' response to climatic conditions differed dramatically from one another, with B. decrescens storing double the mean and maximum litres of water per hectare despite having less than half the abundance of M. diclados. Despite its lower water storage capacity, M. diclados had a greater ability to intercept atmospheric moisture than B. decrescens. The differences in CWI were attributed to differences in plant structure of these two species, which explains their microhabitat requirements in this system. Our two species in this system were estimated to store 34,569 l.ha-1 of water, the equivalent of 3.46 mm of rainfall. The abundance of our study species combined with their atmospheric water interception, storage, and regulated release ability make both species ecologically important in the forest's microhydrological cycle. For the first time these data allow us to better understand the role of these plants in the microhydrological cycle of tropical montane cloud forests and to determine whether the diversity and functioning of these and similar systems will be at risk from predicted cloud layer

  18. Could the canopy structure of bryophytes serve as an indicator of microbial biodiversity? A test for testate amoebae and microcrustaceans from a subtropical cloud forest in Dominican Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta-Mercado, D; Cancel-Morales, N; Chinea, J D; Santos-Flores, C J; De Jesús, I Sastre

    2012-07-01

    The mechanisms that ultimately regulate the diversity of microbial eukaryotic communities in bryophyte ecosystems remain a contentious topic in microbial ecology. Although there is robust consensus that abiotic factors, such as water chemistry of the bryophyte and pH, explain a significant proportion of protist and microcrustacean diversity, there is no systematic assessment of the role of bryophyte habitat complexity on such prominent microbial groups. Water-holding capacity is correlated with bryophyte morphology and canopy structure. Similarly, canopy structure explains biodiversity dynamics of the macrobiota suggesting that canopy structure may also be a potential parameter for understanding microbial diversity. Canopy roughness of the dominant bryophyte species within the Bahoruco Cloud Forest, Cachote, Dominican Republic, concomitant with their associated diversity of testate amoebae and microcrustaceans was estimated to determine whether canopy structure could be added to the list of factors explaining microbial biodiversity in bryophytes. We hypothesized that smooth (with high moisture content) canopies will have higher species richness, density, and biomass of testate amoebae and higher richness and density of microcrustaceans than rough (desiccation-prone) canopies. For testate amoebae, we found 83 morphospecies with relative low abundances. Species richness and density differed among bryophytes with different bryophyte canopy structures and based on non-metric multidimensional scaling, canopy roughness explained 25% of the variation in species composition although not as predicted. Acroporium pungens (low roughness, LR) had the lowest species richness (2 ± 0.61 SD per gram dry weight bryophyte), and density (2.1 ± 0.61 SD individual per gram of dry weight bryophyte); whereas Thuidium urceolatum (high roughness) had the highest richness (24 ± 10.82 SD) and density (94 ± 64.30 SD). The fact that the bryophyte with the highest roughness had the highest

  19. Zoonoses of rabbits and rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, William Allen; Brown, Julie Paige

    2011-09-01

    Millions of households in the US own rabbits or rodents, including hamsters, guinea pigs, and gerbils. Activities such as hunting and camping also involve human interactions with wild rabbits and rodents. In many environments, feral rabbits and rodents live in close proximity to humans, domesticated animals, and other wildlife. Education of rodent and rabbit owners and individuals with occupational or recreational exposures to these species is paramount to reduce the prevalence of zoonoses associated with rabbit and rodent exposure.

  20. Post-fragmentation population structure in a cooperative breeding Afrotropical cloud forest bird: emergence of a source-sink population network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husemann, M; Cousseau, L; Callens, T; Matthysen, E; Vangestel, C; Hallmann, C; Lens, L

    2015-03-01

    The impact of demographic parameters on the genetic population structure and viability of organisms is a long-standing issue in the study of fragmented populations. Demographic and genetic tools are now readily available to estimate census and effective population sizes and migration and gene flow rates with increasing precision. Here we analysed the demography and genetic population structure over a recent 15-year time span in five remnant populations of Cabanis's greenbul (Phyllastrephus cabanisi), a cooperative breeding bird in a severely fragmented cloud forest habitat. Contrary to our expectation, genetic admixture and effective population sizes slightly increased, rather than decreased between our two sampling periods. In spite of small effective population sizes in tiny forest remnants, none of the populations showed evidence of a recent population bottleneck. Approximate Bayesian modelling, however, suggested that differentiation of the populations coincided at least partially with an episode of habitat fragmentation. The ratio of meta-Ne to meta-Nc was relatively low for birds, which is expected for cooperative breeding species, while Ne /Nc ratios strongly varied among local populations. While the overall trend of increasing population sizes and genetic admixture may suggest that Cabanis's greenbuls increasingly cope with fragmentation, the time period over which these trends were documented is rather short relative to the average longevity of tropical species. Furthermore, the critically low Nc in the small forest remnants keep the species prone to demographic and environmental stochasticity, and it remains open if, and to what extent, its cooperative breeding behaviour helps to buffer such effects.

  1. [Colonization and structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi community in Alsophila firma (Cyatheales: Cyatheaceae) from a tropical montane cloud forest in Veracruz, México].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara-Pérez, Luis Alberto; Noa-Carrazana, Juan Carlos; López, Ángel de Jesús Landa; Hernández-González, Sergio; Oros-Ortega, Iván; Torres, Antonio Andrade

    2014-12-01

    Alsophila firma is a tree fern that is distributed mainly in tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) and is considered as a threatened species. Arbuscular mycorrrhizal fungi (AMF) have been proposed as an alternative in rescue programs of endangered species. However, our knowledge about diversity of AMF and mycorrhizal status of the species of TMCF is limited. In Mexico TMCF shows different degrees of conservation because of fragmentation and land use change. In this study, we evaluated the level of colonization, richness and abundances of spores of AMF in three fragments with different conservation status: conserved (100 years), secondary vegetation (17 years) and disturbed. For this, soil samples and roots were collected from five individuals of A. firma per site, with at least 100 m away from each other; a total of 100 cm of roots were analysed per site. Root samples showed AMF and occasionally dark septate fungi (DSF) colonizations. For the overall study, 19 species of AMF were recorded: Gigaspora (7), Acaulospora (4), Glomus (4), Funneliformis (2), Sclerocystis (1) and Scutellospora (1). The dominant species in the three sites were Funneliformis geosporum and Acaulospora scrobiculata. The highest diversity (H') and evenness (J') (p 90%. The present study confirmed that A. firma is a mycorrhizal species that exhibits high levels of colonization even in disturbed sites. We suggest that F. geosporum and A. scrobiculata may have the potential to inoculate the gametophyte and young sporophyte of A. firma, to support restoration programs, because of their abundances and high tolerance to disturbed sites.

  2. Uus Multiphonic Rodent

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2009-01-01

    Tartus tegutsenud eksperimentaal-rock-duo Opium Flirt Eestisse jäänud liige Erki Hõbe (paarimees Ervin Trofimov tegutseb Ungaris) annab välja oma teise sooloalbumi nime all Multiphonic Rodent, heliplaadi "Astral Dance" esitluskontsert toimub 5. veebruaril Tallinnas baaris Juuksur

  3. Rodents of the Caribbean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Mouatt, Julia Thidamarth Vilstrup; Raghavan, Maanasa;

    2014-01-01

    The Capromyidae (hutias) are endemic rodents of the Caribbean and represent a model of dispersal for non-flying mammals in the Greater Antilles. This family has experienced severe extinctions during the Holocene and its phylogenetic affinities with respect to other caviomorph relatives are still...

  4. Ten Years of Rainfall and Community-Based Streamflow Monitoring in the Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Region of Central Veracruz, Mexico: What Do These Data Tell Us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holwerda, F.; Aranda-Delgado, E.; Castilleja-Delgado, E.; Munoz-Villers, L.

    2016-12-01

    Montane ecosystems and the water resources provided by them play a crucial role in the development and growth of cities and the productive sector in Mexico. For the planning and sustainable management of these resources, it is necessary to quantify the key hydrological components and have (at least some) basic understanding of the water cycle at the operational watershed-scale. However, the difficulty of implementing and maintaining rainfall-discharge observation networks due to the lack of financial resources and well-trained personnel, coupled with poor accessibility and safety, as well as the complexity of the biophysical and climatic conditions in montane regions have hampered progress in hydrological research and the generation of basic knowledge for the benefit of society. In 2005, research-motivated measurements of rainfall (P) and community-based observations of streamflow (Q) were initiated independently in the tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) region of central Veracruz, Mexico. In this presentation, we will explore these data to study the seasonal and annual P inputs and Q outputs of the ca. 11,000 ha Pixquiac river watershed as observed during the past ten years (2005-2015). The P data used in this analysis include continuous measurements from the major recharge zone within the study area (2000-2300 m asl), supplemented with observations from lower and higher altitudes to determine the P-elevation relationship. The Q data of the Pixquiac river consist of monthly measurements made near the outlet of the watershed (1300-1400 m asl) by citizen volunteers using the Global Water Watch methodology. We expect that these observations will contribute to an improved understanding of the hydrometeorology of mesoscale TMCF watersheds in central Veracruz, which is a prerequisite for sustainable planning and management of the water resources in this region.

  5. Epiphyte response to drought and experimental warming in an Andean cloud forest [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/3le

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M. Rapp

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The high diversity and abundance of vascular epiphytes in tropical montane cloud forest is associated with frequent cloud immersion, which is thought to protect plants from drought stress. Increasing temperature and rising cloud bases associated with climate change may increase epiphyte drought stress, leading to species and biomass loss. We tested the hypothesis that warmer and drier conditions associated with a lifting cloud base will lead to increased mortality and/or decreased recruitment of epiphyte ramets, altering species composition in epiphyte mats. By using a reciprocal transplant design, where epiphyte mats were transplanted across an altitudinal gradient of increasing cloud immersion, we differentiated between the effects of warmer and drier conditions from the more general prediction of niche theory that transplanting epiphytes in any direction away from their home elevation should result in reduced performance. Effects differed among species, but effects were generally stronger and more negative for epiphytes in mats transplanted down slope from the highest elevation, into warmer and drier conditions, than for epiphyte mats transplanted from other elevations. In contrast, epiphytes from lower elevations showed greater resistance to drought in all treatments. Epiphyte community composition changed with elevation, but over the timescale of the experiment there were no consistent changes in species composition. Our results suggest some epiphytes may show resistance to climate change depending on the environmental and evolutionary context. In particular, sites where high rainfall makes cloud immersion less important for epiphyte water-balance, or where occasional drought has previously selected for drought-resistant taxa, may be less adversely affected by predicted climate changes.

  6. Nutrient limitation restricts growth and reproductive output in a tropical montane cloud forest bromeliad: findings from a long-term forest fertilization experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasso, Eloisa; Ackerman, James D

    2013-01-01

    From studies in seasonal lowland tropical forests, bromeliad epiphytes appear to be limited mainly by water, and to a lesser extent by nutrient supply, especially phosphorous. Less is understood about the mineral nutrition of tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) epiphytes, even though their highest diversity is in this habitat. Nutrient limitation is known to be a key factor restricting forest productivity in TMCF, and if epiphytes are nutritionally linked to their host trees, as has been suggested, we would expect that they are also nutrient limited. We studied the effect of a higher nutrient input on reproduction and growth of the tank bromeliad Werauhia sintenisii in experimental plots located in a TMCF in Puerto Rico, where all macro- and micronutrients had been added quarterly starting in 1989 and continuing throughout the duration of this study. We found that bromeliads growing in fertilized plots were receiving litterfall with higher concentrations of N, P, and Zn and had higher concentrations of P, Zn, Fe, Al, and Na in their vegetative body. The N:P ratios found (fertilized = 27.5 and non-fertilized = 33.8) suggest that W. sintenisii may also be phosphorous limited as are lowland epiphytes. Fertilized plants had slightly longer inflorescences, and more flowers per inflorescence, than non-fertilized plants, but their flowers produced nectar in similar concentrations and quantities. Fertilized plants produced more seeds per fruit and per plant. Frequency of flowering in two consecutive years was higher for fertilized plants than for controls, suggesting that fertilized plants overcome the cost of reproduction more readily than non-fertilized plants. These results provide evidence that TMCF epiphytic bromeliads are nutrient limited like their lowland counterparts.

  7. Avifauna del bosque mesófilo de montaña del noreste de Hidalgo, México Avifauna of the tropical montane cloud forest of northeastern Hidalgo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Angel Martínez-Morales

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Este trabajo presenta los resultados de un inventario avifaunístico realizado de 1997 a 1999 en fragmentos de bosque mesófilo de montaña del noreste de Hidalgo, México. Se registraron 41 familias y 181 especies de aves mediante observaciones visuales y auditivas en 2 057 puntos de conteo, lo que representó el 98% de las especies esperadas en el área de estudio, para el período y método de muestreo utilizado. Se detectaron 16 especies restringidas al bosque mesófilo, 11 endémicas de México y 3 de distribución restringida. Adicionalmente, con base en la legislación mexicana vigente, 28 de las especies registradas están incluidas dentro de alguna categoría de riesgo de conservación. Esta comunidad de aves estuvo dominada por especies de aves pequeñas, raras (poco abundantes y residentes. Es probable que las más vulnerables de sufrir extinciones locales sean las especies raras y restringidas al bosque mesófilo, donde están incluidas las 3 especies de distribución restringida (Dendrortyx barbatus, Glaucidium sanchezi y Cyanolyca nana. La avifauna del bosque mesófilo de esta región incluye al 40% de la avifauna estatal, lo que destaca la relevancia de este tipo de vegetación y una urgente necesidad de establecer estrategias de manejo para su conservación.This study shows the results of bird census carried out from 1997 to 1999 in cloud forest fragments of northeastern Hidalgo, Mexico. Forty-one bird families and 181 species were recorded through visual and acoustic detections in 2 057 point counts. This represents 98% of the expected species richness for the sampling period and method used. Sixteen species restricted to the cloud forest were detected, 11 Mexican endemic species, and 3 restricted-range species were recorded. Additionally, 28 species are included within some category of conservation concern according to the present Mexican legislation. This bird community was dominated by small, rare (low in abundance, and

  8. The tip of the iceberg: a distinctive new spotted-wing Megaselia species (Diptera: Phoridae) from a tropical cloud forest survey and a new, streamlined method for Megaselia descriptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartop, Emily A; Brown, Brian V

    2014-01-01

    A new Megaselia species, M.shadeae, with a large, central, pigmented and bubble-like wing spot and a greatly enlarged radial wing vein fork, is described from Zurquí de Moravia, Costa Rica. As part of the Zurquí All Diptera Biodiversity Inventory (ZADBI) project, it represents the first of an incredible number of new phorid species to be described from this one Costa Rican cloud forest site. A new, streamlined method of description for species of this enormous genus of phorid flies is presented.

  9. The tip of the iceberg: a distinctive new spotted-wing Megaselia species (Diptera: Phoridae) from a tropical cloud forest survey and a new, streamlined method for Megaselia descriptions

    OpenAIRE

    Emily Hartop; Brian Brown

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A new Megaselia species, M. shadeae , with a large, central, pigmented and bubble-like wing spot and a greatly enlarged radial wing vein fork, is described from Zurquí de Moravia, Costa Rica. As part of the Zurquí All Diptera Biodiversity Inventory (ZADBI) project, it represents the first of an incredible number of new phorid species to be described from this one Costa Rican cloud forest site. A new, streamlined method of description for species of this enormous genus of phorid flies...

  10. The tip of the iceberg: a distinctive new spotted-wing Megaselia species (Diptera: Phoridae from a tropical cloud forest survey and a new, streamlined method for Megaselia descriptions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Hartop

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available A new Megaselia species, M. shadeae, with a large, central, pigmented and bubble-like wing spot and a greatly enlarged radial wing vein fork, is described from Zurquí de Moravia, Costa Rica. As part of the Zurquí All Diptera Biodiversity Inventory (ZADBI project, it represents the first of an incredible number of new phorid species to be described from this one Costa Rican cloud forest site. A new, streamlined method of description for species of this enormous genus of phorid flies is presented.

  11. Five new species of Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae from the coastal cloud forest of the Península de Paria, Venezuela

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hinrich Kaiser

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Fieldwork in the cloud forest of Venezuela’s remote Península de Paria in 2001 resulted in the collection of several specimens that could unquestionably be classified as members of the genus Pristimantis.  Subsequent analysis of comparative material in museum collections brought the total number of specimens to 44, and these collectively represent five new species. Two of these species, P. geminus sp. nov. and P. nubisilva sp. nov., have phenotypes remarkably similar to the Trinidadian P. urichi, supporting a prediction that Pristimantis from easternmost Venezuela may have given rise to Trinidadian forms. Pristimantis hoogmoedi sp. nov. is easily identified by its large size and red eyes. Two of the species, P. longicorpus sp. nov. and P. pariagnomus sp. nov., are very distinct morphologically but are known only from the holotypes. The former is characterized by an elongate body form supported by relatively short limbs, whereas the latter has very distinctive hand morphology and is likely the smallest Venezuelan frog. Chromosome banding studies of P. nubisilva sp. nov. and P. hoogmoedi sp. nov. revealed chromosome numbers of 2n = 36 and 2n = 26, respectively, with an unusual submetacentric fusion chromosome 11;18 in some males of the former and a unique meiotic pairing of chromosomes in males of the latter.  All five species can be readily distinguished by their osteology, such as by the extent of the sphenethmoid and features on the roof of the mouth, as well as by the shape and rearrangement of mesopodial elements.  The unexpectedly high diversity of Pristimantis in this region, along with high endemism of amphibians and reptiles in general, underscores the position of the Península de Paria as a center for frog biodiversity in Venezuela.  The similarity of these Paria species to Pristimantis from Trinidad, Tobago and the central Cordillera de la Costa represents a tangible piece of evidence for the close biogeographic link of the

  12. Hydro-meteorological functioning of the Eastern Andean Tropical Montane Cloud Forests: Insight from a paired catchment study in the Orinoco river basin highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Beatriz; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Ganzeveld, Laurens; Leemans, Rik

    2016-04-01

    Tropical forests regulate large scale precipitation patterns and catchment-scale streamflow, while tropical mountains influence runoff by orographic effects and snowmelt. Along tropical elevation gradients, these climate/ecosystem/hydrological interactions are specific and heterogeneous. These interactions are poorly understood and represented in hydro-meteorological monitoring networks and regional or global earth system models. A typical case are the South American Tropical Montane Cloud Forests (TMCF), whose water balance is strongly driven by fog persistence. This also depends on local and up wind temperature and moisture, and changes in this balance alter the impacts of changes in land use and climate on hydrology. These TMCFs were until 2010 only investigated up to 350km from the coast. Continental TMCFs are largely ignored. This gap is covered by our study area, which is part of the Orinoco river basin highlands and located on the northern Eastern Andes at an altitudinal range of 1550 to 2300m a.s.l. The upwind part of our study area is dominated by lowland savannahs that are flooded seasonally. Because meteorological stations are absent in our study area, we first describe the spatial and seasonal meteorological variability and analyse the corresponding catchment hydrology. Our hydro-meteorological data set is collected at three gauged neighbouring catchments with contrasting TMCF/grassland cover from June 2013 to May 2014 and includes hourly solar radiation, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, precipitation, soil moisture and runoff measurements. We compare our results with recent TCMF studies in the eastern Andean highlands in the Amazon basin. The studied elevational range always shows wetter conditions at higher elevations. This indicates a positive relation between elevation and fog or rainfall persistence. Lower elevations are more seasonally variable. Soil moisture data indicate that TMCFs do not use persistently more water than grasslands

  13. Influence of African Dust and Volcanic Ash on the Chemical Composition of Cloud/Rain Water Collected in a Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Rodríguez, G. J.; Gioda, A.; Mayol-Bracero, O. L.; Collett, J.

    2007-12-01

    Some organic compounds present in aerosols are surface active and their presence in cloud condensation nuclei can affect the surface tension of cloud droplets. The nature of these surface active compounds in clouds and rainwater is not well understood and there is very little information about their content in remote tropical environments. Therefore, our study focuses on the chemical characterization of the organic component of cloud and rainwater samples collected in a tropical montane cloud forest on the island of Puerto Rico. Samples were collected during periods of varying air mass origin, including periods of influence by African dust and by volcanic ash. Cloud samples were collected using a compact version of the single-stage Caltech Active Strand Cloudwater Collector. Rain samples were collected using a passive collector. The organic fraction of collected samples was characterized using a total organic carbon and total nitrogen analyzer (TOC/TN) and nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy. Elemental and organic carbon (EC, OC) were determined for suspended particles contained in collected cloud and rainwater samples. These particles were also analyzed using scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS) to determine their elemental compositions. Preliminary results indicate that average concentrations of cloud water TOC ranged from 0.9 to 1.2 mg/L. Lower concentrations were observed in rainwater, 0.3 to 0.7 mg/L. TN concentrations were higher than TOC in cloud water samples when air masses came from the African continent. The suspended aerosol particles had a content of 2.0 µg of OC per mL of cloud water, but EC was not detected. Suspended particle analysis by SEM-EDS showed Si, Al, and Fe, which have crustal origin, as the predominant species. The 1H-NMR spectra showed alcohols in large quantities, suggesting the presence of biogenic material or polyols when air masses arrived from the African continent. A more complete set

  14. The water and energy exchange of a shaded coffee plantation in the lower montane cloud forest zone of central Veracruz, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holwerda, F.; Bruijnzeel, L. A.; Barradas, V.; Cervantes, J.

    2012-12-01

    The water and energy fluxes of a shaded coffee plantation in the lower montane cloud forest (LMCF) zone of central Veracruz, Mexico, were measured over a two-year period (September 2006-August 2008) using the eddy covariance method. Complementary measurements of throughfall and stemflow were made to study rainfall interception. The sum of the observed sensible (H) and latent (λE) heat fluxes was almost 95% of the net radiation (Rn) minus the canopy heat storage fluxes, indicating very good energy balance closure. Monthly means of the mid-day (11:00-15:00 h) Bowen ratio (H/λE) and evaporative fraction (λE/Rn) averaged 0.74 +/- 0.12 and 0.56 +/- 0.05, respectively. Energy partitioning showed distinct seasonal variation, with significantly higher Bowen ratios prevailing during the dry season (0.81 +/- 0.13) compared to the rainy season (0.67 +/- 0.06). The lower evaporation rates during the dry season reflected a combination of lower soil moisture availability and a lower leaf area of the Inga shade trees during this part of the year. Both the eddy covariance, and the throughfall and stemflow measurements showed average wet-canopy evaporation rate to be very low (0.05 mm/h) compared to the corresponding rainfall rate (3.06 mm/h). As a result, and despite the low canopy storage capacity of the coffee plantation (Cm, 0.50 mm), interception was dominated by post-event evaporation of intercepted water rather than by within-event evaporation. Comparing the results for the coffee plantation with interception data from mature and secondary LMCFs in the study area suggests that the conversion of LMCF to shade-coffee may lead to a decrease in interception loss of 8-18% of incident rainfall. This decrease is caused by a three- to seven-fold decrease in Cm due to the lower leaf area and smaller epiphyte biomass of the coffee plantation. Comparing the eddy covariance-based estimate of dry-canopy evaporation for the coffee plantation with sapflow-based estimates of

  15. Rodent models of sleep apnea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Eric M; O'Donnell, Christopher P

    2013-09-15

    Rodent models of sleep apnea have long been used to provide novel insight into the generation and predisposition to apneas as well as to characterize the impact of sleep apnea on cardiovascular, metabolic, and psychological health in humans. Given the significant body of work utilizing rodent models in the field of sleep apnea, the aims of this review are three-fold: first, to review the use of rodents as natural models of sleep apnea; second, to provide an overview of the experimental interventions employed in rodents to simulate sleep apnea; third, to discuss the refinement of rodent models to further our understanding of breathing abnormalities that occur during sleep. Given mounting evidence that sleep apnea impairs cognitive function, reduces quality of life, and exacerbates the course of multiple chronic diseases, rodent models will remain a high priority as a tool to interrogate both the pathophysiology and sequelae of breathing related abnormalities during sleep and to improve approaches to diagnosis and therapy.

  16. Geomagnetic field detection in rodents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olcese, J.; Reuss, S.; Semm, P.

    1988-01-01

    In addition to behavioral evidence for the detection of earth-strength magnetic fields (MF) by rodents, recent investigations have revealed that electrophysiological and biochemical responses to MF occur in the pineal organ and retina of rodents. In addition, ferrimagnetic deposits have been identified in the ethmoidal regions of the rodent skull. These findings point to a new sensory phenomenon, which interfaces with many fields of biology, including neuroscience, psychophysics, behavioral ecology, chronobiology and sensory physiology.

  17. EFECTO DE BORDE SOBRE EL PROCESO DE DESCOMPOSICIÓN DE HOJARASCA EN BOSQUE NUBLADO Edge Effect on the Decomposition Process of Leaf Litter in Cloud Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAURICIO ROMERO-TORRES

    2011-08-01

    effect on leaf litter decomposition and its control factors, two fragments of cloud forest in the southwest region of the Bogotá Savannah were selected. Within each, two 64 m long transects were laid out bearing east and west from edge to center respectively, a leaf litter decomposition experiment of a 90 to 180 day duration was set up at seven distances measured from the starting point of each transect. The percentage of leaf litter moisture and decomposition, vegetation density, anamorphic fungi density and carbon:nitrogen ratio were estimated at each point. The maximum distance of the edge effect on the decomposition was determined, and the interaction between orientation, distance and the regulating factors of the decomposition process were ascertained. The results established an effect of the cardinal orientation of the edge on the decomposition and its regulating factors. Marked edge effects on leaf litter moisture extending up to 7 m and up to 30 m on vegetation density were displayedin Eastern border areas. In forest areas, decomposition was regulated by leaf litter moisture and its C:N ratio. The limited penetration of edge effect suggests minor effects regarding nutrient cycles and provides justification and additional value to the use of small fragments.

  18. Aquaporins in desert rodent physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannabecker, Thomas L

    2015-08-01

    Desert rodents face a sizeable challenge in maintaining salt and water homeostasis due to their life in an arid environment. A number of their organ systems exhibit functional characteristics that limit water loss above that which occurs in non-desert species under similar conditions. These systems include renal, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, nasal, and skin epithelia. The desert rodent kidney preserves body water by producing a highly concentrated urine that reaches a maximum osmolality nearly three times that of the common laboratory rat. The precise mechanism by which urine is concentrated in any mammal is unknown. Insights into the process may be more apparent in species that produce highly concentrated urine. Aquaporin water channels play a fundamental role in water transport in several desert rodent organ systems. The role of aquaporins in facilitating highly effective water preservation in desert rodents is only beginning to be explored. The organ systems of desert rodents and their associated AQPs are described.

  19. Oculoscopy in Rabbits and Rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jekl, Vladimir; Hauptman, Karel; Knotek, Zdenek

    2015-09-01

    Ophthalmic diseases are common in rabbits and rodents. Fast and definitive diagnosis is imperative for successful treatment of ocular diseases. Ophthalmic examination in rabbits and rodents can be challenging. Oculoscopy offers great magnification for the examination of the ocular structures in such animals, including the evaluation of cornea, anterior eye chamber, limbus, iris, lens, and retina. To date, oculoscopy has been described only sporadically and/or under experimental conditions. This article describes the oculoscopy technique, normal and abnormal ocular findings, and the most common eye disorders diagnosed with the aid of endoscopy in rabbits and rodents.

  20. Rodent Control: Seal Up! Trap Up! Clean Up!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... rodent food sources and nesting sites... Diseases from rodents Diseases directly transmitted by rodents Diseases indirectly transmitted by rodents Cleaning up after rodents Take precautions before and during clean up of ...

  1. A nice book on Italian rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Bellavere C

    2008-01-01

    A recent book on the Italian rodents is presented. The book treats the ecology of rodents as well as more applied topics like the impact of rodents on human activities and the management and control of rodents populations. Written in Italian.

  2. Rodent empathy and affective neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panksepp, Jules B; Lahvis, Garet P

    2011-10-01

    In the past few years, several experimental studies have suggested that empathy occurs in the social lives of rodents. Thus, rodent behavioral models can now be developed to elucidate the mechanistic substrates of empathy at levels that have heretofore been unavailable. For example, the finding that mice from certain inbred strains express behavioral and physiological responses to conspecific distress, while others do not, underscores that the genetic underpinnings of empathy are specifiable and that they could be harnessed to develop new therapies for human psychosocial impairments. However, the advent of rodent models of empathy is met at the outset with a number of theoretical and semantic problems that are similar to those previously confronted by studies of empathy in humans. The distinct underlying components of empathy must be differentiated from one another and from lay usage of the term. The primary goal of this paper is to review a set of seminal studies that are directly relevant to developing a concept of empathy in rodents. We first consider some of the psychological phenomena that have been associated with empathy, and within this context, we consider the component processes, or endophenotypes of rodent empathy. We then review a series of recent experimental studies that demonstrate the capability of rodents to detect and respond to the affective state of their social partners. We focus primarily on experiments that examine how rodents share affective experiences of fear, but we also highlight how similar types of experimental paradigms can be utilized to evaluate the possibility that rodents share positive affective experiences. Taken together, these studies were inspired by Jaak Panksepp's theory that all mammals are capable of felt affective experiences.

  3. The Ethics of Rodent Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Brom, F.W.A.; Kijlstra, A.

    2008-01-01

    Because western societies generally see animals as objects of moral concern, demands have been made on the way they are treated, e.g. during animal experimentation. In the case of rodent pests, however, inhumane control methods are often applied. This inconsistency in the human-animal relationship r

  4. Forecasting rodent outbreaks in Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leirs, Herwig; Verhagen, Ron; Verheyen, Walter

    1996-01-01

    1. Rainfall data were collated for years preceding historical outbreaks of Mastomys rats in East Africa in order to test the hypothesis that such outbreaks occur after long dry periods. 2. Rodent outbreaks were generally not preceded by long dry periods. 3. Population dynamics of Mastomys natalen...

  5. The Ethics of Rodent Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Brom, F.W.A.; Kijlstra, A.

    2008-01-01

    Because western societies generally see animals as objects of moral concern, demands have been made on the way they are treated, e.g. during animal experimentation. In the case of rodent pests, however, inhumane control methods are often applied. This inconsistency in the human-animal relationship

  6. Forecasting rodent outbreaks in Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leirs, Herwig; Verhagen, Ron; Verheyen, Walter

    1996-01-01

    natalensis rats in Tanzania are significantly affected by the distribution of rainfall during the rainy season. 4. All previous rodent outbreaks in Tanzania were preceded by abundant rainfall early in the rainy season, i.e, towards the end of the year. 5. A flow chart is constructed to assess the likelihood...

  7. 21 CFR 1250.96 - Rodent control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Rodent control. 1250.96 Section 1250.96 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.96 Rodent control. Vessels shall be... of rodent control....

  8. Rodent Oncology: Diseases, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocker, Samuel E; Eshar, David; Wouda, Raelene M

    2017-01-01

    Cancer incidence in rodent species varies dramatically from a common occurrence in mice and rats to just a limited number of documented cases in chinchillas and degus. This article summarizes common tumors, both benign and malignant, that have been reported to occur in rodents. Outlined are clinical signs, diagnostics, and treatments that have been described for rodents presenting with specific neoplasms.

  9. 海南岛霸王岭热带云雾林雨季的环境特征%Environmental characteristics of tropical cloud forests in the rainy season in Bawangling National Nature Reserve on Hainan Island, South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    龙文兴; 丁易; 臧润国; 杨民; 陈少伟

    2011-01-01

    Aims Tropical cloud forest, a seldom-studied but important type of tropical forest vegetation, is usually distributed around mountaintops and is characterized by unusual environmental conditions that determine its unique biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Our objective was to explore the characteristics of solar irradiance, air temperature, air relative humidity, soil conditions and topographic conditions during the rainy season in two tropical cloud forest communities: tropical montane evergreen forest (TMEF) and tropical montane dwarf forest (TMDF).Methods Based on surveyed environmental data of TMEF and TMDF in Bawangling National Natural Reserve in Hainan Island of South China, we assessed differences in environmental conditions between the two cloud forests, and examined correlations among the environmental conditions, using principal component analysis and Pearson's correlation analysis.Important findings Daily photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) showed a unimodal curve both in TMEF and TMDF, but PAR in TMEF was significantly lower than in TMDF. From May to October, mean daily air temperatare differed significantly between TMEF and TMDF and showed a unimodal curve in the two forests, with average values of (21.76 ± 2.44) ℃ and (19.33 ± 1.03) ℃, respectively. Additionally, mean daily relative humidity differed significantly between TMEF and TMDF and showed an inverse "S" curve; average values were (88.44 ±2.90)% and (97.71 ± 0.80)%, respectively. TMEF had higher total nitrogen, total phosphorous, available nitrogen,organic matter, pH and soil thickness, but lower total potassium and available phosphorous than TMDF. Slope,cover of exposed rock and altitude were lower in TMEF than TMDF, and were significantly correlated with other ecological factors. Principal component analysis and Pearson's correlation analysis indicated that air temperature,available phosphorous, total potassium, total nitrogen and the three topographic factors were

  10. Florística del bosque mesófilo de montaña de Monte Grande, Lolotla, Hidalgo, México Floristics of the cloud forest of Monte Grande, Lolotla, Hidalgo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Ponce-Vargas

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Se presenta un estudio florístico del bosque mesófilo de montaña del municipio de Lolotla, localizado al noreste del estado de Hidalgo. El área está enclavada en la Sierra Madre Oriental, dentro de la región de la Huasteca hidalguense. Se ofrece un listado florístico de las plantas vasculares, compuesto por 103 familias, 260 géneros, 359 especies y 11 taxa subespecíficos. En este bosque hay 11 especies que están en alguna categoría de riesgo dentro de la Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-050-ECOL-2001 y se sugiere el estudio de dos más para su posible inclusión.A floristic inventory of the cloud forest of the municipality of Lolotla, in the state of Hidalgo was undertaken; this area is located in the Sierra Madre Oriental and is part of the Huasteca Hidalguense region. A floristic checklist of vascular plants composed by 103 families, 260 genera, 359 species and 11 subspecific taxa was obtained. Eleven species represented in this forest are included in the official Mexican document named Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-050-ECOL-2001, as species in some risk category and we suggest the study of two additional species for their possible inclusion.

  11. Rodent consumption in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwannarong, Kanokwan; Chapman, Robert S

    2014-09-01

    Rodents are important reservoirs of rodent-borne infections worldwide, including Southeast Asia and Northeast Thailand (Isaan), where rodent consumption may be a source of rodent-borne diseases. The behavior of consuming rodents is related to a population's traditions, knowledge, cultural, and household contexts, among other factors. This cross-sectional survey was conducted in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand during November-December 2011. It aimed to elicit information about rodent consumption among residents of this province, and to identify factors associated with rodent consumption there. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that male gender, large family size, and use of rainwater as the main source of drinking water were positively associated with reported rodent consumption in this province, while having proper knowledge/attitudes towards animal-borne disease was negatively associated. These results provide evidence-base information for further studies, such as participatory ac- tion research, to further explore how people interact with rodents in different contexts. Further research is also needed to characterize risk of zoonotic diseases in relation to rodent consumption.

  12. Auditing laboratory rodent biosecurity programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, William P; Horn, Mandy J; Cooper, Dale M; Klein, Hilton J

    2013-10-22

    A rodent biosecurity program that includes periodic evaluation of procedures used in an institution's vivarium can be used to ensure that best practices are in place to prevent a microbial pathogen outbreak. As a result of an ongoing comprehensive biosecurity review within their North American and European production facilities, the authors developed a novel biosecurity auditing process and worksheet that could be useful in other animal care and use operations. The authors encourage other institutions to consider initiating similar audits of their biosecurity programs to protect the health of their laboratory animals.

  13. Urban resident attitudes toward rodents, rodent control products, and environmental effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodent control in urban areas can result in the inadvertent mortality of non-target species (e.g., bobcats). However, there is little detailed information about rodent control practices of urban residents. Our objective was to evaluate urban rodent control behaviors in two area...

  14. Urban resident attitudes toward rodents, rodent control products, and environmental effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodent control in urban areas can result in the inadvertent mortality of non-target species (e.g., bobcats). However, there is little detailed information about rodent control practices of urban residents. Our objective was to evaluate urban rodent control behaviors in two area...

  15. Besnoitiosis in rodents from Colorado. [Parasitic infestations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dagle, G E; Winsor, T F; Adee, R R

    1976-01-01

    Parasitic cysts of Besnoitia jellisoni (coccidia) were found in rodents (Peromyscus maniculatus and Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) trapped in Eastern Colorado. The parasite was associated with a granulomatous inflammatory reaction in the lungs of each rodent and was disseminated in several organs from one Peromyscus. The ultrastructural appearance of the merozoites and the cyst wall formed by the host cell were studied.

  16. Rodent Models for Metabolic Syndrome Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil K. Panchal

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Rodents are widely used to mimic human diseases to improve understanding of the causes and progression of disease symptoms and to test potential therapeutic interventions. Chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, together known as the metabolic syndrome, are causing increasing morbidity and mortality. To control these diseases, research in rodent models that closely mimic the changes in humans is essential. This review will examine the adequacy of the many rodent models of metabolic syndrome to mimic the causes and progression of the disease in humans. The primary criterion will be whether a rodent model initiates all of the signs, especially obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dysfunction of the heart, blood vessels, liver and kidney, primarily by diet since these are the diet-induced signs in humans with metabolic syndrome. We conclude that the model that comes closest to fulfilling this criterion is the high carbohydrate, high fat-fed male rodent.

  17. Wild Rodent Ectoparasites Collected from Northwestern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zabihollah Zarei

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Rodents play an important role as reservoir of some pathogens, and the host of some ectoparasites as well. These ectoparasites can transmit rodents’ pathogens to human or animals. The aim of this study was to assess the distribution and infestation load of ectoparasites on rodents in Meshkin-Shahr District, northwestern Iran.Method: Rodents were captured using baited live traps in spring 2014 from Meshkin-Shahr District and were trans­ferred to the laboratory for identification to the species level. Their ectoparasites were collected, mounted and identi­fied.Results: Three rodent species including Meriones persicus (74%, Mus musculus (16.9% and Cricetulus migrato­rius (9% were identified. Among all rodents, 185 specimens (90.69% were infested with a total of 521 ectopara­sites. Overall, 10 arthropods species were collected, including fleas (97.6%, one mite (1.6% and one louse species (0.6% as follows: Xenopsylla nubica, X. astia, X. buxtoni, X. cheopis, Nosopsyllus fasciatus, N. iranus, Cten­ocephalides felis, Ctenophthalmus rettigismiti, Ornithonyssus sp and one species of genus Polyplax. The most prev­alent ectoparasites species was X. nubica (89%.Conclusion: Nearly all rodent species were infested with Xenopsylla species. Monitoring of ectoparasites on infested rodents is very important for awareness and early warning towards control of arthropod-borne diseases.

  18. Rodents: food or pests in Neolithic Orkney.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romaniuk, Andrzej A; Shepherd, Alexandra N; Clarke, David V; Sheridan, Alison J; Fraser, Sheena; Bartosiewicz, László; Herman, Jeremy S

    2016-10-01

    Rodents have important effects on contemporary human societies, sometimes providing a source of food but more often as agricultural pests, or as vectors and reservoirs of disease. Skeletal remains of rodents are commonly found in archaeological assemblages from around the world, highlighting their potential importance to ancient human populations. However, there are few studies of the interactions between people and rodents at such sites and most of these are confined to locations where rodents have formed a part of the recent diet. Here we compare the accumulation pattern of rodent remains from four locations within and adjacent to the renowned Neolithic site of Skara Brae, Orkney, showing that those within the settlement itself were the result of deliberate human activity. The accumulation and nature of burnt bones, incorporated over an extended period within deposits of household waste, indicate that rodents were used as a nutritional resource and may have been the subject of early pest control. We, therefore, provide the first evidence for the exploitation or control of rodents by the Neolithic inhabitants of Europe.

  19. Modeling panic disorder in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Fabrício A; Gobira, Pedro H; Viana, Thércia G; Vicente, Maria A; Zangrossi, Hélio; Graeff, Frederico G

    2013-10-01

    Panic disorder (PD) is a subtype of anxiety disorder in which the core phenomenon is the spontaneous occurrence of panic attacks. Although studies with laboratory animals have been instrumental for the understanding of its neurobiology and treatment, few review articles have focused on the validity of the currently used animal models for studying this psychopathology. Therefore, the aim of the present paper is to discuss the strengths and limits of these models in terms of face, construct and predictive validity. Based on the hypothesis that panic attacks are related to defensive responses elicited by proximal threat, most animal models measure the escape responses induced by specific stimuli. Some apply electrical or chemical stimulation to brain regions proposed to modulate fear and panic responses, such as the dorsal periaqueductal grey or the medial hypothalamus. Other models focus on the behavioural consequences caused by the exposure of rodents to ultrasound or natural predators. Finally, the elevated T-maze associates a one-way escape response from an open arm with panic attacks. Despite some limitations, animal models are essential for a better understanding of the neurobiology and pharmacology of PD and for discovering more effective treatments.

  20. Anatomical and nutritional adaptations in African rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    retention time suggest that little ruminant-like fibre digestion occurs in the ... gastro-intestinal tract of rodents (Vorontsov, 1962;. Carleton ... and swollen cells superficially. The fornical .... The ways of food specialization and the evolution of the ...

  1. Rodent phylogeny revised: analysis of six nuclear genes from all major rodent clades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pupko Tal

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rodentia is the most diverse order of placental mammals, with extant rodent species representing about half of all placental diversity. In spite of many morphological and molecular studies, the family-level relationships among rodents and the location of the rodent root are still debated. Although various datasets have already been analyzed to solve rodent phylogeny at the family level, these are difficult to combine because they involve different taxa and genes. Results We present here the largest protein-coding dataset used to study rodent relationships. It comprises six nuclear genes, 41 rodent species, and eight outgroups. Our phylogenetic reconstructions strongly support the division of Rodentia into three clades: (1 a "squirrel-related clade", (2 a "mouse-related clade", and (3 Ctenohystrica. Almost all evolutionary relationships within these clades are also highly supported. The primary remaining uncertainty is the position of the root. The application of various models and techniques aimed to remove non-phylogenetic signal was unable to solve the basal rodent trifurcation. Conclusion Sequencing and analyzing a large sequence dataset enabled us to resolve most of the evolutionary relationships among Rodentia. Our findings suggest that the uncertainty regarding the position of the rodent root reflects the rapid rodent radiation that occurred in the Paleocene rather than the presence of conflicting phylogenetic and non-phylogenetic signals in the dataset.

  2. Estimating head and body length in fossil rodents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freudenthal, M.; Martín-Suárez, E.

    2015-01-01

    We present estimates for head and body length (HBL) of fossil rodents. We assembled HBL data and tooth row length data (LTR, UTR) for a large number of extant rodents, and calculated regression lines of HBL on LTR and UTR for all rodents together (all-rodents equation), and for separate taxonomic gr

  3. Convergent and Divergent Adaptations of Subterranean Rodents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fang, Xiaodong

    Subterranean rodents comprise approximately 250 species that spend their entire lives in underground, unventilated tunnels, distributed along all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Subterranean rodents escape from predators and extreme climatic fluctuations in their underground habitats,......, coupled with the reported genetic information, will promote the utilization of subterranean animal models for biological and biomedical research in the fight against aging, cancer, stroke and other realted diseases....

  4. Rodents as potential couriers for bioterrorism agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lõhmus, Mare; Janse, Ingmar; van de Goot, Frank; van Rotterdam, Bart J

    2013-09-01

    Many pathogens that can cause major public health, economic, and social damage are relatively easily accessible and could be used as biological weapons. Wildlife is a natural reservoir for many potential bioterrorism agents, and, as history has shown, eliminating a pathogen that has dispersed among wild fauna can be extremely challenging. Since a number of wild rodent species live close to humans, rodents constitute a vector for pathogens to circulate among wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. This article reviews the possible consequences of a deliberate spread of rodentborne pathogens. It is relatively easy to infect wild rodents with certain pathogens or to release infected rodents, and the action would be difficult to trace. Rodents can also function as reservoirs for diseases that have been spread during a bioterrorism attack and cause recurring disease outbreaks. As rats and mice are common in both urban and rural settlements, deliberately released rodentborne infections have the capacity to spread very rapidly. The majority of pathogens that are listed as potential agents of bioterrorism by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases exploit rodents as vectors or reservoirs. In addition to zoonotic diseases, deliberately released rodentborne epizootics can have serious economic consequences for society, for example, in the area of international trade restrictions. The ability to rapidly detect introduced diseases and effectively communicate with the public in crisis situations enables a quick response and is essential for successful and cost-effective disease control.

  5. Establishing Primary Adult Fibroblast Cultures From Rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seluanov, Andrei; Vaidya, Amita; Gorbunova, Vera

    2010-01-01

    The importance of using primary cells, rather than cancer cell lines, for biological studies is becoming widely recognized. Primary cells are preferred in studies of cell cycle control, apoptosis, and DNA repair, as cancer cells carry mutations in genes involved in these processes. Primary cells cannot be cultured indefinitely due to the onset of replicative senescence or aneuploidization. Hence, new cultures need to be established regularly. The procedure for isolation of rodent embryonic fibroblasts is well established, but isolating adult fibroblast cultures often presents a challenge. Adult rodent fibroblasts isolated from mouse models of human disease may be a preferred control when comparing them to fibroblasts from human patients. Furthermore, adult fibroblasts are the only available material when working with wild rodents where pregnant females cannot be easily obtained. Here we provide a protocol for isolation and culture of adult fibroblasts from rodent skin and lungs. We used this procedure successfully to isolate fibroblasts from over twenty rodent species from laboratory mice and rats to wild rodents such as beaver, porcupine, and squirrel. PMID:20972406

  6. Clasificación de los bosques mesófilos de montaña de México: afinidades de la flora Classification of the Mexican cloud forests: floristic affinities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Ruiz-Jiménez

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Se realizó un análisis de clasificación numérica para comparar las semejanzas florístico-geográficas-bioclimáticas de los bosques mesófilos de montaña (BMM de México. Con base en publicaciones de carácter florístico, de vegetación y sinecológico se obtuvo una base de datos de la flora vascular del BMM que contiene 6 453 especies, 1 426 géneros y 213 familias. La matriz de presencia-ausencia consta de 2 856 especies (180 familias, 897 géneros distribuidas en 83 localidades; la clasificación se realizó mediante un análisis de conglomerados, utilizando índices de similitud; se agrupó con el método UPGMA y se construyeron dendrogramas. Con BIOCLIM se obtuvo el perfil bioclimático de cada grupo y con el promedio de las variables se generó una matriz que se clasificó como la anterior. La importancia de las variables bioclimáticas fue evaluada mediante un análisis de ordenación por componentes principales. Los grupos florísticamente similares se ajustan a las provincias florísticas de México y los perfiles bioclimáticos respaldan dichas agrupaciones. Por sus características bioclimáticas, los BMM se agrupan en 3 conjuntos de localidades. Se sustenta que las localidades geográficamente más cercanas presentan mayor similitud florística. Conforme se genera más información sobre el BMM de México se refuerzan las hipótesis de relación entre las provincias florísticas.A numerical classification analysis was made to compare the floristic-geographic-bioclimatic resemblance among Mexico's cloud forest (MCF. A MCF vascular flora database was made based on floristics, vegetation and sinecological published work; which contains 6 453 species, 1 426 genera and 213 families. The presence-absence matrix consists of 2 856 species (180 families and 897 genera scattered through 83 localities; this was rated by means of a conglomerate analysis using the similarity indexes this was put together using the UPGMA method; dendrograms

  7. The fecal viral flora of wild rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tung G Phan

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The frequent interactions of rodents with humans make them a common source of zoonotic infections. To obtain an initial unbiased measure of the viral diversity in the enteric tract of wild rodents we sequenced partially purified, randomly amplified viral RNA and DNA in the feces of 105 wild rodents (mouse, vole, and rat collected in California and Virginia. We identified in decreasing frequency sequences related to the mammalian viruses families Circoviridae, Picobirnaviridae, Picornaviridae, Astroviridae, Parvoviridae, Papillomaviridae, Adenoviridae, and Coronaviridae. Seventeen small circular DNA genomes containing one or two replicase genes distantly related to the Circoviridae representing several potentially new viral families were characterized. In the Picornaviridae family two new candidate genera as well as a close genetic relative of the human pathogen Aichi virus were characterized. Fragments of the first mouse sapelovirus and picobirnaviruses were identified and the first murine astrovirus genome was characterized. A mouse papillomavirus genome and fragments of a novel adenovirus and adenovirus-associated virus were also sequenced. The next largest fraction of the rodent fecal virome was related to insect viruses of the Densoviridae, Iridoviridae, Polydnaviridae, Dicistroviriade, Bromoviridae, and Virgaviridae families followed by plant virus-related sequences in the Nanoviridae, Geminiviridae, Phycodnaviridae, Secoviridae, Partitiviridae, Tymoviridae, Alphaflexiviridae, and Tombusviridae families reflecting the largely insect and plant rodent diet. Phylogenetic analyses of full and partial viral genomes therefore revealed many previously unreported viral species, genera, and families. The close genetic similarities noted between some rodent and human viruses might reflect past zoonoses. This study increases our understanding of the viral diversity in wild rodents and highlights the large number of still uncharacterized viruses in

  8. Orthopox virus infections in Eurasian wild rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnunen, Paula M; Henttonen, Heikki; Hoffmann, Bernd; Kallio, Eva R; Korthase, Christian; Laakkonen, Juha; Niemimaa, Jukka; Palva, Airi; Schlegel, Mathias; Ali, Hanan Sheikh; Suominen, Paula; Ulrich, Rainer G; Vaheri, Antti; Vapalahti, Olli

    2011-08-01

    The genus Orthopoxvirus includes variola (smallpox) virus and zoonotic cowpox virus (CPXV). All orthopoxviruses (OPV) are serologically cross-reactive and cross-protective, and after the cessation of smallpox vaccination, CPXV and other OPV infections represent an emerging threat to human health. In this respect CPXV, with its reservoir in asymptomatically infected wild rodents, is of special importance. In Europe, clinical cowpox has been diagnosed in both humans and animals. The main objective of this study was to elucidate the prevalence of OPV infections in wild rodents in different parts of Eurasia and to compare the performance of three real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods in detecting OPV DNA in wildlife samples. We investigated 962 wild rodents from Northern Europe (Finland), Central Europe (Germany), and Northern Asia (Siberia, Russia) for the presence of OPV antibodies. According to a CPXV antigen-based immunofluorescence assay, animals from 13 of the 17 locations (76%) showed antibodies. Mean seroprevalence was 33% in Finland (variation between locations 0%-69%), 32% in Germany (0%-43%), and 3.2% (0%-15%) in Siberia. We further screened tissue samples from 513 of the rodents for OPV DNA using up to three real-time PCRs. Three rodents from two German and one Finnish location were OPV DNA positive. The amplicons were 96% to 100% identical to available CPXV sequences. Further, we demonstrated OPV infections as far east as the Baikal region and occurring in hamster and two other rodent species, ones previously unnoticed as possible reservoir hosts. Based on serological and PCR findings, Eurasian wild rodents are frequently but nonpersistently infected with OPVs. Results from three real-time PCR methods were highly concordant. This study extends the geographic range and wildlife species diversity in which OPV (or CPXV) viruses are naturally circulating.

  9. Population cycles in small rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, C J; Gaines, M S; Keller, B L; Myers, J H; Tamarin, R H

    1973-01-05

    We conclude that population fluctuations in Microtus in southern Indiana are produced by a syndrome of changes in birth and death rates similar to that found in other species of voles and lemmings. The mechanisms which cause the changes in birth and death rates are demolished by fencing the population so that no dispersal can occur. Dispersal thus seems critical for population regulation in Microtus. Because most dispersal occurs during the increase phase of the population cycle and there is little dispersal during the decline phase, dispersal is not directly related to population density. Hence the quality of dispersing animals must be important, and we have found one case of increased dispersal tendency by one genotype. The failure of population regulation of Microtus in enclosed areas requires an explanation by any hypothesis attempting to explain population cycles in small rodents. It might be suggested that the fence changed the predation pressure on the enclosed populations. However, the fence was only 2 feet (0.6 meter) high and did not stop the entrance of foxes, weasels, shrews, or avian predators. A striking feature was that the habitat in the enclosures quickly recovered from complete devastation by the start of the spring growing season. Obviously the habitat and food quality were sufficient to support Microtus populations of abnormally high densities, and recovery of the habitat was sufficiently quick that the introduction of new animals to these enclosed areas resulted in another population explosion. Finally, hypotheses of population regulation by social stress must account for the finding that Microtus can exist at densities several times greater than normal without "stress" taking an obvious toll. We hypothesize that the prevention of dispersal changes the quality of the populations in the enclosures in comparison to those outside the fence. Voles forced to remain in an overcrowded fenced population do not suffer high mortality rates and continue

  10. Endoparasites of Wild Rodents in Southeastern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Nateghpour

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study was aimed to collect wild rodents for endoparasites determination in some parts of Sistan and Baluchistan Province, southeastern Iran nearby Pakistan and Afghanistan countries.Methods: A total of 100 wild rodents were captured alive with cage traps. Various samples were collected from blood and feces, also impression smear prepared from different organs. The samples were prepared by formalin-ether or stained with Giemsa, after that were examined under microscope.Results: All the caught rodents (47 Tatera indica, 44 Meriones hurriana, 5 Gerbilus nanus and 4 Meriones libycus were studied for endoparasites emphasizing to their zoonotic aspects. Endoparasites including Spirurida,Hymenolepis diminuta, Hymenolepis nana feraterna, Trichuris trichiura, Skerjabino taenia, Trichostrongylus spp, Entamoeba muris, Chilomastix mesnili and Leishmania spp were parasitologically identified.Conclusion: Among 9 genera or species of the identified parasites at least 5 of them have zoonotic and public health importance.

  11. The MAM rodent model of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lodge, Daniel J

    2013-01-01

    Rodent models of human disease are essential to obtain a better understanding of disease pathology, the mechanism of action underlying conventional treatments, as well as for the generation of novel therapeutic approaches. There are a number of rodent models of schizophrenia based on either genetic manipulations, acute or sub-chronic drug administration, or developmental disturbances. The prenatal methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) rodent model is a developmental disruption model gaining increased attention because it displays a number of histological, neurophysiological, and behavioral deficits analogous to those observed in schizophrenia patients. This unit describes the procedures required to safely induce the MAM phenotype in rats. In addition, we describe a simple behavioral procedure, amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, which can be utilized to verify the MAM phenotype.

