WorldWideScience

Sample records for flatworm schmidtea polychroa

  1. Lack of metabolic ageing in the long-lived flatworm Schmidtea polychroa

    Mouton, Stijn; Willems, Maxime; Houthoofd, Wouter; Bert, Wim; Braeckman, Bart P.

    Freshwater planarians have a large totipotent stem cell population allowing high rates of cell renewal and morphological plasticity. It is often suggested that they are able to rejuvenate during fission, regeneration and starvation. These features, together with the rapidly expanding molecular

  2. Phylogeography of competing sexual and parthenogenetic forms of a freshwater flatworm: patterns and explanations

    Carranza Salvador

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Models of the maintenance of sex predict that one reproductive strategy, sexual or parthenogenetic, should outcompete the other. Distribution patterns may reflect the outcome of this competition as well as the effect of chance and historical events. We review the distribution data of sexual and parthenogenetic biotypes of the planarian Schmidtea polychroa. Results S. polychroa lives in allopatry or sympatry across Europe except for Central and North-Western Europe, where sexual individuals have never been reported. A phylogenetic relationship between 36 populations based on a 385 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene revealed that haplotypes were often similar over large geographic distances. In North Italian lakes, however, diversity was extreme, with sequence differences of up to 5% within the same lake in both sexuals and parthenogens. Mixed populations showed "endemic" parthenogenetic lineages that presumably originated from coexisting sexuals, and distantly related ones that probably result from colonization by parthenogens independent from sexuals. Conclusions Parthenogens originated repeatedly from sexuals, mainly in Italy, but the same may apply to other Mediterranean regions (Spain, Greece. The degree of divergence between populations suggests that S. polychroa survived the ice ages in separate ice-free areas in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and re-colonised Europe after the retreat of the major glaciers. Combining these results with those based on nuclear markers, the data suggest that repeated hybridisation between sexuals and parthenogenetic lineages in mixed populations maintains high levels of genetic diversity in parthenogens. This can explain why parthenogens persist in populations that were originally sexual. Exclusive parthenogenesis in central and western populations suggests better colonisation capacity, possibly because of inbreeding costs as well as hybridisation of sexuals

  3. Distribution and origin of chromosomal races in the freshwater planarian Dugesia polychroa (Turbellaria : Tricladida)

    Beukeboom, Leo W.; Weinzierl, Rolf P.; Reed, Kent M.; Michiels, Nico K.

    1996-01-01

    We present a karyotypic survey of the European freshwater planarian Dugesia polychroa, detailing frequencies of diploid and polyploid forms from 35 localities in seven countries. In this hermaphroditic species, diploids reproduce sexually and polyploids by pseudogamous parthenogenesis. Previous

  4. Substantial Loss of Conserved and Gain of Novel MicroRNA Families in Flatworms

    Fromm, Bastian; Worren, Merete Molton; Hahn, Christoph; Hovig, Eivind; Bachmann, Lutz

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on microRNA (miRNA) evolution focused mainly on the comparison of miRNA complements between animal clades. However, evolution of miRNAs within such groups is poorly explored despite the availability of comparable data that in some cases lack only a few key taxa. For flatworms (Platyhelminthes), miRNA complements are available for some free-living flatworms and all major parasitic lineages, except for the Monogenea. We present the miRNA complement of the monogenean flatworm Gyrodactylus salaris that facilitates a comprehensive analysis of miRNA evolution in Platyhelminthes. Using the newly designed bioinformatics pipeline miRCandRef, the miRNA complement was disentangled from next-generation sequencing of small RNAs and genomic DNA without a priori genome assembly. It consists of 39 miRNA hairpin loci of conserved miRNA families, and 22 novel miRNAs. A comparison with the miRNA complements of Schmidtea mediterranea (Turbellaria), Schistosoma japonicum (Trematoda), and Echinococcus granulosus (Cestoda) reveals a substantial loss of conserved bilaterian, protostomian, and lophotrochozoan miRNAs. Eight of the 46 expected conserved miRNAs were lost in all flatworms, 16 in Neodermata and 24 conserved miRNAs could not be detected in the cestode and the trematode. Such a gradual loss of miRNAs has not been reported before for other animal phyla. Currently, little is known about miRNAs in Platyhelminthes, and for the majority of the lost miRNAs there is no prediction of function. As suggested earlier they might be related to morphological simplifications. The presence and absence of 153 conserved miRNAs was compared for platyhelminths and 32 other metazoan taxa. Phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Platyhelminthes (Turbellaria + Neodermata [Monogenea {Trematoda + Cestoda}]). PMID:24025793

  5. Organogènesi del sistema nerviós i dels òrgans sensorials en el desenvolupament embrionari de la planària Schmidtea polychroa

    Monjo Luis, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    La formación de un sistema nervioso fue una innovación clave en la evolución de los animales que permitió desarrollar una comunicación rápida y eficiente entre las células de un organismo a medida que aumentaba la complejidad. Analizar la neurogénesis embrionaria en el mayor número posible de organismos es, por lo tanta, necessario para reconstruir cual fue el modo ancestral de neurogénesis de los metazoos. Recientemente se ha descrito que ese proceso puede ser definido con un conjunto de pas...

  6. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    Martín-Durán José

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features

  7. The repertoire of G protein-coupled receptors in the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni and the model organism Schmidtea mediterranea

    Zamanian Mostafa

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs constitute one of the largest groupings of eukaryotic proteins, and represent a particularly lucrative set of pharmaceutical targets. They play an important role in eukaryotic signal transduction and physiology, mediating cellular responses to a diverse range of extracellular stimuli. The phylum Platyhelminthes is of considerable medical and biological importance, housing major pathogens as well as established model organisms. The recent availability of genomic data for the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni and the model planarian Schmidtea mediterranea paves the way for the first comprehensive effort to identify and analyze GPCRs in this important phylum. Results Application of a novel transmembrane-oriented approach to receptor mining led to the discovery of 117 S. mansoni GPCRs, representing all of the major families; 105 Rhodopsin, 2 Glutamate, 3 Adhesion, 2 Secretin and 5 Frizzled. Similarly, 418 Rhodopsin, 9 Glutamate, 21 Adhesion, 1 Secretin and 11 Frizzled S. mediterranea receptors were identified. Among these, we report the identification of novel receptor groupings, including a large and highly-diverged Platyhelminth-specific Rhodopsin subfamily, a planarian-specific Adhesion-like family, and atypical Glutamate-like receptors. Phylogenetic analysis was carried out following extensive gene curation. Support vector machines (SVMs were trained and used for ligand-based classification of full-length Rhodopsin GPCRs, complementing phylogenetic and homology-based classification. Conclusions Genome-wide investigation of GPCRs in two platyhelminth genomes reveals an extensive and complex receptor signaling repertoire with many unique features. This work provides important sequence and functional leads for understanding basic flatworm receptor biology, and sheds light on a lucrative set of anthelmintic drug targets.

  8. A new interstitial flatworm (Turbellaria: Promesostomidae) from the Indian Ocean

    Clerck, De G.G.

    1994-01-01

    Paraproboscifer alacerregis, representing a new genus and a new species of the interstitial typloplanoid flatworms is described from the Seychelles and Kenya. It is placed in the turbellarian family Promesostomidae, The type locality is on Mahé Island, Seychelles.

  9. Evidence that two types of 18S rDNA coexist in the genome of Dugesia (Schmidtea) mediterranea (Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria, Tricladida).

    Carranza, S; Giribet, G; Ribera, C; Baguñà; Riutort, M

    1996-07-01

    Sequences of 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) are increasingly being used to infer phylogenetic relationships among living taxa. Although the 18S rDNA belongs to a multigene family, all its copies are kept homogeneous by concerted evolution (Dover 1982; Hillis and Dixon 1991). To date, there is only one well-characterized exception to this rule, the protozoan Plasmodium (Gunderson et al. 1987; Waters, Syin, and McCutchan 1989; Qari et al. 1994). Here we report the 1st case of 18S rDNA polymorphism within a metazoan species. Two types (I and II) of 18S rDNA have been found and sequenced in the platyhelminth Dugesia (Schmidtea) mediterranea (Turbellaria, Seriata, Tricladida). Southern blot analysis suggested that both types of rDNA are present in the genome of this flatworm. This was confirmed through sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analysis using the neighbor-joining method and bootstrap test. Although secondary structure analysis suggests that both types are functional, only type I seems to be transcribed to RNA, as demonstrated by Northern blot analysis. The finding of different types of 18S rDNAs in a single genome stresses the need for analyzing a large number of clones whenever 18S sequences obtained by PCR amplification and cloning are being used in phylogenetic reconstruction.

  10. The head-regeneration transcriptome of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    2011-01-01

    Background Planarian flatworms can regenerate their head, including a functional brain, within less than a week. Despite the enormous potential of these animals for medical research and regenerative medicine, the mechanisms of regeneration and the molecules involved remain largely unknown. Results To identify genes that are differentially expressed during early stages of planarian head regeneration, we generated a de novo transcriptome assembly from more than 300 million paired-end reads from planarian fragments regenerating the head at 16 different time points. The assembly yielded 26,018 putative transcripts, including very long transcripts spanning multiple genomic supercontigs, and thousands of isoforms. Using short-read data from two platforms, we analyzed dynamic gene regulation during the first three days of head regeneration. We identified at least five different temporal synexpression classes, including genes specifically induced within a few hours after injury. Furthermore, we characterized the role of a conserved Runx transcription factor, smed-runt-like1. RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown and immunofluorescence analysis of the regenerating visual system indicated that smed-runt-like1 encodes a transcriptional regulator of eye morphology and photoreceptor patterning. Conclusions Transcriptome sequencing of short reads allowed for the simultaneous de novo assembly and differential expression analysis of transcripts, demonstrating highly dynamic regulation during head regeneration in planarians. PMID:21846378

  11. Identification of multiple isomeric core chitobiose-modified high-mannose and paucimannose N-glycans in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    Subramanian, Sabarinath Peruvemba; Babu, Ponnusamy; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi; Subramanian, Ramaswamy

    2018-05-04

    Cell surface-associated glycans mediate many cellular processes, including adhesion, migration, signaling, and extracellular matrix organization. The galactosylation of core fucose (GalFuc epitope) in paucimannose and complex-type N -glycans is characteristic of protostome organisms, including flatworms (planarians). Although uninvestigated, the structures of these glycans may play a role in planarian regeneration. Whole-organism MALDI-MS analysis of N -linked oligosaccharides from the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea revealed the presence of multiple isomeric high-mannose and paucimannose structures with unusual mono-, di-, and polygalactosylated ( n = 3-5) core fucose structures; the latter structures have not been reported in other systems. Di- and trigalactosylated core fucoses were the most dominant glycomers. N -Glycans showed extensive, yet selective, methylation patterns, ranging from non-methylated to polymethylated glycoforms. Although the majority of glycoforms were polymethylated, a small fraction also consisted of non-methylated glycans. Remarkably, monogalactosylated core fucose remained unmethylated, whereas its polygalactosylated forms were methylated, indicating structurally selective methylation. Using database searches, we identified two potential homologs of the Galβ1-4Fuc-synthesizing enzyme from nematodes (GALT-1) that were expressed in the prepharyngeal, pharyngeal, and mesenchymal regions in S. mediterranea. The presence of two GALT-1 homologs suggests different requirements for mono- and polygalactosylation of core fucose for the formation of multiple isomers. Furthermore, we observed variations in core fucose glycosylation patterns in different planarian strains, suggesting evolutionary adaptation in fucose glycosylation. The various core chitobiose modifications and methylations create >60 different glycoforms in S. mediterranea. These results contribute greatly to our understanding of N -glycan biosynthesis and suggest the presence of a

  12. Predatory behavior of the land flatworm Notogynaphallia abundans (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida

    Maria E. T. Prasniski

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Land flatworms are carnivorous, mainly predators. However, knowledge on their predatory behavior and prey preference is very scarce. This paucity of data is a limiting factor in the study of their biology and organismal ecology, resulting in a very difficult task to breed them in the laboratory for prolonged periods if prey preference and predation frequency are unknown. We investigated the predatory behavior of Notogynaphallia abundans (Graff, 1899, Geoplaninae, based on laboratory experiments. In order to determine its predatory choices, we offered mollusks, earthworms, arthropods, and other land flatworms. Only land isopods were accepted, with an average consumption of 3.4 individuals per week. Linear regression showed a positive relationship between the number of consumed isopods and the increase/decrease in body mass. Consumption resulting in an increase in body mass was ca. four isopods per week. Predatory behavior, with a mean time-span of 28 min 45 s ± 15 min 47 s, includes encounter and capture of prey, immobilization, handling and feeding. Variation in the duration of this activity in N. abundans is clearly due to variations in the time necessary for transferring the prey from either the anterior or posterior thirds of the body to the mouth, as well as for external digestion and ingestion. In order to capture very active and fast-moving animals such as land isopods, N. abundans employs various strategies, using either the anterior or the posterior body regions to press the prey against the ground or against its own body, thus allowing it to deal with various responses by the prey, and thereby maximizing predatory success. Similar to other flatworms, both physical holding and entrapment in a mucous secretion are of fundamental importance for prey-immobilization. The different strategies employed by land flatworms in their predatory behavior are discussed, and behavioral plasticity in the capture and immobilization of prey in different

  13. Put a tiger in your tank: the polyclad flatworm Maritigrella crozieri as a proposed model for evo-devo

    Lapraz, François; Rawlinson, Kate A; Girstmair, Johannes; Tomiczek, Bartłomiej; Berger, Jürgen; Jékely, Gáspár; Telford, Maximilian J; Egger, Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    Polyclad flatworms are an early branching clade within the rhabditophoran Platyhelminthes. They provide an interesting system with which to explore the evolution of development within Platyhelminthes and amongst Spiralia (Lophotrochozoa). Unlike most other flatworms, polyclads undergo spiral cleavage (similar to that seen in some other spiralian taxa), they are the only free-living flatworms where development via a larval stage occurs, and they are the only flatworms in which embryos can be r...

  14. Demographic analysis reveals gradual senescence in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano

    Braeckman Bart P

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Free-living flatworms ("Turbellaria" are appropriate model organisms to gain better insight into the role of stem cells in ageing and rejuvenation. Ageing research in flatworms is, however, still scarce. This is partly due to culture difficulties and the lack of a complete set of demographic data, including parameters such as median lifespan and age-specific mortality rate. In this paper, we report on the first flatworm survival analysis. We used the species Macrostomum lignano, which is an emerging model for studying the reciprocal influence between stem cells, ageing and rejuvenation. This species has a median lifespan of 205 ± 13 days (average ± standard deviation [SD] and a 90th percentile lifespan of 373 ± 32 days. The maximum lifespan, however, is more than 745 days, and the average survival curve is characterised by a long tail because a small number of individuals lives twice as long as 90% of the population. Similar to earlier observations in a wide range of animals, in M. lignano the age-specific mortality rate increases exponentially, but levels off at the oldest ages. To compare the senescence of M. lignano with that of other ageing models, we determined the mortality rate doubling time, which is 0.20 ± 0.02 years. As a result, we can conclude that M. lignano shows gradual senescence at a rate similar to the vertebrate ageing models Rattus norvegicus and Mus musculus. We argue that M. lignano is a suitable model for ageing and rejuvenation research, and especially for the role of stem cells in these processes, due to its accessible stem cell system and regeneration capacity, and the possibility of combining stem cell studies with demographic analyses.

  15. Increased taxon sampling reveals thousands of hidden orthologs in flatworms

    2017-01-01

    Gains and losses shape the gene complement of animal lineages and are a fundamental aspect of genomic evolution. Acquiring a comprehensive view of the evolution of gene repertoires is limited by the intrinsic limitations of common sequence similarity searches and available databases. Thus, a subset of the gene complement of an organism consists of hidden orthologs, i.e., those with no apparent homology to sequenced animal lineages—mistakenly considered new genes—but actually representing rapidly evolving orthologs or undetected paralogs. Here, we describe Leapfrog, a simple automated BLAST pipeline that leverages increased taxon sampling to overcome long evolutionary distances and identify putative hidden orthologs in large transcriptomic databases by transitive homology. As a case study, we used 35 transcriptomes of 29 flatworm lineages to recover 3427 putative hidden orthologs, some unidentified by OrthoFinder and HaMStR, two common orthogroup inference algorithms. Unexpectedly, we do not observe a correlation between the number of putative hidden orthologs in a lineage and its “average” evolutionary rate. Hidden orthologs do not show unusual sequence composition biases that might account for systematic errors in sequence similarity searches. Instead, gene duplication with divergence of one paralog and weak positive selection appear to underlie hidden orthology in Platyhelminthes. By using Leapfrog, we identify key centrosome-related genes and homeodomain classes previously reported as absent in free-living flatworms, e.g., planarians. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that hidden orthologs comprise a significant proportion of the gene repertoire in flatworms, qualifying the impact of gene losses and gains in gene complement evolution. PMID:28400424

  16. Paracatenula, an ancient symbiosis between thiotrophic Alphaproteobacteria and catenulid flatworms

    Gruber-Vodicka, Harald Ronald; Dirks, Ulrich; Leisch, Nikolaus; Stoecker, Kilian; Bulgheresi, Silvia; Heindl, Niels Robert; Horn, Matthias; Lott, Christian; Loy, Alexander; Wagner, Michael; Ott, Jörg

    2011-01-01

    Harnessing chemosynthetic symbionts is a recurring evolutionary strategy. Eukaryotes from six phyla as well as one archaeon have acquired chemoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. In contrast to this broad host diversity, known bacterial partners apparently belong to two classes of bacteria—the Gamma- and Epsilonproteobacteria. Here, we characterize the intracellular endosymbionts of the mouthless catenulid flatworm genus Paracatenula as chemoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing Alphaproteobacteria. The symbionts of Paracatenula galateia are provisionally classified as “Candidatus Riegeria galateiae” based on 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization together with functional gene and sulfur metabolite evidence. 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis shows that all 16 Paracatenula species examined harbor host species-specific intracellular Candidatus Riegeria bacteria that form a monophyletic group within the order Rhodospirillales. Comparing host and symbiont phylogenies reveals strict cocladogenesis and points to vertical transmission of the symbionts. Between 33% and 50% of the body volume of the various worm species is composed of bacterial symbionts, by far the highest proportion among all known endosymbiotic associations between bacteria and metazoans. This symbiosis, which likely originated more than 500 Mya during the early evolution of flatworms, is the oldest known animal–chemoautotrophic bacteria association. The distant phylogenetic position of the symbionts compared with other mutualistic or parasitic Alphaproteobacteria promises to illuminate the common genetic predispositions that have allowed several members of this class to successfully colonize eukaryote cells. PMID:21709249

  17. [An ultrastructural study of oogenesis in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea (Platyhelminthe, Paludicola)].

    Harrath, Abdul Halim; Alwasal, Saleh H; Alhazza, Ibrahim; Zghal, Fathia; Tekaya, Saida

    2011-07-01

    The ovary of the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has been studied for the first time using both light and electron microscopy methods. The ultrastructure of the ovary revealed two types of cells: accessory cells and germinal cells at various stages of differentiation, distributed along a maturation axis. Initially, oogonia underwent cytoplasm growth due to the development of organelles, such as endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complex, and mitochondria, which are all involved in the production of cytoplasmic inclusions or yolk globules. It is shown that the chromatoid body and fibrogranular aggregates may participate in the synthesis of vitelline inclusions. When completely mature, the oocytes have become larger, due to the accumulation of nutritive inclusions, which are round in shape and have a paracrystalline structure. These inclusions are interpreted as being yolk globules and may represent a kind of nutritive material for the developing embryo. These ultrastructural features of the ovary agree with the available phylogenetic tree, based on morphological and karyological characters that considers Schmidtea group as a genus and not a subgenus. The presence of sperm between the oocytes suggests that fertilization may occur within the ovary, representing an uncommon condition within the Triclads, in which fertilization usually takes places outside of the ovaries. Copyright © 2011 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. Problematic barcoding in flatworms: A case-study on monogeneans and rhabdocoels (Platyhelminthes

    Maarten Vanhove

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Some taxonomic groups are less amenable to mitochondrial DNA barcoding than others. Due to the paucity of molecular information of understudied groups and the huge molecular diversity within flatworms, primer design has been hampered. Indeed, all attempts to develop universal flatworm-specific COI markers have failed so far. We demonstrate how high molecular variability and contamination problems limit the possibilities for barcoding using standard COI-based protocols in flatworms. As a consequence, molecular identification methods often rely on other widely applicable markers. In the case of Monogenea, a very diverse group of platyhelminth parasites, and Rhabdocoela, representing one-fourth of all free-living flatworm taxa, this has led to a relatively high availability of nuclear ITS and 18S/28S rDNA sequences on GenBank. In a comparison of the effectiveness in species assignment we conclude that mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal markers perform equally well. In case intraspecific information is needed, rDNA sequences can guide the selection of the appropriate (i.e. taxon-specific COI primers if available.

  19. Comparative pharmacology of flatworm and roundworm glutamate-gated chloride channels

    Lynagh, Timothy; Cromer, Brett A.; Dufour, Vanessa

    2014-01-01

    Pharmacological targeting of glutamate-gated chloride channels (GluCls) is a potent anthelmintic strategy, evidenced by macrocyclic lactones that eliminate numerous roundworm infections by activating roundworm GluCls. Given the recent identification of flatworm GluCls and the urgent need for drugs...

  20. Tryptophan hydroxylase Is Required for Eye Melanogenesis in the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    Bramwell G Lambrus

    Full Text Available Melanins are ubiquitous and biologically important pigments, yet the molecular mechanisms that regulate their synthesis and biochemical composition are not fully understood. Here we present a study that supports a role for serotonin in melanin synthesis in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We characterize the tryptophan hydroxylase (tph gene, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin synthesis, and demonstrate by RNA interference that tph is essential for melanin production in the pigment cups of the planarian photoreceptors. We exploit this phenotype to investigate the biological function of pigment cups using a quantitative light-avoidance behavioral assay. Planarians lacking eye pigment remain phototactic, indicating that eye pigmentation is not essential for light avoidance in S. mediterranea, though it improves the efficiency of the photophobic response. Finally, we show that the eye pigmentation defect observed in tph knockdown animals can be rescued by injection of either the product of TPH, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP, or serotonin. Together, these results highlight a role for serotonin in melanogenesis, perhaps as a regulatory signal or as a pigment substrate. To our knowledge, this is the first example of this relationship to be reported outside of mammalian systems.

  1. The invasive New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwari in France, the first record for Europe: time for action is now.

    Justine, Jean-Lou; Winsor, Leigh; Gey, Delphine; Gros, Pierre; Thévenot, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    Non-indigenous terrestrial flatworms (Platyhelminthes) have been recorded in thirteen European countries. They include Bipalium kewense and Dolichoplana striata that are largely restricted to hothouses and may be regarded as non-invasive species. In addition there are species from the southern hemisphere such as the invasive New Zealand flatworm Arthurdendyus triangulatus in the United Kingdom, Eire and the Faroe Islands, the Australian flatworm Australoplana sanguinea alba in Eire and the United Kingdom, and the Australian Blue Garden flatworm Caenoplana coerulea in France, Menorca and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has some twelve or more non-indigenous species most of which are Australian and New Zealand species. These species may move to an invasive stage when optimum environmental and other conditions occur, and the flatworms then have the potential to cause economic or environmental harm. In this paper, we report the identification (from morphology and molecular analysis of COI sequences) of non-indigenous terrestrial flatworms found in a hothouse in Caen (France) as the New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 (Platyhelminthes, Continenticola, Geoplanidae, Rhynchodeminae). Platydemus manokwari is among the "100 World's Worst Invader Alien Species". Lists of World geographic records, prey in the field and prey in laboratories of P. manokwari are provided. This species is considered a threat to native snails wherever it is introduced. The recent discovery of P. manokwari in France represents a significant extension of distribution of this Invasive Alien Species from the Indo-Pacific region to Europe. If it escaped the hothouse, the flatworm might survive winters and become established in temperate countries. The existence of this species in France requires an early warning of this incursion to State and European Union authorities, followed by the eradication of the flatworm in its locality, tightening of internal quarantine measures

  2. The invasive New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwari in France, the first record for Europe: time for action is now

    Jean-Lou Justine

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Non-indigenous terrestrial flatworms (Platyhelminthes have been recorded in thirteen European countries. They include Bipalium kewense and Dolichoplana striata that are largely restricted to hothouses and may be regarded as non-invasive species. In addition there are species from the southern hemisphere such as the invasive New Zealand flatworm Arthurdendyus triangulatus in the United Kingdom, Eire and the Faroe Islands, the Australian flatworm Australoplana sanguinea alba in Eire and the United Kingdom, and the Australian Blue Garden flatworm Caenoplana coerulea in France, Menorca and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has some twelve or more non-indigenous species most of which are Australian and New Zealand species. These species may move to an invasive stage when optimum environmental and other conditions occur, and the flatworms then have the potential to cause economic or environmental harm. In this paper, we report the identification (from morphology and molecular analysis of COI sequences of non-indigenous terrestrial flatworms found in a hothouse in Caen (France as the New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 (Platyhelminthes, Continenticola, Geoplanidae, Rhynchodeminae. Platydemus manokwari is among the “100 World’s Worst Invader Alien Species”. Lists of World geographic records, prey in the field and prey in laboratories of P. manokwari are provided. This species is considered a threat to native snails wherever it is introduced. The recent discovery of P. manokwari in France represents a significant extension of distribution of this Invasive Alien Species from the Indo-Pacific region to Europe. If it escaped the hothouse, the flatworm might survive winters and become established in temperate countries. The existence of this species in France requires an early warning of this incursion to State and European Union authorities, followed by the eradication of the flatworm in its locality, tightening of

  3. Put a tiger in your tank: the polyclad flatworm Maritigrella crozieri as a proposed model for evo-devo.

    Lapraz, François; Rawlinson, Kate A; Girstmair, Johannes; Tomiczek, Bartłomiej; Berger, Jürgen; Jékely, Gáspár; Telford, Maximilian J; Egger, Bernhard

    2013-10-09

    Polyclad flatworms are an early branching clade within the rhabditophoran Platyhelminthes. They provide an interesting system with which to explore the evolution of development within Platyhelminthes and amongst Spiralia (Lophotrochozoa). Unlike most other flatworms, polyclads undergo spiral cleavage (similar to that seen in some other spiralian taxa), they are the only free-living flatworms where development via a larval stage occurs, and they are the only flatworms in which embryos can be reared outside of their protective egg case, enabling embryonic manipulations. Past work has focused on comparing early cleavage patterns and larval anatomy between polyclads and other spiralians. We have selected Maritigrella crozieri, the tiger flatworm, as a suitable polyclad species for developmental studies, because it is abundant and large in size compared to other species. These characteristics have facilitated the generation of a transcriptome from embryonic and larval material and are enabling us to develop methods for gene expression analysis and immunofluorescence techniques. Here we give an overview of M. crozieri and its development, we highlight the advantages and current limitations of this animal as a potential evo-devo model and discuss current lines of research.

  4. Schmidtea mediterranea phylogeography: an old species surviving on a few Mediterranean islands?

    Pala Maria

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schmidtea mediterranea (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Continenticola is found in scattered localities on a few islands and in coastal areas of the western Mediterranean. Although S. mediterranea is the object of many regeneration studies, little is known about its evolutionary history. Its present distribution has been proposed to stem from the fragmentation and migration of the Corsica-Sardinia microplate during the formation of the western Mediterranean basin, which implies an ancient origin for the species. To test this hypothesis, we obtained a large number of samples from across its distribution area. Using known and new molecular markers and, for the first time in planarians, a molecular clock, we analysed the genetic variability and demographic parameters within the species and between its sexual and asexual populations to estimate when they diverged. Results A total of 2 kb from three markers (COI, CYB and a nuclear intron N13 was amplified from ~200 specimens. Molecular data clustered the studied populations into three groups that correspond to the west, central and southeastern geographical locations of the current distribution of S. mediterranea. Mitochondrial genes show low haplotype and nucleotide diversity within populations but demonstrate higher values when all individuals are considered. The nuclear marker shows higher values of genetic diversity than the mitochondrial genes at the population level, but asexual populations present lower variability than the sexual ones. Neutrality tests are significant for some populations. Phylogenetic and dating analyses show the three groups to be monophyletic, with the west group being the basal group. The time when the diversification of the species occurred is between ~20 and ~4 mya, although the asexual nature of the western populations could have affected the dating analyses. Conclusions S. mediterranea is an old species that is sparsely distributed in a harsh habitat

  5. FMRFamide- and neurotensin-immunoreactive elements in the intestine of some polyclad and triclad flatworms (Turbellaria).

    Punin MYu; Markosova, T G

    2000-01-01

    By means of immunohistochemistry with antisera to tetrapeptide FMRFamide and regulatory peptides neurotensin and calcitonin intestines of marine turbellarians Notoplana atomata, N. humilis (Polycladida) and Procerodes littoralis (Tricladida) were investigated. In all flatworms polymorphous cells and processes reacting with antibodies to FMRFamide and neurotensin but not with calcitonin were revealed. These cell elements are localized both in the epithelium and beneath it. FMRFamide-immunoreactive cells and processes of investigated turbellarians and neurotensin-immunoreactive elements in P. littoralis obviously belong to the nervous system, while intraepithelial neurotensin-immunoreactive cells of polyclads share some morphological features with endocrine-like cells.

  6. In vitro biomarker discovery in the parasitic flatworm Fasciola hepatica for monitoring chemotherapeutic treatment

    Russell M. Morphew

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The parasitic flatworm Fasciola hepatica is a global food security risk. With no vaccines, the sustainability of triclabendazole (TCBZ is threatened by emerging resistance. F. hepatica excretory/secretory (ES products can be detected in host faeces and used to estimate TCBZ success and failure. However, there are no faecal based molecular diagnostics dedicated to assessing drug failure or resistance to TCBZ in the field. Utilising in vitro maintenance and sub-proteomic approaches two TCBZ stress ES protein response fingerprints were identified: markers of non-killing and lethal doses. This study provides candidate protein/peptide biomarkers to validate for detection of TCBZ failure and resistance.

  7. Embryonic origins of hull cells in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano through cell lineage analysis : developmental and phylogenetic implications

    Willems, Maxime; Egger, Bernhard; Wolff, Carsten; Mouton, Stijn; Houthoofd, Wouter; Fonderie, Pamela; Couvreur, Marjolein; Artois, Tom; Borgonie, Gaetan

    The development of macrostomid flatworms is of interest for evolutionary developmental biology research because these taxa combine characteristics of the canonical spiral cleavage pattern with significant deviations from this pattern. One such deviation is the formation of hull cells, which surround

  8. The planarian flatworm: an in vivo model for stem cell biology and nervous system regeneration

    Luca Gentile

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Planarian flatworms are an exception among bilaterians in that they possess a large pool of adult stem cells that enables them to promptly regenerate any part of their body, including the brain. Although known for two centuries for their remarkable regenerative capabilities, planarians have only recently emerged as an attractive model for studying regeneration and stem cell biology. This revival is due in part to the availability of a sequenced genome and the development of new technologies, such as RNA interference and next-generation sequencing, which facilitate studies of planarian regeneration at the molecular level. Here, we highlight why planarians are an exciting tool in the study of regeneration and its underlying stem cell biology in vivo, and discuss the potential promises and current limitations of this model organism for stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

  9. Selection, Recombination and History in a Parasitic Flatworm (Echinococcus Inferred from Nucleotide Sequences

    Haag KL

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Three species of flatworms from the genus Echinococcus (E. granulosus, E. multilocularis and E. vogeli and four strains of E. granulosus (cattle, horse, pig and sheep strains were analysed by the PCR-SSCP method followed by sequencing, using as targets two non-coding and two coding (one nuclear and one mitochondrial genomic regions. The sequencing data was used to evaluate hypothesis about the parasite breeding system and the causes of genetic diversification. The calculated recombination parameters suggested that cross-fertilisation was rare in the history of the group. However, the relative rates of substitution in the coding sequences showed that positive selection (instead of purifying selection drove the evolution of an elastase and neutrophil chemotaxis inhibitor gene (AgB/1. The phylogenetic analyses revealed several ambiguities, indicating that the taxonomic status of the E. granulosus horse strain should be revised

  10. Taxonomy and life history of the Acropora-eating flatworm Amakusaplana acroporae nov. sp. (Polycladida: Prosthiostomidae)

    Rawlinson, K. A.; Gillis, J. A.; Billings, R. E.; Borneman, E. H.

    2011-09-01

    Efforts to culture and conserve acroporid corals in aquaria have led to the discovery of a corallivorous polyclad flatworm (known as AEFW - Acropora-eating flatworm), which, if not removed, can eat entire colonies. Live observations of the AEFW, whole mounts, serial histological sections and comparison of 28S rDNA sequences with other polyclads reveal that this is a new species belonging to the family Prosthiostomidae Lang, 1884 and previously monospecific genus Amakusaplana (Kato 1938). Amakusaplana acroporae is distinguished from Amakusaplana ohshimai by a different arrangement and number of eyes, a large seminal vesicle and dorsoventrally compressed shell gland pouch. Typical of the genus, A. acroporae, lacks a ventral sucker and has a small notch at the midline of the anterior margin. Nematocysts and a Symbiodinium sp. of dinoflagellate from the coral are abundantly distributed in the gut and parenchyma. Individual adults lay multiple egg batches on the coral skeleton, each egg batch has 20-26 egg capsules, and each capsule contains between 3-7 embryos. Embryonic development takes approximately 21 days, during which time characteristics of a pelagic life stage (lobes and ciliary tufts) develop but are lost before hatching. The hatchling is capable of swimming but settles to the benthos quickly, and no zooxanthellae were observed in the animal at this stage. We suggest that intracapsular metamorphosis limits the dispersal potential of hatchlings and promotes recruitment of offspring into the natal habitat. The evolutionary and ecological significance of retaining lobes and ciliary tufts in the embryo are discussed. Camouflage, high fecundity and possible dispersal dimorphisms probably explain how Amakusaplana acroporae can cause Acropora sp. mortality in aquaria where natural predators may be absent.

  11. New insights into the karyotype evolution of the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano (Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria).

    Zadesenets, Kira S; Schärer, Lukas; Rubtsov, Nikolay B

    2017-07-20

    The free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano is a model organism for evolutionary and developmental biology studies. Recently, an unusual karyotypic diversity was revealed in this species. Specifically, worms are either 'normal' 2n = 8, or they are aneuploid with one or two additional large chromosome(s) (i.e. 2n = 9 or 2n = 10, respectively). Aneuploid worms did not show visible behavioral or morphological abnormalities and were successful in reproduction. In this study, we generated microdissected DNA probes from chromosome 1 (further called MLI1), chromosome 2 (MLI2), and a pair of similar-sized smaller chromosomes (MLI3, MLI4). FISH using these probes revealed that MLI1 consists of contiguous regions homologous to MLI2-MLI4, suggesting that MLI1 arose due to the whole genome duplication and subsequent fusion of one full chromosome set into one large metacentric chromosome. Therefore, one presumably full haploid genome was packed into MLI1, leading to hidden tetraploidy in the M. lignano genome. The study of Macrostomum sp. 8 - a sibling species of M. lignano - revealed that it usually has one additional pair of large chromosomes (2n = 10) showing a high homology to MLI1, thus suggesting hidden hexaploidy in its genome. Possible evolutionary scenarios for the emergence of the M. lignano and Macrostomum sp. 8 genomes are discussed.

  12. The corallivorous flatworm Amakusaplana acroporae: an invasive species threat to coral reefs?

    Hume, Benjamin C. C.; D'Angelo, Cecilia; Cunnington, Anna; Smith, Edward G.; Wiedenmann, Jörg

    2014-03-01

    Fatal infestations of land-based Acropora cultures with so-called Acropora- eating flatworms (AEFWs) are a global phenomenon. We evaluate the hypothesis that AEFWs represent a risk to coral reefs by studying the biology and the invasive potential of an AEFW strain from the UK. Molecular analyses identified this strain as Amakusaplana acroporae, a new species described from two US aquaria and one natural location in Australia. Our molecular data together with life history strategies described here suggest that this species accounts for most reported cases of AEFW infestations. We show that local parasitic activity impairs the light-acclimation capacity of the whole host colony. A. acroporae acquires excellent camouflage by harbouring photosynthetically competent, host-derived zooxanthellae and pigments of the green-fluorescent protein family. It shows a preference for Acropora valida but accepts a broad host range. Parasite survival in isolation (5-7 d) potentially allows for an invasion when introduced as non-native species in coral reefs.

  13. Diversity of introduced terrestrial flatworms in the Iberian Peninsula: a cautionary tale

    Marta Álvarez-Presas

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Many tropical terrestrial planarians (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae have been introduced around the globe. One of these species is known to cause significant decline in earthworm populations, resulting in a reduction of ecological functions that earthworms provide. Flatworms, additionally, are a potential risk to other species that have the same dietary needs. Hence, the planarian invasion might cause significant economic losses in agriculture and damage to the ecosystem. In the Iberian Peninsula only Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 had been cited till 2007. From that year on, four more species have been cited, and several reports of the presence of these animals in particular gardens have been received. In the present study we have: (1 analyzed the animals sent by non-specialists and also the presence of terrestrial planarians in plant nurseries and garden centers; (2 identified their species through morphological and phylogenetic molecular analyses, including representatives of their areas of origin; (3 revised their dietary sources and (4 used Species Distribution Modeling (SDM for one species to evaluate the risk of its introduction to natural areas. The results have shown the presence of at least ten species of alien terrestrial planarians, from all its phylogenetic range. International plant trade is the source of these animals, and many garden centers are acting as reservoirs. Also, landscape restoration to reintroduce autochthonous plants has facilitated their introduction close to natural forests and agricultural fields. In conclusion, there is a need to take measures on plant trade and to have special care in the treatment of restored habitats.

  14. Stem cells propagate their DNA by random segregation in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano.

    Freija Verdoodt

    Full Text Available Adult stem cells are proposed to have acquired special features to prevent an accumulation of DNA-replication errors. Two such mechanisms, frequently suggested to serve this goal are cellular quiescence, and non-random segregation of DNA strands during stem cell division, a theory designated as the immortal strand hypothesis. To date, it has been difficult to test the in vivo relevance of both mechanisms in stem cell systems. It has been shown that in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano pluripotent stem cells (neoblasts are present in adult animals. We sought to address by which means M. lignano neoblasts protect themselves against the accumulation of genomic errors, by studying the exact mode of DNA-segregation during their division. In this study, we demonstrated four lines of in vivo evidence in favor of cellular quiescence. Firstly, performing BrdU pulse-chase experiments, we localized 'Label-Retaining Cells' (LRCs. Secondly, EDU pulse-chase combined with Vasa labeling demonstrated the presence of neoblasts among the LRCs, while the majority of LRCs were differentiated cells. We showed that stem cells lose their label at a slow rate, indicating cellular quiescence. Thirdly, CldU/IdU- double labeling studies confirmed that label-retaining stem cells showed low proliferative activity. Finally, the use of the actin inhibitor, cytochalasin D, unequivocally demonstrated random segregation of DNA-strands in LRCs. Altogether, our data unambiguously demonstrated that the majority of neoblasts in M. lignano distribute their DNA randomly during cell division, and that label-retention is a direct result of cellular quiescence, rather than a sign of co-segregation of labeled strands.

  15. Biological adhesion of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano relies on a duo-gland system and is mediated by a cell type-specific intermediate filament protein

    Lengerer, Birgit; Pjeta, Robert; Wunderer, Julia; Rodrigues, Marcelo; Arbore, Roberto; Schaerer, Lukas; Berezikov, Eugene; Hess, Michael W.; Pfaller, Kristian; Egger, Bernhard; Obwegeser, Sabrina; Salvenmoser, Willi; Ladurner, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Background: Free-living flatworms, in both marine and freshwater environments, are able to adhere to and release from a substrate several times within a second. This reversible adhesion relies on adhesive organs comprised of three cell types: an adhesive gland cell, a releasing gland cell, and an

  16. SMED-TLX-1 (NR2E1) is critical for tissue and body plan maintenance in Schmidtea mediterranea in fasting/feeding cycles.

    Raška, O; Kostrouchová, V; Behenský, F; Yilma, P; Saudek, V; Kostrouch, Z; Kostrouchová, M

    2011-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs), or nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs), are transcription factors that regulate development and metabolism of most if not all animal species. Their regulatory networks include conserved mechanisms that are shared in-between species as well as mechanisms that are restricted to certain phyla or even species. In search for conserved members of the NHR family in Schmidtea mediterranea, we identified a molecular signature of a class of NRs, NR2E1, in the S. mediterranea genome and cloned its complete cDNA coding sequence. The derived amino acid sequence shows a high degree of conservation of both DNA-binding domain and ligand- binding domain and a remarkably high homology to vertebrate NR2E1 and C. elegans NHR-67. Quantitative PCR detected approximately ten-fold higher expression of Smed-tlx-1 in the proximal part of the head compared to the tail region. The expression of Smed-tlx-1 is higher during fed state than during fasting. Smed-tlx-1 down-regulation by RNA interference affects the ability of the animals to maintain body plan and induces defects of brain, eyes and body shape during fasting and re-growing cycles. These results suggest that SMED-TLX-1 is critical for tissue and body plan maintenance in planaria.

  17. Hidden biodiversity in an ancient lake: phylogenetic congruence between Lake Tanganyika tropheine cichlids and their monogenean flatworm parasites.

    Vanhove, Maarten P M; Pariselle, Antoine; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Hablützel, Pascal I; Gillardin, Céline; Hellemans, Bart; Breman, Floris C; Koblmüller, Stephan; Sturmbauer, Christian; Snoeks, Jos; Volckaert, Filip A M; Huyse, Tine

    2015-09-03

    The stunning diversity of cichlid fishes has greatly enhanced our understanding of speciation and radiation. Little is known about the evolution of cichlid parasites. Parasites are abundant components of biodiversity, whose diversity typically exceeds that of their hosts. In the first comprehensive phylogenetic parasitological analysis of a vertebrate radiation, we study monogenean parasites infecting tropheine cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. Monogeneans are flatworms usually infecting the body surface and gills of fishes. In contrast to many other parasites, they depend only on a single host species to complete their lifecycle. Our spatially comprehensive combined nuclear-mitochondrial DNA dataset of the parasites covering almost all tropheine host species (N = 18), reveals species-rich parasite assemblages and shows consistent host-specificity. Statistical comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies based on distance and topology-based tests demonstrate significant congruence and suggest that host-switching is rare. Molecular rate evaluation indicates that species of Cichlidogyrus probably diverged synchronically with the initial radiation of the tropheines. They further diversified through within-host speciation into an overlooked species radiation. The unique life history and specialisation of certain parasite groups has profound evolutionary consequences. Hence, evolutionary parasitology adds a new dimension to the study of biodiversity hotspots like Lake Tanganyika.

  18. Biological adhesion of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano relies on a duo-gland system and is mediated by a cell type-specific intermediate filament protein.

    Lengerer, Birgit; Pjeta, Robert; Wunderer, Julia; Rodrigues, Marcelo; Arbore, Roberto; Schärer, Lukas; Berezikov, Eugene; Hess, Michael W; Pfaller, Kristian; Egger, Bernhard; Obwegeser, Sabrina; Salvenmoser, Willi; Ladurner, Peter

    2014-02-12

    Free-living flatworms, in both marine and freshwater environments, are able to adhere to and release from a substrate several times within a second. This reversible adhesion relies on adhesive organs comprised of three cell types: an adhesive gland cell, a releasing gland cell, and an anchor cell, which is a modified epidermal cell responsible for structural support. However, nothing is currently known about the molecules that are involved in this adhesion process. In this study we present the detailed morphology of the adhesive organs of the free-living marine flatworm Macrostomum lignano. About 130 adhesive organs are located in a horse-shoe-shaped arc along the ventral side of the tail plate. Each organ consists of exactly three cells, an adhesive gland cell, a releasing gland cell, and an anchor cell. The necks of the two gland cells penetrate the anchor cell through a common pore. Modified microvilli of the anchor cell form a collar surrounding the necks of the adhesive- and releasing glands, jointly forming the papilla, the outer visible part of the adhesive organs. Next, we identified an intermediate filament (IF) gene, macif1, which is expressed in the anchor cells. RNA interference mediated knock-down resulted in the first experimentally induced non-adhesion phenotype in any marine animal. Specifically, the absence of intermediate filaments in the anchor cells led to papillae with open tips, a reduction of the cytoskeleton network, a decline in hemidesmosomal connections, and to shortened microvilli containing less actin. Our findings reveal an elaborate biological adhesion system in a free-living flatworm, which permits impressively rapid temporary adhesion-release performance in the marine environment. We demonstrate that the structural integrity of the supportive cell, the anchor cell, is essential for this adhesion process: the knock-down of the anchor cell-specific intermediate filament gene resulted in the inability of the animals to adhere. The RNAi

  19. Contribution to the knowledge of cotylean flatworms (Turbellaria, Polycladida) from Iranian coasts: Introducing a new species, with remarks on new records.

    Maghsoudlou, Abdolvahab; Rahimian, Hassan

    2014-09-08

    Very little information is available regarding marine free-living flatworms not only from Iran, but throughout the countries surrounding the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The present study first introduces a new euryleptid species, and then reports four pseudocerotid polyclads which inhabit Iranian shallow rocky shores of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Maritigrella makranica sp. nov. is characterized dorsally by a medial cream or white reticulated appearance containing pale orange spots in a honeycomb pattern, a distinct orange submarginal band around the entire body margin and between the marginal tentacles, black spots scattered around mid-dorsal surface, becoming more sparse on raised median region and towards body margin, surrounded by a dark-grey halo around the body midline and orange-black halo towards margin. Three of the four pseudocerotids species belonging to the genera Pseudobiceros Faubel, 1984; Pseudoceros Lang, 1884; and Thysanozoon Grube, 1840, are new records for the studied areas, while the other has been reported in the Persian Gulf previously. Comments on Iranian species are provided and associations of flatworms with ascidians and sponges were observed. 

  20. Chromosome Evolution in the Free-Living Flatworms: First Evidence of Intrachromosomal Rearrangements in Karyotype Evolution of Macrostomum lignano (Platyhelminthes, Macrostomida)

    Zadesenets, Kira S.; Ershov, Nikita I.; Berezikov, Eugene; Rubtsov, Nikolay B.

    2017-01-01

    The free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano is a hidden tetraploid. Its genome was formed by a recent whole genome duplication followed by chromosome fusions. Its karyotype (2n = 8) consists of a pair of large chromosomes (MLI1), which contain regions of all other chromosomes, and three pairs of small metacentric chromosomes. Comparison of MLI1 with metacentrics was performed by painting with microdissected DNA probes and fluorescent in situ hybridization of unique DNA fragments. Regions of MLI1 homologous to small metacentrics appeared to be contiguous. Besides the loss of DNA repeat clusters (pericentromeric and telomeric repeats and the 5S rDNA cluster) from MLI1, the difference between small metacentrics MLI2 and MLI4 and regions homologous to them in MLI1 were revealed. Abnormal karyotypes found in the inbred DV1/10 subline were analyzed, and structurally rearranged chromosomes were described with the painting technique, suggesting the mechanism of their origin. The revealed chromosomal rearrangements generate additional diversity, opening the way toward massive loss of duplicated genes from a duplicated genome. Our findings suggest that the karyotype of M. lignano is in the early stage of genome diploidization after whole genome duplication, and further studies on M. lignano and closely related species can address many questions about karyotype evolution in animals. PMID:29084138

  1. Embryonic and post-embryonic development of the polyclad flatworm Maritigrella crozieri; implications for the evolution of spiralian life history traits

    2010-01-01

    Background Planktonic life history stages of spiralians share some muscular, nervous and ciliary system characters in common. The distribution of these characters is patchy and can be interpreted either as the result of convergent evolution, or as the retention of primitive spiralian larval features. To understand the evolution of these characters adequate taxon sampling across the Spiralia is necessary. Polyclad flatworms are the only free-living Platyhelminthes that exhibit a continuum of developmental modes, with direct development at one extreme, and indirect development via a trochophore-like larval stage at the other. Here I present embryological and larval anatomical data from the indirect developing polyclad Maritrigrella crozieri, and consider these data within a comparative spiralian context. Results After 196 h hours of embryonic development, M. crozieri hatches as a swimming, planktotrophic larva. Larval myoanatomy consists of an orthogonal grid of circular and longitudinal body wall muscles plus parenchymal muscles. Diagonal body wall muscles develop over the planktonic period. Larval neuroanatomy consists of an apical plate, neuropile, paired nerve cords, a peri-oral nerve ring, a medial nerve, a ciliary band nerve net and putative ciliary photoreceptors. Apical neural elements develop first followed by posterior perikarya and later pharyngeal neural elements. The ciliated larva is encircled by a continuous, pre-oral band of longer cilia, which follows the distal margins of the lobes; it also possesses distinct apical and caudal cilia. Conclusions Within polyclads heterochronic shifts in the development of diagonal bodywall and pharyngeal muscles are correlated with life history strategies and feeding requirements. In contrast to many spiralians, M. crozieri hatch with well developed nervous and muscular systems. Comparisons of the ciliary bands and apical organs amongst spiralian planktonic life-stages reveal differences; M. crozieri lack a distinct

  2. Fine-scale differences in diel activity among nocturnal freshwater planarias (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida

    Cicolani Bruno

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although most freshwater planarias are well known photonegative organisms, their diel rhythms have never been quantified. Differences in daily activity rhythms may be particularly important for temperate-climate, freshwater planarias, which tend to overlap considerably in spatial distribution and trophic requirements. Methods Activity of stress-free, individually tested young adults of three common planarian species was recorded at 3-h intervals in a 10-d experiment under natural sunlight and photoperiod during autumnal equinox (D:L ~12:12. Individual activity status was averaged over the 10-d experiment, each tested individual thus serving as a true replicate. Twelve individuals per species were tested. Food was provided every 36 h, resulting in alternating day- and nighttime feeding events. Activity during the first post-feeding h was recorded and analyzed separately. Statistical procedures included ANOVAs, correlations, and second-order analyses of angles. Results Dugesia (= Girardia tigrina Girard 1850 exhibited clear nocturnal behavior, Dugesia (= Schmidtea polychroa Schmidt 1861 was predominantly but not exclusively nocturnal, and Polycelis tenuis Ijima 1884 was relatively more active from midnight through noon. Species-specific activity peaks were statistically similar, with peaks at dawn for P. tenuis and just before midnight for the two dugesiids; however, D. tigrina was comparatively more active in the early night hours, while D. polychroa was more active than D. tigrina during daytime. D. tigrina also responded less readily to daytime food addition. P. tenuis remained poorly active and unresponsive throughout the experiment. Individual variability in diel behavior was highest for D. polychroa and lowest for D. tigrina. P. tenuis's general low degree of activity and late activity peak in the experiment may be related to a strong reliance on external stimuli. Conclusions The tested species are mainly nocturnal

  3. Neoblast Specialization in Regeneration of the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    M. Lucila Scimone

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Planarians can regenerate any missing body part in a process requiring dividing cells called neoblasts. Historically, neoblasts have largely been considered a homogeneous stem cell population. Most studies, however, analyzed neoblasts at the population rather than the single-cell level, leaving the degree of heterogeneity in this population unresolved. We combined RNA sequencing of neoblasts from wounded planarians with expression screening and identified 33 transcription factors transcribed in specific differentiated cells and in small fractions of neoblasts during regeneration. Many neoblast subsets expressing distinct tissue-associated transcription factors were present, suggesting candidate specification into many lineages. Consistent with this possibility, klf, pax3/7, and FoxA were required for the differentiation of cintillo-expressing sensory neurons, dopamine-β-hydroxylase-expressing neurons, and the pharynx, respectively. Together, these results suggest that specification of cell fate for most-to-all regenerative lineages occurs within neoblasts, with regenerative cells of blastemas being generated from a highly heterogeneous collection of lineage-specified neoblasts.

  4. Global diversity of free living flatworms (Platyhelminthes, "Turbellaria") in freshwater

    Schockaert, E.R.; Hooge, M.; Sluys, R.; Schilling, S.; Tyler, S.; Artois, T.

    2008-01-01

    This contribution reviews diversity of turbellarian species by biogeographical regions, with comments on species biology. The review draws on the database available at http://www.devbio.umesci.maine.edu/styler/turbellaria. Comparisons between regions suggest that species richness may be at least one

  5. Sociality in Parasitic Flatworms: When Do Soldiers Matter?

    Garcia-Vedrenne, A. E.

    2016-02-01

    Although not traditionally recognized as such, trematode infections in molluscan first intermediate hosts comprise colonies. When two trematode species simultaneously infect a snail host, one generally kills the other. Thus, there can be strong selective pressure for established trematode colonies to protect and defend against new infections. Recent findings demonstrate that some trematode species have a reproductive division of labor involving a reproductive and a soldier caste. Reproductives are larger and filled with offspring, while soldiers lack developing embryos, and are specialized for inter-trematode antagonism. This reproductive division of labor has now been documented for intramolluscan stages of fourteen trematode species from different geographic regions and host species. Further, literature descriptions of the life history of several species suggest that this phenomenon is widespread, although there are important intra- and inter-specific differences in colony structure. It has been predicted that trematode soldier castes would most likely evolve in taxa that are typically dominant in interspecific hierarchies, in situations of invasion risk, and among trematodes that infect longer lived hosts. Here I address these hypotheses and present the extent of evidence for trematode social organization.

  6. Genomic resources for the flatworm model organism Macrostomum lignano

    Simanov, D.

    2014-01-01

    The last two decades were marked by discoveries and breakthroughs in different biological disciplines, and stem cell biology is an example of the quickly developing field. Discovery of stem cell niches and successful reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent stem state are only a few step

  7. Genome-wide analyses reveal a role for peptide hormones in planarian germline development.

    James J Collins

    Full Text Available Bioactive peptides (i.e., neuropeptides or peptide hormones represent the largest class of cell-cell signaling molecules in metazoans and are potent regulators of neural and physiological function. In vertebrates, peptide hormones play an integral role in endocrine signaling between the brain and the gonads that controls reproductive development, yet few of these molecules have been shown to influence reproductive development in invertebrates. Here, we define a role for peptide hormones in controlling reproductive physiology of the model flatworm, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Based on our observation that defective neuropeptide processing results in defects in reproductive system development, we employed peptidomic and functional genomic approaches to characterize the planarian peptide hormone complement, identifying 51 prohormone genes and validating 142 peptides biochemically. Comprehensive in situ hybridization analyses of prohormone gene expression revealed the unanticipated complexity of the flatworm nervous system and identified a prohormone specifically expressed in the nervous system of sexually reproducing planarians. We show that this member of the neuropeptide Y superfamily is required for the maintenance of mature reproductive organs and differentiated germ cells in the testes. Additionally, comparative analyses of our biochemically validated prohormones with the genomes of the parasitic flatworms Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum identified new schistosome prohormones and validated half of all predicted peptide-encoding genes in these parasites. These studies describe the peptide hormone complement of a flatworm on a genome-wide scale and reveal a previously uncharacterized role for peptide hormones in flatworm reproduction. Furthermore, they suggest new opportunities for using planarians as free-living models for understanding the reproductive biology of flatworm parasites.

  8. Memory and obesity affect the population dynamics of asexual freshwater planarians

    Dunkel, Jörn; Talbot, Jared; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-01-01

    Asexual reproduction in multicellular organisms is a complex biophysical process that is not yet well understood quantitatively. Here, we report a detailed population study for the asexual freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, which can reproduce via transverse fission due to a large stem cell contingent. Our long-term observations of isolated non-interacting planarian populations reveal that the characteristic fission waiting time distributions for head and tail fragments differ significantly from each other. The stochastic fission dynamics of tail fragments exhibits non-negligible memory effects, implying that an accurate mathematical description of future data should be based on non-Markovian tree models. By comparing the effective growth of non-interacting planarian populations with those of self-interacting populations, we are able to quantify the influence of interactions between flatworms and physical conditions on the population growth. A surprising result is the non-monotonic relationship between effective population growth rate and nutrient supply: planarians exhibit a tendency to become 'obese' if the feeding frequency exceeds a critical level, resulting in a decreased reproduction activity. This suggests that these flatworms, which possess many genes homologous to those of humans, could become a new model system for studying dietary effects on reproduction and regeneration in multicellular organisms

  9. The taxonomy and ecology of a new monocelid flatworm from Macquarie Island (Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria)

    Ball, Ian R.; Hay, David A.

    1977-01-01

    Macquarie Island (54°37'S 158°54'E) has been investigated for the occurrence of freshwater macroturbellarians. Twenty sites were examined but only one species, here ascribed to the genus Minona sensu lato of the Monocelididae, was found and it is described as Minona amnica sp. nov. Its closest

  10. Boule-like genes regulate male and female gametogenesis in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano

    Kuales, G.; De Mulder, K.; Glashauser, J.; Salvenmoser, W.; Takashima, S.; Hartenstein, V.; Berezikov, E.; Salzburger, W.; Ladurner, P.

    2011-01-01

    Members of the DAZ (Deleted in AZoospermia) gene family are important players in the process of gametogenesis and their dysregulation accounts for 10% of human male infertility. Boule, the ancestor of the family, is mainly involved in male meiosis in most organisms. With the exception of Drosophila

  11. Thioredoxin and glutathione systems differ in parasitic and free-living platyhelminths

    Salinas Gustavo

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The thioredoxin and/or glutathione pathways occur in all organisms. They provide electrons for deoxyribonucleotide synthesis, function as antioxidant defenses, in detoxification, Fe/S biogenesis and participate in a variety of cellular processes. In contrast to their mammalian hosts, platyhelminth (flatworm parasites studied so far, lack conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems. Instead, they possess a linked thioredoxin-glutathione system with the selenocysteine-containing enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR as the single redox hub that controls the overall redox homeostasis. TGR has been recently validated as a drug target for schistosomiasis and new drug leads targeting TGR have recently been identified for these platyhelminth infections that affect more than 200 million people and for which a single drug is currently available. Little is known regarding the genomic structure of flatworm TGRs, the expression of TGR variants and whether the absence of conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems is a signature of the entire platyhelminth phylum. Results We examine platyhelminth genomes and transcriptomes and find that all platyhelminth parasites (from classes Cestoda and Trematoda conform to a biochemical scenario involving, exclusively, a selenium-dependent linked thioredoxin-glutathione system having TGR as a central redox hub. In contrast, the free-living platyhelminth Schmidtea mediterranea (Class Turbellaria possesses conventional and linked thioredoxin and glutathione systems. We identify TGR variants in Schistosoma spp. derived from a single gene, and demonstrate their expression. We also provide experimental evidence that alternative initiation of transcription and alternative transcript processing contribute to the generation of TGR variants in platyhelminth parasites. Conclusions Our results indicate that thioredoxin and glutathione pathways differ in parasitic and free-living flatworms and

  12. Thioredoxin and glutathione systems differ in parasitic and free-living platyhelminths

    2010-01-01

    Background The thioredoxin and/or glutathione pathways occur in all organisms. They provide electrons for deoxyribonucleotide synthesis, function as antioxidant defenses, in detoxification, Fe/S biogenesis and participate in a variety of cellular processes. In contrast to their mammalian hosts, platyhelminth (flatworm) parasites studied so far, lack conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems. Instead, they possess a linked thioredoxin-glutathione system with the selenocysteine-containing enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR) as the single redox hub that controls the overall redox homeostasis. TGR has been recently validated as a drug target for schistosomiasis and new drug leads targeting TGR have recently been identified for these platyhelminth infections that affect more than 200 million people and for which a single drug is currently available. Little is known regarding the genomic structure of flatworm TGRs, the expression of TGR variants and whether the absence of conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems is a signature of the entire platyhelminth phylum. Results We examine platyhelminth genomes and transcriptomes and find that all platyhelminth parasites (from classes Cestoda and Trematoda) conform to a biochemical scenario involving, exclusively, a selenium-dependent linked thioredoxin-glutathione system having TGR as a central redox hub. In contrast, the free-living platyhelminth Schmidtea mediterranea (Class Turbellaria) possesses conventional and linked thioredoxin and glutathione systems. We identify TGR variants in Schistosoma spp. derived from a single gene, and demonstrate their expression. We also provide experimental evidence that alternative initiation of transcription and alternative transcript processing contribute to the generation of TGR variants in platyhelminth parasites. Conclusions Our results indicate that thioredoxin and glutathione pathways differ in parasitic and free-living flatworms and that canonical enzymes

  13. Toxic effects of cadmium on flatworm stem cell dynamics: A transcriptomic and ultrastructural elucidation of underlying mechanisms.

    Plusquin, Michelle; De Mulder, Katrien; Van Belleghem, Frank; DeGheselle, Olivier; Pirotte, Nicky; Willems, Maxime; Cuypers, Ann; Salvenmoser, Willi; Ladurner, Peter; Artois, Tom; Smeets, Karen

    2016-10-01

    Stem cells or undifferentiated cells can cope more easily with external stresses. To evaluate the impact of toxic compounds on stem cell dynamics in vivo, in relation to other biological responses, we use the carcinogenic element cadmium and the regenerating model organism Macrostomum lignano. Through both BrdU and anti-histone H3 immunostainings, cadmium-induced effects were investigated at different stages of the stem cell cycle. A 24-h exposure to 100 and 250 μM CdCl2 significantly decreased the number of stem cells (neoblasts) in mitosis, whereas the number of cells in the S phase remained unchanged. After this short-term exposure, the ultrastructure of the neoblasts was minimally affected in contrast to the epidermal tissues. These results were supported by gene expression data: transcripts of cdc2 and pig3 were significantly upregulated during all treatments. Both genes are involved in the cell cycle progression and are transcribed in the gonadal region, where stem cells are highly represented. Based on a substantial increase in gene expression of heat shock proteins (HSP) and their high activity in the gonadal region, we hypothesize that these proteins are key players in the protection of stem cells against external stresses. Apart from the strong HSP induction, other protective processes including cell division, apoptosis and anti-oxidative defence, were also activated. We, therefore, conclude that the protection of stem cells against external stressors may be based on the interplay between stem cell maintenance, i.e. repair and recovery through division, on one hand and apoptosis on the other hand. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 31: 1217-1228, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. First insight into CD59-like molecules of adult Fasciola hepatica.

    Shi, Yunliang; Toet, Hayley; Rathinasamy, Vignesh; Young, Neil D; Gasser, Robin B; Beddoe, Travis; Huang, Weiyi; Spithill, Terry W

    2014-09-01

    The present study focussed on investigating CD59-like molecules of Fasciola hepatica. A cDNA encoding a CD59-like protein (termed FhCD59-1) identified previously in the membrane fraction of the F. hepatica tegument was isolated. This homologue was shown to encode a predicted open reading frame (ORF) of 122 amino acids (aa) orthologous to human CD59 with a 25 aa signal peptide, a mature protein containing 10 cysteines and a conserved CD59/Ly-6 family motif "CCXXXXCN". An analysis of cDNAs from two different adult specimens of F. hepatica revealed seven variable types of FhCD59-1 sequences, designated FhCD59-1.1 to FhCD59-1.7, which had 94.3-99.7% amino acid sequence identity upon pairwise comparison. Molecular modeling of FhCD59-1.1 with human CD59 confirmed the presence of the three-finger protein domain found in the CD59 family and predicted three disulphide bonds in the F. hepatica sequence. The interrogation of F. hepatica databases identified two additional sequences, designated FhCD59-2 and FhCD59-3, which had only 23.4-29.5% amino acid identity to FhCD59-1.1. Orthologues of the inferred CD59 protein sequences of F. hepatica were also identified in other flatworms, including Fasciola gigantica, Fascioloides magna, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum, Schistosoma mansoni, Clonorchis sinensis, Opisthorchis viverrini, Taenia solium, Echinococcus granulosus and the free living Schmidtea mediterannea. The results revealed a considerable degree of sequence complexity in the CD59-like sequence families in F. hepatica and flatworms. Phylogenetic analysis of CD59-like aa sequences from F. hepatica and flatworms showed that FhCD59-2 clustered with the known surface-associated protein SmCD59-2 of S. mansoni. Relatively well-supported clades specific to schistosomes, fasciolids and opisthorchiids were identified. The qPCR analysis of gene transcription showed that the relative expression of these 3 FhCD59-like sequences varied by 11-47-fold during fluke

  15. The miR-124 family of microRNAs is crucial for regeneration of the brain and visual system in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    Sasidharan, Vidyanand; Marepally, Srujan; Elliott, Sarah A; Baid, Srishti; Lakshmanan, Vairavan; Nayyar, Nishtha; Bansal, Dhiru; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro; Vemula, Praveen Kumar; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi

    2017-09-15

    Brain regeneration in planarians is mediated by precise spatiotemporal control of gene expression and is crucial for multiple aspects of neurogenesis. However, the mechanisms underpinning the gene regulation essential for brain regeneration are largely unknown. Here, we investigated the role of the miR-124 family of microRNAs in planarian brain regeneration. The miR-124 family ( miR-124 ) is highly conserved in animals and regulates neurogenesis by facilitating neural differentiation, yet its role in neural wiring and brain organization is not known. We developed a novel method for delivering anti-miRs using liposomes for the functional knockdown of microRNAs. Smed-miR-124 knockdown revealed a key role for these microRNAs in neuronal organization during planarian brain regeneration. Our results also demonstrated an essential role for miR-124 in the generation of eye progenitors. Additionally, miR-124 regulates Smed-slit-1 , which encodes an axon guidance protein, either by targeting slit-1 mRNA or, potentially, by modulating the canonical Notch pathway. Together, our results reveal a role for miR-124 in regulating the regeneration of a functional brain and visual system. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  16. Gene discovery for the carcinogenic human liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini

    Gasser Robin B

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA – cancer of the bile ducts – is associated with chronic infection with the liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini. Despite being the only eukaryote that is designated as a 'class I carcinogen' by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, little is known about its genome. Results Approximately 5,000 randomly selected cDNAs from the adult stage of O. viverrini were characterized and accounted for 1,932 contigs, representing ~14% of the entire transcriptome, and, presently, the largest sequence dataset for any species of liver fluke. Twenty percent of contigs were assigned GO classifications. Abundantly represented protein families included those involved in physiological functions that are essential to parasitism, such as anaerobic respiration, reproduction, detoxification, surface maintenance and feeding. GO assignments were well conserved in relation to other parasitic flukes, however, some categories were over-represented in O. viverrini, such as structural and motor proteins. An assessment of evolutionary relationships showed that O. viverrini was more similar to other parasitic (Clonorchis sinensis and Schistosoma japonicum than to free-living (Schmidtea mediterranea flatworms, and 105 sequences had close homologues in both parasitic species but not in S. mediterranea. A total of 164 O. viverrini contigs contained ORFs with signal sequences, many of which were platyhelminth-specific. Examples of convergent evolution between host and parasite secreted/membrane proteins were identified as were homologues of vaccine antigens from other helminths. Finally, ORFs representing secreted proteins with known roles in tumorigenesis were identified, and these might play roles in the pathogenesis of O. viverrini-induced CCA. Conclusion This gene discovery effort for O. viverrini should expedite molecular studies of cholangiocarcinogenesis and accelerate research focused on developing new interventions

  17. How the position of mussels at the intertidal lagoon affects their infection with the larvae of parasitic flatworms (Trematoda: Digenea): A combined laboratory and field experimental study

    Nikolaev, Kirill E.; Prokofiev, Vladimir V.; Levakin, Ivan A.; Galaktionov, Kirill V.