  12. [Application of genetic diversity in the researches on rodents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhu; Yang, Chun-Wen; Xu, Yan-Chun; Jin, Zhi-Min; Ma, Jian-Zhang

    2014-02-01

    Genetic diversity is the base of the species diversity and ecosystem diversity, and also the foundation for biological evolution and species differentiation. Furthermore, genetic diversity is important evidence for evaluation of biological resources of nature. The genetic diversity data from a wide variety of rodents have many complex applications. We summarized the application of rodent prevention, the origin and differentiation including evolutionary history of rodents, the potential adaptation of rodents, the dynamics of population and regulatory mechanisms, and the conservation biology of rodents. Researches in the future should focus on the systematic study on the relationships between population dynamics and genetic diversity, and long-term monitoring of genetic diversity of rodents.

  13. Object Recognition Memory and the Rodent Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broadbent, Nicola J.; Gaskin, Stephane; Squire, Larry R.; Clark, Robert E.

    2010-01-01

    In rodents, the novel object recognition task (NOR) has become a benchmark task for assessing recognition memory. Yet, despite its widespread use, a consensus has not developed about which brain structures are important for task performance. We assessed both the anterograde and retrograde effects of hippocampal lesions on performance in the NOR…

  14. Rodent malaria parasites : genome organization & comparative genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the studies described in this thesis was to investigate the genome organization of rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) and compare the organization and gene content of the genomes of RMPs and the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. The release of the complete genome sequence of P. falciparu

  15. Rodent malaria parasites : genome organization & comparative genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the studies described in this thesis was to investigate the genome organization of rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) and compare the organization and gene content of the genomes of RMPs and the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. The release of the complete genome sequence of P.

  16. Neurogenic inflammation in human and rodent skin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmelz, M; Petersen, Lars Jelstrup

    2001-01-01

    The combination of vasodilation and protein extravasation following activation of nociceptors has been termed "neurogenic inflammation." In contrast to rodents, no neurogenic protein extravasation can be elicited in healthy human skin. Dermal microdialysis has considerably increased our knowledge...... about neurogenic inflammation in human skin, including the involvement of mast cells....

  17. Estimating body mass of fossil rodents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freudenthal, M.; Martín-Suárez, E.

    2013-01-01

    Reconstructing the body mass of a fossil animal is an essential step toward understanding its palaeoecological role. Length × width (L×W) of the first lower molar (m1) is frequently used as a proxy for body mass in fossil mammals. However, among rodents, Muroidea have no premolar and an elongated m1

  18. 7 CFR 58.147 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.147 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.147 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control...

  19. 7 CFR 58.247 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.247 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.247 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control program...

  20. 20 CFR 654.415 - Insect and rodent control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Insect and rodent control. 654.415 Section 654.415 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SPECIAL... Insect and rodent control. Housing and facilities shall be free of insects, rodents, and other vermin....

  1. Prevalence of leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis: A study of rodents ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leptospira and Toxoplasma infections in rodents and shrews in Mikese area of Morogoro ... Human and other animals such as rodents excluding cats are intermediate hosts of ..... Berdoy, M., Webster, J.P. & Macdonald, D.W. (2000) Fatal attraction in rats ... Rats, Mice and People: Rodent Biology and Management, 543-547.

  2. Molecular epidemiology of paramyxoviruses in Zambian wild rodents and shrews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Michihito; Muleya, Walter; Ishii, Akihiro; Orba, Yasuko; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mweene, Aaron S; Moonga, Ladslav; Thomas, Yuka; Kimura, Takashi; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2014-02-01

    Rodents and shrews are known to harbour various viruses. Paramyxoviruses have been isolated from Asian and Australian rodents, but little is known about them in African rodents. Recently, previously unknown paramyxovirus sequences were found in South African rodents. To date, there have been no reports related to the presence and prevalence of paramyxoviruses in shrews. We found a high prevalence of paramyxoviruses in wild rodents and shrews from Zambia. Semi-nested reverse transcription-PCR assays were used to detect paramyxovirus RNA in 21 % (96/462) of specimens analysed. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these viruses were novel paramyxoviruses and could be classified as morbillivirus- and henipavirus-related viruses, and previously identified rodent paramyxovirus-related viruses. Our findings suggest the circulation of previously unknown paramyxoviruses in African rodents and shrews, and provide new information regarding the geographical distribution and genetic diversity of paramyxoviruses.

  3. Rodent reservoirs of future zoonotic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Barbara A; Schmidt, John Paul; Bowden, Sarah E; Drake, John M

    2015-06-02

    The increasing frequency of zoonotic disease events underscores a need to develop forecasting tools toward a more preemptive approach to outbreak investigation. We apply machine learning to data describing the traits and zoonotic pathogen diversity of the most speciose group of mammals, the rodents, which also comprise a disproportionate number of zoonotic disease reservoirs. Our models predict reservoir status in this group with over 90% accuracy, identifying species with high probabilities of harboring undiscovered zoonotic pathogens based on trait profiles that may serve as rules of thumb to distinguish reservoirs from nonreservoir species. Key predictors of zoonotic reservoirs include biogeographical properties, such as range size, as well as intrinsic host traits associated with lifetime reproductive output. Predicted hotspots of novel rodent reservoir diversity occur in the Middle East and Central Asia and the Midwestern United States.

  4. Bats and Rodents Shape Mammalian Retroviral Phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jie; Tachedjian, Gilda; Wang, Lin-Fa

    2015-11-09

    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent past retroviral infections and accordingly can provide an ideal framework to infer virus-host interaction over their evolutionary history. In this study, we target high quality Pol sequences from 7,994 Class I and 8,119 Class II ERVs from 69 mammalian genomes and surprisingly find that retroviruses harbored by bats and rodents combined occupy the major phylogenetic diversity of both classes. By analyzing transmission patterns of 30 well-defined ERV clades, we corroborate the previously published observation that rodents are more competent as originators of mammalian retroviruses and reveal that bats are more capable of receiving retroviruses from non-bat mammalian origins. The powerful retroviral hosting ability of bats is further supported by a detailed analysis revealing that the novel bat gammaretrovirus, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum retrovirus, likely originated from tree shrews. Taken together, this study advances our understanding of host-shaped mammalian retroviral evolution in general.

  5. Homeobox Genes in the Rodent Pineal Gland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rath, Martin Fredensborg; Rohde, Kristian; Klein, David C

    2013-01-01

    The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine gland responsible for nocturnal synthesis of melatonin. During early development of the rodent pineal gland from the roof of the diencephalon, homeobox genes of the orthodenticle homeobox (Otx)- and paired box (Pax)-families are expressed and are essential...... for normal pineal development consistent with the well-established role that homeobox genes play in developmental processes. However, the pineal gland appears to be unusual because strong homeobox gene expression persists in the pineal gland of the adult brain. Accordingly, in addition to developmental...... functions, homeobox genes appear to be key regulators in postnatal phenotype maintenance in this tissue. In this paper, we review ontogenetic and phylogenetic aspects of pineal development and recent progress in understanding the involvement of homebox genes in rodent pineal development and adult function...

  6. Chemotherapy of Rodent Malaria. Part 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-09-01

    nave bene’o rried out and talc screeningisr- -x , -doj to all of te s rainz of rodent malaria held in our A : ,-W ",2h5ni q uV wn i .’n re. .,cenLI y...hepitocytes. After two hours incubation, 1 ml of MEM with ’C, anti biotics and cortisone is added to each of the ,t re . r,,,-,I r o t o i *!.,1r- S 1- a :I

  7. Evidence for novel hepaciviruses in rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Felix Drexler

    Full Text Available Hepatitis C virus (HCV is among the most relevant causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Research is complicated by a lack of accessible small animal models. The systematic investigation of viruses of small mammals could guide efforts to establish such models, while providing insight into viral evolutionary biology. We have assembled the so-far largest collection of small-mammal samples from around the world, qualified to be screened for bloodborne viruses, including sera and organs from 4,770 rodents (41 species; and sera from 2,939 bats (51 species. Three highly divergent rodent hepacivirus clades were detected in 27 (1.8% of 1,465 European bank voles (Myodes glareolus and 10 (1.9% of 518 South African four-striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio. Bats showed anti-HCV immunoblot reactivities but no virus detection, although the genetic relatedness suggested by the serologic results should have enabled RNA detection using the broadly reactive PCR assays developed for this study. 210 horses and 858 cats and dogs were tested, yielding further horse-associated hepaciviruses but none in dogs or cats. The rodent viruses were equidistant to HCV, exceeding by far the diversity of HCV and the canine/equine hepaciviruses taken together. Five full genomes were sequenced, representing all viral lineages. Salient genome features and distance criteria supported classification of all viruses as hepaciviruses. Quantitative RT-PCR, RNA in-situ hybridisation, and histopathology suggested hepatic tropism with liver inflammation resembling hepatitis C. Recombinant serology for two distinct hepacivirus lineages in 97 bank voles identified seroprevalence rates of 8.3 and 12.4%, respectively. Antibodies in bank vole sera neither cross-reacted with HCV, nor the heterologous bank vole hepacivirus. Co-occurrence of RNA and antibodies was found in 3 of 57 PCR-positive bank vole sera (5.3%. Our data enable new hypotheses regarding HCV evolution and encourage

  8. Rodent models for compulsive alcohol intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopf, F Woodward; Lesscher, Heidi M B

    2014-05-01

    Continued seeking and drinking of alcohol despite adverse legal, health, economic, and societal consequences is a central hallmark of human alcohol use disorders. This compulsive drive for alcohol, defined by resistance to adverse and deleterious consequences, represents a major challenge when attempting to treat alcoholism clinically. Thus, there has long been interest in developing pre-clinical rodent models for the compulsive drug use that characterizes drug addiction. Here, we review recent studies that have attempted to model compulsive aspects of alcohol and cocaine intake in rodents, and consider technical and conceptual issues that need to be addressed when trying to recapitulate compulsive aspects of human addiction. Aversion-resistant alcohol intake has been examined by pairing intake or seeking with the bitter tastant quinine or with footshock, and exciting recent work has used these models to identify neuroadaptations in the amygdala, cortex, and striatal regions that promote compulsive intake. Thus, rodent models do seem to reflect important aspects of compulsive drives that sustain human addiction, and will likely provide critical insights into the molecular and circuit underpinnings of aversion-resistant intake as well as novel therapeutic interventions for compulsive aspects of addiction.

  9. Spontaneous Type 2 Diabetic Rodent Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yang-wei; Sun, Guang-dong; Sun, Jing; Liu, Shu-jun; Wang, Ji; Xu, Xiao-hong; Miao, Li-ning

    2013-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 diabetes (T2DM), is one of the most common chronic diseases and continues to increase in numbers with large proportion of health care budget being used. Many animal models have been established in order to investigate the mechanisms and pathophysiologic progress of T2DM and find effective treatments for its complications. On the basis of their strains, features, advantages, and disadvantages, various types of animal models of T2DM can be divided into spontaneously diabetic models, artificially induced diabetic models, and transgenic/knockout diabetic models. Among these models, the spontaneous rodent models are used more frequently because many of them can closely describe the characteristic features of T2DM, especially obesity and insulin resistance. In this paper, we aim to investigate the current available spontaneous rodent models for T2DM with regard to their characteristic features, advantages, and disadvantages, and especially to describe appropriate selection and usefulness of different spontaneous rodent models in testing of various new antidiabetic drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. PMID:23671868

  10. Rodents and risk in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam: seroprevalence of selected zoonotic viruses in rodents and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Cuong, Nguyen; Carrique-Mas, Juan; Vo Be, Hien; An, Nguyen Ngoc; Tue, Ngo Tri; Anh, Nguyet Lam; Anh, Pham Hong; Phuc, Nguyen The; Baker, Stephen; Voutilainen, Liina; Jääskeläinen, Anne; Huhtamo, Eili; Utriainen, Mira; Sironen, Tarja; Vaheri, Antti; Henttonen, Heikki; Vapalahti, Olli; Chaval, Yannick; Morand, Serge; Bryant, Juliet E

    2015-01-01

    In the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam, rats are commonly traded in wet markets and sold live for food consumption. We investigated seroprevalence to selected groups of rodent-borne viruses among human populations with high levels of animal exposure and among co-located rodent populations. The indirect fluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was used to determine seropositivity to representative reference strains of hantaviruses (Dobrava virus [DOBV], Seoul virus [SEOV]), cowpox virus, arenaviruses (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus [LCMV]), flaviviruses (tick-borne encephalitis virus [TBEV]), and rodent parechoviruses (Ljungan virus), using sera from 245 humans living in Dong Thap Province and 275 rodents representing the five common rodent species sold in wet markets and present in peridomestic and farm settings. Combined seropositivity to DOBV and SEOV among the rodents and humans was 6.9% (19/275) and 3.7% (9/245), respectively; 1.1% (3/275) and 4.5% (11/245) to cowpox virus; 5.4% (15/275) and 47.3% (116/245) for TBEV; and exposure to Ljungan virus was 18.8% (46/245) in humans, but 0% in rodents. Very little seroreactivity was observed to LCMV in either rodents (1/275, 0.4%) or humans (2/245, 0.8%). Molecular screening of rodent liver tissues using consensus primers for flaviviruses did not yield any amplicons, whereas molecular screening of rodent lung tissues for hantavirus yielded one hantavirus sequence (SEOV). In summary, these results indicate low to moderate levels of endemic hantavirus circulation, possible circulation of a flavivirus in rodent reservoirs, and the first available data on human exposures to parechoviruses in Vietnam. Although the current evidence suggests only limited exposure of humans to known rodent-borne diseases, further research is warranted to assess public health implications of the rodent trade.

  11. Bartonella infection in rodents and their flea ectoparasites: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Krasnov, Boris; Morick, Danny; Gottlieb, Yuval; Khokhlova, Irina S; Harrus, Shimon

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological studies worldwide have reported a high prevalence and a great diversity of Bartonella species, both in rodents and their flea parasites. The interaction among Bartonella, wild rodents, and fleas reflects a high degree of adaptation among these organisms. Vertical and horizontal efficient Bartonella transmission pathways within flea communities and from fleas to rodents have been documented in competence studies, suggesting that fleas are key players in the transmission of Bartonella to rodents. Exploration of the ecological traits of rodents and their fleas may shed light on the mechanisms used by bartonellae to become established in these organisms. The present review explores the interrelations within the Bartonella-rodent-flea system. The role of the latter two components is emphasized.

  12. Euthanasia using gaseous agents in laboratory rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentim, A M; Guedes, S R; Pereira, A M; Antunes, L M

    2016-08-01

    Several questions have been raised in recent years about the euthanasia of laboratory rodents. Euthanasia using inhaled agents is considered to be a suitable aesthetic method for use with a large number of animals simultaneously. Nevertheless, its aversive potential has been criticized in terms of animal welfare. The data available regarding the use of carbon dioxide (CO2), inhaled anaesthetics (such as isoflurane, sevoflurane, halothane and enflurane), as well as carbon monoxide and inert gases are discussed throughout this review. Euthanasia of fetuses and neonates is also addressed. A table listing currently available information to ease access to data regarding euthanasia techniques using gaseous agents in laboratory rodents was compiled. Regarding better animal welfare, there is currently insufficient evidence to advocate banning or replacing CO2 in the euthanasia of rodents; however, there are hints that alternative gases are more humane. The exposure to a volatile anaesthetic gas before loss of consciousness has been proposed by some scientific studies to minimize distress; however, the impact of such a measure is not clear. Areas of inconsistency within the euthanasia literature have been highlighted recently and stem from insufficient knowledge, especially regarding the advantages of the administration of isoflurane or sevoflurane over CO2, or other methods, before loss of consciousness. Alternative methods to minimize distress may include the development of techniques aimed at inducing death in the home cage of animals. Scientific outcomes have to be considered before choosing the most suitable euthanasia method to obtain the best results and accomplish the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement).

  13. Susceptibility of laboratory rodents to Trichinella papuae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadaow, Lakkhana; Intapan, Pewpan M; Boonmars, Thidarut; Morakote, Nimit; Maleewong, Wanchai

    2013-12-01

    Members of the genus Trichinella are small nematodes that can infect a wide range of animal hosts. However, their infectivity varies depending on the parasite and host species combination. In this study, we examined the susceptibility of 4 species of laboratory rodents, i.e., mice, rats, hamsters, and gerbils to Trichinella papuae, an emerging non-encapsulated Trichinella species. Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella pseudospiralis were also included in this study for comparison. Fifteen animals of each rodent species were infected orally with 100 muscle larvae of each Trichinella species. Intestinal worm burden was determined at day 6 and 10 post-inoculation (PI). The numbers of muscle larvae were examined at day 45 PI. The reproductive capacity index (RCI) of the 3 Trichinella species in different rodent hosts was determined. By day 6 PI, 33.2-69.6% of the inoculated larvae of the 3 Trichinella species became adult worms in the small intestines of the host animals. However, in rats, more than 96% of adult worms of all 3 Trichinella species were expelled from the gut by day 10 PI. In gerbils, only 4.8-18.1% of adult worms were expelled by day 10 PI. In accordance with the intestinal worm burden and the persistence of adults, the RCI was the highest in gerbils with values of 241.5±41.0 for T. papuae, 432.6±48 for T. pseudospiralis, and 528.6±20.6 for T. spiralis. Hamsters ranked second and mice ranked third in susceptibility in terms of the RCI, Rats yielded the lowest parasite RCI for all 3 Trichinella species. Gerbils may be an alternative laboratory animal for isolation and maintenance of Trichinella spp.

  14. Prenatal stressors in rodents: Effects on behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Weinstock

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The current review focuses on studies in rodents published since 2008 and explores possible reasons for any differences they report in the effects of gestational stress on various types of behavior in the offspring. An abundance of experimental data shows that different maternal stressors in rodents can replicate some of the abnormalities in offspring behavior observed in humans. These include, anxiety, in juvenile and adult rats and mice, assessed in the elevated plus maze and open field tests and depression, detected in the forced swim and sucrose-preference tests. Deficits were reported in social interaction that is suggestive of pathology associated with schizophrenia, and in spatial learning and memory in adult rats in the Morris water maze test, but in most studies only males were tested. There were too few studies on the novel object recognition test at different inter-trial intervals to enable a conclusion about the effect of prenatal stress and whether any deficits are more prevalent in males. Among hippocampal glutamate receptors, NR2B was the only subtype consistently reduced in association with learning deficits. However, like in humans with schizophrenia and depression, prenatal stress lowered hippocampal levels of BDNF, which were closely correlated with decreases in hippocampal long-term potentiation. In mice, down-regulation of BDNF appeared to occur through the action of gene-methylating enzymes that are already increased above controls in prenatally-stressed neonates. In conclusion, the data obtained so far from experiments in rodents lend support to a physiological basis for the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia and depression.

  15. Clinical aspects of rodent dental anatomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, D A

    1995-12-01

    The order Rodentia is vast, encompassing a large number of species with significant anatomical variations developed during natural adaptation to differing habitats. Many veterinarians have little knowledge of the anatomy of species other than the commoner domestic large herbivores and small carnivores. Clinicians require a basic knowledge of the relevant anatomy of species they are likely to be asked to treat. This article provides sufficient working knowledge of the oral and dental anatomy of those rodents commonly kept as pets to enable veterinarians to interpret clinical and radiographic findings when investigating suspected dental disease.

  16. Convergent and Divergent Adaptations of Subterranean Rodents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fang, Xiaodong

    ) have evolved convergent and divergent traits in many of their morphological, physiological, and/or behavioral characteristics, which facilitate their adaptions to a similar underground burrowing life style. For example, all these three rodents show degenerate visual acuity and advanced sensory systems...... in the dark; they display remarkable tolerance to a living environment with an excess of carbon dioxide and ammonia, but lack of oxygen; they exhibit extraordinarily long lives, and keep a fantastic resistance to cancer and other aging-associated diseases. In this study, we reported the genomic...

  17. Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species

    OpenAIRE

    Ginot, Samuel; Hautier, Lionel; Marivaux, Laurent; Vianey-Liaud, Monique

    2016-01-01

    Studies linking postcranial morphology with locomotion in mammals are common. However, such studies are mostly restricted to caviomorphs in rodents. We present here data from various families, belonging to the three main groups of rodents (Sciuroidea, Myodonta, and Ctenohystrica). The aim of this study is to define morphological indicators for the astragalus and calcaneus, which allow for inferences to be made about the locomotor behaviours in rodents. Several specimens were dissected and des...

  18. Hunting, Food Preparation, and Consumption of Rodents in Lao PDR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanokwan Suwannarong

    Full Text Available A cross-sectional study was conducted in 29 villages of Khamkeuth District in Bolikhamxay Province in the Lao PDR during March to May 2013. The study aimed to determine the characteristics associated with rodent consumption and related behaviors among different ethnic groups, ages, and genders. Five-hundred-eighty-four (584 males and females from 18-50 years of age participated in this study. Half of them were Hmong (292, 50% while 152 respondents were Lao-Tai (26% or other ethnic groups (140, 24%. Most of the respondents (79.5% had farming as their main occupation. Prevalences of the studied outcomes were high: 39.9 for hunting or capturing rodents in the previous year, 77.7% for preparing rodents as food, and 86.3% for rodent consumption. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that likelihood of these types of rodent contact was more consistently associated with behavioral factors (gathering things from the forest and elsewhere, cultivation-related activities, and taking measures to prevent rodent-borne disease than with socio-demographic, environmental, or cultural factors. The strongest associations were observed for gathering things; these associations were consistently positive and statistically significant. Although this study did not directly assess rodent-borne zoonosis risk, we believe that study findings raise concern that such risk may be substantial in the study area and other similar areas. Further epidemiological studies on the association between rodent-borne disease infection and rodent hunting, preparation for food, and consumption are recommended. Moreover, further studies are needed on the association between these potential exposure factors (i.e., rodent hunting, preparation for food, and consumption and rodent-borne infections, especially among ethnic groups like the Hmong in Lao PDR and those in neighboring countries with similar socio-demographic, environmental, behavioral and cultural contexts.

  19. Hunting, Food Preparation, and Consumption of Rodents in Lao PDR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwannarong, Kanokwan; Chapman, Robert S; Lantican, Cecile; Michaelides, Tula; Zimicki, Susan

    2015-01-01

    A cross-sectional study was conducted in 29 villages of Khamkeuth District in Bolikhamxay Province in the Lao PDR during March to May 2013. The study aimed to determine the characteristics associated with rodent consumption and related behaviors among different ethnic groups, ages, and genders. Five-hundred-eighty-four (584) males and females from 18-50 years of age participated in this study. Half of them were Hmong (292, 50%) while 152 respondents were Lao-Tai (26%) or other ethnic groups (140, 24%). Most of the respondents (79.5%) had farming as their main occupation. Prevalences of the studied outcomes were high: 39.9 for hunting or capturing rodents in the previous year, 77.7% for preparing rodents as food, and 86.3% for rodent consumption. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that likelihood of these types of rodent contact was more consistently associated with behavioral factors (gathering things from the forest and elsewhere, cultivation-related activities, and taking measures to prevent rodent-borne disease) than with socio-demographic, environmental, or cultural factors. The strongest associations were observed for gathering things; these associations were consistently positive and statistically significant. Although this study did not directly assess rodent-borne zoonosis risk, we believe that study findings raise concern that such risk may be substantial in the study area and other similar areas. Further epidemiological studies on the association between rodent-borne disease infection and rodent hunting, preparation for food, and consumption are recommended. Moreover, further studies are needed on the association between these potential exposure factors (i.e., rodent hunting, preparation for food, and consumption) and rodent-borne infections, especially among ethnic groups like the Hmong in Lao PDR and those in neighboring countries with similar socio-demographic, environmental, behavioral and cultural contexts.

  20. Rodent-borne diseases and their risks for public health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Singleton, G.R.; Kijlstra, A.

    2009-01-01

    Rodents are the most abundant and diversified order of living mammals in the world. Already since the Middle Ages we know that they can contribute to human disease, as black rats were associated with distribution of plague. However, also in modern times rodents form a threat for public health. In

  1. Towards sustainable management of rodents in organic animal husbandry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Bonde, M.; Brom, F.W.A.; Endepols, S.; Jensen, A.N.; Leirs, H.; Lodal, J.; Singleton, G.R.; Pelz, H.J.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Kijlstra, A.

    2004-01-01

    From 26 to 28 May 2004 an international seminar was held in Wageningen, the Netherlands, about current knowledge and advice on rodent management on organic pig and poultry farms in Western Europe. This paper summarizes the discussions. Rodent management is necessary to protect the food production ch

  2. Rodent-borne diseases and their risks for public health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Singleton, G.R.; Kijlstra, A.

    2009-01-01

    Rodents are the most abundant and diversified order of living mammals in the world. Already since the Middle Ages we know that they can contribute to human disease, as black rats were associated with distribution of plague. However, also in modern times rodents form a threat for public health. In th

  3. Measuring behaviour in rodents: towards translational neuropsychiatric research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Homberg, J.R.

    2013-01-01

    Rodent behavioural tasks are indispensable to advance the understanding of gene x environment interactions in neuropsychiatric disorders and the discovery of new therapeutic strategies. Yet, the actual translation of rodent data to humans, and thereby the understanding of the pathophysiology of neur

  4. Public Health and Rodents: A Game of Cat and Mouse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.

    2015-01-01

    Rodents are the most abundant order of living mammals, distributed on every continent except Antarctic and represent 43 % of all mammalian species. Beside causing food losses and infrastructural damage, rodents can harbour pathogens that may cause serious problems to human and animal health. Unfortu

  5. Helminths in rodents from Wet Markets in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ribas A.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Only a few surveys have ever been carried out of the helminths of the commensal rodents found in the traditional wet markets that play such an important part of daily life in South-east Asia. The potential of rodents as reservoirs of zoonoses including helminths is of great interest since in these markets humans and rodents come into closer contact than in other environments and food may be indirectly contaminated via rodent faeces. Helminths in a total of 98 rats belonging to two species (Rattus norvegicus and Rattus exulans were surveyed in eight traditional wet markets in Udon Thani, Thailand. Thirteen species of helminths were recovered, seven of which are potentially zoo-notic, with an overall prevalence of 89.8 %. Our results show that rodents in wet markets could pose a threat to human health as potential reservoirs of zoonotic helminthiases.

  6. A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabre, Pierre-Henri Fréderic; Hautier, Lionel; Dimitrov, Dimitar Stefanov;

    2012-01-01

    a rodent maximum likelihood phylogeny inferred from a molecular supermatrix. It is based on 11 mitochondrial and nuclear genes that covers 1,265 species, i.e., respectively 56% and 81% of the known specific and generic rodent diversity. The inferred topology recovered all Rodentia clades proposed by recent...... in diversification rates within the major clades: two in Castorimorpha, three in Ctenohystrica, 6 within the squirrel-related clade and 24 in the Myomorpha clade. The majority of these shifts occurred within the most recent familial rodent radiations: the Cricetidae and Muridae clades. Using the topological...... imbalances and the time line we discuss the potential role of different diversification factors that might have shaped the rodents radiation. CONCLUSIONS:The present glimpse on the diversification pattern of rodents can be used for further comparative meta-analyses. Muroid lineages have a greater degree...

  7. Intraoperative cerebral blood flow imaging of rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hangdao; Li, Yao; Yuan, Lu; Wu, Caihong; Lu, Hongyang; Tong, Shanbao

    2014-09-01

    Intraoperative monitoring of cerebral blood flow (CBF) is of interest to neuroscience researchers, which offers the assessment of hemodynamic responses throughout the process of neurosurgery and provides an early biomarker for surgical guidance. However, intraoperative CBF imaging has been challenging due to animal's motion and position change during the surgery. In this paper, we presented a design of an operation bench integrated with laser speckle contrast imager which enables monitoring of the CBF intraoperatively. With a specially designed stereotaxic frame and imager, we were able to monitor the CBF changes in both hemispheres during the rodent surgery. The rotatable design of the operation plate and implementation of online image registration allow the technician to move the animal without disturbing the CBF imaging during surgery. The performance of the system was tested by middle cerebral artery occlusion model of rats.

  8. Rodent Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philips, Thomas; Rothstein, Jeffrey D

    2015-06-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease affecting upper and lower motor neurons in the central nervous system. Patients with ALS develop extensive muscle wasting and atrophy leading to paralysis and death 3 to 5 years after disease onset. The condition may be familial (fALS 10%) or sporadic ALS (sALS, 90%). The large majority of fALS cases are due to genetic mutations in the Superoxide dismutase 1 gene (SOD1, 15% of fALS) and repeat nucleotide expansions in the gene encoding C9ORF72 (∼ 40% to 50% of fALS and ∼ 10% of sALS). Studies suggest that ALS is mediated through aberrant protein homeostasis (i.e., ER stress and autophagy) and/or changes in RNA processing (as in all non-SOD1-mediated ALS). In all of these cases, animal models suggest that the disorder is mediated non-cell autonomously, i.e., not only motor neurons are involved, but glial cells including microglia, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, and other neuronal subpopulations are also implicated in the pathogenesis. Provided in this unit is a review of ALS rodent models, including discussion of their relative advantages and disadvantages. Emphasis is placed on correlating the model phenotype with the human condition and the utility of the model for defining the disease process. Information is also presented on RNA processing studies in ALS research, with particular emphasis on the newest ALS rodent models. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Rodent laparoscopy: refinement for rodent drug studies and model development, and monitoring of neoplastic, inflammatory and metabolic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Szczepan W; Perret-Gentil, Marcel I; Johnson, Elizabeth J; Miedel, Emily L; Kehler, James

    2011-10-01

    The refinement of surgical techniques represents a key opportunity to improve the welfare of laboratory rodents, while meeting legal and ethical obligations. Current methods used for monitoring intra-abdominal disease progression in rodents usually involve euthanasia at various time-points for end of study, one-time individual tissue collections. Most rodent organ tumour models are developed by the introduction of tumour cells via laparotomy or via ultrasound-guided indirect visualization. Ischaemic rodent models are often generated using laparotomies. This approach requires a high number of rodents, and in some instances introduces high degrees of morbidity and mortality, thereby increasing study variability and expense. Most importantly, most laparotomies do not promote the highest level of rodent welfare. Recent improvements in laparoscopic equipment and techniques have enabled the adaptation of laparoscopy for rodent procedures. Laparoscopy, which is considered the gold standard for many human abdominal procedures, allows for serial biopsy collections from the same animal, results in decreased pain and tissue trauma as well as quicker postsurgical recovery, and preserves immune function in comparison to the same procedures performed by laparotomy. Laparoscopy improves rodent welfare, decreases inter-animal variability, thereby reducing the number of required animals, allows for the replacement of larger species, decreases expense and improves data yield. This review article compares rodent laparotomy and laparoscopic surgical methods, and describes the utilization of laparoscopy for the development of cancer models and assessment of disease progression to improve data collection and animal welfare. In addition, currently available rodent laparoscopic equipment and instrumentation are presented.

  10. Solanaceae composition, pollination and seed dispersal syndromes in Mexican mountain cloud forest Composição de Solanaceae, polinização e síndromes de dispersão de sementes em floresta mesófila de montanha

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidiamar Barbosa Albuquerque

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available In this work we hypothesised that Solanaceae species composition and pollination and seed dispersal syndromes change according to the degree of disturbance. Hence, the aim of this study is to analyze how the species composition of Solanaceae changes along disturbance gradients of mountain cloud forest, and to establish how Solanaceae pollination and seed dispersal syndromes vary along the same gradients. The study concentrates on the mountain cloud forests in Hidalgo, Mexico. Solanaceae species collection was carried out along transects, laid out alongside paths and secondary roads. Pollination and seed dispersal syndromes for all species were recorded based on floral and fruit morphological traits. From the 500 sample units surveyed, 392 contained 25 Solanaceae species. The (dissimilarity among sample units highlighted a major division: the first group harboured species more commonly found in less disturbed and more humid conditions, whereas the second group contained species more commonly found in contrasting conditions. Melittophily pollination syndromes turned out to be equally relevant in the environmental conditions of both groups. With regard to seed dispersal syndromes, ornithochory (45.8% prevailed over chiropterochory (37.5% in group I less disturbed and more humid areas, whereas chiropterochory (50% prevailed within group II.Neste trabalho a hipótese é que a composição das espécies de Solanaceae e as síndromes de polinização e dispersão de sementes variam de acordo com o grau de perturbação. Assim o objetivo é analisar como a composição de espécies de Solanaceae e suas síndromes de polinização e de dispersão de sementes variam ao longo de um gradiente de perturbação. Este trabalho foi realizado nas Florestas Mesófilas de Hidalgo, México. As Solanaceae foram coletadas ao longo de transectos, dispostos em caminhos ou estradas secundárias. As síndromes de polinização e dispersão de sementes foram

  11. Identification of rodent homologs of hepatitis C virus and pegiviruses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kapoor, Amit; Simmonds, Peter; Scheel, Troels K H

    2013-01-01

    Flaviviridae. The genetic diversity of the rodent hepaciviruses exceeded that observed for hepaciviruses infecting either humans or non-primates, leading to new insights into the origin, evolution, and host range of hepaciviruses. The presence of genes, encoded proteins, and translation elements homologous......-like viruses were found in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), a small rodent used in laboratories to study viruses, including hantaviruses. We also identified pegiviruses in rodents that are distinct from the pegiviruses found in primates, bats, and horses. These novel viruses may enable the development...

  12. Dynamics of Rodent and Rodent-borne Disease during Construction of the Three Gorges Reservoir from 1997 to 2012

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHANG Zhao Rui; LU Liang; MAO De Qiang; PAN Hui Ming; FENG Lian Gui; YANG Xiao Bing; LIU Feng Feng

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate the impact of impoundment and active public health interventions on rodent populations and rodent-borne diseases in the Three Gorges reservoir region from 1997 to 2012. Methods Surveillance data from 1997 to 2012 were extracted from the Public Health Surveillance System of The Three Gorges established in 1997. Temporal changes in the incidences of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and leptospirosis, rodent density, pathogen-carrying rates, and their correlations were analyzed. ResultsThe average indoor and outdoor rodent densities decreased overall from 1997 to 2012. The average densities decreased by 47.72% (from 4.38% to 2.29%) and 39.68% (from 4.41% to 2.66%), respectively, after impoundment (2003-2012) compared with before impoundment (1997-2002). The average annual incidence rates of HFRS and leptospirosis were 0.29/100,000 and 0.52/100,000, respectively, and decreased by 85.74% (from 0.68/100,000 to 0.10/100,000) and 95.73% (from 1.47/100,000 to 0.065/100,000), respectively, after impoundment compared with before impoundment. Incidences of HFRS and leptospirosis appear to be positively correlated with rodent density in the reservoir area. Conclusion This study demonstrated that rodent density and incidences of rodent-borne diseases decreased and were maintained at low levels during construction of the Three Gorges dam. Measures that reduce rodent population densities could be effective in controlling rodent-borne diseases during large-scale hydraulic engineering construction.

  13. Navigating actions through the rodent parietal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan R. Whitlock

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The posterior parietal cortex (PPC participates in a manifold of cognitive functions, including visual attention, working memory, spatial processing and movement planning. Given the vast interconnectivity of PPC with sensory and motor areas, it is not surprising that neuronal recordings show that PPC often encodes mixtures of spatial information as well as the movements required to reach a goal. Recent work sought to discern the relative strength of spatial versus motor signaling in PPC by recording single unit activity in PPC of freely behaving rats during selective changes in either the spatial layout of the local environment or in the pattern of locomotor behaviors executed during navigational tasks. The results revealed unequivocally a predominant sensitivity of PPC neurons to locomotor action structure, with subsets of cells even encoding upcoming movements more than 1 second in advance. In light of these and other recent findings in the field, I propose that one of the key contributions of PPC to navigation is the synthesis of goal-directed behavioral sequences, and that the rodent PPC may serve as an apt system to investigate cellular mechanisms for spatial motor planning as traditionally studied in humans and monkeys.

  14. Assessing spatial learning and memory in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorhees, Charles V; Williams, Michael T

    2014-01-01

    Maneuvering safely through the environment is central to survival of almost all species. The ability to do this depends on learning and remembering locations. This capacity is encoded in the brain by two systems: one using cues outside the organism (distal cues), allocentric navigation, and one using self-movement, internal cues and nearby proximal cues, egocentric navigation. Allocentric navigation involves the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and surrounding structures; in humans this system encodes allocentric, semantic, and episodic memory. This form of memory is assessed in laboratory animals in many ways, but the dominant form of assessment is the Morris water maze (MWM). Egocentric navigation involves the dorsal striatum and connected structures; in humans this system encodes routes and integrated paths and, when overlearned, becomes procedural memory. In this article, several allocentric assessment methods for rodents are reviewed and compared with the MWM. MWM advantages (little training required, no food deprivation, ease of testing, rapid and reliable learning, insensitivity to differences in body weight and appetite, absence of nonperformers, control methods for proximal cue learning, and performance effects) and disadvantages (concern about stress, perhaps not as sensitive for working memory) are discussed. Evidence-based design improvements and testing methods are reviewed for both rats and mice. Experimental factors that apply generally to spatial navigation and to MWM specifically are considered. It is concluded that, on balance, the MWM has more advantages than disadvantages and compares favorably with other allocentric navigation tasks.

  15. A novel platform device for rodent echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschka, Ingo; Sheikh, Ahmad Y; Sista, Ramachandra; Hendry, Stephen L; Chun, Hyung J; Hoyt, Grant; Kutschka, Werner; Pelletier, Marc P; Quertermous, Tom; Wu, Joseph C; Robbins, Robert C

    2007-06-06

    Acquisition of echocardiographic data from rodents is subject to wide variability due to variations in technique. We hypothesize that a dedicated imaging platform can aid in standardization of technique and improve the quality of images obtained. We constructed a device consisting of a boom-mounted steel platform frame (25 x 35 x 3 cm) on which a transparent polyethylene membrane is mounted. The animal is placed onto the membrane and receives continual inhaled anesthesia via an integrated port. The membrane allows for probe positioning from beneath the animal to obtain standard echo-views in left lateral decubitus or prone positions. The frame can be set at any desired angle ranging from 0 to 360 degrees along either the long or short axis. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 5) underwent echocardiography (General Electric, Vivid 7, 14 MHz) using the platform. The device allowed for optimal positioning of animals for a variety of standard echocardiographic measurements. Evaluations among all animals showed minimal variability between two different operators and time points. We tested the feasibility of the device for supporting the assessment of cardiac function in a disease model by evaluating a separate cohort of adult male spontaneously hypertensive rats (n = 5) that underwent left anterior descending coronary artery ligation. Serial echocardiography demonstrated statistically significant decreases of fractional shortening and ejection fraction (p rats. Future studies will focus on improving this technology to allow for standardized high-throughput echocardiographic analysis in small animal models of disease.

  16. Bone morphology of the hind limbs in two caviomorph rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Araújo, F A P; Sesoko, N F; Rahal, S C; Teixeira, C R; Müller, T R; Machado, M R F

    2013-04-01

    In order to evaluate the hind limbs of caviomorph rodents a descriptive analysis of the Cuniculus paca (Linnaeus, 1766) and Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1766) was performed using anatomical specimens, radiography, computed tomography (CT) and full-coloured prototype models to generate bone anatomy data. The appendicular skeleton of the two largest rodents of Neotropical America was compared with the previously reported anatomical features of Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout, 1769) and domestic Cavia porcellus (Linnaeus, 1758). The structures were analyzed macroscopically and particular findings of each species reported. Features including the presence of articular fibular projection and lunulae were observed in the stifle joint of all rodents. Imaging aided in anatomical description and, specifically in the identification of bone structures in Cuniculus paca and Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. The imaging findings were correlated with the anatomical structures observed. The data may be used in future studies comparing these animals to other rodents and mammalian species.

  17. Scientists Rediscover a Rodent Thought to Be Extinct

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    @@ A rodent discovered last year in Laos may actually be a survivor of a group believed to have been extinct for 11 million years, an international group of scientists, including a CAS researcher, reported on March 9.

  18. First Isolates of Leptospira spp., from Rodents Captured in Angola

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortes-Gabriel, Elsa; Carreira, Teresa; Vieira, Maria Luísa

    2016-01-01

    Rodents play an important role in the transmission of pathogenic Leptospira spp. However, in Angola, neither the natural reservoirs of these spirochetes nor leptospirosis diagnosis has been considered. Regarding this gap, we captured rodents in Luanda and Huambo provinces to identify circulating Leptospira spp. Rodent kidney tissue was cultured and DNA amplified and sequenced. Culture isolates were evaluated for pathogenic status and typing with rabbit antisera; polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing were also performed. A total of 37 rodents were captured: Rattus rattus (15, 40.5%), Rattus norvegicus (9, 24.3%), and Mus musculus (13, 35.2%). Leptospiral DNA was amplified in eight (21.6%) kidney samples. From the cultures, we obtained four (10.8%) Leptospira isolates belonging to the Icterohaemorrhagiae and Ballum serogroups of Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira borgpetersenii genospecies, respectively. This study provides information about circulating leptospires spread by rats and mice in Angola. PMID:26928840

  19. home range and reproduction of rodents in maynugus irrigation field ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADMIN

    Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Addis Ababa University, PO Box 1176 ... Mastomys erythroleucus and Arvicanthis dembeensis was recorded on grid 1, the ... Most rodents produce 6–7 young after a gestation period of three weeks.

  20. The bioeconomics of controlling an African rodent pest species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skonhoft, Anders; Leirs, Herwig; Andreassen, Harry P

    2006-01-01

    incorporates both density-dependent and density-independent (stochastic) factors. Rodents are controlled by applying poison, and the costs are made up of the cost of poison plus the damage to maize production. We analyse how the present-value costs of maize production are affected by various rodent control...... strategies, by varying the duration and timing of rodenticide application. Our numerical results suggest that it is economically beneficial to control the rodent population. In general, the most cost-effective duration of controlling the rodent population is 3-4 months every year, and especially at the end...... conclusion is highly robust and not much affected by changing prices of maize production....

  1. Genetic backgrounds determine brown remodeling of white fat in rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Ferrannini

    2016-10-01

    Conclusion: Rodent genetic background determines the brown remodeling of different white fat depots. This study provides new insights into the role of genetic variation in fat remodeling in susceptibility to metabolic diseases.

  2. Morphometric variation in the forest rodent Malacomys edwardsi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    2014-08-31

    Aug 31, 2014 ... Morphometric variation in the forest rodent Malacomys edwardsi in Côte d' ... This genus only occurs in tropical regions of Africa. ... complex, Jacquet et al., 2014). ..... structure matrix indicates that LOTE, BULL, UPDA and.

  3. A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabre, Pierre-Henri Fréderic; Hautier, Lionel; Dimitrov, Dimitar Stefanov

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND:Development of phylogenetic methods that do not rely on fossils for the study of evolutionary processes through time have revolutionized the field of evolutionary biology and resulted in an unprecedented expansion of our knowledge about the tree of life. These methods have helped to shed...... a rodent maximum likelihood phylogeny inferred from a molecular supermatrix. It is based on 11 mitochondrial and nuclear genes that covers 1,265 species, i.e., respectively 56% and 81% of the known specific and generic rodent diversity. The inferred topology recovered all Rodentia clades proposed by recent...... of the continents. Our results show that rodents experienced shifts in diversification rate regularly through the Tertiary, but at different periods for each clade. A comparison between the rodent fossil record and our results suggest that extinction led to the loss of diversification signal for most...

  4. Neurogenetics of Aggressive Behavior – Studies in Rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Takahashi, Aki; Miczek, Klaus A.

    2014-01-01

    Aggressive behavior is observed in many animal species, such as insects, fish, lizards, frogs, and most mammals including humans. This wide range of conservation underscores the importance of aggressive behavior in the animals’ survival and fitness, and the likely heritability of this behavior. Although typical patterns of aggressive behavior differ between species, there are several concordances in the neurobiology of aggression among rodents, primates, and humans. Studies with rodent models...

  5. Placentation in Sigmodontinae: a rodent taxon native to South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Favaron, Phelipe O; Carter, Anthony Michael; Ambrosio, Carlos E;

    2011-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Sigmondontinae, known as "New World rats and mice," is a large subfamily of Cricetidae for which we herein provide the first comprehensive investigation of the placenta. METHODS: Placentas of various gestational ages ranging from early pregnancy to near term were obtained fo...... subfamily of South American rodents. We note, however, that some of these rodents can be captive bred and recommend that future studies focus on the study of time dated pregnancies....

  6. Central melanopsin projections in the diurnal rodent, Arvicanthis niloticus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Langel, Jennifer L; Smale, Laura; Esquiva, Gema;

    2015-01-01

    The direct effects of photic stimuli on behavior are very different in diurnal and nocturnal species, as light stimulates an increase in activity in the former and a decrease in the latter. Studies of nocturnal mice have implicated a select population of retinal ganglion cells that are intrinsica...... in nocturnal rodents. Overall, these data suggest that although ipRGCs and their projections are very similar in diurnal and nocturnal rodents, they may not be identical....

  7. Transmission ecology of rodent-borne diseases: New frontiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordes, Frédéric; Blasdell, Kim; Morand, Serge

    2015-09-01

    Rodents are recognized reservoir hosts for many human zoonotic pathogens. The current trends resulting from anthropocene defaunation suggest that in the future they, along with other small mammals, are likely to become the dominant mammals in almost all human-modified environments. Recent intricate studies on bat-borne emerging diseases have highlighted that many gaps exist in our understanding of the zoonotic transmission of rodent-borne pathogens. This has emphasized the need for scientists interested in rodent-borne diseases to integrate rodent ecology into their analysis of rodent-borne pathogen transmission in order to identify in more detail the mechanisms of spillover and chains of transmission. Further studies are required to better understand the true impact of rodent abundance and the importance of pathogen sharing and circulation in multi-host- multi-pathogen communities. We also need to explore in more depth the roles of generalist and abundant species as the potential links between pathogen-sharing, co-infections and disease transmission.

  8. Developmental toxicity of engineered nanomaterials in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ema, Makoto; Gamo, Masashi; Honda, Kazumasa

    2016-05-15

    We summarized significant effects reported in the literature on the developmental toxicity of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in rodents. The developmental toxicity of ENMs included not only structural abnormalities, but also death, growth retardation, and behavioral and functional abnormalities. Most studies were performed on mice using an injection route of exposure. Teratogenic effects were indicated when multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), and TiO2-nanoparticles were administered to mice during early gestation. Reactive oxygen species levels were increased in placentas and malformed fetuses and their placentas after prenatal exposure to MWCNTs and SWCNTs, respectively. The pre- and postnatal mortalities and growth retardation in offspring increased after prenatal exposure to ENMs. Histopathological and functional abnormalities were also induced in placentas after prenatal exposure to ENMs. Maternal exposure to ENMs induced behavioral alterations, histopathological and biochemical changes in the central nervous system, increased susceptibility to allergy, transplacental genotoxicity, and vascular, immunological, and reproductive effects in offspring. The size- and developmental stage-dependent placental transfer of ENMs was noted after maternal exposure. Silver accumulated in the visceral yolk sac after being injected with Ag-NPs during early gestation. Although currently available data has provided initial information on the potential developmental toxicity of ENMs, that on the developmental toxicity of ENMs is still very limited. Further studies using well-characterized ENMs, state-of the-art study protocols, and appropriate routes of exposure are required in order to clarify these developmental effects and provide information suitable for risk assessments of ENMs.

  9. Rodent models of diabetic nephropathy: their utility and limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitada, Munehiro; Ogura, Yoshio; Koya, Daisuke

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease. Therefore, novel therapies for the suppression of diabetic nephropathy must be developed. Rodent models are useful for elucidating the pathogenesis of diseases and testing novel therapies, and many type 1 and type 2 diabetic rodent models have been established for the study of diabetes and diabetic complications. Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic animals are widely used as a model of type 1 diabetes. Akita diabetic mice that have an Ins2+/C96Y mutation and OVE26 mice that overexpress calmodulin in pancreatic β-cells serve as a genetic model of type 1 diabetes. In addition, db/db mice, KK-Ay mice, Zucker diabetic fatty rats, Wistar fatty rats, Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty rats and Goto-Kakizaki rats serve as rodent models of type 2 diabetes. An animal model of diabetic nephropathy should exhibit progressive albuminuria and a decrease in renal function, as well as the characteristic histological changes in the glomeruli and the tubulointerstitial lesions that are observed in cases of human diabetic nephropathy. A rodent model that strongly exhibits all these features of human diabetic nephropathy has not yet been developed. However, the currently available rodent models of diabetes can be useful in the study of diabetic nephropathy by increasing our understanding of the features of each diabetic rodent model. Furthermore, the genetic background and strain of each mouse model result in differences in susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy with albuminuria and the development of glomerular and tubulointerstitial lesions. Therefore, the validation of an animal model reproducing human diabetic nephropathy will significantly facilitate our understanding of the underlying genetic mechanisms that contribute to the development of diabetic nephropathy. In this review, we focus on rodent models of diabetes and discuss the utility and limitations of these models for the study of diabetic

  10. Interior Sustainable Landscape Design of Bay South:Illustrated by the case of Cloud Forest Garden%论新加坡滨海南花园的室内生态可持续设计--以“云雾森林”Cloud Forest园为例①

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗子荃

    2013-01-01

    位于新加坡河入海口的滨海南花园,作为新加坡向“花园中的城市”发展目标的起点之一,其中的代表性景观建筑“云雾森林”(Cloud Forest)充分展示了可持续性室内景观的运行与维持。通过对“云雾森林”的设计理念、结构、材料、区域组成及室内节能动力系统进行全面的分析,旨在能为读者全方位的展示一个可持续性室内景观设计的成功案例。同时,也向读者深度解读了该园林所导引的可持续互动之旅,凸显了作为公共空间的教育意义以及公众参与价值。%As one part of“Gardens by the Bay”, the Bay South located on the south of the Singapore river estuary, on behalf of the“City in the Garden”concept of Singapore, its most representative landscape architecture“Cloud Forest”shows the sustainable interior greenhouse landscape design and how to make an operation and maintenance on it. The paper attempts to show a comprehensive analysis of the building through its master plan concept, external and internal structure, the adoption of materials, composition of whole areas and the most important point-energy saving power system. All of above would show the whole picture of a successful sustainable interior landscape. At the same time, the paper will analyze on sustainable interactive journey of the cloud forest garden which can highlight its educational signiifcance and the value of public participation.

  11. Distribución espacial de la macrofauna edáfica en bosque mesófilo, bosque secundario y pastizal en la reserva La Cortadura, Coatepec, Veracruz, México Spatial distribution of soil macrofauna in cloud forest, secondary forest and grassland in La Cortadura reserve, Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isis N. De la Rosa

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available La conversión de un área de bosque para la agricultura o el pastoreo homogeniza las propiedades del suelo y las comunidades de macroinvertebrados. Este trabajo estudió si la diversidad (H', densidad y heterogeneidad espacial (tamaño de parche de macroinvertebrados de hojarasca y suelo se recuperan en una secuencia sucesional pastizal (Pas-bosque secundario (Bsec-bosque mesófilo maduro (BMM. En el sustrato hojarasca se observó un gradiente de aumento para todas las variables estudiadas en la secuencia Pas-Bsec-BMM. Sin embargo, este patrón no se presentó en el suelo, ya que la mayor diversidad y densidad (por taxón y total se encontraron en el Bsec. Mediante un análisis de variografía, en la hojarasca se encontraron distribuciones espaciales heterogéneas de los macroinvertebrados en ambos bosques, mientras que en el pastizal la distribución fue homogénea, lo que apoya la idea de que el disturbio va acompañado de una homogenización espacial de las comunidades de macroinvertebrados, pero la restructuración espacial se recupera en la sucesión temprana. En el suelo de los 3 sitios, la distribución de todas las variables fue en parches (5 a 60 m de diámetro, pero no se encontró disminución en la heterogeneidad espacial predicha para la secuencia Pas-Bsec-BMM.The conversion of forest to agriculture or pasture homogenizes soil properties, including the communities of macroinvertebrates. This study examined whether the diversity (H', density and spatial heterogeneity (patch size of litter and soil macroinvertebrate recover through the secondary successional sequence pasture (Pas-secondary forest (Bsec- mature cloud forest (BMM. In the litter an increasing gradient for all variables was observed through the successional sequence. However, this pattern was not present in the soil, where the highest diversity and density (per taxon and total were found in the Bsec. Using variography, we found heterogeneous spatial distributions of

  12. Rodent models of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imajo, Kento; Yoneda, Masato; Kessoku, Takaomi; Ogawa, Yuji; Maeda, Shin; Sumida, Yoshio; Hyogo, Hideyuki; Eguchi, Yuichiro; Wada, Koichiro; Nakajima, Atsushi

    2013-11-04

    Research in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), has been limited by the availability of suitable models for this disease. A number of rodent models have been described in which the relevant liver pathology develops in an appropriate metabolic context. These models are promising tools for researchers investigating one of the key issues of NASH: not so much why steatosis occurs, but what causes the transition from simple steatosis to the inflammatory, progressive fibrosing condition of steatohepatitis. The different rodent models can be classified into two large groups. The first includes models in which the disease is acquired after dietary or pharmacological manipulation, and the second, genetically modified models in which liver disease develops spontaneously. To date, no single rodent model has encompassed the full spectrum of human disease progression, but individual models can imitate particular characteristics of human disease. Therefore, it is important that researchers choose the appropriate rodent models. The purpose of the present review is to discuss the metabolic abnormalities present in the currently available rodent models of NAFLD, summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of the established models and the key findings that have furthered our understanding of the disease's pathogenesis.