    2017-10-01

    In the complex trematode life cycle, cercariae transmit infection from the first to the second intermediate host. These short-lived lecithotrophic larvae possess a complex of behavioural responses for finding and infecting the host. We studied strategies used by cercariae of Himasthla elongata and Cercaria parvicaudata (Renicola sp.) infecting mussels Mytilus edulis at the White Sea intertidal. Laboratory and field experiments were conducted in parallel. Geotactic response of cercariae was tested in an experimental chamber. Their distribution in nature was studied by counting larvae infecting mussels in cages installed in pairs (a ground and a suspended cage) in an intertidal lagoon. In the chamber H. elongata cercariae concentrated at the bottom, C. parvicaudata cercariae aged 1 h mostly concentrated near the surface and those aged 6 h sank to the bottom. A few larvae of both species ("evaders") showed behavioural patterns antithetic to the prevalent ones. Infection was the highest in mussels in ground cages. In suspended cages mussel infection with H. elongata cercariae was much lower than with C. parvicaudata cercariae. Our study confirmed that results of experiments on cercarial behaviour could be extrapolated to natural conditions. Cercariae of two species using the same intermediate hosts and co-occurring in a biotope implemented dramatically different strategies. This might be associated with differences in cercarial output by parthenitae groups. The presence of "evaders" might be useful for successful transmission. Our results indicate that mussels cultivated in suspended cultures are at the least risk of infection with trematode larvae.

  18. The karyotypes of two Dugesia species from Corfu, Greece (Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria)

    Ball, Ian R.

    1979-01-01

    Dugesia gonocephala (Dugès, 1830) and D. polychroa (Schmidt, 1861), collected from the Greek island of Corfu, have been investigated karyologically. The former is a sexual diploid (2n = 16) in which all the chromosomes are metacentric. The latter is a sexual diploid (2n = 8) with one submetacentric

  19. The nervous system of Tricladida. I. Neuroanatomy of Procerodes littoralis (Maricola, Procerodidae) : an immunocytochemical study

    Reuter, M.; Gustafsson, M.K.S.; Sahlgren, C.; Halton, D.W.; Maule, A.G.; Shaw, C.

    1995-01-01

    The organization of the nervous system of Procerodes littoralis (Tricladida, Maricola, Procerodidae) was studied by immunocytochemistry, using antibodies to authentic flatworm neuropeptide F (NPF) (Moniezia expansa). Compared to earlier investigations of the neuroanatomy of tricladid flatworms, the

  20. Methylisothiazolinone toxicity and inhibition of wound healing and regeneration in planaria.

    Van Huizen, Alanna V; Tseng, Ai-Sun; Beane, Wendy S

    2017-10-01

    Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) is a common biocide used in cosmetic and industrial settings. Studies have demonstrated that MIT is a human sensitizer, to the extent that in 2013 MIT was named allergen of the year. Recently, we showed that MIT exposure in Xenopus laevis (the African clawed frog) inhibits wound healing and tail regeneration. However, it is unknown whether MIT affects these processes in other animals. Here, we investigated the effects of MIT exposure in planaria-non-parasitic freshwater flatworms able to regenerate all tissues after injury. Using a common research strain of Dugesia japonica, we determined that intact planarians exposed to 15μM MIT displayed both neuromuscular and epithelial-integrity defects. Furthermore, regenerating (head and tail) fragments exposed to 15μM MIT failed to close wounds or had significantly delayed wound healing. Planarian wounds normally close within 1h after injury. However, most MIT-exposed animals retained open wounds at 24h and subsequently died, and those few animals that were able to undergo delayed wound healing without dying exhibited abnormal regeneration. For instance, head regeneration was severely delayed or inhibited, with anterior structures such as eyes failing to form in newly produced tissues. These data suggest that MIT directly affects both wound healing and regeneration in planarians. Next, we investigated the ability of thiol-containing antioxidants to rescue planarian wound closure during MIT exposure. The data reveal both n-acetyl cysteine and glutathione were each able to fully rescue MIT inhibition of wound healing. Lastly, we established MIT toxicity levels by determining the LC 50 of 5 different planarian species: D. japonica, Schmidtea mediterranea, Girardia tigrina, Girardia dorotocephala, and Phagocata gracilis. Our LC 50 data revealed that concentrations as low as 39μM (4.5ppm) are lethal to planarians, with concentrations of just 5μM inhibiting wound healing, and suggest that phylogeny

  1. Low levels of copper reduce the reproductive success of a mobile invertebrate predator.

    Lee, Ka-Man; Johnston, Emma L

    2007-09-01

    Marine organisms that occur in urbanised bays can be exposed to low-level chronic pollution that results in sublethal changes to behavior or reproduction. The effects of low levels of copper on the reproductive success of a mobile invertebrate were assessed. Free living flatworms are common predators of bivalves and barnacles. Flatworms (Stylochus pygmaeus) were exposed to low levels of copper ranging from 0 to 25 microg L(-1) in the presence and absence of their barnacle prey (Balanus variegatus). Flatworms laid fewer egg batches when exposed to copper and the hatching success of the eggs was also reduced. Exposure to 25 microg L(-1) copper for 10 d reduced the reproductive success of flatworms by up to 80%. Results were consistent regardless of the presence or absence of prey (barnacles). Barnacles were only moderately affected by copper but exhibited major avoidance behavior (feeding inhibition) in the presence of flatworm predators. This is the first ecotoxicological study on marine flatworms. Experiments are required to quantify the effects of flatworm predator populations on sessile invertebrate community structure in the field.

  2. Environmental Assessment Tent City at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota

    2004-11-15

    animals such as sponges, flatworms, nematode worms, segmented worms, snails, clams, and immature and adult insects , fish, amphibians, turtles, and... nettle (Laportea canadensis), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), beggars’ ticks (Bidens frondosa), and waterleaf (Hydrophyllum viginianum) are

  3. Transfection of Platyhelminthes

    Bárbara Moguel

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Flatworms are one of the most diverse groups within Lophotrochozoa with more than 20,000 known species, distributed worldwide in different ecosystems, from the free-living organisms in the seas and lakes to highly specialized parasites living in a variety of hosts, including humans. Several infections caused by flatworms are considered major neglected diseases affecting countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. For several decades, a particular interest on free-living flatworms was due to their ability to regenerate considerable portions of the body, implying the presence of germ cells that could be important for medicine. The relevance of reverse genetics for this group is clear; understanding the phenotypic characteristics of specific genes will shed light on developmental traits of free-living and parasite worms. The genetic manipulation of flatworms will allow learning more about the mechanisms for tissue regeneration, designing new and more effective anthelmintic drugs, and explaining the host-parasite molecular crosstalk so far partially inaccessible for experimentation. In this review, availability of transfection techniques is analyzed across flatworms, from the initial transient achievements to the stable manipulations now developed for free-living and parasite species.

  4. Regeneració i homeòstasi a les planàries: gens i vies de senyalització implicats en l'organogènesi

    González Sastre, Alejandro

    2017-01-01

    [cat] En aquesta tesi, titulada “Regeneració i homeòstasi a les planàries: gens i vies de senyalització implicats en l'organogènesi”, s’aprofundeix en l’estudi dels processos responsables de l’organogènesi a la planària d’aigua dolça Schmidtea mediterranea, tant durant la regeneració com durant l’homeòstasi. La planària d’aigua dolça Schmidtea mediterranea presenta una extraordinària capacitat de regeneració, gràcies a la presència d’una elevada quantitat de cèl·lules mare, els neoblasts, qu...

  5. Paternal inheritance of B chromosomes in a parthenogenetic hermaphrodite

    Beukeboom, Leo W.; Seif, Miriam; Mettenmeyer, Thomas; Plowman, Amy B.; Michiels, Nicolaas K.

    1996-01-01

    B chromosomes are dispensable elements extra to the standard (A) chromosome complement. They have been described from many sexually reproducing species where they often exploit meiosis to accumulate from one generation to the next. Polycelis nigra is a simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm that can

  6. Data Analysis Project: Leveraging Massive Textual Corpora Using n-Gram Statistics

    2008-05-01

    oysters cereals oatmeal, sorghum, Frosted Flakes, wheat , Cheerios, oats, maize, rye, millet, bran cities Chicago, Beijing, San Francisco, Los Angeles...Coolmax flatworms no extractions fruits apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, strawberries, peaches, mangoes, mango, peach, pineapple fungi email directories...incidents, leap years, renewals, monsoon, collaborators, HBO, Showtime, carrots, VAT, proposals organisms fungi , humans, algae, Coliform bacteria, E. coli

  7. Behaviour-Changing Ingredients in Soft Drinks: An Experiment Developed by School Children in Partnership with a Research Scientist

    Judge, Sarah; Delgaty, Laura; Broughton, Mark; Dyter, Laura; Grimes, Callum; Metcalf, James; Nicholson, Rose; Pennock, Erin; Jankowski, Karl

    2017-01-01

    A team of six children (13-14 years old) developed and conducted an experiment to assess the behaviour of the planarian flatworm, an invertebrate animal model, before, during and after exposure to chemicals. The aim of the project was to engage children in pharmacology and toxicology research. First, the concept that exposure to chemicals can…

  8. Environmental Assessment - Construct a Ground-to-Air Transmitter and Receiver (GATR) Facility at Grand Forks Air Force Base

    2006-06-06

    sponges, flatworms, nematode worms, segmented worms, snails, clams, and immature and adult insects , fish, amphibians, turtles, and aquatic birds and...buckthorn (a highly invasive exotic species), chokecherry, and wood rose (Rosa woodsii) are common in the under story in this area. Wood nettle ...Laportea canadensis), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), beggars’ ticks (Bidens frondosa), and waterleaf (Hydrophyllum viginianum) are typical forbes. A

  9. Freshwater planarians from artesian springs in Queensland, Australia (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Paludicola)

    Sluys, R.; Grant, L.J.; Blair, D.

    2007-01-01

    Two new species of triclad flatworm are described from artesian springs in Queensland, Australia, viz. Dugesia artesiana Sluys and Grant, sp. nov. and Weissius capaciductus Sluys, gen. et sp. nov. Some historical biogeographic scenarios are discussed that may explain the occurrence of the new

  10. Land-Based Dlischarge Environmental Assessment at Beale Air Force Base, California

    2009-09-01

    additional piping, new pumps, etc., as well potential or likely costs that would arise due to necessary compensation for impacts to special status shrimp ...species. 2) The site must avoid direct impacts to wetlands, which include potential habitat for special status shrimp species. 3) The site must...invertebrates. The high densities of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates (i.e., ostracods, copepods, flatworms, and mosquito larvae ) in wetland habitats

  11. Eye absence does not regulate planarian stem cells during eye regeneration

    LoCascio, Samuel A.; Lapan, Sylvain W.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2017-01-01

    Dividing cells called neoblasts contain pluripotent stem cells and drive planarian flatworm regeneration from diverse injuries. A long-standing question is whether neoblasts directly sense and respond to the identity of missing tissues during regeneration. We used the eye to investigate this question. Surprisingly, eye removal was neither sufficient nor necessary for neoblasts to increase eye progenitor production. Neoblasts normally increase eye progenitor production following decapitation, ...

  12. Protein Translation Enzyme lysyl-tRNA Synthetase Presents a New Target for Drug Development against Causative Agents of Loiasis and Schistosomiasis

    Sharma, Arvind; Sharma, Manmohan; Yogavel, Manickam; Sharma, Amit

    2016-01-01

    Helminth parasites are an assemblage of two major phyla of nematodes (also known as roundworms) and platyhelminths (also called flatworms). These parasites are a major human health burden, and infections caused by helminths are considered under neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These infections are typified by limited clinical treatment options and threat of drug resistance. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are vital enzymes that decode genetic information and enable protein translation. ...

  13. Planarians as a model of aging to study the interaction between stem cells and senescent cells in vivo

    Patrick M. Perrigue

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The depletion of stem cell pools and the accumulation of senescent cells in animal tissues are linked to aging. Planarians are invertebrate flatworms and are unusual in that their stem cells, called neoblasts, are constantly replacing old and dying cells. By eliminating neoblasts in worms via irradiation, the biological principles of aging are exposed in the absence of wound healing and regeneration, making planaria a powerful tool for aging research.

  14. Transcriptome Analysis of the Planarian Eye Identifies ovo as a Specific Regulator of Eye Regeneration

    Sylvain W. Lapan

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Among the millions of invertebrate species with visual systems, the genetic basis of eye development and function is well understood only in Drosophila melanogaster. We describe an eye transcriptome for the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Planarian photoreceptors expressed orthologs of genes required for phototransduction and microvillus structure in Drosophila and vertebrates, and optic pigment cells expressed solute transporters and melanin synthesis enzymes similar to those active in the vertebrate retinal pigment epithelium. Orthologs of several planarian eye genes, such as bestrophin-1 and Usher syndrome genes, cause eye defects in mammals when perturbed and were not previously described to have roles in invertebrate eyes. Five previously undescribed planarian eye transcription factors were required for normal eye formation during head regeneration. In particular, a conserved, transcription-factor-encoding ovo gene was expressed from the earliest stages of eye regeneration and was required for regeneration of all cell types of the eye.

  15. A functional genomics screen in planarians reveals regulators of whole-brain regeneration

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Brubacher, John L; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-01-01

    Planarians regenerate all body parts after injury, including the central nervous system (CNS). We capitalized on this distinctive trait and completed a gene expression-guided functional screen to identify factors that regulate diverse aspects of neural regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our screen revealed molecules that influence neural cell fates, support the formation of a major connective hub, and promote reestablishment of chemosensory behavior. We also identified genes that encode signaling molecules with roles in head regeneration, including some that are produced in a previously uncharacterized parenchymal population of cells. Finally, we explored genes downregulated during planarian regeneration and characterized, for the first time, glial cells in the planarian CNS that respond to injury by repressing several transcripts. Collectively, our studies revealed diverse molecules and cell types that underlie an animal’s ability to regenerate its brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17002.001 PMID:27612384

  16. Transcriptome analysis of the planarian eye identifies ovo as a specific regulator of eye regeneration.

    Lapan, Sylvain W; Reddien, Peter W

    2012-08-30

    Among the millions of invertebrate species with visual systems, the genetic basis of eye development and function is well understood only in Drosophila melanogaster. We describe an eye transcriptome for the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Planarian photoreceptors expressed orthologs of genes required for phototransduction and microvillus structure in Drosophila and vertebrates, and optic pigment cells expressed solute transporters and melanin synthesis enzymes similar to those active in the vertebrate retinal pigment epithelium. Orthologs of several planarian eye genes, such as bestrophin-1 and Usher syndrome genes, cause eye defects in mammals when perturbed and were not previously described to have roles in invertebrate eyes. Five previously undescribed planarian eye transcription factors were required for normal eye formation during head regeneration. In particular, a conserved, transcription-factor-encoding ovo gene was expressed from the earliest stages of eye regeneration and was required for regeneration of all cell types of the eye. Copyright © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Genus-wide comparison of Pseudovibrio bacterial genomes reveal diverse adaptations to different marine invertebrate hosts.

    Alex, Anoop; Antunes, Agostinho

    2018-01-01

    Bacteria belonging to the genus Pseudovibrio have been frequently found in association with a wide variety of marine eukaryotic invertebrate hosts, indicative of their versatile and symbiotic lifestyle. A recent comparison of the sponge-associated Pseudovibrio genomes has shed light on the mechanisms influencing a successful symbiotic association with sponges. In contrast, the genomic architecture of Pseudovibrio bacteria associated with other marine hosts has received less attention. Here, we performed genus-wide comparative analyses of 18 Pseudovibrio isolated from sponges, coral, tunicates, flatworm, and seawater. The analyses revealed a certain degree of commonality among the majority of sponge- and coral-associated bacteria. Isolates from other marine invertebrate host, tunicates, exhibited a genetic repertoire for cold adaptation and specific metabolic abilities including mucin degradation in the Antarctic tunicate-associated bacterium Pseudovibrio sp. Tun.PHSC04_5.I4. Reductive genome evolution was simultaneously detected in the flatworm-associated bacteria and the sponge-associated bacterium P. axinellae AD2, through the loss of major secretion systems (type III/VI) and virulence/symbioses factors such as proteins involved in adhesion and attachment to the host. Our study also unraveled the presence of a CRISPR-Cas system in P. stylochi UST20140214-052 a flatworm-associated bacterium possibly suggesting the role of CRISPR-based adaptive immune system against the invading virus particles. Detection of mobile elements and genomic islands (GIs) in all bacterial members highlighted the role of horizontal gene transfer for the acquisition of novel genetic features, likely enhancing the bacterial ecological fitness. These findings are insightful to understand the role of genome diversity in Pseudovibrio as an evolutionary strategy to increase their colonizing success across a wide range of marine eukaryotic hosts.

  18. The Enzymatic and Structural Basis for Inhibition of Echinococcus granulosus Thioredoxin Glutathione Reductase by Gold(I).

    Salinas, Gustavo; Gao, Wei; Wang, Yang; Bonilla, Mariana; Yu, Long; Novikov, Andrey; Virginio, Veridiana G; Ferreira, Henrique B; Vieites, Marisol; Gladyshev, Vadim N; Gambino, Dinorah; Dai, Shaodong

    2017-12-20

    New drugs are needed to treat flatworm infections that cause severe human diseases such as schistosomiasis. The unique flatworm enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR), structurally different from the human enzyme, is a key drug target. Structural studies of the flatworm Echinococcus granulosus TGR, free and complexed with Au I -MPO, a novel gold inhibitor, together with inhibition assays were performed. Au I -MPO is a potent TGR inhibitor that achieves 75% inhibition at a 1:1 TGR:Au ratio and efficiently kills E. granulosus in vitro. The structures revealed salient insights: (i) unique monomer-monomer interactions, (ii) distinct binding sites for thioredoxin and the glutaredoxin (Grx) domain, (iii) a single glutathione disulfide reduction site in the Grx domain, (iv) rotation of the Grx domain toward the Sec-containing redox active site, and (v) a single gold atom bound to Cys 519 and Cys 573 in the Au I -TGR complex. Structural modeling suggests that these residues are involved in the stabilization of the Sec-containing C-terminus. Consistently, Cys→Ser mutations in these residues decreased TGR activities. Mass spectroscopy confirmed these cysteines are the primary binding site. The identification of a primary site for gold binding and the structural model provide a basis for gold compound optimization through scaffold adjustments. The structural study revealed that TGR functions are achieved not only through a mobile Sec-containing redox center but also by rotation of the Grx domain and distinct binding sites for Grx domain and thioredoxin. The conserved Cys 519 and Cys 573 residues targeted by gold assist catalysis through stabilization of the Sec-containing redox center. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 27, 1491-1504.

  19. The unique stem cell system of the immortal larva of the human parasite Echinococcus multilocularis

    2014-01-01

    Background It is believed that in tapeworms a separate population of undifferentiated cells, the germinative cells, is the only source of cell proliferation throughout the life cycle (similar to the neoblasts of free living flatworms). In Echinococcus multilocularis, the metacestode larval stage has a unique development, growing continuously like a mass of vesicles that infiltrate the tissues of the intermediate host, generating multiple protoscoleces by asexual budding. This unique proliferation potential indicates the existence of stem cells that are totipotent and have the ability for extensive self-renewal. Results We show that only the germinative cells proliferate in the larval vesicles and in primary cell cultures that undergo complete vesicle regeneration, by using a combination of morphological criteria and by developing molecular markers of differentiated cell types. The germinative cells are homogeneous in morphology but heterogeneous at the molecular level, since only sub-populations express homologs of the post-transcriptional regulators nanos and argonaute. Important differences are observed between the expression patterns of selected neoblast marker genes of other flatworms and the E. multilocularis germinative cells, including widespread expression in E. multilocularis of some genes that are neoblast-specific in planarians. Hydroxyurea treatment results in the depletion of germinative cells in larval vesicles, and after recovery following hydroxyurea treatment, surviving proliferating cells grow as patches that suggest extensive self-renewal potential for individual germinative cells. Conclusions In E. multilocularis metacestodes, the germinative cells are the only proliferating cells, presumably driving the continuous growth of the larval vesicles. However, the existence of sub-populations of the germinative cells is strongly supported by our data. Although the germinative cells are very similar to the neoblasts of other flatworms in function and

  20. The Enzymatic and Structural Basis for Inhibition of Echinococcus granulosus Thioredoxin Glutathione Reductase by Gold(I)

    Salinas, Gustavo [Worm Biology Lab, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay.; Cátedra de Inmunología, Facultad de Química, Instituto de Higiene, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.; Gao, Wei [Department of Biomedical Research, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.; Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.; School of Science, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China.; Wang, Yang [Department of Biomedical Research, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.; Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.; Bonilla, Mariana [Cátedra de Inmunología, Facultad de Química, Instituto de Higiene, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.; Redox Biology of Trypanosomes, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Uruguay.; Yu, Long [Department of Biomedical Research, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.; Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.; Novikov, Andrey [Department of Biomedical Research, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.; Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.; Virginio, Veridiana G. [Laboratório de Genômica Estrutural e Funcional, Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.; Ferreira, Henrique B. [Laboratório de Genômica Estrutural e Funcional, Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.; Vieites, Marisol [Cátedra de Química Inorgánica, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.; Gladyshev, Vadim N. [Brigham and Women' s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.; Gambino, Dinorah [Cátedra de Química Inorgánica, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.; Dai, Shaodong [Department of Biomedical Research, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.; Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.

    2017-12-20

    Aims: New drugs are needed to treat flatworm infections that cause severe human diseases such as schistosomiasis. The unique flatworm enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR), structurally different from the human enzyme, is a key drug target. Structural studies of the flatworm Echinococcus granulosus TGR, free and complexed with AuI-MPO, a novel gold inhibitor, together with inhibition assays were performed. Results: AuI-MPO is a potent TGR inhibitor that achieves 75% inhibition at a 1:1 TGR:Au ratio and efficiently kills E. granulosus in vitro. The structures revealed salient insights: (i) unique monomer–monomer interactions, (ii) distinct binding sites for thioredoxin and the glutaredoxin (Grx) domain, (iii) a single glutathione disulfide reduction site in the Grx domain, (iv) rotation of the Grx domain toward the Sec-containing redox active site, and (v) a single gold atom bound to Cys519 and Cys573 in the AuI-TGR complex. Structural modeling suggests that these residues are involved in the stabilization of the Sec-containing C-terminus. Consistently, Cys→Ser mutations in these residues decreased TGR activities. Mass spectroscopy confirmed these cysteines are the primary binding site. Innovation: The identification of a primary site for gold binding and the structural model provide a basis for gold compound optimization through scaffold adjustments. Conclusions: The structural study revealed that TGR functions are achieved not only through a mobile Sec-containing redox center but also by rotation of the Grx domain and distinct binding sites for Grx domain and thioredoxin. The conserved Cys519 and Cys573 residues targeted by gold assist catalysis through stabilization of the Sec-containing redox center. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 27, 1491–1504.

  1. [Activities and properties of phosphorylases of turbellariae Phagocata sibirica and cestodes Bothriocephalus scorpii].

    Burenina, E A

    2007-01-01

    Activities and properties of phosphorylases of cytosol and mitochondrial fractions are studied in free-living turbellaria Phagocata sibirica and cestodes Bothriocephalus scorpii. The phosphorylase activities in P. sibirica and B. scorpii differ significantly both in form and the total activity of this enzyme. Dependence of the phosphorylase reaction rate on substrate concentration is studied. The high activity of phosphorylase as compared with that of hexokinase suggests glycogen to be the main energy source of the studied flatworms. Effects of various effectors on activities of cytosol and mitochondrial phosphorylases are studied.

  2. Parasitic infections of the external eye.

    Pahuja, Shivani; Puranik, Charuta; Jelliti, Bechir; Khairallah, Moncef; Sangwan, Virender S

    2013-08-01

    To review the published literature on parasitic infections of external eye. Published articles and case reports on parasitic infections of external eye were reviewed and relevant information was collected. Parasitic infections of the eye are rare. However, being more commonly seen in developing nations, they require active measures for screening, diagnosis, and therapy. Parasites of importance causing external ocular disease are protozoan parasites, such as Leishmania; metazoans, such as nematodes (roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), and trematodes (flatworms); or ectoparasites, such as Phthirus pubis and Demodex.

  3. A Study on the Model of Detecting the Variation of Geomagnetic Intensity Based on an Adapted Motion Strategy

    Hong Li

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available By simulating the geomagnetic fields and analyzing thevariation of intensities, this paper presents a model for calculating the objective function ofan Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUVgeomagnetic navigation task. By investigating the biologically inspired strategies, the AUV successfullyreachesthe destination duringgeomagnetic navigation without using the priori geomagnetic map. Similar to the pattern of a flatworm, the proposed algorithm relies on a motion pattern to trigger a local searching strategy by detecting the real-time geomagnetic intensity. An adapted strategy is then implemented, which is biased on the specific target. The results show thereliabilityandeffectivenessofthe proposed algorithm.

  4. First report of the exotic blue land planarian, Caenoplana coerulea (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae, on Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain

    Karin Breugelmans

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In April 2009 two specimens of a terrestrial flatworm were collected from under a rock in an orchard at Ciutadella de Menorca on the easternmost Balearic island of Menorca (Spain. Their external morphology suggested that both specimens belonged to the invasive blue planarian Caenoplana coerulea, a species which is native to eastern Australia. Sequence data of a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI and of the entire 18S ribosomal RNA confirm its identification. This is one of the first records of the species in Europe where it has only been found in one locality in the United Kingdom, France and NE Spain.

  5. Taeniasis: A possible cause of ileal bleeding.

    Settesoldi, Alessia; Tozzi, Alessandro; Tarantino, Ottaviano

    2017-12-16

    Taenia spp. are flatworms of the class Cestoda, whose definitive hosts are humans and primates. Human infestation (taeniasis) results from the ingestion of raw meat contaminated with encysted larval tapeworms and is considered relatively harmless and mostly asymptomatic. Anemia is not recognized as a possible sign of taeniasis and taeniasis-induced hemorrhage is not described in medical books. Its therapy is based on anthelmintics such praziquantel, niclosamide or albendazole. Here we describe a case of acute ileal bleeding in an Italian man affected with both Taenia spp. infestation resistant to albendazole and Helicobacter pylori -associated duodenal ulcers.

  6. Biochemical and Molecular Study of Carpobrotus edulis Bioactive Properties and Their Effects on Dugesia sicula (Turbellaria, Tricladida) Regeneration.

    Meddeb, Emna; Charni, Mohamed; Ghazouani, Tesnime; Cozzolino, Autilia; Fratianni, Florinda; Raboudi, Faten; Nazzaro, Filomena; Fattouch, Sami

    2017-07-01

    The traditional medicinal properties of Carpobrotus edulis are well recognized, particularly in Tunisia where it is used for wound healing. Thus, in this study, biochemical and molecular properties of its leaves' bioactive aqueous-acetone extract were investigated. The total phenolic content (TPC) of the extract was estimated to be 184 ± 5 mg/100 g of fresh matter (FM). The qualitative and quantitative polyphenolic profile was determined by ultra performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection (UPLC-DAD) and showed that chlorogenic acid was the major compound (43.7%). The extract exhibits potent antioxidant capacities with IC50 = 56.19 and 58.91 μg/ml, as accessed via the anionic DPPH and cationic ABTS radical scavenging assays, respectively. The extract has high antibacterial properties, especially against the Gram+ Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus strains. To investigate the extract effect on regeneration, the flatworm Dugesia sicula Lepori, 1948, was used as a model. The macroscopic analysis of planarian cultures in ordinary medium containing phenolic extract at non-toxic concentrations illustrated that the extract caused morphological changes. Additionally, the molecular study through the fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) technique showed that C. edulis polyphenols can harm the stem cells' development. These results emphasize the ecotoxicological impact of phenolic rejections in the environment on flatworms' physiology.

  7. On the presence and immunoregulatory functions of extracellular microRNAs in the trematode Fasciola hepatica.

    Fromm, B; Ovchinnikov, V; Høye, E; Bernal, D; Hackenberg, M; Marcilla, A

    2017-02-01

    Liver flukes represent a paraphyletic group of endoparasitic flatworms that significantly affect man either indirectly due to economic damage on livestock or directly as pathogens. A range of studies have focussed on how these macroscopic organisms can evade the immune system and live inside a hostile environment such as the mammalian liver and bile ducts. Recently, microRNAs, a class of short noncoding gene regulators, have been proposed as likely candidates to play roles in this scenario. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key players in development and pathogenicity and are highly conserved between metazoans: identical miRNAs can be found in flatworms and mammalians. Interestingly, miRNAs are enriched in extracellular vesicles (EVs) which are secreted by most cells. EVs constitute an important mode of parasite/host interaction, and recent data illustrate that miRNAs play a vital part. We have demonstrated the presence of miRNAs in the EVs of the trematode species Dicrocoelium dendriticum and Fasciola hepatica (Fhe) and identified potential immune-regulatory miRNAs with targets in the host. After our initial identification of miRNAs expressed by F. hepatica, an assembled genome and additional miRNA data became available. This has enabled us to update the known complement of miRNAs in EVs and speculate on potential immune-regulatory functions that we review here. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Granulocytes in Helminth Infection - Who is Calling the Shots?

    Makepeace, BL; Martin, C; Turner, JD; Specht, S

    2012-01-01

    Helminths are parasitic organisms that can be broadly described as “worms” due to their elongated body plan, but which otherwise differ in shape, development, migratory routes and the predilection site of the adults and larvae. They are divided into three major groups: trematodes (flukes), which are leaf-shaped, hermaphroditic (except for blood flukes) flatworms with oral and ventral suckers; cestodes (tapeworms), which are segmented, hermaphroditic flatworms that inhabit the intestinal lumen; and nematodes (roundworms), which are dioecious, cylindrical parasites that inhabit intestinal and peripheral tissue sites. Helminths exhibit a sublime co-evolution with the host´s immune system that has enabled them to successfully colonize almost all multicellular species present in every geographical environment, including over two billion humans. In the face of this challenge, the host immune system has evolved to strike a delicate balance between attempts to neutralize the infectious assault versus limitation of damage to host tissues. Among the most important cell types during helminthic invasion are granulocytes: eosinophils, neutrophils and basophils. Depending on the specific context, these leukocytes may have pivotal roles in host protection, immunopathology, or facilitation of helminth establishment. This review provides an overview of the function of granulocytes in helminthic infections. PMID:22360486

  9. Protein Translation Enzyme lysyl-tRNA Synthetase Presents a New Target for Drug Development against Causative Agents of Loiasis and Schistosomiasis.

    Arvind Sharma

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Helminth parasites are an assemblage of two major phyla of nematodes (also known as roundworms and platyhelminths (also called flatworms. These parasites are a major human health burden, and infections caused by helminths are considered under neglected tropical diseases (NTDs. These infections are typified by limited clinical treatment options and threat of drug resistance. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs are vital enzymes that decode genetic information and enable protein translation. The specific inhibition of pathogen aaRSs bores well for development of next generation anti-parasitics. Here, we have identified and annotated aaRSs and accessory proteins from Loa loa (nematode and Schistosoma mansoni (flatworm to provide a glimpse of these protein translation enzymes within these parasites. Using purified parasitic lysyl-tRNA synthetases (KRSs, we developed series of assays that address KRS enzymatic activity, oligomeric states, crystal structure and inhibition profiles. We show that L. loa and S. mansoni KRSs are potently inhibited by the fungal metabolite cladosporin. Our co-crystal structure of Loa loa KRS-cladosporin complex reveals key interacting residues and provides a platform for structure-based drug development. This work hence provides a new direction for both novel target discovery and inhibitor development against eukaryotic pathogens that include L. loa and S. mansoni.

  10. Molecular characterization and expression profile of nanos in Schistosoma japonicum and its influence on the expression several mammalian stem cell factors.

    Giri, Bikash Ranjan; Du, Xiaoli; Xia, Tianqi; Chen, Yongjun; Li, Hao; Cheng, Guofeng

    2017-07-01

    Pluripotent stem cells, called neoblasts, are well known for the regenerative capability and developmental plasticity in flatworms. Impressive advancement has been made in free-living flatworms, while in case of its parasitic counterpart, neoblast-like stem cells have attracted recent attention for its self-renewal and differentiation capacity. Nanos is a key conserved post-transcriptional regulator critical for the formation, development, and/or maintenance of the pluripotent germ line stem cell systems in many metazoans including schistosomes. In the present study, we report the molecular cloning and expression of nanos orthologous genes nanos in Schistosoma japonicum (Sjnanos). The cDNA of Sjnanos is 826 bp long, containing an open reading frame (ORF) for 223 amino acid long protein. qRT-PCR analysis shown that Sjnanos was differently expressed in several stages of schistosomes with relatively high level in schistosomula. Additionally, Sjnanos was expressed highly in adult females compared to adult males. Transfection of recombinant plasmid for expressing Sjnanos resulted in significant proliferation and increased expression of several stem cell factors in mammalian cells. Overall, our preliminary study provides the molecular basis to further functionally characterize Sjnanos in S. japonicum.

  11. Protein Translation Enzyme lysyl-tRNA Synthetase Presents a New Target for Drug Development against Causative Agents of Loiasis and Schistosomiasis.

    Sharma, Arvind; Sharma, Manmohan; Yogavel, Manickam; Sharma, Amit

    2016-11-01

    Helminth parasites are an assemblage of two major phyla of nematodes (also known as roundworms) and platyhelminths (also called flatworms). These parasites are a major human health burden, and infections caused by helminths are considered under neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These infections are typified by limited clinical treatment options and threat of drug resistance. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are vital enzymes that decode genetic information and enable protein translation. The specific inhibition of pathogen aaRSs bores well for development of next generation anti-parasitics. Here, we have identified and annotated aaRSs and accessory proteins from Loa loa (nematode) and Schistosoma mansoni (flatworm) to provide a glimpse of these protein translation enzymes within these parasites. Using purified parasitic lysyl-tRNA synthetases (KRSs), we developed series of assays that address KRS enzymatic activity, oligomeric states, crystal structure and inhibition profiles. We show that L. loa and S. mansoni KRSs are potently inhibited by the fungal metabolite cladosporin. Our co-crystal structure of Loa loa KRS-cladosporin complex reveals key interacting residues and provides a platform for structure-based drug development. This work hence provides a new direction for both novel target discovery and inhibitor development against eukaryotic pathogens that include L. loa and S. mansoni.

  12. Immunoenzymatic visualization of tetrodotoxin (TTX) in Cephalothrix species (Nemertea: Anopla: Palaeonemertea: Cephalotrichidae) and Planocera reticulata (Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria: Polycladida: Planoceridae).

    Tanu, Mohosena Begum; Mahmud, Yahia; Arakawa, Osamu; Takatani, Tomohiro; Kajihara, Hiroshi; Kawatsu, Kentaro; Hamano, Yonekazu; Asakawa, Manabu; Miyazawa, Keisuke; Noguchi, Tamao

    2004-10-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) was localized as brown color in different tissues of an undescribed species of the nemertean genus Cephalothrix (phylum Nemertea) and a turbellarian Planocera reticulata (phylum Platyhelminthes) on light microscopy by means of a monoclonal anti-TTX antibody. In the Cephalothrix sp., TTX was recognized in the vesicles apically arranged in the bacillary cells in the epidermis, basal lamina, the granular cells in the proboscis epithelium, rhynchocoel epithelium, and the vesicles in the basal portion of the intestinal wall near the blood vessels and rhynchocoel. The excretory system and the ovum also showed positive reaction of TTX antigen-antibody. On the other hand, the hermaphrodite flatworm P. reticulata exhibited TTX antigen-antibody complex only in their ovum. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental effort on micro-distribution of TTX in invertebrates.

  13. Stenostomum cf. leucops (Platyhelminthes in Thailand: a surface observation using scanning electron microscopy and phylogenetic analysis based on 18S ribosomal DNA sequences

    Arin Ngamniyom

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The genus Stenostomum contains small turbellaria that are widely distributed in freshwater environments worldwide. However, there are only rare reports or studies of this genus from Thailand. Therefore, the objective of this study was to report S. cf. leucops in Thailand collected from Pathum Thani Province. The worm morphology and surface topography using scanning electron microscopy were determined. Moreover, the phylogenetic tree of S. cf. leucops was analysed with 17 flatworms based on the 18S ribosomal DNA sequences. The phylogenetic relationship shared a common ancestry of Catenulida species, and S. cf. leucops displayed a monophyletic pattern within Stenostomum spp. The results of the morphological and molecular data are discussed. These results may increase the knowledge of freshwater microturbellarians in Thailand.

  14. Counter-insurgents of the blue revolution? Parasites and diseases affecting aquaculture and science.

    Blaylock, Reginald B; Bullard, Stephen A

    2014-12-01

    Aquaculture is the fastest-growing segment of food production and is expected to supply a growing portion of animal protein for consumption by humans. Because industrial aquaculture developed only recently compared to industrial agriculture, its development occurred within the context of a growing environmental awareness and acknowledgment of environmental issues associated with industrial farming. As such, parasites and diseases have become central criticisms of commercial aquaculture. This focus on parasites and diseases, however, has created a nexus of opportunities for research that has facilitated considerable scientific advances in the fields of parasitology and aquaculture. This paper reviews Myxobolus cerebralis , Lepeophtheirus salmonis , white spot syndrome virus, and assorted flatworms as select marquee aquaculture pathogens, summarizes the status of the diseases caused by each and their impacts on aquaculture, and highlights some of the significant contributions these pathogens have made to the science of parasitology and aquaculture.

  15. Cholinergic, serotoninergic and peptidergic components of the nervous system of Discocotyle sagittata (Monogenea:Polyopisthocotylea).

    Cable, J; Marks, N J; Halton, D W; Shaw, C; Johnston, C F; Tinsley, R C; Gannicott, A M

    1996-12-01

    Cholinergic, serotoninergic (5-HT) and peptidergic neuronal pathways have been demonstrated in both central and peripheral nervous systems of adult Discocotyle sagittata, using enzyme histochemistry and indirect immunocytochemistry in conjunction with confocal scanning laser microscopy. Antisera to 2 native flatworm neuropeptides, neuropeptide F and the FMRFamide-related peptide (FaRP), GNFFRFamide, were employed to detect peptide immunoreactivity. The CNS is composed of paired cerebral ganglia and connecting dorsal commissure, together with several paired longitudinal nerve cords. The main longitudinal nerve cords (lateral, ventral and dorsal) are interconnected at intervals by a series of annular cross-connectives, producing a ladder-like arrangement typical of the platyhelminth nervous system. At the level of the haptor, the ventral cords provide nerve roots which innervate each of the 9 clamps. Cholinergic and peptidergic neuronal organisation was similar, but distinct from that of the serotoninergic components. The PNS and reproductive system are predominantly innervated by peptidergic neurones.

  16. Angiogenesis in Schistosoma haematobium-associated urinary bladder cancer.

    Dematei, Anderson; Fernandes, Rúben; Soares, Raquel; Alves, Helena; Richter, Joachim; Botelho, Monica C

    2017-12-01

    Schistosoma haematobium, a parasitic flatworm that infects more than 100 million people, mostly in the developing world, is the causative agent of urogenital schistosomiasis, and is associated with a high incidence of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the bladder. During infection, eggs are deposited in the bladder causing an intense inflammatory reaction. Angiogenesis is defined as the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting ones and is recognized as a key event in cell proliferation and carcinogenesis and spread of malignant lesions. A growing amount of evidence points to angiogenesis playing a key role in schistosomiasis-associated bladder cancer. Thus, identifying biomarkers of this process plays an important role in the study of cancer. Here, we review recent findings on the role of angiogenesis in bladder cancer and the growth factors that induce and assist in their development, particularly SCC of the bladder associated to urogenital schistosomiasis. © 2017 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Proteomic analysis of Taenia hydatigena cyst fluid reveals unique internal microenvironment.

    Zheng, Yadong

    2017-12-01

    Taenia hydatigena is a parasitic flatworm that is widely distributed around the world. Using MS/MS, the proteome of T. hydatigena cyst fluid (CF) was profiled and a total of 520 proteins were identified, 430 of which were of sheep origin. T. hydatigena shared 37 parasite-origin and 109 host-origin CF proteins with Echinococcus granulosus. Compared with E. granulosus, T. hydatigena had much more CF proteins associated with amino acid synthesis and complement cascades. In addition, glutamate metabolism and anti-oxidative reactions were identified as relatively more important events. These results suggest that T. hydatigena metacestodes have internal microenvironment with special immune and oxidative conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Helminth infections in domestic dogs from Russia

    T. V. Moskvina

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Dogs are the hosts for a wide helminth spectrum including tapeworms, flatworms, and nematodes. These parasites affect the dog health and cause morbidity and mortality, especially in young and old animals. Some species, as Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma caninum, Dipylidium caninum, and Echinococcus spp. are well-known zoonotic parasites worldwide, resulting in high public health risks. Poor data about canine helminth species and prevalence are available in Russia, mainly due to the absence of official guidelines for the control of dog parasites. Moreover, the consequent low quality of veterinary monitoring and use of preventive measures, the high rate of environmental contamination by dog feces and the increase of stray dog populations, make the control of the environmental contamination by dog helminths very difficult in this country. This paper reviews the knowledge on canine helminth fauna and prevalence in Russia. Practical aspects related to diagnosis, treatment, and control of parasitic diseases of dogs in Russia are discussed.

  19. Echinococcus granulosus fatty acid binding proteins subcellular localization.

    Alvite, Gabriela; Esteves, Adriana

    2016-05-01

    Two fatty acid binding proteins, EgFABP1 and EgFABP2, were isolated from the parasitic platyhelminth Echinococcus granulosus. These proteins bind fatty acids and have particular relevance in flatworms since de novo fatty acids synthesis is absent. Therefore platyhelminthes depend on the capture and intracellular distribution of host's lipids and fatty acid binding proteins could participate in lipid distribution. To elucidate EgFABP's roles, we investigated their intracellular distribution in the larval stage by a proteomic approach. Our results demonstrated the presence of EgFABP1 isoforms in cytosolic, nuclear, mitochondrial and microsomal fractions, suggesting that these molecules could be involved in several cellular processes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The Alkaloid Ageladine A, Originally Isolated from Marine Sponges, Used for pH-Sensitive Imaging of Transparent Marine Animals

    Ulf Bickmeyer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The brominated pyrrole-imidazole Ageladine A was used for live imaging of the jellyfish (jellies Nausithoe werneri, the sea anemone Metridium senile and the flatworm Macrostomum lignano. The fluorescence properties of Ageladine A allow for estimation of pH values in tissue and organs in living animals. The results showed that Nausithoe werneri had the most acidic areas in the tentacles and close to the mouth (pH 4–6.5, Metridium senile harbours aggregates of high acidity in the tentacles (pH 5 and in Macrostomum lignano, the rhabdoids, the gonads and areas close to the mouth were the most acidic with values down to pH 5.

  1. Sperm transfer in monogenean (platyhelminth) parasites.

    Kearn, Graham; Whittington, Ian

    2015-12-01

    There are three major groups of parasitic platyhelminths (flatworms). The digeneans and cestodes are endoparasites, while the monogeneans are ectoparasites mostly on the gills or skin of fishes. Monogeneans are hermaphrodite and, with the exception of the gyrodactylids, mostly protandrous, the male reproductive system maturing before the female system. Their ectoparasitic life-style provides unique opportunities to observe the reproductive biology of living platyhelminths, opportunities restricted in digeneans and cestodes by their endoparasitic habits. Moreover, the male copulatory organs (MCOs) of monogeneans are of special interest because of their perplexing diversity, ranging from sclerotised penis tubes, many with accessory sclerites, to cirruses and genital atrium armature (hooks and spines). The relatively few accounts in the literature of mating in monogeneans are reproduced in this review, together with consideration of the following aspects of sperm transfer: structure and function of MCOs; self-insemination; spermatophores and pseudospermatophores; "hypodermic" and transtegumental insemination; tissue fusion; glands associated with MCOs and vaginae; finding a mating partner.

  2. Double blow: Alien crayfish infected with invasive temnocephalan in South African waters

    Louis du Preez

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Trade in live, freshwater crayfish for ornamental markets, as well as for aquaculture, has grown rapidly and has become the major pathway for the introduction of non-indigenous crayfish species to several countries worldwide. Here we report on the first record of the Australian "redclaw" Cherax quadracarinatus in the natural waters of a game reserve in South Africa. To compound the situation, these redclaw crayfish were infected with a non-indigenous temnocephalan flatworm parasite. Both crayfish and temnocephalan were in full breeding condition, with young. Further spreading of this crayfish to the subtropical, water-rich, northern KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa and southern Mozambique is predicted. Not only might the crayfish compete with indigenous aquatic invertebrates but the non-host-specific temnocephalan might transfer to local decapods, such as freshwater crabs.

  3. Helminth infections in domestic dogs from Russia

    Moskvina, T. V.; Ermolenko, A. V.

    2016-01-01

    Dogs are the hosts for a wide helminth spectrum including tapeworms, flatworms, and nematodes. These parasites affect the dog health and cause morbidity and mortality, especially in young and old animals. Some species, as Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma caninum, Dipylidium caninum, and Echinococcus spp. are well-known zoonotic parasites worldwide, resulting in high public health risks. Poor data about canine helminth species and prevalence are available in Russia, mainly due to the absence of official guidelines for the control of dog parasites. Moreover, the consequent low quality of veterinary monitoring and use of preventive measures, the high rate of environmental contamination by dog feces and the increase of stray dog populations, make the control of the environmental contamination by dog helminths very difficult in this country. This paper reviews the knowledge on canine helminth fauna and prevalence in Russia. Practical aspects related to diagnosis, treatment, and control of parasitic diseases of dogs in Russia are discussed. PMID:27956777

  4. Eye Absence Does Not Regulate Planarian Stem Cells during Eye Regeneration.

    LoCascio, Samuel A; Lapan, Sylvain W; Reddien, Peter W

    2017-02-27

    Dividing cells called neoblasts contain pluripotent stem cells and drive planarian flatworm regeneration from diverse injuries. A long-standing question is whether neoblasts directly sense and respond to the identity of missing tissues during regeneration. We used the eye to investigate this question. Surprisingly, eye removal was neither sufficient nor necessary for neoblasts to increase eye progenitor production. Neoblasts normally increase eye progenitor production following decapitation, facilitating regeneration. Eye removal alone, however, did not induce this response. Eye regeneration following eye-specific resection resulted from homeostatic rates of eye progenitor production and less cell death in the regenerating eye. Conversely, large head injuries that left eyes intact increased eye progenitor production. Large injuries also non-specifically increased progenitor production for multiple uninjured tissues. We propose a model for eye regeneration in which eye tissue production by planarian stem cells is not directly regulated by the absence of the eye itself. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. A prefoldin-associated WD-repeat protein (WDR92) is required for the correct architectural assembly of motile cilia

    Patel-King, Ramila S.; King, Stephen M.

    2016-01-01

    WDR92 is a highly conserved WD-repeat protein that has been proposed to be involved in apoptosis and also to be part of a prefoldin-like cochaperone complex. We found that WDR92 has a phylogenetic signature that is generally compatible with it playing a role in the assembly or function of specifically motile cilia. To test this hypothesis, we performed an RNAi-based knockdown of WDR92 gene expression in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea and were able to achieve a robust reduction in mRNA expression to levels undetectable under our standard RT-PCR conditions. We found that this treatment resulted in a dramatic reduction in the rate of organismal movement that was caused by a switch in the mode of locomotion from smooth, cilia-driven gliding to muscle-based, peristaltic contractions. Although the knockdown animals still assembled cilia of normal length and in similar numbers to controls, these structures had reduced beat frequency and did not maintain hydrodynamic coupling. By transmission electron microscopy we observed that many cilia had pleiomorphic defects in their architecture, including partial loss of dynein arms, incomplete closure of the B-tubule, and occlusion or replacement of the central pair complex by accumulated electron-dense material. These observations suggest that WDR92 is part of a previously unrecognized cytoplasmic chaperone system that is specifically required to fold key components necessary to build motile ciliary axonemes. PMID:26912790

  6. Dissecting the function of Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase complex genes in planarian regeneration.

    Strand, Nicholas S; Allen, John M; Ghulam, Mahjoobah; Taylor, Matthew R; Munday, Roma K; Carrillo, Melissa; Movsesyan, Artem; Zayas, Ricardo M

    2018-01-15

    The ubiquitin system plays a role in nearly every aspect of eukaryotic cell biology. The enzymes responsible for transferring ubiquitin onto specific substrates are the E3 ubiquitin ligases, a large and diverse family of proteins, for which biological roles and target substrates remain largely undefined. Studies using model organisms indicate that ubiquitin signaling mediates key steps in developmental processes and tissue regeneration. Here, we used the freshwater planarian, Schmidtea mediterranea, to investigate the role of Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase (CRL) complexes in stem cell regulation during regeneration. We identified six S. mediterranea cullin genes, and used RNAi to uncover roles for homologs of Cullin-1, -3 and -4 in planarian regeneration. The cullin-1 RNAi phenotype included defects in blastema formation, organ regeneration, lesions, and lysis. To further investigate the function of cullin-1-mediated cellular processes in planarians, we examined genes encoding the adaptor protein Skp1 and F-box substrate-recognition proteins that are predicted to partner with Cullin-1. RNAi against skp1 resulted in phenotypes similar to cullin-1 RNAi, and an RNAi screen of the F-box genes identified 19 genes that recapitulated aspects of cullin-1 RNAi, including ones that in mammals are involved in stem cell regulation and cancer biology. Our data provides evidence that CRLs play discrete roles in regenerative processes and provide a platform to investigate how CRLs regulate stem cells in vivo. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Orthogonal muscle fibres have different instructive roles in planarian regeneration.

    Scimone, M Lucila; Cote, Lauren E; Reddien, Peter W

    2017-11-30

    The ability to regenerate missing body parts exists throughout the animal kingdom. Positional information is crucial for regeneration, but how it is harboured and used by differentiated tissues is poorly understood. In planarians, positional information has been identified from study of phenotypes caused by RNA interference in which the wrong tissues are regenerated. For example, inhibition of the Wnt signalling pathway leads to regeneration of heads in place of tails. Characterization of these phenotypes has led to the identification of position control genes (PCGs)-genes that are expressed in a constitutive and regional manner and are associated with patterning. Most PCGs are expressed within planarian muscle; however, how muscle is specified and how different muscle subsets affect regeneration is unknown. Here we show that different muscle fibres have distinct regulatory roles during regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. myoD is required for formation of a specific muscle cell subset: the longitudinal fibres, oriented along the anterior-posterior axis. Loss of longitudinal fibres led to complete regeneration failure because of defects in regeneration initiation. A different transcription factor-encoding gene, nkx1-1, is required for the formation of circular fibres, oriented along the medial-lateral axis. Loss of circular fibres led to a bifurcated anterior-posterior axis with fused heads forming in single anterior blastemas. Whereas muscle is often viewed as a strictly contractile tissue, these findings reveal that different muscle types have distinct and specific regulatory roles in wound signalling and patterning to enable regeneration.

  8. Loss of DNA mismatch repair imparts a selective advantage in planarian adult stem cells.

    Jessica P Hollenbach

    Full Text Available Lynch syndrome (LS leads to an increased risk of early-onset colorectal and other types of cancer and is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR genes. Loss of MMR function results in a mutator phenotype that likely underlies its role in tumorigenesis. However, loss of MMR also results in the elimination of a DNA damage-induced checkpoint/apoptosis activation barrier that may allow damaged cells to grow unchecked. A fundamental question is whether loss of MMR provides pre-cancerous stem cells an immediate selective advantage in addition to establishing a mutator phenotype. To test this hypothesis in an in vivo system, we utilized the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea which contains a significant population of identifiable adult stem cells. We identified a planarian homolog of human MSH2, a MMR gene which is mutated in 38% of LS cases. The planarian Smed-msh2 is expressed in stem cells and some progeny. We depleted Smed-msh2 mRNA levels by RNA-interference and found a striking survival advantage in these animals treated with a cytotoxic DNA alkylating agent compared to control animals. We demonstrated that this tolerance to DNA damage is due to the survival of mitotically active, MMR-deficient stem cells. Our results suggest that loss of MMR provides an in vivo survival advantage to the stem cell population in the presence of DNA damage that may have implications for tumorigenesis.

  9. Cytosine methylation is a conserved epigenetic feature found throughout the phylum Platyhelminthes

    2013-01-01

    Background The phylum Platyhelminthes (flatworms) contains an important group of bilaterian organisms responsible for many debilitating and chronic infectious diseases of human and animal populations inhabiting the planet today. In addition to their biomedical and veterinary relevance, some platyhelminths are also frequently used models for understanding tissue regeneration and stem cell biology. Therefore, the molecular (genetic and epigenetic) characteristics that underlie trophic specialism, pathogenicity or developmental maturation are likely to be pivotal in our continued studies of this important metazoan group. Indeed, in contrast to earlier studies that failed to detect evidence of cytosine or adenine methylation in parasitic flatworm taxa, our laboratory has recently defined a critical role for cytosine methylation in Schistosoma mansoni oviposition, egg maturation and ovarian development. Thus, in order to identify whether this epigenetic modification features in other platyhelminth species or is a novelty of S. mansoni, we conducted a study simultaneously surveying for DNA methylation machinery components and DNA methylation marks throughout the phylum using both parasitic and non-parasitic representatives. Results Firstly, using both S. mansoni DNA methyltransferase 2 (SmDNMT2) and methyl-CpG binding domain protein (SmMBD) as query sequences, we illustrate that essential DNA methylation machinery components are well conserved throughout the phylum. Secondly, using both molecular (methylation specific amplification polymorphism, MSAP) and immunological (enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay, ELISA) methodologies, we demonstrate that representative species (Echinococcus multilocularis, Protopolystoma xenopodis, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum, Fasciola hepatica and Polycelis nigra) within all four platyhelminth classes (Cestoda, Monogenea, Trematoda and ‘Turbellaria’) contain methylated cytosines within their genome compartments

  10. The small RNA complement of adult Schistosoma haematobium.

    Andreas J Stroehlein

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma cause schistosomiasis-a neglected tropical disease (NTD that affects more than 200 million people worldwide. Studies of schistosome genomes have improved our understanding of the molecular biology of flatworms, but most of them have focused largely on protein-coding genes. Small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs have been explored in selected schistosome species and are suggested to play essential roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of genes, and in modulating flatworm-host interactions. However, genome-wide small RNA data are currently lacking for key schistosomes including Schistosoma haematobium-the causative agent of urogenital schistosomiasis of humans.MicroRNAs (miRNAs and other sncRNAs of male and female adults of S. haematobium and small RNA transcription levels were explored by deep sequencing, genome mapping and detailed bioinformatic analyses.In total, 89 transcribed miRNAs were identified in S. haematobium-a similar complement to those reported for the congeners S. mansoni and S. japonicum. Of these miRNAs, 34 were novel, with no homologs in other schistosomes. Most miRNAs (n = 64 exhibited sex-biased transcription, suggestive of roles in sexual differentiation, pairing of adult worms and reproductive processes. Of the sncRNAs that were not miRNAs, some related to the spliceosome (n = 21, biogenesis of other RNAs (n = 3 or ribozyme functions (n = 16, whereas most others (n = 3798 were novel ('orphans' with unknown functions.This study provides the first genome-wide sncRNA resource for S. haematobium, extending earlier studies of schistosomes. The present work should facilitate the future curation and experimental validation of sncRNA functions in schistosomes to enhance our understanding of post-transcriptional gene regulation and of the roles that sncRNAs play in schistosome reproduction, development and parasite-host cross-talk.

  11. Elucidating the transcriptome of Fasciola hepatica - a key to fundamental and biotechnological discoveries for a neglected parasite.

    Young, Neil D; Hall, Ross S; Jex, Aaron R; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Gasser, Robin B

    2010-01-01

    Liver flukes of animals are parasitic flatworms (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) of major socioeconomic importance in many countries. Key representatives, such as Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica, cause "liver fluke disease" (= fascioliasis), which is of major animal health significance worldwide. In particular, F. hepatica is a leading cause of production losses to the livestock (mainly sheep and cattle) and meat industries due to clinical disease, reduced weight gain and milk production, and deaths. This parasite is also a major food-borne pathogen of humans throughout parts of the Middle East, Asia and South America. Currently, there is a significant focus on the development of new approaches for the prevention and control of fascioliasis in livestock. Recent technological advances in genomics and bioinformatics provide unique opportunities for the identification and prevalidation of drug targets and vaccines through a better understanding of the biology of F. hepatica and related species as well as their relationship with their hosts at the molecular level. Surprisingly, despite the widespread socioeconomic impact of fascioliasis, genomic datasets for F. hepatica are scant, limiting the molecular biological research of this parasite. The present article explores specifically the transcriptome of the adult stage of F. hepatica using an integrated genomic-bioinformatic platform. The analysis of the current data reveals numerous molecules of biological relevance, some of which are inferred to be involved in key biological processes or pathways that could serve as targets for new trematocidal drugs or vaccines. Improved insights into the transcriptome of F. hepatica should pave the way for future, comparative analysis of the transcriptomes of other developmental stages of this and related parasites, such as F. gigantica, cancer-causing flatworms (Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini) and blood flukes (Schistosoma mansoni and S. japonicum). Prediction of the

  12. Functional Analysis of the Unique Cytochrome P450 of the Liver Fluke Opisthorchis felineus.

    Mariya Y Pakharukova

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The basic metabolic cytochrome P450 (CYP system is essential for biotransformation of sterols and xenobiotics including drugs, for synthesis and degradation of signaling molecules in all living organisms. Most eukaryotes including free-living flatworms have numerous paralogues of the CYP gene encoding heme monooxygenases with specific substrate range. Notably, by contrast, the parasitic flatworms have only one CYP gene. The role of this enzyme in the physiology and biochemistry of helminths is not known. The flukes and tapeworms are the etiologic agents of major neglected tropical diseases of humanity. Three helminth infections (Opisthorchis viverrini, Clonorchis sinensis and Schistosoma haematobium are considered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC as definite causes of cancer. We focused our research on the human liver fluke Opisthorchis felineus, an emerging source of biliary tract disease including bile duct cancer in Russia and central Europe. The aims of this study were (i to determine the significance of the CYP activity for the morphology and survival of the liver fluke, (ii to assess CYP ability to metabolize xenobiotics, and (iii to localize the CYP activity in O. felineus tissues. We observed high constitutive expression of CYP mRNA (Real-time PCR in O. felineus. This enzyme metabolized xenobiotics selective for mammalian CYP2E1, CYP2B, CYP3A, but not CYP1A, as determined by liquid chromatography and imaging analyses. Tissue localization studies revealed the CYP activity in excretory channels, while suppression of CYP mRNA by RNA interference was accompanied by morphological changes of the excretory system and increased mortality rates of the worms. These results suggest that the CYP function is linked to worm metabolism and detoxification. The findings also suggest that the CYP enzyme is involved in vitally important processes in the organism of parasites and is a potential drug target.

  13. The small RNA complement of adult Schistosoma haematobium.

    Stroehlein, Andreas J; Young, Neil D; Korhonen, Pasi K; Hall, Ross S; Jex, Aaron R; Webster, Bonnie L; Rollinson, David; Brindley, Paul J; Gasser, Robin B

    2018-05-01

    Blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma cause schistosomiasis-a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that affects more than 200 million people worldwide. Studies of schistosome genomes have improved our understanding of the molecular biology of flatworms, but most of them have focused largely on protein-coding genes. Small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) have been explored in selected schistosome species and are suggested to play essential roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of genes, and in modulating flatworm-host interactions. However, genome-wide small RNA data are currently lacking for key schistosomes including Schistosoma haematobium-the causative agent of urogenital schistosomiasis of humans. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and other sncRNAs of male and female adults of S. haematobium and small RNA transcription levels were explored by deep sequencing, genome mapping and detailed bioinformatic analyses. In total, 89 transcribed miRNAs were identified in S. haematobium-a similar complement to those reported for the congeners S. mansoni and S. japonicum. Of these miRNAs, 34 were novel, with no homologs in other schistosomes. Most miRNAs (n = 64) exhibited sex-biased transcription, suggestive of roles in sexual differentiation, pairing of adult worms and reproductive processes. Of the sncRNAs that were not miRNAs, some related to the spliceosome (n = 21), biogenesis of other RNAs (n = 3) or ribozyme functions (n = 16), whereas most others (n = 3798) were novel ('orphans') with unknown functions. This study provides the first genome-wide sncRNA resource for S. haematobium, extending earlier studies of schistosomes. The present work should facilitate the future curation and experimental validation of sncRNA functions in schistosomes to enhance our understanding of post-transcriptional gene regulation and of the roles that sncRNAs play in schistosome reproduction, development and parasite-host cross-talk.

  14. Homology-based annotation of non-coding RNAs in the genomes of Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum

    Santana Clara

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schistosomes are trematode parasites of the phylum Platyhelminthes. They are considered the most important of the human helminth parasites in terms of morbidity and mortality. Draft genome sequences are now available for Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum. Non-coding RNA (ncRNA plays a crucial role in gene expression regulation, cellular function and defense, homeostasis, and pathogenesis. The genome-wide annotation of ncRNAs is a non-trivial task unless well-annotated genomes of closely related species are already available. Results A homology search for structured ncRNA in the genome of S. mansoni resulted in 23 types of ncRNAs with conserved primary and secondary structure. Among these, we identified rRNA, snRNA, SL RNA, SRP, tRNAs and RNase P, and also possibly MRP and 7SK RNAs. In addition, we confirmed five miRNAs that have recently been reported in S. japonicum and found two additional homologs of known miRNAs. The tRNA complement of S. mansoni is comparable to that of the free-living planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, although for some amino acids differences of more than a factor of two are observed: Leu, Ser, and His are overrepresented, while Cys, Meth, and Ile are underrepresented in S. mansoni. On the other hand, the number of tRNAs in the genome of S. japonicum is reduced by more than a factor of four. Both schistosomes have a complete set of minor spliceosomal snRNAs. Several ncRNAs that are expected to exist in the S. mansoni genome were not found, among them the telomerase RNA, vault RNAs, and Y RNAs. Conclusion The ncRNA sequences and structures presented here represent the most complete dataset of ncRNA from any lophotrochozoan reported so far. This data set provides an important reference for further analysis of the genomes of schistosomes and indeed eukaryotic genomes at large.

  15. To Each His Own

    Carter, Jason A.; Lind, Christine H.; Truong, M. Phuong; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2015-10-01

    Planarians are among the most complex animals with the ability to regenerate complete organisms from small tissue pieces. This ability allows them to reproduce by splitting themselves into a head and a tail piece, making them a rare example of asexual reproduction via transverse fission in multi-cellular organisms. Due to the stochastic nature of long reproductive cycles, which range from days to months, few and primarily qualitative studies have been conducted to understand the reproductive behaviors of asexual planarians. We have executed the largest long-term study on planarian asexual reproduction to date, tracking more than 23,000 reproductive events of three common planarian species found in Europe, North America, and Asia, respectively: Schmidtea mediterranea, Dugesia tigrina, and Dugesia japonica. This unique data collection allowed us to perform a detailed statistical analysis of their reproductive strategies. Since the three species share a similar anatomy and mode of reproduction by transverse division, we were surprised to find that each species had acquired its own distinct strategy for optimizing its reproductive success. We statistically examined each strategy, associated trade-offs, and the potential regulatory mechanisms on the population level. Interestingly, models for cell cycle length regulation in unicellular organisms could be directly applied to describe reproductive cycle lengths of planarians, despite the difference in underlying biological mechanisms. Finally, we examined the ecological implications of each strategy through intra- and inter-species competition experiments and found that D. japonica outcompeted the other two species due to its relatively equal distribution of resources on head and tail pieces, its cannibalistic behaviors and ability to thrive in crowded environments. These results show that this species would pose a serious threat to endogenous planarian populations if accidentally introduced in their habitats.