  13. Toxoplasmosis seroprevalence in urban rodents: a survey in Niamey, Niger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercier, Aurélien; Garba, Madougou; Bonnabau, Henri; Kane, Mamadou; Rossi, Jean-Pierre; Dardé, Marie-Laure; Dobigny, Gauthier

    2013-01-01

    A serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii was conducted on 766 domestic and peridomestic rodents from 46 trapping sites throughout the city of Niamey, Niger. A low seroprevalence was found over the whole town with only 1.96% of the rodents found seropositive. However, differences between species were important, ranging from less than 2% in truly commensal Mastomys natalensis, Rattus rattus and Mus musculus, while garden-associated Arvicanthis niloticus displayed 9.1% of seropositive individuals. This is in line with previous studies on tropical rodents - that we reviewed here - which altogether show that Toxoplasma seroprevalence in rodent is highly variable, depending on many factors such as locality and/or species. Moreover, although we were not able to decipher statistically between habitat or species effect, such a contrast between Nile grass rats and the other rodent species points towards a potentially important role of environmental toxoplasmic infection. This would deserve to be further scrutinised since intra-city irrigated cultures are extending in Niamey, thus potentially increasing Toxoplasma circulation in this yet semi-arid region. As far as we are aware of, our study is one of the rare surveys of its kind performed in Sub-Saharan Africa and the first one ever conducted in the Sahel. PMID:23828008

  14. Fibroblasts from long-lived rodent species exclude cadmium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dostál, Lubomír; Kohler, William M; Penner-Hahn, James E; Miller, Richard A; Fierke, Carol A

    2015-01-01

    Resistance to the lethal effects of cellular stressors, including the toxic heavy metal cadmium (Cd), is characteristic of fibroblast cell lines derived from long-lived bird and rodent species, as well as cell lines from several varieties of long-lived mutant mice. To explore the mechanism of resistance to Cd, we used inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy to measure the rate of Cd uptake into primary fibroblasts of 15 rodent species. These data indicate that fibroblasts from long-lived rodent species have slower rates of Cd uptake from the extracellular medium than those from short-lived species. In addition, fibroblasts from short-lived species export more zinc after exposure to extracellular Cd than cells from long-lived species. Lastly, fibroblasts from long-lived rodent species have lower baseline concentrations of two redox-active metals, iron and copper. Our results suggest that evolution of longevity among rodents required adjustment of cellular properties to alter metal homeostasis and to reduce the toxic effects of heavy metals that accumulate over the course of a longer life span.

  15. Plant Secondary Metabolites as Rodent Repellents: a Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Sabine C; Stolter, Caroline; Imholt, Christian; Jacob, Jens

    2016-09-01

    The vast number of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) produced by higher plants has generated many efforts to exploit their potential for pest control. We performed a systematic literature search to retrieve relevant publications, and we evaluated these according to PSM groups to derive information about the potential for developing plant-derived rodent repellents. We screened a total of 54 publications where different compounds or plants were tested regarding rodent behavior/metabolism. In the search for widely applicable products, we recommend multi-species systematic screening of PSMs, especially from the essential oil and terpenoid group, as laboratory experiments have uniformly shown the strongest effects across species. Other groups of compounds might be more suitable for the management of species-specific or sex-specific issues, as the effects of some compounds on particular rodent target species or sex might not be present in non-target species or in both sexes. Although plant metabolites have potential as a tool for ecologically-based rodent management, this review demonstrates inconsistent success across laboratory, enclosure, and field studies, which ultimately has lead to a small number of currently registered PSM-based rodent repellents.

  16. Thieving rodents as substitute dispersers of megafaunal seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Patrick A; Hirsch, Ben T; Emsens, Willem-Jan; Zamora-Gutierrez, Veronica; Wikelski, Martin; Kays, Roland

    2012-07-31

    The Neotropics have many plant species that seem to be adapted for seed dispersal by megafauna that went extinct in the late Pleistocene. Given the crucial importance of seed dispersal for plant persistence, it remains a mystery how these plants have survived more than 10,000 y without their mutualist dispersers. Here we present support for the hypothesis that secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents has facilitated the persistence of these large-seeded species. We used miniature radio transmitters to track the dispersal of reputedly megafaunal seeds by Central American agoutis, which scatter-hoard seeds in shallow caches in the soil throughout the forest. We found that seeds were initially cached at mostly short distances and then quickly dug up again. However, rather than eating the recovered seeds, agoutis continued to move and recache the seeds, up to 36 times. Agoutis dispersed an estimated 35% of seeds for >100 m. An estimated 14% of the cached seeds survived to the next year, when a new fruit crop became available to the rodents. Serial video-monitoring of cached seeds revealed that the stepwise dispersal was caused by agoutis repeatedly stealing and recaching each other's buried seeds. Although previous studies suggest that rodents are poor dispersers, we demonstrate that communities of rodents can in fact provide highly effective long-distance seed dispersal. Our findings suggest that thieving scatter-hoarding rodents could substitute for extinct megafaunal seed dispersers of tropical large-seeded trees.

  17. Old World hantaviruses in rodents in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Robert W; Waffa, Bradley; Freeman, Ashley; Riegel, Claudia; Moses, Lina M; Bennett, Andrew; Safronetz, David; Fischer, Elizabeth R; Feldmann, Heinz; Voss, Thomas G; Bausch, Daniel G

    2014-05-01

    Seoul virus, an Old World hantavirus, is maintained in brown rats and causes a mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in humans. We captured rodents in New Orleans, Louisiana and tested them for the presence of Old World hantaviruses by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with sequencing, cell culture, and electron microscopy; 6 (3.4%) of 178 rodents captured--all brown rats--were positive for a Seoul virus variant previously coined Tchoupitoulas virus, which was noted in rodents in New Orleans in the 1980s. The finding of Tchoupitoulas virus in New Orleans over 25 years since its first discovery suggests stable endemicity in the city. Although the degree to which this virus causes human infection and disease remains unknown, repeated demonstration of Seoul virus in rodent populations, recent cases of laboratory-confirmed HFRS in some US cities, and a possible link with hypertensive renal disease warrant additional investigation in both rodents and humans.

  18. Lassa fever or lassa hemorrhagic fever risk to humans from rodent-borne zoonoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Bahnasawy, Mamdouh M; Megahed, Laila Abdel-Mawla; Abdalla Saleh, Hala Ahmed; Morsy, Tosson A

    2015-04-01

    Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) typically manifest as rapidly progressing acute febrile syndromes with profound hemorrhagic manifestations and very high fatality rates. Lassa fever, an acute hemorrhagic fever characterized by fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and chest and abdominal pain. Rodents are important reservoirs of rodent-borne zoonosis worldwide. Transmission rodents to humans occur by aerosol spread, either from the genus Mastomys rodents' excreta (multimammate rat) or through the close contact with infected patients (nosocomial infection). Other rodents of the genera Rattus, Mus, Lemniscomys, and Praomys are incriminated rodents hosts. Now one may ask do the rodents' ectoparasites play a role in Lassa virus zoonotic transmission. This paper summarized the update knowledge on LHV; hopping it might be useful to the clinicians, nursing staff, laboratories' personals as well as those concerned zoonoses from rodents and rodent control.

  19. Pilocarpine-induced seizures in rodents--17 years on.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turski, W A

    2000-01-01

    In 1983, we reported that intracerebral or systemic administration of cholinergic agents produced seizures and seizure-related brain damage in rodents. During the following 17 years, seizures induced by cholinomimetic drugs became a popular model of epilepsy. Seizures can by produced by cholinergic agonists acting directly at muscarinic receptors or by drugs enhancing cholinergic transmission due to the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity. Status epilepticus evoked by pilocarpine in rodents triggers long-lasting changes which can be described as: (I) acute-onset seizures lasting for several hours, (II) a silent period characterized by normalization of electroencephalographic patterns lasting for days, and (III) spontaneous recurrent seizures lasting for life. Therefore, seizures induced by cholinomimetics in rodents are of value for studies of basic mechanisms of epileptogenesis and action of antiepileptic drugs.

  20. Rodents for comparative aging studies: from mice to beavers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorbunova, Vera; Bozzella, Michael J; Seluanov, Andrei

    2008-09-01

    After humans, mice are the best-studied mammalian species in terms of their biology and genetics. Gerontological research has used mice and rats extensively to generate short- and long-lived mutants, study caloric restriction and more. Mice and rats are valuable model organisms thanks to their small size, short lifespans and fast reproduction. However, when the goal is to further extend the already long human lifespan, studying fast aging species may not provide all the answers. Remarkably, in addition to the fast-aging species, the order Rodentia contains multiple long-lived species with lifespans exceeding 20 years (naked mole-rat, beavers, porcupines, and some squirrels). This diversity opens great opportunities for comparative aging studies. Here we discuss the evolution of lifespan in rodents, review the biology of slow-aging rodents, and show an example of how the use of a comparative approach revealed that telomerase activity coevolved with body mass in rodents.

  1. Developmental genetics in emerging rodent models: case studies and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallarino, Ricardo; Hoekstra, Hopi E; Manceau, Marie

    2016-08-01

    For decades, mammalian developmental genetic studies have focused almost entirely on two laboratory models: Mus and Rattus, species that breed readily in the laboratory and for which a wealth of molecular and genetic resources exist. These species alone, however, do not capture the remarkable diversity of morphological, behavioural and physiological traits seen across rodents, a group that represents >40% of all mammal species. Due to new advances in molecular tools and genomic technologies, studying the developmental events underlying natural variation in a wide range of species for a wide range of traits has become increasingly feasible. Here we review several recent studies and discuss how they not only provided technical resources for newly emerging rodent models in developmental genetics but also are instrumental in further encouraging scientists, from a wide range of research fields, to capitalize on the great diversity in development that has evolved among rodents.

  2. Microdrile Oligochaeta in bromeliad pools of a Honduran cloud forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmelz, Rüdiger M; Jocque, Merlijn; Collado, Rut

    2015-04-17

    Phytotelmata, or plant-held water bodies, often house complex aquatic invertebrate communities. Microdrile oligochaetes (Clitellata, Annelida) are known to be part of that community, but specimens are rarely identified to species level. Here we report three species of Enchytraeidae and three species of Naididae from a collection sampled in phytotelms of bromeliads in Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Two species of enchytraeids are new to science. Bryodrilus hondurensis sp. nov. is distinguished from other members of the genus by the high number of ventral chaetae, up to 11 per bundle. The genus is Holarctic and this is the southernmost record so far of a Bryodrilus species. Hemienchytraeus phytotelmatus sp. nov. is distinguished by a combination of characters, among which the huge spermathecae and seminal vesicles are most conspicuous. The genus is common in tropical and subtropical soils around the world. A third species of enchytraeids in the collection, Cernosvitoviella atrata (Bretscher), is redescribed, together with three known species of Naididae, Pristina jenkinae (Stephenson), Pristina osborni (Walton) and Pristina terrena Collado & Schmelz. Presence of ingested debris and humus in the intestine of most specimens suggests that the collected animals live and reproduce in the phytotelms. We provide a list of oligochaete species recorded so far from bromeliad pools in Central and South America.

  3. Marking behavior of Andean bears in an Ecuadorian cloud forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Filipczyková, Eva; Heitkonig, Ignas; Castellanos, Armando; Hantson, Wouter; Steyaert, Sam M.J.G.

    2017-01-01

    Very little is known about marking behavior of the endangered Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus). Here, we present a first detailed description of Andean bear marking behavior obtained using camera traps. From November 2012 to April 2013, we inspected 16 bear trails in the Napo province of eastern

  4. Colonisation and shedding of Lawsonia intracellularis in experimentally inoculated rodents and in wild rodents on pig farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, A M; Fell, S; Pearson, H; Toribio, J-A

    2011-06-02

    Lawsonia intracellularis is an intracellular bacterium causing proliferative enteropathy in various animal species, and is considered an economically important pathogen of pigs. Rats and mice have been implicated as external vectors for a wide range of pig pathogens, including L. intracellularis. Previous studies have demonstrated L. intracellularis infection and proliferative enteropathy in rodents, but did not show the duration of shedding or the number of L. intracellularis shed by infected rodents, and therefore the infection risk that rodents pose to pigs. In this study, the number of L. intracellularis shed in the faeces and intestinal mucosa of wild rats trapped on pig farms was determined by a quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction assay. The prevalence of L. intracellularis in wild rats trapped on pig farms with endemic proliferative enteropathy (PE) was very high (≥ 70.6%), and large numbers of L. intracellularis were shed (10(10)/g of faeces) in a small proportion of wild rats. The duration of colonisation in laboratory rats and mice challenged with porcine isolates of L. intracellularis was also shown. Faecal shedding of L. intracellularis persisted for 14-21 days in rats and mice that were mildly affected with histological lesions of PE. The humoral immune response to L. intracellularis persisted for 40 days in both species. This study demonstrates that rodents may be an important reservoir of L. intracellularis on piggeries, and hence rodent control is important in disease eradication programs on pig farms.

  5. Social and cultural dimensions of rodent pest management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palis, Florencia G; Singleton, Grant; Sumalde, Zenaida; Hossain, Mahabub

    2007-09-01

    Rice production in Vietnam is threatened by rodent pests, with a significant increase in impact reported from 1990 through to the early 21st century. Pre-harvest rice losses are typically 5-10%, with losses of >20% occurring in some years in some regions. Farmers' rodent control practices are generally reactive and rely essentially on chemical and physical methods. Ecologically-based rodent pest management (EBRM) was developed in the late 1990s to manage rodents in rice-based farming systems in Vietnam and other parts of South-East Asia. EBRM combines both cultural and physical rodent management practices such as synchrony of cropping, short 2-week rat campaigns at key periods in key habitats, increasing general hygiene around villages, and use of a community trap-barrier system. Although EBRM has been reported to be economically profitable, the successful adoption of this set of technologies requires community participation. In this paper we address issues relating to the adoption and sustainability of EBRM in lowland irrigated rice fields in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. We particularly explore the social and cultural mechanisms involved in maintaining community participation to further understand the conditions under which EBRM works and does not work. Positive indications of sustained use of community-based EBRM include: a policy pronouncement from the prime minister directing the use of integrated rodent management; the use of existing cooperatives for developing community actions; budgetary allocation from provincial and local governments; diffusion of EBRM to provinces in the south and north that are not involved in farmer participatory field trials; and the adoption of EBRM by a non-governmental organization, World Vision Vietnam, in their area-development programs.

  6. Are Synonymous Sites in Primates and Rodents Functionally Constrained?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Nicholas; Graur, Dan

    2016-01-01

    It has been claimed that synonymous sites in mammals are under selective constraint. Furthermore, in many studies the selective constraint at such sites in primates was claimed to be more stringent than that in rodents. Given the larger effective population sizes in rodents than in primates, the theoretical expectation is that selection in rodents would be more effective than that in primates. To resolve this contradiction between expectations and observations, we used processed pseudogenes as a model for strict neutral evolution, and estimated selective constraint on synonymous sites using the rate of substitution at pseudosynonymous and pseudononsynonymous sites in pseudogenes as the neutral expectation. After controlling for the effects of GC content, our results were similar to those from previous studies, i.e., synonymous sites in primates exhibited evidence for higher selective constraint that those in rodents. Specifically, our results indicated that in primates up to 24% of synonymous sites could be under purifying selection, while in rodents synonymous sites evolved neutrally. To further control for shifts in GC content, we estimated selective constraint at fourfold degenerate sites using a maximum parsimony approach. This allowed us to estimate selective constraint using mutational patterns that cause a shift in GC content (GT ↔ TG, CT ↔ TC, GA ↔ AG, and CA ↔ AC) and ones that do not (AT ↔ TA and CG ↔ GC). Using this approach, we found that synonymous sites evolve neutrally in both primates and rodents. Apparent deviations from neutrality were caused by a higher rate of C → A and C → T mutations in pseudogenes. Such differences are most likely caused by the shift in GC content experienced by pseudogenes. We conclude that previous estimates according to which 20-40% of synonymous sites in primates were under selective constraint were most likely artifacts of the biased pattern of mutation.

  7. Multiple infections of rodents with zoonotic pathogens in Austria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Sabrina; Essbauer, Sandra S; Mayer-Scholl, Anne; Poppert, Sven; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Klempa, Boris; Henning, Klaus; Schares, Gereon; Groschup, Martin H; Spitzenberger, Friederike; Richter, Dania; Heckel, Gerald; Ulrich, Rainer G

    2014-07-01

    Rodents are important reservoirs for a large number of zoonotic pathogens. We examined the occurrence of 11 viral, bacterial, and parasitic agents in rodent populations in Austria, including three different hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox virus, Leptospira spp., Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Toxoplasma gondii. In 2008, 110 rodents of four species (40 Clethrionomys glareolus, 29 Apodemus flavicollis, 26 Apodemus sylvaticus, and 15 Microtus arvalis) were trapped at two rural sites in Lower Austria. Chest cavity fluid and samples of lung, spleen, kidney, liver, brain, and ear pinna skin were collected. We screened selected tissue samples for hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox viruses, Leptospira, Borrelia, Rickettsia, Bartonella spp., C. burnetii, and T. gondii by RT-PCR/PCR and detected nucleic acids of Tula hantavirus, Leptospira spp., Borrelia afzelii, Rickettsia spp., and different Bartonella species. Serological investigations were performed for hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox viruses, and Rickettsia spp. Here, Dobrava-Belgrade hantavirus-, Tula hantavirus-, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus-, orthopox virus-, and rickettsia-specific antibodies were demonstrated. Puumala hantavirus, C. burnetii, and T. gondii were neither detected by RT-PCR/PCR nor by serological methods. In addition, multiple infections with up to three pathogens were shown in nine animals of three rodent species from different trapping sites. In conclusion, these results show that rodents in Austria may host multiple zoonotic pathogens. Our observation raises important questions regarding the interactions of different pathogens in the host, the countermeasures of the host's immune system, the impact of the host-pathogen interaction on the fitness of the host, and the spread of infectious agents among wild rodents and from those to other animals or humans.

  8. Discovery of Novel Alphacoronaviruses in European Rodents and Shrews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theocharis Tsoleridis

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Eight hundred and thirteen European rodents and shrews encompassing seven different species were screened for alphacoronaviruses using PCR detection. Novel alphacoronaviruses were detected in the species Rattus norvegicus, Microtus agrestis, Sorex araneus and Myodes glareolus. These, together with the recently described Lucheng virus found in China, form a distinct rodent/shrew-specific clade within the coronavirus phylogeny. Across a highly conserved region of the viral polymerase gene, the new members of this clade were up to 22% dissimilar at the nucleotide level to the previously described Lucheng virus. As such they might represent distinct species of alphacoronaviruses. These data greatly extend our knowledge of wildlife reservoirs of alphacoronaviruses.

  9. Experimental infection of Rio Mamore hantavirus in Sigmodontinae rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, William Marciel; Machado, Alex Martins; Figueiredo, Luiz Tadeu Moraes

    2016-01-01

    This study shows an experimental spillover infection ofSigmodontinae rodents with Rio Mamore hantavirus (RIOMV).Necromys lasiurus and Akodon sp were infected with 103 RNA copies of RIOMV by intraperitoneal administration. The viral genome was detected in heart, lung, and kidney tissues 18 days after infection (ai), and viral excretion in urine and faeces began at four and six ai, respectively. These results reveal that urine and faeces of infected rodents contain the virus for at least 18 days. It is possible that inhaled aerosols of these excreta could transmit hantavirus to humans and other animals. PMID:27223653

  10. Stress, social behavior, and resilience: Insights from rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annaliese K. Beery

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The neurobiology of stress and the neurobiology of social behavior are deeply intertwined. The social environment interacts with stress on almost every front: social interactions can be potent stressors; they can buffer the response to an external stressor; and social behavior often changes in response to stressful life experience. This review explores mechanistic and behavioral links between stress, anxiety, resilience, and social behavior in rodents, with particular attention to different social contexts. We consider variation between several different rodent species and make connections to research on humans and non-human primates.

  11. Stress, social behavior, and resilience: insights from rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Annaliese K; Kaufer, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    The neurobiology of stress and the neurobiology of social behavior are deeply intertwined. The social environment interacts with stress on almost every front: social interactions can be potent stressors; they can buffer the response to an external stressor; and social behavior often changes in response to stressful life experience. This review explores mechanistic and behavioral links between stress, anxiety, resilience, and social behavior in rodents, with particular attention to different social contexts. We consider variation between several different rodent species and make connections to research on humans and non-human primates.

  12. Rodent models of diabetic nephropathy: their utility and limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kitada M

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Munehiro Kitada,1,2 Yoshio Ogura,2 Daisuke Koya1,2 1Division of Anticipatory Molecular Food Science and Technology, Medical Research Institute, 2Department of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa, Japan Abstract: Diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease. Therefore, novel therapies for the suppression of diabetic nephropathy must be developed. Rodent models are useful for elucidating the pathogenesis of diseases and testing novel therapies, and many type 1 and type 2 diabetic rodent models have been established for the study of diabetes and diabetic complications. Streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic animals are widely used as a model of type 1 diabetes. Akita diabetic mice that have an Ins2+/C96Y mutation and OVE26 mice that overexpress calmodulin in pancreatic β-cells serve as a genetic model of type 1 diabetes. In addition, db/db mice, KK-Ay mice, Zucker diabetic fatty rats, Wistar fatty rats, Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty rats and Goto-Kakizaki rats serve as rodent models of type 2 diabetes. An animal model of diabetic nephropathy should exhibit progressive albuminuria and a decrease in renal function, as well as the characteristic histological changes in the glomeruli and the tubulointerstitial lesions that are observed in cases of human diabetic nephropathy. A rodent model that strongly exhibits all these features of human diabetic nephropathy has not yet been developed. However, the currently available rodent models of diabetes can be useful in the study of diabetic nephropathy by increasing our understanding of the features of each diabetic rodent model. Furthermore, the genetic background and strain of each mouse model result in differences in susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy with albuminuria and the development of glomerular and tubulointerstitial lesions. Therefore, the validation of an animal model reproducing human diabetic nephropathy will

  13. Lassa serology in natural populations of rodents and horizontal transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Koivogui, Lamine; Günther, Stephan

    2014-09-01

    Lassa virus causes hemorrhagic fever in West Africa. Previously, we demonstrated by PCR screening that only the multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, hosts Lassa virus in Guinea. In the present study, we used the same specimen collection from 17 villages in Coastal, Upper, and Forest Guinea to investigate the Lassa virus serology in the rodent population. The aim was to determine the dynamics of antibody development in M. natalensis and to detect potential spillover infections in other rodent species. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody screening was performed using the indirect immunofluorescence assay with the Guinean Lassa virus strain Bantou 289 as antigen. The overall seroprevalence was 8% (129/1551) with the following rodents testing positive: 109 M. natalensis, seven Mastomys erythroleucus, four Lemniscomys striatus, four Praomys daltoni, three Mus minutoides, and two Praomys rostratus. Nearly all of them (122/129) originated from Bantou, Tanganya, and Gbetaya, where Lassa virus is highly endemic in M. natalensis. The antibody seroprevalence in M. natalensis from this high-endemic area (27%; 108/396) depended on the village, habitat, host age, and host abundance. A main positive factor was age; the maximum seroprevalence reached 50% in older animals. Our data fit with a model implicating that most M. natalensis rodents become horizontally infected, clear the virus within a period significantly shorter than their life span, and develop antibodies. In addition, the detection of antibodies in other species trapped in the habitats of M. natalensis suggests spillover infections.

  14. Do farming practices influence population dynamics of rodents?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Massawe, A W; Rwamugira, W; Leirs, Herwig

    2007-01-01

    and slash and burn fields, cropping systems (mono- and inter-crop) had little effect on the population dynamics of M. natalensis [F(1,8) = 6.50; P > 0.05]. The study shows that land preparation methods should be considered a component of rodent pest management in ecologically based or integrated management...

  15. Activity Patterns in a Subterranean Social Rodent, Spalacopus cyanus (Octodontidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Begall, Sabine; Daan, S.; Burda, H.; Overkamp, G.J.F.; Tomasi, Thomas E.

    2002-01-01

    Daily patterns of activity were studied under laboratory conditions in 12 coruros, Spalacopus cyanus, subterranean social rodents originally from Chile. When able to burrow, coruros spent 90% of the total time underground, and surface activity occurred during the 1st hours of darkness. When prevente

  16. Tick-borne agents in rodents, China, 2004-2006

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Zhan (Lin); W.C. Cao (Wu Chun); C.Y. Chu (Chen); B.G. Jiang; F. Zhang (Fang); L.J. Liu (Wei); J.S. Dumler (Stephen); X-M. Wu (Xiao-Ming); S-Q. Zuo (Shu-Qing); H.N. Huang; Q.M. Zhao; N. Jia (Na); H. Yang (Hong); J.H. Richardus (Jan Hendrik); J.D.F. Habbema (Dik)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractA total of 705 rodents from 6 provinces and autonomous regions of mainland People's Republic of China were tested by PCRs for tick-borne agents (Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, spotted fever group rickettsiae, and Francisella tularensis). Infection rates were

  17. STATUS OF COMMENSAL RODENT -BORNE DISEASES RESEARCH IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lim Boo Liat

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Rodents yang terdapat di rumah-rumah maupun di lapangan mempunyai peranan penting dalam penyebaran penyakit terhadap manusia dan binatang. Dalam tulisan ini disajikan peninjauan kembali literatur tentang penyakit-penyakit yang ditularkan oleh binatang, seperti : plague, scrub and murine typhus, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, angiostrongyliasis, yang biaya terdapat di Indonesia.

  18. [Study on Bartonella species in rodents in western Yunnan, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, He-ming; Yang, Fa-lian; Yang, Hui; Zhang, Qing

    2005-11-01

    To study the infection status of Bartonella spp. in rodents in western part of Yunnan province. Blood samples were collected from four species of rodents captured in four counties in western Yunnan in 2004. Bartomella was isolated through being cultured in brain and heart infusion agar media containing 5% rabbit blood. Suspective Bartomella strains isolates were confirmed by amplification of 379 bp of citrate synthase (gltA) gene with specific primer by polymerase chin reaction (PCR). Fifty-four strains of Bartomella isolates were obtained from 397 samples including four rodent species captured in the fields with an overall isolation-rate of 13.6% (54/397). The rates of isolation among different species were: 22.0% (22/100) in Rattus nitidus, 14.8% (31/210) in Rattus flavipectus and 1.2%(1/87) in Rattus norvegicus while in R. t. yunnanensis it was negative. These findings demonstrated that the local rodents in western Yunnan were widely infected by Bartomella spp. It is indispensable to study the vector and the route of transmission to discover the relations between Bartomella and human diseases.

  19. Fossil Rodents from Curaçao and Bonaire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, D.A.

    1959-01-01

    The fossil remains of rodents described in the present paper are from various localities. The large extinct musk rat Megalomys occurs in reddish-brown phosphatic “oolite” fillings of irregular cavities in a marine limestone found by Mr. P. H. DE BUISONJÉ in the north-western part of the Duivelsklip,

  20. Neural representation of spatial topology in the rodent hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhe; Gomperts, Stephen N; Yamamoto, Jun; Wilson, Matthew A

    2014-01-01

    Pyramidal cells in the rodent hippocampus often exhibit clear spatial tuning in navigation. Although it has been long suggested that pyramidal cell activity may underlie a topological code rather than a topographic code, it remains unclear whether an abstract spatial topology can be encoded in the ensemble spiking activity of hippocampal place cells. Using a statistical approach developed previously, we investigate this question and related issues in greater detail. We recorded ensembles of hippocampal neurons as rodents freely foraged in one- and two-dimensional spatial environments and used a "decode-to-uncover" strategy to examine the temporally structured patterns embedded in the ensemble spiking activity in the absence of observed spatial correlates during periods of rodent navigation or awake immobility. Specifically, the spatial environment was represented by a finite discrete state space. Trajectories across spatial locations ("states") were associated with consistent hippocampal ensemble spiking patterns, which were characterized by a state transition matrix. From this state transition matrix, we inferred a topology graph that defined the connectivity in the state space. In both one- and two-dimensional environments, the extracted behavior patterns from the rodent hippocampal population codes were compared against randomly shuffled spike data. In contrast to a topographic code, our results support the efficiency of topological coding in the presence of sparse sample size and fuzzy space mapping. This computational approach allows us to quantify the variability of ensemble spiking activity, examine hippocampal population codes during off-line states, and quantify the topological complexity of the environment.

  1. Andes hantavirus variant in rodents, southern Amazon Basin, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razuri, Hugo; Tokarz, Rafal; Ghersi, Bruno M; Salmon-Mulanovich, Gabriela; Guezala, M Claudia; Albujar, Christian; Mendoza, A Patricia; Tinoco, Yeny O; Cruz, Christopher; Silva, Maria; Vasquez, Alicia; Pacheco, Víctor; Ströher, Ute; Guerrero, Lisa Wiggleton; Cannon, Deborah; Nichol, Stuart T; Hirschberg, David L; Lipkin, W Ian; Bausch, Daniel G; Montgomery, Joel M

    2014-02-01

    We investigated hantaviruses in rodents in the southern Amazon Basin of Peru and identified an Andes virus variant from Neacomys spinosus mice. This finding extends the known range of this virus in South America and the range of recognized hantaviruses in Peru. Further studies of the epizoology of hantaviruses in this region are warranted.

  2. An expanded clade of rodent Trim5 genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tareen, Semih U; Sawyer, Sara L; Malik, Harmit S; Emerman, Michael

    2009-03-15

    Trim5alpha from primates (including humans), cows, and rabbits has been shown to be an active antiviral host gene that acts against a range of retroviruses. Although this suggests that Trim5alpha may be a common antiviral restriction factor among mammals, the status of Trim5 genes in rodents has been unclear. Using genomic and phylogenetic analyses, we describe an expanded paralogous cluster of at least eight Trim5-like genes in mice (including the previously described Trim12 and Trim30 genes), and three Trim5-like genes in rats. Our characterization of the rodent Trim5 locus, and comparison to the Trim5 locus in humans, cows, and rabbits, indicates that Trim5 has undergone independent evolutionary expansions within species. Evolutionary analysis shows that rodent Trim5 genes have evolved under positive selection, suggesting evolutionary conflicts consistent with important antiviral function. Sampling six rodent Trim5 genes failed to reveal antiviral activities against a set of eight retroviral challenges, although we predict that such activities exist.

  3. A Late Pliocene rodent fauna from Alozaina (Malaga, Spain)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aguilar, J.P.; Michaux, J.; Delannoy, J.J.; Guendon, J.L.

    1993-01-01

    In this paper 11 species of rodents are described, that have been found in the fossiliferous karst fissure of Alozaina (Malaga, Spain). Three species of Stephanomys (Murinae) are present in this fauna: S. thaleri, S. minor, and the new species S. prietaensis. The latter exhibits a lesser degree of e

  4. The biology of arboreal rodents in Douglas-fir forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew B. Carey

    1991-01-01

    Arboreal rodents in Douglas-fir forests west of the Cascade crest in Oregon and Washington include (listed in decreasing order of dependence on trees) red tree vole (Phenacomys longicaucfus), northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus), Douglas' squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii), dusky-footed woodrat...

  5. Sleep EEG spectral analysis in a diurnal rodent : Eutamias sibiricus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DIJK, DJ; DAAN, S

    1989-01-01

    1. Sleep was studied in the diurnal rodent Eutamias sibiricus, chronically implanted with EEG and EMG electrodes. Analysis of the distribution of wakefulness, nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep over the 24 h period (LD 12:12) showed that total sleep time was 27.5%

  6. 40 CFR 798.5460 - Rodent heritable translocation assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Rodent heritable translocation assays. 798.5460 Section 798.5460 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC...) Species. The mouse is the species generally used, and is recommended. (ii) Age. Healthy sexually...

  7. 40 CFR 798.5450 - Rodent dominant lethal assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Rodent dominant lethal assay. 798.5450 Section 798.5450 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES... lethality, high pregnancy frequency and high implant numbers are recommended. (ii) Age. Healthy,...

  8. Astronaut Norman Thagard changes tray in RAHF for rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-01-01

    Astronaut Norman Thagard changes a tray in the research animal holding facility (RAHF) for rodents at the Ames double rack facility aboard the Spacelab 3 science module in the cargo bay of the shuttle Challenger. Lending a hand is payload specialist Lodewijk van den Berg. Both men are wearing protective clothing and surgical masks for this procedure.

  9. Evolution of the interhaemal barrier in the placenta of rodents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mess, A M; Carter, A M

    2009-01-01

    A recent phylogenetic analysis achieved good resolution between the 5 suborders of rodent. As a novel finding it suggested a basal split that gave rise to a monophyletic group comprising Hystricomorpha and Sciuromorpha. We asked whether the new tree could cast light on the evolution of the interh......A recent phylogenetic analysis achieved good resolution between the 5 suborders of rodent. As a novel finding it suggested a basal split that gave rise to a monophyletic group comprising Hystricomorpha and Sciuromorpha. We asked whether the new tree could cast light on the evolution...... of the interhaemal barrier in rodents where at least seven variants have been described. To supplement existing data we first examined the placenta of the common gundi, Ctenodactylus gundi. It was shown to be haemochorial with a single layer of syncytiotrophoblast in the interhaemal membrane but with nests...... of cytotrophoblast elsewhere. Next we used character mapping on the recent tree to determine the pattern of evolution of the placenta with respect to principal type (e.g. haemochorial) and the trophoblast found within the interhaemal barrier. This indicated that the common ancestor of living rodents had...

  10. Odor supported place cell model and goal navigation in rodents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kulvicius, Tomas; Tamosiunaite, Minija; Ainge, James;

    2008-01-01

    Experiments with rodents demonstrate that visual cues play an important role in the control of hippocampal place cells and spatial navigation. Nevertheless, rats may also rely on auditory, olfactory and somatosensory stimuli for orientation. It is also known that rats can track odors or self...

  11. Access to the tracheal pulmonary pathway in small rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto S. A. Ribeiro

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The tracheal pulmonary route is used in diverse experimental models for the study of drugs, infectious agents, and diseases. In view of its importance and associated difficulties, the present article proposes to give research groups up-to-date information on techniques to access the tracheal pulmonary pathway of small rodents.

  12. Rodent Research on the International Space Station - A Look Forward

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapusta, A. B.; Smithwick, M.; Wigley, C. L.

    2014-01-01

    Rodent Research on the International Space Station (ISS) is one of the highest priority science activities being supported by NASA and is planned for up to two flights per year. The first Rodent Research flight, Rodent Research-1 (RR-1) validates the hardware and basic science operations (dissections and tissue preservation). Subsequent flights will add new capabilities to support rodent research on the ISS. RR-1 will validate the following capabilities: animal husbandry for up to 30 days, video downlink to support animal health checks and scientific analysis, on-orbit dissections, sample preservation in RNA. Later and formalin, sample transfer from formalin to ethanol (hindlimbs), rapid cool-down and subsequent freezing at -80 of tissues and carcasses, sample return and recovery. RR-2, scheduled for SpX-6 (Winter 20142015) will add the following capabilities: animal husbandry for up to 60 days, RFID chip reader for individual animal identification, water refill and food replenishment, anesthesia and recovery, bone densitometry, blood collection (via cardiac puncture), blood separation via centrifugation, soft tissue fixation in formalin with transfer to ethanol, and delivery of injectable drugs that require frozen storage prior to use. Additional capabilities are also planned for future flights and these include but are not limited to male mice, live animal return, and the development of experiment unique equipment to support science requirements for principal investigators that are selected for flight. In addition to the hardware capabilities to support rodent research the Crew Office has implemented a training program in generic rodent skills for all USOS crew members during their pre-assignment training rotation. This class includes training in general animal handling, euthanasia, injections, and dissections. The dissection portion of this training focuses on the dissection of the spleen, liver, kidney with adrenals, brain, eyes, and hindlimbs. By achieving and

  13. Prevalence and Diversity of Bartonella Species in Rodents from Georgia (Caucasus)

    OpenAIRE

    Malania, Lile; Bai, Ying; Osikowicz, Lynn M.; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Katsitadze, Guram; Imnadze, Paata; Kosoy, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Bartonella infections are widespread and highly prevalent in rodents. Several rodent-associated Bartonella species have been related to human diseases. Recently, Bartonella species was reported as the etiology of a human case in the country of Georgia (Caucasus). However, information on Bartonella in rodents in Georgia is absent. Rodent hearts were collected from Georgia to investigate the presence and diversity of Bartonella species. Bartonella bacteria were cultured from 37.2% (16/43) of ro...

  14. Bartonella species in invasive rats and indigenous rodents from Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billeter, Sarah A; Borchert, Jeff N; Atiku, Linda A; Mpanga, Joseph T; Gage, Kenneth L; Kosoy, Michael Y

    2014-03-01

    The presence of bartonellae in invasive rats (Rattus rattus) and indigenous rodents (Arvicanthis niloticus and Cricetomys gambianus) from two districts in Uganda, Arua and Zombo, was examined by PCR detection and culture. Blood from a total of 228 R. rattus, 31 A. niloticus, and 5 C. gambianus was screened using genus-specific primers targeting the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region. Furthermore, rodent blood was plated on brain heart infusion blood agar, and isolates were verified as Bartonella species using citrate synthase gene- (gltA) specific primers. One hundred and four fleas recovered from R. rattus were also tested for the presence of Bartonella species using the same gltA primer set. An overall prevalence of 1.3% (three of 228) was obtained in R. rattus, whereas 61.3% of 31 A. niloticus and 60% of five C. gambianus were positive for the presence of Bartonella species. Genotypes related to Bartonella elizabethae, a known zoonotic pathogen, were detected in three R. rattus and one C. gambianus. Bartonella strains, similar to bacteria detected in indigenous rodents from other African countries, were isolated from the blood of A. niloticus. Bartonellae, similar to bacteria initially cultured from Ornithodorus sonrai (soft tick) from Senegal, were found in two C. gambianus. Interestingly, bartonellae detected in fleas from invasive rats were similar to bacteria identified in indigenous rodents and not their rat hosts, with an overall prevalence of 6.7%. These results suggest that if fleas are competent vectors of these bartonellae, humans residing in these two districts of Uganda are potentially at greater risk for exposure to Bartonella species from native rodents than from invasive rats. The low prevalence of bartonellae in R. rattus was quite surprising, in contrast, to the detection of these organisms in a large percentage of Rattus species from other geographical areas. A possible reason for this disparity is discussed.

  15. Survey of Hymenolepis spp. in pet rodents in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Ovidio, D; Noviello, Emilio; Pepe, P; Del Prete, L; Cringoli, G; Rinaldi, L

    2015-12-01

    We carried out the first survey of Hymenolepis spp. infection in pet rodents in Italy. Fresh fecal samples were collected from 172 pet rodents as follows: guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus; n = 60), squirrels (Callosciurus finlaysonii, Callosciurus prevosti, Tamias striatus, Tamias sibiricus, Sciurus calorinensis; n = 52), hamsters (Phodopus campbelli, Mesocricetus auratus; n = 30), chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera; n = 13), rats (Rattus norvegicus; n = 10), and mice (Mus minutoides; n = 7). These animals were housed either in pet shops or in private houses. All fecal samples were processed using the FLOTAC pellet technique to assess the number of eggs per gram (EPG) of feces. Eggs of Hymenolepis nana were found in 24 out of 172 (13.9 %; 95 % confidence interval = 9.3-20.2 %) pet rodents. Of those rodents, 41.6 % (10/24) were rats (mean EPG = 55.7; range = 2-200), 29.2 % (7/24) mice (mean EPG = 64.5; range = 32-120), 25.0 % (6/24) were chinchillas (mean EPG = 25.5; range = 10-50), and 4.2 % (1/24) hamsters (P. campbelli) (EPG = 86.0). In addition, Hymenolepis diminuta eggs were found in 2 out of 172 (1.2 %; 95 % confidence interval = 0.2-4.6 %) rodents examined, both of which (100 %; 2/2) were pet squirrels (C. prevosti) (mean EPG = 10; range = 4-16). To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of a natural infection of H. diminuta in pet squirrels.

  16. Barnes maze testing strategies with small and large rodent models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenfeld, Cheryl S; Ferguson, Sherry A

    2014-02-26

    Spatial learning and memory of laboratory rodents is often assessed via navigational ability in mazes, most popular of which are the water and dry-land (Barnes) mazes. Improved performance over sessions or trials is thought to reflect learning and memory of the escape cage/platform location. Considered less stressful than water mazes, the Barnes maze is a relatively simple design of a circular platform top with several holes equally spaced around the perimeter edge. All but one of the holes are false-bottomed or blind-ending, while one leads to an escape cage. Mildly aversive stimuli (e.g. bright overhead lights) provide motivation to locate the escape cage. Latency to locate the escape cage can be measured during the session; however, additional endpoints typically require video recording. From those video recordings, use of automated tracking software can generate a variety of endpoints that are similar to those produced in water mazes (e.g. distance traveled, velocity/speed, time spent in the correct quadrant, time spent moving/resting, and confirmation of latency). Type of search strategy (i.e. random, serial, or direct) can be categorized as well. Barnes maze construction and testing methodologies can differ for small rodents, such as mice, and large rodents, such as rats. For example, while extra-maze cues are effective for rats, smaller wild rodents may require intra-maze cues with a visual barrier around the maze. Appropriate stimuli must be identified which motivate the rodent to locate the escape cage. Both Barnes and water mazes can be time consuming as 4-7 test trials are typically required to detect improved learning and memory performance (e.g. shorter latencies or path lengths to locate the escape platform or cage) and/or differences between experimental groups. Even so, the Barnes maze is a widely employed behavioral assessment measuring spatial navigational abilities and their potential disruption by genetic, neurobehavioral manipulations, or drug

  17. 42 CFR 71.56 - African rodents and other animals that may carry the monkeypox virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false African rodents and other animals that may carry... HUMAN SERVICES QUARANTINE, INSPECTION, LICENSING FOREIGN QUARANTINE Importations § 71.56 African rodents... import or attempt to import any rodents, whether dead or alive, that were obtained, directly...

  18. The Touchscreen Cognitive Testing Method for Rodents: How to Get the Best out of Your Rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bussey, Timothy J.; Padain, Tina L.; Skillings, Elizabeth A.; Winters, Boyer D.; Morton, A. Jennifer; Saksida, Lisa M.

    2008-01-01

    The touchscreen testing method for rodents is a computer-automated behavioral testing method that allows computer graphic stimuli to be presented to rodents and the rodents to respond to the computer screen via a nose-poke directly to the stimulus. The advantages of this method are numerous; however, a systematic study of the parameters that…

  19. The role of wild rodents in spread and transmission of Coxiella burnetii needs further elucidation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Reusken, C.B.E.M.

    2011-01-01

    Rodents are known to cause massive food losses, but are also implicated as reservoirs for a wide variety of zoonotic pathogens. This review discusses the contribution of rodents in the spread and transmission of Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q-fever. We found that rodents have been impli

  20. Farmer survey in the hinterland of Kisangani (Democratic Republic of Congo) on rodent crop damage and rodent control techniques used

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drazo, Nicaise Amundala; Kennis, Jan; Leirs, Herwig

    2008-01-01

    municipalities using a standard questionnaire form translated into local languages, between November 2005 and June 2006 and during July 2007. We used the Quotas method and interviewed 70 households per municipality. Farmers indicated rodent groups implicated in crop damage on color photographs. Two types...

  1. An early warning system for IPM-based rodent control in smallholder farming systems in Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mwanjabe, Patrick S.; Leirs, Herwig

    1997-01-01

    We conducted a four-year study in Tanzania to test a method for predicting outbreaks of Mastomys natalensis rats and verify whether such method, based on rainfall variability, could be used in an integrated Pest Management strategy for rodent control. Temporal fluctuations in rodent numbers...... that the effects of a single control action undertaken at planting time do not persist long enough to protect seedlings, probably due to quick reinvasion of the treated fields by rodents from the surroundings. These observations are formulated into a rodent control package whose steps are to predict rodent...... outbreaks, to warn farmers and the government of the outbreaks, and to organise control measures in advance....

  2. Methods for Dissecting Motivation and Related Psychological Processes in Rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Ryan D

    2016-01-01

    Motivational impairments are increasingly recognized as being critical to functional deficits and decreased quality of life in patients diagnosed with psychiatric disease. Accordingly, much preclinical research has focused on identifying psychological and neurobiological processes which underlie motivation . Inferring motivation from changes in overt behavioural responding in animal models, however, is complicated, and care must be taken to ensure that the observed change is accurately characterized as a change in motivation , and not due to some other, task-related process. This chapter discusses current methods for assessing motivation and related psychological processes in rodents. Using an example from work characterizing the motivational impairments in an animal model of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, we highlight the importance of careful and rigorous experimental dissection of motivation and the related psychological processes when characterizing motivational deficits in rodent models . We suggest that such work is critical to the successful translation of preclinical findings to therapeutic benefits for patients.

  3. Short interspersed elements (SINEs) of the Geomyoidea superfamily rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogolevsky, Konstantin P; Kramerov, Dmitri A

    2006-05-24

    A new short interspersed element (SINE) was isolated from the genome of desert kangaroo rat (Dipodomys deserti) using single-primer PCR. This SINE consists of two monomers: the left monomer (IDL) resembles rodent ID element and other tRNAAla(CGC)-derived SINEs, whereas the right one (Geo) shows no similarity with known SINE sequences. PCR and hybridization analyses demonstrated that IDL-Geo SINE is restricted to the rodent superfamily Geomyoidea (families Geomyidea and Heteromyidea). Isolation and analysis of IDL-Geo from California pocket mouse (Chaetodipus californicus) and Botta's pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae) revealed some species-specific features of this SINE family. The structure and evolution of known dimeric SINEs are discussed.

  4. Multiplex PCR identification of Taenia spp. in rodents and carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad N S; Kapel, Christian M O

    2011-11-01

    The genus Taenia includes several species of veterinary and public health importance, but diagnosis of the etiological agent in definitive and intermediate hosts often relies on labor intensive and few specific morphometric criteria, especially in immature worms and underdeveloped metacestodes. In the present study, a multiplex PCR, based on five primers targeting the 18S rDNA and ITS2 sequences, produced a species-specific banding patterns for a range of Taenia spp. Species typing by the multiplex PCR was compared to morphological identification and sequencing of cox1 and/or 12S rDNA genes. As compared to sequencing, the multiplex PCR identified 31 of 32 Taenia metacestodes from rodents, whereas only 14 cysts were specifically identified by morphology. Likewise, the multiplex PCR identified 108 of 130 adult worms, while only 57 were identified to species by morphology. The tested multiplex PCR system may potentially be used for studies of Taenia spp. transmitted between rodents and carnivores.

  5. Hantavirus immunology of rodent reservoirs: current status and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schountz, Tony; Prescott, Joseph

    2014-03-14

    Hantaviruses are hosted by rodents, insectivores and bats. Several rodent-borne hantaviruses cause two diseases that share many features in humans, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Eurasia or hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome in the Americas. It is thought that the immune response plays a significant contributory role in these diseases. However, in reservoir hosts that have been closely examined, little or no pathology occurs and infection is persistent despite evidence of adaptive immune responses. Because most hantavirus reservoirs are not model organisms, it is difficult to conduct meaningful experiments that might shed light on how the viruses evade sterilizing immune responses and why immunopathology does not occur. Despite these limitations, recent advances in instrumentation and bioinformatics will have a dramatic impact on understanding reservoir host responses to hantaviruses by employing a systems biology approach to identify important pathways that mediate virus/reservoir relationships.

  6. The utility of the small rodent electrocardiogram in toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farraj, Aimen K; Hazari, Mehdi S; Cascio, Wayne E

    2011-05-01

    Extensive research has lead to a growing appreciation that the heart is acutely sensitive to a broad array of toxicants via multiple routes of exposure. These agents are as diverse as the antineoplastic drug doxorubicin and environmental agents including ambient air pollution. Adverse effects in the heart often manifest as a change in the electrocardiogram (ECG). The ECG has long been used in the clinic to assess human cardiovascular health. Surface electrocardiographic recordings (i.e., those made from the skin) in humans often help to detect abnormal myocardial impulse formation, conduction, cardiac rhythm disturbances, and altered autonomic regulation of the heart. In toxicology, the ECG provides a collection of end points that may be used to assess both the quality and magnitude of cardiac toxicity. Increasingly over the last two decades, the cardiotoxicity of agents have been characterized using small rodent electrocardiography. Additionally, tremendous insight into possible mechanisms of action of known human cardiotoxicants has been gained. Rat and mouse models offer a number of advantages relative to larger animals including lower cost, less variability, the availability of transgenic models, and a plethora of research tools. Modern day advances in small rodent electrocardiography have enabled assessments in conscious unrestrained animals and improved ECG interpretation. Thus, the incorporation of small rodent electrocardiographic assessments into toxicology studies may facilitate the screening of cardiotoxic potential and the elucidation of mechanisms of action. This review will discuss the utility of the small rodent ECG, various methodologies used to derive ECG data in rats and mice, and various applications in toxicology.

  7. Population response of rodents to control with rodenticides

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    S.A.SHILOVA; A.V.TCHABOVSKY

    2009-01-01

    We summarize theoretical approaches and practice of rodent pest control in Russia and former USSR during last 50 years. We review literature as well as original data to understand mechanisms of rodent populations recovery after chemical control campaigns in urban areas, agricultural lands and natural foci of plague. Laboratory and field experiments indicate that inherent individual variation in behavioural, physiological and life-history traits provides survival of heterogeneous mix of individuals in residual population with increased resistance to poisonous baits and high reproductive potential that leads to fast recovery of a population. In a series of field experiments with various rodent and lagomorph species (Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, Meriones unguiculatus, M.meridianus, M.tamariscinus, Ochotona pallasii) we have shown that patterns of recolonization of depopulated area and mechanisms of population recovery vary among species and depend on species-specific social organization. After control territorial and group-living species demonstrated an increase in mobility and affiliative and marking behaviour and a decrease in intraspecific aggression. The rate of recolonization of treated areas was high due to redistribution of survived individuals and immigration by neighbors. Population recovered to original level due to increased breeding performance and fecundity of both survived residents and immigrants. In contrast, socially-independent species exhibited minor changes in behaviour. Recolonization was mainly due to better survival and recruitment of youngs, so the rate of recolonization was low. Species-specificity of behavioural compensation mechanisms to control should be considered when developing ecologically based rodent management strategies[Current Zoology 55(2):81-91,2009].

  8. Stress, social behavior, and resilience: Insights from rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Annaliese K. Beery; Daniela Kaufer

    2014-01-01

    The neurobiology of stress and the neurobiology of social behavior are deeply intertwined. The social environment interacts with stress on almost every front: social interactions can be potent stressors; they can buffer the response to an external stressor; and social behavior often changes in response to stressful life experience. This review explores mechanistic and behavioral links between stress, anxiety, resilience, and social behavior in rodents, with particular attention to different s...

  9. Stress impact on learning in rodents {--} ethological & fysiological approach

    OpenAIRE

    HAVLOVÁ, Jitka

    2009-01-01

    The review compares two methodological approaches of studying stress impact on learning in rodents. Particular forms of stress that can harm or facilitace memory and learning process are distinguished. Permanent exposure to hormone treatments results in space memory damage, whereas short-term exposure enforces the learning processes. Ethological methods have predominantly a negative effect on learning, particularly on space learning and reference memory. On the contrary, some methods can faci...

  10. Do low-calorie sweeteners promote weight gain in rodents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glendinning, John I

    2016-10-01

    Low-calorie sweeteners (LCSs) are used globally to increase the palatability of foods and beverages, without the calories of sugar. Recently, however, there have been claims that LCSs promote obesity. Here, I review the literature linking LCS consumption to elevated body weight in rodents. A recent systematic review found when the LCSs were presented in water or chow, only a minority of the studies reported elevated weight gain. In contrast, when the LCSs were presented in yogurt, the majority of the studies reported elevated weight gain. This review focuses on this latter subset of studies, and asks why the combination of LCSs and yogurt promoted weight gain. First, LCSs have been hypothesized to induce metabolic derangement because they uncouple sweet taste and calories. However, the available evidence indicates that the LCS-treated yogurts did not actually taste sweet to rats in the published studies. Without a sweet taste, the concerns about uncoupling sweet taste and calories would not be relevant. Second, in several studies, the LCS-treated yogurt increased weight gain without increasing caloric intake. This indicates that caloric intake alone cannot explain the elevated weight gain. Third, there is evidence that LCSs and yogurt can each alter the gut microbiota of rodents. Given recent work indicating that changes in gut microbiota can modulate body weight, it is possible that the combination of LCS and yogurt alters the gut microbiota in ways that promote weight gain. While this hypothesis remains speculative, it is consistent with the observed rodent data. In human studies, LCSs are usually presented in beverages. Based on the rodent work, it might be worthwhile to evaluate the impact of LCS-treated yogurt in humans.

  11. Expression of nesfatin-1/NUCB2 in rodent digestive system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yutaka; Oomura

    2010-01-01

    AIM: To observe the regional distributions and morphological features of nesfatin-1/nucleobindin-2 (NUCB2) immunoreactive (IR) cells in the rodent digestive system. METHODS: Paraffin-embedded sections of seven organs (pancreas, stomach, duodenum, esophagus, liver, small intestine and colon) dissected from sprague-dawley (SD) rats and institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were prepared. The regional distributions of nesfatin-1/NUCB2 IR cells were observed by immunohistochemical staining. The morphological ...

  12. Rodent models of diabetic nephropathy: their utility and limitations

    OpenAIRE

    Kitada M; Ogura Y; Koya D

    2016-01-01

    Munehiro Kitada,1,2 Yoshio Ogura,2 Daisuke Koya1,2 1Division of Anticipatory Molecular Food Science and Technology, Medical Research Institute, 2Department of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa, Japan Abstract: Diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease. Therefore, novel therapies for the suppression of diabetic nephropathy must be developed. Rodent models are useful for elucidating the pathogenesis of diseases and test...

  13. A fully automated high-throughput training system for rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajesh Poddar

    Full Text Available Addressing the neural mechanisms underlying complex learned behaviors requires training animals in well-controlled tasks, an often time-consuming and labor-intensive process that can severely limit the feasibility of such studies. To overcome this constraint, we developed a fully computer-controlled general purpose system for high-throughput training of rodents. By standardizing and automating the implementation of predefined training protocols within the animal's home-cage our system dramatically reduces the efforts involved in animal training while also removing human errors and biases from the process. We deployed this system to train rats in a variety of sensorimotor tasks, achieving learning rates comparable to existing, but more laborious, methods. By incrementally and systematically increasing the difficulty of the task over weeks of training, rats were able to master motor tasks that, in complexity and structure, resemble ones used in primate studies of motor sequence learning. By enabling fully automated training of rodents in a home-cage setting this low-cost and modular system increases the utility of rodents for studying the neural underpinnings of a variety of complex behaviors.