  16. Community structures of soil animals and survival of land snails on an island of the Ogasawara Archipelago Estruturas de comunidades de animais de solo e sobrevivência dos caracóis terrestres numa ilha do Arquipélago Ogasawara

    Motohiro Hasegawa

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available On Chichijima, one of the Ogasawara (Bonin Islands located in the Western Pacific Ocean, land snails have declined, the suggested cause being predation pressure by an invasive flatworm (Platydemus manokwari. Soil fauna were investigated in areas where the snail survives, and where it has become extinct. Much of the fauna, dominated by introduced earthworms and ants, was undiminished, however, one undescribed but endemic carabid (Badister sp., which selectively feeds on land snails, was absent in snail-extinct areas. The invasive flatworm P. manokwari has been reported to feed also on the carcasses of earthworms, as well as on live snails, and is therefore expected to occur in most parts of Chichijima Island. Among other groups, the density of isopods (also dominated by exotic species was very low, in comparison with the reported ones 30 years ago. Community structure is currently reflected by dominance of earthworms and ants, decline of endemic isopods, and a high frequency of introduced or alien species.Em Chichijima, uma das ilhas do Arquipélago Ogasawara (Bonin, localizado no Oceano Pacífico Ocidental, o número de caracóis terrestres diminuiu, e a causa provável é a predação por uma planária invasora (Platydemus manokwari. A fauna edáfica foi avaliada nas áreas onde o caracol sobreviveu e onde se extinguiu. Grande parte da fauna, dominada inicialmente por minhocas e formigas, não diminuiu; contudo, um carabídeo endêmico e não descrito (Badister sp., que se alimenta de caracóis terrestres, não estava presente nas áreas em que o caracol foi extinto. Sabe-se que a planária invasiva P. manokwari se alimenta não só das carcaças das minhocas, mas também de caracóis vivos, e por isso habita a maior parte da Ilha Chichijima. Entre outros grupos, a densidade de isópodos (também dominados por espécies exóticas foi muita baixa, em comparação aos relatos feitos 30 anos antes. A estrutura da comunidade é refletida atualmente

  17. Two new species of Syndesmis (Platyhelminthes, Rhabdocoela, Umagillidae from the sea urchin Pseudechinus magellanicus (Echinodermata, Echinoidea in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean

    Francisco Brusa

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we describe two new species of Syndesmis living in Pseudechinus magellanicus in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. The new species have a long stylet in the male reproductive system, which is different from that of the known species of the genus. Specimens of Syndesmis selknami n. sp. have a ∼220-μm-long stylet (∼1/3 of the body length, 0.69 mm. This ratio is unique because only four species (Syndesmis echinorum, Syndesmis rubida, Syndesmis inconspicua and Syndesmis echiniacuti have similar stylet lengths but are larger in body sizes (3–5 mm. Specimens of Syndesmis aonikenki n. sp. have a ∼148-μm-long stylet (∼1/10 of the body length, 1.11 mm. Syndesmis pallida has a similar ratio but the uterus is located posteriorly, and the filament glands are very small and located in the posterior region of the body. These are the first flatworms reported parasitizing Pseudechinus magellanicus.

  18. [Molecular phylogeny of Turbellaria, based on data from comparing the nucleotide sequences of 18S ribosomal RNA genes].

    Kuznedelov, K D; Timoshkin, O A

    1995-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing of the 5'-end region of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene were used to infer phylogenetic relationship among turbellarian flatworms from Lake Baikal. Representatives of 5 orders (Tricladida--10 spp., Lecithoepitheliata--5 spp., Prolecithophora--3 spp., Proseriata and Kalyptorhynchia one for each) were studied; nucleotide sequence of more than 340 nucleotides was determined for each species. Consensus sequence for each order having more than one representative species was determined. Distance matrix and maximum parsimony approaches were applied to infer phylogenies. Bootstrap procedure was used to estimate confidence limits, at the 100% level by bootstrapping, the group of three orders: Kalyptorhynchia, Proseriata and Lecithoepitheliata was found to be monophyletic. However, subsets inside the group had no significant support to be preferred or rejected. Our data do not support traditional systematics which joins two suborders Tricladida and Proseriata into the single order Seriata, and also do not support comparative anatomical data which show close relationship of Lecithoepitheliata and lower Prolecithophora.

  19. A robust molecular phylogeny of the Tricladida (Platyhelminthes: Seriata) with a discussion on morphological synapomorphies.

    Carranza, S; Littlewood, D T; Clough, K A; Ruiz-Trillo, I; Baguñà, J; Riutort, M

    1998-01-01

    The suborder Tricladida (Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria, Seriata) comprises most well-known species of free-living flatworms. Four infraorders are recognized: (i) the Maricola (marine planarians); (ii) the Cavernicola (a group of primarily cavernicolan planarians); (iii) the Paludicola (freshwater planarians); and (iv) the Terricola (land planarians). The phylogenetic relationships among these infraorders have been analysed using morphological characters, but they remain uncertain. Here we analyse the phylogeny and classification of the Tricladida, with additional, independent, molecular data from complete sequences of 18S rDNA and 18S rRNA. We use maximum parsimony and neighbour-joining methods and the characterization of a unique gene duplication event involving the Terricola and the dugesiids to reconstruct the phylogeny. The results show that the Maricola is monophyletic and is the primitive sister group to the rest of the Tricladida (the Paludicola plus the Terricola). The Paludicola are paraphyletic since the Terricola and one paludicolan family, the Dugesiidae, share a more recent common ancestor than the dugesiids with other paludicolans (dendrocoelids and planariids). A reassessment of morphological evidence may confirm the apparent redundancy of the existing infraorders Paludicola and Terricola. In the meantime, we suggest replacing the Paludicola and Terricola with a new clade, the Continenticola, which comprises the families Dugesiidae, Planariidae, Dendrocoelidae and the Terricola. PMID:9881470

  20. Freshwater gastropods in the Northern littoral mesoregion of Espírito Santo, Brazil

    Marco Antônio Andrade de Souza

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Studies on the distribution of molluscs in Brazilhave been conducted since the beginning of the twentieth and the knowledge of the species distributed in the country represent important findings, which contribute to the understanding of human diseases and those of veterinary importance, transmitted by them. In order to verify the distribution of freshwater gastropods in Espírito Santo, a malacological surveywas carried out in nine municipalities that comprise the Northern mesoregion of the State, between January 2010 and February 2015. Initially the water collections occurring in the municipality were verified and the lotic systems at different levels of use and conservation were determined. Molluscs were collected monthly using a hand net adapted to a stick steel. An individual sample effort of 30 minutes was applied, by scanning, at about ten meters in each one of the selected habitats. A total of 6,000 specimens were collected, represented by genera Melanoides, Drepanotrema, Physa, Biomphalaria and Pomacea. Among the molluscs, some specimens were positive for flatworm larvae of medical and veterinary importance. The results contributed to the knowledge of the current distribution of freshwater gastropods in the Northern region of Espírito Santo whose the only record for the region dates back to 1983.

  1. Relapse to cocaine seeking in an invertebrate.

    Amaning-Kwarteng, Akua O; Asif-Malik, Aman; Pei, Yue; Canales, Juan J

    2017-06-01

    Addiction is characterised by cycles of compulsive drug taking, periods of abstinence and episodes of relapse. The extinction/reinstatement paradigm has been extensively used in rodents to model human relapse and explore underlying mechanisms and therapeutics. However, relapse to drug seeking behaviour has not been previously demonstrated in invertebrates. Here, we used a cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm in the flatworm, planarian, followed by extinction and reinstatement of drug seeking. Once baseline preference was established for one of two distinctly textured environments (i.e. compartments with a coarse or smooth surface), planarian received pairings of cocaine (5μM) in the non-preferred, and vehicle in the most preferred, environment, and were tested for conditioning thereafter. Cocaine produced robust CPP, measured as a significant increase in the time spent in the cocaine-paired compartment. Subsequently, planarian underwent extinction training, reverting back to their original preference within three sessions. Brief exposure to cocaine (5μM) or methamphetamine (5μM) reinstated cocaine-seeking behaviour. By contrast, the high affinity dopamine transporter inhibitor, (N-(n-butyl)-3α-[bis (4-fluorophenyl) methoxy]-tropane) (JHW007), which in rodents exhibits a neurochemical and behavioural profile distinct from cocaine, was ineffective. The present findings demonstrate for the first time reinstatement of extinguished cocaine seeking in an invertebrate model and suggest that the long-term adaptations underlying drug conditioning and relapse are highly conserved through evolution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Effect of gamma irradiation on different stages of Fasciola hepatica

    Torres, J.L.; Chiriboga, J.

    1976-04-01

    Fascioliasis or hepatic distomatosis is one of the most widespread liver diseases throughout the world. It is caused by a parasitic worm of the class Trematoda of the phylum Platyhelminthes. This flatworm is commonly known as liver-fluke in the United States and Europe; babosa del higado in Cuba; cucaracha del higado in Puerto Rico; saguaype in Argentina and Chile; pirihuin in Chile; yuta in North Chile, and it is taxonomically classified as Fasciola hepatica. The adult trematode is a common parasite of warm blooded animals especially cattle, sheep, and goats. Alterations in the viability of normal Fasciola hepatica metacercariae as a result of time of storage at 4/sup 0/C were studied by the method of Wikerhauser (1960). A significant decrease in viability was observed only after one hundred days of storage. The in vitro viability of normal metacercariae was compared with that of metacercariae that were exposed to increasing ..gamma.. radiation doses. Two plainly opposite effects observed were: the activation of the excystation process by the lower radiation doses (1.5 and 2.5 Kr), an effect that persisted up to the 14th day post-radiation, and the impairment of the process evidenced on the 14th day in the metacercariae exposed to 3.5 and 5.0 Kr. Correlation between liver damage and the increasing radiation doses to which the metacercariae were exposed was studied up to 34 days after the oral inoculation in rats. (auth)

  3. Complete Sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta: Gene arrangements indicate that platyhelminths are eutrochozoans

    von Nickisch-Rosenegk, Markus; Brown, Wesley M.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2001-01-01

    Using ''long-PCR'' we have amplified in overlapping fragments the complete mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) and determined its 13,900 nucleotide sequence. The gene content is the same as that typically found for animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) except that atp8 appears to be lacking, a condition found previously for several other animals. Despite the small size of this mtDNA, there are two large non-coding regions, one of which contains 13 repeats of a 31 nucleotide sequence and a potential stem-loop structure of 25 base pairs with an 11-member loop. Large potential secondary structures are identified also for the non-coding regions of two other cestode mtDNAs. Comparison of the mitochondrial gene arrangement of H. diminuta with those previously published supports a phylogenetic position of flatworms as members of the Eutrochozoa, rather than being basal to either a clade of protostomes or a clade of coelomates.

  4. Planarians Sense Simulated Microgravity and Hypergravity

    Teresa Adell

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Planarians are flatworms, which belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes. They have been a classical subject of study due to their amazing regenerative ability, which relies on the existence of adult totipotent stem cells. Nowadays they are an emerging model system in the field of developmental, regenerative, and stem cell biology. In this study we analyze the effect of a simulated microgravity and a hypergravity environment during the process of planarian regeneration and embryogenesis. We demonstrate that simulated microgravity by means of the random positioning machine (RPM set at a speed of 60 °/s but not at 10 °/s produces the dead of planarians. Under hypergravity of 3 g and 4 g in a large diameter centrifuge (LDC planarians can regenerate missing tissues, although a decrease in the proliferation rate is observed. Under 8 g hypergravity small planarian fragments are not able to regenerate. Moreover, we found an effect of gravity alterations in the rate of planarian scission, which is its asexual mode of reproduction. No apparent effects of altered gravity were found during the embryonic development.

  5. Application of Computational Methods in Planaria Research: A Current Update

    Ghosh Shyamasree

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Planaria is a member of the Phylum Platyhelminthes including flatworms. Planarians possess the unique ability of regeneration from adult stem cells or neoblasts and finds importance as a model organism for regeneration and developmental studies. Although research is being actively carried out globally through conventional methods to understand the process of regeneration from neoblasts, biology of development, neurobiology and immunology of Planaria, there are many thought provoking questions related to stem cell plasticity, and uniqueness of regenerative potential in Planarians amongst other members of Phylum Platyhelminthes. The complexity of receptors and signalling mechanisms, immune system network, biology of repair, responses to injury are yet to be understood in Planaria. Genomic and transcriptomic studies have generated a vast repository of data, but their availability and analysis is a challenging task. Data mining, computational approaches of gene curation, bioinformatics tools for analysis of transcriptomic data, designing of databases, application of algorithms in deciphering changes of morphology by RNA interference (RNAi approaches, understanding regeneration experiments is a new venture in Planaria research that is helping researchers across the globe in understanding the biology. We highlight the applications of Hidden Markov models (HMMs in designing of computational tools and their applications in Planaria decoding their complex biology.

  6. First evidence that drugs of abuse produce behavioral sensitization and cross-sensitization in planarians

    Rawls, Scott M.; Patil, Tavni; Yuvasheva, Ekaternia; Raffa, Robert B.

    2010-01-01

    Behavioral sensitization in mammals, including humans, is sensitive to factors such as administration route, testing environment, and pharmacokinetic confounds, unrelated to the drugs themselves, that are difficult to eliminate. Simpler animals less susceptible to these confounding influences may be advantageous substitutes for studying sensitization. We tested this hypothesis by determining if planarians display sensitization and cross-sensitization to cocaine and glutamate. Planarian hyperactivity was quantified as the number of C-like hyperkinesias during a 1-min drug exposure. Planarians exposed initially to cocaine (or glutamate) on day 1 were challenged with cocaine (or glutamate) after 2 or 6 days of abstinence. Acute cocaine or glutamate produced concentration-related hyperactivity. Cocaine or glutamate challenge after 2 and 6 days of abstinence enhanced the hyperactivity, indicating the substances produced planarian behavioral sensitization (pBS). Cross-sensitization experiments showed that cocaine produced greater hyperactivity in planarians previously exposed to glutamate than in glutamate-naïve planarians, and vice versa. Behavioral responses were pharmacologically selective because neither scopolamine nor caffeine produced pBS despite causing hyperactivity after initial administration, and acute GABA did not cause hyperactivity. Demonstration of pharmacologically-selective behavioral sensitization in planarians suggests these flatworms represent a sensitive in vivo model to study cocaine behavioral sensitization and to screen potential abuse-deterrent therapeutics. PMID:20512030

  7. RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE DENSITY ESTIMATES OF LAND PLANARIANS (PLATYHELMINTHES, TRICLADIDA IN URBAN RAINFOREST PATCHES

    FERNANDO CARBAYO

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Land planarians (Platyhelminthes are likely important components of the soil cryptofauna, although relevant aspects of their ecology such as their density remain largely unstudied. We investigated absolute and relative densities of flatworms in three patches of secondary Brazilian Atlantic rainforest in an urban environment. Two methods of sampling were carried out, one consisting of 90 hours of active search in delimited plots covering 6,000 m² over a year, and the other consisting of leaf litter extraction from a 60 m² soil area, totaling 480-600 l leaf litter. We found 288 specimens of 16 species belonging to the genera Geobia, Geoplana, Issoca, Luteostriata, Obama, Paraba, Pasipha, Rhynchodemus, Xerapoa, and the exotic species Bipalium kewense and Dolichoplana striata. Specimens up to 10 mm long were mostly sampled only with the leaf litter extraction method. Absolute densities, calculated from data obtained with leaf litter extraction, ranged between 1.25 and 2.10 individuals m-2. These values are 30 to 161 times higher than relative densities, calculated from data obtained by active search. Since most common sampling method used in land planarian studies on species composition and faunal inventories is active search for a few hours in a locality, our results suggest that small species might be overlooked. It remains to be tested whether similar densities of this cryptofauna are also found in primary forests.

  8. Identification of a cytochrome P450 gene in the earthworm Eisenia fetida and its mRNA expression under enrofloxacin stress.

    Li, Yinsheng; Zhao, Chun; Lu, Xiaoxu; Ai, Xiaojie; Qiu, Jiangping

    2018-04-15

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes are a family of hemoproteins primarily responsible for detoxification functions. Earthworms have been used as a bioindicator of soil pollution in numerous studies, but no CYP450 gene has so far been cloned. RT-PCR and RACE-PCR were employed to construct and sequence the CYP450 gene DNA from the extracted mRNA in the earthworm Eisenia fetida. The cloned gene (EW1) has an open reading frame of 477bp. The 3'-terminal region contained both the consensus and the signature sequences characteristic of CYP450. It was closely related to the CYP450 gene from the flatworm genus Opisthorchis felineus with 87% homology. The predicted structure of the putative protein was 97% homologous to human CYP450 family 27. This gene has been deposited in GenBank (accession no. KM881474). Earthworms (E. fetida) were then exposed to 1, 10, 100, and 500mgkg -1 enrofloxacin in soils to explore the mRNA expression by real time qPCR. The effect of enrofloxacin on mRNA expression levels of EW1 exhibited a marked hormesis pattern across the enrofloxacin dose range tested. This is believed to be the first reported CYP450 gene in earthworms, with reference value for molecular studies on detoxification processes in earthworms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The high resolution melting analysis (HRM) as a molecular tool for monitoring parasites of the wildlife.

    Héritier, Laurent; Verneau, Olivier; Breuil, Gregory; Meistertzheim, Anne-Leila

    2017-04-01

    In an interconnected world, the international pet trade on wild animals is becoming increasingly important. As a consequence, non-native parasite species are introduced, which affect the health of wildlife and contribute to the loss of biodiversity. Because the investigation of parasite diversity within vulnerable host species implies the molecular identification of large samples of parasite eggs, the sequencing of DNA barcodes is time-consuming and costly. Thereby, the objectives of our study were to apply the high resolution melting (HRM) approach for species determination from pools of parasite eggs. Molecular assays were validated on flatworm parasites (polystomes) infecting the Mediterranean pond turtle Mauremys leprosa and the invasive red-eared slider Trachemys scripta elegans in French natural environments. HRM analysis results indicated that double or multiple parasitic infections could be detected from wild animal populations. They also showed that the cycle of parasite eggs production was not regular over time and may depend on several factors, among which the ecological niche and the target species. Thereby, monitoring parasites from wild endangered animals implies periodic parasitological surveys to avoid false negative diagnostics, based solely on eggs production.

  10. Helminth Genomics: The Implications for Human Health

    Brindley, Paul J.; Mitreva, Makedonka; Ghedin, Elodie; Lustigman, Sara

    2009-01-01

    More than two billion people (one-third of humanity) are infected with parasitic roundworms or flatworms, collectively known as helminth parasites. These infections cause diseases that are responsible for enormous levels of morbidity and mortality, delays in the physical development of children, loss of productivity among the workforce, and maintenance of poverty. Genomes of the major helminth species that affect humans, and many others of agricultural and veterinary significance, are now the subject of intensive genome sequencing and annotation. Draft genome sequences of the filarial worm Brugia malayi and two of the human schistosomes, Schistosoma japonicum and S. mansoni, are now available, among others. These genome data will provide the basis for a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in helminth nutrition and metabolism, host-dependent development and maturation, immune evasion, and evolution. They are likely also to predict new potential vaccine candidates and drug targets. In this review, we present an overview of these efforts and emphasize the potential impact and importance of these new findings. PMID:19855829

  11. Considering RNAi experimental design in parasitic helminths.

    Dalzell, Johnathan J; Warnock, Neil D; McVeigh, Paul; Marks, Nikki J; Mousley, Angela; Atkinson, Louise; Maule, Aaron G

    2012-04-01

    Almost a decade has passed since the first report of RNA interference (RNAi) in a parasitic helminth. Whilst much progress has been made with RNAi informing gene function studies in disparate nematode and flatworm parasites, substantial and seemingly prohibitive difficulties have been encountered in some species, hindering progress. An appraisal of current practices, trends and ideals of RNAi experimental design in parasitic helminths is both timely and necessary for a number of reasons: firstly, the increasing availability of parasitic helminth genome/transcriptome resources means there is a growing need for gene function tools such as RNAi; secondly, fundamental differences and unique challenges exist for parasite species which do not apply to model organisms; thirdly, the inherent variation in experimental design, and reported difficulties with reproducibility undermine confidence. Ideally, RNAi studies of gene function should adopt standardised experimental design to aid reproducibility, interpretation and comparative analyses. Although the huge variations in parasite biology and experimental endpoints make RNAi experimental design standardization difficult or impractical, we must strive to validate RNAi experimentation in helminth parasites. To aid this process we identify multiple approaches to RNAi experimental validation and highlight those which we deem to be critical for gene function studies in helminth parasites.

  12. Differential antigenic protein recovery from Taenia solium cyst tissues using several detergents.

    Navarrete-Perea, José; Orozco-Ramírez, Rodrigo; Moguel, Bárbara; Sciutto, Edda; Bobes, Raúl J; Laclette, Juan P

    2015-07-01

    Human and porcine cysticercosis is caused by the larval stage of the flatworm Taenia solium (Cestoda). The protein extracts of T. solium cysts are complex mixtures including cyst's and host proteins. Little is known about the influence of using different detergents in the efficiency of solubilization-extraction of these proteins, including relevant antigens. Here, we describe the use of CHAPS, ASB-14 and Triton X-100, alone or in combination in the extraction buffers, as a strategy to notably increase the recovery of proteins that are usually left aside in insoluble fractions of cysts. Using buffer with CHAPS alone, 315 protein spots were detected through 2D-PAGE. A total of 255 and 258 spots were detected using buffers with Triton X-100 or ASB-14, respectively. More protein spots were detected when detergents were combined, i.e., 2% CHAPS, 1% Triton X-100 and 1% ASB-14 allowed detection of up to 368 spots. Our results indicated that insoluble fractions of T. solium cysts were rich in antigens, including several glycoproteins that were sensitive to metaperiodate treatment. Host proteins, a common component in protein extracts of cysts, were present in larger amounts in soluble than insoluble fractions of cysts proteins. Finally, antigens present in the insoluble fraction were more appropriate as a source of antigens for diagnostic procedures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The Zn Finger protein Iguana impacts Hedgehog signaling by promoting ciliogenesis

    Glazer, Andrew; Wilkinson, Alex; Backer, Chelsea B.; Lapan, Sylvain; Gutzman, Jennifer H.; Cheeseman, Iain M.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2009-01-01

    Hedgehog signaling is critical for metazoan development and requires cilia for pathway activity. The gene iguana was discovered in zebrafish as required for Hedgehog signaling, and encodes a novel Zn finger protein. Planarians are flatworms with robust regenerative capacities and that utilize epidermal cilia for locomotion. RNA interference of Smed-iguana in the planarian S. mediterranea caused cilia loss and failure to regenerate new cilia, but did not cause defects similar to those observed in hedgehog(RNAi) animals. Smed-iguana gene expression was also similar in pattern to the expression of multiple other ciliogenesis genes, but was not required for expression of these ciliogenesis genes. iguana-defective zebrafish had too few motile cilia in pronephric ducts and in Kupffer's vesicle. Kupffer's vesicle promotes left-right asymmetry and iguana mutant embryos had left-right asymmetry defects. Finally, human Iguana proteins (dZIP1 and dZIP1L) localize to the basal bodies of primary cilia and, together, are required for primary cilia formation. Our results indicate that a critical and broadly conserved function for Iguana is in ciliogenesis and that this function has come to be required for Hedgehog signaling in vertebrates. PMID:19852954

  14. Automated tracking of animal posture and movement during exploration and sensory orientation behaviors.

    Alex Gomez-Marin

    Full Text Available The nervous functions of an organism are primarily reflected in the behavior it is capable of. Measuring behavior quantitatively, at high-resolution and in an automated fashion provides valuable information about the underlying neural circuit computation. Accordingly, computer-vision applications for animal tracking are becoming a key complementary toolkit to genetic, molecular and electrophysiological characterization in systems neuroscience.We present Sensory Orientation Software (SOS to measure behavior and infer sensory experience correlates. SOS is a simple and versatile system to track body posture and motion of single animals in two-dimensional environments. In the presence of a sensory landscape, tracking the trajectory of the animal's sensors and its postural evolution provides a quantitative framework to study sensorimotor integration. To illustrate the utility of SOS, we examine the orientation behavior of fruit fly larvae in response to odor, temperature and light gradients. We show that SOS is suitable to carry out high-resolution behavioral tracking for a wide range of organisms including flatworms, fishes and mice.Our work contributes to the growing repertoire of behavioral analysis tools for collecting rich and fine-grained data to draw and test hypothesis about the functioning of the nervous system. By providing open-access to our code and documenting the software design, we aim to encourage the adaptation of SOS by a wide community of non-specialists to their particular model organism and questions of interest.

  15. From the roots of parasitology: Hippocrates' first scientific observations in helminthology.

    Trompoukis, Constantinos; German, Vasilios; Falagas, Matthew E

    2007-08-01

    Although knowledge of intestinal parasites predates Hippocrates, the Hippocratic Corpus provides the first scientific observations about the clinical perception and treatment of helminthic diseases. These observations follow the scientific principles of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, who relied on knowledge and observation. This article is based on a systematic study of the Hippocratic texts, and presents observations on diseases caused by intestinal parasites with respect to regularity of appearance, patient age, symptoms, and treatment. Three types of helminths are described: "helmins strongyle" (roundworm), "helmins plateia" (flatworm), and "ascaris" (which corresponds to Enterobius vermicularis). Helminthic diseases primarily appear during childhood, well after teething. The described systemic symptoms include weakness, sickness, discomfort, tiredness, anorexia, and emotional instability; gastrointestinal symptoms include change in bowel movements, vomiting, and colic pain in the epigastrium. We identified several accounts of cases of helminthic diseases in the Hippocratic texts. Of particular interest are the descriptions of a helminth emerging from a fistula in the navel region and the surgical treatment of helminthic diseases, reinforced by being described on a dedicatory inscription at the Asclepion in Epidaurus. We finally encountered the use of powerful purgatives as antihelminthics, which have been widely used, even into the 21st century.

  16. Top Down Proteomics Reveals Mature Proteoforms Expressed in Subcellular Fractions of the Echinococcus granulosus Preadult Stage.

    Lorenzatto, Karina R; Kim, Kyunggon; Ntai, Ioanna; Paludo, Gabriela P; Camargo de Lima, Jeferson; Thomas, Paul M; Kelleher, Neil L; Ferreira, Henrique B

    2015-11-06

    Echinococcus granulosus is the causative agent of cystic hydatid disease, a neglected zoonosis responsible for high morbidity and mortality. Several molecular mechanisms underlying parasite biology remain poorly understood. Here, E. granulosus subcellular fractions were analyzed by top down and bottom up proteomics for protein identification and characterization of co-translational and post-translational modifications (CTMs and PTMs, respectively). Nuclear and cytosolic extracts of E. granulosus protoscoleces were fractionated by 10% GELFrEE and proteins under 30 kDa were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. By top down analysis, 186 proteins and 207 proteoforms were identified, of which 122 and 52 proteoforms were exclusively detected in nuclear and cytosolic fractions, respectively. CTMs were evident as 71% of the proteoforms had methionine excised and 47% were N-terminal acetylated. In addition, in silico internal acetylation prediction coupled with top down MS allowed the characterization of 9 proteins differentially acetylated, including histones. Bottom up analysis increased the overall number of identified proteins in nuclear and cytosolic fractions to 154 and 112, respectively. Overall, our results provided the first description of the low mass proteome of E. granulosus subcellular fractions and highlighted proteoforms with CTMs and PTMS whose characterization may lead to another level of understanding about molecular mechanisms controlling parasitic flatworm biology.

  17. Hydrology, water resources and the epidemiology of water-related diseases

    Bertuzzo, Enrico; Mari, Lorenzo

    2017-10-01

    Water-borne and water-based diseases are infections in which the causative agent (or one of its hosts) spends at least part of its lifecycle in water [1]. They still represent a major threat to human health, especially in the developing world. As an example, diarrhoea, commonly linked to water-borne diseases like cholera, is responsible for the death of about 525,000 children under five every year (out of nearly 1.7 billion cases globally), thus representing one of the leading causes of death among infants and children in low-income countries [2]. A wide range of micro- (protozoa, bacteria, viruses, algae) and macro-parasites (mostly flatworms and roundworms) is associated with water-borne and water-based diseases. Infection is generally caused by ingestion of, or exposure to, contaminated water, and is thus tightly linked to water excess, scarcity, availability or quality. More broadly, the term water-related diseases may also include vector-borne infections in which the ecology of the vector population is closely related to the presence of environmental water. This is the case, for instance, of mosquitoes acting as vectors of deadly diseases like malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever. Malaria alone exacted a toll of 429,000 deaths in 2015 (out of 212 million cases globally), according to the latest WHO estimates [3].

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

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

    2008-10-30

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

  19. Can the behaviour of threespine stickleback parasitized with Schistocephalus solidus be replicated by manipulating host physiology?

    Grécias, Lucie; Hébert, François Olivier; Berger, Chloé Suzanne; Barber, Iain; Aubin-Horth, Nadia

    2017-01-15

    Sticklebacks infected by the parasitic flatworm Schistocephalus solidus show dramatic changes in phenotype, including a loss of species-typical behavioural responses to predators. The timing of host behaviour change coincides with the development of infectivity of the parasite to the final host (a piscivorous bird), making it an ideal model for studying the mechanisms of infection-induced behavioural modification. However, whether the loss of host anti-predator behaviour results from direct manipulation by the parasite, or is a by-product (e.g. host immune response) or side effect of infection (e.g. energetic loss), remains controversial. To understand the physiological mechanisms that generate these behavioural changes, we quantified the behavioural profiles of experimentally infected fish and attempted to replicate these in non-parasitized fish by exposing them to treatments including immunity activation and fasting, or by pharmacologically inhibiting the stress axis. All fish were screened for the following behaviours: activity, water depth preference, sociability, phototaxis, anti-predator response and latency to feed. We were able to change individual behaviours with certain treatments. Our results suggest that the impact of S. solidus on the stickleback might be of a multifactorial nature. The behaviour changes observed in infected fish might result from the combined effects of modifying the serotonergic axis, lack of energy and activation of the immune system. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. Vertically- and horizontally-transmitted memories – the fading boundaries between regeneration and inheritance in planaria

    Moran Neuhof

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Weismann barrier postulates that genetic information passes only from the germline to the soma and not in reverse, thus providing an obstacle to the inheritance of acquired traits. Certain organisms such as planaria – flatworms that can reproduce through asymmetric fission – avoid the limitations of this barrier, thus blurring the distinction between the processes of inheritance and development. In this paper, we re-evaluate canonical ideas about the interaction between developmental, genetic and evolutionary processes through the lens of planaria. Biased distribution of epigenetic effects in asymmetrically produced parts of a regenerating organism could increase variation and therefore affect the species' evolution. The maintenance and fixing of somatic experiences, encoded via stable biochemical or physiological states, may contribute to evolutionary processes in the absence of classically defined generations. We discuss different mechanisms that could induce asymmetry between the two organisms that eventually develop from the regenerating parts, including one particularly fascinating source – the potential capacity of the brain to produce long-lasting epigenetic changes.

  1. Angiostrongylus cantonensis and Rat Lungworm Disease in Brazil

    de Oliveira Simões, Raquel; Fernandez, Monica Ammon; Júnior, Arnaldo Maldonado

    2013-01-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode genus Angiostrongylus includes 18 species, two of which are relevant from a medical standpoint, Angiostrongylus costaricensis and Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The first was described from Costa Rica in 1971 and causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis in the Americas, including in Brazil. Angiostrongylus cantonensis, first described in 1935 from Canton, China, is the causative agent of eosinophilic meningitis. The natural definitive hosts are rodents, and molluscs are the intermediate hosts. Paratenic or carrier hosts include crabs, freshwater shrimp, amphibians, flatworms, and fish. Humans become infected accidentally by ingestion of intermediate or paratenic hosts and the parasite does not complete the life cycle as it does in rats. Worms in the brain cause eosinophilic meningitis. This zoonosis, widespread in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, has now been reported from other regions. In the Americas there are records from the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, Ecuador, and Haiti. In Brazil seven human cases have been reported since 2007 from the southeastern and northeastern regions. Epidemiological studies found infected specimens of Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus as well as many species of molluscs, including the giant African land snail, Achatina fulica, from various regions of Brazil. The spread of angiostrongyliasis is currently a matter of concern in Brazil. PMID:23901376

  2. Species of Macrostomum (Macrostomorpha: Macrostomidae) from the coastal region of Lima, Peru, with comments on M. rostratum Papi, 1951.

    Reyes, Jhoe; Brusa, Francisco

    2017-12-05

    Species of Macrostomum are present in almost all regions of the world. These flatworms occur in different kinds of environments, from freshwater to marine ecosystems. Although Peru is considered one of the megadiverse countries in South America, little is known about freshwater microturbellarians in this country. Here we report the presence of M. rostratum Papi, 1951 for the first time in Peru, in a coastal brackish water wetland, and that of M. quiritium Beklemischev, 1951 and M. tuba Graff, 1882 in an inland portion of a river near the city of Lima. All the species were studied alive. Comments on the habitat and associated fauna are given. Detailed information on the copulatory system is provided for M. rostratum; the male system has a bilobed seminal vesicle with thick walls and full of spindle-shaped sperm cells, and a stylet in the form of a solid curved inverted cone with a subterminal opening located on the concave side of the stylet. These findings led us to suggest that M. rostratum may exhibit a hypodermic mating syndrome. The three species of Macrostomum reported here are widespread and, although the diagnostic characters of the species are present, some morphological differences in the copulatory stylet suggest they are cryptic species.

  3. Differential expression of disulfide reductase enzymes in a free-living platyhelminth (Dugesia dorotocephala.

    Alberto Guevara-Flores

    Full Text Available A search of the disulfide reductase activities expressed in the adult stage of the free-living platyhelminth Dugesia dorotocephala was carried out. Using GSSG or DTNB as substrates, it was possible to obtain a purified fraction containing both GSSG and DTNB reductase activities. Through the purification procedure, both disulfide reductase activities were obtained in the same chromatographic peak. By mass spectrometry analysis of peptide fragments obtained after tryptic digestion of the purified fraction, the presence of glutathione reductase (GR, thioredoxin-glutathione reductase (TGR, and a putative thioredoxin reductase (TrxR was detected. Using the gold compound auranofin to selectively inhibit the GSSG reductase activity of TGR, it was found that barely 5% of the total GR activity in the D. dorotocephala extract can be assigned to GR. Such strategy did allow us to determine the kinetic parameters for both GR and TGR. Although It was not possible to discriminate DTNB reductase activity due to TrxR from that of TGR, a chromatofocusing experiment with a D. dorotocephala extract resulted in the obtention of a minor protein fraction enriched in TrxR, strongly suggesting its presence as a functional protein. Thus, unlike its parasitic counterparts, in the free-living platyhelminth lineage the three disulfide reductases are present as functional proteins, albeit TGR is still the major disulfide reductase involved in the reduction of both Trx and GSSG. This fact suggests the development of TGR in parasitic flatworms was not linked to a parasitic mode of life.

  4. BRIC-100VC Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC)-100VC

    Richards, Stephanie E.; Levine, Howard G. (Compiler); Romero, Vergel

    2016-01-01

    The Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) is an anodized-aluminum cylinder used to provide passive stowage for investigations of the effects of space flight on small specimens. The BRIC 100 mm petri dish vacuum containment unit (BRIC-100VC) has supported Dugesia japonica (flatworm) within spring under normal atmospheric conditions for 29 days in space and Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus L. (daylily) somatic embryo development within a 5% CO2 gaseous environment for 4.5 months in space. BRIC-100VC is a completely sealed, anodized-aluminum cylinder (Fig. 1) providing containment and structural support of the experimental specimens. The top and bottom lids of the canister include rapid disconnect valves for filling the canister with selected gases. These specialized valves allow for specific atmospheric containment within the canister, providing a gaseous environment defined by the investigator. Additionally, the top lid has been designed with a toggle latch and O-ring assembly allowing for prompt sealing and removal of the lid. The outside dimensions of the BRIC-100VC canisters are 16.0 cm (height) x 11.4 cm (outside diameter). The lower portion of the canister has been equipped with sufficient storage space for passive temperature and relative humidity data loggers. The BRIC- 100VC canister has been optimized to accommodate standard 100 mm laboratory petri dishes or 50 mL conical tubes. Depending on storage orientation, up to 6 or 9 canisters have been flown within an International Space Station (ISS) stowage locker.

  5. Parasitic manipulation and neuroinflammation: Evidence from the system Microphallus papillorobustus (Trematoda - Gammarus (Crustacea

    Thomas Frederic

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuropathological consequences of neuroinflammatory processes have been implicated in a wide range of diseases affecting the central nervous system (CNS. Glial cells, the resident immune cells of the CNS, respond to tissue injury by releasing proinflammatory cytokines and free radicals such as nitric oxide. We explored the possibility that neuroimmune responses are involved in parasitic manipulation of host behavior in a trematode-crustacean association. The cerebral larva of the flatworm Microphallus papillorobustus alters responses to environmental stimuli - and thus reflex pathways - in the crustacean Gammarus insensibilis, in a way that enhances predation of the crustacean by birds, definitive hosts of the parasite. Results Immunocytochemical experiments followed by confocal microscopy were performed to study the distribution of glutamine synthetase, a glial cell marker, and nitric oxide synthase in the brain of gammarids. Astrocyte-like glia and their processes were abundant at the surface of the parasites while levels of nitric oxide synthase were elevated at the host-parasite interface in the brain of gammarids harboring mature cerebral larvae and demonstrating altered behavior. Conclusion Taken together these results lend support to the neuroinflammation hypothesis whereby a chronic CNS specific immune response induced by the parasite plays a role in the disruption of neuromodulation, neuronal integrity, and behavior in infected hosts.

  6. Rickettsiae, protozoa, and opisthokonta/metazoa.

    Schmutzhard, Erich; Helbok, Raimund

    2014-01-01

    Rhizobiales (formerly named Rickettsiales) cause in rare instances meningitis and meningovasculitis, respectively. In case of history of exposure, infection by Rhizobiales needs to be considered since both diagnosis and therapy may be extremely difficult and pathogen-specific. The same applies to protozoa; in this chapter, Babesia species, free-living amoebae and Entamoeba histolytica infection, including severe meningitis and brain abscess, infection by Trypanosoma species (South American and African trypanosomiasis) are discussed with respect to history, epidemiology, clinical signs, and symptoms as well as differential diagnosis and therapy. Parasitic flatworms and roundworms, potentially able to invade the central nervous system, trematodes (flukes), cestodes (in particular, Cysticercus cellulosae), but also nematodes (in particular, Strongyloides spp. in the immunocompromised) are of worldwide importance. In contrast, filarial worms, Toxocara spp., Trichinella spp., Gnathostoma and Angiostrongylus spp. are seen only in certain geographically confined areas. Even more regionally confined are infestations of the central nervous system by metazoa, in particular, tongue worms (=arthropods) or larvae of flies (=maggots). The aim of this chapter is (1) to alert the neurologist to these infections, and (2) to enable the attending emergency neurologist to take a knowledgeable history, with an emphasis on epidemiology, clinical signs, and symptoms as well as therapeutic management possibilities. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Twelve invertebrate and eight fish species new to the marine fauna of Madeira, and a discussion of the zoogeography of the area

    Wirtz, Peter

    1998-06-01

    The benthic ctenophore Vallicula multiformis, a large undescribed flatworm species of the genus Pseudoceros, the prosobranch gastropod Tonna maculosa, the opisthobranch gastropods Placida cf. dendritica, Caloria elegans, Aeolidiella sanguinea, Janolus cristatus, the decapod Balssia gasti, the sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus and the tunicates Clavelina lepadiformis, Clavelina dellavallei and Pycnoclavella taureanensis are recorded from Madeira for the first time. This is the first record of a platyctenid ctenophore in the eastern Atlantic. The teleost fishes Pomatoschistus pictus, Vaneaugobius canariensis, Chromogobius sp., Nerophis ophidion, Hippocampus hippocampus, Acanthocybium solandri, Sphyraena viridensis and Sphyraena barracuda are recorded from Madeira for the first time. The presence of the sea-hare Aplysia dactylomela at Madeira is confirmed; the species has increased tremendously in abundance in the last four years. The crocodile fish Grammoplites gruveli can occasionally be found in the mantle cavity of cuttlefish ( Sepia officinalis) sold at the fish market of Funchal, but does not originate from Madeiran waters. An analysis of 100 new records from the coastal fauna of Madeira shows that, while predominantly of lusitanian, mediterranean and mauritanian affinity, Madeira’s shallow water fauna contains a large component of tropical species.

  8. Planform: an application and database of graph-encoded planarian regenerative experiments.

    Lobo, Daniel; Malone, Taylor J; Levin, Michael

    2013-04-15

    Understanding the mechanisms governing the regeneration capabilities of many organisms is a fundamental interest in biology and medicine. An ever-increasing number of manipulation and molecular experiments are attempting to discover a comprehensive model for regeneration, with the planarian flatworm being one of the most important model species. Despite much effort, no comprehensive, constructive, mechanistic models exist yet, and it is now clear that computational tools are needed to mine this huge dataset. However, until now, there is no database of regenerative experiments, and the current genotype-phenotype ontologies and databases are based on textual descriptions, which are not understandable by computers. To overcome these difficulties, we present here Planform (Planarian formalization), a manually curated database and software tool for planarian regenerative experiments, based on a mathematical graph formalism. The database contains more than a thousand experiments from the main publications in the planarian literature. The software tool provides the user with a graphical interface to easily interact with and mine the database. The presented system is a valuable resource for the regeneration community and, more importantly, will pave the way for the application of novel artificial intelligence tools to extract knowledge from this dataset. The database and software tool are freely available at http://planform.daniel-lobo.com.

  9. Effect of gamma irradiation on different stages of Fasciola hepatica

    Torres, J.L.; Chiriboga, J.

    1976-04-01

    Fascioliasis or hepatic distomatosis is one of the most widespread liver diseases throughout the world. It is caused by a parasitic worm of the class Trematoda of the phylum Platyhelminthes. This flatworm is commonly known as liver-fluke in the United States and Europe; babosa del higado in Cuba; cucaracha del higado in Puerto Rico; saguaype in Argentina and Chile; pirihuin in Chile; yuta in North Chile, and it is taxonomically classified as Fasciola hepatica. The adult trematode is a common parasite of warm blooded animals especially cattle, sheep, and goats. Alterations in the viability of normal Fasciola hepatica metacercariae as a result of time of storage at 4 0 C were studied by the method of Wikerhauser (1960). A significant decrease in viability was observed only after one hundred days of storage. The in vitro viability of normal metacercariae was compared with that of metacercariae that were exposed to increasing γ radiation doses. Two plainly opposite effects observed were: the activation of the excystation process by the lower radiation doses (1.5 and 2.5 Kr), an effect that persisted up to the 14th day post-radiation, and the impairment of the process evidenced on the 14th day in the metacercariae exposed to 3.5 and 5.0 Kr. Correlation between liver damage and the increasing radiation doses to which the metacercariae were exposed was studied up to 34 days after the oral inoculation in rats

  10. Gross and microscopic pathology of hard and soft corals in New Caledonia

    Work, Thierry M.; Aeby, Greta S.; Lasne, Gregory; Tribollet, Aline

    2014-01-01

    We surveyed the reefs of Grande Terre, New Caledonia, for coral diseases in 2010 and 2013. Lesions encountered in hard and soft corals were systematically described at the gross and microscopic level. We sampled paired and normal tissues from 101 and 65 colonies in 2010 and 2013, respectively, comprising 51 species of corals from 27 genera. Tissue loss was the most common gross lesion sampled (40%) followed by discoloration (28%), growth anomalies (13%), bleaching (10%), and flatworm infestation (1%). When grouped by gross lesions, the diversity of microscopic lesions as measured by Shannon–Wiener index was highest for tissue loss, followed by discoloration, bleaching, and growth anomaly. Our findings document an extension of the range of certain diseases such as Porites trematodiasis and endolithic hypermycosis (dark spots) to the Western Pacific as well as the presence of a putative cnidarian endosymbiont. We also expand the range of species infected by cell-associated microbial aggregates, and confirm the trend that these aggregates predominate in dominant genera of corals in the Indo-Pacific. This study highlights the importance of including histopathology as an integral component of baseline coral disease surveys, because a given gross lesion might be associated with multiple potential causative agents.

  11. PHRED-1 is a divergent neurexin-1 homolog that organizes muscle fibers and patterns organs during regeneration.

    Adler, Carolyn E; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2017-07-01

    Regeneration of body parts requires the replacement of multiple cell types. To dissect this complex process, we utilized planarian flatworms that are capable of regenerating any tissue after amputation. An RNAi screen for genes involved in regeneration of the pharynx identified a novel gene, Pharynx regeneration defective-1 (PHRED-1) as essential for normal pharynx regeneration. PHRED-1 is a predicted transmembrane protein containing EGF, Laminin G, and WD40 domains, is expressed in muscle, and has predicted homologs restricted to other lophotrochozoan species. Knockdown of PHRED-1 causes abnormal regeneration of muscle fibers in both the pharynx and body wall muscle. In addition to defects in muscle regeneration, knockdown of PHRED-1 or the bHLH transcription factor MyoD also causes defects in muscle and intestinal regeneration. Together, our data demonstrate that muscle plays a key role in restoring the structural integrity of closely associated organs, and in planarians it may form a scaffold that facilitates normal intestinal branching. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Insights into bilaterian evolution from three spiralian genomes

    Simakov, Oleg; Marletaz, Ferdinand; Cho, Sung-Jin; Edsinger-Gonzales, Eric; Havlak, Paul; Hellsten, Uffe; Kuo, Dian-Han; Larsson, Tomas; Lv, Jie; Arendt, Detlev; Savage, Robert; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; de Jong, Pieter; Grimwood, Jane; Chapman, Jarrod A.; Shapiro, Harris; Otillar, Robert P.; Terry, Astrid Y.; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Lindberg, David R.; Seaver, Elaine C.; Weisblat, David A.; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.; Aerts, Andrea

    2012-01-07

    Current genomic perspectives on animal diversity neglect two prominent phyla, the molluscs and annelids, that together account for nearly one-third of known marine species and are important both ecologically and as experimental systems in classical embryology1, 2, 3. Here we describe the draft genomes of the owl limpet (Lottia gigantea), a marine polychaete (Capitella teleta) and a freshwater leech (Helobdella robusta), and compare them with other animal genomes to investigate the origin and diversification of bilaterians from a genomic perspective. We find that the genome organization, gene structure and functional content of these species are more similar to those of some invertebrate deuterostome genomes (for example, amphioxus and sea urchin) than those of other protostomes that have been sequenced to date (flies, nematodes and flatworms). The conservation of these genomic features enables us to expand the inventory of genes present in the last common bilaterian ancestor, establish the tripartite diversification of bilaterians using multiple genomic characteristics and identify ancient conserved long- and short-range genetic linkages across metazoans. Superimposed on this broadly conserved pan-bilaterian background we find examples of lineage-specific genome evolution, including varying rates of rearrangement, intron gain and loss, expansions and contractions of gene families, and the evolution of clade-specific genes that produce the unique content of each genome.

  13. /sup 14/CO/sub 2/-fixation by the endosymbiotic Platymonas convolutae within the turbellarian Convoluta roscoffensis

    Kremer, B P [Koeln Univ. (F.R. Germany). Botanisches Inst.

    1975-01-01

    Photosynthetic assimilation of /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ by the symbiotic green alga Platymonas convolutae Parke et Manton in the marine flatworm Convoluta roscoffensis Graff has been investigated and compared with that in free-living P. subcordiformis and P. tetrathele. All Platymonas species investigated rapidly incorporate /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ into a complex variety of soluble and insoluble assimilates. The rate of dark fixation is considerably lower in P. convolutae. Typical /sup 14/C-assimilate patterns are rather uniform in all Platymonas species, but the time courses of /sup 14/C-labelling of several compounds are very different. The percentage of /sup 14/C-aspartate and /sup 14/C-malate is significantly higher in P. convolutae after short-term-photosynthesis, whereas /sup 14/C-labelled phosphate esters predominate in the free-living Platymonas species. A comparison of the kinetics of /sup 14/C-labelling and of the distribution of /sup 14/C-activity between soluble and insoluble fractions suggests that glucose and fructose, not mannitol, as well as several amimo acids (especially alanine) move from the algal partner to the tissue of the animal host. The significance of these findings is discussed.

  14. A comprehensive molecular phylogeny of dalytyphloplanida (platyhelminthes: rhabdocoela reveals multiple escapes from the marine environment and origins of symbiotic relationships.

    Niels Van Steenkiste

    Full Text Available In this study we elaborate the phylogeny of Dalytyphloplanida based on complete 18S rDNA (156 sequences and partial 28S rDNA (125 sequences, using a Maximum Likelihood and a Bayesian Inference approach, in order to investigate the origin of a limnic or limnoterrestrial and of a symbiotic lifestyle in this large group of rhabditophoran flatworms. The results of our phylogenetic analyses and ancestral state reconstructions indicate that dalytyphloplanids have their origin in the marine environment and that there was one highly successful invasion of the freshwater environment, leading to a large radiation of limnic and limnoterrestrial dalytyphloplanids. This monophyletic freshwater clade, Limnotyphloplanida, comprises the taxa Dalyelliidae, Temnocephalida, and most Typhloplanidae. Temnocephalida can be considered ectosymbiotic Dalyelliidae as they are embedded within this group. Secondary returns to brackish water and marine environments occurred relatively frequently in several dalyeliid and typhloplanid taxa. Our phylogenies also show that, apart from the Limnotyphloplanida, there have been only few independent invasions of the limnic environment, and apparently these were not followed by spectacular speciation events. The distinct phylogenetic positions of the symbiotic taxa also suggest multiple origins of commensal and parasitic life strategies within Dalytyphloplanida. The previously established higher-level dalytyphloplanid clades are confirmed in our topologies, but many of the traditional families are not monophyletic. Alternative hypothesis testing constraining the monophyly of these families in the topologies and using the approximately unbiased test, also statistically rejects their monophyly.

  15. Anthelmintic Activity of Crude Extract and Essential Oil of Tanacetum vulgare (Asteraceae against Adult Worms of Schistosoma mansoni

    Loyana Silva Godinho

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease caused by trematode flatworms of the genus Schistosoma, affects more than 200 million people worldwide, and its control is dependent on a single drug, praziquantel. Tanacetum vulgare (Asteraceae is used in folk medicine as a vermifuge. This study aimed to investigate the in vitro schistosomicidal activity of the crude extract (TV and the essential oil (TV-EO from the aerial parts of T. vulgare. TV-EO was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC/MS, which allowed the identification of β-thujone (84.13% as the major constituent. TV and TV-EO, at 200 μg/mL, decreased motor activity and caused 100% mortality of all adult worms. At 100 and 50 μg/mL, only TV caused death of all adult worms, while TV-EO was inactive. TV (200 μg/mL was also able to reduce viability and decrease production of developed eggs. Confocal laser scanning microscopy showed morphological alterations in the tegument of the S. mansoni surface after incubation with TV (50 and 100 μg/mL. Quantitative analysis on the schistosomes tegument showed that TV caused changes in the numbers of tubercles of S. mansoni male worms in a dose-dependent manner. The findings suggest that T. vulgare is a potential source of schistosomicidal compounds.

  16. Functional genomic characterization of neoblast-like stem cells in larval Schistosoma mansoni

    Wang, Bo; Collins, James J; Newmark, Phillip A

    2013-01-01

    Schistosomes infect hundreds of millions of people in the developing world. Transmission of these parasites relies on a stem cell-driven, clonal expansion of larvae inside a molluscan intermediate host. How this novel asexual reproductive strategy relates to current models of stem cell maintenance and germline specification is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that this proliferative larval cell population (germinal cells) shares some molecular signatures with stem cells from diverse organisms, in particular neoblasts of planarians (free-living relatives of schistosomes). We identify two distinct germinal cell lineages that differ in their proliferation kinetics and expression of a nanos ortholog. We show that a vasa/PL10 homolog is required for proliferation and maintenance of both populations, whereas argonaute2 and a fibroblast growth factor receptor-encoding gene are required only for nanos-negative cells. Our results suggest that an ancient stem cell-based developmental program may have enabled the evolution of the complex life cycle of parasitic flatworms. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00768.001 PMID:23908765

  17. Pharmacological profiling an abundantly expressed schistosome serotonergic GPCR identifies nuciferine as a potent antagonist

    John D. Chan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT is a key regulator of muscle contraction in parasitic flatworms. In Schistosoma mansoni, the myoexcitatory action of 5-HT is effected through activation of a serotonergic GPCR (Sm.5HTRL, prioritizing pharmacological characterization of this target for anthelmintic drug discovery. Here, we have examined the effects of several aporphine alkaloids on the signaling activity of a heterologously expressed Sm.5HTRL construct using a cAMP biosensor assay. Four structurally related natural products – nuciferine, D-glaucine, boldine and bulbocapnine – were demonstrated to block Sm.5HTRL evoked cAMP generation with the potency of GPCR blockade correlating well with the ability of each drug to inhibit contractility of schistosomule larvae. Nuciferine was also effective at inhibiting both basal and 5-HT evoked motility of adult schistosomes. These data advance our understanding of structure-affinity relationships at Sm.5HTRL, and demonstrate the effectiveness of Sm.5HTRL antagonists as hypomotility-evoking drugs across different parasite life cycle stages.

  18. How is a giant sperm ejaculated? Anatomy and function of the sperm pump, or "Zenker organ," in Pseudocandona marchica (Crustacea, Ostracoda, Candonidae)

    Yamada, Shinnosuke; Matzke-Karasz, Renate

    2012-07-01

    `Giant sperm', in terms of exceptionally long spermatozoa, occur in a variety of taxa in the animal kingdom, predominantly in arthropod groups, but also in flatworms, mollusks, and others. In some freshwater ostracods (Cypridoidea), filamentous sperm cells reach up to ten times the animal's body length; nonetheless, during a single copulation several dozen sperm cells can be transferred to the female's seminal receptacle. This highly effective ejaculation has traditionally been credited to a chitinous-muscular structure within the seminal duct, which has been interpreted as a sperm pump. We investigated this organ, also known as the Zenker organ, of a cypridoid ostracod, Pseudocandona marchica, utilizing light and electron microscope techniques and produced a three-dimensional reconstruction based on serial semi-thin histological sections. This paper shows that numerous muscle fibers surround the central tube of the Zenker organ, running in parallel with the central tube and that a thin cellular layer underlies the muscular layer. A cellular inner tube exists inside the central tube. A chitinous-cellular structure at the entrance of the organ has been recognized as an ejaculatory valve. In male specimens during copulation, we confirmed a small hole derived from the passage of a single spermatozoon through the valve. The new data allowed for proposing a detailed course of operation of the Zenker organ during giant sperm ejaculation.

  19. The synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) by cultured, symbiotic dinoflagellates.

    T Banaszak1 A; LaJeunesse; Trench

    2000-06-28

    We tested the hypothesis that there is a relation between phylotypes (phylogenetic types, as determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and partial sequence analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSUrDNA)) and the synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) by symbiotic dinoflagellates under the influence of ultraviolet radiation (UV-B/A) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). We exposed 27 isolates of symbiotic dinoflagellates simultaneously to UV-B/A and PAR, and subsequently determined the MAAs present in cell extracts and in the media. The algae used included 24 isolates of Symbiodinium spp. originating from jellyfishes, sea anemones, zoanthids, scleractinians, octocorals, and bivalves, and three others in the genera Gymnodinium, Gloeodinium and Amphidinium from a jellyfish, an hydrocoral and a flatworm, respectively. In this study, all of the phylotype A Symbiodinium spp. synthesized up to three identified MAAs. None of the 11 cultured phylotypes B and C Symbiodinium spp. synthesized MAAs. The three non-Symbiodinium symbionts also synthesized up to three MAAs. The results support a conclusion that phylotype A Symbiodinium spp. have a high predilection for the synthesis of MAAs, while phylotypes B and C do not. Synthesis of MAAs by symbiotic dinoflagellates in culture does not appear to relate directly to depths or to the UV exposure regimes from which the consortia were collected.

  20. Effect of Phenotypic Screening of Extracts and Fractions of Erythrophleum ivorense Leaf and Stem Bark on Immature and Adult Stages of Schistosoma mansoni

    Gertrude Kyere-Davies

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by a flatworm parasite that infects people in tropical and subtropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, China, and Southeast Asia. The reliance on just one drug for current treatment emphasizes the need for new chemotherapeutic strategies. The aim of this study was to determine the phenotypic effects of extracts and fractions of leaf and stem bark of Erythrophleum ivorense (family Euphorbiaceae, a tree that grows in tropical parts of Africa, on two developmental stages of Schistosoma mansoni, namely, postinfective larvae (schistosomula or somules and adults. Methanol leaf and stem bark extracts of E. ivorense were successively fractionated with acetone, petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, and methanol. These fractions were then incubated with somules at 0.3125 to 100 μg/mL and with adults at 1.25 μg/mL. The acetone fractions of both the methanol leaf and bark of E. ivorense were most active against the somules whereas the petroleum ether fractions showed least activity. For adult parasites, the acetone fraction of methanol bark extract also elicited phenotypic changes. The data arising provide the first step in the discovery of new treatments for an endemic infectious disease using locally sourced African medicinal plants.

  1. Comparative copper sensitivity between life stages of common subantarctic marine invertebrates.

    Holan, Jessica R; King, Catherine K; Davis, Andrew R

    2018-03-01

    The development of environmental guidelines in the Antarctic and subantarctic is essential, because expansion of research, tourism, and fishing is placing these regions at increasing risk of contamination. Data are currently insufficient to create the region-specific guidelines needed for the unique conditions in these areas. To develop the most appropriate environmental guidelines, data from the most sensitive life stages of a species should be included to ensure effective protection throughout its life cycle. It is generally accepted that early life stages are more sensitive to contaminants. We compared the toxicity of copper between juvenile and adult life stages of 4 subantarctic marine invertebrates using sublethal and lethal endpoints. For 2 of the species tested, juveniles were more sensitive than adults. (The 7-d median effect concentration [EC50] values for the gastropod Laevilittorina caliginosa were 79 μg/L at the juvenile stage and 125 μg/L at the adult; for the flatworm Obrimoposthia ohlini, values were 190 μg/L at the juvenile stage and 300 μg/L at the adult.) For the isopod Limnoria stephenseni, juveniles were either more sensitive or of equal sensitivity to adults (7-d EC50 values: juvenile 278 μg/L and adult 320 μg/L). In contrast, for the bivalve Gaimardia trapesina, adults appeared to be more sensitive than young adults (7-d EC50 values: juvenile 23 μg/L and adult life history stages was observed, the present study contributes important information for the development of water quality guidelines in polar regions. Environ Toxicol Chem 2018;37:807-815. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  2. Assessing the Role of Climate Variability on Liver Fluke Risk in the UK Through Mechanistic Hydro-Epidemiological Modelling

    Beltrame, L.; Dunne, T.; Rose, H.; Walker, J.; Morgan, E.; Vickerman, P.; Wagener, T.

    2016-12-01

    Liver fluke is a flatworm parasite infecting grazing animals worldwide. In the UK, it causes considerable production losses to cattle and sheep industries and costs farmers millions of pounds each year due to reduced growth rates and lower milk yields. Large part of the parasite life-cycle takes place outside of the host, with its survival and development strongly controlled by climatic and hydrologic conditions. Evidence of climate-driven changes in the distribution and seasonality of fluke disease already exists, as the infection is increasingly expanding to new areas and becoming a year-round problem. Therefore, it is crucial to assess current and potential future impacts of climate variability on the disease to guide interventions at the farm scale and mitigate risk. Climate-based fluke risk models have been available since the 1950s, however, they are based on empirical relationships derived between historical climate and incidence data, and thus are unlikely to be robust for simulating risk under changing conditions. Moreover, they are not dynamic, but estimate risk over large regions in the UK based on monthly average climate conditions, so they do not allow investigating the effects of climate variability for supporting farmers' decisions. In this study, we introduce a mechanistic model for fluke, which represents habitat suitability for disease development at 25m resolution with a daily time step, explicitly linking the parasite life-cycle to key hydro-climate conditions. The model is used on a case study in the UK and sensitivity analysis is performed to better understand the role of climate variability on the space-time dynamics of the disease, while explicitly accounting for uncertainties. Comparisons are presented with experts' knowledge and a widely used empirical model.

  3. Stimulating Neoblast-Like Cell Proliferation in Juvenile Fasciola hepatica Supports Growth and Progression towards the Adult Phenotype In Vitro.

    McCusker, Paul; McVeigh, Paul; Rathinasamy, Vignesh; Toet, Hayley; McCammick, Erin; O'Connor, Anna; Marks, Nikki J; Mousley, Angela; Brennan, Gerard P; Halton, David W; Spithill, Terry W; Maule, Aaron G

    2016-09-01

    Fascioliasis (or fasciolosis) is a socioeconomically important parasitic disease caused by liver flukes of the genus Fasciola. Flukicide resistance has exposed the need for new drugs and/or a vaccine for liver fluke control. A rapidly improving 'molecular toolbox' for liver fluke encompasses quality genomic/transcriptomic datasets and an RNA interference platform that facilitates functional genomics approaches to drug/vaccine target validation. The exploitation of these resources is undermined by the absence of effective culture/maintenance systems that would support in vitro studies on juvenile fluke development/biology. Here we report markedly improved in vitro maintenance methods for Fasciola hepatica that achieved 65% survival of juvenile fluke after 6 months in standard cell culture medium supplemented with 50% chicken serum. We discovered that this long-term maintenance was dependent upon fluke growth, which was supported by increased proliferation of cells resembling the "neoblast" stem cells described in other flatworms. Growth led to dramatic morphological changes in juveniles, including the development of the digestive tract, reproductive organs and the tegument, towards more adult-like forms. The inhibition of DNA synthesis prevented neoblast-like cell proliferation and inhibited growth/development. Supporting our assertion that we have triggered the development of juveniles towards adult-like fluke, mass spectrometric analyses showed that growing fluke have an excretory/secretory protein profile that is distinct from that of newly-excysted juveniles and more closely resembles that of ex vivo immature and adult fluke. Further, in vitro maintained fluke displayed a transition in their movement from the probing behaviour associated with migrating stage worms to a slower wave-like motility seen in adults. Our ability to stimulate neoblast-like cell proliferation and growth in F. hepatica underpins the first simple platform for their long-term in vitro study

  4. Studies on mountain streams in the English lake district I. PH, calcium and the distribution of invertebrates in the River Duddon

    Sutcliffe, D.W.; Carrick, T.R.

    1973-01-01

    The River Duddon and its tributaries rarely exceed pH 7.0. There are three types of acid regime; pH>5.7 and pH<5.7 independent of season or rainfall, and fluctuating acidity with pH<5.7 in winter and wet periods, pH>5.7 in summer or dry periods. PH in the River Duddon fluctuates for most of its length. Ph>5.7 is characteristic of tributaries in the lower drainage basin, but pH<5.7 occurs in the headwaters of two of these tributaries. With five exceptions, pH<5.7 or fluctuating pH are characteristic of tributaries in the upper drainage basin. A very close relationship exists between the pH regime of stream water and the benthis cauna. Apart from oligochaetes and flatworms, streams with pH<5.7 or fluctuating pH are characterized by thirteen common or abundant taxa; six plecoptera, four trichoptera and three diptera. These taxa are also common in streams with pH>5.7 but in addition these streams contain ephemeroptera, the trichopterans wormaldia and hydropsyche, the mollusc Ancylus and the amphipod gammarus. It is concluded that the calcium concentration is less important than the pH-bicarbonate concentrations in limiting the qualitative distribution of benthic invertebrates. The limiting effect of pH<5.7 on an extensive range of taxa in the duddon also occurs in other areas. The affected taxa are generally herbivores. It is suggested that in the case of insects the limiting effects of low pH may indirectly operate through changes in food supply.

  5. Private selective sweeps identified from next-generation pool-sequencing reveal convergent pathways under selection in two inbred Schistosoma mansoni strains.

    Julie A J Clément

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The trematode flatworms of the genus Schistosoma, the causative agents of schistosomiasis, are among the most prevalent parasites in humans, affecting more than 200 million people worldwide. In this study, we focused on two well-characterized strains of S. mansoni, to explore signatures of selection. Both strains are highly inbred and exhibit differences in life history traits, in particular in their compatibility with the intermediate host Biomphalaria glabrata. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed high throughput sequencing of DNA from pools of individuals of each strain using Illumina technology and identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP and copy number variations (CNV. In total, 708,898 SNPs were identified and roughly 2,000 CNVs. The SNPs revealed low nucleotide diversity (π = 2 × 10(-4 within each strain and a high differentiation level (Fst = 0.73 between them. Based on a recently developed in-silico approach, we further detected 12 and 19 private (i.e. specific non-overlapping selective sweeps among the 121 and 151 sweeps found in total for each strain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Functional annotation of transcripts lying in the private selective sweeps revealed specific selection for functions related to parasitic interaction (e.g. cell-cell adhesion or redox reactions. Despite high differentiation between strains, we identified evolutionary convergence of genes related to proteolysis, known as a key virulence factor and a potential target of drug and vaccine development. Our data show that pool-sequencing can be used for the detection of selective sweeps in parasite populations and enables one to identify biological functions under selection.

  6. Displaced phylogeographic signals from Gyrodactylus arcuatus, a parasite of the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, suggest freshwater glacial refugia in Europe.

    Lumme, Jaakko; Mäkinen, Hannu; Ermolenko, Alexey V; Gregg, Jacob L; Ziętara, Marek S

    2016-08-01

    We examined the global mitochondrial phylogeography of Gyrodactylus arcuatus, a flatworm ectoparasite of three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. In accordance with the suggested high divergence rate of 13%/million years, the genetic variation of the parasite was high: haplotype diversity h=0.985 and nucleotide diversity π=0.0161. The differentiation among the parasite populations was substantial (Φst=0.759), with two main allopatric clades (here termed Euro and North) accounting for 54% of the total genetic variation. The diversity center of the Euro clade was in the Baltic Sea, while the North clade was spread across the Barents and White Seas. A single haplotype within the North clade was found in the western and eastern Pacific Ocean. Divergence of main clades was estimated to be circa 200 thousand years ago. Each main clade was further divided into six distinct subclades, estimated to have diverged in isolation since 135 thousand years ago. This second division corresponds approximately to the Eemian interglacial predating the last glacial maximum. A demographic expansion of the subclades is associated with colonisation of northern Europe since the last glacial maximum, circa 15-40 thousand years ago. The parasite phylogeny is most likely explained by sequential isolated bottlenecks and expansions in numerous allopatric refugia. The postglacial intermingling and high variation in the marine parasite populations, separately in the Baltic and Barents Seas, suggest low competition of divergent parasite matrilines, coupled with a large population size and high rate of dispersal of hosts. The genetic contribution of the assumed refugial fish populations maintaining the parasite during the last glacial maximum was not detected among the marine sticklebacks, which perhaps were infected after range expansion. Copyright © 2016 Australian Society for Parasitology. All rights reserved.