  14. Performance analysis of exam gloves used for aseptic rodent surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeMoine, Dana M; Bergdall, Valerie K; Freed, Carrie

    2015-05-01

    Aseptic technique includes the use of sterile surgical gloves for survival surgeries in rodents to minimize the incidence of infections. Exam gloves are much less expensive than are surgical gloves and may represent a cost-effective, readily available option for use in rodent surgery. This study examined the effectiveness of surface disinfection of exam gloves with 70% isopropyl alcohol or a solution of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid (HP-PA) in reducing bacterial contamination. Performance levels for asepsis were met when gloves were negative for bacterial contamination after surface disinfection and sham 'exertion' activity. According to these criteria, 94% of HP-PA-disinfected gloves passed, compared with 47% of alcohol-disinfected gloves. In addition, the effect of autoclaving on the integrity of exam gloves was examined, given that autoclaving is another readily available option for aseptic preparation. Performance criteria for glove integrity after autoclaving consisted of: the ability to don the gloves followed by successful simulation of wound closure and completion of stretch tests without tearing or observable defects. Using this criteria, 98% of autoclaved nitrile exam gloves and 76% of autoclaved latex exam gloves met performance expectations compared with the performance of standard surgical gloves (88% nitrile, 100% latex). The results of this study support the use of HP-PA-disinfected latex and nitrile exam gloves or autoclaved nitrile exam gloves as viable cost-effective alternatives to sterile surgical gloves for rodent surgeries.

  15. Rodent Models of Depression: Neurotrophic and Neuroinflammatory Biomarkers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikhail Stepanichev

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Rodent models are an indispensable tool for studying etiology and progress of depression. Since interrelated systems of neurotrophic factors and cytokines comprise major regulatory mechanisms controlling normal brain plasticity, impairments of these systems form the basis for development of cerebral pathologies, including mental diseases. The present review focuses on the numerous experimental rodent models of depression induced by different stress factors (exteroceptive and interoceptive during early life (including prenatal period or adulthood, giving emphasis to the data on the changes of neurotrophic factors and neuroinflammatory indices in the brain. These parameters are closely related to behavioral depression-like symptoms and impairments of neuronal plasticity and are both gender- and genotype-dependent. Stress-related changes in expression of neurotrophins and cytokines in rodent brain are region-specific. Some contradictory data reported by different groups may be a consequence of differences of stress paradigms or their realization in different laboratories. Like all experimental models, stress-induced depression-like conditions are experimental simplification of clinical depression states; however, they are suitable for understanding the involvement of neurotrophic factors and cytokines in the pathogenesis of the disease—a goal unachievable in the clinical reality. These major regulatory systems may be important targets for therapeutic measures as well as for development of drugs for treatment of depression states.

  16. Estructura y composición de los ensamblajes estacionales de coleópteros (Insecta: Coleoptera del bosque mesófilo de montaña en Tlanchinol, Hidalgo, México, recolectados con trampas de intercepción de vuelo Structure and composition of seasonal coleopterous assemblages (Insecta: Coleoptera in the cloud forest of Tlanchinol, Hidalgo, Mexico collected with flight interception traps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma. del Carmen Pedraza

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Se describen y comparan los ensamblajes de coleópteros de las temporadas de lluvias y sequía del bosque mesófilo de montaña de Tlanchinol, Hidalgo, que se obtuvieron en 8 recolectas mensuales usando trampas de intercepción de vuelo. Para la descripción de los ensamblajes se tomó en cuenta su riqueza, composición, diversidad, equidad y dominancia y se compararon con base en los perfiles de diversidad de Renyi. El recambio de especies se evaluó usando el índice de similitud de Bray-Curtis. Se estimó la riqueza teórica del ensamblaje total y por temporada, se exploró la relación entre los taxa y los meses de recolecta, y las especies se ubicaron en grupos funcionales. Los 3 308 ejemplares recolectados pertenecen a 50 familias y 352 especies, siendo Staphylinidae, Curculionidae y Nitidulidae las familias con el mayor número de especies. La riqueza, abundancia y diversidad de la época de sequía fueron significativamente mayores que las de lluvias. La mayoría de las especies poseen abundancias inferiores a 1% conformando las especies raras. Teóricamente aún faltan taxa por recolectarse en Tlanchinol. La mayoría de las especies se ubicaron en la categoría de los depredadores (43% y fitófagos (20%. Los resultados resaltan la gran biodiversidad de estos bosques y su urgente necesidad de protección.We described and compared Coleoptera assemblages in rainy and dry seasons in the cloud forest in Tlanchinol, Hidalgo, Mexico, based on 8 monthly samples using flight interception traps. Assemblages were described using richness and composition as well as some diversity measurements; we then used Renyi's diversity profiles to compare them. A Bray-Curtis similarity index was used to evaluate species turnover rate between seasons. The theoretical richness by parametric methods was estimated, the relationship between species and the collecting months were analyzed with a correspondence analysis, and species were placed into functional groups

  17. Forest rodents provide directed dispersal of Jeffrey pine seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, J.S.; Wall, S.B.V.; Jenkins, S.H.

    2009-01-01

    Some species of animals provide directed dispersal of plant seeds by transporting them nonrandomly to microsites where their chances of producing healthy seedlings are enhanced. We investigated whether this mutualistic interaction occurs between granivorous rodents and Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) in the eastern Sierra Nevada by comparing the effectiveness of random abiotic seed dispersal with the dispersal performed by four species of rodents: deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), yellow-pine and long-eared chipmunks (Tamias amoenus and T. quadrimaculatus), and golden-mantled ground squirrels (Spermophilus lateralis). We conducted two caching studies using radio-labeled seeds, the first with individual animals in field enclosures and the second with a community of rodents in open forest. We used artificial caches to compare the fates of seeds placed at the range of microsites and depths used by animals with the fates of seeds dispersed abiotically. Finally, we examined the distribution and survival of naturally establishing seedlings over an eight-year period.Several lines of evidence suggested that this community of rodents provided directed dispersal. Animals preferred to cache seeds in microsites that were favorable for emergence or survival of seedlings and avoided caching in microsites in which seedlings fared worst. Seeds buried at depths typical of animal caches (5–25 mm) produced at least five times more seedlings than did seeds on the forest floor. The four species of rodents differed in the quality of dispersal they provided. Small, shallow caches made by deer mice most resembled seeds dispersed by abiotic processes, whereas many of the large caches made by ground squirrels were buried too deeply for successful emergence of seedlings. Chipmunks made the greatest number of caches within the range of depths and microsites favorable for establishment of pine seedlings. Directed dispersal is an important element of the population dynamics of Jeffrey pine, a

  18. Forest rodents provide directed dispersal of Jeffrey pine seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Jennifer S; Vander Wall, Stephen B; Jenkins, Stephen H

    2009-03-01

    Some species of animals provide directed dispersal of plant seeds by transporting them nonrandomly to microsites where their chances of producing healthy seedlings are enhanced. We investigated whether this mutualistic interaction occurs between granivorous rodents and Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) in the eastern Sierra Nevada by comparing the effectiveness of random abiotic seed dispersal with the dispersal performed by four species of rodents: deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), yellow-pine and long-eared chipmunks (Tamias amoenus and T. quadrimaculatus), and golden-mantled ground squirrels (Spermophilus lateralis). We conducted two caching studies using radio-labeled seeds, the first with individual animals in field enclosures and the second with a community of rodents in open forest. We used artificial caches to compare the fates of seeds placed at the range of microsites and depths used by animals with the fates of seeds dispersed abiotically. Finally, we examined the distribution and survival of naturally establishing seedlings over an eight-year period. Several lines of evidence suggested that this community of rodents provided directed dispersal. Animals preferred to cache seeds in microsites that were favorable for emergence or survival of seedlings and avoided caching in microsites in which seedlings fared worst. Seeds buried at depths typical of animal caches (5-25 mm) produced at least five times more seedlings than did seeds on the forest floor. The four species of rodents differed in the quality of dispersal they provided. Small, shallow caches made by deer mice most resembled seeds dispersed by abiotic processes, whereas many of the large caches made by ground squirrels were buried too deeply for successful emergence of seedlings. Chipmunks made the greatest number of caches within the range of depths and microsites favorable for establishment of pine seedlings. Directed dispersal is an important element of the population dynamics of Jeffrey pine, a

  19. Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Ginot

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Studies linking postcranial morphology with locomotion in mammals are common. However, such studies are mostly restricted to caviomorphs in rodents. We present here data from various families, belonging to the three main groups of rodents (Sciuroidea, Myodonta, and Ctenohystrica. The aim of this study is to define morphological indicators for the astragalus and calcaneus, which allow for inferences to be made about the locomotor behaviours in rodents. Several specimens were dissected and described to bridge the myology of the leg with the morphology of the bones of interest. Osteological characters were described, compared, mechanically interpreted, and correlated with a “functional sequence” comprising six categories linked to the lifestyle and locomotion (jumping, cursorial, generalist, fossorial, climber and semi-aquatic. Some character states are typical of some of these categories, especially arboreal climbers, fossorial and “cursorial-jumping” taxa. Such reliable characters might be used to infer locomotor behaviours in extinct species. Linear discriminant analyses (LDAs were used on a wider sample of species and show that astragalar and calcaneal characters can be used to discriminate the categories among extant species whereas a posteriori inferences on extinct species should be examined with caution.

  20. Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hautier, Lionel; Marivaux, Laurent; Vianey-Liaud, Monique

    2016-01-01

    Studies linking postcranial morphology with locomotion in mammals are common. However, such studies are mostly restricted to caviomorphs in rodents. We present here data from various families, belonging to the three main groups of rodents (Sciuroidea, Myodonta, and Ctenohystrica). The aim of this study is to define morphological indicators for the astragalus and calcaneus, which allow for inferences to be made about the locomotor behaviours in rodents. Several specimens were dissected and described to bridge the myology of the leg with the morphology of the bones of interest. Osteological characters were described, compared, mechanically interpreted, and correlated with a “functional sequence” comprising six categories linked to the lifestyle and locomotion (jumping, cursorial, generalist, fossorial, climber and semi-aquatic). Some character states are typical of some of these categories, especially arboreal climbers, fossorial and “cursorial-jumping” taxa. Such reliable characters might be used to infer locomotor behaviours in extinct species. Linear discriminant analyses (LDAs) were used on a wider sample of species and show that astragalar and calcaneal characters can be used to discriminate the categories among extant species whereas a posteriori inferences on extinct species should be examined with caution. PMID:27761303

  1. Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginot, Samuel; Hautier, Lionel; Marivaux, Laurent; Vianey-Liaud, Monique

    2016-01-01

    Studies linking postcranial morphology with locomotion in mammals are common. However, such studies are mostly restricted to caviomorphs in rodents. We present here data from various families, belonging to the three main groups of rodents (Sciuroidea, Myodonta, and Ctenohystrica). The aim of this study is to define morphological indicators for the astragalus and calcaneus, which allow for inferences to be made about the locomotor behaviours in rodents. Several specimens were dissected and described to bridge the myology of the leg with the morphology of the bones of interest. Osteological characters were described, compared, mechanically interpreted, and correlated with a "functional sequence" comprising six categories linked to the lifestyle and locomotion (jumping, cursorial, generalist, fossorial, climber and semi-aquatic). Some character states are typical of some of these categories, especially arboreal climbers, fossorial and "cursorial-jumping" taxa. Such reliable characters might be used to infer locomotor behaviours in extinct species. Linear discriminant analyses (LDAs) were used on a wider sample of species and show that astragalar and calcaneal characters can be used to discriminate the categories among extant species whereas a posteriori inferences on extinct species should be examined with caution.

  2. Rodent Species Distribution and Hantavirus Seroprevalence in Residential and Forested areas of Sarawak, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamdan, Nur Elfieyra Syazana; Ng, Yee Ling; Lee, Wei Bin; Tan, Cheng Siang; Khan, Faisal Ali Anwarali; Chong, Yee Ling

    2017-01-01

    Rodents belong to the order Rodentia, which consists of three families in Borneo (i.e., Muridae, Sciuridae and Hystricidae). These include rats, mice, squirrels, and porcupines. They are widespread throughout the world and considered pests that harm humans and livestock. Some rodent species are natural reservoirs of hantaviruses (Family: Bunyaviridae) that can cause zoonotic diseases in humans. Although hantavirus seropositive human sera were reported in Peninsular Malaysia in the early 1980s, information on their infection in rodent species in Malaysia is still lacking. The rodent populations in residential and forested areas in Sarawak were sampled. A total of 108 individuals from 15 species of rodents were collected in residential (n = 44) and forested ( n = 64) areas. The species diversity of rodents in forested areas was significantly higher (H = 2.2342) compared to rodents in residential areas (H = 0.64715) (p rodent populations in Sarawak, East Malaysia. The results suggested that hantavirus was not circulating in the studied rodent populations in Sarawak, or it was otherwise at a low prevalence that is below the detection threshold. It is important to remain vigilant because of the zoonotic potential of this virus and its severe disease outcome. Further studies, such as molecular detection of viral genetic materials, are needed to fully assess the risk of hantavirus infection in rodents and humans in this region of Malaysia.

  3. A Field Study of Plague and Tularemia in Rodents, Western Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafavi, Ehsan; Shahraki, Abdolrazagh Hashemi; Japoni-Nejad, Alireza; Esmaeili, Saber; Darvish, Jamshid; Sedaghat, Mohammad Mehdi; Mohammadi, Ali; Mohammadi, Zeinolabedin; Mahmoudi, Ahmad; Pourhossein, Behzad; Ghasemi, Ahmad; Gyuranecz, Miklós; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2017-04-01

    Kurdistan Province in Iran is a historical focus for plague and tularemia. This study aimed at assessing the current status of these two foci by studying their rodent reservoirs. Rodents were trapped and their ectoparasites were collected. The genus and species of both rodents and ectoparasites were determined. Serological analyses of rodent blood samples were done by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for plague and by standard tube agglutination assay for tularemia. Rodent spleen samples were subjected to bacterial culture, microscopic examination, and real-time PCR to search for active plague or tularemia infection. During this study, 245 rodents were trapped, of which the most abundant genera were Apodemus (40%), Mus (24.49%), and Meriones (12.65%). One hundred fifty-three fleas, 37 mites, and 54 ticks were collected on these rodents. The results of all direct and indirect tests were negative for plague. Serological tests were positive for tularemia in 4.8% of trapped rodents. This study is the first report on the presence of tularemia infection in rodents in Western Iran. Since Meriones persicus is a known reservoir for plague and tularemia, and this rodent carried plague and tularemia vectors in Marivan and Sanandaj districts, there is a real potential for the occurrence of these two diseases in this region.

  4. Molecular examinations of Babesia microti in rodents and rodent-attached ticks from urban and sylvatic habitats in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obiegala, Anna; Pfeffer, Martin; Pfister, Kurt; Karnath, Carolin; Silaghi, Cornelia

    2015-06-01

    Small mammals serve as reservoir hosts for tick-borne pathogens, especially for those which are not transmitted transovarially in ticks - such as Babesia microti. Molecular investigations on the prevalence of B. microti in wild small mammals and on attached ticks from differently structured areas may provide information on the circulation of B. microti in different ecological niches. In 2012 and 2013, 622 rodents (396 Myodes glareolus, 178 Apodemus flavicollis, 36 Apodemus sylvaticus, 4 Apodemus agrarius, 7 Microtus arvalis, 1 Microtus agrestis) were captured from three differently structured habitats (urban, sylvatic, recultivated) in Germany. Attached ticks were collected from 449 small mammals (3250 Ixodes ricinus, 7 Ixodes trianguliceps, 133 Dermacentor reticulatus). A representative selection of a maximum of 5 ticks per developmental stage and species per 30 rodents of each species, location and year resulting in 965 ticks was further investigated. DNA was extracted from tick, blood and spleen samples, and tested by PCR for the partial 18S rRNA gene of B. microti with subsequent sequencing. The prevalence was significantly higher in rodents from the sylvatic site (4.6%) than in rodents captured at both other sites (-0.6%) (χ(2)=11.95; p=0.00125). Body and spleen weight of infected M. glareolus from the sylvatic site were significantly higher compared to those from non-infected individuals from that site (p=0.00288 and p=0.00017, respectively). Babesia microti DNA was detected in 3 out of 965 attached ticks (0.3%; 95%CI: 0-1) from all sites, but they derived exclusively from rodents captured at the sylvatic site. At the same site, I. ricinus nymphs (7.7%; 95%CI: 1-25.3) were significantly more often infected than I. ricinus larvae (0%; 95%CI: 0-1.3)(χ(2)=26.72; prodents was also found at that site. I. trianguliceps occurred exclusively and the majority of M. glareolus at that site. Thus, it may be assumed that the circulation of B. microti is more efficient

  5. Effect of woodland patch size on rodent seed predation in a fragmented landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Loman

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Predation on large woody plant seeds; chestnuts, acorns and sloe kernels, was studied in deciduous forests of two size classes: small woodlots (<1 ha and large woods (at least 25 ha in southern Sweden. Seeds used for the study were artificially distributed on the forest ground and seed predation measured as seed removal. Predation rate was similar in both types of woods. However, rodent density was higher in small woodlots and a correction for differences in rodent density showed that predation rate per individual rodent was higher in the large woods. This suggests that the small woodlots (including the border zone and their adjacent fields have more rodent food per area unit. A small woodlot cannot be considered a representative sample of a large continuous forest, even if the habitats appear similar. There was a strong effect of rodent density on seed predation rate. This suggests that rodents are major seed predators in this habitat.

  6. Cross-reactivity of secondary antibodies against African rodents and application for sero-surveillance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Ichiro; Hang'ombe, Bernard Mudenda; Sawa, Hirofumi; Kobayashi, Shintaro; Orba, Yasuko; Ishii, Akihiro; Thomas, Yuka; Isozumi, Rie; Yoshimatsu, Kumiko; Mweene, Aaron S; Takada, Ayato; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Arikawa, Jiro

    2013-01-01

    A total of 466 rodents were captured in the Republic of Zambia from 2006 to 2010. Based on morphological observations and phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial gene sequences, rodents were divided into 10 groups consisting of 39 Rattus rodents, 263 multimammate rats, 18 other Murinae rodents, 95 gerbils, 11 pouched mice, 1 giant-pouched rat, 38 fat mice and 1 dormouse. Rodent antibodies except that from Rattus were examined for their cross-reactivity to commercially available antibody detection reagents. Anti-mouse immunoglobulin G (IgG) was most cross-reactive to heterologous antibodies including multimammate rat, gerbil, pouched mouse and fat mouse. Thus, anti-mouse IgG would be a useful detection tool in serological examination of the Zambian rodent population. Preliminary sero-surveillance for plague, leptospirosis and hantavirus infection was performed by ELISA.

  7. Wild rodents and shrews are natural hosts of Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mrochen, Daniel M; Schulz, Daniel; Fischer, Stefan; Jeske, Kathrin; El Gohary, Heba; Reil, Daniela; Imholt, Christian; Trübe, Patricia; Suchomel, Josef; Tricaud, Emilie; Jacob, Jens; Heroldová, Marta; Bröker, Barbara M; Strommenger, Birgit; Walther, Birgit; Ulrich, Rainer G; Holtfreter, Silva

    2017-09-22

    Laboratory mice are the most commonly used animal model for Staphylococcus aureus infection studies. We have previously shown that laboratory mice from global vendors are frequently colonized with S. aureus. Laboratory mice originate from wild house mice. Hence, we investigated whether wild rodents, including house mice, as well as shrews are naturally colonized with S. aureus and whether S. aureus adapts to the wild animal host. 295 animals of ten different species were caught in different locations over four years (2012-2015) in Germany, France and the Czech Republic. 45 animals were positive for S. aureus (15.3%). Three animals were co-colonized with two different isolates, resulting in 48 S. aureus isolates in total. Positive animals were found in Germany and the Czech Republic in each studied year. The S. aureus isolates belonged to ten different spa types, which grouped into six lineages (clonal complex (CC) 49, CC88, CC130, CC1956, sequence type (ST) 890, ST3033). CC49 isolates were most abundant (17/48, 35.4%), followed by CC1956 (14/48, 29.2%) and ST890 (9/48, 18.8%). The wild animal isolates lacked certain properties that are common among human isolates, e.g., a phage-encoded immune evasion cluster, superantigen genes on mobile genetic elements and antibiotic resistance genes, which suggests long-term adaptation to the wild animal host. One CC130 isolate contained the mecC gene, implying wild rodents might be both reservoir and vector for methicillin-resistant S. aureus. In conclusion, we demonstrated that wild rodents and shrews are naturally colonized with S. aureus, and that those S. aureus isolates show signs of host adaptation. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  8. Habitat use by endemic and introduced rodents along a gradient of forest disturbance in Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Lehtonen, J.T.; Mustonen, O.; Ramiarinjanahary, H.; NiemelÀ, J.; Rita, H.

    2001-01-01

    We used logistic and Poisson regression models to determine factors of forest and landscape structure that influence the presence and abundance of rodent species in the rain forest of Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar. Rodents were collected using live-traps along a gradient of human disturbance. All five endemic rodent species (Nesomys rufus, N. audeberti, Eliurus tanala, E. minor and E. webbi) and the introduced rat Rattus rattus were captured in both secondary...

  9. Effects of staphylococcal enterotoxin B on rodent mast cells.

    OpenAIRE

    Komisar, J; Rivera, J.; Vega, A.; Tseng, J

    1992-01-01

    Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) was tested in rodent mast cell cultures for the release of serotonin. Both rat RBL-2H3 mast cells and murine peritoneal cells released serotonin after SEB stimulation in culture. Release of serotonin in RBL-2H3 cells depended on the concentration of SEB; an appreciable release was seen at 50 micrograms/ml. The release of serotonin was not due to cell death. Serotonin release could be enhanced by bradykinin but not by vasoactive intestinal peptide, substance ...

  10. Rodents and disease – the never ending problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Ambu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Rodents are hardy animals and can usually survive in any environment. However changes in the environment can affect their survival. In a 30-year study it was found that some dominant species in an arid environment had their population drastically affected by extreme climate conditions. These extreme weather events affected the rodent’s survival, distribution and advantage in that environment leading to reorganisation of the population structure. This shows the vulnerability of population dynamics of a dominant species when it is exposed to extreme conditions such as floods or any other natural disasters.

  11. Advance in the research of sterilants against rodents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    The advances in the application of sterilizing techniques against pest rodents in China are introduced in the paper. The development of chemosterilants, improvements of botanic sterilants, production of new steroid hormone sterilants, introduction of immunosterility and excellent properties of the sterilants are outlined. The "Space Occupation Theory" of sterile techniques is advanced after practice. The botanic sterilants with gossypol and trichosanthin as its main agents were screened and successfully applied in the large area control in the northern forest area of China. The safety of sterilants to non-target animals such as rats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys and chickens was summarized.

  12. The role of rodents in avian influenza outbreaks in poultry farms: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velkers, Francisca C; Blokhuis, Simon J; Veldhuis Kroeze, Edwin J B; Burt, Sara A

    2017-12-01

    Wild migratory birds are associated with global avian influenza virus (AIV) spread. Although direct contact with wild birds and contaminated fomites is unlikely in modern non-free range poultry farms applying biosecurity measures, AIV outbreaks still occur. This suggests involvement of other intermediate factors for virus transmission between wild birds and poultry. This review describes current evidence of the potential role of rodents in AIV transmission from wild birds to poultry and between poultry houses. Rodents can be abundant around poultry houses, share their habitat with waterfowl and can readily enter poultry houses. Survival of AIV from waterfowl in poultry house surroundings and on the coat of rodents suggests that rodents are likely to act as mechanical vector. AIVs can replicate in rodents without adaptation, resulting in high viral titres in lungs and nasal turbinates, virus presence in nasal washes and saliva, and transmission to naïve contact animals. Therefore, active AIV shedding by infected rodents may play a role in transmission to poultry. Further field and experimental studies are needed to provide evidence for a role of rodents in AIV epidemiology. Making poultry houses rodent-proof and the immediate surroundings unattractive for rodents are recommended as preventive measures against possible AIV introduction.

  13. Effect of food quality and availability on rainforest rodents of Sri Lanka

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    P.B. Ratnaweera

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Tropical rodent communities are highly diverse species assemblages, yet remain poorly studied. This investigation was conducted with the objective of examining the responses of rainforest rodents to food quality and availability. These factors were assessed through laboratory and field trials conducted in the Sinharaja and Kanneliya rainforests in Sri Lanka. The effect of food quality on the foraging behavior of rodents was examined through feeding experiments using natural rainforest fruits/seeds. In addition, the effect of food augmentation on the rodent population was also investigated. Diet choice experiments showed that rodents exhibited clear food preferences, with certain fruit types being preferentially consumed and others rejected. Tolerance tests where animals were provided with a single fruit type showed that some items that were avoided when offered with a range of food items were consumed when no alternatives were available. In the field a positive relationship was found between fruit/seed and rodent densities; seed addition resulted in marked increases in rodent numbers. These results suggest that tropical rodent populations are food limited, at least during seasons when fruits/seeds are in short supply. Food selectivity also means that populations of rainforest rodents might be adversely affected by changes in tree species composition resulting from habitat disturbance and fragmentation

  14. Characteristics associated with contact with rodents in, around, and outside homes in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwannarong, Kanokwan; Chapman, Robert S

    2015-04-01

    Rodents are an important reservoir for zoonotic diseases. To enhance the evidence on the human-rodent interface, this cross-sectional study was conducted in 2011 to investigate characteristics associated with rodent contact in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand. A standardized, interviewer-administered questionnaire elicited information from 201 adults (101 males and 100 females). Overall, 86.6% of participants reported encountering or seeing evidence of rodents in or near the home, whereas 57.2% encountered rodents while working with crops. Encountering rodents in or near the home was positively associated with the number of agricultural activities, whereas encountering rodents during crop work was positively associated with perceiving that disease can be acquired from rodents, the number of food crops grown, the number of agricultural activities, and living in a house with wooden walls. Surprisingly, neither outcome was associated appreciably with gender, age, or setting (urban, forest, or agricultural). These results provide information on the potential risk of rodent-borne zoonoses; this evidence has implications for risk communication strategies in this province and likely elsewhere.

  15. Functional evolution of the feeding system in rodents.

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    Philip G Cox

    Full Text Available The masticatory musculature of rodents has evolved to enable both gnawing at the incisors and chewing at the molars. In particular, the masseter muscle is highly specialised, having extended anteriorly to originate from the rostrum. All living rodents have achieved this masseteric expansion in one of three ways, known as the sciuromorph, hystricomorph and myomorph conditions. Here, we used finite element analysis (FEA to investigate the biomechanical implications of these three morphologies, in a squirrel, guinea pig and rat. In particular, we wished to determine whether each of the three morphologies is better adapted for either gnawing or chewing. Results show that squirrels are more efficient at muscle-bite force transmission during incisor gnawing than guinea pigs, and that guinea pigs are more efficient at molar chewing than squirrels. This matches the known diet of nuts and seeds that squirrels gnaw, and of grasses that guinea pigs grind down with their molars. Surprisingly, results also indicate that rats are more efficient as well as more versatile feeders than both the squirrel and guinea pig. There seems to be no compromise in biting efficiency to accommodate the wider range of foodstuffs and the more general feeding behaviour adopted by rats. Our results show that the morphology of the skull and masticatory muscles have allowed squirrels to specialise as gnawers and guinea pigs as chewers, but that rats are high-performance generalists, which helps explain their overwhelming success as a group.

  16. Studying autism in rodent models: reconciling endophenotypes with comorbidities.

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    Andrew eArgyropoulos

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD patients commonly exhibit a variety of comorbid traits including seizures, anxiety, aggressive behavior, gastrointestinal problems, motor deficits, abnormal sensory processing and sleep disturbances for which the cause is unknown. These features impact negatively on daily life and can exaggerate the effects of the core diagnostic traits (social communication deficits and repetitive behaviors. Studying endophenotypes relevant to both core and comorbid features of ASD in rodent models can provide insight into biological mechanisms underlying these disorders. Here we review the characterization of endophenotypes in a selection of environmental, genetic and behavioural rodent models of ASD. In addition to exhibiting core ASD-like behaviours, each of these animal models display one or more endophenotypes relevant to comorbid features including altered sensory processing, seizure susceptibility, anxiety-like behaviour and disturbed motor functions, suggesting that these traits are indicators of altered biological pathways in ASD. However, the study of behaviours paralleling comorbid traits in animal models of ASD is an emerging field and further research is needed to assess altered gastrointestinal function, aggression and disorders of sleep onset across models. Future studies should include investigation of these endophenotypes in order to advance our understanding of the etiology of this complex disorder.

  17. Detection and characterization of a novel polyomavirus in wild rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orba, Yasuko; Kobayashi, Shintaro; Nakamura, Ichiro; Ishii, Akihiro; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mweene, Aaron S; Thomas, Yuka; Kimura, Takashi; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2011-04-01

    To investigate polyomavirus infection in wild rodents, we analysed DNA samples from the spleens of 100 wild rodents from Zambia using a broad-spectrum PCR-based assay. A previously unknown polyomavirus genome was identified in a sample from a multimammate mouse (Mastomys species) and the entire viral genome of 4899 bp was subsequently sequenced. This viral genome contained potential ORFs for the capsid proteins, VP1, VP2 and VP3, and early proteins, small t antigen and large T antigen. Phylogenetic analysis showed that it was a novel member of the family Polyomaviridae, and thus the virus was tentatively named mastomys polyomavirus. After transfection of the viral genome into several mammalian cell lines, transient expression of the VP1 and large T antigen proteins was confirmed by immunoblotting and immunocytochemical analyses. Comparison of large T antigen function in mastomys polyomavirus with that in rhesus monkey polyomavirus SV40 and human polyomavirus JC virus revealed that the large T antigen from mastomys polyomavirus interacted with the tumour suppressor protein pRb, but not with p53.

  18. Tests and models of nociception and pain in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrot, M

    2012-06-01

    Nociception and pain is a large field of both neuroscience and medical research. Over time, various tests and models were developed in rodents to provide tools for fundamental and translational research on the topic. Tests using thermal, mechanical, and chemical stimuli, measures of hyperalgesia and allodynia, models of inflammatory or neuropathic pain, constitute a toolbox available to researchers. These tests and models allowed rapid progress on the anatomo-molecular basis of physiological and pathological pain, even though they have yet to translate into new analgesic drugs. More recently, a growing effort has been put forth trying to assess pain in rats or mice, rather than nociceptive reflexes, or at studying complex states affected by chronic pain. This aids to further improve the translational value of preclinical research in a field with balanced research efforts between fundamental research, preclinical work, and human studies. This review describes classical tests and models of nociception and pain in rodents. It also presents some recent and ongoing developments in nociceptive tests, recent trends for pain evaluation, and raises the question of the appropriateness between tests, models, and procedures.

  19. Protection by dietary compounds against mutation in a transgenic rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, J G

    2001-11-01

    One of the most relevant biomarkers of genotoxicity and, potentially, carcinogenesis is the occurrence of mutations. Data indicate that carcinogens are highly specific with regard to their target tissue in inducing both tumors and mutations. This specificity may reflect the dependence on tissue-specific metabolic activation, the organ-specific environment or both. Ideally, therefore, mutation should be determined in a real animal rather than in a cell culture system. The lacI transgenic rodent model provides such a system. We have used this model to investigate tissue, species and sex specificity of mutation induced by selected dietary carcinogens and to examine how some compounds may alter the induction of mutation. We have studied mutation using several chemicals, including the dietary heterocyclic amine 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), the environmentally important aromatic hydrocarbon benzo[a]pyrene and the food contaminant aflatoxin B1. We have shown that the mutagenic potency of these chemicals can be modulated by other dietary compounds, including green tea and conjugated linoleic acid, and the dioxin 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo[b,e][1,4]dioxin (TCDD). These results demonstrate that the lacI transgenic rodent is a useful model for the study of chemoprevention in vivo.

  20. Spatial memory tasks in rodents: what do they model?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morellini, Fabio

    2013-10-01

    The analysis of spatial learning and memory in rodents is commonly used to investigate the mechanisms underlying certain forms of human cognition and to model their dysfunction in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Proper interpretation of rodent behavior in terms of spatial memory and as a model of human cognitive functions is only possible if various navigation strategies and factors controlling the performance of the animal in a spatial task are taken into consideration. The aim of this review is to describe the experimental approaches that are being used for the study of spatial memory in rats and mice and the way that they can be interpreted in terms of general memory functions. After an introduction to the classification of memory into various categories and respective underlying neuroanatomical substrates, I explain the concept of spatial memory and its measurement in rats and mice by analysis of their navigation strategies. Subsequently, I describe the most common paradigms for spatial memory assessment with specific focus on methodological issues relevant for the correct interpretation of the results in terms of cognitive function. Finally, I present recent advances in the use of spatial memory tasks to investigate episodic-like memory in mice.

  1. Holocene vegetation history from fossil rodent middens near Arequipa, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, C.A.; Betancourt, J.L.; Rylander, K.A.; Roque, J.; Tovar, O.; Zeballos, H.; Linares, E.; Quade, Jay

    2001-01-01

    Rodent (Abrocoma, Lagidium, Phyllotis) middens collected from 2350 to 2750 m elevation near Arequipa, Peru (16??S), provide an ???9600-yr vegetation history of the northern Atacama Desert, based on identification of >50 species of plant macrofossils. These midden floras show considerable stability throughout the Holocene, with slightly more mesophytic plant assemblages in the middle Holocene. Unlike the southwestern United States, rodent middens of mid-Holocene age are common. In the Arequipa area, the midden record does not reflect any effects of a mid-Holocene mega drought proposed from the extreme lowstand (100 m below modern levels, >6000 to 3500 yr B.P.) of Lake Titicaca, only 200 km east of Arequipa. This is perhaps not surprising, given other evidence for wetter summers on the Pacific slope of the Andes during the middle Holocene as well as the poor correlation of summer rainfall among modern weather stations in the central AndesAtacama Desert. The apparent difference in paleoclimatic reconstructions suggests that it is premature to relate changes observed during the Holocene to changes in El Nin??o Southern Oscillation modes. ?? 2001 University of Washington.

  2. Identifying genes for neurobehavioural traits in rodents: progress and pitfalls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amelie Baud

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Identifying genes and pathways that contribute to differences in neurobehavioural traits is a key goal in psychiatric research. Despite considerable success in identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs associated with behaviour in laboratory rodents, pinpointing the causal variants and genes is more challenging. For a long time, the main obstacle was the size of QTLs, which could encompass tens if not hundreds of genes. However, recent studies have exploited mouse and rat resources that allow mapping of phenotypes to narrow intervals, encompassing only a few genes. Here, we review these studies, showcase the rodent resources they have used and highlight the insights into neurobehavioural traits provided to date. We discuss what we see as the biggest challenge in the field – translating QTLs into biological knowledge by experimentally validating and functionally characterizing candidate genes – and propose that the CRISPR/Cas genome-editing system holds the key to overcoming this obstacle. Finally, we challenge traditional views on inbred versus outbred resources in the light of recent resource and technology developments.

  3. Identifying genes for neurobehavioural traits in rodents: progress and pitfalls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baud, Amelie; Flint, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Identifying genes and pathways that contribute to differences in neurobehavioural traits is a key goal in psychiatric research. Despite considerable success in identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with behaviour in laboratory rodents, pinpointing the causal variants and genes is more challenging. For a long time, the main obstacle was the size of QTLs, which could encompass tens if not hundreds of genes. However, recent studies have exploited mouse and rat resources that allow mapping of phenotypes to narrow intervals, encompassing only a few genes. Here, we review these studies, showcase the rodent resources they have used and highlight the insights into neurobehavioural traits provided to date. We discuss what we see as the biggest challenge in the field - translating QTLs into biological knowledge by experimentally validating and functionally characterizing candidate genes - and propose that the CRISPR/Cas genome-editing system holds the key to overcoming this obstacle. Finally, we challenge traditional views on inbred versus outbred resources in the light of recent resource and technology developments. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Population ecology of hantavirus rodent hosts in southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Bernardo R; Loureiro, Nathalie; Strecht, Liana; Gentile, Rosana; Oliveira, Renata C; Guterres, Alexandro; Fernandes, Jorlan; Mattos, Luciana H B V; Raboni, Sonia M; Rubio, Giselia; Bonvicino, Cibele R; dos Santos, Claudia N Duarte; Lemos, Elba R S; D'Andrea, Paulo S

    2014-08-01

    In this study we analyze population dynamics of hantavirus rodent hosts and prevalence of infection over a 2-year period in Southern Brazil, a region with a high incidence of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The 14 small mammal species captured were composed of 10 rodents and four marsupials, the six most abundant species being Akodon serrensis, Oxymycterus judex, Akodon montensis, Akodon paranaensis, Oligoryzomys nigripes, and Thaptomys nigrita. These species displayed a similar pattern with increasing population sizes in fall/winter caused by recruitment and both, increase in reproductive activity and higher hantavirus prevalence in spring/summer. Specific associations between A. montensis/Jaborá Virus (JABV) and O. nigripes/Juquitiba-like Virus (JUQV-like) and spillover infections between A. paranaensis/JABV, A. serrensis/JABV, and A. paranaensis/JUQV-like were observed. Spillover infection in secondary hosts seems to play an important role in maintaining JABV and JUQV-like in the hantavirus sylvatic cycle mainly during periods of low prevalence in primary hosts.

  5. Population Ecology of Hantavirus Rodent Hosts in Southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Bernardo R.; Loureiro, Nathalie; Strecht, Liana; Gentile, Rosana; Oliveira, Renata C.; Guterres, Alexandro; Fernandes, Jorlan; Mattos, Luciana H. B. V.; Raboni, Sonia M.; Rubio, Giselia; Bonvicino, Cibele R.; Duarte dos Santos, Claudia N.; Lemos, Elba R. S.; D'Andrea, Paulo S.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we analyze population dynamics of hantavirus rodent hosts and prevalence of infection over a 2-year period in Southern Brazil, a region with a high incidence of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The 14 small mammal species captured were composed of 10 rodents and four marsupials, the six most abundant species being Akodon serrensis, Oxymycterus judex, Akodon montensis, Akodon paranaensis, Oligoryzomys nigripes, and Thaptomys nigrita. These species displayed a similar pattern with increasing population sizes in fall/winter caused by recruitment and both, increase in reproductive activity and higher hantavirus prevalence in spring/summer. Specific associations between A. montensis/Jaborá Virus (JABV) and O. nigripes/Juquitiba-like Virus (JUQV-like) and spillover infections between A. paranaensis/JABV, A. serrensis/JABV, and A. paranaensis/JUQV-like were observed. Spillover infection in secondary hosts seems to play an important role in maintaining JABV and JUQV-like in the hantavirus sylvatic cycle mainly during periods of low prevalence in primary hosts. PMID:24935954

  6. Genome Diversification Mechanism of Rodent and Lagomorpha Chemokine Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanako Shibata

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemokines are a large family of small cytokines that are involved in host defence and body homeostasis through recruitment of cells expressing their receptors. Their genes are known to undergo rapid evolution. Therefore, the number and content of chemokine genes can be quite diverse among the different species, making the orthologous relationships often ambiguous even between closely related species. Given that rodents and rabbit are useful experimental models in medicine and drug development, we have deduced the chemokine genes from the genome sequences of several rodent species and rabbit and compared them with those of human and mouse to determine the orthologous relationships. The interspecies differences should be taken into consideration when experimental results from animal models are extrapolated into humans. The chemokine gene lists and their orthologous relationships presented here will be useful for studies using these animal models. Our analysis also enables us to reconstruct possible gene duplication processes that generated the different sets of chemokine genes in these species.

  7. [The ecology of Cryptosporidium parvum infection in small rodent populations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajer, A; Bednarska, M; Siński, E

    2001-01-01

    The prevalence and abundance of Cryptosporidium parvum were studied over a three year period (1997-1999) in three species of rodents sampled from forest and abandoned fields in the Mazury Lake District, Poland. The overall prevalence was consistently higher in voles compared with Apodemus flavicollis (70.6% in Clethrionomys glareolus, 73.0% in Microtus arvalis and 27.8% in A. flavicollis). The prevalence and abundance of infection also varied across the 3 years of the study with 1998 being the year of higher prevalence and abundance of the parasite. Fewer older animals carried the infection, and their infections were relatively mild. We found no consistent pattern of seasonal changes despite the significance of seasonal differences. Host sex did not influence either the prevalence or abundance of infection with C. parvum. A great proportion of recaptured voles developed chronic infections between consecutive trapping sessions and only a small number of animals recovered. However, yellow-necked mice seem to be much more resistant to infection that became self-limiting. Our results firmly establish that the common woodland and grassland wild rodents in the Mazury Lake District constitute a significant and hazardous reservoir of C. parvum for animals and humans.

  8. Causal evidence between monsoon and evolution of rhizomyine rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Antoñanzas, Raquel; Knoll, Fabien; Wan, Shiming; Flynn, Lawrence J.

    2015-03-01

    The modern Asian monsoonal systems are currently believed to have originated around the end of the Oligocene following a crucial step of uplift of the Tibetan-Himalayan highlands. Although monsoon possibly drove the evolution of many mammal lineages during the Neogene, no evidence thereof has been provided so far. We examined the evolutionary history of a clade of rodents, the Rhizomyinae, in conjunction with our current knowledge of monsoon fluctuations over time. The macroevolutionary dynamics of rhizomyines were analyzed within a well-constrained phylogenetic framework coupled with biogeographic and evolutionary rate studies. The evolutionary novelties developed by these rodents were surveyed in parallel with the fluctuations of the Indian monsoon so as to evaluate synchroneity and postulate causal relationships. We showed the existence of three drops in biodiversity during the evolution of rhizomyines, all of which reflected elevated extinction rates. Our results demonstrated linkage of monsoon variations with the evolution and biogeography of rhizomyines. Paradoxically, the evolution of rhizomyines was accelerated during the phases of weakening of the monsoons, not of strengthening, most probably because at those intervals forest habitats declined, which triggered extinction and progressive specialization toward a burrowing existence.

  9. The response of rodents to scent marks: four broad hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferkin, Michael H

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Many terrestrial mammals must be able to distinguish between the myriad of scent marks they encounter in order for them to facilitate or deter direct interactions with their scent donors. I review studies that examine how rodents, mainly meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), respond when they encounter the scent marks of conspecifics and heterospecifics, and how context, as well as the age and condition of senders and receivers, affect their responses. The review uses four broad hypotheses to discuss the response of rodents to scent marks. The four hypotheses are as follows: 1) Scent marks convey accurate information to the receiver about the sender's state and phenotype and genotype. 2) Scent marks are individually distinct. 3) The response of receivers to scent marks is flexible and would be modulated by the cognitive abilities of receivers. 4) Receivers respond to the information contained or conveyed by the scent mark in a manner that will increase their survival and fitness. The studies cited in this review show that scent marks signal accurate information about the sender's phenotype, genotype, and condition, which receivers use to distinguish among the scent marks of different conspecifics and heterospecifics, and by doing so, receivers tailor their response accordingly to increase their survival and fitness. Thus, the four broad hypotheses may serve as guide to increase our understanding of the response of receivers to scent marks and provide a conceptual framework for future research and the development of additional hypotheses.

  10. Ecology and management of rodents in no-till agriculture in Washington, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witmer, Gary; Sayler, Rodney; Huggins, David; Capelli, Jason

    2007-09-01

    No-till farming is an important approach to sustainable agriculture because it can conserve soil and water resources. Unfortunately, rodent populations can thrive under no-till conditions because burrow systems are not disrupted by annual plowing and plant residues build-up on the surface, providing cover and insulation. This can result in substantial crop damage. We assessed rodent populations, habitat use, food habits, and crop damage in a no-till cropping system in Washington, USA. We also conducted preliminary trials of methods to reduce rodent populations and crop damage. In the fall, many more rodents were captured in fields with unharvested crops than in fields containing only plant stubble, suggesting that rodents leave fields after crop harvest, providing that suitable habitats are nearby, even when adequate cover is still available in harvested crop fields. By spring, the number of voles captured was much lower relative to fall. Despite this, capture rates were much higher in surrounding permanent grass areas than in crop (barley, wheat, pea) fields, suggesting that these grassy areas serve as refugia for rodents. Furthermore, the permanent grass cover type was the landscape variable most associated with rodent capture rates. In three winter pea fields, rodents removed 5-15% of the pea plants over winter. Examination of stomach contents revealed that voles mainly fed on grain plants in spring, but that their diet was more diversified in fall. Deer mice fed heavily on grain plants in both spring and fall, but also used insects as food. Metal barrier exclosures (9 m × 9 m), extending above and below ground, did not prevent access by rodents. Rodent populations in areas treated with zinc phosphide on grain were comparable to untreated areas 1 year after application of the rodenticide, perhaps because of immigration and recruitment, suggesting that baiting does not provide a long-term solution to rodent damage in no-till agricultural fields.

  11. [Monitoring populations of rodent reservoirs of zoonotic diseases. Projects, aims and results].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, J; Ulrich, R G; Freise, J; Schmolz, E

    2014-05-01

    Rodents can harbor and transmit pathogens that can cause severe disease in humans, companion animals and livestock. Such zoonotic pathogens comprise more than two thirds of the currently known human pathogens. The epidemiology of some zoonotic pathogens, such as hantaviruses, can be linked to the population dynamics of the rodent host. In this case, during an outbreak of the rodent host population many human infections may occur. In other rodent-borne zoonotic diseases such phenomena are not known and in many cases the rodent host specificity of a given pathogen is unclear. The monitoring of relevant rodent populations and of the rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens is essential to (1) understand the distribution and epidemiology of pathogens and (2) develop forecasting tools to predict outbreaks of zoonoses. Presently, there are no systematic long-term monitoring programs in place for zoonoses in Germany. Rodent monitoring activities are largely restricted to the plant protection sector, such as for the common vole (Microtus arvalis) and forest-damaging rodents. However, during the last 10-15 years a number of specific research projects have been initiated and run for a few years and Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) monitoring has been implemented in Hamburg and Lower Saxony. Based on close cooperation of federal and state authorities and research institutions these efforts could be utilized to gain information about the distribution and importance of rodent-borne zoonoses. Nevertheless, for the integration of rodent population dynamics and zoonotic disease patterns and especially for developing predictive models, long-term monitoring is urgently required. To establish a systematic long-term monitoring program, existing networks and cooperation need to be used, additional collaborators (e.g., pest control operators) should be included and synergetic effects of different scientific fields should be utilized.

  12. The influence of the cage environment on rodent physiology and behavior: Implications for reproducibility of pre-clinical rodent research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, Linda A

    2015-08-01

    The reproducibility of pre-clinical research is an important concern that is now being voiced by constituencies that include the National Institutes of Health, the pharmaceutical industry, Congress, the public and the scientific community. An important facet of performing and publishing well-controlled reproducible pre-clinical research is to stabilize and more completely define the environment of the animal subjects. Scientists who use rodents in research generally recognize the importance of maintaining a stable animal environment. However, despite a theoretical and general awareness of these issues, many may lack a true appreciation of how significantly even seemingly minor variations in the environment can affect research outcomes. The purpose of this article is to help investigators gain a more comprehensive and substantiated understanding of the potentially significant impact of even seemingly minor environmental changes on the animals and the data. An important caveat to this article is that the examples presented were selected from a very large literature, admittedly in order to illustrate certain points. The goal of this article is not to provide an overview of the entire literature on how the environment affects rodents but rather to make preclinical scientists more aware of how these factors can potentially influence the experimental data and contribute to poor reproducibility of research. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Diversidad y datos reproductivos de mamíferos medianos y grandes en el bosque mesófilo de montaña de la Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra de Manantlán, Jalisco-Colima, México Medium and large mammal diversity and reproductive data in the cloud forest, Biosphere Reserve of Sierra Manantlán, Jalisco-Colima, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Aranda

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available El bosque mesófilo de montaña (BMM es uno de los ecosistemas con menor extensión territorial y de los más amenazados en México. Este trabajo presenta datos sobre la riqueza, abundancia relativa, actividad y datos reproductivos de especies de mamíferos medianos y grandes en el BMM ubicado en la Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra de Manantlán. Entre febrero de 2008 y agosto de 2009, mediante la utilización de fototrampas, se obtuvieron 372 registros independientes que corresponden a 17 especies. Esta información respalda la elección adecuada de método y sitios de monitoreo. Los resultados indican que el ecosistema se encuentra en buen estado de conservación, lo que coincide con lo que en fecha reciente registró la Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad. Es recomendable establecer acciones de monitoreo a mediano y largo plazo en múltiples sitios, para complementar la evaluación que se ha realizado de este ecosistema en el país.The cloud forest (CF is one of the ecosystems with less surface and the most threatened in Mexico. This paper presents information on the richness, relative abundance, activity and reproductive data of medium and large mammals in the CF located in the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve. Between February 2008 and August 2009, we used camera-traps with which we obtained 372 independent records, corresponding to 17 species. We believe this data supports an appropriate choice of method and monitoring sites; but also data on richness, abundance and reproduction of the species indicate that the ecosystem is properly preserved in the area, which is consistent with recently reported Conabio. Therefore we recommend establishing monitoring activities in the medium and long term in multiple sites, which could complement the assessment that has been undertaken at national level in this ecosystem.

  14. Physiologically Based Modelling of Dioxins. I. Validation of a rodent toxicokinetic model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeilmaker MJ; Slob W

    1993-01-01

    In this report a rodent Physiologically Based PharmacoKinetic (PBPK) model for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin is described. Validation studies, in which model simulations of TCDD disposition were compared with in vivo TCDD disposition in rodents exposed to TCDD, showed that the model adequately p

  15. Polyandry and polygyny in an African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kennis, Jan; Sluydts, Vincent; Leirs, Herwig

    2008-01-01

    Males and females use different mating strategies and seldom have these strategies been studied on the field for cryptic rodent species. We studied the breeding strategies of both males and females of the sub-Sahara African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis, in the field using capture...

  16. Rodent repellent studies. IV. Preparation and properties of trinitrobenzene-aryl amine complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWitt, J.B.; Bellack, E.; Welch, J.F.

    1953-01-01

    Data are presented on methods of preparation, chemical arid physical characteristics, toxicity, and repellency to rodents of complexes of symmetrical trinitrohenzene with various aromatic amines: When applied in suitable carriers or incorporated in plastic .films, members of this series ofmaterials were shown to offer significant increases in time required by wild rodents to damage common packaging materials.

  17. Patawa Virus, a New Arenavirus Hosted by Forest Rodents in French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavergne, Anne; de Thoisy, Benoit; Donato, Damien; Guidez, Amandine; Matheus, Séverine; Catzeflis, François; Lacoste, Vincent

    2015-06-01

    Molecular screening of rodents from French Guiana has detected a new arenavirus, named "Patawa," in two Oecomys species (Muridae, Sigmodontinae). Further investigations are needed to better understand the circulation of this virus in rodent and human populations and its public health impact.

  18. Natural Intestinal Protozoa in Rodents (Rodentia: Gerbillinae, Murinae, Cricetinae) in Northwestern Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    MOHEBALI, Mehdi; ZAREI, Zabiholah; Khanaliha, Khadijeh; KIA, Eshrat Beigom; MOTAVALLI-HAGHI, Afsaneh; DAVOODI, Jaber; REZAEIAN, Tahereh; TARIGHI, Fathemeh; REZAEIAN, Mostafa

    2017-01-01

    Background: Majority of parasitic infections in rodents have zoonotic importance. This study aimed to determine the frequency and intensity of intestinal protozoa infections of rodents including Meriones persicus, Mus musculus and, Cricetulus migratorius. Methods: This survey was conducted in Meshkin Shahr district in northwestern Iran from Mar. to Dec. of 2014. Intestinal samples of 204 rodents including M. persicus (n=117), M. musculus (n=63) and C. migratorius (n=24) were parasitologically examined. Formalin-ether concentration method was done for all of rodents stool samples and observed with light microscope. All of suspected cases were stained with trichorome staining Method. Cultivation in dichromate potassium 2.5% was carried out for all of coccidian positive samples. Acid fast and aniline blue staining methods were used for detecting of coccidian oocysts and intestinal microsporidial spores, respectively. Results: About 121(59.3%) of the caught rodents were generally infected with intestinal protozoa. Entamoeba muris 14(6.9%), Trichomonas muris 55(27.0%), Chilomastix betencourtti 17 (8.3%), Giardia muris 19(9.3%), Eimeria spp. 46(22.5%), Isospora spp. 4(2%) and Cryptosporidium spp. 1(0.5%) were found from the collected rodents. Microsporidian spores were identified in 63 (31%) out of the 204 collected rodents using aniline blue staining method. Conclusion: Since some of the infections are zoonotic importance thus, control of rodents can be decreased new cases of the parasitic zoonoses in humans. PMID:28979348

  19. Polyandry and polygyny in an African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kennis, J.; Sluydts, V.; Leirs, H.; Hooft, van W.F.

    2008-01-01

    Males and females use different mating strategies and seldom have these strategies been studied on the field for cryptic rodent species. We studied the breeding strategies of both males and females of the sub-Sahara African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis, in the field using capture removal

  20. Natural Intestinal Protozoa in Rodents (Rodentia: Gerbillinae, Murinae, Cricetinae in Northwestern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi MOHEBALI

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Majority of parasitic infections in rodents have zoonotic importance. This study aimed to determine the frequency and intensity of intestinal protozoa infections of rodents including Meriones persicus, Mus musculus and, Cricetulus migratorius.Methods: This survey was conducted in Meshkin Shahr district in northwestern Iran from Mar. to Dec. of 2014. Intestinal samples of 204 rodents including M. persicus (n=117, M. musculus (n=63 and C. migratorius (n=24 were parasitologically examined. Formalin-ether concentration method was done for all of rodents stool samples and observed with light microscope. All of suspected cases were stained with trichorome staining Method. Cultivation in dichromate potassium 2.5% was carried out for all of coccidian positive samples. Acid fast and aniline blue staining methods were used for detecting of coccidian oocysts and intestinal microsporidial spores, respectively.Results: About 121(59.3% of the caught rodents were generally infected with intestinal protozoa. Entamoeba muris 14(6.9%, Trichomonas muris 55(27.0%, Chilomastix betencourtti 17 (8.3%, Giardia muris 19(9.3%, Eimeria spp. 46(22.5%, Isospora spp. 4(2% and Cryptosporidium spp. 1(0.5% were found from the collected rodents. Microsporidian spores were identified in 63 (31% out of the 204 collected rodents using aniline blue staining method.Conclusion: Since some of the infections are zoonotic importance thus, control of rodents can be decreased new cases of the parasitic zoonoses in humans.

  1. Diversity of gastrointestinal helminths among murid rodents from northern and northeastern Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaisiri, Kittipong; Chaeychomsri, Win; Siruntawineti, Jindawan; Ribas, Alexis; Herbreteau, Vincent; Morand, Serge

    2012-01-01

    The presence of gastrointestinal helminths (GI helminths) was investigated among 725 murid rodents, trapped in various habitats of Nan, Loei and Buri Ram Provinces, Thailand. The study revealed 17 species of rodents infected with 21 species or taxonomic groups of parasites (3 trematodes, 3 cestodes, 14 nematodes and 1 acanthocephalan). The overall prevalence of infection was 57.7% (418/725). Of the gastrointestinal (GI) helminths, the dominant parasitic group was members of the family Trichostrongylidae (24.3%), followed by the cestodes Raillietina sp (17.1%) and Hymenolepis diminuta (8.6%) and the nematode Syphacia muris (8.6%). The GI helminthic infection rates were highest in Mus caroli (81.8%), Mus cervicolor (76.5%), Leopoldamys edwardsi (75.0%), Bandicota indica (71.5%) and Bandicota savilei (71.4%). Highest rodent species richness (RSR) and helminth species richness (HSR) rates were found in Loei, followed by Nan and Buri Ram. The helminth prevalence rate was higher in rodents from Nan, followed by rodents from Loei and Buri Ram. Rodents from irrigated fields had the highest infection rates followed by rodents from upland or dry agricultural areas, forests and domestic habitats. Raillietina sp, Rodentolepis nana (syn. Hymenolepis nana), Hymenolepis diminuta, Moniliformis moniliformis and Cyclodontostomum purvisi, considered zoonotic parasites, were mainly found in rodents from domestic habitats and lowland irrigated fields.

  2. Polyandry and polygyny in an African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kennis, J.; Sluydts, V.; Leirs, H.; Hooft, van W.F.

    2008-01-01

    Males and females use different mating strategies and seldom have these strategies been studied on the field for cryptic rodent species. We studied the breeding strategies of both males and females of the sub-Sahara African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis, in the field using capture removal

  3. Anti-erosion stone bunds influence rodent dynamics and crop damage in Ethiopian highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meheretu, Yonas; Welegerima, Kiros; Teferi, Mekonen; Yirga, Gidey; Haile, Mitiku; Sluydts, Vincent; Bauer, Hans; Nyssen, Jan; Deckers, Jozef; Leirs, Herwig

    2014-05-01

    In areas of subsistence agriculture, a variety of soil conservation methods have been implemented in the last few decades to improve crop yields, however these can have unintended consequences such as providing habitat for rodent pests. We studied rodent population dynamics and estimated crop damage in high and low stone bund density fields for four cropping seasons in Tigray highlands, northern Ethiopia. Stone bunds are physical structures for soil and water conservation, and potentially habitat for rodents. We used a general model to relate the proportion of crop damage to rodent abundance, stone bund density and crop stages. We found a positive correlation between rodent abundance and crop damage, and significant variation in rodent abundance and crop damage between high and low stone bund density fields. Furthermore, crop damage also varied significantly between crop stages. We concluded that Mastomys awashensis and Arvicanthis dembeensis were the two most important crop pests in the highlands causing significant damage. Fields with high stone bund density (~10 m average distance apart) harbor more rodents and endure a significantly higher proportion of crop damage compared to fields with lower stone bund density (~15 m average distance apart). The fact that rodent abundances peaked during the reproductive stage of the crop and around harvest implies the need for management intervention before these crop stages are attained.

  4. Rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks after flooding disasters: Epidemiology, management, and prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, James H

    2015-01-01

    To alert clinicians to the climatic conditions that can precipitate outbreaks of the rodent-borne infectious diseases most often associated with flooding disasters, leptospirosis (LS), and the Hantavirus-caused diseases, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS); to describe the epidemiology and presenting clinical manifestations and outcomes of these rodent-borne infectious diseases; and to recommend both prophylactic therapies and effective control and prevention strategies for rodent-borne infectious diseases. Internet search engines, including Google®, Google Scholar®, Pub Med, Medline, and Ovid, were queried with the key words as search terms to examine the latest scientific articles on rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks in the United States and worldwide to describe the epidemiology and presenting clinical manifestations and outcomes of LS and Hantavirus outbreaks. Not applicable. Not applicable. Not applicable. Rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks following heavy rainfall and flooding disasters. Heavy rainfall encourages excessive wild grass seed production that supports increased outdoor rodent population densities; and flooding forces rodents from their burrows near water sources into the built environment and closer to humans. Healthcare providers should maintain high levels of suspicion for LS in patients developing febrile illnesses after contaminated freshwater exposures following heavy rainfall, flooding, and even freshwater recreational events; and for Hantavirus-caused infectious diseases in patients with hemorrhagic fevers that progress rapidly to respiratory or renal failure following rodent exposures.

  5. Miocene rodent evolution and migration. Muroidea from Pakistan, Turkey and Northern Africa. Geologica Ultraiectina (307)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wessels, W.

    2009-01-01

    Detailed research on fossil rodents from Pakistan, Turkey, northern Africa and Europe provides a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the Muroidea, especially of the Murinae, Myocricetodontinae and Rhizomyinae. The origin of these rodent groups lies in the Early Miocene of south-weste

  6. Crepuscular rhythms of EEG sleep-wake in a hystricomorph rodent, Octodon degus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kas, M J; Edgar, D M

    1998-01-01

    Sleep-wake circadian rhythms are well documented for nocturnal rodents, but little is known about sleep regulation in diurnal or crepuscular rodent species. This study examined the circadian sleep-wake rhythms in Octodon degus by means of electroencephalogram (EEG) analysis. Recordings were made fro

  7. Draft Genome Sequence of the Rodent Opportunistic Pathogen Pasteurella pneumotropica ATCC 35149T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Hiraku; Ishikawa, Hiroki; Asano, Ryoki; Ueshiba, Hidehiro; Matsumoto, Tetsuya; Boot, Ron; Kawamoto, Eiichi

    2014-08-07

    Pasteurella pneumotropica is an opportunistic pathogen in rodents that is commonly isolated from upper respiratory tracts in laboratory rodents. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the P. pneumotropica type strain ATCC 35149, which was first isolated and characterized as biotype Jawetz. Copyright © 2014 Sasaki et al.

  8. Draft Genome Sequence of the Rodent Opportunistic Pathogen Pasteurella pneumotropica ATCC 35149T

    OpenAIRE

    Sasaki, Hiraku; Ishikawa, Hiroki; Asano, Ryoki; Ueshiba, Hidehiro; Matsumoto, Tetsuya; Boot, Ron; Kawamoto, Eiichi

    2014-01-01

    Pasteurella pneumotropica is an opportunistic pathogen in rodents that is commonly isolated from upper respiratory tracts in laboratory rodents. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the P. pneumotropica type strain ATCC 35149, which was first isolated and characterized as biotype Jawetz.

  9. Translating Research from Animal Models: Does It Matter that Our Rodents are So Cold?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Does it matter that preclinical rodent models are routinely housed below their thermoneutral zone and are thereby cold-stressed? We compile evidence showing that rodents housed below their thermoneutral zone are cold-stressed, hypermetalbolic, hypertensive, sleep-deprived, obesi...

  10. In vivo microCT imaging of rodent cerebral vasculature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seo, Youngho; Hasegawa, Bruce H [Center for Molecular and Functional Imaging, Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143 (United States); Hashimoto, Tomoki; Nuki, Yoshitsugu [Center for Cerebrovascular Research, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143 (United States)], E-mail: youngho.seo@radiology.ucsf.edu

    2008-04-07

    Computed tomography (CT) remains a critical diagnostic tool for evaluating patients with cerebrovascular disease, and the advent of specialized systems for imaging rodents has extended these techniques to small animal models of these diseases. We therefore have evaluated in vivo methods of imaging rat models of hemorrhagic stroke using a high resolution compact computed tomography ('microCT') system (FLEX(tm) X-O(tm), Gamma Medica-Ideas, Northridge, CA). For all in vivo studies, the head of the anesthetized rat was secured in a custom immobilization device for microCT imaging with 512 projections over 2 min at 60 kVp and 0.530 mA (I{sub tube} x t/rotation = 63.6 mAs). First, imaging without iodinated contrast was performed (a) to differentiate the effect of contrast agent in contrast-enhanced CT and (b) to examine the effectiveness of the immobilization device between two time points of CT acquisitions. Then, contrast-enhanced CT was performed with continuous administration of iopromide (300 mgI ml{sup -1} at 1.2 ml min{sup -1}) to visualize aneurysms and other vascular formations in the carotid and cerebral arteries that may precede subarachnoid hemorrhage. The accuracy of registration between the noncontrast and contrast-enhanced CT images with the immobilization device was compared against the images aligned with normalized mutual information using FMRIB's linear image registration tool (FLIRT). Translations and rotations were examined between the FLIRT-aligned noncontrast CT image and the nonaligned noncontrast CT image. These two data sets demonstrated translational and rotational differences of less than 0.5 voxel ({approx}85 {mu}m) and 0.5 deg., respectively. Noncontrast CT demonstrated a very small volume (0.1 ml) of femoral arterial blood introduced surgically into the rodent brain. Continuous administration of iopromide during the CT acquisition produced consistent vascular contrast in the reconstructed CT images. As a result, carotid

  11. Occurrence of pathogens in wild rodents caught on Swedish pig and chicken farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backhans, A; Jacobson, M; Hansson, I; Lebbad, M; Lambertz, S Thisted; Gammelgård, E; Saager, M; Akande, O; Fellström, C

    2013-09-01

    A total of 207 wild rodents were caught on nine pig farms, five chicken farms and five non-farm locations in Sweden and surveyed for a selection of bacteria, parasites and viruses. Lawsonia intracellularia and pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica were only detected in rodents on pig farms (9% and 8% prevalence, respectively) which indicate that these agents are more likely to be transmitted to rodents from pigs or the environment on infected farms. Brachyspira hyodysenteriae (1%), Brachyspira intermedia (2%), Campylobacter jejuni (4%), Campylobacter upsaliensis (2%), leptospires (7%) and encephalomyocarditis virus (9%) were also detected from rodents not in contact with farm animals. Giardia and Cryptosporidium spp. were common, although no zoonotic types were verified, and Salmonella enterica was isolated from 1/11 mice on one farm but not detected by PCR from any of the rodents. Trichinella spp. and Toxoplasma gondii were not detected.

  12. Rodents on pig and chicken farms – a potential threat to human and animal health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annette Backhans

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Rodents can cause major problems through spreading various diseases to animals and humans. The two main species of rodents most commonly found on farms around the world are the house mouse (Mus musculus and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus. Both species are omnivorous and can breed year-round under favourable conditions. This review describes the occurrence of pathogens in rodents on specialist pig and chicken farms, which are usually closed units with a high level of bio-security. However, wild rodents may be difficult to exclude completely, even from these sites, and can pose a risk of introducing and spreading pathogens. This article reviews current knowledge regarding rodents as a hazard for spreading disease on farms. Most literature available regards zoonotic pathogens, while the literature regarding pathogens that cause disease in farm animals is more limited.

  13. Genetic evidence of hantavirus infections in wild rodents from northwestern Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Londoño, Andres F; Díaz, Francisco J; Agudelo-Flórez, Piedad; Levis, Silvana; Rodas, Juan D

    2011-06-01

    This report builds on recent serological evidence for the presence of hantavirus in northern Colombia by providing sequence-specific and phylogenetic data of hantavirus infections in wild rodents. From August 2007 to August 2008, 354 rodent specimens representing four families were collected in the northwestern Antioquia region of Colombia. Antibodies reactive to Sin Nombre virus and Maciel virus antigens by IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were found in 15 of 109 (14%) Cherries cane rats (Zygodontomys cherriei), the only sigmodontinae rodents captured. Lung tissue samples from 11 of the 15 seropositive rodents were RT-polymerase chain reaction positive for hantavirus RNA, using primers for the S and M genome segments. Eight of these amplicons were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses indicated RNA of a hantavirus closely related to Calabazo virus, previously found in Panama. This is the first report of the genetic characterization of a hantavirus in rodents in Colombia.

  14. The ultrastructural histochemistry and stereoscanning electron microscopy of the rodent and amphibian surfactant systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stratton, C J; Wetzstein, H Y; Hardy, T

    1980-05-01

    Ultrastructural histochemical precedures were employed to determine the carbohydrate components and their contributions to the rodent and amphibian surfactant systems. Zirconium stained the rodent (rat) cytoplasm surrounding the multilamellar bodies, the Golgi, and was associated with the membrane structures of the compact lamellae of alveolar multilamellar bodies. In the rodent and amphibian (Rana pipiens), ruthenium red stain was observed within all tubular myelin surfactant matricies. The "gutters," tubular myelin surfactant matrix, and intratubular myelin surfactant matrix materials all demonstrated a positive reaction product. The periodic acid-chromic acid-silver procedure revealed irregular channels extending from the multilamellar bodies to the surface of the rodent great alveolar pneumocyte. The extra-pulmonary and respiratory surfaces in both species were additionally studied by stereoscanning electron microscopy. The respiratory anatomy of the rodent was corroborated. The amphibian lung demonstrated three orders of septa, and in the expired state, tertiary septal pits. The amphibian primary septa were hollow, blind tubules containing respiratory surfaces.

  15. Neurobiology of rodent self-grooming and its value for translational neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalueff, Allan V; Stewart, Adam Michael; Song, Cai; Berridge, Kent C; Graybiel, Ann M; Fentress, John C

    2016-01-01

    Self-grooming is a complex innate behaviour with an evolutionarily conserved sequencing pattern and is one of the most frequently performed behavioural activities in rodents. In this Review, we discuss the neurobiology of rodent self-grooming, and we highlight studies of rodent models of neuropsychiatric disorders--including models of autism spectrum disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder--that have assessed self-grooming phenotypes. We suggest that rodent self-grooming may be a useful measure of repetitive behaviour in such models, and therefore of value to translational psychiatry. Assessment of rodent self-grooming may also be useful for understanding the neural circuits that are involved in complex sequential patterns of action.

  16. Experimental evidence for reduced rodent diversity causing increased hantavirus prevalence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Suzán

    Full Text Available Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases have become a major global environmental problem with important public health, economic, and political consequences. The etiologic agents of most emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, and anthropogenic environmental changes that affect wildlife communities are increasingly implicated in disease emergence and spread. Although increased disease incidence has been correlated with biodiversity loss for several zoonoses, experimental tests in these systems are lacking. We manipulated small-mammal biodiversity by removing non-reservoir species in replicated field plots in Panama, where zoonotic hantaviruses are endemic. Both infection prevalence of hantaviruses in wild reservoir (rodent populations and reservoir population density increased where small-mammal species diversity was reduced. Regardless of other variables that affect the prevalence of directly transmitted infections in natural communities, high biodiversity is important in reducing transmission of zoonotic pathogens among wildlife hosts. Our results have wide applications in both conservation biology and infectious disease management.

  17. Fellow travellers: Working memory and mental time travel in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dere, Ekrem; Dere, Dorothea; de Souza Silva, Maria Angelica; Huston, Joseph P; Zlomuzica, Armin

    2017-03-19

    The impairment of mental time travel is a severe cognitive symptom in patients with brain lesions and a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. Whether animals are also able to mentally travel in time both forward and backward is still a matter of debate. In this regard, we have proposed a continuum of mental time travel abilities across different animal species, with humans being the species with the ability to perform most sophisticated forms of mental time travel. In this review and perspective article, we delineate a novel approach to understand the evolution, characteristics and function of human and animal mental time travel. Furthermore, we propose a novel approach to measure mental time travel in rodents in a comprehensive manner using a test battery composed of well-validated and easy applicable tests. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Transmission of Guanarito and Pirital Viruses among Wild Rodents, Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milazzo, Mary L.; Cajimat, Maria N.B.; Duno, Gloria; Duno, Freddy; Utrera, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Samples from rodents captured on a farm in Venezuela in February 1997 were tested for arenavirus, antibody against Guanarito virus (GTOV), and antibody against Pirital virus (PIRV). Thirty-one (48.4%) of 64 short-tailed cane mice (Zygodontomys brevicauda) were infected with GTOV, 1 Alston’s cotton rat (Sigmodon alstoni) was infected with GTOV, and 36 (64.3%) of 56 other Alston’s cotton rats were infected with PIRV. The results of analyses of field and laboratory data suggested that horizontal transmission is the dominant mode of GTOV transmission in Z. brevicauda mice and that vertical transmission is an important mode of PIRV transmission in S. alstoni rats. The results also suggested that bodily secretions and excretions from most GTOV-infected short-tailed cane mice and most PIRV-infected Alston’s cotton rats may transmit the viruses to humans. PMID:22172205

  19. Rodent Auditory Perception: Critical Band Limitations and Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Julia; Insanally, Michele; Jin, Menghan; Martins, Ana Raquel O.; D'amour, James A.; Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    What do animals hear? While it remains challenging to adequately assess sensory perception in animal models, it is important to determine perceptual abilities in model systems to understand how physiological processes and plasticity relate to perception, learning, and cognition. Here we discuss hearing in rodents, reviewing previous and recent behavioral experiments querying acoustic perception in rats and mice, and examining the relation between behavioral data and electrophysiological recordings from the central auditory system. We focus on measurements of critical bands, which are psychoacoustic phenomena that seem to have a neural basis in the functional organization of the cochlea and the inferior colliculus. We then discuss how behavioral training, brain stimulation, and neuropathology impact auditory processing and perception. PMID:25827498

  20. Identification of novel anelloviruses with broad diversity in UK rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiyama, Shoko; Dutia, Bernadette M; Stewart, James P; Meredith, Anna L; Shaw, Darren J; Simmonds, Peter; Sharp, Colin P

    2014-07-01

    Anelloviruses are a family of small circular ssDNA viruses with a vast genetic diversity. Human infections with the prototype anellovirus, torque teno virus (TTV), are ubiquitous and related viruses have been described in a number of other mammalian hosts. Despite over 15 years of investigation, there is still little known about the pathogenesis and possible disease associations of anellovirus infections, arising in part due to the lack of a robust cell culture system for viral replication or tractable small-animal model. We report the identification of diverse anelloviruses in several species of wild rodents. The viruses are highly prevalent in wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) and field voles (Microtus agrestis), detectable at a low frequency in bank voles (Myodes glareolus), but absent from house mice (Mus musculus). The viruses identified have a genomic organization consistent with other anelloviruses, but form two clear phylogenetic groups that are as distinct from each other as from defined genera.

  1. A fundamental oscillatory state of isolated rodent hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chiping; Shen, Hui; Luk, Wah Ping; Zhang, Liang

    2002-04-15

    Population neuronal rhythms of various frequencies are observed in the rodent hippocampus during distinct behavioural states. However, the question of whether the hippocampus exhibits properties of spontaneous rhythms and population synchrony in isolation has not been definitively answered. To address this, we developed a novel preparation for studying neuronal rhythms in a relatively large hippocampal tissue in vitro. We isolated the whole hippocampus from mice up to 28 days postnatal age, removing the dentate gyrus while preserving the functional CA3-to-CA1 connections. Placing the hippocampal isolate in a perfusion chamber for electrophysiological assessment extracellular recordings from the CA1 revealed rhythmic field potential of 0.5 to interneurons. Similar spontaneous field rhythms were also observed in the hippocampal isolate prepared from young gerbils and rats. Based on these data, we postulate that the spontaneous rhythms represent a fundamental oscillatory state of the hippocampal circuitry isolated from extra-hippocampal inputs.

  2. Identification of novel anelloviruses with broad diversity in UK rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiyama, Shoko; Dutia, Bernadette M.; Stewart, James P.; Meredith, Anna L.; Shaw, Darren J.; Simmonds, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Anelloviruses are a family of small circular ssDNA viruses with a vast genetic diversity. Human infections with the prototype anellovirus, torque teno virus (TTV), are ubiquitous and related viruses have been described in a number of other mammalian hosts. Despite over 15 years of investigation, there is still little known about the pathogenesis and possible disease associations of anellovirus infections, arising in part due to the lack of a robust cell culture system for viral replication or tractable small-animal model. We report the identification of diverse anelloviruses in several species of wild rodents. The viruses are highly prevalent in wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) and field voles (Microtus agrestis), detectable at a low frequency in bank voles (Myodes glareolus), but absent from house mice (Mus musculus). The viruses identified have a genomic organization consistent with other anelloviruses, but form two clear phylogenetic groups that are as distinct from each other as from defined genera. PMID:24744300

  3. Roles of dental development and adaptation in rodent evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Helder Gomes; Renaud, Sabrina; Charles, Cyril; Le Poul, Yann; Solé, Floréal; Aguilar, Jean-Pierre; Michaux, Jacques; Tafforeau, Paul; Headon, Denis; Jernvall, Jukka; Viriot, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    In paleontology, many changes affecting morphology, such as tooth shape in mammals, are interpreted as ecological adaptations that reflect important selective events. Despite continuing studies, the identification of the genetic bases and key ecological drivers of specific mammalian dental morphologies remains elusive. Here we focus on the genetic and functional bases of stephanodonty, a pattern characterized by longitudinal crests on molars that arose in parallel during the diversification of murine rodents. We find that overexpression of Eda or Edar is sufficient to produce the longitudinal crests defining stephanodonty in transgenic laboratory mice. Whereas our dental microwear analyses show that stephanodonty likely represents an adaptation to highly fibrous diet, the initial and parallel appearance of stephanodonty may have been facilitated by developmental processes, without being necessarily under positive selection. This study demonstrates how combining development and function can help to evaluate adaptive scenarios in the evolution of new morphologies.

  4. Melanocortin control of energy balance: evidence from rodent models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Jonghe, Bart C; Hayes, Matthew R; Bence, Kendra K

    2011-08-01

    Regulation of energy balance is extremely complex, and involves multiple systems of hormones, neurotransmitters, receptors, and intracellular signals. As data have accumulated over the last two decades, the CNS melanocortin system is now identified as a prominent integrative network of energy balance controls in the mammalian brain. Here, we will review findings from rat and mouse models, which have provided an important framework in which to study melanocortin function. Perhaps most importantly, this review attempts for the first time to summarize recent advances in our understanding of the intracellular signaling pathways thought to mediate the action of melanocortin neurons and peptides in control of longterm energy balance. Special attention will be paid to the roles of MC4R/MC3R, as well as downstream neurotransmitters within forebrain and hindbrain structures that illustrate the distributed control of melanocortin signaling in energy balance. In addition, distinctions and controversy between rodent species will be discussed.

  5. Morphological evolution, ecological diversification and climate change in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renaud, Sabrina; Michaux, Jacques; Schmidt, Daniela N; Aguilar, Jean-Pierre; Mein, Pierre; Auffray, Jean-Christophe

    2005-03-22

    Among rodents, the lineage from Progonomys hispanicus to Stephanomys documents a case of increasing size and dental specialization during an approximately 9 Myr time-interval. On the contrary, some contemporaneous generalist lineages like Apodemus show a limited morphological evolution. Dental shape can be related to diet and can be used to assess the ecological changes along the lineages. Consequently, size and shape of the first upper molar were measured in order to quantify the patterns of morphological evolution along both lineages and compare them to environmental trends. Climatic changes do not have a direct influence on evolution, but they open new ecological opportunities by changing vegetation and allow the evolution of a specialist like Stephanomys. On the other hand, environmental changes are not dramatic enough to destroy the habitat of a long-term generalist like Apodemus. Hence, our results exemplify a case of an influence of climate on the evolution of specialist species, although a generalist species may persist without change.

  6. Lipidoid mRNA Nanoparticles for Myocardial Delivery in Rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, Irene C; Eltoukhy, Ahmed A; Anderson, Daniel G; Costa, Kevin D

    2017-01-01

    An area of active research in the field of cardiac gene therapy aims to achieve high transfection efficiency without eliciting immune or inflammatory reactions. Nanomedicine offers an attractive alternative to traditional viral delivery vehicles because nanoparticle technology can enable safer and more controlled delivery of therapeutic agents. Here we describe the use of lipidoid nanoparticles for delivery of modified mRNA (modRNA) to the myocardium in vivo, with a focus on rodent models that represent a first step toward preclinical studies. Three major procedures are discussed in this chapter: (1) preparation of lipid modRNA nanoparticles, (2) intramyocardial delivery of the lipid modRNA nanoparticles by direct injection with an open chest technique in rats, and (3) intracoronary delivery of the lipid modRNA nanoparticles with open chest and temporary aortic cross clamping in rats.

  7. Amorphous intergranular phases control the properties of rodent tooth enamel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Lyle M.; Cohen, Michael J.; MacRenaris, Keith W.; Pasteris, Jill D.; Seda, Takele; Joester, Derk

    2015-02-01

    Dental enamel, a hierarchical material composed primarily of hydroxylapatite nanowires, is susceptible to degradation by plaque biofilm-derived acids. The solubility of enamel strongly depends on the presence of Mg2+, F-, and CO32-. However, determining the distribution of these minor ions is challenging. We show—using atom probe tomography, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and correlative techniques—that in unpigmented rodent enamel, Mg2+ is predominantly present at grain boundaries as an intergranular phase of Mg-substituted amorphous calcium phosphate (Mg-ACP). In the pigmented enamel, a mixture of ferrihydrite and amorphous iron-calcium phosphate replaces the more soluble Mg-ACP, rendering it both harder and more resistant to acid attack. These results demonstrate the presence of enduring amorphous phases with a dramatic influence on the physical and chemical properties of the mature mineralized tissue.

  8. [Helminth fauna and steroid hormones concentration of wild rodents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuliś, Karolina; Bajer, Anna; Siński, Edward

    2004-01-01

    Fragmentation of the environment by natural barriers (lakes, mountain ranges) and human activities (towns, major roads, agriculture) can lead to isolate subpopulations of hosts. The study was based in Mazury lake district in north-eastern Poland, the region rich in forests, lakes, rivers and canals, which can create impassable barriers. Population of bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus)--dominant woodland rodent--showed local differences in helminth communities in fragmented forest habitat. The sites were chosen on the basis of the similarity of their habitat structure and type, and isolation from one another. There are evidences that steroids hormones associated with stress and reproduction may mediate trade-offs between physiology and immune function.

  9. Rodent communities in the sub-polar Ural mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berdyugin, K. I.

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of the rodent communities in the Sub-polar Urals is analysed. This part of the range, between 64° and 66°N, includes the highest peaks, is very scarcely settled and has been rarely studied. However, the area is interesting for biogeography, being a border zone separating European and Siberian lowland faunas. Comparison of results with those from expeditions undertaken in 1927 and in 1972, allows to evaluate changing trends in the local rodent communities, and to relate these trends to changes in the environmental conditions. The results help to emphasize the barrier role played by Sub-polar Urals for the species of rodents inhabiting both sides of the range, and also show the shifting of southern rodent forms northwards, or the moving upwards of other lowland species. This could be seen as an additional evidence of current climate warming trends.

    [fr]
    On analyse la répartition des communautés de rongeurs dans les Durais Subpolaires, une section de la chaîne comprise entre les 64° et les 66° de latitude N. Cette partie est très peu peuplée, elle possède les pics les plus hauts de la chaîne et a été rarement étudiée. Il s'agit d'une région intéressante, car c'est la frontière entre les plaines européennes et les plaines orientales de la Sibérie. En comparant les observations effectuées en 1927 et en 1972 avec celles des dernières années, on peut voir les tendances de changement des groupements de rongeurs de la région, et les interpréter en fonction des changements dans l'environnement. Les résultats permettent de mieux comprendre le rôle de barrière qui jouent les Durais Subpolaires pour les espèces de rongeurs situées d'un coté et d'autre de la chaîne. Aussi, ils permettent de verifier le déplacement vers le nord deformes méridionales et l'élévation en altitude d'autres, ce qui pourrait être vu comme une preuve additionnelle de la tendance au réchauffement global.
    [es]
    Se

  10. Coding odor identity and odor value in awake rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez-Parra, Alexia; Li, Anan; Restrepo, Diego

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade, drastic changes in the understanding of the role of the olfactory bulb and piriform cortex in odor detection have taken place through awake behaving recording in rodents. It is clear that odor responses in mitral and granule cells are strikingly different in the olfactory bulb of anesthetized versus awake animals. In addition, sniff recording has evidenced that mitral cell responses to odors during the sniff can convey information on the odor identity and sniff phase. Moreover, we review studies that show that the mitral cell conveys information on not only odor identity but also whether the odor is rewarded or not (odor value). Finally, we discuss how the substantial increase in awake behaving recording raises questions for future studies.

  11. Infectivities of four isolates of Taenia taeniaeformis to various rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, N; Iwaki, T; Okamoto, M; Ooi, H K; Oku, Y; Ohbayashi, M; Kamiya, M

    1994-06-01

    Taenia taeniaeformis were isolated from Norway rats captured at Sapporo (SRN isolate) and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KRN) and from Bedford's gray red-backed voles at Toubetsu (TCR) and Abuta (ACR). SRN, KRN and TCR isolates showed similar degree of infectivity to various rodents in which cysticerci with hooks were obtained in laboratory rats, white tuberous lesions in mice and no cysts or lesions in Mongolian gerbils and voles. Contrary to this, inoculation with ACR isolate eggs resulted in strobilocerci formation in the liver of voles, but no cysts were observed in rats, mice or gerbils. This host specificity of ACR isolate to voles suggests that it might be a new species of Taenia.

  12. Rodent and flea abundance fail to predict a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkerhoff, Robert Jory; Collinge, Sharon K; Ray, Chris; Gage, Ken L

    2010-01-01

    Small rodents are purported to be enzootic hosts of Yersinia pestis and may serve as sources of infection to prairie dogs or other epizootic hosts by direct or flea-mediated transmission. Recent research has shown that small rodent species composition and small rodent flea assemblages are influenced by the presence of prairie dogs, with higher relative abundance of both small rodents and fleas at prairie dog colony sites compared to grasslands without prairie dogs. However, it is unclear if increased rodent or flea abundance predisposes prairie dogs to infection with Y. pestis. We tracked rodent and flea occurrence for 3 years at a number of prairie dog colony sites in Boulder County, Colorado, before, during, and after a local plague epizootic to see if high rodent or flea abundance was associated with plague-affected colonies when compared to colonies that escaped infection. We found no difference in preepizootic rodent abundance or flea prevalence or abundance between plague-positive and plague-negative colonies. Further, we saw no significant before-plague/after-plague change in these metrics at either plague-positive or plague-negative sites. We did, however, find that small rodent species assemblages changed in the year following prairie dog die-offs at plague-affected colonies when compared to unaffected colonies. In light of previous research from this system that has shown that landscape features and proximity to recently plagued colonies are significant predictors of plague occurrence in prairie dogs, we suggest that landscape context is more important to local plague occurrence than are characteristics of rodent or flea species assemblages.

  13. Next-generation sequencing for rodent barcoding: species identification from fresh, degraded and environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galan, Maxime; Pagès, Marie; Cosson, Jean-François

    2012-01-01

    Rodentia is the most diverse order among mammals, with more than 2,000 species currently described. Most of the time, species assignation is so difficult based on morphological data solely that identifying rodents at the specific level corresponds to a real challenge. In this study, we compared the applicability of 100 bp mini-barcodes from cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase 1 genes to enable rodent species identification. Based on GenBank sequence datasets of 115 rodent species, a 136 bp fragment of cytochrome b was selected as the most discriminatory mini-barcode, and rodent universal primers surrounding this fragment were designed. The efficacy of this new molecular tool was assessed on 946 samples including rodent tissues, feces, museum samples and feces/pellets from predators known to ingest rodents. Utilizing next-generation sequencing technologies able to sequence mixes of DNA, 1,140 amplicons were tagged, multiplexed and sequenced together in one single 454 GS-FLX run. Our method was initially validated on a reference sample set including 265 clearly identified rodent tissues, corresponding to 103 different species. Following validation, 85.6% of 555 rodent samples from Europe, Asia and Africa whose species identity was unknown were able to be identified using the BLASTN program and GenBank reference sequences. In addition, our method proved effective even on degraded rodent DNA samples: 91.8% and 75.9% of samples from feces and museum specimens respectively were correctly identified. Finally, we succeeded in determining the diet of 66.7% of the investigated carnivores from their feces and 81.8% of owls from their pellets. Non-rodent species were also identified, suggesting that our method is sensitive enough to investigate complete predator diets. This study demonstrates how this molecular identification method combined with high-throughput sequencing can open new realms of possibilities in achieving fast, accurate and inexpensive species identification.

  14. Protozoan Parasites of Rodents and Their Zoonotic Significance in Boyer-Ahmad District, Southwestern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifollahi, Zeinab; Sarkari, Bahador; Motazedian, Mohammad Hossein; Asgari, Qasem; Ranjbar, Mohammad Javad; Abdolahi Khabisi, Samaneh

    2016-01-01

    Backgrounds. Wild rodents are reservoirs of various zoonotic diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, babesiosis, and leishmaniasis. The current study aimed to assess the protozoan infection of rodents in Boyer-Ahmad district, southwestern Iran. Materials and Methods. A total of 52 rodents were collected from different parts of Boyer-Ahmad district, in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, using Sherman live traps. Each rodent was anesthetized with ether, according to the ethics of working with animals, and was dissected. Samples were taken from various tissues and stool samples were collected from the contents of the colon and small intestines. Moreover, 2 to 5 mL of blood was taken from each of the rodents and the sera were examined for anti-Leishmania antibodies, by ELISA, or anti-T. gondii antibodies, by modified agglutination test (MAT). DNA was extracted from brain tissue samples of each rodent and PCR was used to identify the DNA of T. gondii. Results. Of the 52 stool samples of rodents studied by parasitological methods, intestinal protozoa infection was seen in 28 cases (53.8%). From 52 rodents, 19 (36.5%) were infected with Trichomonas, 10 (19.2%) with Giardia muris, and 11 (21.2%) with Entamoeba spp. Also, 10 cases (19.2%) were infected with Blastocystis, 3 (5.8%) were infected with Chilomastix, 7 (13.5%) were infected with Endolimax, 1 (1.9%) was infected with Retortamonas, 3 (5.77%) were infected with T. gondii, and 6 (11.54%) were infected with Trypanosoma lewisi. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in the sera of 5 (9.61%) cases. Results of the molecular study showed T. gondii infection in 3 (5.77%) of the rodents. Findings of this study showed that rodents in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, southwestern Iran, are infected with several blood and intestinal parasites; some of them might be potential risks to residents and domestic animals in the region.

  15. Perinatal kynurenine 3-hydroxylase inhibition in rodents: pathophysiological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceresoli-Borroni, Gianpiera; Guidetti, Paolo; Amori, Laura; Pellicciari, Roberto; Schwarcz, Robert

    2007-03-01

    The kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan degradation contains three neuroactive metabolites: the neuroinhibitory agent kynurenic acid (KYNA) and, in a competing branch, the free radical generator 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) and the excitotoxin quinolinic acid (QUIN). These three "kynurenines" derive from a common precursor, L-kynurenine, and are recognized for their role in brain physiology and pathophysiology. Inhibition of kynurenine 3-hydroxylase, the enzyme responsible for 3-HK formation, shifts KP metabolism in the mature brain toward enhanced KYNA formation. We now tested the cerebral effects of kynurenine 3-hydroxylase inhibition in immature rodents. Rat pups treated with the kynurenine 3-hydroxylase inhibitor UPF 648 (30 mg/kg, i.p.) 10 min after birth showed substantial increases in cerebral and liver kynurenine and KYNA levels up to 24 hr later, whereas 3-HK and QUIN levels were simultaneously decreased. Administered to pregnant rats or mice on the last day of gestation, UPF 648 (50 mg/kg, i.p.) produced qualitatively similar changes (i.e., large increases in kynurenine and KYNA and reductions in 3-HK and QUIN) in the brain and liver of the offspring. Rat pups delivered by UPF 648-treated mothers and immediately exposed to neonatal asphyxia showed further enhanced brain KYNA levels. These studies demonstrate that acute kynurenine 3-hydroxylase inhibition effectively shifts cerebral KP metabolism in neonatal rodents toward increased KYNA formation. Selective inhibitors of this enzyme may therefore provide neuroprotection in newborns and will also be useful for the experimental evaluation of the long-term effects of perinatal KP impairment.

  16. Central melanopsin projections in the diurnal rodent, Arvicanthis niloticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langel, Jennifer L; Smale, Laura; Esquiva, Gema; Hannibal, Jens

    2015-01-01

    The direct effects of photic stimuli on behavior are very different in diurnal and nocturnal species, as light stimulates an increase in activity in the former and a decrease in the latter. Studies of nocturnal mice have implicated a select population of retinal ganglion cells that are intrinsically photosensitive (ipRGCs) in mediation of these acute responses to light. ipRGCs are photosensitive due to the expression of the photopigment melanopsin; these cells use glutamate and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) as neurotransmitters. PACAP is useful for the study of central ipRGC projections because, in the retina, it is found exclusively within melanopsin cells. Little is known about the central projections of ipRGCs in diurnal species. Here, we first characterized these cells in the retina of the diurnal Nile grass rat using immunohistochemistry (IHC). The same basic subtypes of melanopsin cells that have been described in other mammals were present, but nearly 25% of them were displaced, primarily in its superior region. PACAP was present in 87.7% of all melanopsin cells, while 97.4% of PACAP cells contained melanopsin. We then investigated central projections of ipRGCs by examining the distribution of immunoreactive PACAP fibers in intact and enucleated animals. This revealed evidence that these cells project to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), pretectum, and superior colliculus. This distribution was confirmed with injections of cholera toxin subunit β coupled with Alexa Fluor 488 in one eye and Alexa Fluor 594 in the other, combined with IHC staining of PACAP. These studies also revealed that the ventral and dorsal LGN and the caudal olivary pretectal nucleus receive less innervation from ipRGCs than that reported in nocturnal rodents. Overall, these data suggest that although ipRGCs and their projections are very similar in diurnal and nocturnal rodents, they may not be identical.

  17. Arctic Small Rodents Have Diverse Diets and Flexible Food Selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eeva M Soininen

    Full Text Available The ecology of small rodent food selection is poorly understood, as mammalian herbivore food selection theory has mainly been developed by studying ungulates. Especially, the effect of food availability on food selection in natural habitats where a range of food items are available is unknown. We studied diets and selectivity of grey-sided voles (Myodes rufocanus and tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus, key herbivores in European tundra ecosystems, using DNA metabarcoding, a novel method enabling taxonomically detailed diet studies. In order to cover the range of food availabilities present in the wild, we employed a large-scale study design for sampling data on food availability and vole diets. Both vole species had ingested a range of plant species and selected particularly forbs and grasses. Grey-sided voles also selected ericoid shrubs and tundra voles willows. Availability of a food item rarely affected its utilization directly, although seasonal changes of diets and selection suggest that these are positively correlated with availability. Moreover, diets and selectivity were affected by availability of alternative food items. These results show that the focal sub-arctic voles have diverse diets and flexible food preferences and rarely compensate low availability of a food item with increased searching effort. Diet diversity itself is likely to be an important trait and has previously been underrated owing to methodological constraints. We suggest that the roles of alternative food item availability and search time limitations for small rodent feeding ecology should be investigated.Annotated Checklist of the Panarctic Flora (PAF, Vascular plants. Available at: http://nhm2.uio.no/paf/, accessed 15.6.2012.

  18. DNA barcoding of sigmodontine rodents: identifying wildlife reservoirs of zoonoses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lívia Müller

    Full Text Available Species identification through DNA barcoding is a tool to be added to taxonomic procedures, once it has been validated. Applying barcoding techniques in public health would aid in the identification and correct delimitation of the distribution of rodents from the subfamily Sigmodontinae. These rodents are reservoirs of etiological agents of zoonoses including arenaviruses, hantaviruses, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. In this study we compared distance-based and probabilistic phylogenetic inference methods to evaluate the performance of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI in sigmodontine identification. A total of 130 sequences from 21 field-trapped species (13 genera, mainly from southern Brazil, were generated and analyzed, together with 58 GenBank sequences (24 species; 10 genera. Preliminary analysis revealed a 9.5% rate of misidentifications in the field, mainly of juveniles, which were reclassified after examination of external morphological characters and chromosome numbers. Distance and model-based methods of tree reconstruction retrieved similar topologies and monophyly for most species. Kernel density estimation of the distance distribution showed a clear barcoding gap with overlapping of intraspecific and interspecific densities < 1% and 21 species with mean intraspecific distance < 2%. Five species that are reservoirs of hantaviruses could be identified through DNA barcodes. Additionally, we provide information for the description of a putative new species, as well as the first COI sequence of the recently described genus Drymoreomys. The data also indicated an expansion of the distribution of Calomys tener. We emphasize that DNA barcoding should be used in combination with other taxonomic and systematic procedures in an integrative framework and based on properly identified museum collections, to improve identification procedures, especially in epidemiological surveillance and ecological assessments.

  19. DNA barcoding of sigmodontine rodents: identifying wildlife reservoirs of zoonoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Lívia; Gonçalves, Gislene L; Cordeiro-Estrela, Pedro; Marinho, Jorge R; Althoff, Sérgio L; Testoni, André F; González, Enrique M; Freitas, Thales R O

    2013-01-01

    Species identification through DNA barcoding is a tool to be added to taxonomic procedures, once it has been validated. Applying barcoding techniques in public health would aid in the identification and correct delimitation of the distribution of rodents from the subfamily Sigmodontinae. These rodents are reservoirs of etiological agents of zoonoses including arenaviruses, hantaviruses, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. In this study we compared distance-based and probabilistic phylogenetic inference methods to evaluate the performance of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) in sigmodontine identification. A total of 130 sequences from 21 field-trapped species (13 genera), mainly from southern Brazil, were generated and analyzed, together with 58 GenBank sequences (24 species; 10 genera). Preliminary analysis revealed a 9.5% rate of misidentifications in the field, mainly of juveniles, which were reclassified after examination of external morphological characters and chromosome numbers. Distance and model-based methods of tree reconstruction retrieved similar topologies and monophyly for most species. Kernel density estimation of the distance distribution showed a clear barcoding gap with overlapping of intraspecific and interspecific densities < 1% and 21 species with mean intraspecific distance < 2%. Five species that are reservoirs of hantaviruses could be identified through DNA barcodes. Additionally, we provide information for the description of a putative new species, as well as the first COI sequence of the recently described genus Drymoreomys. The data also indicated an expansion of the distribution of Calomys tener. We emphasize that DNA barcoding should be used in combination with other taxonomic and systematic procedures in an integrative framework and based on properly identified museum collections, to improve identification procedures, especially in epidemiological surveillance and ecological assessments.

  20. Excitatory GABA in rodent developing neocortex in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rheims, Sylvain; Minlebaev, Marat; Ivanov, Anton; Represa, Alfonso; Khazipov, Rustem; Holmes, Gregory L; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Zilberter, Yuri

    2008-08-01

    GABA depolarizes immature cortical neurons. However, whether GABA excites immature neocortical neurons and drives network oscillations as in other brain structures remains controversial. Excitatory actions of GABA depend on three fundamental parameters: the resting membrane potential (Em), reversal potential of GABA (E(GABA)), and threshold of action potential generation (Vthr). We have shown recently that conventional invasive recording techniques provide an erroneous estimation of these parameters in immature neurons. In this study, we used noninvasive single N-methyl-d-aspartate and GABA channel recordings in rodent brain slices to measure both Em and E(GABA) in the same neuron. We show that GABA strongly depolarizes pyramidal neurons and interneurons in both deep and superficial layers of the immature neocortex (P2-P10). However, GABA generates action potentials in layer 5/6 (L5/6) but not L2/3 pyramidal cells, since L5/6 pyramidal cells have more depolarized resting potentials and more hyperpolarized Vthr. The excitatory GABA transiently drives oscillations generated by L5/6 pyramidal cells and interneurons during development (P5-P12). The NKCC1 co-transporter antagonist bumetanide strongly reduces [Cl(-)]i, GABA-induced depolarization, and network oscillations, confirming the importance of GABA signaling. Thus a strong GABA excitatory drive coupled with high intrinsic excitability of L5/6 pyramidal neurons and interneurons provide a powerful mechanism of synapse-driven oscillatory activity in the rodent neocortex in vitro. In the companion paper, we show that the excitatory GABA drives layer-specific seizures in the immature neocortex.

  1. Central melanopsin projections in the diurnal rodent, Arvicanthis niloticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Lou Langel

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The direct effects of photic stimuli on behavior are very different in diurnal and nocturnal species, as light stimulates an increase in activity in the former and a decrease in the latter. Studies of nocturnal mice have implicated a select population of retinal ganglion cells that are intrinsically photosensitive (ipRGCs in mediation of these acute responses to light. ipRGCs are photosensitive due to the expression of the photopigment melanopsin; these cells use glutamate and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP as neurotransmitters. PACAP is useful for the study of central ipRGC projections because, in the retina, it is found exclusively within melanopsin cells. Little is known about the central projections of ipRGCs in diurnal species. Here, we first characterized these cells in the retina of the diurnal Nile grass rat using immunohistochemistry (IHC. The same basic subtypes of melanopsin cells that have been described in other mammals were present, but nearly 25% of them were displaced, primarily in its superior region. PACAP was present in 87.7% of all melanopsin cells, while 97.4% of PACAP cells contained melanopsin. We then investigated central projections of ipRGCs by examining the distribution of immunoreactive PACAP fibers in intact and enucleated animals. This revealed evidence that these cells project to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN, pretectum and superior colliculus. This distribution was confirmed with injections of cholera toxin subunit β coupled with Alexa Fluor 488 in one eye and Alexa Flour 594 in the other, combined with IHC staining of PACAP. These studies also revealed that the ventral and dorsal LGN and the caudal olivary pretectal nucleus receive less innervation from ipRGCs than that reported in nocturnal rodents. Overall, these data suggest that although ipRGCs and their projections are very similar in diurnal and nocturnal rodents, they may not be identical.

  2. Osseointegration of biochemically modified implants in an osteoporosis rodent model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B Stadlinger

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study examined the impact of implant surface modifications on osseointegration in an osteoporotic rodent model. Sandblasted, acid-etched titanium implants were either used directly (control or were further modified by surface conditioning with NaOH or by coating with one of the following active agents: collagen/chondroitin sulphate, simvastatin, or zoledronic acid. Control and modified implants were inserted into the proximal tibia of aged ovariectomised (OVX osteoporotic rats (n = 32/group. In addition, aged oestrogen competent animals received either control or NaOH conditioned implants. Animals were sacrificed 2 and 4 weeks post-implantation. The excised tibiae were utilised for biomechanical and morphometric readouts (n = 8/group/readout. Biomechanical testing revealed at both time points dramatically reduced osseointegration in the tibia of oestrogen deprived osteoporotic animals compared to intact controls irrespective of NaOH exposure. Consistently, histomorphometric and microCT analyses demonstrated diminished bone-implant contact (BIC, peri-implant bone area (BA, bone volume/tissue volume (BV/TV and bone-mineral density (BMD in OVX animals. Surface coating with collagen/chondroitin sulphate had no detectable impact on osseointegration. Interestingly, statin coating resulted in a transient increase in BIC 2 weeks post-implantation; which, however, did not correspond to improvement of biomechanical readouts. Local exposure to zoledronic acid increased BIC, BA, BV/TV and BMD at 4 weeks. Yet this translated only into a non-significant improvement of biomechanical properties. In conclusion, this study presents a rodent model mimicking severely osteoporotic bone. Contrary to the other bioactive agents, locally released zoledronic acid had a positive impact on osseointegration albeit to a lesser extent than reported in less challenging models.

  3. DNA Barcoding of Sigmodontine Rodents: Identifying Wildlife Reservoirs of Zoonoses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Lívia; Gonçalves, Gislene L.; Cordeiro-Estrela, Pedro; Marinho, Jorge R.; Althoff, Sérgio L.; Testoni, André. F.; González, Enrique M.; Freitas, Thales R. O.

    2013-01-01

    Species identification through DNA barcoding is a tool to be added to taxonomic procedures, once it has been validated. Applying barcoding techniques in public health would aid in the identification and correct delimitation of the distribution of rodents from the subfamily Sigmodontinae. These rodents are reservoirs of etiological agents of zoonoses including arenaviruses, hantaviruses, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. In this study we compared distance-based and probabilistic phylogenetic inference methods to evaluate the performance of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) in sigmodontine identification. A total of 130 sequences from 21 field-trapped species (13 genera), mainly from southern Brazil, were generated and analyzed, together with 58 GenBank sequences (24 species; 10 genera). Preliminary analysis revealed a 9.5% rate of misidentifications in the field, mainly of juveniles, which were reclassified after examination of external morphological characters and chromosome numbers. Distance and model-based methods of tree reconstruction retrieved similar topologies and monophyly for most species. Kernel density estimation of the distance distribution showed a clear barcoding gap with overlapping of intraspecific and interspecific densities < 1% and 21 species with mean intraspecific distance < 2%. Five species that are reservoirs of hantaviruses could be identified through DNA barcodes. Additionally, we provide information for the description of a putative new species, as well as the first COI sequence of the recently described genus Drymoreomys. The data also indicated an expansion of the distribution of Calomys tener. We emphasize that DNA barcoding should be used in combination with other taxonomic and systematic procedures in an integrative framework and based on properly identified museum collections, to improve identification procedures, especially in epidemiological surveillance and ecological assessments. PMID:24244670

  4. Pulmonary Toxicity Studies of Lunar Dusts in Rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Chiu-wing; James, John T.

    2009-01-01

    NASA will build an outpost on the lunar surface for long-duration human habitation and research. The surface of the Moon is covered by a layer of fine, reactive dust, and the living quarters in the lunar outpost are expected to be contaminated by lunar dust. Because the toxicity of lunar dust is not known, NASA has tasked its toxicology laboratory to evaluate the risk of exposure to the dust and to establish safe exposure limits for astronauts working in the lunar habitat. Studies of the pulmonary toxicity of a dust are generally done first in rodents by intratracheal/intrapharyngeal instillation. This toxicity screening test is then followed by an inhalation study, which requires much more of the test dust and is labor intensive. Preliminary results obtained by examining lung lavage fluid from dust-treated mice show that lunar dust was somewhat toxic (more toxic than TiO2, but less than quartz dust). More extensive studies are in progress to further examine lung lavage fluid for biomarkers of toxicity and lung tissues for histopathological lesions in rodents exposed to aged and activated (ground) lunar dust samples. In these studies, reference dusts (TiO2 and quartz) of known toxicities and have industrial exposure limits will be studied in parallel so the relative toxicity of lunar dust can be determined. The results from the instillation studies will be useful for choosing exposure concentrations for the animal inhalation study. The animal inhalation exposure will be conducted with lunar dust simulant prior to the study with the lunar dust. The experiment with the simulate will ensure that the study techniques used with actual lunar dust will be successful. The results of instillation and inhalation studies will reveal the toxicological risk of exposures and are essential for setting exposure limits on lunar dust for astronauts living in the lunar habitat.

  5. Differentiation in seed hoarding among three sympatric rodent species in a warm temperate forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jiqi; Zhang, Zhibin

    2008-06-01

    Although seed hoarding by rodents has been extensively studied, differentiation in seed-hoarding behaviors among sympatric rodent species has not been well investigated. Using semi-natural enclosures, we demonstrated that three sympatric rodent species showed clear differentiation in food selection, scatter versus larder hoarding behaviors and eating behaviors when offered seeds of four plant species from a warm temperate forest in northern China. The large field mouse Apodemus peninsulae preferred seeds of wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) and Liaodong oak (Quercus liaotungensis), whereas the Chinese white-bellied rat Niviventor confucianus preferred seeds of cultivated walnut and Liaodong oak, and the David's rock squirrel Sciurotamias davidianus preferred seeds of cultivated walnut, wild apricot and Liaodong oak. All three rodents showed larder hoarding of seeds from all four plant species, but the large field mouse showed scatter hoarding of wild apricot, and the David's rock squirrel showed scatter hoarding of Liaodong oak and wild walnut. Acorns of Liaodong oak, which have a soft seed hull, were more often eaten in situ, whereas wild walnuts, which have a hard seed hull and more tannin, were less hoarded by all rodent species. Differentiation in the scatter versus larder hoarding behaviors of sympatric rodent species suggests that sympatric rodents play different roles in the regeneration of different sympatric plant species. © 2008 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  6. The Ecorat project: development of ecologically-based rodent management for the southern African region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mulungu, L. S.

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to carry out basic ecological research on rodent pests within subsistence-level agricultural communities in Africa. A range of techniques were used to collect baseline ecological knowledge on the temporal and spatial dynamics of rodent populations within rural farming communities in Tanzania, Swaziland and Namibia. These techniques included habitat surveys using removal trapping, capture-mark-recapture grids, and radio tracking of individually tagged animals. We also studied the local communities’ knowledge, attitudes and practices with respect to rodents and their control, the current cost of rodent damage and the costs/benefits of rodent control. Based on these data, a case-control trial was implemented to evaluate an ecologically-based rodent management (EBRM intervention using intensive trapping coordinated at the community level. Results showed that intensive trapping using community based rodent management was cost-beneficial for rural farming communities, and these EBRM strategies are ecologically sustainable. Our research has shown that efficacy is more than 75% when compared to what farmers normally do to reduce rat populations. Farmer training and community cooperation are essential, and expertise in social anthropology to develop appropriate knowledge dissemination platforms must be supported.

  7. Prevalence of Gastrointestinal and Blood Parasites of Rodents in Tabriz, Iran, with Emphasis on Parasitic Zoonoses

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    Garedaghi Yagoob

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Rodents as reservoirs of many common human diseases (zoonoses are the cause of health and economic problems in society. Because of the prevalence of parasitic infections of mice in different parts of Iran, this study was performed to investigate the gastrointestinal and blood parasitic zoonoses of rodents in Tabriz, Iran, between 2011 and 2012. Materials and Methods: A total of 57 rodents including 36 Rattus norvegicus, 11 Rattus rattus, 8 Mus musculus, and 2 unknown species of rodents were captured alive from different parts of Tabriz city and studied. The rodents were examined for helminth and blood infection. Results: Helminth and blood infection were only observed in Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus species and other species were not contaminated. There was no blood parasite in rodents. Different gastrointestinal worm species identified in Rattus norvegicus consisted of Trichosomoides crassicauda (51.2%, Hymenolepis diminuta (22.3%, Gongylonema pulchrum (12.1%, Hymenolepis Nana (4.31% and Trichocephal Spp. (2.18%. Different gastrointestinal worm species identified in Rattus rattus consisted of Gongylonema pulchrum (21.17%, and Trichosomoides crassicauda (28.24%. Conclusion: Due to the presence of zoonotic parasitic agents in the studied rodents that easily enter human dwellings, controlling these animals and improvement of the sewerage system of the study area are of particular importance.