  7. Identification and characterization of Taenia solium enolase as a plasminogen-binding protein.

    Ayón-Núñez, Dolores A; Fragoso, Gladis; Espitia, Clara; García-Varela, Martín; Soberón, Xavier; Rosas, Gabriela; Laclette, Juan P; Bobes, Raúl J

    2018-06-01

    The larval stage of Taenia solium (cysticerci) is the causal agent of human and swine cysticercosis. When ingested by the host, T. solium eggs are activated and hatch in the intestine, releasing oncospheres that migrate to various tissues and evolve into cysticerci. Plasminogen (Plg) receptor proteins have been reported to play a role in migration processes for several pathogens. This work is aimed to identify Plg-binding proteins in T. solium cysticerci and determine whether T. solium recombinant enolase (rTsEnoA) is capable of specifically binding and activating human Plg. To identify Plg-binding proteins, a 2D-SDS-PAGE ligand blotting was performed, and recognized spots were identified by MS/MS. Seven proteins from T. solium cysticerci were found capable of binding Plg: fascicilin-1, fasciclin-2, enolase, MAPK, annexin, actin, and cytosolic malate dehydrogenase. To determine whether rTsEnoA binds human Plg, a ligand blotting was performed and the results were confirmed by ELISA both in the presence and absence of εACA, a competitive Plg inhibitor. Finally, rTsEnoA-bound Plg was activated to plasmin in the presence of tPA. To better understand the evolution of enolase isoforms in T. solium, a phylogenetic inference analysis including 75 enolase amino acid sequences was conducted. The origin of flatworm enolase isoforms, except for Eno4, is independent of their vertebrate counterparts. Therefore, herein we propose to designate tapeworm protein isoforms as A, B, C, and 4. In conclusion, recombinant enolase showed a strong plasminogen binding and activating activity in vitro. T. solium enolase could play a role in parasite invasion along with other plasminogen-binding proteins. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Bigger testes increase paternity in a simultaneous hermaphrodite, independently of the sperm competition level.

    Vellnow, N; Marie-Orleach, L; Zadesenets, K S; Schärer, L

    2018-02-01

    Hermaphroditic animals face the fundamental evolutionary optimization problem of allocating their resources to their male vs. female reproductive function (e.g. testes and sperm vs. ovaries and eggs), and this optimal sex allocation can be affected by both pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. For example, local sperm competition (LSC) - the competition between related sperm for the fertilization of a partner's ova - occurs in small mating groups and can favour a female-biased sex allocation, because, under LSC, investment into sperm production is predicted to show diminishing fitness returns. Here, we test whether higher testis investment increases an individual's paternity success under sperm competition, and whether the strength of this effect diminishes when LSC is stronger, as predicted by sex allocation theory. We created two subsets of individuals of the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum lignano - by sampling worms from either the highest or lowest quartile of the testis investment distribution - and estimated their paternity success in group sizes of either three (strong LSC) or eight individuals (weak LSC). Specifically, using transgenic focal individuals expressing a dominant green-fluorescent protein marker, we showed that worms with high testis investment sired 22% more offspring relative to those with low investment, corroborating previous findings in M. lignano and other species. However, the strength of this effect was not significantly modulated by the experienced group size, contrasting theoretical expectations of more strongly diminishing fitness returns under strong LSC. We discuss the possible implications for the evolutionary maintenance of hermaphroditism in M. lignano. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. Preliminary assessment of the potential for mangrove oyster cultivation in Piraquê-açu river estuary (Aracruz, ES

    Luciana Alvarenga

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available At Piraquê-açu river estuary, Aracruz, ES, the technical viability of Crassostrea rhizophorae cultivation was determined through monthly measures in shell length and weight. Seeds of C. rhizophorae were put in cages and suspended in rafts. Increase in height and weight (flesh and dry of the oysters was measured. During ten months (July/98 to May/99, oyster shell reached an average of 37.6 mm in shell height and 3.0 g in flesh weight (the whole animal. High mortality rates were registered and could be related to the high salinity water and to high predation observed, especially by flatworms Stylochophana divae and snails Cymatium parthenopeum, as well as fouling organisms such as barnacles, Serpulidae polychaetes and seed of the same species.No estuário do Rio Piraquê-açu, município de Aracruz, ES, foi avaliada a viabilidade técnica da implantação do cultivo de ostras Crassostrea rhizophorae em lanternas suspensas numa balsa de cultivo, através da estimativa de crescimento e ganho de peso fresco e seco das ostras. Verificou-se que, durante os dez meses de cultivo (junho/98 a maio/99, as ostras atingiram, em média, 37,6 mm de altura e 3,0 g no peso total. Foi registrada uma alta taxa de mortalidade, que poderia ser atribuída aos altos valores de salinidade na água e também aos predadores observados como planárias Stylochoplana divae e gastrópodos Cymatium parthenopeum, além de incrustantes como cracas, poliquetos Serpulidae e principalmente sementes da própria ostra.

  10. Characterization of a Fasciola gigantica protein carrying two DM9 domains reveals cellular relocalization property.

    Phadungsil, Wansika; Smooker, Peter M; Vichasri-Grams, Suksiri; Grams, Rudi

    2016-01-01

    Even at the present age of whole-organism analysis, e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, the biological roles of many proteins remain unresolved. Classified among the proteins of unknown function is a family of proteins harboring repeats of the DM9 domain, a 60-75 amino acids motif first described in a small number of Drosophila melanogaster proteins. Proteins may carry two or more DM9 domains either in combination with other domains or as their sole constituent. Here we have characterized a 16.8 kDa Fasciola gigantica protein comprising two tandem repeated DM9 domains (FgDM9-1). The protein was located in the parenchyma of the immature and mature parasite and consequently it was not detected in the ES product of the parasite but only in the whole worm extract. Interestingly, extraction with SDS yielded a substantially higher amount of the protein suggesting association with insoluble cell components. In Sf9 insect cells a heterologously expressed EGFP-FgDM9-1 chimera showed cell-wide distribution but relocated to vesicle-like structures in the cytoplasm after stimulating cellular stress by bacteria, heat shock or chloroquine. These structures did not colocalize with the markers of endocytosis/phagocytosis ubiquitin, RAB7, GABARAP. The same behavior was noted for Aedes aegypti PRS1, a homologous mosquito DM9 protein as a positive control while EGFP did not exhibit such relocation in the insect cells. Cross-linking experiments on soluble recombinant FgDM9-1 indicated that the protein can undergo specific oligomerization. It is speculated that proteins carrying the DM9 domain have a role in vesicular transport in flatworms and insects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Stimulating Neoblast-Like Cell Proliferation in Juvenile Fasciola hepatica Supports Growth and Progression towards the Adult Phenotype In Vitro

    Rathinasamy, Vignesh; Toet, Hayley; McCammick, Erin; O’Connor, Anna; Marks, Nikki J.; Mousley, Angela; Brennan, Gerard P.; Halton, David W.; Spithill, Terry W.; Maule, Aaron G.

    2016-01-01

    Fascioliasis (or fasciolosis) is a socioeconomically important parasitic disease caused by liver flukes of the genus Fasciola. Flukicide resistance has exposed the need for new drugs and/or a vaccine for liver fluke control. A rapidly improving ‘molecular toolbox’ for liver fluke encompasses quality genomic/transcriptomic datasets and an RNA interference platform that facilitates functional genomics approaches to drug/vaccine target validation. The exploitation of these resources is undermined by the absence of effective culture/maintenance systems that would support in vitro studies on juvenile fluke development/biology. Here we report markedly improved in vitro maintenance methods for Fasciola hepatica that achieved 65% survival of juvenile fluke after 6 months in standard cell culture medium supplemented with 50% chicken serum. We discovered that this long-term maintenance was dependent upon fluke growth, which was supported by increased proliferation of cells resembling the “neoblast” stem cells described in other flatworms. Growth led to dramatic morphological changes in juveniles, including the development of the digestive tract, reproductive organs and the tegument, towards more adult-like forms. The inhibition of DNA synthesis prevented neoblast-like cell proliferation and inhibited growth/development. Supporting our assertion that we have triggered the development of juveniles towards adult-like fluke, mass spectrometric analyses showed that growing fluke have an excretory/secretory protein profile that is distinct from that of newly-excysted juveniles and more closely resembles that of ex vivo immature and adult fluke. Further, in vitro maintained fluke displayed a transition in their movement from the probing behaviour associated with migrating stage worms to a slower wave-like motility seen in adults. Our ability to stimulate neoblast-like cell proliferation and growth in F. hepatica underpins the first simple platform for their long-term in

  12. Profiling of proteolytic enzymes in the gut of the tick Ixodes ricinus reveals an evolutionarily conserved network of aspartic and cysteine peptidases

    Mareš Michael

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ticks are vectors for a variety of viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases in human and domestic animals. To survive and reproduce ticks feed on host blood, yet our understanding of the intestinal proteolytic machinery used to derive absorbable nutrients from the blood meal is poor. Intestinal digestive processes are limiting factors for pathogen transmission since the tick gut presents the primary site of infection. Moreover, digestive enzymes may find practical application as anti-tick vaccine targets. Results Using the hard tick, Ixodes ricinus, we performed a functional activity scan of the peptidase complement in gut tissue extracts that demonstrated the presence of five types of peptidases of the cysteine and aspartic classes. We followed up with genetic screens of gut-derived cDNA to identify and clone genes encoding the cysteine peptidases cathepsins B, L and C, an asparaginyl endopeptidase (legumain, and the aspartic peptidase, cathepsin D. By RT-PCR, expression of asparaginyl endopeptidase and cathepsins B and D was restricted to gut tissue and to those developmental stages feeding on blood. Conclusion Overall, our results demonstrate the presence of a network of cysteine and aspartic peptidases that conceivably operates to digest host blood proteins in a concerted manner. Significantly, the peptidase components of this digestive network are orthologous to those described in other parasites, including nematodes and flatworms. Accordingly, the present data and those available for other tick species support the notion of an evolutionary conservation of a cysteine/aspartic peptidase system for digestion that includes ticks, but differs from that of insects relying on serine peptidases.

  13. Insights into SCP/TAPS proteins of liver flukes based on large-scale bioinformatic analyses of sequence datasets.

    Cinzia Cantacessi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: SCP/TAPS proteins of parasitic helminths have been proposed to play key roles in fundamental biological processes linked to the invasion of and establishment in their mammalian host animals, such as the transition from free-living to parasitic stages and the modulation of host immune responses. Despite the evidence that SCP/TAPS proteins of parasitic nematodes are involved in host-parasite interactions, there is a paucity of information on this protein family for parasitic trematodes of socio-economic importance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted the first large-scale study of SCP/TAPS proteins of a range of parasitic trematodes of both human and veterinary importance (including the liver flukes Clonorchis sinensis, Opisthorchis viverrini, Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica as well as the blood flukes Schistosoma mansoni, S. japonicum and S. haematobium. We mined all current transcriptomic and/or genomic sequence datasets from public databases, predicted secondary structures of full-length protein sequences, undertook systematic phylogenetic analyses and investigated the differential transcription of SCP/TAPS genes in O. viverrini and F. hepatica, with an emphasis on those that are up-regulated in the developmental stages infecting the mammalian host. CONCLUSIONS: This work, which sheds new light on SCP/TAPS proteins, guides future structural and functional explorations of key SCP/TAPS molecules associated with diseases caused by flatworms. Future fundamental investigations of these molecules in parasites and the integration of structural and functional data could lead to new approaches for the control of parasitic diseases.

  14. Displaced phylogeographic signals from Gyrodactylus arcuatus, a parasite of the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, suggest freshwater glacial refugia in Europe

    Lumme, Jaakko; Mäkinen, Hannu; Ermolenko, Alexey V.; Gregg, Jacob L.; Ziętara, Marek S.

    2016-01-01

    We examined the global mitochondrial phylogeography of Gyrodactylus arcuatus, a flatworm ectoparasite of three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. In accordance with the suggested high divergence rate of 13%/million years, the genetic variation of the parasite was high: haplotype diversity h = 0.985 and nucleotide diversity π = 0.0161. The differentiation among the parasite populations was substantial (Φst = 0.759), with two main allopatric clades (here termed Euro and North) accounting for 54% of the total genetic variation. The diversity center of the Euro clade was in the Baltic Sea, while the North clade was spread across the Barents and White Seas. A single haplotype within the North clade was found in the western and eastern Pacific Ocean. Divergence of main clades was estimated to be circa 200 thousand years ago. Each main clade was further divided into six distinct subclades, estimated to have diverged in isolation since 135 thousand years ago. This second division corresponds approximately to the Eemian interglacial predating the last glacial maximum. A demographic expansion of the subclades is associated with colonisation of northern Europe since the last glacial maximum, circa 15–40 thousand years ago. The parasite phylogeny is most likely explained by sequential isolated bottlenecks and expansions in numerous allopatric refugia. The postglacial intermingling and high variation in the marine parasite populations, separately in the Baltic and Barents Seas, suggest low competition of divergent parasite matrilines, coupled with a large population size and high rate of dispersal of hosts. The genetic contribution of the assumed refugial fish populations maintaining the parasite during the last glacial maximum was not detected among the marine sticklebacks, which perhaps were infected after range expansion.

  15. Immunization with tegument nucleotidases associated with a subcurative praziquantel treatment reduces worm burden following Schistosoma mansoni challenge

    Henrique K. Rofatto

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Schistosomiasis is a debilitating disease caused by flatworm parasites of the Schistosoma genus and remains a high public health impact disease around the world, although effective treatment with Praziquantel (PZQ has been available since the 1970s. Control of this disease would be greatly improved by the development of a vaccine, which could be combined with chemotherapy. The sequencing of the Schistosoma mansoni transcriptome and genome identified a range of potential vaccine antigens. Among these, three nucleotidases from the tegument of the parasite, presumably involved in purinergic signaling and nucleotide metabolism, were proposed as promising vaccine candidates: an alkaline phosphatase (SmAP, a phosphodiesterase (SmNPP-5 and a diphosphohydrolase (SmNTPDase. Herein, we evaluate the potential of these enzymes as vaccine antigens, with or without subcurative PZQ treatment. Immunization of mice with the recombinant proteins alone or in combination demonstrated that SmAP is the most immunogenic of the three. It induced the highest antibody levels, particularly IgG1, associated with an inflammatory cellular immune response characterized by high TNF-α and a Th17 response, with high IL-17 expression levels. Despite the specific immune response induced, immunization with the isolated or combined proteins did not reduce the worm burden of challenged mice. Nonetheless, immunization with SmAP alone or with the three proteins combined, together with subcurative PZQ chemotherapy was able to reduce the worm burden by around 40%. The immunogenicity and relative exposure of SmAP to the host immune system are discussed, as key factors involved in the apparently synergistic effect of SmAP immunization and subcurative PZQ treatment.

  16. Inhibition or knockdown of ABC transporters enhances susceptibility of adult and juvenile schistosomes to Praziquantel.

    Ravi S Kasinathan

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma cause schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects hundreds of millions. Treatment of schistosomiasis depends almost entirely on the drug praziquantel (PZQ. Though essential to treating and controlling schistosomiasis, a major limitation of PZQ is that it is not active against immature mammalian-stage schistosomes. Furthermore, there are reports of field isolates with heritable reductions in PZQ susceptibility, and researchers have selected for PZQ-resistant schistosomes in the laboratory. P-glycoprotein (Pgp; ABCB1 and other ATP binding cassette (ABC transporters remove a wide variety of toxins and xenobiotics from cells, and have been implicated in multidrug resistance (MDR. Changes in ABC transporter structure or expression levels are also associated with reduced drug susceptibility in parasitic helminths, including schistosomes. Here, we show that the activity of PZQ against schistosome adults and juveniles ex vivo is potentiated by co-administration of either the highly potent Pgp inhibitor tariquidar or combinations of inhibitors targeting multiple ABC multidrug transporters. Adult worms exposed to sublethal PZQ concentrations remain active, but co-administration of ABC transporter inhibitors results in complete loss of motility and disruption of the tegument. Notably, juvenile schistosomes (3-4 weeks post infection, normally refractory to 2 µM PZQ, become paralyzed when transporter inhibitors are added in combination with the PZQ. Experiments using the fluorescent PZQ derivative (R-PZQ-BODIPY are consistent with the transporter inhibitors increasing effective intraworm concentrations of PZQ. Adult worms in which expression of ABC transporters has been suppressed by RNA interference show increased responsiveness to PZQ and increased retention of (R-PZQ-BODIPY consistent with an important role for these proteins in setting levels of PZQ susceptibility. These results indicate that

  17. Towards an understanding of Mesocestoides vogae fatty acid binding proteins' roles.

    Gabriela Alvite

    Full Text Available Two fatty acid binding proteins, MvFABPa and MvFABPb were identified in the parasite Mesocestoides vogae (Platyhelmithes, Cestoda. Fatty acid binding proteins are small intracellular proteins whose members exhibit great diversity. Proteins of this family have been identified in many organisms, of which Platyhelminthes are among the most primitive. These proteins have particular relevance in flatworms since de novo synthesis of fatty acids is absent. Fatty acids should be captured from the media needing an efficient transport system to uptake and distribute these molecules. While HLBPs could be involved in the shuttle of fatty acids to the surrounding host tissues and convey them into the parasite, FABPs could be responsible for the intracellular trafficking. In an effort to understand the role of MvFABPs in fatty acid transport of M. vogae larvae, we analysed the intracellular localization of both MvFABPs and the co-localization with in vivo uptake of fatty acid analogue BODIPY FL C16. Immunohistochemical studies on larvae sections using specific antibodies, showed a diffuse cytoplasmic distribution of each protein with some expression in nuclei and mitochondria. MvFABPs distribution was confirmed by mass spectrometry identification from 2D-electrophoresis of larvae subcellular fractions. This work is the first report showing intracellular distribution of MvFABPs as well as the co-localization of these proteins with the BODIPY FL C16 incorporated from the media. Our results suggest that fatty acid binding proteins could target fatty acids to cellular compartments including nuclei. In this sense, M. vogae FABPs could participate in several cellular processes fulfilling most of the functions attributed to vertebrate's counterparts.

  18. In silico analysis of the fucosylation-associated genome of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni: cloning and characterization of the fucosyltransferase multigene family.

    Peterson, Nathan A; Anderson, Tavis K; Yoshino, Timothy P

    2013-01-01

    Fucosylated glycans of the parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni play key roles in its development and immunobiology. In the present study we used a genome-wide homology-based bioinformatics approach to search for genes that contribute to fucosylated glycan expression in S. mansoni, specifically the α2-, α3-, and α6-fucosyltransferases (FucTs), which transfer L-fucose from a GDP-L-fucose donor to an oligosaccharide acceptor. We identified and in silico characterized several novel schistosome FucT homologs, including six α3-FucTs and six α6-FucTs, as well as two protein O-FucTs that catalyze the unrelated transfer of L-fucose to serine and threonine residues of epidermal growth factor- and thrombospondin-type repeats. No α2-FucTs were observed. Primary sequence analyses identified key conserved FucT motifs as well as characteristic transmembrane domains, consistent with their putative roles as fucosyltransferases. Most genes exhibit alternative splicing, with multiple transcript variants generated. A phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that schistosome α3- and α6-FucTs form monophyletic clades within their respective gene families, suggesting multiple gene duplications following the separation of the schistosome lineage from the main evolutionary tree. Quantitative decreases in steady-state transcript levels of some FucTs during early larval development suggest a possible mechanism for differential expression of fucosylated glycans in schistosomes. This study systematically identifies the complete repertoire of FucT homologs in S. mansoni and provides fundamental information regarding their genomic organization, genetic variation, developmental expression, and evolutionary history.

  19. Modeling planarian regeneration: a primer for reverse-engineering the worm.

    Daniel Lobo

    Full Text Available A mechanistic understanding of robust self-assembly and repair capabilities of complex systems would have enormous implications for basic evolutionary developmental biology as well as for transformative applications in regenerative biomedicine and the engineering of highly fault-tolerant cybernetic systems. Molecular biologists are working to identify the pathways underlying the remarkable regenerative abilities of model species that perfectly regenerate limbs, brains, and other complex body parts. However, a profound disconnect remains between the deluge of high-resolution genetic and protein data on pathways required for regeneration, and the desired spatial, algorithmic models that show how self-monitoring and growth control arise from the synthesis of cellular activities. This barrier to progress in the understanding of morphogenetic controls may be breached by powerful techniques from the computational sciences-using non-traditional modeling approaches to reverse-engineer systems such as planaria: flatworms with a complex bodyplan and nervous system that are able to regenerate any body part after traumatic injury. Currently, the involvement of experts from outside of molecular genetics is hampered by the specialist literature of molecular developmental biology: impactful collaborations across such different fields require that review literature be available that presents the key functional capabilities of important biological model systems while abstracting away from the often irrelevant and confusing details of specific genes and proteins. To facilitate modeling efforts by computer scientists, physicists, engineers, and mathematicians, we present a different kind of review of planarian regeneration. Focusing on the main patterning properties of this system, we review what is known about the signal exchanges that occur during regenerative repair in planaria and the cellular mechanisms that are thought to underlie them. By establishing an

  20. Rooting gene trees without outgroups: EP rooting.

    Sinsheimer, Janet S; Little, Roderick J A; Lake, James A

    2012-01-01

    Gene sequences are routinely used to determine the topologies of unrooted phylogenetic trees, but many of the most important questions in evolution require knowing both the topologies and the roots of trees. However, general algorithms for calculating rooted trees from gene and genomic sequences in the absence of gene paralogs are few. Using the principles of evolutionary parsimony (EP) (Lake JA. 1987a. A rate-independent technique for analysis of nucleic acid sequences: evolutionary parsimony. Mol Biol Evol. 4:167-181) and its extensions (Cavender, J. 1989. Mechanized derivation of linear invariants. Mol Biol Evol. 6:301-316; Nguyen T, Speed TP. 1992. A derivation of all linear invariants for a nonbalanced transversion model. J Mol Evol. 35:60-76), we explicitly enumerate all linear invariants that solely contain rooting information and derive algorithms for rooting gene trees directly from gene and genomic sequences. These new EP linear rooting invariants allow one to determine rooted trees, even in the complete absence of outgroups and gene paralogs. EP rooting invariants are explicitly derived for three taxon trees, and rules for their extension to four or more taxa are provided. The method is demonstrated using 18S ribosomal DNA to illustrate how the new animal phylogeny (Aguinaldo AMA et al. 1997. Evidence for a clade of nematodes, arthropods, and other moulting animals. Nature 387:489-493; Lake JA. 1990. Origin of the metazoa. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87:763-766) may be rooted directly from sequences, even when they are short and paralogs are unavailable. These results are consistent with the current root (Philippe H et al. 2011. Acoelomorph flatworms are deuterostomes related to Xenoturbella. Nature 470:255-260).

  1. Neurotransmitter transporters in schistosomes: structure, function and prospects for drug discovery.

    Ribeiro, Paula; Patocka, Nicholas

    2013-12-01

    Neurotransmitter transporters (NTTs) play a fundamental role in the control of neurotransmitter signaling and homeostasis. Sodium symporters of the plasma membrane mediate the cellular uptake of neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft, whereas proton-driven vesicular transporters sequester the neurotransmitter into synaptic vesicles for subsequent release. Together these transporters control how much transmitter is released and how long it remains in the synaptic cleft, thereby regulating the intensity and duration of signaling. NTTs have been the subject of much research in mammals and there is growing interest in their activities among invertebrates as well. In this review we will focus our attention on NTTs of the parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni. Bloodflukes of the genus Schistosoma are the causative agents of human schistosomiasis, a devastating disease that afflicts over 200 million people worldwide. Schistosomes have a well-developed nervous system and a rich diversity of neurotransmitters, including many of the small-molecule ("classical") neurotransmitters that normally employ NTTs in their mechanism of signaling. Recent advances in schistosome genomics have unveiled numerous NTTs in this parasite, some of which have now been cloned and characterized in vitro. Moreover new genetic and pharmacological evidence suggests that NTTs are required for proper control of neuromuscular signaling and movement of the worm. Among these carriers are proteins that have been successfully targeted for drug discovery in other organisms, in particular sodium symporters for biogenic amine neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Our goal in this chapter is to review the current status of research on schistosome NTTs, with emphasis on biogenic amine sodium symporters, and to evaluate their potential for anti-schistosomal drug targeting. Through this discussion we hope to draw attention to this important superfamily of parasite proteins and to identify new

  2. Invaded Invaders: Infection of Invasive Brown Treesnakes on Guam by an Exotic Larval Cestode with a Life Cycle Comprised of Non-Native Hosts.

    Elden T Holldorf

    Full Text Available Multiple host introductions to the same non-native environment have the potential to complete life cycles of parasites incidentally transported with them. Our goal was to identify a recently detected parasitic flatworm in the invasive Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis on the remote Pacific island of Guam. We considered possible factors influencing parasite transmission, and tested for correlations between infection status and potential indicators of host fitness. We used genetic data from the parasite and information about the native ranges of other possible non-native hosts to hypothesize how it arrived on Guam and how its life cycle may be currently supported.We identified the parasite by comparing larval morphology and mtDNA sequences with other Pseudophyllid tapeworms. We assessed probability of infection in individual snakes using logistic regression and examined different factors influencing presence of parasites in hosts.We identified the parasite as the pseudophyllid cestode Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, with all sampled worms from multiple snakes sharing a single mtDNA haplotype. Infection appears to be limited to the only freshwater watershed on the island, where infection prevalence was high (77.5%. Larger snakes had a higher probability of being infected, consistent with the chronic nature of such infections. While infection status was positively correlated with body condition, infected snakes tended to have lower intra-peritoneal fat body mass, potentially indicating a negative effect on energy stores.We discovered that B. irregularis inhabiting a small area of forested habitat in a freshwater watershed on Guam are often infected by a novel parasite of Asian origin. While further work is needed, this species of Spirometra, itself a non-native species, likely depends on a suite of recently introduced hosts from different parts of the world to complete the life cycle. This baseline study provides little evidence of any effects on host

  3. Evolution and Origin of HRS, a Protein Interacting with Merlin, the Neurofibromatosis 2 Gene Product

    Leonid V. Omelyanchuk

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Hepatocyte growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase substrate (HRS is an endosomal protein required for trafficking receptor tyrosine kinases from the early endosome to the lysosome. HRS interacts with Merlin, the Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2 gene product, and this interaction may be important for Merlin’s tumor suppressor activity. Understanding the evolution, origin, and structure of HRS may provide new insight into Merlin function. We show that HRS homologs are present across a wide range of Metazoa with the yeast Vps27 protein as their most distant ancestor. The phylogenetic tree of the HRS family coincides with species evolution and divergence, suggesting a unique function for HRS. Sequence alignment shows that various protein domains of HRS, including the VHS domain, the FYVE domain, the UIM domain, and the clathrin-binding domain, are conserved from yeast to multicellular organisms. The evolutionary transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms was accompanied by the appearance of a binding site for Merlin, which emerges in the early Metazoa after its separation from flatworms. In addition to the region responsible for growth suppression, the Merlin-binding and STAM-binding domains of HRS are conserved among multicellular organisms. The residue equivalent to tyrosine-377, which is phosphorylated in the human HRS protein, is highly conserved throughout the HRS family. Three additional conserved boxes lacking assigned functions are found in the HRS proteins of Metazoa. While boxes 1 and 3 may constitute the Eps-15- and Snx1-binding sites, respectively, box 2, containing the residue equivalent to tyrosine-377, is likely to be important for HRS phosphorylation. While several functional domains are conserved throughout the HRS family, the STAM-binding, Merlin-binding, and growth suppression domains evolved in the early Metazoa around the time the Merlin protein emerged. As these domains appear during the transition to multicellularity

  4. Patterns of coral disease across the Hawaiian archipelago: relating disease to environment.

    Greta S Aeby

    Full Text Available In Hawaii, coral reefs occur across a gradient of biological (host abundance, climatic (sea surface temperature anomalies and anthropogenic conditions from the human-impacted reefs of the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI to the pristine reefs of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI. Coral disease surveys were conducted at 142 sites from across the Archipelago and disease patterns examined. Twelve diseases were recorded from three coral genera (Porites, Montipora, Acropora with Porites having the highest prevalence. Porites growth anomalies (PorGAs were significantly more prevalent within and indicative of reefs in the MHI and Porites trematodiasis (PorTrm was significantly more prevalent within and indicative of reefs in the NWHI. Porites tissue loss syndrome (PorTLS was also important in driving regional differences but that relationship was less clear. These results highlight the importance of understanding disease ecology when interpreting patterns of disease occurrence. PorTrm is caused by a parasitic flatworm that utilizes multiple hosts during its life cycle (fish, mollusk and coral. All three hosts must be present for the disease to occur and higher host abundance leads to higher disease prevalence. Thus, a high prevalence of PorTrm on Hawaiian reefs would be an indicator of a healthy coral reef ecosystem. In contrast, the high occurrence of PorGAs within the MHI suggests that PorGAs are related, directly or indirectly, to some environmental co-factor associated with increased human population sizes. Focusing on the three indicator diseases (PorGAs, PorTrm, PorTLS we used statistical modeling to examine the underlying associations between disease prevalence and 14 different predictor variables (biotic and abiotic. All three diseases showed positive associations with host abundance and negative associations with thermal stress. The association with human population density differed among disease states with PorGAs showing a positive and Por

  5. Stimulating Neoblast-Like Cell Proliferation in Juvenile Fasciola hepatica Supports Growth and Progression towards the Adult Phenotype In Vitro.

    Paul McCusker

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Fascioliasis (or fasciolosis is a socioeconomically important parasitic disease caused by liver flukes of the genus Fasciola. Flukicide resistance has exposed the need for new drugs and/or a vaccine for liver fluke control. A rapidly improving 'molecular toolbox' for liver fluke encompasses quality genomic/transcriptomic datasets and an RNA interference platform that facilitates functional genomics approaches to drug/vaccine target validation. The exploitation of these resources is undermined by the absence of effective culture/maintenance systems that would support in vitro studies on juvenile fluke development/biology. Here we report markedly improved in vitro maintenance methods for Fasciola hepatica that achieved 65% survival of juvenile fluke after 6 months in standard cell culture medium supplemented with 50% chicken serum. We discovered that this long-term maintenance was dependent upon fluke growth, which was supported by increased proliferation of cells resembling the "neoblast" stem cells described in other flatworms. Growth led to dramatic morphological changes in juveniles, including the development of the digestive tract, reproductive organs and the tegument, towards more adult-like forms. The inhibition of DNA synthesis prevented neoblast-like cell proliferation and inhibited growth/development. Supporting our assertion that we have triggered the development of juveniles towards adult-like fluke, mass spectrometric analyses showed that growing fluke have an excretory/secretory protein profile that is distinct from that of newly-excysted juveniles and more closely resembles that of ex vivo immature and adult fluke. Further, in vitro maintained fluke displayed a transition in their movement from the probing behaviour associated with migrating stage worms to a slower wave-like motility seen in adults. Our ability to stimulate neoblast-like cell proliferation and growth in F. hepatica underpins the first simple platform for their long

  6. Is arachidonic acid an endoschistosomicide?

    Violette Said Hanna

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium are intravascular, parasitic flatworms that infect >250 million people in 70 developing countries, yet not all people of the same community and household are afflicted. Regarding laboratory rodents, mice but not rats are susceptible to infection with S. mansoni and hamsters but not mice are entirely permissive to infection with S. haematobium. A recent Brazilian publication has demonstrated that resistance of the water-rat, Nectomys squamipes to S. mansoni infection might be ascribed to stores of arachidonic acid (ARA-rich lipids in liver. Several reports have previously shown that ARA is a safe and effective schistosomicide in vitro, and in vivo in mice, hamsters and in children. Schistosoma haematobium appeared more sensitive than S. mansoni to ARA in in vitro and in vivo experiments. Accordingly, it was proposed that ARA increased levels might be predominantly responsible for natural attrition of S. mansoni and S. haematobium in resistant experimental rodents. Therefore, the levels of ARA in serum, lung, and liver of rats (resistant and mice (susceptible at 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 weeks after infection with S. mansoni cercariae and between mice (semi-permissive and hamster (susceptible at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12 weeks after infection with S. haematobium cercariae were compared and contrasted. Neutral triglycerides and ARA levels were assessed in serum using commercially available assays and in liver and lung sections by transmission electron microscopy, Oil Red O staining, and specific anti-ARA antibody-based immunohistochemistry assays. Significant (P < .05, consistent, and reproducible correlation was recorded between ARA content in serum, lung, and liver and rodent resistance to schistosome infection, thereby implicating ARA as an endoschistosomicide. Keywords: Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma haematobium, Rat schistosomiasis, Arachidonic acid, Oil Red O staining, Immunohistochemistry

  7. Endogenous growth factor stimulation of hemocyte proliferation induces resistance to Schistosoma mansoni challenge in the snail host.