  8. A STUDY ON RODENT ECTOPARASITES IN BANDAR ABBAS: THE MAIN ECONOMIC SOUTHERN SEAPORT OF IRAN

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    A. A. Hanafi-Bojd, M. Shahi, M. Baghaii, M. Shayeghi, N. Razmand, A. Pakari

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Rodents are one of the main health problems in the cities, especially in coastal area. These animals make economic damages and are potential health dangers in Bandar Abbas, the main economic southern port of Iran. In this study, rodents were captured from different parts of the city, before and after a control program during 2003-2004, transferred to the laboratory, identified and examined for ecto-parasites. Totally 105 rodents demonstrating four species: Rattus rattus (3%, R. norvegicus (78%, Mus musculus (3% and Tatera indica (16%, were captured before the control program. The most frequency was observed in Ayatollah Ghafari quarter, 10 rodents per 24 traps. After 12 months, the duration of control program, rodents were re-captured to assessment the success of control activity. In this stage 35 small mammals demonstrated four species were obtained: R.norvegicus (51.4%, R.rattus (37.1%, T.indica (8.6% and one weasel (2.9%. We found the most frequency in Khoon-sorkh quarter with 6 rodents per 24 traps. The identified ectoparasites were Xenopsylla buxtoni, Rhipicephalus sp., Polyplax gerbilli, Haplopleura captiosa, Ornithonyssus bacoti, Laelaps nuttalli, Dermanyssus americanus, Dermanyssus sanguineus, Haemolaelaps glasgowi and Echinolaelaps echidninus. The number of rodents reduced to one third after control program, shows the relative success of this program (p<0.05.

  9. Diversity and molecular characterization of novel hemoplasmas infecting wild rodents from different Brazilian biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Luiz Ricardo; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; Matos, Carlos Antonio; Fernandes, Simone de Jesus; Olmos, Isabella Delamain Fernandez; Machado, Rosangela Zacarias; André, Marcos Rogério

    2015-12-01

    Although hemoplasma infection in domestic animals has been well documented, little is known about the prevalence and genetic diversity of these bacteria in wild rodents. The present work aimed to investigate the occurrence of hemotrophic mycoplasmas in wild rodents from five Brazilian biomes, assessing the 16S rRNA phylogenetic position of hemoplasma species by molecular approach. Spleen tissues were obtained from 500 rodents, comprising 52 different rodent species trapped between 2000 and 2011. DNA samples were submitted to previously described PCR protocols for amplifying Mycoplasma spp. based on 16S rRNA, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic inferences. Among 457 rodent spleen samples showing absence of inhibitors, 100 (21.9%) were PCR positive to Mycoplasma spp. The occurrence of hemotropic mycoplasmas among all sampled rodents was demonstrated in all five biomes and ranged from 9.3% (7/75) to 26.2% (38/145). The Blastn analysis showed that amplified sequences had a percentage of identity ranging from 86 to 99% with other murine hemoplasmas. The ML phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene of 24 positive randomly selected samples showed the presence of ten distinct groups, all clustering within the Mycoplasma haemofelis. The phylogenetic assessment suggests the circulation of novel hemoplasma species in rodents from different biomes in Brazil. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Domestic cats and dogs create a landscape of fear for pest rodents around rural homesteads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahlaba, Themb’alilahlwa A. M.; Monadjem, Ara; McCleery, Robert; Belmain, Steven R.

    2017-01-01

    Using domestic predators such as cats to control rodent pest problems around farms and homesteads is common across the world. However, practical scientific evidence on the impact of such biological control in agricultural settings is often lacking. We tested whether the presence of domestic cats and/or dogs in rural homesteads would affect the foraging behaviour of pest rodents. We estimated giving up densities (GUDs) from established feeding patches and estimated relative rodent activity using tracking tiles at 40 homesteads across four agricultural communities. We found that the presence of cats and dogs at the same homestead significantly reduced activity and increased GUDs (i.e. increased perception of foraging cost) of pest rodent species. However, if only cats or dogs alone were present at the homestead there was no observed difference in rodent foraging activity in comparison to homesteads with no cats or dogs. Our results suggest that pest rodent activity can be discouraged through the presence of domestic predators. When different types of predator are present together they likely create a heightened landscape of fear for foraging rodents. PMID:28158266

  11. Post-harvest impacts of rodents in Myanmar; how much rice do they eat and damage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Htwe, Nyo Me; Singleton, Grant R; Maw, Pyai Phyo

    2017-02-01

    We undertook studies on post-harvest losses by rodents in two townships in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar. Farmers harvest their monsoon rice crop and then stack it on levee banks to await threshing 4-6 weeks later. After threshing and drying, paddy rice is stored in granaries. The amount of grain stored in burrows was collected 4 weeks after harvest by excavating burrows. In grain stores, we quantified the weight of grain consumed by rodents for 3-6 months post-harvest. The dominant species in the field were Bandicota bengalensis and B. indica, whereas in grain stores the dominant species were Rattus rattus and R. exulans. The mean grain stored by rodents in burrows was 1.49 ± 0.9 kg burrow(-1) in 2013 and 1.41 ± 0.7 kg burrow(-1) in 2014. The mean loss of grain in granaries was higher in Daik U (14% in 2013, 4% in 2014) than in Maubin (8.2% in 2013, 1.2% in 2014). The total amount of grain lost to rodents during piling and storing could feed households for 1.6-4 months. Post-harvest losses of grain is a significant food security issue for smallholder farmers in Myanmar. Community rodent management and better rodent-proofing of granaries are recommended to reduce losses caused by rodents. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Domestic cats and dogs create a landscape of fear for pest rodents around rural homesteads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahlaba, Themb'alilahlwa A M; Monadjem, Ara; McCleery, Robert; Belmain, Steven R

    2017-01-01

    Using domestic predators such as cats to control rodent pest problems around farms and homesteads is common across the world. However, practical scientific evidence on the impact of such biological control in agricultural settings is often lacking. We tested whether the presence of domestic cats and/or dogs in rural homesteads would affect the foraging behaviour of pest rodents. We estimated giving up densities (GUDs) from established feeding patches and estimated relative rodent activity using tracking tiles at 40 homesteads across four agricultural communities. We found that the presence of cats and dogs at the same homestead significantly reduced activity and increased GUDs (i.e. increased perception of foraging cost) of pest rodent species. However, if only cats or dogs alone were present at the homestead there was no observed difference in rodent foraging activity in comparison to homesteads with no cats or dogs. Our results suggest that pest rodent activity can be discouraged through the presence of domestic predators. When different types of predator are present together they likely create a heightened landscape of fear for foraging rodents.

  13. Correlates of Recent Declines of Rodents in Northern and Southern Australia: Habitat Structure Is Critical.

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    Michael J Lawes

    Full Text Available Australia has experienced dramatic declines and extinctions of its native rodent species over the last 200 years, particularly in southern Australia. In the tropical savanna of northern Australia significant declines have occurred only in recent decades. The later onset of these declines suggests that the causes may differ from earlier declines in the south. We examine potential regional effects (northern versus southern Australia on biological and ecological correlates of range decline in Australian rodents. We demonstrate that rodent declines have been greater in the south than in the tropical north, are strongly influenced by phylogeny, and are consistently greater for species inhabiting relatively open or sparsely vegetated habitat. Unlike in marsupials, where some species have much larger body size than rodents, body mass was not an important predictor of decline in rodents. All Australian rodent species are within the prey-size range of cats (throughout the continent and red foxes (in the south. Contrary to the hypothesis that mammal declines are related directly to ecosystem productivity (annual rainfall, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that disturbances such as fire and grazing, which occur in non-rainforest habitats and remove cover used by rodents for shelter, nesting and foraging, increase predation risk. We agree with calls to introduce conservation management that limits the size and intensity of fires, increases fire patchiness and reduces grazing impacts at ecological scales appropriate for rodents. Controlling feral predators, even creating predator-free reserves in relatively sparsely-vegetated habitats, is urgently required to ensure the survival of rodent species, particularly in northern Australia where declines are not yet as severe as those in the south.

  14. Seed removal by scatter-hoarding rodents: the effects of tannin and nutrient concentration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Yang, Xiaolan

    2015-04-01

    The mutualistic interaction between scatter-hoarding rodents and seed plants have a long co-evolutionary history. Plants are believed to have evolved traits that influence the foraging behavior of rodents, thus increasing the probability of seed removal and caching, which benefits the establishment of seedlings. Tannin and nutrient content in seeds are considered among the most essential factors in this plant-animal interaction. However, most previous studies used different species of plant seeds, rendering it difficult to tease apart the relative effect of each single nutrient on rodent foraging behavior due to confounding combinations of nutrient contents across seed species. Hence, to further explore how tannin and different nutritional traits of seed affect scatter-hoarding rodent foraging preferences, we manipulated tannin, fat, protein and starch content levels, and also seed size levels by using an artificial seed system. Our results showed that both tannin and various nutrients significantly affected rodent foraging preferences, but were also strongly affected by seed size. In general, rodents preferred to remove seeds with less tannin. Fat addition could counteract the negative effect of tannin on seed removal by rodents, while the effect of protein addition was weaker. Starch by itself had no effect, but it interacted with tannin in a complex way. Our findings shed light on the effects of tannin and nutrient content on seed removal by scatter-hoarding rodents. We therefore, believe that these and perhaps other seed traits should interactively influence this important plant-rodent interaction. However, how selection operates on seed traits to counterbalance these competing interests/factors merits further study.

  15. Landform and surface attributes for prediction of rodent burrows in the Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meliyo, Joel L; Massawe, Boniface H J; Msanya, Balthazar M; Kimaro, Didas N; Hieronimo, Proches; Mulungu, Loth S; Kihupi, Nganga I; Deckers, Jozef A; Gulinck, Hubert; Leirs, Herwig

    2014-07-01

    Previous studies suggest that rodent burrows, a proxy for rodent population are important for predicting plague risk areas. However, studies that link landform, surface attributes and rodent burrows in the Western Usambara Mountains in Tanzania are scanty. Therefore, this study was conducted in plague endemic area of the Western Usambara Mountains in northern, Tanzania, to explore the relationship between rodent burrows, and landform and surface attributes. The study was carried out in three areas corresponding to high (Lokome), medium (Lukozi) and low.(Mwangoi) frequency of reported plague cases. Data were collected from 117, 200 and 170 observation sites for Lokome, Lukozi and Mwangoi, respectively using 100 m x 200 m quadrats. Remote sensing and field surveys were used to collect data on landform and surface attributes. Rodent burrows were surveyed and quantified by counting the number of burrows in 20m x 20m grids demarcated on the main 100m x 200m quadrats. The collected data were analysed in R software using boosted regression trees (BRT) technique. Rodent burrows were found at an elevation of above 1600m in the high and medium plague frequency landscapes. No burrows were found in the low plague frequency landscape situated below 1500m. BRT analysis shows a significant relationship between landform characteristics and rodent burrows in both high and medium plague frequency landscapes. Overall, elevation and hillshade are the most important determinants of rodent burrow distribution in the studied landscapes. It is concluded that in high altitudes, specific landform attributes (hill-shade, slope, elevation) and vegetation cover- favour rodent burrowing.

  16. Detection of Leishmania donovani and L. tropica in Ethiopian wild rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassahun, Aysheshm; Sadlova, Jovana; Dvorak, Vit; Kostalova, Tatiana; Rohousova, Iva; Frynta, Daniel; Aghova, Tatiana; Yasur-Landau, Daniel; Lemma, Wessenseged; Hailu, Asrat; Baneth, Gad; Warburg, Alon; Volf, Petr; Votypka, Jan

    2015-05-01

    Human visceral (VL, also known as Kala-azar) and cutaneous (CL) leishmaniasis are important infectious diseases affecting countries in East Africa that remain endemic in several regions of Ethiopia. The transmission and epidemiology of the disease is complicated due to the complex life cycle of the parasites and the involvement of various Leishmania spp., sand fly vectors, and reservoir animals besides human hosts. Particularly in East Africa, the role of animals as reservoirs for human VL remains unclear. Isolation of Leishmania donovani parasites from naturally infected rodents has been reported in several endemic countries; however, the status of rodents as reservoirs in Ethiopia remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated natural Leishmania infections in rodents. Animals were trapped in 41 localities of endemic and non-endemic areas in eight geographical regions of Ethiopia and DNA was isolated from spleens of 586 rodents belonging to 21 genera and 38 species. Leishmania infection was evaluated by real-time PCR of kinetoplast (k)DNA and confirmed by sequencing of the PCR products. Subsequently, parasite species identification was confirmed by PCR and DNA sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA internal transcribed spacer one (ITS1) gene. Out of fifty (8.2%) rodent specimens positive for Leishmania kDNA-PCR and sequencing, 10 were subsequently identified by sequencing of the ITS1 showing that five belonged to the L. donovani complex and five to L. tropica. Forty nine kDNA-positive rodents were found in the endemic localities of southern and eastern Ethiopia while only one was identified from northwestern Ethiopia. Moreover, all the ten ITS1-positive rodents were captured in areas where human leishmaniasis cases have been reported and potential sand fly vectors occur. Our findings suggest the eco-epidemiological importance of rodents in these foci of leishmaniasis and indicate that rodents are likely to play a role in the transmission of leishmaniasis in Ethiopia

  17. Correlates of Recent Declines of Rodents in Northern and Southern Australia: Habitat Structure Is Critical.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawes, Michael J; Fisher, Diana O; Johnson, Chris N; Blomberg, Simon P; Frank, Anke S K; Fritz, Susanne A; McCallum, Hamish; VanDerWal, Jeremy; Abbott, Brett N; Legge, Sarah; Letnic, Mike; Thomas, Colette R; Thurgate, Nikki; Fisher, Alaric; Gordon, Iain J; Kutt, Alex

    2015-01-01

    Australia has experienced dramatic declines and extinctions of its native rodent species over the last 200 years, particularly in southern Australia. In the tropical savanna of northern Australia significant declines have occurred only in recent decades. The later onset of these declines suggests that the causes may differ from earlier declines in the south. We examine potential regional effects (northern versus southern Australia) on biological and ecological correlates of range decline in Australian rodents. We demonstrate that rodent declines have been greater in the south than in the tropical north, are strongly influenced by phylogeny, and are consistently greater for species inhabiting relatively open or sparsely vegetated habitat. Unlike in marsupials, where some species have much larger body size than rodents, body mass was not an important predictor of decline in rodents. All Australian rodent species are within the prey-size range of cats (throughout the continent) and red foxes (in the south). Contrary to the hypothesis that mammal declines are related directly to ecosystem productivity (annual rainfall), our results are consistent with the hypothesis that disturbances such as fire and grazing, which occur in non-rainforest habitats and remove cover used by rodents for shelter, nesting and foraging, increase predation risk. We agree with calls to introduce conservation management that limits the size and intensity of fires, increases fire patchiness and reduces grazing impacts at ecological scales appropriate for rodents. Controlling feral predators, even creating predator-free reserves in relatively sparsely-vegetated habitats, is urgently required to ensure the survival of rodent species, particularly in northern Australia where declines are not yet as severe as those in the south.

  18. Taphonomic alterations by the rodent species woodland vole (Microtus pinetorum) upon human skeletal remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokines, James T

    2015-12-01

    This forensic case report describes the taphonomic effects of woodland vole (Microtus pinetorum) upon a set of skeletonized human remains recovered in Massachusetts, USA. Remains of an individual of this rodent species were discovered where it had been nesting inside the human cranium. Fine, parallel grooves indicative of small rodent gnawing were noted on multiple postcranial elements, and all isolated grooves were consistent in size with the incisors of this species. Other taphonomic alterations to these remains include some gnawing damage and dispersal by large carnivores. This case represents the first report of this rodent species affecting human remains. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular detection and phylogenetic analysis of tick-borne encephalitis virus in rodents captured in the transdanubian region of Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pintér, Réka; Madai, Mónika; Horváth, Győző; Németh, Viktória; Oldal, Miklós; Kemenesi, Gábor; Dallos, Bianka; Bányai, Krisztián; Jakab, Ferenc

    2014-08-01

    Abstract Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) infection is a common zoonotic disease affecting humans in Europe and Asia. To determine whether TBEV is present in small mammalian hosts in Hungary, liver samples of wild rodents were tested for TBEV RNA. Over a period of 7 years, a total of 405 rodents were collected at five different geographic locations of the Transdanubian region. TBEV nucleic acid was identified in four rodent species: Apodemus agrarius, A. flavicollis, Microtus arvalis, and Myodes glareolus. Out of the 405 collected rodents, 17 small mammals (4.2%) were positive for TBEV. The present study provides molecular evidence and sequence data of TBEV from rodents in Hungary.

  20. Habituation and prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsamis, Bridget; Schmid, Susanne

    2011-09-01

    The acoustic startle response is a protective response, elicited by a sudden and intense acoustic stimulus. Facial and skeletal muscles are activated within a few milliseconds, leading to a whole body flinch in rodents(1). Although startle responses are reflexive responses that can be reliably elicited, they are not stereotypic. They can be modulated by emotions such as fear (fear potentiated startle) and joy (joy attenuated startle), by non-associative learning processes such as habituation and sensitization, and by other sensory stimuli through sensory gating processes (prepulse inhibition), turning startle responses into an excellent tool for assessing emotions, learning, and sensory gating, for review see( 2, 3). The primary pathway mediating startle responses is very short and well described, qualifying startle also as an excellent model for studying the underlying mechanisms for behavioural plasticity on a cellular/molecular level(3). We here describe a method for assessing short-term habituation, long-term habituation and prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle responses in rodents. Habituation describes the decrease of the startle response magnitude upon repeated presentation of the same stimulus. Habituation within a testing session is called short-term habituation (STH) and is reversible upon a period of several minutes without stimulation. Habituation between testing sessions is called long-term habituation (LTH)(4). Habituation is stimulus specific(5). Prepulse inhibition is the attenuation of a startle response by a preceding non-startling sensory stimulus(6). The interval between prepulse and startle stimulus can vary from 6 to up to 2000 ms. The prepulse can be any modality, however, acoustic prepulses are the most commonly used. Habituation is a form of non-associative learning. It can also be viewed as a form of sensory filtering, since it reduces the organisms' response to a non-threatening stimulus. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) was originally

  1. Islet transplantation in rodents: do encapsulated islets really work?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yngrid Ellyn Dias Maciel de Souza

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available CONTEXT: Diabetes mellitus type I affects around 240 million people in the world and only in the USA 7.8% of the population. It has been estimated that the costs of its complications account for 5% to 10% of the total healthcare spending around the world. According to World Health Organization, 300 million people are expected to develop diabetes mellitus by the year 2025. The pancreatic islet transplantation is expected to be less invasive than a pancreas transplant, which is currently the most commonly used approach. OBJECTIVES: To compare the encapsulated and free islet transplantation in rodents looking at sites of islet implantation, number of injected islets, viability and immunosuppression. METHODS: A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE/PUBMED and SCIELO with terms about islet transplantation in the rodent from 2000 to 2010. We found 2,636 articles but only 56 articles from 2000 to 2010 were selected. RESULTS: In these 56 articles used, 34% were encapsulated and 66% were nonencapsulated islets. Analyzing both types of islets transplantation, the majority of the encapsulated islets were implanted into the peritoneal cavity and the nonencapsulated islets into the liver, through the portal vein. In addition, the great advantage of the peritoneal cavity as the site of islet transplantation is its blood supply. Both vascular endothelial cells and vascular endothelial growth factor were used to stimulate angiogenesis of the islet grafts, increasing the vascularization rapidly after implantation. It also has been proven that there is influence of the capsules, since the larger the capsule more chances there are of central necrosis. In some articles, the use of immunosuppression demonstrated to increase the life expectancy of the graft. CONCLUSION: While significant progress has been made in the islets transplantation field, many obstacles remain to be overcome. Microencapsulation provides a means to transplant islets without

  2. Monitoring rodents movements with a biomarker around introduction and feeding foci in an urban environment in Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mohr, Katrine; Leirs, Herwig; Katakweba, Abdul;

    2007-01-01

    Rodents are of concern as reservoirs and transmitters of pathogens that cause zoonotic and other diseases in domestic animals and humans. The contact between wild and urban rodent fauna is increasing in expanding cities in Africa, and this arguably increases the risk of disease transmission...... to urban populations. When rodents from rural areas are ccidentally introduced into cities and encounter urban rodents, for example, in markets, grain mills and butcheries,   there is a potential that pathogens are transferred between rural and urban rodent populations. Using a non-toxic biomarker......, Rhodamine B (RB), we investigated the distances over which rodents are active around such potential introduction sites. Animals feeding at such sites were traced up to 100 m distant within a period of 10 days.We found that RB is a practical alternative for studying rodent movements. These results may be...

  3. Repeated evolution of carnivory among Indo-Australian rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Kevin C; Achmadi, Anang S; Esselstyn, Jacob A

    2016-03-01

    Convergent evolution, often observed in island archipelagos, provides compelling evidence for the importance of natural selection as a generator of species and ecological diversity. The Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA) is the world's largest island system and encompasses distinct biogeographic units, including the Asian (Sunda) and Australian (Sahul) continental shelves, which together bracket the oceanic archipelagos of the Philippines and Wallacea. Each of these biogeographic units houses numerous endemic rodents in the family Muridae. Carnivorous murids, that is those that feed on animals, have evolved independently in Sunda, Sulawesi (part of Wallacea), the Philippines, and Sahul, but the number of origins of carnivory among IAA murids is unknown. We conducted a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of carnivorous murids of the IAA, combined with estimates of ancestral states for broad diet categories (herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore) and geographic ranges. These analyses demonstrate that carnivory evolved independently four times after overwater colonization, including in situ origins on the Philippines, Sulawesi, and Sahul. In each biogeographic unit the origin of carnivory was followed by evolution of more specialized carnivorous ecomorphs such as vermivores, insectivores, and amphibious rats.

  4. Enzymatic activity of rodents acclimated to cold and long scotophase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fourie, F. Le R.; Haim, A.

    1980-09-01

    Rodents representative of a diurnal species ( Rhabdomys pumilio) as well as a nocturnal species ( Praomys natalensis) were acclimated to cold (Ta = 8°C) at a photoperiod of LD 12:12 and a long scotophase (LD 8; 16) at a temperature of 25° C(Ta). Control groups were kept for both species at Ta = 25° C and LD 12:12 and winter acclimated individuals were obtained during July and August to serve as further reference. Blood samples obtained from the tail were analysed for enzymes representative of three major biochemical pathways. The enzymatic activity of LDH (glycolytic pathway), MDH (Krebs cycle) and G6PDH (hexose monophosphate shunt, as an indicator of gonadal activity) were monitored to represent metabolic activity of the respective cycles. Cold acclimated as well as winter acclimatized mice revealed similar enzymatic patterns for both species and significant increases in LDH and MDH were recorded with a concurrent decrease in G6PDH activity. Specimens exposed to long scotophase exhibited similar enzymatic patterns for both species studied, but enzymatic activity was higher than those of cold acclimated individuals. From these results it is concluded that cold as well as long scotophase induce metabolic adaptations through biochemical activity in the experimental animals. The effect of long scotophase is assumed to be an important factor in the induction of winter acclimatization.

  5. Experimental osteonecrosis: development of a model in rodents administered alendronate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolau CONTE NETO

    Full Text Available Abstract The main objective of this study was to cause bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws to develop in a rodent model. Adult male Holtzman rats were assigned to one of two experimental groups to receive alendronate (AL; 1 mg/kg/week; n = 6 or saline solution (CTL; n = 6. After 60 days of drug therapy, all animals were subjected to first lower molar extraction, and 28 days later, animals were euthanized. All rats treated with alendronate developed osteonecrosis, presenting as ulcers and necrotic bone, associated with a significant infection process, especially at the inter-alveolar septum area and crestal regions. The degree of vascularization, the levels of C-telopeptide cross-linked collagen type I and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, as well as the bone volume were significantly reduced in these animals. Furthermore, on radiographic analysis, animals treated with alendronate presented evident sclerosis of the lamina dura of the lower first molar alveolar socket associated with decreased radiographic density in this area. These findings indicate that the protocol developed in the present study opens new perspectives and could be a good starting model for future property design.

  6. Rodent models in Down syndrome research: impact and future opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herault, Yann; Delabar, Jean M; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Yu, Eugene; Brault, Veronique

    2017-10-01

    Down syndrome is caused by trisomy of chromosome 21. To date, a multiplicity of mouse models with Down-syndrome-related features has been developed to understand this complex human chromosomal disorder. These mouse models have been important for determining genotype-phenotype relationships and identification of dosage-sensitive genes involved in the pathophysiology of the condition, and in exploring the impact of the additional chromosome on the whole genome. Mouse models of Down syndrome have also been used to test therapeutic strategies. Here, we provide an overview of research in the last 15 years dedicated to the development and application of rodent models for Down syndrome. We also speculate on possible and probable future directions of research in this fast-moving field. As our understanding of the syndrome improves and genome engineering technologies evolve, it is necessary to coordinate efforts to make all Down syndrome models available to the community, to test therapeutics in models that replicate the whole trisomy and design new animal models to promote further discovery of potential therapeutic targets. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Rodent Models of Non-classical Progesterone Action Regulating Ovulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melinda A. Mittelman-Smith

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available It is becoming clear that steroid hormones act not only by binding to nuclear receptors that associate with specific response elements in the nucleus but also by binding to receptors on the cell membrane. In this newly discovered manner, steroid hormones can initiate intracellular signaling cascades which elicit rapid effects such as release of internal calcium stores and activation of kinases. We have learned much about the translocation and signaling of steroid hormone receptors from investigations into estrogen receptor α, which can be trafficked to, and signal from, the cell membrane. It is now clear that progesterone (P4 can also elicit effects that cannot be exclusively explained by transcriptional changes. Similar to E2 and its receptors, P4 can initiate signaling at the cell membrane, both through progesterone receptor and via a host of newly discovered membrane receptors (e.g., membrane progesterone receptors, progesterone receptor membrane components. This review discusses the parallels between neurotransmitter-like E2 action and the more recently investigated non-classical P4 signaling, in the context of reproductive behaviors in the rodent.

  8. Electrochemical techniques for subsecond neurotransmitter detection in live rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hascup, Kevin N; Hascup, Erin R

    2014-08-01

    Alterations in neurotransmission have been implicated in numerous neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, few techniques support the measurement of real-time changes in neurotransmitter levels over multiple days, as is essential for ethologic and pharmacodynamic testing. Microdialysis is commonly used for these research paradigms, but its poor temporal and spatial resolution make this technique inadequate for measuring the rapid dynamics (milliseconds to seconds) of fast signaling neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and acetylcholine. Enzymatic microelectrode arrays (biosensors) coupled with electrochemical recording techniques have demonstrated fast temporal resolution (less than 1 s), excellent spatial resolution (micron-scale), low detection limits (≤200 nM), and minimal damage (50 to 100 μm) to surrounding brain tissue. Here we discuss the benefits, methods, and animal welfare considerations of using platinum microelectrodes on a ceramic substrate for enzyme-based electrochemical recording techniques for real-time in vivo neurotransmitter recordings in both anesthetized and awake, freely moving rodents.

  9. Use of rodents as models of human diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry F Vandamme

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Advances in molecular biology have significantly increased the understanding of the biology of different diseases. However, these discoveries have not yet been fully translated into improved treatments for patients with diseases such as cancers. One of the factors limiting the translation of knowledge from preclinical studies to the clinic has been the limitations of in vivo diseases models. In this brief review, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of rodent models that have been developed to simulate human pathologies, focusing in models that employ xenografts and genetic modification. Within the framework of genetically engineered mouse (GEM models, we will review some of the current genetic strategies for modeling diseases in the mouse and the preclinical studies that have already been undertaken. We will also discuss how recent improvements in imaging technologies may increase the information derived from using these GEMs during early assessments of potential therapeutic pathways. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that one of the values of using a mouse model is the very rapid turnover rate of the animal, going through the process of birth to death in a very short timeframe relative to that of larger mammalian species.

  10. Traumatic brain injury–Modeling neuropsychiatric symptoms in rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oz eMalkesman

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Each year in the United States, approximately 1.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI. Victims of TBI can suffer from chronic post-TBI symptoms, such as sensory and motor deficits, cognitive impairments including problems with memory, learning, and attention, and neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, aggression, and suicidal rumination. Although partially associated with the site and severity of injury, the biological mechanisms associated with many of these symptoms—and why some patients experience differing assortments of persistent maladies—are largely unknown. The use of animal models is a promising strategy for elucidation of the mechanisms of impairment and treatment, and learning, memory, sensory and motor tests have widespread utility in rodent models of TBI and psychopharmacology. Comparatively, behavioral tests for the evaluation of neuropsychiatric symptomatology are rarely employed in animal models of TBI and, as determined in this review, the results have been inconsistent. Animal behavioral studies contribute to the understanding of the biological mechanisms by which TBI is associated with neurobehavioral symptoms and offer a powerful means for pre-clinical treatment validation. Therefore, further exploration of the utility of animal behavioral tests for the study of injury mechanisms and therapeutic strategies for the alleviation of emotional symptoms are relevant and essential.

  11. Modularity of the rodent mandible: integrating bones, muscles, and teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelditch, Miriam Leah; Wood, Aaron R; Bonett, Ronald M; Swiderski, Donald L

    2008-01-01

    Summary Several models explain how a complex integrated system like the rodent mandible can arise from multiple developmental modules. The models propose various integrating mechanisms, including epigenetic effects of muscles on bones. We test five for their ability to predict correlations found in the individual (symmetric) and fluctuating asymmetric (FA) components of shape variation. We also use exploratory methods to discern patterns unanticipated by any model. Two models fit observed correlation matrices from both components: (1) parts originating in same mesenchymal condensation are integrated, (2) parts developmentally dependent on the same muscle form an integrated complex as do those dependent on teeth. Another fits the correlations observed in FA: each muscle insertion site is an integrated unit. However, no model fits well, and none predicts the complex structure found in the exploratory analyses, best described as a reticulated network. Furthermore, no model predicts the correlation between proximal parts of the condyloid and coronoid, which can exceed the correlations between proximal and distal parts of the same process. Additionally, no model predicts the correlation between molar alveolus and ramus and/or angular process, one of the highest correlations found in the FA component. That correlation contradicts the basic premise of all five developmental models, yet it should be anticipated from the epigenetic effects of mastication, possibly the primary morphogenetic process integrating the jaw coupling forces generated by muscle contraction with those experienced at teeth.

  12. Citral reduces nociceptive and inflammatory response in rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucindo J. Quintans-Júnior

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Citral (CIT, which contains the chiral enantiomers, neral (cis and geranial (trans, is the majority monoterpene from Lippia alba and Cymbopogon citratus. The present study aimed to evaluate CIT for antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities in rodents. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects were studied by measuring nociception through acetic acid and formalin tests, while inflammation was verified by inducing peritonitis and paw edema with carrageenan. All tested doses of CIT had significant protection (p<0.001 against acetic acid (0.8% induced nociceptive behavior and the effects were also similar to morphine while formalin induced nociception was significantly protected (p<0.05 only at higher dose (200 mg/kg of CIT in the first phase of the test. CIT significantly reduce (p<0.001 nociceptive behavior emanating from inflammation in second phase at all the doses.The pretreatment with CIT (100 and 200 mg/kg significantly reduced the paw edema induced by carrageenan. Moreover, systemic treatment with CIT (100 and 200 mg/kg significantly reduced (p<0.001 the leukocyte migration in the carrageenan-induced migration to the peritoneal cavity. Our investigation shows that CIT possess significant central and peripheral antinociceptive effects. It was also verified an anti-inflammatory activity. All together these results suggest that CIT might represent important tool for treatment of painful conditions.

  13. Rehabilitation and plasticity following stroke: Insights from rodent models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caleo, M

    2015-12-17

    Ischemic injuries within the motor cortex result in functional deficits that may profoundly impact activities of daily living in patients. Current rehabilitation protocols achieve only limited recovery of motor abilities. The brain reorganizes spontaneously after injury, and it is believed that appropriately boosting these neuroplastic processes may restore function via recruitment of spared areas and pathways. Here I review studies on circuit reorganization, neuronal and glial plasticity and axonal sprouting following ischemic damage to the forelimb motor cortex, with a particular focus on rodent models. I discuss evidence pointing to compensatory take-over of lost functions by adjacent peri-lesional areas and the role of the contralesional hemisphere in recovery. One key issue is the need to distinguish "true" recovery (i.e. re-establishment of original movement patterns) from compensation in the assessment of post-stroke functional gains. I also consider the effects of physical rehabilitation, including robot-assisted therapy, and the potential mechanisms by which motor training induces recovery. Finally, I describe experimental approaches in which training is coupled with delivery of plasticizing drugs that render the remaining, undamaged pathways more sensitive to experience-dependent modifications. These combinatorial strategies hold promise for the definition of more effective rehabilitation paradigms that can be translated into clinical practice.

  14. Optimality in the zonation of ammonia detoxification in rodent liver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartl, Martin; Pfaff, Michael; Ghallab, Ahmed; Driesch, Dominik; Henkel, Sebastian G; Hengstler, Jan G; Schuster, Stefan; Kaleta, Christoph; Gebhardt, Rolf; Zellmer, Sebastian; Li, Pu

    2015-11-01

    The rodent liver eliminates toxic ammonia. In mammals, three enzymes (or enzyme systems) are involved in this process: glutaminase, glutamine synthetase and the urea cycle enzymes, represented by carbamoyl phosphate synthetase. The distribution of these enzymes for optimal ammonia detoxification was determined by numerical optimization. This in silico approach predicted that the enzymes have to be zonated in order to achieve maximal removal of toxic ammonia and minimal changes in glutamine concentration. Using 13 compartments, representing hepatocytes, the following predictions were generated: glutamine synthetase is active only within a narrow pericentral zone. Glutaminase and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase are located in the periportal zone in a non-homogeneous distribution. This correlates well with the paradoxical observation that in a first step glutamine-bound ammonia is released (by glutaminase) although one of the functions of the liver is detoxification by ammonia fixation. The in silico approach correctly predicted the in vivo enzyme distributions also for non-physiological conditions (e.g. starvation) and during regeneration after tetrachloromethane (CCl4) intoxication. Metabolite concentrations of glutamine, ammonia and urea in each compartment, representing individual hepatocytes, were predicted. Finally, a sensitivity analysis showed a striking robustness of the results. These bioinformatics predictions were validated experimentally by immunohistochemistry and are supported by the literature. In summary, optimization approaches like the one applied can provide valuable explanations and high-quality predictions for in vivo enzyme and metabolite distributions in tissues and can reveal unknown metabolic functions.

  15. Rodent-borne hantaviruses in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasdell, Kim; Cosson, Jean François; Chaval, Yannick; Herbreteau, Vincent; Douangboupha, Bounneuang; Jittapalapong, Sathaporn; Lundqvist, Ake; Hugot, Jean-Pierre; Morand, Serge; Buchy, Philippe

    2011-12-01

    In order to evaluate the circulation of hantaviruses present in southeast Asia, a large scale survey of small mammal species was carried out at seven main sites in the region (Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Thailand). Small scale opportunistic trapping was also performed at an eighth site (Cambodia). Using a standard IFA test, IgG antibodies reacting to Hantaan virus antigens were detected at six sites. Antibody prevalence at each site varied from 0 to 5.6% with antibodies detected in several rodent species (Bandicota indica, B. savilei, Maxomys surifer, Mus caroli, M. cookii, Rattus exulans, R. nitidius, R. norvegicus, and R. tanezumi). When site seroprevalence was compared with site species richness, seropositive animals were found more frequently at sites with lower species richness. In order to confirm which hantavirus species were present, a subset of samples was also subjected to RT-PCR. Hantaviral RNA was detected at a single site from each country. Sequencing confirmed the presence of two hantavirus species, Thailand and Seoul viruses, including one sample (from Lao PDR) representing a highly divergent strain of Seoul virus. This is the first molecular evidence of hantavirus in Lao PDR and the first reported L segment sequence data for Thailand virus.

  16. Mechanisms and chemical induction of aneuploidy in rodent germ cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mailhes, J B; Marchetti, F

    2004-10-15

    The objective of this review is to suggest that the advances being made in our understanding of the molecular events surrounding chromosome segregation in non-mammalian and somatic cell models be considered when designing experiments for studying aneuploidy in mammalian germ cells. Accurate chromosome segregation requires the temporal control and unique interactions among a vast array of proteins and cellular organelles. Abnormal function and temporal disarray among these, and others to be inidentified, biochemical reactions and cellular organelles have the potential for predisposing cells to aneuploidy. Although numerous studies have demonstrated that certain chemicals (mainly those that alter microtubule function) can induce aneuploidy in mammalian germ cells, it seems relevant to point out that such data can be influenced by gender, meiotic stage, and time of cell-fixation post-treatment. Additionally, a consensus has not been reached regarding which of several germ cell aneuploidy assays most accurately reflects the human condition. More recent studies have shown that certain kinase, phosphatase, proteasome, and topoisomerase inhibitors can also induce aneuploidy in rodent germ cells. We suggest that molecular approaches be prudently incorporated into mammalian germ cell aneuploidy research in order to eventually understand the causes and mechanisms of human aneuploidy. Such an enormous undertaking would benefit from collaboration among scientists representing several disciplines.

  17. In vivo administration of recombinant alphavirus into rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundstrom, Kenneth

    2012-08-01

    The alphaviruses Semliki Forest virus (SFV) and Sindbis virus (SIN) have been used frequently as expression vectors in vitro and in vivo. Usually, these systems consist of replication-deficient vectors that require a helper vector for packaging of recombinant particles. Replication-proficient vectors have also been engineered. Alphaviral vectors can be used as nucleic-acid-based vectors (DNA and RNA) or infectious particles. High-titer viral production is achieved in alphaviruses facilitates studies in mammalian and nonmammalian cell lines, primary cells in culture, and in vivo. The strong preference for expression in neuronal cells has made alphaviruses particularly useful in neurobiological studies. Unfortunately, their strong cytotoxic effect on host cells, relatively short-term transient expression patterns, and the reasonably high cost of viral production remain drawbacks. However, novel mutant alphaviruses have shown reduced cytotoxicity and prolonged expression. This protocol describes stereotactic microinjection of recombinant alphavirus into rodents. Administration can be performed without any purification or concentration of viral stocks. However, filter-sterilization is recommended to ensure that cell debris or other contaminants are not present.

  18. Acute Blast Injury Reduces Brain Abeta in Two Rodent Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita eDe Gasperi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Blast-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI has been a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. How the primary blast wave affects the brain is not well understood. In particular, it is unclear whether blast injures the brain through mechanisms similar to those found in non-blast closed impact injuries (nbTBI. The β-amyloid (Aβ peptide associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD is elevated acutely following TBI in humans as well as in experimental animal models of nbTBI. We examined levels of brain Aβ following experimental blast injury using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for Aβ 40 and 42. In both rat and mouse models of blast injury, rather than being increased, endogenous rodent brain Aβ levels were decreased acutely following injury. Levels of the amyloid precursor protein (APP were increased following blast exposure although there was no evidence of axonal pathology based on APP immunohistochemical staining. Unlike the findings in nbTBI animal models, levels of the β-secretase, BACE-1, and the γ-secretase component presenilin-1 were unchanged following blast exposure. These studies have implications for understanding the nature of blast injury to the brain. They also suggest that strategies aimed at lowering Aβ production may not be effective for treating acute blast injury to the brain.

  19. Rodent models in neuroscience research: is it a rat race?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart Ellenbroek

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Rodents (especially Mus musculus and Rattus norvegicus have been the most widely used models in biomedical research for many years. A notable shift has taken place over the last two decades, with mice taking a more and more prominent role in biomedical science compared to rats. This shift was primarily instigated by the availability of a much larger genetic toolbox for mice, particularly embryonic-stem-cell-based targeting technology for gene disruption. With the recent emergence of tools for altering the rat genome, notably genome-editing technologies, the technological gap between the two organisms is closing, and it is becoming more important to consider the physiological, anatomical, biochemical and pharmacological differences between rats and mice when choosing the right model system for a specific biological question. The aim of this short review and accompanying poster is to highlight some of the most important differences, and to discuss their impact on studies of human diseases, with a special focus on neuropsychiatric disorders.

  20. Synthetic Cathinones and Their Rewarding and Reinforcing Effects in Rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas R. Watterson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic cathinones, colloquially referred to as “bath salts,” are derivatives of the psychoactive alkaloid cathinone found in Catha edulis (Khat. Since the mid-to-late 2000s, these amphetamine-like psychostimulants have gained popularity amongst drug users due to their potency, low cost, ease of procurement, and constantly evolving chemical structures. Concomitant with their increased use is the emergence of a growing collection of case reports of bizarre and dangerous behaviors, toxicity to numerous organ systems, and death. However, scientific information regarding the abuse liability of these drugs has been relatively slower to materialize. Recently we have published several studies demonstrating that laboratory rodents will readily self-administer the “first generation” synthetic cathinones methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV and methylone via the intravenous route, in patterns similar to those of methamphetamine. Under progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement, the rank order of reinforcing efficacy of these compounds is MDPV ≥ methamphetamine > methylone. MDPV and methylone, as well as the “second generation” synthetic cathinones α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP and 4-methylethcathinone (4-MEC, also dose-dependently increase brain reward function. Collectively, these findings indicate that synthetic cathinones have a high abuse and addiction potential and underscore the need for future assessment of the extent and duration of neurotoxicity induced by these emerging drugs of abuse.

  1. An Experimental Model for Resistance Exercise in Rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humberto Nicastro

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to develop an equipment and system of resistance exercise (RE, based on squat-type exercise for rodents, with control of training variables. We developed an operant conditioning system composed of sound, light and feeding devices that allowed optimized RE performance by the animal. With this system, it is not necessary to impose fasting or electric shock for the animal to perform the task proposed (muscle contraction. Furthermore, it is possible to perform muscle function tests in vivo within the context of the exercise proposed and control variables such as intensity, volume (sets and repetitions, and exercise session length, rest interval between sets and repetitions, and concentric strength. Based on the experiments conducted, we demonstrated that the model proposed is able to perform more specific control of other RE variables, especially rest interval between sets and repetitions, and encourages the animal to exercise through short-term energy restriction and “disturbing” stimulus that do not promote alterations in body weight. Therefore, despite experimental limitations, we believe that this RE apparatus is closer to the physiological context observed in humans.

  2. OCT-aided anastomosis platform study in the rodent model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yong; Tong, Dedi; Zhu, Shan; Wu, Lehao; Ibrahim, Zuhaib; Lee, WP Andrew; Brandacher, Gerald; Kang, Jin U.

    2014-02-01

    Anastomosis is one of the most commonly performed procedure in the clinical environment that involves tubular structures, such as blood vessel, lymphatic vessel, seminal duct and ureter. Suture based anastomosis is still the foundation for most basic surgical training and clinical operation, although alternate techniques have been developed and under development. For those tubular-structure-anastomosis, immediate real-time post-operative evaluation of the surgical outcome is critical to the success of surgery. Previously evaluation is mostly based on surgeons' experience. Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography is high-speed, high-resolution noninvasive 3D imaging modality that has been widely used in the biomedical research and clinical study. In this study we used Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography as an evaluation tool for anastomosis of lymphatic vessels, ureter and seminal duct in rodent model. Immediate post-operative and long term surgical site data were collected and analyzed. Critical clinical parameters such as lumen patency, anastomosed site narrowing and suture error detection are provided to surgeons.

  3. Accelerated cognitive decline in a rodent model for temporal lobe epilepsy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schipper, Sandra; Aalbers, Marlien W.; Rijkers, Kim; Lagiere, Melanie; Bogaarts, Jan G.; Blokland, Arjan; Klinkenberg, Sylvia; Hoogland, Govert; Vles, Johan S. H.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Cognitive impairment is frequently observed in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. It is hypothesized that cumulative seizure exposure causes accelerated cognitive decline in patients with epilepsy. We investigated the influence of seizure frequency on cognitive decline in a rodent

  4. Serologic Evidence of Flavivirus Infections in Peridomestic Rodents in Merida, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cigarroa-Toledo, Nohemi; Talavera-Aguilar, Lourdes G; Baak-Baak, Carlos M; García-Rejón, Julián E; Hernandez-Betancourt, Silvia; Blitvich, Bradley J; Machain-Williams, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    We conducted surveillance for flavivirus infection in peridomestic rodents in Merida, Mexico in 2011-12. We captured 161 rodents inside private residences, using Sherman traps, including 86 house mice (Mus musculus) and 75 black rats (Rattus rattus). Serum from each animal was assayed by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) using two vertebrate-specific flaviviruses (Apoi and Modoc viruses) and five mosquito-borne flaviviruses (dengue 2, dengue 4, St. Louis encephalitis virus, West Nile, and yellow fever viruses). Sixty-one (37.9%) rodents had antibodies that neutralized at least one virus. Prevalences for flaviviruses were 64.0% and 15.1% for black rats and house mice, respectively. None of the PRNT90 titers exceeded 80, and often they were highest for Modoc virus. These data suggest that a subset of rodents had been infected with Modoc virus or a closely related flavivirus that was not included in the PRNT analysis.

  5. PATTERNS IN SIZE AND SHEDDING OF FASCIOLA HEPATICA EGGS BY NATURALLY AND EXPERIMENTALLY INFECTED MURID RODENTS

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    M. Adela Valero; Miroslava Panova; Ana M. Comes; Roger Fons; Santiago Mas-Coma

    2002-01-01

    Using samples collected on the island of Corsica, a comparative study was done of the morphometry of Fasciola hepatica eggs shed by cattle and by naturally and experimentally infected murid rodents...

  6. Establishment of a general NAFLD scoring system for rodent models and comparison to human liver pathology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liang, W.; Menke, A.L.; Driessen, A.; Koek, G.H.; Lindeman, J.H.; Stoop, R.; Havekes, L.M.; Kleemann., R.; Hoek, A.M. van den

    2014-01-01

    Results: The criteria macrovesicular steatosis, microvesicular steatosis, hepatocellular hypertrophy, inflammation and fibrosis were generally applicable to rodent NAFLD. The inter-observer reproducibility (evaluated using the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient) between the ten observers was high fo

  7. Detection of Toxoplasma gondii by PCR and Mouse Bioassay in Rodents of Ahvaz District, Southwestern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Saki

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is obligate coccidian zoonotic parasite. Felidae family is definitive and wide ranges of warm-blooded vertebrates are intermediate hosts for the parasite. Rodents are measured as an important source of T. gondii infection for the definitive host. Thus, this study aimed to investigate Toxoplasm infection in rodents of Ahvaz district, southwest of Iran. A total of 100 rodents (73 Rattus norvegicus, 21 Rattus rattus, and 6 Mus musculus were collected and studied by GRA6PCR and mouse bioassay. The finding indicated that 6 out of 100 (6% and 2 out of 100 (2% samples were positive by PCR and mouse bioassay, respectively. The results show notable chronic infection in the rodent and potential transmission of the infection among animal and men in the region. Accordingly, this study recommended investigating of the T. gondii infection in definitive and other intermediate hosts in other points of Khuzestan province, Southwest, Iran.

  8. Pramipexole-induced increased probabilistic discounting: comparison between a rodent model of Parkinson's disease and controls

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rokosik, Sandra L; Napier, T Celeste

    2012-01-01

    .... We included assessments of a rodent model of PD, wherein 6-OHDA was injected into the dorsolateral striatum of both hemispheres, which produced persistent PD-like deficits in posture adjustment...

  9. Factors influencing repeated seed movements by scatter-hoarding rodents in an alpine forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Chen, Jin; Corlett, Richard T

    2014-04-24

    Scatter-hoarding rodents are effective dispersal agents for many plant species. Several studies have shown that rodents repeatedly re-cache seeds. The re-caching process often has a significant impact on final seedling establishment, but the factors determining its occurrence are poorly understood. In this study, we followed the fate of 3564 artificial seeds that varied in size, nutrient content and tannin content. Seeds cached closer to their original releasing plots were more likely to be re-cached, and to a further distance. Larger seeds were more likely to be re-cached than smaller ones, while nutrient and tannin content had little effect. Most plant species that depend on scatter-hoarding rodents for seed dispersal bear relatively large seeds, and large seeds are usually more likely to be dispersed and to establish seedlings, suggesting that the caching preferences of scatter-hoarding rodents may have played an important role in the evolution of large seeds.

  10. Mutualistic interactions between granivorous heteromyid rodents and a preferred food resource, Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granivorous heteromyid rodent species and Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) are both widely distributed throughout North American deserts. The vast majority (~95%) of Indian ricegrass seedling recruitment occurs from seed clusters cached in shallowly-buried scatterhoards by heteromyids, espe...

  11. First detection of mycobacteria in African rodents and insectivores, using stratified pool screening

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Durnez, L.; Eddyani, M.; Mgode, G. F.;

    2007-01-01

    With the rising number of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS in developing countries, the control of mycobacteria is of growing importance. Previous studies have shown that rodents and insectivores are carriers of mycobacteria. However, it is not clear how widespread mycobacteria...... are in these animals and what their role is in spreading them. Therefore, the prevalence of mycobacteria in rodents and insectivores was studied in and around Morogoro, Tanzania. Live rodents were trapped, with three types of live traps, in three habitats. Pieces of organs were pooled per habitat, species, and organ...... spp.) were isolated from C. gambianus, Mastomys natalensis, and C. hirta. This study is the first to report findings of mycobacteria in African rodents and insectivores and the first in mycobacterial ecology to estimate the prevalence of mycobacteria after stratified pool screening. The fact...

  12. Tick parasites of rodents in Romania: host preferences, community structure and geographical distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihalca Andrei D

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ticks are among the most important vectors of zoonotic diseases in temperate regions of Europe, with widespread distribution and high densities, posing an important medical risk. Most ticks feed on a variety of progressively larger hosts, with a large number of small mammal species typically harbouring primarily the immature stages. However, there are certain Ixodidae that characteristically attack micromammals also during their adult stage. Rodents are widespread hosts of ticks, important vectors and competent reservoirs of tick-borne pathogens. Micromammal-tick associations have been poorly studied in Romania, and our manuscript shows the results of a large scale study on tick infestation epidemiology in rodents from Romania. Methods Rodents were caught using snap-traps in a variety of habitats in Romania, between May 2010 and November 2011. Ticks were individually collected from these rodents and identified to species and development stage. Frequency, mean intensity, prevalence and its 95% confidence intervals were calculated using the EpiInfo 2000 software. A p value of Results We examined 423 rodents (12 species collected from six counties in Romania for the presence of ticks. Each collected tick was identified to species level and the following epidemiological parameters were calculated: prevalence, mean intensity and mean abundance. The total number of ticks collected from rodents was 483, with eight species identified: Ixodes ricinus, I. redikorzevi, I. apronophorus, I. trianguliceps, I. laguri, Dermacentor marginatus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Haemaphysalis sulcata. The overall prevalence of tick infestation was 29.55%, with a mean intensity of 3.86 and a mean abundance of 1.14. Only two polyspecific infestations were found: I. ricinus + I. redikorzevi and I. ricinus + D. marginatus. Conclusions Our study showed a relatively high diversity of ticks parasitizing rodents in Romania. The most common tick in rodents

  13. 具有天敌捕食的鼠害综合防治模型研究%Modeling on Integrated Mnagement Rodent Pest with Predators

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    成定平

    2001-01-01

    Combined rodent control with predator,two models of integratedmanagement and optimal control for rodent pest were proposed.The model of integrated management for rodent pest was based on the population dynamics of rodents and their predators.The model of optimal control was based on vector converge at equilibrium state with minimum the cost.

  14. Adaptation for rodent pollination in Leucospermum arenarium (Proteaceae) despite rapid pollen loss during grooming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher Michael; Pauw, Anton

    2014-05-01

    Plants are adapted for rodent pollination in diverse and intricate ways. This study explores an extraordinary example of these adaptations in the pincushion Leucospermum arenarium (Proteaceae) from South Africa. Live trapping and differential exclusion experiments were used to test the role of rodents versus birds and insects as pollinators. To explore the adaptive significance of geoflory, inflorescences were raised above ground level and seed production was compared. Captive rodents and flowers with artificial stigmas were used to test the effect of grooming on the rate of pollen loss. Microscopy, nectar composition analysis and manipulative experiments were used to investigate the bizarre nectar production and transport system. Differential exclusion of rodents, birds and insects demonstrated the importance of rodents in promoting seed production. Live trapping revealed that hairy-footed gerbils, Gerbillurus paeba, and striped field mice, Rhabdomys pumilio, both carried L. arenarium pollen on their forehead and rostrum, but much larger quantities ended up in faeces as a result of grooming. Terrarium experiments showed that grooming exponentially diminished the pollen loads that they carried. The nectar of L. arenarium was found to be unusually viscous and to be presented in a novel location on the petal tips, where rodents could access it without destroying the flowers. Nectar was produced inside the perianth, but was translocated to the petal tips via capillary ducts. In common with many other rodent-pollinated plants, the flowers are presented at ground level, but when raised to higher positions seed production was not reduced, indicating that selection through female function does not drive the evolution of geoflory. Despite the apparent cost of pollen lost to grooming, L. arenarium has evolved remarkable adaptations for rodent pollination and provides the first case of this pollination system in the genus.

  15. Failure to infect laboratory rodent hosts with human isolates of Rodentolepis(= Hymenolepis) nana

    OpenAIRE

    MacNish, M.G.; Morgan, U. M.; Behnke, Jerzy M.; Thompson, R. C. A.

    2002-01-01

    Confusion exists over the species status and host-specificity of the tapeworm Rodentolepis (= Hymenolepis) nana. It has been described as one species, R. nana, found in both humans and rodents. Others have identified a subspecies; R. nana var. fraterna, describing it as morphologically identical to the human form but only found in rodents. The species present in Australian communities has never been identified with certainty. Fifty one human isolates of Rodentolepis (= Hymenolepis) nana were ...

  16. Small rodents as paratenic or intermediate hosts of carnivore parasites in Berlin, Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maaz, Denny; Demeler, Janina; Ramünke, Sabrina; Antolová, Daniela; Schaper, Roland; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg

    2017-01-01

    Rodents are important intermediate and paratenic hosts for carnivore parasites, including the important zoonotic agents Toxoplasma, Echinococcus and Toxocara. Monitoring of such parasites in rodents can be used to detect increasing risks for human and veterinary public health. Rodents were trapped at four sites in Berlin, two near the city center, two at the periphery. PCRs were conducted to detect Coccidia (target ITS-1) and specifically Toxoplasma gondii (repetitive element) in brain and ascarids (ITS-2) in muscle or brain tissue. During necropsies, metacestodes were collected and identified using ITS-2 and 12S rRNA PCRs. An ELISA to detect antibodies against Toxocara canis ES antigens was performed. Within the 257 examined rodents, the most frequently observed parasite was Frenkelia glareoli predominantly found in Myodes glareolus. T. gondii was only detected in 12 rodents and Microtus spp. (although strongly underrepresented) had a significantly increased chance of being positive. Neither Echinococcus nor typical Taenia parasites of dogs and cats were found but Mesocestoides litteratus and Taenia martis metacestodes were identified which can cause severe peritoneal or ocular cysticercosis in dogs, primates and humans. Using PCR, the ascarids T. canis (n = 8), Toxocara cati (4) and Parascaris sp. (1) were detected predominantly in muscles. Seroprevalence of T. canis was 14.2% and ELISA was thus more sensitive than PCR to detect infection with this parasite. Non-parametric multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis revealed that parasite communities could be grouped into an urban and a peri-urban cluster with high frequency of ascarid-positive rodents in urban and high frequency of F. glareoli in peri-urban sites. Prevalence rates of parasites in rodents with potential impact for human or veterinary public health are considerable and the monitoring of transmission cycles of carnivore parasites in intermediate rodent hosts is recommended to estimate the health

  17. The result of bagged Pyrinuron baits for control rodent pest of forests

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马力; 邓刚; 张蕊

    2000-01-01

    Bagged and dispersed Pyrinuron (a self-formulated rodenticide) were tested for control of Clethrionomus rutilus and Clethrionomus rufocanus in larch plantation, Pingshan area, Heilongjiang Province from Oct. 1998 to Apr. 1999. The results showed that the bagged Pyrinuron has good result for control of the two rodent pests. The density of rodents was reduced by 90.5% after application of bagged Pyrinuron. This application method has characteristics of long residual period, bait not going mould and saving labour force.

  18. Guinean biodiversity at the edge : rodents in forest patches of southern Mali

    OpenAIRE

    Granjon, Laurent; Duplantier, Jean-Marc

    2011-01-01

    Southern Mali mainly belongs to the Sudanian savanna bioclimatic zone, but forest patches showing botanical affinities with Guinean humid forest remain as gallery forests or ravine forests. To characterize the rodent diversity of this area and check for the presence of some species of Guinean affinities in this group, rodent assemblages were sampled in four regions of southern Mali, using trapping and observational data in forest and surrounding habitats. Twenty-four species were recorded, co...

  19. [Predation and removal of rodents on the seeds with different size and pericarp traits].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Li-biao; Yan, Xing-fu; Wang, Jian-li; Zhou, Yun-feng

    2013-08-01

    A field survey was conducted in the Quercus wutaishanica shrubs in Liupan Mountains of Ningxia, Northwest China to study the predation and removal of rodents on the seeds of Q. wutaishanica, Prunus salicina and Pinus armandii, aimed to explore the effects of seed size and pericarp traits on the predation and removal behaviors of rodents. The in situ seed predation rates of smaller Q. wutaishanica seeds and P. armandii seeds were significantly higher than those of larger Q. wutaishanica seeds and P. salicina seeds. The P. salicina seeds with hard and thick pericarp (endocarp) had the highest predation rate and hoarding rate after the removal by rodents. The movement distance of larger Q. wutaishanica seeds during predation events was the longest (3.10 m), and the seed hoarding distance of this species (6.48 m) was significantly longer than that of the three other types of seeds. Over 80% of sites were used as the predation sites by rodents for the seeds, except that the P. salicina seeds contained only a single seed and the cache sites contained a single seed accounted for over 90% for all types of seeds. Few predation and cache sites containing over two seeds were detected. Higher proportion of P. armandii seeds were predated in microhabitats except at the base of shrubs and in the holes after removal by rodent, while the seeds of other three types were predated mainly at the base of shrubs and in the holes after removal by rodents. The seed hoarding patterns after removal by rodents were primarily determined by pericarp traits, and higher proportion of soil burial that the rodents hoarded seeds with hard pericarp (endocarp) was detected.

  20. Molecular and paleontological evidence for a post-Cretaceous origin of rodents.

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    Shaoyuan Wu

    Full Text Available The timing of the origin and diversification of rodents remains controversial, due to conflicting results from molecular clocks and paleontological data. The fossil record tends to support an early Cenozoic origin of crown-group rodents. In contrast, most molecular studies place the origin and initial diversification of crown-Rodentia deep in the Cretaceous, although some molecular analyses have recovered estimated divergence times that are more compatible with the fossil record. Here we attempt to resolve this conflict by carrying out a molecular clock investigation based on a nine-gene sequence dataset and a novel set of seven fossil constraints, including two new rodent records (the earliest known representatives of Cardiocraniinae and Dipodinae. Our results indicate that rodents originated around 61.7-62.4 Ma, shortly after the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg boundary, and diversified at the intraordinal level around 57.7-58.9 Ma. These estimates are broadly consistent with the paleontological record, but challenge previous molecular studies that place the origin and early diversification of rodents in the Cretaceous. This study demonstrates that, with reliable fossil constraints, the incompatibility between paleontological and molecular estimates of rodent divergence times can be eliminated using currently available tools and genetic markers. Similar conflicts between molecular and paleontological evidence bedevil attempts to establish the origination times of other placental groups. The example of the present study suggests that more reliable fossil calibration points may represent the key to resolving these controversies.

  1. A higher-taxon approach to rodent conservation priorities for the 21st century

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    Amori, G.

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Although rodents are not considered among the most threatened mammals, there is ample historical evidence concerning the vulnerability to extinction of several rodent phylogenetic lineages. Owing to the high number of species, poor taxonomy and the lack of detailed information on population status, the assessment of threat status according to IUCN criteria has still to be considered arbitrary in some cases. Public appreciation is scarce and tends to overlook the ecological role and conservation problems of an order representing about 41 percent of mammalian species. We provide an overview of the most relevant information concerning the conservation status of rodents at the genus, subfamily, and family level. For species¿poor taxa, the importance of distinct populations is highlighted and a splitter approach in taxonomy is adopted. Considering present constraints, strategies for the conservation of rodent diversity must rely mainly on higher taxon and hot-spot approaches. A clear understanding of phyletic relationships among difficult groups -such as Rattus, for instance- is an urgent goal. Even if rodent taxonomy is still unstable, high taxon approach is amply justified from a conservation standpoint as it offers a more subtle overview of the world terrestrial biodiversity than that offered by large mammals. Of the circa 451 living rodent genera, 126 (27,9 %, representing 168 living species, deserve conservation attention according to the present study. About 76 % of genera at risk are monotypic, confirming the danger of losing a considerable amount of phylogenetic distinctiveness.

  2. Different scaling of white matter volume, cortical connectivity, and gyrification across rodent and primate brains

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    Lissa eVentura-Antunes

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Expansion of the cortical grey matter in evolution has been accompanied by an even faster expansion of the subcortical white matter volume and by folding of the grey matter surface, events traditionally considered to occur homogeneously across mammalian species. Here we investigate how white matter expansion and cortical folding scale across species of rodents and primates as the grey matter gains neurons. We find very different scaling rules of white matter expansion across the two orders, favoring volume conservation and smaller propagation times in primates. For a similar number of cortical neurons, primates have a smaller connectivity fraction and less white matter volume than rodents; moreover, as the cortex gains neurons, there is a much faster increase in white matter volume and in its ratio to grey matter volume in rodents than in primates. Order-specific scaling of the white matter can be attributed to different scaling of average fiber caliber and neuronal connectivity in rodents and primates. Finally, cortical folding increases as different functions of the number of cortical neurons in rodents and primates, scaling faster in the latter than in the former. While the neuronal rules that govern grey and white matter scaling are different across rodents and primates, we find that they can be explained by the same unifying model, with order-specific exponents. The different scaling of the white matter has implications for the scaling of propagation time and computational capacity in evolution, and calls for a reappraisal of developmental models of cortical expansion in evolution.

  3. Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) seeds are dispersed by seed-caching rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Wall, S. B.; Esque, T.; Haines, D.; Garnett, M.; Waitman, B.A.

    2006-01-01

    Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a distinctive and charismatic plant of the Mojave Desert. Although floral biology and seed production of Joshua tree and other yuccas are well understood, the fate of Joshua tree seeds has never been studied. We tested the hypothesis that Joshua tree seeds are dispersed by seed-caching rodents. We radioactively labelled Joshua tree seeds and followed their fates at five source plants in Potosi Wash, Clark County, Nevada, USA. Rodents made a mean of 30.6 caches, usually within 30 m of the base of source plants. Caches contained a mean of 5.2 seeds buried 3-30 nun deep. A variety of rodent species appears to have prepared the caches. Three of the 836 Joshua tree seeds (0.4%) cached germinated the following spring. Seed germination using rodent exclosures was nearly 15%. More than 82% of seeds in open plots were removed by granivores, and neither microsite nor supplemental water significantly affected germination. Joshua tree produces seeds in indehiscent pods or capsules, which rodents dismantle to harvest seeds. Because there is no other known means of seed dispersal, it is possible that the Joshua tree-rodent seed dispersal interaction is an obligate mutualism for the plant.

  4. Hypericum perforatum as a cognitive enhancer in rodents: A meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Eliezer, Daniel; Yechiam, Eldad

    2016-01-01

    Considered an antidepressant and anti-anxiety agent, Hypericum perforatum affects multiple neurotransmitters in a non-competitive synergistic manner, and may have nootropic potential. We quantitatively reviewed the pre-clinical literature to examine if there is a cognitive-enhancing effect of H. perforatum in healthy rodents. Additionally, within these studies, we compared the effects observed in intact rodents versus those whose performance has been impaired, mostly through stress manipulations. The meta-analysis incorporated studies that examined the effect of H. perforatum versus placebo on memory indices of task performance. All analyses were based on weighting different studies according to their inverse variance. Thirteen independent studies (published 2000–2014) involving 20 experimental comparisons met our inclusion criteria. The results showed a large positive effect of H. perforatum on cognitive performance for intact, healthy rodents (d = 1.11), though a larger effect emerged for stress-impaired rodents (d = 3.10 for restraint stress). The positive effect on intact rodents was observed in tasks assessing reference memory as well as working memory, and was not moderated by the type of memory or motivation (appetitive versus aversive). Thus, while primarily considered as a medication for depression, H. perforatum shows considerable nootropic potential in rodents. PMID:27762349

  5. Hypericum perforatum as a cognitive enhancer in rodents: A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Eliezer, Daniel; Yechiam, Eldad

    2016-10-20

    Considered an antidepressant and anti-anxiety agent, Hypericum perforatum affects multiple neurotransmitters in a non-competitive synergistic manner, and may have nootropic potential. We quantitatively reviewed the pre-clinical literature to examine if there is a cognitive-enhancing effect of H. perforatum in healthy rodents. Additionally, within these studies, we compared the effects observed in intact rodents versus those whose performance has been impaired, mostly through stress manipulations. The meta-analysis incorporated studies that examined the effect of H. perforatum versus placebo on memory indices of task performance. All analyses were based on weighting different studies according to their inverse variance. Thirteen independent studies (published 2000-2014) involving 20 experimental comparisons met our inclusion criteria. The results showed a large positive effect of H. perforatum on cognitive performance for intact, healthy rodents (d = 1.11), though a larger effect emerged for stress-impaired rodents (d = 3.10 for restraint stress). The positive effect on intact rodents was observed in tasks assessing reference memory as well as working memory, and was not moderated by the type of memory or motivation (appetitive versus aversive). Thus, while primarily considered as a medication for depression, H. perforatum shows considerable nootropic potential in rodents.

  6. Gut passage of epigeous ectomycorrhizal fungi by two opportunistic mycophagous rodents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Citlalli CASTILLO-GUEVARA; Josette SIERRA; Gema GALINDO-FLORES; Mariana CUAUTLE; Carlos LARA

    2011-01-01

    Mycophagists can influence fungal diversity within their home ranges by ensuring the continued and effective dispersal of spores from one site to another. However, the passage of spores through the digestive tract of vertebrates can affect the activity and viability of the spores ingested. This phenomenon has been rarely documented in opportunistic mycophagists consuming epigeous fungi. Using laboratory experiments, we investigated the activity and viability of spores of two epigeous ectomycorrhizal fungal species (Laccaria trichodermopkora and Suillus tomentosus) after passage through the digestive tract of two opportunistic mycophagous small rodents, the volcano mouse Peromyscus alstoni and the deer mouse P. Maniculatus. We found that passage through the gut of either species of rodent had a significant effect on spore activity and viability for both fungal species. The proportion of active spores (0.37-0.40) of L. Trichodermophora in the feces of both species of rodents was less than that recorded for the control (0.82). However, the proportion of active spores (0.64-0.73) of 5. Tomentosus in the feces of each species of rodent was higher than in the control (0.40). On the other hand, the viability of spores was lower (0.26-0.30 in L. Trichodermophora and 0.60-0.69 in 5. Tomentosus) for both fungi when consumed by either rodent relative to the controls (0.90 in L trichodermophora and 0.82 in 5. Tomentosus). These findings suggest that these rodent species may be effective dispersers of both epigeous fungi.

  7. A comparison of bats and rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic viruses: are bats special?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luis, Angela D.; Hayman, David T. S.; O'Shea, Thomas J.; Cryan, Paul M.; Gilbert, Amy T.; Pulliam, Juliet R. C.; Mills, James N.; Timonin, Mary E.; Willis, Craig K. R.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Fooks, Anthony R.; Rupprecht, Charles E.; Wood, James L. N.; Webb, Colleen T.

    2013-01-01

    Bats are the natural reservoirs of a number of high-impact viral zoonoses. We present a quantitative analysis to address the hypothesis that bats are unique in their propensity to host zoonotic viruses based on a comparison with rodents, another important host order. We found that bats indeed host more zoonotic viruses per species than rodents, and we identified life-history and ecological factors that promote zoonotic viral richness. More zoonotic viruses are hosted by species whose distributions overlap with a greater number of other species in the same taxonomic order (sympatry). Specifically in bats, there was evidence for increased zoonotic viral richness in species with smaller litters (one young), greater longevity and more litters per year. Furthermore, our results point to a new hypothesis to explain in part why bats host more zoonotic viruses per species: the stronger effect of sympatry in bats and more viruses shared between bat species suggests that interspecific transmission is more prevalent among bats than among rodents. Although bats host more zoonotic viruses per species, the total number of zoonotic viruses identified in bats (61) was lower than in rodents (68), a result of there being approximately twice the number of rodent species as bat species. Therefore, rodents should still be a serious concern as reservoirs of emerging viruses. These findings shed light on disease emergence and perpetuation mechanisms and may help lead to a predictive framework for identifying future emerging infectious virus reservoirs. PMID:23378666

  8. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and rodent reservoirs in the savanna-like biome of Brazil's southeastern region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limongi, J E; Oliveira, R C; Guterres, A; Costa Neto, S F; Fernandes, J; Vicente, L H B; Coelho, M G; Ramos, V N; Ferreira, M S; Bonvicino, C R; D'Andrea, P S; Lemos, E R S

    2016-04-01

    This paper describes the diversity of rodent fauna in an area endemic for hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in Brazil, the population dynamics and the relationship of rodents with hantavirus in the Cerrado (savanna-like) biome. Additionally, an analysis is made of the partial S segment sequences of the hantaviruses obtained from serologically confirmed human HCPS cases and from rodent specimens. Rodents were collected during four campaigns. Human serum samples were collected from suspected cases of HCPS at hospitals in the state of Minas Gerais. The samples antibody-reactive by ELISA were processed by RT-PCR. The PCR product was amplified and sequenced. Hantavirus was detected only in Necromys lasiurus, the wild rodent species most prevalent in the Cerrado biome (min-max: 50-83·7%). All the six human serum samples were hantavirus seropositive and five showed amplified PCR products. The analysis of the nucleotide sequences showed the circulation of a single genotype, the Araraquara hantavirus. The environmental changes that have occurred in the Cerrado biome in recent decades have favoured N. lasiurus in interspecific competition of habitats, thus increasing the risk of contact between humans and rodent species infected with hantavirus. Our data corroborate the definition of N. lasiurus as the main hantavirus reservoir in the Cerrado biome.

  9. A comparison of bats and rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic viruses: are bats special?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luis, Angela D; Hayman, David T S; O'Shea, Thomas J; Cryan, Paul M; Gilbert, Amy T; Pulliam, Juliet R C; Mills, James N; Timonin, Mary E; Willis, Craig K R; Cunningham, Andrew A; Fooks, Anthony R; Rupprecht, Charles E; Wood, James L N; Webb, Colleen T

    2013-04-01

    Bats are the natural reservoirs of a number of high-impact viral zoonoses. We present a quantitative analysis to address the hypothesis that bats are unique in their propensity to host zoonotic viruses based on a comparison with rodents, another important host order. We found that bats indeed host more zoonotic viruses per species than rodents, and we identified life-history and ecological factors that promote zoonotic viral richness. More zoonotic viruses are hosted by species whose distributions overlap with a greater number of other species in the same taxonomic order (sympatry). Specifically in bats, there was evidence for increased zoonotic viral richness in species with smaller litters (one young), greater longevity and more litters per year. Furthermore, our results point to a new hypothesis to explain in part why bats host more zoonotic viruses per species: the stronger effect of sympatry in bats and more viruses shared between bat species suggests that interspecific transmission is more prevalent among bats than among rodents. Although bats host more zoonotic viruses per species, the total number of zoonotic viruses identified in bats (61) was lower than in rodents (68), a result of there being approximately twice the number of rodent species as bat species. Therefore, rodents should still be a serious concern as reservoirs of emerging viruses. These findings shed light on disease emergence and perpetuation mechanisms and may help lead to a predictive framework for identifying future emerging infectious virus reservoirs.

  10. Middle Eocene rodents from Peruvian Amazonia reveal the pattern and timing of caviomorph origins and biogeography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; Marivaux, Laurent; Croft, Darin A.; Billet, Guillaume; Ganerød, Morgan; Jaramillo, Carlos; Martin, Thomas; Orliac, Maëva J.; Tejada, Julia; Altamirano, Ali J.; Duranthon, Francis; Fanjat, Grégory; Rousse, Sonia; Gismondi, Rodolfo Salas

    2012-01-01

    The long-term isolation of South America during most of the Cenozoic produced a highly peculiar terrestrial vertebrate biota, with a wide array of mammal groups, among which caviomorph rodents and platyrrhine primates are Mid-Cenozoic immigrants. In the absence of indisputable pre-Oligocene South American rodents or primates, the mode, timing and biogeography of these extraordinary dispersals remained debated. Here, we describe South America's oldest known rodents, based on a new diverse caviomorph assemblage from the late Middle Eocene (approx. 41 Ma) of Peru, including five small rodents with three stem caviomorphs. Instead of being tied to the Eocene/Oligocene global cooling and drying episode (approx. 34 Ma), as previously considered, the arrival of caviomorphs and their initial radiation in South America probably occurred under much warmer and wetter conditions, around the Mid-Eocene Climatic Optimum. Our phylogenetic results reaffirm the African origin of South American rodents and support a trans-Atlantic dispersal of these mammals during Middle Eocene times. This discovery further extends the gap (approx. 15 Myr) between first appearances of rodents and primates in South America. PMID:21993503

  11. Relationships between rodent white adipose fat pads and human white adipose fat depots

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    Daniella E. Chusyd

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this review was to compare and contrast the physiological and metabolic profiles of rodent white adipose fat pads with white adipose fat depots in humans. Human fat distribution and its metabolic consequences have received extensive attention, but much of what has been tested in translational research has relied heavily on rodents. Unfortunately, the validity of using rodent fat pads as a model of human adiposity has received less attention. There is a surprisingly lack of studies demonstrating an analogous relationship between rodent and human adiposity on obesity-related comorbidities. Therefore, we aimed to compare known similarities and disparities in terms of white adipose tissue development and distribution, sexual dimorphism, weight loss, adipokine secretion, and aging. While the literature supports the notion that many similarities exist between rodents and humans, notable differences emerge related to fat deposition and function of white adipose tissue. Thus, further research is warranted to more carefully define the strengths and limitations of rodent white adipose tissue as a model for humans, with a particular emphasis on comparable fat depots, such as mesenteric fat.

  12. South American mammal zoogeography: evidence from convergent evolution in desert rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mares, M A

    1975-05-01

    Current theories regarding colonization of South America by mammals are divided between those supported by fossil evidence, which suggest the original mammal fauna of the isolated continent was augmented by early immigrants (primates, caviomorph rodents, and later, procyonids) with a final large influx of northern mammals occurring with the formation of the Panama land bridge, and an opposing view which states that the purported "recent invaders" are too taxonomically and ecologically differentiated to have colonized since the land bridge arose. The second theory suggests that most extant mammals entered before the Plio-Pleistocene land connection. An analysis of degree of physiological adaptation, natural history, distribution patterns, and a multivariate assessment of convergent evolution of Monte Desert rodents indicate that South American cricetine rodents are not highly specialized for desert life. Their degree of adaptation could be accounted for, in large part, by adaptations for arid or semiarid Andean habitats. No Monte Desert rodent has developed the specialized desert traits that have evolved in most desert rodent faunas of the world, although extinct marsupials similar to living bipedal desert rodents were present in the Monte as recently as late Pliocene. Evidence suggests that Monte caviomorphs have been associated with the desert for a longer period than cricetines, and that the latter represent a fairly recent invasion of the Monte Desert. The data thus support the first hypothesis of South American mammal colonization.

  13. Prevalence and diversity of Bartonella species in commensal rodents and ectoparasites from Nigeria, West Africa.

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    Joshua Kamani

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bartonellae are fastidious bacteria causing persistent bacteremia in humans and a wide variety of animals. In recent years there is an increasing interest in mammalian bartonelloses in general and in rodent bartonelloses in particular. To date, no studies investigating the presence of Bartonella spp. in rodents and ectoparasites from Nigeria were carried out. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The aim of the current study was to investigate the presence of Bartonella spp. in commensal rodents and their ectoparasites in Nigeria. We report, for the first time, the molecular detection of Bartonella in 26% (46/177 of commensal rodents (Rattus rattus, R. norvegicus and Cricetomys gambianus and 28% (9/32 of ectoparasite pools (Xenopsylla cheopis, Haemolaelaps spp., Ctenophthalmus spp., Hemimerus talpoides, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus from Nigeria. Sequence analysis of the citrate synthase gene (gltA revealed diversity of Bartonella spp. and genotypes in Nigerian rodents and their ectoparasites. Bartonella spp. identical or closely related to Bartonella elizabethae, Bartonella tribocorum and Bartonella grahamii were detected. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: High prevalence of infection with Bartonella spp. was detected in commensal rodents and ectoparasites from Nigeria. The Bartonella spp. identified were previously associated with human diseases highlighting their importance to public health. Further studies need to be conducted to determine whether the identified Bartonella species could be responsible for human cases of febrile illness in Nigeria.

  14. Wild Rodents as Experimental Intermediate Hosts of Lagochilascaris minor Leiper, 1909

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    Julieta Machado Paçô

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available A total of 25 specimens of Cavia porcellus (guinea pig, 5 Dasyprocta agouti (agouti, and 22 Calomys callosus (vesper mice were inoculated with infective eggs of Lagochilascaris minor. The inoculum was prepared with embryonated eggs and orally administered to each individual animal through an esophagus probe. In parallel, 100 specimens of Felis catus domesticus were individually fed with 55-70 nodules containing 3rd-stage larvae encysted in tissues of infected rodents. Animals were examined and necropsied at different time intervals. The migration and encystment of L3 larva was observed in viscera, skeletal muscle, adipose and subcutaneous tissues from all rodents. Adult worms localized at abscesses in the cervical region, rhino, and oropharynx were recovered from domestic cats inoculated with infected rodent tissues. Through this study we can conclude that: (1 wild rodents act as intermediate hosts, characterizing this ascarid heteroxenic cycle; (2 in natural conditions rodents could possibly act as either intermediate hosts or paratenic hosts of Lagochilascaris minor; (3 despite the occurrence of an auto-infecting cycle, in prime-infection of felines (definite hosts the cycle is only completed when intermediate hosts are provided; and (4 in the wild, rodents could serve as a source of infection for humans as they are frequently used as food in regions with the highest incidence of human lagochilascariasis.

  15. Zoonotic Bartonella species in wild rodents in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favacho, Alexsandra Rodrigues de Mendonça; Andrade, Marcelle Novaes; de Oliveira, Renata Carvalho; Bonvicino, Cibele Rodrigues; D'Andrea, Paulo Sergio; de Lemos, Elba Regina Sampaio

    2015-01-01

    Several rodent-associated Bartonella species cause disease in humans but little is known about their epidemiology in Brazil. The presence of Bartonella spp. in wild rodents captured in two municipalities of the Mato Grosso do Sul state was assessed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Fragments of heart tissue from 42 wild rodents were tested using primers targeting the Bartonella 16S-23S intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region and citrate synthase gltA gene. The wild rodents were identified based on external and cranial morphology and confirmed at species level by mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome B) sequencing and karyotype. Overall, 42.9% (18/42) of the wild rodents were PCR positive for Bartonella spp.: Callomys callosus (04), Cerradomys maracajuensis (04), Hylaeamus megacephalus (01), Necromys lasiurus (06), Nectomys squamipes (01), Oecomys catherinae (01) and Oxymycterus delator (01). Bartonella vinsonii subsp. arupensis was detected in N. lasiurus (46%) and C. callosus (21%) captured in the two study sites. We reported the first molecular detection of B. vinsonii subsp. arupensis in different species of wild rodents collected in the Brazilian territory. Further studies are needed to examine the role of these mammals in the eco-epidemiology of bartonellosis in Brazil.

  16. A comparison of bats and rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic viruses: are bats special?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luis, Angela D.; Hayman, David T.S.; O'Shea, Thomas J.; Cryan, Paul M.; Gilbert, Amy T.; Pulliam, Juliet R.C.; Mills, James N.; Timonin, Mary E.; Willis, Craig K.R.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Fooks, Anthony R.; Rupprecht, Charles E.; Wood, James L.N.; Webb, Colleen T.

    2013-01-01

    Bats are the natural reservoirs of a number of high-impact viral zoonoses. We present a quantitative analysis to address the hypothesis that bats are unique in their propensity to host zoonotic viruses based on a comparison with rodents, another important host order. We found that bats indeed host more zoonotic viruses per species than rodents, and we identified life-history and ecological factors that promote zoonotic viral richness. More zoonotic viruses are hosted by species whose distributions overlap with a greater number of other species in the same taxonomic order (sympatry). Specifically in bats, there was evidence for increased zoonotic viral richness in species with smaller litters (one young), greater longevity and more litters per year. Furthermore, our results point to a new hypothesis to explain in part why bats host more zoonotic viruses per species: the stronger effect of sympatry in bats and more viruses shared between bat species suggests that interspecific transmission is more prevalent among bats than among rodents. Although bats host more zoonotic viruses per species, the total number of zoonotic viruses identified in bats (61) was lower than in rodents (68), a result of there being approximately twice the number of rodent species as bat species. Therefore, rodents should still be a serious concern as reservoirs of emerging viruses. These findings shed light on disease emergence and perpetuation mechanisms and may help lead to a predictive framework for identifying future emerging infectious virus reservoirs.

  17. Diversity of Enterocytozoon bieneusi genotypes among small rodents in southwestern Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perec-Matysiak, Agnieszka; Buńkowska-Gawlik, Katarzyna; Kváč, Martin; Sak, Bohumil; Hildebrand, Joanna; Leśniańska, Kinga

    2015-12-15

    Diversity of Enterocytozoon bieneusi genotypes in wild small rodent populations still remains incomplete and only few molecular studies have been conducted among these hosts. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether small rodents, i.e., Apodemus agrarius, Apodemus flavicollis, Mus musculus and Myodes glareolus act as hosts of E. bieneusi and can play an important role in spore spreading in the environment of south-western Poland. Molecular analyses were conducted to determine pathogen genotypes. A total of 191 fecal and 251 spleen samples collected from 311 rodent individuals were examined for the occurrence of E. bieneusi by PCR amplifying ITS gene. The overall prevalence of E. bieneusi in rodent samples was 38.9%. The nucleotide sequences of ITS region of E. bieneusi revealed the presence a total of 12 genotypes with two being already known, i.e., D and gorilla 1 genotypes. The remaining ten are novel genotypes (WR1-WR10) which segregated into three groups in a neighbor joining phylogeny. This study reports for the first time E. bieneusi occurrence in wild living rodents in Poland and shows extensive genetic diversity within E. bieneusi isolates of rodent origin.

  18. Leishmania infantum in wild rodents: reservoirs or just irrelevant incidental hosts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navea-Pérez, H M; Díaz-Sáez, V; Corpas-López, V; Merino-Espinosa, G; Morillas-Márquez, F; Martín-Sánchez, J

    2015-06-01

    Wild rodents constitute a very large biomass of potential reservoirs for Leishmania spp. Therefore, an epidemiological study was carried out in a well-known focus of canine leishmaniasis from southern Spain, with the objective of detecting and characterizing Leishmania infantum infection in wild rodents. Blood, liver, spleen, bone marrow, and skin from 37 rodents (24 Apodemus sylvaticus, 9 Rattus rattus, and 4 Mus musculus) were analyzed by optical microscopy, culture, and two different polymerase chain reactions. L. infantum DNA was found in 27% (10 out of 37) of the trapped rodents, in a variety of tissues: bone marrow, spleen, or healthy skin (ear lobe). High prevalences of L. infantum infection were found in the three investigated rodent species. The presence of other trypanosomatids was also evidenced. These rodent species are abundant, widely distributed in Europe, and have a long enough lifespan to overcome the low sandfly activity season. They live in a suitable habitat for sandflies and serve as blood sources for these insects, which can become infected when induced to feed on Leishmania-infected animals. Whether they are reservoirs or just irrelevant incidental hosts, it is clear that the epidemiology of L. infantum is more complex than previously thought, and so is its control. The classic epidemiological cycle dog-sandfly-human is turning into a network of animal species that collaborate with the dog in the maintenance of the parasite under natural conditions and probably showing local differences.

  19. Molecular and paleontological evidence for a post-Cretaceous origin of rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shaoyuan; Wu, Wenyu; Zhang, Fuchun; Ye, Jie; Ni, Xijun; Sun, Jimin; Edwards, Scott V; Meng, Jin; Organ, Chris L

    2012-01-01

    The timing of the origin and diversification of rodents remains controversial, due to conflicting results from molecular clocks and paleontological data. The fossil record tends to support an early Cenozoic origin of crown-group rodents. In contrast, most molecular studies place the origin and initial diversification of crown-Rodentia deep in the Cretaceous, although some molecular analyses have recovered estimated divergence times that are more compatible with the fossil record. Here we attempt to resolve this conflict by carrying out a molecular clock investigation based on a nine-gene sequence dataset and a novel set of seven fossil constraints, including two new rodent records (the earliest known representatives of Cardiocraniinae and Dipodinae). Our results indicate that rodents originated around 61.7-62.4 Ma, shortly after the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary, and diversified at the intraordinal level around 57.7-58.9 Ma. These estimates are broadly consistent with the paleontological record, but challenge previous molecular studies that place the origin and early diversification of rodents in the Cretaceous. This study demonstrates that, with reliable fossil constraints, the incompatibility between paleontological and molecular estimates of rodent divergence times can be eliminated using currently available tools and genetic markers. Similar conflicts between molecular and paleontological evidence bedevil attempts to establish the origination times of other placental groups. The example of the present study suggests that more reliable fossil calibration points may represent the key to resolving these controversies.

  20. Middle Eocene rodents from Peruvian Amazonia reveal the pattern and timing of caviomorph origins and biogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; Marivaux, Laurent; Croft, Darin A; Billet, Guillaume; Ganerød, Morgan; Jaramillo, Carlos; Martin, Thomas; Orliac, Maëva J; Tejada, Julia; Altamirano, Ali J; Duranthon, Francis; Fanjat, Grégory; Rousse, Sonia; Gismondi, Rodolfo Salas

    2012-04-07

    The long-term isolation of South America during most of the Cenozoic produced a highly peculiar terrestrial vertebrate biota, with a wide array of mammal groups, among which caviomorph rodents and platyrrhine primates are Mid-Cenozoic immigrants. In the absence of indisputable pre-Oligocene South American rodents or primates, the mode, timing and biogeography of these extraordinary dispersals remained debated. Here, we describe South America's oldest known rodents, based on a new diverse caviomorph assemblage from the late Middle Eocene (approx. 41 Ma) of Peru, including five small rodents with three stem caviomorphs. Instead of being tied to the Eocene/Oligocene global cooling and drying episode (approx. 34 Ma), as previously considered, the arrival of caviomorphs and their initial radiation in South America probably occurred under much warmer and wetter conditions, around the Mid-Eocene Climatic Optimum. Our phylogenetic results reaffirm the African origin of South American rodents and support a trans-Atlantic dispersal of these mammals during Middle Eocene times. This discovery further extends the gap (approx. 15 Myr) between first appearances of rodents and primates in South America.

  1. The role of rodents in the ecology of Ixodes ricinus and associated pathogens in Central and Eastern Europe.

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    Mihalca, Andrei D; Sándor, Attila D

    2013-01-01

    Rodents comprise more species than any other mammal order. Most rodents are considered keystone species in their ecological communities, hence the survival of many other species in the ecosystem depend on them. From medical point of view, this is particularly important for rodent-dependent pathogens. In the particular case of tick-borne diseases, rodents are important as hosts for vector ticks and as reservoir hosts (Lyme borreliosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Tick-borne relapsing fevers, tick-borne rickettsioses, babesiosis). Community and population ecology of rodents was shown to be correlated with disease ecology in the case of many tick-borne diseases. In Eastern Europe, several adult hard-tick species use rodents as their principal hosts: Ixodes apronophorus, I. crenulatus, I. laguri, I. redikorzevi, I. trianguliceps. However, the majority of ticks feeding on rodents are immature stages of ticks which as adults are parasitic on larger mammals. Larvae and nymphs of Ixodes ricinus, the most abundant and medically important tick from Europe, are commonly found on rodents. This is particularly important, as many rodents are synanthropic and, together with other micromammals and birds are often the only available natural hosts for ticks in urban environments. This work reviews the correlated ecology of rodents and I. ricinus.

  2. The role of rodents in the ecology of Ixodes ricinus and associated pathogens in Central and Eastern Europe

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    Andrei Daniel Mihalca

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Rodents comprise more species than any other mammal order. Most rodents are considered keystone species in their ecological communities, hence the survival of many other species in the ecosystem depend on them. From medical point of view, this is particularly important for rodent-dependent pathogens. In the particular case of tick-borne diseases, rodents are important as hosts for vector ticks and as reservoir hosts (Lyme borreliosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Tick-borne relapsing fevers, tick-borne rickettsioses, babesiosis. Community and population ecology of rodents was shown to be correlated with disease ecology in the case of many tick-borne diseases. In Eastern Europe, several adult hard-tick species use rodents as their principal hosts: Ixodes apronophorus, I. crenulatus, I. laguri, I. redikorzevi, I. trianguliceps. However, the majority of ticks feeding on rodents are immature stages of ticks which as adults are parasitic on larger mammals. Larvae and nymphs of I. ricinus, the most abundant and medically important tick from Europe, are commonly found on rodents. This is particularly important, as many rodents are synanthropic and, together with other micromammals and birds are often the only available natural hosts for ticks in urban environments. This work reviews the correlated ecology of rodents and Ixodes ricinus.

  3. The peculiarities of the masticator muscles in rodents

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    C. Spataru

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Comparative research concerning masticatory musculature in squirrel, muskrat and rabbit, take into account the emphasizing and morphofunctional interpretation of the osteomuscular particularities involved in the prehension and mastication processes. The development of the coronoid process on the muskrat and squirrel demonstrates the growing of the force when raising the mandible by increasing the action force attached to the temporal muscle, with insertion on the coronoid process. In comparison with that, in the case of rabbits, both the coronoid process and the temporal muscle are reduced. From a philogenetic point of view, it has been found that the species that have the articular condyle lowered at or under the level of the dental tables (carnivores present a greater pressure force between the dental tables. Analyzing this aspect of the rodents taken into discussion, we noticed the lowering of the articular condyle up to the inferior molars' plane, in the case of squirrels and muskrats, but through obliquity, namely through cranial caudal and dorsoventral movement. This peculiarity is emphasized through the analysis of the angle formed by the axis of the mandible recurved branch (passing through the mandibular condyle with the axis of the horizontal branch of the mandible, where it was noticed that along with the increase in the angle formed by the two axes, which becomes an obtuse 160 degree angle on the squirrel and 130 degrees on the muskrat, there is also a lowering of the articular condyle up to the molar level, while in the case of carnivores, the lowering of the condyle is done without the modification of the angle between the two axes, which measures approximately 90 degrees.

  4. Sperm competition, sperm numbers and sperm quality in muroid rodents.

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    Laura Gómez Montoto

    Full Text Available Sperm competition favors increases in relative testes mass and production efficiency, and changes in sperm phenotype that result in faster swimming speeds. However, little is known about its effects on traits that contribute to determine the quality of a whole ejaculate (i.e., proportion of motile, viable, morphologically normal and acrosome intact sperm and that are key determinants of fertilization success. Two competing hypotheses lead to alternative predictions: (a sperm quantity and quality traits co-evolve under sperm competition because they play complementary roles in determining ejaculate's competitive ability, or (b energetic constraints force trade-offs between traits depending on their relevance in providing a competitive advantage. We examined relationships between sperm competition levels, sperm quantity, and traits that determine ejaculate quality, in a comparative study of 18 rodent species using phylogenetically controlled analyses. Total sperm numbers were positively correlated to proportions of normal sperm, acrosome integrity and motile sperm; the latter three were also significantly related among themselves, suggesting no trade-offs between traits. In addition, testes mass corrected for body mass (i.e., relative testes mass, showed a strong association with sperm numbers, and positive significant associations with all sperm traits that determine ejaculate quality with the exception of live sperm. An "overall sperm quality" parameter obtained by principal component analysis (which explained 85% of the variance was more strongly associated with relative testes mass than any individual quality trait. Overall sperm quality was as strongly associated with relative testes mass as sperm numbers. Thus, sperm quality traits improve under sperm competition in an integrated manner suggesting that a combination of all traits is what makes ejaculates more competitive. In evolutionary terms this implies that a complex network of genetic

  5. Quantification of adipose tissue in a rodent model of obesity

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    Johnson, David H.; Flask, Chris; Wan, Dinah; Ernsberger, Paul; Wilson, David L.

    2006-03-01

    Obesity is a global epidemic and a comorbidity for many diseases. We are using MRI to characterize obesity in rodents, especially with regard to visceral fat. Rats were scanned on a 1.5T clinical scanner, and a T1W, water-spoiled image (fat only) was divided by a matched T1W image (fat + water) to yield a ratio image related to the lipid content in each voxel. The ratio eliminated coil sensitivity inhomogeneity and gave flat values across a fat pad, except for outlier voxels (> 1.0) due to motion. Following sacrifice, fat pad volumes were dissected and measured by displacement in canola oil. In our study of 6 lean (SHR), 6 dietary obese (SHR-DO), and 9 genetically obese rats (SHROB), significant differences in visceral fat volume was observed with an average of 29+/-16 ml increase due to diet and 84+/-44 ml increase due to genetics relative to lean control with a volume of 11+/-4 ml. Subcutaneous fat increased 14+/-8 ml due to diet and 198+/-105 ml due to genetics relative to the lean control with 7+/-3 ml. Visceral fat strongly correlated between MRI and dissection (R2 = 0.94), but MRI detected over five times the subcutaneous fat found with error-prone dissection. Using a semi-automated images segmentation method on the ratio images, intra-subject variation was very low. Fat pad composition as estimated from ratio images consistently differentiated the strains with SHROB having a greater lipid concentration in adipose tissues. Future work will include in vivo studies of diet versus genetics, identification of new phenotypes, and corrective measures for obesity; technical efforts will focus on correction for motion and automation in quantification.

  6. Expensive brains: ‘brainy’ rodents have higher metabolic rate

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    Raúl eSobrero

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Brains are the centers of the nervous system of animals, controlling the organ systems of the body and coordinating responses to changes in the ecological and social environment. The evolution traits that correlate with cognitive ability, such as relative brain size is thus of broad interest. Brain mass relative to body mass varies among mammals, and diverse factors have been proposed to explain this variation. A recent study provided evidence that energetics play an important role in brain evolution (Isler and van Schaik, 2006. Using composite phylogenies and data drawn from multiple sources, these authors showed that basal metabolic rate (BMR correlates with brain mass across mammals. However, no such relationship was found within rodents. Here we re-examined the relationship between BMR and brain mass within Rodentia using a novel species-level phylogeny. Our results are sensitive to parameter evaluation; in particular how species mass is estimated. We detect no pattern when applying an approach used by previous studies, where each species body mass is represented by two different numbers, one being the individual that happened to be used for BMR estimates of that species. However, this approach may compromise the analysis. When using a single value of body mass for each species, whether representing a single individual, or available species mean, our findings provide evidence that brain mass (independent of body mass and BMR are correlated. These findings are thus consistent with the hypothesis that large brains evolve when the payoff for increased brain mass is greater than the energetic cost they incur.

  7. Chronic fluoxetine treatment increases daytime melatonin synthesis in the rodent

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    Gillian W Reierson

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Gillian W Reierson, Claudio A Mastronardi, Julio Licinio, Ma-Li WongCenter on Pharmacogenomics, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USAAbstract: Circadian rhythm disturbances can occur as part of the clinical symptoms of major depressive disorder and have been found to resolve with antidepressant therapy. The pineal gland is relevant to circadian rhythms as it secretes the hormone melatonin following activation of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP signaling cascade and of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT, the rate-limiting enzyme for its synthesis. Cyclic AMP is synthesized by adenylate cyclases (AC and degraded by phosphodiesterases (PDEs. Little is known about the contribution of the PDE system to antidepressant-induced alterations in pineal cAMP signaling and melatonin synthesis. In the present study we used enzyme immunoassay to measure plasma melatonin levels and pineal cAMP levels and as well as quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to measure pineal expression of PDE, AC, and AA-NAT genes in rats chronically treated with the prototypic antidepressant fluoxetine. We found elevated melatonin synthesis with increased pineal AA-NAT gene expression and daytime plasma melatonin levels and downregulated cAMP signaling with increased PDE and unchanged AC pineal gene expression, and decreased content of pineal cAMP. We conclude that chronic fluoxetine treatment increases daytime plasma melatonin and pineal AA-NAT gene expression despite downregulated pineal cAMP signaling in the rodent.Keywords: antidepressant, melatonin, pineal, nucleotides, cyclic, phosphodiesterase, rat

  8. Rodent neurotoxicity bioassays for screening contaminated Great Lakes fish

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    Beattie, M.K.; Hoffman, R. [Univ. of Minnesota, Duluth, MN (United States); Gerstenberger, S. [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (United States). Dept. of Veterinary Biosciences; Dellinger, J.A. [Medical Coll. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, MI (United States). Dept. of Preventive Medicine

    1996-03-01

    Standard laboratory rat neurotoxicity protocols were used to study the consequences resulting from the consumption of walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), and lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from Lake Superior (LS) and the consumption of carp (Cyprinus carpio) from Little Lake Butte des Morte (LLBM) near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. Two 90-d subchronic studies are described, including a 45-d exposure to fish diets using male Sprague-Dawley hooded rats, and a 90-d exposure to fish diets using female rats of the same species. Behavioral alterations were tested using a battery of behavioral tests. In addition, pharmacologic challenges using apomorphine and D-amphetamine were administered to the rats to reveal latent neurotoxic effects. Cumulative fish consumption data were recorded daily, weight gain recorded weekly, and behavior data collected prior to exposure, and on days 7, 14, 55 {+-} 2, 85 {+-} 2. Motor activity data were collected on days 30 {+-} 2, 60 {+-} 2, and 90 {+-} 2 of the feeding protocols. Brain tissue from rodents fed these fish were subsequently analyzed for either mercury (Hg) or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). Mercury concentrations were increased in the brains of the walleye-fed rats, and PCB concentrations ranged from 0.5 nl/L to 10 nl/L in the brains of rats fed carp from LLBM, a Lake Michigan tributary. Adult male rats fed LLBM carp for 45 d exhibited the greatest behavior responses to the dopaminergic agonist apomorphine on the accelerating rotarod, although these differences were not significant. The 90-d exposure of LS walleye or Hg-spiked LS walleye resulted in behavior alterations on tactile startle response and second footsplay. D-Amphetamine challenge caused changes in tactile startle response, second footsplay, and accelerating rotarod performance after consuming walleye diets. Rats fed LLBM carp had altered behavioral responses to apomorphine on the accelerating rotarod.

  9. (-)-α-Bisabolol reduces orofacial nociceptive behavior in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melo, Luana Torres; Duailibe, Mariana Araújo Braz; Pessoa, Luciana Moura; da Costa, Flávio Nogueira; Vieira-Neto, Antonio Eufrásio; de Vasconcellos Abdon, Ana Paula; Campos, Adriana Rolim

    2017-02-01

    The purposes of this study were to evaluate the anti-nociceptive effect of oral and topical administration of (-)-α-bisabolol (BISA) in rodent models of formalin- or cinnamaldehyde-induced orofacial pain and to explore the inhibitory mechanisms involved. Orofacial pain was induced by injecting 1.5% formalin into the upper lip of mice (20 μL) or into the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of rats (50 μL). In another experiment, orofacial pain was induced with cinnamaldehyde (13.2 μg/lip). Nociceptive behavior was proxied by time (s) spent rubbing the injected area and by the incidence of head flinching. BISA (100, 200, or 400 mg/kg p.o. or 50, 100, or 200 mg/mL topical) or vehicle was administered 60 min before pain induction. The two formulations (lotion and syrup) were compared with regard to efficacy. The effect of BISA remained after incorporation into the formulations, and nociceptive behavior decreased significantly in all tests. The high binding affinity observed for BISA and TRPA1 in the molecular docking study was supported by in vivo experiments in which HC-030031 (a TRPA1 receptor antagonist) attenuated pain in a manner qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that of BISA. Blockers of opioid receptors, NO synthesis, and K(+) ATP channels did not affect orofacial pain, nor inhibit the effect of BISA. In conclusion, BISA had a significant anti-nociceptive effect on orofacial pain. The effect may in part be due to TRPA1 antagonism. The fact that the effect of BISA remained after incorporation into oral and topical formulations suggests that the compound may be a useful adjuvant in the treatment of orofacial pain.

  10. Memory deficits associated with khat (Catha edulis) use in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimani, S T; Patel, N B; Kioy, P G

    2016-02-01

    Khat products and chewing practices are common in East Africa, Middle East for centuries with concomitant socio-economic and public health repercussions. We assessed memory deficits associated with khat use in rodents. Young male CBA mice, 5-7 weeks old (n = 20), weighing 25-35 g were used. Mice were treated with either 40, 120 or 360 mg/kg body weight (bw) methanolic khat extract, or 0.5 ml saline for 10 days. Spatial acquisition, reversal and reference memory were assessed using modified Morris Water maze (MMWM). Mice treated with 40 mg/kg khat extract had longer (t4 = 4.12 p = 0.015) and t4 = 2.28 p = 0.065) escape latency on first and second day during reversal relative to the baseline. Under 120 mg/kg khat dose, the escape latency was shorter (t4 = -2.49 p = 0.05) vs (t3 = -2.5 p = 0.05) on third and fourth day. Further, treatment with 360 mg/kg khat extract resulted in significantly longer time (49.13, 33.5, 40.2 and 35.75) vs. (23.5 s), compared to baseline. Mice treated with khat or control preferred the target quadrant post acquisition while differential pattern was seen during reversal phase. Mice treated with 40 or 120 mg/kg khat showed significant preference for target quadrant. Substantial time (19.9) was spent in the old target compared to the new (16.9 s) by animals treated with highest dose however, the difference was not significant. There is a biological plausibility that chronic khat use may induce memory deficits and impair cognitive flexibility. The differential patterns of memory deficits may reflect the differences in dose effect as well as time dependent impairment.

  11. STRESS INDUCED OBESITY: LESSONS FROM RODENT MODELS OF STRESS

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    Zachary Robert Patterson

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Stress is defined as the behavioral and physiological responses generated in the face of, or in anticipation of, a perceived threat. The stress response involves activation of the sympathetic nervous system and recruitment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis. When an organism encounters a stressor (social, physical, etc., these endogenous stress systems are stimulated in order to generate a fight-or-flight response, and manage the stressful situation. As such, an organism is forced to liberate energy resources in attempt to meet the energetic demands posed by the stressor. A change in the energy homeostatic balance is thus required to exploit an appropriate resource and deliver useable energy to the target muscles and tissues involved in the stress response. Acutely, this change in energy homeostasis and the liberation of energy is considered advantageous, as it is required for the survival of the organism. However, when an organism is subjected to a prolonged stressor, as is the case during chronic stress, a continuous irregularity in energy homeostasis is considered detrimental and may lead to the development of metabolic disturbances such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes mellitus and obesity. This concept has been studied extensively using animal models, and the neurobiological underpinnings of stress induced metabolic disorders are beginning to surface. However, different animal models of stress continue to produce divergent metabolic phenotypes wherein some animals become anorexic and loose body mass while others increase food intake and body mass and become vulnerable to the development of metabolic disturbances. It remains unclear exactly what factors associated with stress models can be used to predict the metabolic outcome of the organism. This review will explore a variety of rodent stress models and discuss the elements that influence the metabolic outcome in order to further our understanding of stress

  12. Protozoan Parasites of Rodents and Their Zoonotic Significance in Boyer-Ahmad District, Southwestern Iran

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    Zeinab Seifollahi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Backgrounds. Wild rodents are reservoirs of various zoonotic diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, babesiosis, and leishmaniasis. The current study aimed to assess the protozoan infection of rodents in Boyer-Ahmad district, southwestern Iran. Materials and Methods. A total of 52 rodents were collected from different parts of Boyer-Ahmad district, in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, using Sherman live traps. Each rodent was anesthetized with ether, according to the ethics of working with animals, and was dissected. Samples were taken from various tissues and stool samples were collected from the contents of the colon and small intestines. Moreover, 2 to 5 mL of blood was taken from each of the rodents and the sera were examined for anti-Leishmania antibodies, by ELISA, or anti-T. gondii antibodies, by modified agglutination test (MAT. DNA was extracted from brain tissue samples of each rodent and PCR was used to identify the DNA of T. gondii. Results. Of the 52 stool samples of rodents studied by parasitological methods, intestinal protozoa infection was seen in 28 cases (53.8%. From 52 rodents, 19 (36.5% were infected with Trichomonas, 10 (19.2% with Giardia muris, and 11 (21.2% with Entamoeba spp. Also, 10 cases (19.2% were infected with Blastocystis, 3 (5.8% were infected with Chilomastix, 7 (13.5% were infected with Endolimax, 1 (1.9% was infected with Retortamonas, 3 (5.77% were infected with T. gondii, and 6 (11.54% were infected with Trypanosoma lewisi. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in the sera of 5 (9.61% cases. Results of the molecular study showed T. gondii infection in 3 (5.77% of the rodents. Findings of this study showed that rodents in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, southwestern Iran, are infected with several blood and intestinal parasites; some of them might be potential risks to residents and domestic animals in the region.

  13. Pika and vole mitochondrial genomes increase support for both rodent monophyly and glires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu-Hsin; Waddell, Peter J; Penny, David

    2002-07-10

    Complete mitochondrial genomes are reported for a pika (Ochotona collaris) and a vole (Volemys kikuchii) then analysed together with 35 other mitochondrial genomes from mammals. With standard phylogenetic methods the pika joins with the other lagomorph (rabbit) and the vole with the other murid rodents (rat and mouse). In addition, with hedgehog excluded, the seven rodent genomes consistently form a homogeneous group in the unrooted placental tree. Except for uncertainty of the position of tree shrew, the clade Glires (monophyletic rodents plus lagomorphs) is consistently found. The unrooted tree obtained by ProtML (Protein Maximum Likelihood, a program in MOLPHY) is compatible with a reclassification of mammals [Syst. Biol. 48, 1-5 (1999)] which is also supported by other recent studies. However, when this tree is rooted with marsupials plus platypus, the outgroup often joins the lineage leading to the three murid rodents, so the rodents are no longer monophyletic. Apart from misplacing the root, the presence of the outgroups also distorts other parts of the unrooted tree. Either constraining the tree to maintain rodents monophyletic, or omitting murids, maintains the ingroup tree and sees the outgroup join on the edge to Xenarthra, to Afrotheria, or to these two groups together. This emphasises the importance of carrying out both an unrooted and a rooted analysis. It is known from cancer research that murid rodents have reduced activity in some DNA repair mechanisms and this alters their substitution pattern - this may be the case for mitochnodrial DNA as well. Comparing nucleotide compositions may identify taxa that differ in aspects of their DNA repair mechanisms.

  14. Occurrence of ectoparasitic arthropods associated with rodents in Hail region northern Saudi Arabia.

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    Asiry, Khalid A; Fetoh, Badr El-Sabah A

    2014-09-01

    Ectoparasitic arthropods are a diverse element of the Saudi fauna. Due to this, a survey of ectoparasites associated with rodents was conducted as a preliminary study in five districts of Hail region of northern Saudi Arabia for the first time. Ectoparasites extracted from 750 rodents were sampled and identified by recording their frequency of appearance. Results revealed that 1,287 ectoparasites infested 316 of the captured rodent hosts. These ectoparasites parasitized on four species of rodents including three species of rats Rattus rattus rattus, Rattus rattus frugivorus, and Rattus rattus alexandrinus and one species of mouse Acomys dimidiatus (Rodentia: Muridae). The ectoparasites belong to four different groups: ticks, fleas, lice, and mites. Ticks were the highest in the number, while fleas were the lowest among all the extracted ectoparasite groups. The collected ectoparasitic arthropods consisted of seven species. Ticks were of two species: Rhipicephalus turanicus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae), fleas were of two species: Xenopsylla cheopis and Xenopsyllus conformis mycerini (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), lice was a single species: Polyplax serrata (Anoplura: Hoplopleuridae), and mites were of two species: Laelaps nuttali and Laelaps echidninus (Mesostigmata: Laelapidae). The findings of the study showed that the intensity of infestation was varied between rodent host sexes, wherein females had the highest rate of parasitic infestation, and the parasitic index of appearance was very high for one group of parasites (i.e., ticks). The parasitic prevalence was 42.13 % on rodents, and mites were the most prevalent parasite species. Overall, this study was carried out to establish baseline data for ectoparasite-infested rodents in Hail region, Saudi Arabia, and may help for appropriate planning to control zoonotic diseases in this area.

  15. Moss species benefits from breakdown of cyclic rodent dynamics in boreal forests.

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    Rydgren, Knut; Økland, Rune H; Picó, F Xavier; de Kroon, Hans

    2007-09-01

    Bryophytes have increased in abundance in northern regions, and climate changes have been proposed to account for this change. However, changes in the population dynamics of microtine rodents may also contribute to changes in bryophyte abundance. New evidence indicates a tendency for microtine rodent population oscillations to change from periodicity of 3-5 years to become irregular or acyclic. The impact on ecosystem functioning is potentially great. We study the impact of variation in microtine rodent population characteristics, such as cycle length and amplitude, on the population dynamics of the boreal, clonal moss Hylocomium splendens. We use experimental and observational demographic data to construct 127 scenarios representing all combinations of disturbance type (gap formation and/or clipping), period (cyclic with 4, 6, 12, or 24 years between rodent peaks; or acyclic with constant or stochastically varying annual disturbance severity) and disturbance severity (fraction of individuals affected by disturbance in each year relative to the maximum disturbance carried out in the field experiment; seven levels). Population data collected in the field during 13 years were used as a baseline scenario. By subjecting all scenarios to stochastic matrix modeling, we demonstrate considerable impact of microtine rodent on the population dynamics of H. splendens, most notably when rodent populations fluctuate with short periods and high peak disturbance severities. Under the same average disturbance severity, H. splendens population growth rates are highest in acyclic scenarios and are progressively reduced with increasing peak disturbance severities (i.e., with increasing period). Stochastic elasticity analyses show that in less variable environments mature segment survival contributes more to the population growth rate, while in more variable environments the regeneration pathway (branching of older parts of the plant) plays a stronger role, inevitably leading to lower

  16. Declines in large wildlife increase landscape-level prevalence of rodent-borne disease in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Hillary S; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Helgen, Kristofer M; McCauley, Douglas J; Billeter, Sarah A; Kosoy, Michael Y; Osikowicz, Lynn M; Salkeld, Daniel J; Young, Truman P; Dittmar, Katharina

    2014-05-13

    Populations of large wildlife are declining on local and global scales. The impacts of this pulse of size-selective defaunation include cascading changes to smaller animals, particularly rodents, and alteration of many ecosystem processes and services, potentially involving changes to prevalence and transmission of zoonotic disease. Understanding linkages between biodiversity loss and zoonotic disease is important for both public health and nature conservation programs, and has been a source of much recent scientific debate. In the case of rodent-borne zoonoses, there is strong conceptual support, but limited empirical evidence, for the hypothesis that defaunation, the loss of large wildlife, increases zoonotic disease risk by directly or indirectly releasing controls on rodent density. We tested this hypothesis by experimentally excluding large wildlife from a savanna ecosystem in East Africa, and examining changes in prevalence and abundance of Bartonella spp. infection in rodents and their flea vectors. We found no effect of wildlife removal on per capita prevalence of Bartonella infection in either rodents or fleas. However, because rodent and, consequently, flea abundance doubled following experimental defaunation, the density of infected hosts and infected fleas was roughly twofold higher in sites where large wildlife was absent. Thus, defaunation represents an elevated risk in Bartonella transmission to humans (bartonellosis). Our results (i) provide experimental evidence of large wildlife defaunation increasing landscape-level disease prevalence, (ii) highlight the importance of susceptible host regulation pathways and host/vector density responses in biodiversity-disease relationships, and (iii) suggest that rodent-borne disease responses to large wildlife loss may represent an important context where this relationship is largely negative.

  17. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Pokrovsky

    Full Text Available Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013 we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers.

  18. Translational Rodent Models for Research on Parasitic Protozoa—A Review of Confounders and Possibilities

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    Totta Ehret

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Rodents, in particular Mus musculus, have a long and invaluable history as models for human diseases in biomedical research, although their translational value has been challenged in a number of cases. We provide some examples in which rodents have been suboptimal as models for human biology and discuss confounders which influence experiments and may explain some of the misleading results. Infections of rodents with protozoan parasites are no exception in requiring close consideration upon model choice. We focus on the significant differences between inbred, outbred and wild animals, and the importance of factors such as microbiota, which are gaining attention as crucial variables in infection experiments. Frequently, mouse or rat models are chosen for convenience, e.g., availability in the institution rather than on an unbiased evaluation of whether they provide the answer to a given question. Apart from a general discussion on translational success or failure, we provide examples where infections with single-celled parasites in a chosen lab rodent gave contradictory or misleading results, and when possible discuss the reason for this. We present emerging alternatives to traditional rodent models, such as humanized mice and organoid primary cell cultures. So-called recombinant inbred strains such as the Collaborative Cross collection are also a potential solution for certain challenges. In addition, we emphasize the advantages of using wild rodents for certain immunological, ecological, and/or behavioral questions. The experimental challenges (e.g., availability of species-specific reagents that come with the use of such non-model systems are also discussed. Our intention is to foster critical judgment of both traditional and newly available translational rodent models for research on parasitic protozoa that can complement the existing mouse and rat models.

  19. The hip adductor muscle group in caviomorph rodents: anatomy and homology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Esponda, César M; Candela, Adriana M

    2015-06-01

    Anatomical comparative studies including myological data of caviomorph rodents are relatively scarce, leading to a lack of use of muscular features in cladistic and morphofunctional analyses. In rodents, the hip adductor muscles constitute an important group of the hindlimb musculature, having an important function during the beginning of the stance phase. These muscles are subdivided in several distinct ways in the different clades of rodents, making the identification of their homologies hard to establish. In this contribution we provide a detailed description of the anatomical variation of the hip adductor muscle group of different genera of caviomorph rodents and identify the homologies of these muscles in the context of Rodentia. On this basis, we identify the characteristic pattern of the hip adductor muscles in Caviomorpha. Our results indicate that caviomorphs present a singular pattern of the hip adductor musculature that distinguishes them from other groups of rodents. They are characterized by having a single m. adductor brevis that includes solely its genicular part. This muscle, together with the m. gracilis, composes a muscular sheet that is medial to all other muscles of the hip adductor group. Both muscles probably have a synergistic action during locomotion, where the m. adductor brevis reinforces the multiple functions of the m. gracilis in caviomorphs. Mapping of analyzed myological characters in the context of Rodentia indicates that several features are recovered as potential synapomorphies of caviomorphs. Thus, analysis of the myological data described here adds to the current knowledge of caviomorph rodents from anatomical and functional points of view, indicating that this group has features that clearly differentiate them from other rodents.

  20. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in wild rodents and marsupials from the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, Brazil

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    Solange Maria Gennari

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that infects a large spectrum of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Small rodents and marsupials play an important role in the epidemiology of T. gondii because they are sources of infection for domestic and feral cats. Serum samples from 151 rodents and 48 marsupials, captured in the Atlantic Forest, São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil, were analyzed for the presence of T. gondii antibodies. Antibodies detected by the modified agglutination test (MAT ≥ 25 were found in 8.6% (13/151 of the rodents and 10.4% (5/48 of the marsupials, with titers ranging from 25 to 6400 and from 25 to 3200, respectively for the rodents and marsupials. Three of the eight species of rodents (Akodon spp., Oligoryzomys nigripesand Rattus norvegicus, and one from the four marsupial species (Didelphis aurita presented positive animals. T. gondii was described for the first time in the rodent Oligoryzomys nigripes.

  1. Ames Life Science Data Archive: Translational Rodent Research at Ames

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Alan E.; French, Alison J.; Ngaotheppitak, Ratana; Leung, Dorothy M.; Vargas, Roxana S.; Maese, Chris; Stewart, Helen

    2014-01-01

    The Life Science Data Archive (LSDA) office at Ames is responsible for collecting, curating, distributing and maintaining information pertaining to animal and plant experiments conducted in low earth orbit aboard various space vehicles from 1965 to present. The LSDA will soon be archiving data and tissues samples collected on the next generation of commercial vehicles; e.g., SpaceX & Cygnus Commercial Cargo Craft. To date over 375 rodent flight experiments with translational application have been archived by the Ames LSDA office. This knowledge base of fundamental research can be used to understand mechanisms that affect higher organisms in microgravity and help define additional research whose results could lead the way to closing gaps identified by the Human Research Program (HRP). This poster will highlight Ames contribution to the existing knowledge base and how the LSDA can be a resource to help answer the questions surrounding human health in long duration space exploration. In addition, it will illustrate how this body of knowledge was utilized to further our understanding of how space flight affects the human system and the ability to develop countermeasures that negate the deleterious effects of space flight. The Ames Life Sciences Data Archive (ALSDA) includes current descriptions of over 700 experiments conducted aboard the Shuttle, International Space Station (ISS), NASA/MIR, Bion/Cosmos, Gemini, Biosatellites, Apollo, Skylab, Russian Foton, and ground bed rest studies. Research areas cover Behavior and Performance, Bone and Calcium Physiology, Cardiovascular Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Chronobiology, Developmental Biology, Endocrinology, Environmental Monitoring, Gastrointestinal Physiology, Hematology, Immunology, Life Support System, Metabolism and Nutrition, Microbiology, Muscle Physiology, Neurophysiology, Pharmacology, Plant Biology, Pulmonary Physiology, Radiation Biology, Renal, Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology, and Toxicology. These

  2. A low cost setup for behavioral audiometry in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tziridis, Konstantin; Ahlf, Sönke; Schulze, Holger

    2012-10-16

    rodent model (cf. also ref. (5)), the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus), which is a well know model species for startle response research within the normal human hearing range (e.g. (6)).

  3. Swimming ability in three Costa Rican dry forest rodents

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    William M. Cook

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the swimming abilities of three Costa Rican dry forest rodents (Coues’ rice rat, Oryzomys couesi, hispid cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus, and spiny pocket mouse, Liomys salvini associated with a large marsh, Laguna Palo Verde, using 90 s swim trials in a plastic container. Swimming ability was evaluated by observing the use of limbs and tail in the water, inclination to the surface, and diving and floating behavior. Rice rats could float, swim and dive, suggesting that they can exploit surface and underwater resources. Cotton rats swam at the water’s surface, but were less skilled swimmers than rice rats. Spiny pocket mice tired quickly and had difficulty staying at the water’s surface. Results suggest that differential swimming ability is related to the distribution of the three sympatric species within the marsh and adjacent forest habitatsNosotros investigamos las habilidades de nado de tres ratones del bosque seco de Costa Rica (la rata arrocera de Coue, Oryzomys couesi, la rata algodonera híspida, Sigmodon hispidus, y el ratón espinoso, Liomys salvini asociados a un gran pantano, Laguna Palo Verde, usando pruebas de nado de 90 s en un contenedor de plástico. La habilidad de nado fue evaluada observando el uso de las extremidades y cola en el agua, inclinación hacia la superficie y comportamiento de flotar y buceo. Las ratas arroceras pudieron flotar, nadar y bucear, sugiriendo que ellas pueden explotar los recursos en la superficie y bajo el agua. Las ratas algodoneras nadaron en la superficie del agua, pero fueron menos hábiles nadadoras que las rata arroceras. Los ratones espinosos se cansaron rápidamente y tuvieron dificultad para mantenerse en la superficie del agua. Los resultados sugieren que la habilidad de nado diferencial está relacionada con la distribución de las tres especies simpátricas dentro del pantano y los hábitats del bosque adyacentes

  4. Calodium (Capillaria hepaticum (Nematoda, Capillariidae in insular small rodent populations

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    Bugmyrin Sergey

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The data on the distribution of the nematode Calodium hepaticum (Bancroft 1893 Moravec 1982 (syn.: Capillaria hepatica, Hepaticola hepatica on the islands of Kizhi Archipelago are reported (N 62°00'; E 35°12'. Samples were collected on 18 islands and the mainland part of the Kizhi skerries region in the period from August 2005 till 2014. The method of partial helminthological dissection was applied to 346 specimens of rodents belonging to two species – the bank vole Myodes glareolus Schreber 1780 (301 spm. and the field vole Microtus agrestis Linnaeus 1761 (45 spm.. The prevalence and the abundance index of nematode were 16.6% and 1.1 in M. glareolus and 11.1%; 0.3 in M. agrestis, respectively. The highest prevalence and abundance of C. hepaticum were detected in mature voles. No sex-related differences were found. C. hepaticum was present in 12 of 19 sampling sites. On the islands where the sample number (host individuals was over 15, the highest prevalence and abundance values were 57% and 5.8 spm., respectively. Significant positive coefficients of correlation (Spearman’s and Pearson’s ones between nematode numbers and characteristics of the island were found in the pair «Prevalence – degree of isolation» (0.48 and 0.49. Single-factor analysis of variance showed that the size of the island had some effect on the nematode invasion prevalence and abundance. However, no significant regression relationship between the prevalence and abundance of nematodes and characteristics of an island was revealed by multivariate regression analysis (multiple regression: the coefficient of determination of the regression equation R2 < 0.3, and the regression coefficients were insignificant The reasons for high abundance of C. hepaticum in northern insular ecosystems are discussed. Possible key factors for the stable vitality of the parasite populations are: 1 favourable hydrothermal conditions of the soil in the shore (littoral zone; 2 the

  5. Epidemiological distribution of rodents as potent reservoirs for infectious diseases in the provinces of Mazandaran, Gilan and Golestan, northern Iran

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    Behzad Esfandiari

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Rodents are mammals that comprise more than 2000 species and approximately 30 families. There are many morphological and ecological differences among them as variations in their shape, size, weight and habitat. In addition to significant economic losses, rodents have a major role in the dissemination of infectious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites or other micro-organisms. Rodents are important reservoirs of diseases which have been observed in many cities of Iran provinces especially along Caspian Sea border to Alborz Mountain. The aim of this study is to assess the geographical distribution of rodents in three provinces of northern part of Iran as reservoir of potential endemic infectious diseases. Rodents in 10 major parts of each of the three provinces of Mazandaran, Gilan and Golestan, northern Iran were collected and a total of 404 rodents were trapped alive. They were determined by the key characteristics such as gender, genus, species, different locations and topological situation. Statistical analysis was performed to characterize the study sample and to correlate all variables and parameters. The distribution frequencies of three, five and six genera of rodents were identified in Mazandaran, Gilan and Golestan provinces respectively. The overall distribution frequency of eight genera of rodents in the three provinces were identified as Rattus (R. norvegicus (67.3%, R. rattus (13.6%, Apodemus sylvaticus (13.9%, Arvicola (1%, Mus musculus (0.3%, Nesokia indica (2.5%, Cricetulus migrates (0.7% and Rhombomys opimus (0.7%. The results of this study determined the geographic distribution of the rodents in the three northern provinces of Iran. It is indicated the association of various distribution and diversity of rodents with provincial location. The overall distribution frequency of eight genera of rodents was recognized in the above three provinces geographical locations. This study confirms epidemiological distribution of

  6. The Distribution and Diversity of Bartonella Species in Rodents and Their Ectoparasites across Thailand.

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    Kewalin Klangthong

    Full Text Available Our study highlights the surveillance of Bartonella species among rodents and their associated ectoparasites (ticks, fleas, lice, and mites in several regions across Thailand. A total of 619 rodents and 554 pooled ectoparasites (287 mite pools, 62 flea pools, 35 louse pools, and 170 tick pools were collected from 8 provinces within 4 regions of Thailand. Bandicota indica (279, Rattus rattus (163, and R. exulans (96 were the most prevalent species of rats collected in this study. Real-time PCR assay targeting Bartonella-specific ssrA gene was used for screening and each positive sample was confirmed by PCR using nuoG gene. The prevalence of Bartonella DNA in rodent (around 17% was recorded in all regions. The highest prevalence of Bartonella species was found in B. savilei and R. rattus with the rate of 35.7% (5/14 and 32.5% (53/163, respectively. High prevalence of Bartonella-positive rodent was also found in B. indica (15.1%, 42/279, and R. norvegicus (12.5%, 5/40. In contrast, the prevalence of Bartonella species in ectoparasites collected from the rats varied significantly according to types of ectoparasites. A high prevalence of Bartonella DNA was found in louse pools (Polyplax spp. and Hoplopleura spp., 57.1% and flea pools (Xenopsylla cheopis, 25.8%, while a low prevalence was found in pools of mites (Leptotrombidium spp. and Ascoschoengastia spp., 1.7% and ticks (Haemaphysalis spp., 3.5%. Prevalence of Bartonella DNA in ectoparasites collected from Bartonella-positive rodents (19.4% was significantly higher comparing to ectoparasites from Bartonella-negative rodents (8.7%. The phylogenetic analysis of 41 gltA sequences of 16 Bartonella isolates from rodent blood and 25 Bartonella-positive ectoparasites revealed a wide range of diversity among Bartonella species with a majority of sequences (61.0% belonging to Bartonella elizabethae complex (11 rodents, 1 mite pool, and 5 louse pools, while the remaining sequences were identical to B

  7. Survey for hantaviruses, tick-borne encephalitis virus, and Rickettsia spp. in small rodents in Croatia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svoboda, Petra; Dobler, Gerhard; Markotić, Alemka; Kurolt, Ivan-Christian; Speck, Stephanie; Habuš, Josipa; Vucelja, Marko; Krajinović, Lidija Cvetko; Tadin, Ante; Margaletić, Josip; Essbauer, Sandra

    2014-07-01

    In Croatia, several rodent- and vector-borne agents are endemic and of medical importance. In this study, we investigated hantaviruses and, for the first time, tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and Rickettsia spp. in small wild rodents from two different sites (mountainous and lowland region) in Croatia. In total, 194 transudate and tissue samples from 170 rodents (A. flavicollis, n=115; A. agrarius, n=2; Myodes glareolus, n=53) were tested for antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assays (IIFT) and for nucleic acids by conventional (hantaviruses) and real-time RT-/PCRs (TBEV and Rickettsia spp.). A total of 25.5% (24/94) of the rodents from the mountainous area revealed specific antibodies against hantaviruses. In all, 21.3% (20/94) of the samples from the mountainous area and 29.0% (9/31) from the lowland area yielded positive results for either Puumala virus (PUUV) or Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) using a conventional RT-PCR. All processed samples (n=194) were negative for TBEV by IIFT or real-time RT-PCR. Serological evidence of rickettsial infection was detected in 4.3% (4/94) rodents from the mountainous region. Another 3.2% (3/94) rodents were positive for Rickettsia spp. by real-time PCR. None of the rodents (n=76) from the lowland area were positive for Rickettsia spp. by real-time PCR. Dual infection of PUUV and Rickettsia spp. was found in one M. glareolus from the mountainous area by RT-PCR and real-time PCR, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first detection of Rickettsia spp. in small rodents from Croatia. Phylogenetic analyses of S- and M-segment sequences obtained from the two study sites revealed well-supported subgroups in Croatian PUUV and DOBV. Although somewhat limited, our data showed occurrence and prevalence of PUUV, DOBV, and rickettsiae in Croatia. Further studies are warranted to confirm these data and to determine the Rickettsia species present in rodents in these areas.

  8. Association of Bartonella Species with Wild and Synanthropic Rodents in Different Brazilian Biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Luiz Ricardo; Favacho, Alexsandra Rodrigues de Mendonça; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; Mendes, Natalia Serra; Fidelis Junior, Otávio Luiz; Benevenute, Jyan Lucas; Herrera, Heitor Miraglia; D'Andrea, Paulo Sérgio; de Lemos, Elba Regina Sampaio; Machado, Rosangela Zacarias; André, Marcos Rogério

    2016-12-15

    Bartonella spp. comprise an ecologically successful group of microorganisms that infect erythrocytes and have adapted to different hosts, which include a wide range of mammals, besides humans. Rodents are reservoirs of about two-thirds of Bartonella spp. described to date; and some of them have been implicated as causative agents of human diseases. In our study, we performed molecular and phylogenetic analyses of Bartonella spp. infecting wild rodents from five different Brazilian biomes. In order to characterize the genetic diversity of Bartonella spp., we performed a robust analysis based on three target genes, followed by sequencing, Bayesian inference, and maximum likelihood analysis. Bartonella spp. were detected in 25.6% (117/457) of rodent spleen samples analyzed, and this occurrence varied among different biomes. The diversity analysis of gltA sequences showed the presence of 15 different haplotypes. Analysis of the phylogenetic relationship of gltA sequences performed by Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood showed that the Bartonella species detected in rodents from Brazil was closely related to the phylogenetic group A detected in other cricetid rodents from North America, probably constituting only one species. Last, the Bartonella species genogroup identified in the present study formed a monophyletic group that included Bartonella samples from seven different rodent species distributed in three distinct biomes. In conclusion, our study showed that the occurrence of Bartonella bacteria in rodents is much more frequent and widespread than previously recognized. In the present study, we reported the occurrence of Bartonella spp. in some sites in Brazil. The identification and understanding of the distribution of this important group of bacteria may allow the Brazilian authorities to recognize potential regions with the risk of transmission of these pathogens among wild and domestic animals and humans. In addition, our study accessed important gaps in

  9. The Distribution and Diversity of Bartonella Species in Rodents and Their Ectoparasites across Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klangthong, Kewalin; Promsthaporn, Sommai; Leepitakrat, Surachai; Schuster, Anthony L; McCardle, Patrick W; Kosoy, Michael; Takhampunya, Ratree

    2015-01-01

    Our study highlights the surveillance of Bartonella species among rodents and their associated ectoparasites (ticks, fleas, lice, and mites) in several regions across Thailand. A total of 619 rodents and 554 pooled ectoparasites (287 mite pools, 62 flea pools, 35 louse pools, and 170 tick pools) were collected from 8 provinces within 4 regions of Thailand. Bandicota indica (279), Rattus rattus (163), and R. exulans (96) were the most prevalent species of rats collected in this study. Real-time PCR assay targeting Bartonella-specific ssrA gene was used for screening and each positive sample was confirmed by PCR using nuoG gene. The prevalence of Bartonella DNA in rodent (around 17%) was recorded in all regions. The highest prevalence of Bartonella species was found in B. savilei and R. rattus with the rate of 35.7% (5/14) and 32.5% (53/163), respectively. High prevalence of Bartonella-positive rodent was also found in B. indica (15.1%, 42/279), and R. norvegicus (12.5%, 5/40). In contrast, the prevalence of Bartonella species in ectoparasites collected from the rats varied significantly according to types of ectoparasites. A high prevalence of Bartonella DNA was found in louse pools (Polyplax spp. and Hoplopleura spp., 57.1%) and flea pools (Xenopsylla cheopis, 25.8%), while a low prevalence was found in pools of mites (Leptotrombidium spp. and Ascoschoengastia spp., 1.7%) and ticks (Haemaphysalis spp., 3.5%). Prevalence of Bartonella DNA in ectoparasites collected from Bartonella-positive rodents (19.4%) was significantly higher comparing to ectoparasites from Bartonella-negative rodents (8.7%). The phylogenetic analysis of 41 gltA sequences of 16 Bartonella isolates from rodent blood and 25 Bartonella-positive ectoparasites revealed a wide range of diversity among Bartonella species with a majority of sequences (61.0%) belonging to Bartonella elizabethae complex (11 rodents, 1 mite pool, and 5 louse pools), while the remaining sequences were identical to B

  10. Prevalence and genetic diversity of Bartonella strains in rodents from northwestern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio, André V; Ávila-Flores, Rafael; Osikowicz, Lynn M; Bai, Ying; Suzán, Gerardo; Kosoy, Michael Y

    2014-12-01

    Bartonella infections were investigated in wild rodents from northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico. A total of 489 rodents belonging to 14 species were surveyed in four areas. Bartonella bacteria were cultured from 50.1% of rodent samples (245/489). Infection rates ranged from 0% to 83.3% per rodent species, with no significant difference between sites except for Cynomys ludovicianus. Phylogenetic analyses of the citrate synthase gene (gltA) of the Bartonella isolates revealed 23 genetic variants (15 novel and 8 previously described), clustering into five phylogroups. Three phylogroups were associated with Bartonella vinsonii subsp. vinsonii, B. vinsonii subsp. arupensis, and B. washoensis, respectively. The other two phylogroups were not genetically related to any known Bartonella species. The genetic variants and phylogenetic groups exhibited a high degree of host specificity, mainly at the genus and family levels. This is the first study that describes the genetic diversity of Bartonella strains in wild rodents from Mexico. Considering that some variants found in this study are associated with Bartonella species that have been reported as zoonotic, more investigations are needed to further understand the ecology of Bartonella species in Mexican wildlife and their implications for human health.

  11. LATE PLEISTOCENE RODENTS (MAMMALIA: RODENTIA FROM THE BARANICA CAVE NEAR KNJAZEVAC (EASTERN SERBIA: SYSTEMATICS AND PALAEOECOLOGY

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    KATARINA BOGICEVIC

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Baranica is a cave in the Balkan mountain range in the eastern part of Serbia. It contains four layers of sediments of Quaternary age. The Upper Pleistocene deposits (layers 2-4 have yielded a rich and diverse assemblage of vertebrate fauna, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small and large mammals. In this work, preliminary results of a study of the rodent fauna from the Upper Pleistocene deposits of the Baranica Cave (Knjazevac, eastern Serbia are presented. The fossil material comes from the 1995 archaeological excavation. The remains of 10 rodent species are described herein: Spermophilus cf. citelloides, Castor fiber, Sicista subtilis, Cricetulus migratorius, Cricetus cricetus, Mesocricetus newtoni, Apodemus ex gr. sylvaticus-flavicollis, Spalax leucodon, Dryomys nitedula, and Muscardinus avellanarius. Along with eight vole species, this makes altogether 18 species of rodents found in this locality. Both layers 2 and 4 (layer 3 is very poor in fossils have yielded a rodent fauna typical for the cold periods of the Late Pleistocene on the Balkan Peninsula, with a prevalence of open and steppe inhabitants, but some forest dwellers were also present. The assemblages from these layers are similar, but there are some differences in the composition of the fauna, which may indicate a slight shift towards drier conditions. They have also been compared to rodent associations from some Serbian and Bulgarian localities of the same age and their similarities and differences are discussed. SHORT NOTE-NOTA BREVE

  12. Comparative anatomy of the prosubiculum, subiculum, presubiculum, postsubiculum, and parasubiculum in human, monkey, and rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Song-Lin

    2013-12-15

    The subicular complex, including the prosubiculum (ProS), subiculum (Sub), presubiculum, postsubiculum (PoS), and parasubiculum (PaS), plays important roles in the medial temporal memory system and is heavily involved in many neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. In the literature, the ProS (in primate) and PoS (in rodent) are inconstantly identified, making data comparison difficult across species. This review is an attempt to discuss equivalencies and extent of the five subicular components in human, monkey, and rodent based on available information on their cytoarchitecture, chemoarchitecture, molecular signature, and neural connectivity. All five subicular cortices exist in human, monkey, and rodent. In human and monkey, the ProS and Sub extend into the uncal region anteriorly, and the PoS and PaS reach the cingulate isthmus posteriorly. In rodent, most of the typical subicular cortices are located in the dorsal and caudal portions of the hippocampal formation, and the modified version of the ventral ProS and Sub corresponds to the modified description of the uncal ProS and Sub in monkey and human. An interesting triangular region in rodent located at the juncture of the PoS, PaS, retrosplenial cortex, and visual cortex appears to be the equivalent of the monkey area prostriata. Major connections of the five subicular cortices are also summarized based on unified criteria discussed in this review, with distinct connections revealed between the ProS and the Sub.

  13. Segmentation of rodent whole-body dynamic PET images: an unsupervised method based on voxel dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maroy, Renaud; Boisgard, Raphaël; Comtat, Claude

    2008-01-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) is a useful tool for pharmacokinetics studies in rodents during the preclinical phase of drug and tracer development. However, rodent organs are small as compared to the scanner's intrinsic resolution and are affected by physiological movements. We present a new...... with the manual delineation of organs in a large set of preclinical images. In addition, it was faster, detected more organs, and extracted organs' mean time activity curves with a better confidence on the measure than manual delineation.......Positron emission tomography (PET) is a useful tool for pharmacokinetics studies in rodents during the preclinical phase of drug and tracer development. However, rodent organs are small as compared to the scanner's intrinsic resolution and are affected by physiological movements. We present a new...... method for the segmentation of rodent whole-body PET images that takes these two difficulties into account by estimating the pharmacokinetics far from organ borders. The segmentation method proved efficient on whole-body numerical rat phantom simulations, including 3-14 organs, together...

  14. Rodent-specific alternative exons are more frequent in rapidly evolving genes and in paralogs

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    Mironov Andrey A

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative splicing is an important mechanism for generating functional and evolutionary diversity of proteins in eukaryotes. Here, we studied the frequency and functionality of recently gained, rodent-specific alternative exons. Results We projected the data about alternative splicing of mouse genes to the rat, human, and dog genomes, and identified exons conserved in the rat genome, but missing in more distant genomes. We estimated the frequency of rodent-specific exons while controlling for possible residual conservation of spurious exons. The frequency of rodent-specific exons is higher among predominantly skipped exons and exons disrupting the reading frame. Separation of all genes by the rate of sequence evolution and by gene families has demonstrated that rodent-specific cassette exons are more frequent in rapidly evolving genes and in rodent-specific paralogs. Conclusion Thus we demonstrated that recently gained exons tend to occur in fast-evolving genes, and their inclusion rate tends to be lower than that of older exons. This agrees with the theory that gain of alternative exons is one of the major mechanisms of gene evolution.

  15. Spontaneous expression of magnetic compass orientation in an epigeic rodent: the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveriusová, Ludmila; Němec, Pavel; Pavelková, Zuzana; Sedláček, František

    2014-07-01

    Magnetoreception has been convincingly demonstrated in only a few mammalian species. Among rodents, magnetic compass orientation has been documented in four species of subterranean mole rats and two epigeic (i.e. active above ground) species—the Siberian hamster and the C57BL/6J mouse. The mole rats use the magnetic field azimuth to determine compass heading; their directional preference is spontaneous and unimodal, and their magnetic compass is magnetite-mediated. By contrast, the primary component of orientation response is learned in the hamster and the mouse, but both species also exhibit a weak spontaneous bimodal preference in the natural magnetic field. To determine whether the magnetic compass of wild epigeic rodents features the same functional properties as that of laboratory rodents, we investigated magnetic compass orientation in the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Cricetidae, Rodentia). The voles exhibited a robust spontaneous bimodal directional preference, i.e. built nests and slept preferentially along the north-south axis, and deflected their directional preference according to a shift in the direction of magnetic north, clearly indicating that they were deriving directional information from the magnetic field. Thus, bimodal, axially symmetrical directional choice seems to be a common feature shared by epigeic rodents. However, spontaneous directional preference in the bank vole appeared to be more pronounced than that reported in the hamster and the mouse. These findings suggest that bank voles are well suited for future studies investigating the adaptive significance and mechanisms of magnetic orientation in epigeic rodents.

  16. Rodent models of ischemic stroke lack translational relevance... are baboon models the answer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwiecien, Timothy D; Sy, Christopher; Ding, Yuchuan

    2014-05-01

    Rodent models of ischemic stroke are associated with many issues and limitations, which greatly diminish the translational potential of these studies. Recent studies demonstrate that significant differences exist between rodent and human ischemic stroke. These differences include the physical characteristics of the stroke, as well as changes in the subsequent inflammatory and molecular pathways following the acute ischemic insult. Non-human primate (NHP) models of ischemic stroke, however, are much more similar to humans. In addition to evident anatomical similarities, the physiological responses that NHPs experience during ischemic stroke are much more applicable to the human condition and thus make it an attractive model for future research. The baboon ischemic stroke model, in particular, has been studied extensively in comparison to other NHP models. Here we discuss the major shortcomings associated with rodent ischemic stroke models and provide a comparative overview of baboon ischemic stroke models. Studies have shown that baboons, although more difficult to obtain and handle, are more representative of ischemic events in humans and may have greater translational potential that can offset these deficiencies. There remain critical issues within these baboon stroke studies that need to be addressed in future investigations. The most critical issue revolves around the size and the variability of baboon ischemic stroke. Compared to rodent models, however, issues such as these can be addressed in future studies. Importantly, baboon models avoid many drawbacks associated with rodent models including vascular variability and inconsistent inflammatory responses - issues that are inherent to the species and cannot be avoided.

  17. Sleep deprivation and anxiety in humans and rodents--translational considerations and hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Gabriel Natan; Tufik, Sergio; Andersen, Monica Levy

    2015-10-01

    The effects of acute sleep deprivation on anxiety are the focus of controversy in the literature. While clinical research studies on the effects of sleep deprivation seem to show a consistent increase in acute anxiety, rodent studies have produced inconsistent results, with some experiments pointing to anxiogenesis and others to anxiolysis. Such observations impair the translational applicability of rodent models on the paradigm between sleep deprivation and anxiety. Current studies fail in the very basic principle of biomedical translational research: to provide relevant and reliable knowledge from basic experimental science that can be applied in clinical environments. Possible explanations for the disparity between human and animal studies include the accuracy of both human and rodent research, the ability of current behavioral protocols to truly reflect the anxiety response of rodents to sleep deprivation, and the nature of sleep deprivation-induced anxiety in rodents. Based on these hypotheses, we performed a brief overview of the literature on the relationship between sleep deprivation and anxiety and propose a research agenda that could lead to a better understanding of the reasons for the discrepancies found in the literature and provide more reliable data on the translational relationship between sleep deprivation and anxiety.

  18. Genotyping and subtyping of Giardia and Cryptosporidium isolates from commensal rodents in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Z; Wang, R; Zhao, W; Qi, M; Zhao, J; Zhang, L; Li, J; Liu, A

    2015-05-01

    Cryptosporidium and Giardia are two important zoonotic intestinal parasites responsible for diarrhoea in humans and other animals worldwide. Rodents, as reservoirs or carriers of Cryptosporidium and Giardia, are abundant and globally widespread. In the present study, we collected 232 fecal specimens from commensal rodents captured in animal farms and farm neighbourhoods in China. We collected 33 Asian house rats, 168 brown rats and 31 house mice. 6.0% (14/232) and 8.2% (19/232) of these rodents were microscopy-positive for Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts, respectively. All 14 Giardia isolates were identified as Giardia duodenalis assemblage G at a minimum of one or maximum of three gene loci (tpi, gdh and bg). By small subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) gene sequencing, Cryptosporidium parvum (n = 12) and Cryptosporidium muris (n = 7) were identified. The gp60 gene encoding the 60-kDa glycoprotein was successfully amplified and sequenced in nine C. parvum isolates, all of which belonged to the IIdA15G1 subtype. Observation of the same IIdA15G1 subtype in humans (previously) and in rodents (here) suggests that rodents infected with Cryptosporidium have the potential to transmit cryptosporidiosis to humans.

  19. Modifications to husbandry and housing conditions of laboratory rodents for improved well-being.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Abigail L; Corrow, Dorcas J

    2005-01-01

    For a change to be considered enriching, the change must enhance animal welfare and improve biological functioning of the animals. A review of the literature shows that a consensus on the definition of changes constituting "environmental enrichment" has yet to be reached. For this reason, the results of studies on the effects of rodent enrichment are inconsistent. In many cases, changes have not been shown to be real improvements. However, enrichment is increasingly appreciated as a way to improve the well-being of rodents, providing them with opportunities for species-specific behaviors that might be available to them in the wild. Frequently defined as "change to the environment," enrichment can be as complex as devices (frequently termed "toys") or as simple as the provision of tissues from which mice readily construct nests. Nest making is a learned behavior in rats, and laboratory rats do show preferences for chewable objects in their environment. Rather than attempting a comprehensive review of the entire literature on environmental enrichment and its effects on rodent physiology and behavior, this paper focuses on husbandry and housing alterations that may improve the welfare of laboratory rodents. The effects of beneficial changes in housing and husbandry on rodent well-being and on experimental variability--and thus cost--are discussed. Areas that require more research are suggested. Also suggested are possible inexpensive and effective enrichment schemes for laboratory mice that might include reducing the cage floor space per mouse combined with providing nesting material.

  20. Brain development in rodents and humans: Identifying benchmarks of maturation and vulnerability to injury across species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semple, Bridgette D.; Blomgren, Klas; Gimlin, Kayleen; Ferriero, Donna M.; Noble-Haeusslein, Linda J.

    2013-01-01

    Hypoxic-ischemic and traumatic brain injuries are leading causes of long-term mortality and disability in infants and children. Although several preclinical models using rodents of different ages have been developed, species differences in the timing of key brain maturation events can render comparisons of vulnerability and regenerative capacities difficult to interpret. Traditional models of developmental brain injury have utilized rodents at postnatal day 7–10 as being roughly equivalent to a term human infant, based historically on the measurement of post-mortem brain weights during the 1970s. Here we will examine fundamental brain development processes that occur in both rodents and humans, to delineate a comparable time course of postnatal brain development across species. We consider the timing of neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, gliogenesis, oligodendrocyte maturation and age-dependent behaviors that coincide with developmentally regulated molecular and biochemical changes. In general, while the time scale is considerably different, the sequence of key events in brain maturation is largely consistent between humans and rodents. Further, there are distinct parallels in regional vulnerability as well as functional consequences in response to brain injuries. With a focus on developmental hypoxicischemic encephalopathy and traumatic brain injury, this review offers guidelines for researchers when considering the most appropriate rodent age for the developmental stage or process of interest to approximate human brain development. PMID:23583307

  1. Molecular epidemiology of Bartonella species isolated from ground squirrels and other rodents in northern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziedins, A C; Chomel, B B; Kasten, R W; Kjemtrup, A M; Chang, C-C

    2016-07-01

    Bartonella spp. are endemic in wild rodents in many parts of the world. A study conducted in two northern California counties (Sonoma and Yolo) sampling California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) and four other rodent species (Peromyscus maniculatus, P. boylii, P. truei and Neotoma fuscipes) led to the isolation of small Gram-negative bacilli which were identified as Bartonella spp. based on colony morphology, polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and partial gene sequencing. Overall, Bartonella spp. were isolated from the blood of 71% (32/45) of the ground squirrels and one third (22/66) of the other rodents. PCR-RFLP analysis of the gltA and 16S rRNA genes yielded seven unique profiles, four for the ground squirrels and three for the other rodents. Isolates from each PCR-RFLP profiles were submitted for partial sequencing. Ground squirrel isolates were most closely related to B. washoensis, whereas the other rodent isolates were closest to B. vinsonii subsp. vinsonii and B. vinsonii subsp. arupensis. Two of these three species or subspecies are known zoonotic agents.

  2. The effect of dead wood and understory coverage on small rodent abundance in Korean forest

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the population characteristics of small rodents in different habitats with the artificial presence and absence of dead wood, and understory vegetation after forest cutting at natural deciduous forest in north-eastern South Korea from April to December in 1997 and 1998. Two forests, one hectare each (100 ′ 100 m), were selected and designated as the control and the treatment area. Forest structure of mid and high canopy layers in both study areas was similar. But number and volume of fallen trees, and coverage of understory vegetation were higher in the control area than in the treatment area. Total captures of small rodents in two areas combined comprised Eothenomys regulus (55.5%, n = 211) and Apodemus peninsulae (44.5%, n = 169). Total abundance of E. regulus and A. peninsulae, and population stability were significantly greater in the control area than in the treatment area. The difference in the captured number of two small rodents between the two sites was caused by the difference in reproduction and residency. The structure of forest floor appears to be im-portant to small rodents. The presence of dead wood and understory vegetation after the forest cutting would be necessary for the maintenance of small rodent population in the forest cutting areas.

  3. The partitioning of food resources between two rodents in the subtropical region of southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FÁBIO P. ESPINELLI

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and nutria (Myocastor coypus are herbivorous semi-aquatic rodents. Although these rodents occur in sympatry in southern South America, little is known about how the two species interact in relationship to food resources. In this context, the aim of this study was to analyze the food resource overlap, the feeding strategy and the diversity of the diet of capybaras and nutria. A micro-histological analysis of feces was used to study the diets. A total of 48 plant species belonging to 10 families were identified in the diet of H. hydrochaeris, and a total of 49 species belonging to 14 families were identified in the diet of M. coypus. According to the Amundsen graphical method, both rodents adopted a specialized strategy for feeding on Poaceae and a generalized strategy for other families. The results of a multivariate analysis of the dietary data showed significant differences between the two rodent species and among the seasons. These differences between diets may be related to the different proportions of each food item eaten. However, the dietary overlap between the two rodents in the Taim wetland was high, suggesting that partitioning of other resources ensured the coexistence of the species.

  4. Bartonella species in wild rodents and fleas from them in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabeya, Hidenori; Inoue, Kai; Izumi, Yasuhito; Morita, Tatsushi; Imai, Soichi; Maruyama, Soichi

    2011-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the role of fleas for transmission of Bartonella species among wild rodents in Japan. Flea samples were collected from wild rodents and examined genetically for Bartonella infection. Bartonella DNA was detected from 16 of 40 (40.0%) flea samples. Sequence analysis demonstrated that 3 of 16 (18.8%) of the Bartonella-positive animals were infested with fleas from which the closely related Bartonella DNA sequence was detected, indicating that the fleas acquired Bartonella from the infested rodents. The DNA was detected in hemolymph, the midgut and the ovary (only in female), indicating that Bartonella might be colonized through the midgut and distributed into the body.

  5. The in vivo rodent test systems for assessment of carcinogenic potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Laan, Jan-Willem; Spindler, Per

    2002-01-01

    A Drug Information Association (DIA) workshop was held in May 2001 to discuss the outcome of the International Life Sciences Institute-Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (ILSI-HESI) project on alternative models for carcinogenicity assessment such as the P53(+/-) and XPA(+/-) knockout...... mouse models, the RasH2 and Tg.AC transgenic mouse models, and the neonatal mouse model. The "ICH Guideline S1B on Testing for Carcinogenicity of Pharmaceuticals" advocates that carcinogenicity testing of pharmaceuticals, when needed, might be carried out choosing one 2-year rodent carcinogenicity study...... (rat) plus one other study that supplements the 2-year study and providing additional information that is not readily available from the 2-year study: either (1) a short- or medium-term in vivo rodent test system or (2) a 2-year carcinogenicity study in a second rodent species (mouse). Another topic...

  6. Isolation and characterization of a novel arenavirus harbored by Rodents and Shrews in Zhejiang province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kun; Lin, Xian-Dan; Wang, Wen; Shi, Mang; Guo, Wen-Ping; Zhang, Xiao-He; Xing, Jian-Guang; He, Jin-Rong; Wang, Ke; Li, Ming-Hui; Cao, Jian-Hai; Jiang, Mu-Liu; Holmes, Edward C; Zhang, Yong-Zhen

    2015-02-01

    To determine the biodiversity of arenaviruses in China, we captured and screened rodents and shrews in Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province, a locality where hemorrhagic fever diseases are endemic in humans. Accordingly, arenaviruses were detected in 42 of 351 rodents from eight species, and in 12 of 272 Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus), by RT-PCR targeting the L segment. From these, a single arenavirus was successfully isolated in cell culture. The virion particles exhibited a typical arenavirus morphology under transmission electron microscopy. Comparison of the S and L segment sequences revealed high levels of nucleotide (>32.2% and >39.6%) and amino acid (>28.8% and >43.8%) sequence differences from known arenaviruses, suggesting that it represents a novel arenavirus, which we designated Wenzhou virus (WENV). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all WENV strains harbored by both rodents and Asian house shrews formed a distinct lineage most closely related to Old World arenaviruses.

  7. Oxytocin-mediated GABA inhibition during delivery attenuates autism pathogenesis in rodent offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyzio, Roman; Nardou, Romain; Ferrari, Diana C; Tsintsadze, Timur; Shahrokhi, Amene; Eftekhari, Sanaz; Khalilov, Ilgam; Tsintsadze, Vera; Brouchoud, Corinne; Chazal, Genevieve; Lemonnier, Eric; Lozovaya, Natalia; Burnashev, Nail; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel

    2014-02-07

    We report that the oxytocin-mediated neuroprotective γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) excitatory-inhibitory shift during delivery is abolished in the valproate and fragile X rodent models of autism. During delivery and subsequently, hippocampal neurons in these models have elevated intracellular chloride levels, increased excitatory GABA, enhanced glutamatergic activity, and elevated gamma oscillations. Maternal pretreatment with bumetanide restored in offspring control electrophysiological and behavioral phenotypes. Conversely, blocking oxytocin signaling in naïve mothers produced offspring having electrophysiological and behavioral autistic-like features. Our results suggest a chronic deficient chloride regulation in these rodent models of autism and stress the importance of oxytocin-mediated GABAergic inhibition during the delivery process. Our data validate the amelioration observed with bumetanide and oxytocin and point to common pathways in a drug-induced and a genetic rodent model of autism.

  8. A review of applied aspects of dealing with gut microbiota impact on rodent models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Axel Kornerup; Krych, Lukasz; Nielsen, Dennis Sandris

    2015-01-01

    The gut microbiota (GM) affects numerous human diseases, as well as rodent models for these. We will review this impact and summarize ways to handle this challenge in animal research. The GM is complex, with the largest fractions being the gram-positive phylum Firmicutes and the gram......-negative phylum Bacteroidetes. Other important phyla are the gram-negative phyla Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia, and the gram-positive phylum Actinobacteria. GM members influence models for diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, allergies, autoimmunity, cancer, and neuropsychiatric diseases. GM...... characterization of all individual animals and incorporation of their GM composition in data evaluation may therefore be considered in future protocols. Germfree isolator-housed rodents or rodents made virtually germ free by antibiotic cocktails can be used to study diverse microbial influences on disease...

  9. Distribution and abundance of sigmodontine rodents in relation to hantavirus in Neuquén, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piudo, Luciana; Monteverde, Martín; González Capria, Silvana; Padula, Paula; Carmanchahi, Pablo

    2005-06-01

    In order to estimate spatial distribution, temporal variation, and prevalence of Andes hantavirus antibody in the rodent community, and especially in Oligoryzomys longicaudatus populations, four different ecosystems were trapped seasonally between spring 2001 and winter 2002 in Neuquen, northwestern Argentinean Patagonia. Five peridomestic settings were sampled within the same period. The rodent O. longicaudatus had the widest distribution in Neuquen, as it was the only species captured at every sample site except for the High Andean steppe, and it was also the most common species captured. Rodents of 13 species were tested for hantavirus antibody prevalence, but O. longicaudatus and Abrothrix longipilis were the only seropositive species. Seropositive individuals were captured during spring and summer in the Subantarctic forest and in winter 2001 in a peridomestic setting in the Patagonian steppe. The dominant presence of O. longicaudatus throughout Neuquen must be incorporated into strategies to prevent human exposure to hantavirus.

  10. Prevalence of Leptospira spp. in urban rodents from a groceries trade center of Medellin, Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agudelo-Flórez, Piedad; Londoño, Andrés F; Quiroz, Víctor H; Angel, Juan C; Moreno, Natalí; Loaiza, Erica T; Muñoz, Luis F; Rodas, Juan D

    2009-11-01

    Leptospirosis is a widely distributed zoonosis, and rats are its most common source of infection. Our goal was to determine the frequency for Leptospira infection in rodents in a farmers market in the city of Medellin. We performed a descriptive transversal study sampling 254 rodents. Rodents were bled and killed, and kidneys samples were taken. Supernatants of macerated kidneys were cultured on Fletcher medium. Microagglutination tests (MATs) with 11 serovars were also carried out in rat serum, and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specific for pathogenic species was used to test each bacterial culture. All animals were identified as Rattus norvegicus; 25% and 20% were positive by MAT and culture, respectively. PCR tests of 12 isolates were positive for pathogenic serovars, and 4 of them were confirmed as L. interrogans by sequencing. These data show the role of this natural carrier and shedder of pathogenic leptospires in the epidemiology of urban leptospirosis in Colombia.

  11. Comparing strategies for controlling an African pest rodent: an empirically based theoretical study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Leirs, Herwig; Mercelis, Saskia

    2001-01-01

    . This model incorporated three functional age categories (juveniles, subadults and adults) of both sexes and used density-dependent and density-independent factors, the latter represented by rainfall.3. The model was used to analyse the effect of rodent control on the population dynamics and resulting number...... of rats. Control measures affecting survival as well as reproduction were considered.4. The model showed that control measures reducing survival will only have long-term effects on population size if they are also applied when rodent densities are low. Control measures applied only when rodent densities...... are high will not have persistent effects, even at high mortality rates.5. The model demonstrated that control measures reducing reproduction are likely to prevent Mastomys outbreaks, but will keep densities low over a long period only when the contraceptive effect is strong (> 75% reduction).6. Provided...

  12. Pulmonary Toxicity Studies of Lunar Dust in Rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.

    2012-01-01

    NASA has been contemplating returning astronauts to the moon for long-duration habitation and research and using it as a stepping-stone to Mars. Other spacefaring nations are planning to send humans to the moon for the first time. The surface of the moon is covered by a layer of fine dust. Fine terrestrial dusts, if inhaled, are known to pose a health risk to humans. Some Apollo crews briefly exposed to moon dust that adhered to spacesuits and became airborne in the Lunar Module reported eye and throat irritation. The habitable area of any lunar landing vehicle or outpost would inevitably become contaminated with lunar dust. To assess the health risks of exposure of humans to airborne lunar dust, we evaluated the toxicity of Apollo 14 moon dust in animal lungs. Studies of the pulmonary toxicity of a dust are generally first done by intratracheal instillation (ITI) of aqueous suspensions of the test dust into the lungs of rodents. If a test dust is irritating or cytotoxic to the lungs, the alveolar macrophages, after phagocytizing the dust particles, will release cellular messengers to recruit white blood cells (WBCs) and to induce dilation of blood capillary walls to make them porous, allowing the WBCs to gain access to the alveolar space. The dilation of capillary walls also allows serum proteins and water entering the lung. Besides altering capillary integrity, a toxic dust can also directly kill the cells that come into contact with it or ingest it, after which the dead cells would release their contents, including lactate dehydrogenase (a common enzyme marker of cell death or tissue damage). In the treated animals, we lavaged the lungs 1 and 4 weeks after the dust instillation and measured the concentrations of these biomarkers of toxicity in the bronchioalveolar lavage fluids to determine the toxicity of the dust. To assess whether the inflammation and cellular injury observed in the biomarker study would lead to persistent or progressive histopathological

  13. Effect of an invasive plant and moonlight on rodent foraging behavior in a coastal dune ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Matthew D; De León, Yesenia L

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how invasive plants may alter predator avoidance behaviors is important for granivorous rodents because their foraging can trigger ripple effects in trophic webs. Previous research has shown that European beach grass Ammophila arenaria, an invasive species in coastal California, affects the predation of other seeds by the rodents Microtus californicus, Peromyscus maniculatus, and Reithrodontomys megalotis. This may be due to lower perceived predation risk by rodents foraging in close proximity to the cover provided by Ammophila, but this mechanism has not yet been tested. We examined the perceived predation risk of rodents by measuring the 'giving up density' of food left behind in experimental patches of food in areas with and without abundant cover from Ammophila and under varying amount of moonlight. We found strong evidence that giving up density was lower in the thick uniform vegetation on Ammophila-dominated habitat than it was in the more sparsely and diversely vegetated restored habitat. There was also evidence that moonlight affected giving up density and that it mediated the effects of habitat, although with our design we were unable to distinguish the effects of lunar illumination and moon phase. Our findings illustrate that foraging rodents, well known to be risk-averse during moonlit nights, are also affected by the presence of an invasive plant. This result has implications for granivory and perhaps plant demography in invaded and restored coastal habitats. Future research in this system should work to unravel the complex trophic links formed by a non-native invasive plant (i.e., Ammophila) providing cover favored by native rodents, which likely forage on and potentially limit the recruitment of native and non-native plants, some of which have ecosystem consequences of their own.

  14. Lawsonia intracellularis in the feces of wild rodents and stray cats captured around equine farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Jeong-Min; Seo, Myung-Ji; Yeh, Jung-Yong

    2017-08-11

    Proliferative enteropathy is a global enteric disease of particular importance in pigs. The causative bacterium, Lawsonia intracellularis, has a wide range of susceptible host species. Recently, L. intracellularis has been recognized as an etiologic agent of an emerging enteric disease in foals called equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE). The presence of L. intracellularis in nonruminant wildlife has raised questions regarding the role of these species in EPE transmission. This study investigated exposure to L. intracellularis in wild rodents and feral cats from eight farms with confirmed EPE. Serum (42) and fecal (40) samples from resident foals and fecal samples (131), intestinal mucosa tissues (14), and mesenteric lymph nodes (14) from wild and feral animals were collected for the evaluation of the farm status and the molecular detection of L. intracellularis following the diagnosis of EPE in index cases. Fresh feces from wild rodents and feral cats were collected from the ground while walking the premises or after trapping the animals using live traps. A total of 3 brown rats, 7 house mice, 1 striped field mouse, 2 grey red-backed voles, and 3 feral cats showed evidence of prior exposure to L. intracellularis. Our data add to increasing evidence demonstrating the potential for L. intracellularis transmission and infection in wild rodents and feral cats and provide possible evidence of interspecies transmission. The exposure of wild rodents and feral cats provides potential evidence for the spillover of L. intracellularis to wildlife species and raises the question of spillback to horses. Additionally, these animals may represent an indicator of environmental exposure or may be actively involved in the transmission of L. intracellularis to foals by acting as potential reservoir/amplifier hosts. This study is the first to demonstrate the magnitude of L. intracellularis shedding in the feces of wild rodents and feral cats and to indicate the significant

  15. Effect of an invasive plant and moonlight on rodent foraging behavior in a coastal dune ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Johnson

    Full Text Available Understanding how invasive plants may alter predator avoidance behaviors is important for granivorous rodents because their foraging can trigger ripple effects in trophic webs. Previous research has shown that European beach grass Ammophila arenaria, an invasive species in coastal California, affects the p