    Pila, Emmanuel A; Gordy, Michelle A; Phillips, Valerie K; Kabore, Alethe L; Rudko, Sydney P; Hanington, Patrick C

    2016-05-10

    Digenean trematodes are a large, complex group of parasitic flatworms that infect an incredible diversity of organisms, including humans. Larval development of most digeneans takes place within a snail (Gastropoda). Compatibility between snails and digeneans is often very specific, such that suitable snail hosts define the geographical ranges of diseases caused by these worms. The immune cells (hemocytes) of a snail are sentinels that act as a crucial barrier to infection by larval digeneans. Hemocytes coordinate a robust and specific immunological response, participating directly in parasite killing by encapsulating and clearing the infection. Hemocyte proliferation and differentiation are influenced by unknown digenean-specific exogenous factors. However, we know nothing about the endogenous control of hemocyte development in any gastropod model. Here, we identify and functionally characterize a progranulin [Biomphalaria glabrata granulin (BgGRN)] from the snail B. glabrata, a natural host for the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni Granulins are growth factors that drive proliferation of immune cells in organisms, spanning the animal kingdom. We demonstrate that BgGRN induces proliferation of B. glabrata hemocytes, and specifically drives the production of an adherent hemocyte subset that participates centrally in the anti-digenean defense response. Additionally, we demonstrate that susceptible B. glabrata snails can be made resistant to infection with S. mansoni by first inducing hemocyte proliferation with BgGRN. This marks the functional characterization of an endogenous growth factor of a gastropod mollusc, and provides direct evidence of gain of resistance in a snail-digenean infection model using a defined factor to induce snail resistance to infection.

  8. Biochemical and Parasitological Studies on the Effect of hUCB-Selected CD34+ Progenitor/Stem Cells in Mice Infected with Schistosoma mansoni

    Abou-Zied, Akram M.; Soliman, Rasha H.; Hefila, Shorouk M.; Imam, Samir A.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Placenta and blood that remained in the umbilical cord is routinely available as a discarded tissue after deliveries and it is free of any legal, moral, ethical or religious objections, providing a high number of multipotent CD34+ progenitor and stem cells. Using ex vivo isolated CD34+ cells from human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) have emerged as promising candidates to treat various diseases, including exogenous pathogenic infections. We have expanded to build a rational approach to study the effect of CD34+ cells after damaged liver tissues by the devastating human parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni. Methods and Results: Experimental studies were conducted in the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science and Departments of Parasitology and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, SCU, Egypt. We have studied the impact of ex vivo preparation of CD34+ cells from hUCB on S. mansoni-induced liver fibrosis de novo, and treated for shorter and longer periods in vivo. Ova count, ALT and albumin were measured at specific time interval and histopathological examination of liver was conducted to confirm the biochemical results. The data obtained were statistically analyzed by ANOVA between groups. It was found that the administration of CD34+ cells have modestly reduced liver damage; reduced the S. mansoni infection associated elevation in serum levels of ALT; significantly improved serum levels of albumin and reduced egg granuloma diameter in the livers. Conclusions: We demonstrated that CD34+ cells can markedly ameliorated liver fibrosis in vivo and may be beneficial for therapy to recover organ structure and/or function of S. mansoni-infected mice. PMID:25473447

  9. Patterns of coral disease across the Hawaiian Archipelago: Relating disease to environment

    Aeby, G.S.; Williams, G.J.; Franklin, E.C.; Kenyon, J.; Cox, E.F.; Coles, S.; Work, Thierry M.

    2011-01-01

    In Hawaii, coral reefs occur across a gradient of biological (host abundance), climatic (sea surface temperature anomalies) and anthropogenic conditions from the human-impacted reefs of the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) to the pristine reefs of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). Coral disease surveys were conducted at 142 sites from across the Archipelago and disease patterns examined. Twelve diseases were recorded from three coral genera (Porites, Montipora, Acropora) with Porites having the highest prevalence. Porites growth anomalies (PorGAs) were significantly more prevalent within and indicative of reefs in the MHI and Porites trematodiasis (PorTrm) was significantly more prevalent within and indicative of reefs in the NWHI. Porites tissue loss syndrome (PorTLS) was also important in driving regional differences but that relationship was less clear. These results highlight the importance of understanding disease ecology when interpreting patterns of disease occurrence. PorTrm is caused by a parasitic flatworm that utilizes multiple hosts during its life cycle (fish, mollusk and coral). All three hosts must be present for the disease to occur and higher host abundance leads to higher disease prevalence. Thus, a high prevalence of PorTrm on Hawaiian reefs would be an indicator of a healthy coral reef ecosystem. In contrast, the high occurrence of PorGAs within the MHI suggests that PorGAs are related, directly or indirectly, to some environmental co-factor associated with increased human population sizes. Focusing on the three indicator diseases (PorGAs, PorTrm, PorTLS) we used statistical modeling to examine the underlying associations between disease prevalence and 14 different predictor variables (biotic and abiotic). All three diseases showed positive associations with host abundance and negative associations with thermal stress. The association with human population density differed among disease states with PorGAs showing a positive and PorTrm showing

  10. Application of stable isotope analysis to study temporal changes in foraging ecology in a highly endangered amphibian.

    J Hayley Gillespie

    Full Text Available Understanding dietary trends for endangered species may be essential to assessing the effects of ecological disturbances such as habitat modification, species introductions or global climate change. Documenting temporal variation in prey selection may also be crucial for understanding population dynamics. However, the rarity, secretive behaviours and obscure microhabitats of some endangered species can make direct foraging observations difficult or impossible. Furthermore, the lethality or invasiveness of some traditional methods of dietary analysis (e.g. gut contents analysis, gastric lavage makes them inappropriate for such species. Stable isotope analysis facilitates non-lethal, indirect analysis of animal diet that has unrealized potential in the conservation of endangered organisms, particularly amphibians.I determined proportional contributions of aquatic macroinvertebrate prey to the diet of an endangered aquatic salamander Eurycea sosorum over a two-year period using stable isotope analysis of (13/12C and (15/14N and the Bayesian stable isotope mixing model SIAR. I calculated Strauss' dietary electivity indices by comparing these proportions with changing relative abundance of potential prey species through time. Stable isotope analyses revealed that a previously unknown prey item (soft-bodied planarian flatworms in the genus Dugesia made up the majority of E. sosorum diet. Results also demonstrate that E. sosorum is an opportunistic forager capable of diet switching to include a greater proportion of alternative prey when Dugesia populations decline. There is also evidence of intra-population dietary variation.Effective application of stable isotope analysis can help circumvent two key limitations commonly experienced by researchers of endangered species: the inability to directly observe these species in nature and the invasiveness or lethality of traditional methods of dietary analysis. This study illustrates the feasibility of stable

  11. The first multi-gene phylogeny of the Macrostomorpha sheds light on the evolution of sexual and asexual reproduction in basal Platyhelminthes.

    Janssen, Toon; Vizoso, Dita B; Schulte, Gregor; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Waeschenbach, Andrea; Schärer, Lukas

    2015-11-01

    The Macrostomorpha-an early branching and species-rich clade of free-living flatworms-is attracting interest because it contains Macrostomum lignano, a versatile model organism increasingly used in evolutionary, developmental, and molecular biology. We elucidate the macrostomorphan molecular phylogeny inferred from both nuclear (18S and 28S rDNA) and mitochondrial (16S rDNA and COI) marker genes from 40 representatives. Although our phylogeny does not recover the Macrostomorpha as a statistically supported monophyletic grouping, it (i) confirms many taxa previously proposed based on morphological evidence, (ii) permits the first placement of many families and genera, and (iii) reveals a number of unexpected placements. Specifically, Myozona and Bradynectes are outside the three classic families (Macrostomidae, Microstomidae and Dolichomacrostomidae) and the asexually fissioning Myomacrostomum belongs to a new subfamily, the Myozonariinae nov. subfam. (Dolichomacrostomidae), rather than diverging early. While this represents the first evidence for asexuality among the Dolichomacrostomidae, we show that fissioning also occurs in another Myozonariinae, Myozonaria fissipara nov. sp. Together with the placement of the (also fissioning) Microstomidae, namely as the sister taxon of Dolichomacrostomidae, this suggests that fissioning is not basal within the Macrostomorpha, but rather restricted to the new taxon Dolichomicrostomida (Dolichomacrostomidae+Microstomidae). Furthermore, our phylogeny allows new insights into the evolution of the reproductive system, as ancestral state reconstructions reveal convergent evolution of gonads, and male and female genitalia. Finally, the convergent evolution of sperm storage organs in the female genitalia appears to be linked to the widespread occurrence of hypodermic insemination among the Macrostomorpha. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. JNK Controls the Onset of Mitosis in Planarian Stem Cells and Triggers Apoptotic Cell Death Required for Regeneration and Remodeling

    Almuedo-Castillo, María; Crespo, Xenia; Seebeck, Florian; Bartscherer, Kerstin; Salò, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    Regeneration of lost tissues depends on the precise interpretation of molecular signals that control and coordinate the onset of proliferation, cellular differentiation and cell death. However, the nature of those molecular signals and the mechanisms that integrate the cellular responses remain largely unknown. The planarian flatworm is a unique model in which regeneration and tissue renewal can be comprehensively studied in vivo. The presence of a population of adult pluripotent stem cells combined with the ability to decode signaling after wounding enable planarians to regenerate a complete, correctly proportioned animal within a few days after any kind of amputation, and to adapt their size to nutritional changes without compromising functionality. Here, we demonstrate that the stress-activated c-jun–NH2–kinase (JNK) links wound-induced apoptosis to the stem cell response during planarian regeneration. We show that JNK modulates the expression of wound-related genes, triggers apoptosis and attenuates the onset of mitosis in stem cells specifically after tissue loss. Furthermore, in pre-existing body regions, JNK activity is required to establish a positive balance between cell death and stem cell proliferation to enable tissue renewal, remodeling and the maintenance of proportionality. During homeostatic degrowth, JNK RNAi blocks apoptosis, resulting in impaired organ remodeling and rescaling. Our findings indicate that JNK-dependent apoptotic cell death is crucial to coordinate tissue renewal and remodeling required to regenerate and to maintain a correctly proportioned animal. Hence, JNK might act as a hub, translating wound signals into apoptotic cell death, controlled stem cell proliferation and differentiation, all of which are required to coordinate regeneration and tissue renewal. PMID:24922054

  13. Physical data and biological data for algae, aquatic invertebrates, and fish from selected reaches on the Carson and Truckee rivers, Nevada and California, 1993-97

    Lawrence, S.J.; Seiler, R.L.

    2002-01-01

    river reaches on the Carson and Truckee Rivers between 1993 and 1996. These samples represent invertebrates in cobble riffles and on submerged woody snags. In those 49 samples, members of 6 phyla were identified. Roundworms were identified only to phylum (Nematoda) and free-living flatworms and snails were identified only to class (Turbellaria and Gastroda). Organisms were identified as belonging to 19 invertebrate orders. Most of the invertebrates that could be identified to genus or species belonged in the orders Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera of the arthropod class Insecta. Fish and crayfish populations in the Carson and Truckee Rivers were sampled 29 times between 1993 and 1997. These collections resulted in the identification of 18 fish species and one endemic crayfish species. Twelve of the 18 fish species identified are not native to the Carson and Truckee River Basins.

  14. Embryonic muscle development of Convoluta pulchra (Turbellaria-acoelomorpha, platyhelminthes).

    Ladurner, P; Rieger, R

    2000-06-15

    We studied the embryonic development of body-wall musculature in the acoel turbellarian Convoluta pulchra by fluorescence microscopy using phalloidin-bound stains for F-actin. During stage 1, which we define as development prior to 50% of the time between egg-laying and hatching, actin was visible only in zonulae adhaerentes of epidermal cells. Subsequent development of muscle occurred in two distinct phases: first, formation of an orthogonal grid of early muscles and, second, differentiation of other myoblasts upon this grid. The first elements of the primary orthogonal muscle grid appeared as short, isolated, circular muscle fibers (stage 2; 50% developmental time), which eventually elongated to completely encircle the embryo (stage 3; at 60% of total developmental time). The first primary longitudinal fibers appeared later, along with some new primary circular fibers, by 60-63% of total developmental time (stage 4). From 65 to 100% of total developmental time (stages 5 to 7), secondary fibers, using primary fibers as templates, arose; the number of circular and longitudinal muscles thus increased, and at the same time parenchymal muscles began appearing. Hatchlings (stage 8) possessed about 25 circular and 30 longitudinal muscles as well as strong parenchymal muscles. The remarkable feature of the body wall of many adult acoel flatworms is that longitudinal muscles bend medially and cross each other behind the level of the mouth. We found that this development starts shortly after the appearance of the ventral mouth opening within the body wall muscle grid. The adult organization of the body-wall musculature consists of a grid of several hundred longitudinal and circular fibers and a few diagonal muscles. Musculature of the reproductive organs developed after hatching. Thus, extensive myogenesis must occur also during postembryonic development. Comparison between the turbellarians and the annelids suggests that formation of a primary orthogonal muscle grid and

  15. Marine biodiversity of Bahía Culebra, Guanacaste, Costa Rica: published records

    Jorge Cortés

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available A survey of the published records of marine organisms of Bahía Culebra, an enclosed embayment on the north Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is analyzed resulting in a list of 577 species representing 22 phyla. The most diverse groups documented were crustaceans, cnidarians and mollusks in order of species number. The first published record of any marine organism from the area, a polychaete, occurred in 1922, with a peak of published records of species between 1940 and 1949 and, more recently, from 2000 to the present. Several additional taxa are known from the region but there are no published records of their occurrence. This is especially evident for such groups as the free living flatworms and black corals. Additionally, several habitats, including soft bottom sediments, have not been sampled. Because of the paucity of knowledge on the biodiversity of Bahia Culebra, much more research is needed in order to evaluate and understand the effect of climate change and increasing anthropogenic activities.Bahía Culebra es una bahía semicerrada en el Pacífico norte de Costa Rica. Se recopilaron y analizaron publicaciones en que se mencionan especies marinas de la Bahía. Un total de 577 especies en 22 filos han sido registradas, la mayoría crustaceos, cnidarios y moluscos. El primer informe de una especie marina de Bahía Culebra fue en 1922, un poliqueto. Entre 1940 y 1949 hay un pico de publicaciones con especies de la Bahía, al igual que del 2000 al presente. Se han observado algunos grupos de animales de los cuales no hay publicaciones, por ejemplo corales negros y gusanos planos de vida libre. Igualmente, tampoco hay publicaciones sobre los organismos del bentos blando. Más investigación en Bahía Culebra como también continuar y ampliar el monitoreo de ecosistemas y organismos marinos, es necesario para poder evaluar los impactos por la actividad humana y los naturales, incluyendo el cambio climático.

  16. Dissecting the active site of the collagenolytic cathepsin L3 protease of the invasive stage of Fasciola hepatica.

    Ileana Corvo

    Full Text Available A family of secreted cathepsin L proteases with differential activities is essential for host colonization and survival in the parasitic flatworm Fasciola hepatica. While the blood feeding adult secretes predominantly FheCL1, an enzyme with a strong preference for Leu at the S2 pocket of the active site, the infective stage produces FheCL3, a unique enzyme with collagenolytic activity that favours Pro at P2.Using a novel unbiased multiplex substrate profiling and mass spectrometry methodology (MSP-MS, we compared the preferences of FheCL1 and FheCL3 along the complete active site cleft and confirm that while the S2 imposes the greatest influence on substrate selectivity, preferences can be indicated on other active site subsites. Notably, we discovered that the activity of FheCL1 and FheCL3 enzymes is very different, sharing only 50% of the cleavage sites, supporting the idea of functional specialization. We generated variants of FheCL1 and FheCL3 with S2 and S3 residues by mutagenesis and evaluated their substrate specificity using positional scanning synthetic combinatorial libraries (PS-SCL. Besides the rare P2 Pro preference, FheCL3 showed a distinctive specificity at the S3 pocket, accommodating preferentially the small Gly residue. Both P2 Pro and P3 Gly preferences were strongly reduced when Trp67 of FheCL3 was replaced by Leu, rendering the enzyme incapable of digesting collagen. In contrast, the inverse Leu67Trp substitution in FheCL1 only slightly reduced its Leu preference and improved Pro acceptance in P2, but greatly increased accommodation of Gly at S3.These data reveal the significance of S2 and S3 interactions in substrate binding emphasizing the role for residue 67 in modulating both sites, providing a plausible explanation for the FheCL3 collagenolytic activity essential to host invasion. The unique specificity of FheCL3 could be exploited in the design of specific inhibitors selectively directed to specific infective stage

  17. Viral diseases of marine invertebrates

    Johnson, P. T.

    1984-03-01

    Approximately 40 viruses are known from marine sponges; turbellarian and monogenetic flatworms; cephalopod, bivalve, and gastropod mollusks; nereid polychaetes; and isopod and decapod crustaceans. Most of the viruses can be tentatively assigned to the Herpesviridae, Baculoviridae, Iridoviridae, Adenoviridae, Papovaviridae, Reoviridae, “Birnaviridae”, Bunyaviridae, Rhabdoviridae, and Picornaviridae. Viruslike particles found in oysters might be representatives of the Togaviridae and Retroviridae. Enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses from crustaceans have developmental and morphological characteristics intermediate between families, and some show evidence of relationships to the Paramyxoviridae as well as the Bunyaviridae or Rhabdoviridae. Certain small viruses of shrimp cannot be assigned, even tentatively, to a particular family. Some viruses cause disease in wild and captive hosts, others are associated with disease states but may not be primary instigators, and many occur in apparently normal animals. The frequency of viral disease in natural populations of marine invertebrates is unknown. Several viruses that cause disease in captive animals, with or without experimental intervention, have also been found in diseased wild hosts, including herpeslike viruses of crabs and oysters, iridovirus of octopus, and reolike and bunyalike viruses of crabs. Iridolike viruses have been implicated in massive mortalities of cultured oysters. Baculoviruses, and IHHN virus, which is of uncertain affinities, cause economically damaging diseases in cultured penaeid shrimp. Double or multiple viral infection is common in crabs. For example, a reolike virus and associated rhabdolike virus act synergistically to cause paralytic and fatal disease in Callinectes sapidus. Information on host range, most susceptible stage, and viral latency is available only for viruses of shrimp. One baculovirus attacks five species of New World penaeid shrimp. IHHN virus infects three species of

  18. Complete mitochondrial genomes of Taenia multiceps, T. hydatigena and T. pisiformis: additional molecular markers for a tapeworm genus of human and animal health significance.

    Jia, Wan-Zhong; Yan, Hong-Bin; Guo, Ai-Jiang; Zhu, Xing-Quan; Wang, Yu-Chao; Shi, Wan-Gui; Chen, Hao-Tai; Zhan, Fang; Zhang, Shao-Hua; Fu, Bao-Quan; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Cai, Xue-Peng

    2010-07-22

    Mitochondrial genomes provide a rich source of molecular variation of proven and widespread utility in molecular ecology, population genetics and evolutionary biology. The tapeworm genus Taenia includes a diversity of tapeworm parasites of significant human and veterinary importance. Here we add complete sequences of the mt genomes of T. multiceps, T. hydatigena and T. pisiformis, to a data set of 4 published mtDNAs in the same genus. Seven complete mt genomes of Taenia species are used to compare and contrast variation within and between genomes in the genus, to estimate a phylogeny for the genus, and to develop novel molecular markers as part of an extended mitochondrial toolkit. The complete circular mtDNAs of T. multiceps, T. hydatigena and T. pisiformis were 13,693, 13,492 and 13,387 bp in size respectively, comprising the usual complement of flatworm genes. Start and stop codons of protein coding genes included those found commonly amongst other platyhelminth mt genomes, but the much rarer initiation codon GTT was inferred for the gene atp6 in T. pisiformis. Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNAs offered novel estimates of the interrelationships of Taenia. Sliding window analyses showed nad6, nad5, atp6, nad3 and nad2 are amongst the most variable of genes per unit length, with the highest peaks in nucleotide diversity found in nad5. New primer pairs capable of amplifying fragments of variable DNA in nad1, rrnS and nad5 genes were designed in silico and tested as possible alternatives to existing mitochondrial markers for Taenia. With the availability of complete mtDNAs of 7 Taenia species, we have shown that analysis of amino acids provides a robust estimate of phylogeny for the genus that differs markedly from morphological estimates or those using partial genes; with implications for understanding the evolutionary radiation of important Taenia. Full alignment of the nucleotides of Taenia mtDNAs and sliding window analysis suggests numerous alternative gene

  19. A Transcriptomic Analysis of Echinococcus granulosus Larval Stages: Implications for Parasite Biology and Host Adaptation

    Parkinson, John; Wasmuth, James D.; Salinas, Gustavo; Bizarro, Cristiano V.; Sanford, Chris; Berriman, Matthew; Ferreira, Henrique B.; Zaha, Arnaldo; Blaxter, Mark L.; Maizels, Rick M.; Fernández, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    Background The cestode Echinococcus granulosus - the agent of cystic echinococcosis, a zoonosis affecting humans and domestic animals worldwide - is an excellent model for the study of host-parasite cross-talk that interfaces with two mammalian hosts. To develop the molecular analysis of these interactions, we carried out an EST survey of E. granulosus larval stages. We report the salient features of this study with a focus on genes reflecting physiological adaptations of different parasite stages. Methodology/Principal Findings We generated ∼10,000 ESTs from two sets of full-length enriched libraries (derived from oligo-capped and trans-spliced cDNAs) prepared with three parasite materials: hydatid cyst wall, larval worms (protoscoleces), and pepsin/H+-activated protoscoleces. The ESTs were clustered into 2700 distinct gene products. In the context of the biology of E. granulosus, our analyses reveal: (i) a diverse group of abundant long non-protein coding transcripts showing homology to a middle repetitive element (EgBRep) that could either be active molecular species or represent precursors of small RNAs (like piRNAs); (ii) an up-regulation of fermentative pathways in the tissue of the cyst wall; (iii) highly expressed thiol- and selenol-dependent antioxidant enzyme targets of thioredoxin glutathione reductase, the functional hub of redox metabolism in parasitic flatworms; (iv) candidate apomucins for the external layer of the tissue-dwelling hydatid cyst, a mucin-rich structure that is critical for survival in the intermediate host; (v) a set of tetraspanins, a protein family that appears to have expanded in the cestode lineage; and (vi) a set of platyhelminth-specific gene products that may offer targets for novel pan-platyhelminth drug development. Conclusions/Significance This survey has greatly increased the quality and the quantity of the molecular information on E. granulosus and constitutes a valuable resource for gene prediction on the parasite genome

  20. Identification of microRNA genes in three opisthorchiids.

    Vladimir Y Ovchinnikov

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Opisthorchis felineus, O. viverrini, and Clonorchis sinensis (family Opisthorchiidae are parasitic flatworms that pose a serious threat to humans in some countries and cause opisthorchiasis/clonorchiasis. Chronic disease may lead to a risk of carcinogenesis in the biliary ducts. MicroRNAs (miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that control gene expression at post-transcriptional level and are implicated in the regulation of various cellular processes during the parasite- host interplay. However, to date, the miRNAs of opisthorchiid flukes, in particular those essential for maintaining their complex biology and parasitic mode of existence, have not been satisfactorily described.Using a SOLiD deep sequencing-bioinformatic approach, we identified 43 novel and 18 conserved miRNAs for O. felineus (miracidia, metacercariae and adult worms, 20 novel and 16 conserved miRNAs for O. viverrini (adult worms, and 33 novel and 18 conserved miRNAs for C. sinensis (adult worms. The analysis of the data revealed differences in the expression level of conserved miRNAs among the three species and among three the developmental stages of O. felineus. Analysis of miRNA genes revealed two gene clusters, one cluster-like region and one intronic miRNA in the genome. The presence and structure of the two gene clusters were validated using a PCR-based approach in the three flukes.This study represents a comprehensive description of miRNAs in three members of the family Opistorchiidae, significantly expands our knowledge of miRNAs in multicellular parasites and provides a basis for understanding the structural and functional evolution of miRNAs in these metazoan parasites. Results of this study also provides novel resources for deeper understanding the complex parasite biology, for further research on the pathogenesis and molecular events of disease induced by the liver flukes. The present data may also facilitate the development of novel approaches for the prevention and

  1. Evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of chelonian and mammal polystomatid parasites (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea, Polystomatidae) revealed by palaeoecology of their hosts.

    Héritier, Laurent; Badets, Mathieu; Du Preez, Louis H; Aisien, Martins S O; Lixian, Fan; Combes, Claude; Verneau, Olivier

    2015-11-01

    Polystomatid flatworms (Platyhelminthes) are monogenean parasites that infect exclusively aquatic or semi-aquatic sarcopterygians such as the Australian lungfish, amphibians, freshwater turtles and the African common hippopotamus. Previous studies on the phylogenetic relationships of these parasites, excluding Oculotrema hippopotami infecting common hippos, showed a global coevolution between hosts and their parasites at a macroevolutionary scale. These studies also demonstrated a strong correlation between the diversification of early neobatrachian polystomes and Gondwana breakup in the Mesozoic period. However the origin of chelonian polystomes is still in question as a switch from presumably primitive aquatic amniotes to turtles at the time of their first appearance, or soon after during their radiation, was assumed. In order to resolve this sticking point, we extended the phylogeny of polystomes with broader parasite sampling, i.e. 55 polystome species including Nanopolystoma tinsleyi a polystome infecting caecilians and O. hippopotami, and larger set of sequence data covering two nuclear and two mitochondrial genes coding for the ribosomal RNA 18S and 28S, the Cytochrome c Oxidase I and the ribosomal RNA 12S, respectively. The secondary structure of nuclear rRNAs genes (stems and loops) was taken into account for sequence alignments and Bayesian analyses were performed based on the appropriate models of evolution selected independently for the four designed partitions. Molecular calibrations were also conducted for dating the main speciation events in the polystome tree. The phylogenetic position of chelonian parasites that are phylogenetically closer to N. tinsleyi than all other amphibian polystomes and molecular time estimates suggest that these parasites originated following a switch from caecilians, at a geological period when primitive turtles may already have adapted to an aquatic life style, i.e. at about 178Million years ago, or a little later when

  2. Distribution of Asellus aquaticus and microinvertebrates in a non-chlorinated drinking water supply system--effects of pipe material and sedimentation.

    Christensen, Sarah C B; Nissen, Erling; Arvin, Erik; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    2011-05-01

    Danish drinking water supplies based on ground water without chlorination were investigated for the presence of the water louse, Asellus aquaticus, microinvertebrates (tanks (6000 and 36,000 m(3)) as well as one clean water tank at a waterworks (700 m(3)) were inspected. Several types of invertebrates from the phyla: arthropoda, annelida (worms), plathyhelminthes (flatworms) and mollusca (snails) were found. Invertebrates were found at 94% of the sampling sites in the piped system with A. aquaticus present at 55% of the sampling sites. Populations of A. aquaticus were present in the two investigated elevated tanks but not in the clean water tank at a waterworks. Both adult and juvenile A. aquaticus (length of 2-10 mm) were found in tanks as well as in pipes. A. aquaticus was found only in samples collected from two of seven investigated distribution zones (zone 1 and 2), each supplied directly by one of the two investigated elevated tanks containing A. aquaticus. Microinvertebrates were distributed throughout all zones. The distribution pattern of A. aquaticus had not changed considerably over 20 years when compared to data from samples collected in 1988-89. Centrifugal pumps have separated the distribution zones during the whole period and may have functioned as physical barriers in the distribution systems, preventing large invertebrates such as A. aquaticus to pass alive. Another factor characterising zone 1 and 2 was the presence of cast iron pipes. The frequency of A. aquaticus was significantly higher in cast iron pipes than in plastic pipes. A. aquaticus caught from plastic pipes were mainly single living specimens or dead specimens, which may have been transported passively trough by the water flow, while cast iron pipes provided an environment suitable for relatively large populations of A. aquaticus. Sediment volume for each sample was measured and our study described for the first time a clear connection between sediment volume and living A. aquaticus

  3. Development of functional genomic tools in trematodes: RNA interference and luciferase reporter gene activity in Fasciola hepatica.

    Gabriel Rinaldi

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The growing availability of sequence information from diverse parasites through genomic and transcriptomic projects offer new opportunities for the identification of key mediators in the parasite-host interaction. Functional genomics approaches and methods for the manipulation of genes are essential tools for deciphering the roles of genes and to identify new intervention targets in parasites. Exciting advances in functional genomics for parasitic helminths are starting to occur, with transgene expression and RNA interference (RNAi reported in several species of nematodes, but the area is still in its infancy in flatworms, with reports in just three species. While advancing in model organisms, there is a need to rapidly extend these technologies to other parasites responsible for several chronic diseases of humans and cattle. In order to extend these approaches to less well studied parasitic worms, we developed a test method for the presence of a viable RNAi pathway by silencing the exogenous reporter gene, firefly luciferase (fLUC. We established the method in the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni and then confirmed its utility in the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica. We transformed newly excysted juveniles of F. hepatica by electroporation with mRNA of fLUC and three hours later were able to detect luciferase enzyme activity, concentrated mainly in the digestive ceca. Subsequently, we tested the presence of an active RNAi pathway in F. hepatica by knocking down the exogenous luciferase activity by introduction into the transformed parasites of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA specific for fLUC. In addition, we tested the RNAi pathway targeting an endogenous F. hepatica gene encoding leucine aminopeptidase (FhLAP, and observed a significant reduction in specific mRNA levels. In summary, these studies demonstrated the utility of RNAi targeting reporter fLUC as a reporter gene assay to establish the presence of an intact RNAi pathway in helminth

  4. Theoretical computer science and the natural sciences

    Marchal, Bruno

    2005-12-01

    I present some fundamental theorems in computer science and illustrate their relevance in Biology and Physics. I do not assume prerequisites in mathematics or computer science beyond the set N of natural numbers, functions from N to N, the use of some notational conveniences to describe functions, and at some point, a minimal amount of linear algebra and logic. I start with Cantor's transcendental proof by diagonalization of the non enumerability of the collection of functions from natural numbers to the natural numbers. I explain why this proof is not entirely convincing and show how, by restricting the notion of function in terms of discrete well defined processes, we are led to the non algorithmic enumerability of the computable functions, but also-through Church's thesis-to the algorithmic enumerability of partial computable functions. Such a notion of function constitutes, with respect to our purpose, a crucial generalization of that concept. This will make easy to justify deep and astonishing (counter-intuitive) incompleteness results about computers and similar machines. The modified Cantor diagonalization will provide a theory of concrete self-reference and I illustrate it by pointing toward an elementary theory of self-reproduction-in the Amoeba's way-and cellular self-regeneration-in the flatworm Planaria's way. To make it easier, I introduce a very simple and powerful formal system known as the Schoenfinkel-Curry combinators. I will use the combinators to illustrate in a more concrete way the notion introduced above. The combinators, thanks to their low-level fine grained design, will also make it possible to make a rough but hopefully illuminating description of the main lessons gained by the careful observation of nature, and to describe some new relations, which should exist between computer science, the science of life and the science of inert matter, once some philosophical, if not theological, hypotheses are made in the cognitive sciences. In the

  5. Redescripción y algunos aspectos ecológicos de Girardia tigrina, G. cameliae y G. paramensis (Dugesiidae, Tricladida en Antioquia, Colombia Redescription and some ecological aspects of Girardia tigrina, G. cameliae y G. paramensis (Dugesiidae, Tricladida in Antioquia, Colombia

    Mauricio A Muñoz

    2007-12-01

    length and position, was made. A histological analysis of gonopore; penis bulb, papilla, glands and lumen; seminal vesicles and vas deferens; masculine atrium; testes; bursal canal and copulatory bursa; ovary and oviducts; shell gland, was also conducted. Water oxygen content, pH, conductivity, and hardness, were measured. The graphical reconstruction of the reproductive organs (taxonomical characters on serial histological cuts was made. G. tigrina and G. paramensis present a broad geographical distribution. These species ate ex-situ: Daphnia pulex, Chironomus sp., Culex sp. and Drosophila sp. (larval stages. These flatworms prefer waters (BMWP/Col index II - III water class. The physical and chemical aspects did not exhibit differences between G. tigrina and G. paramensis. G. cameliae was found in one only locality with unusual conditions.

  6. Planarian regeneration under micro- and hyper-gravity simulated contexts

    Auletta, Gennaro; Van Loon, ing.. Jack J. W. A.; Adell, Teresa; Salo, Emili

    Planarians are non-parasitic flatworms of the Turbellaria class, some of which show the striking ability to regenerate any part of their body, even the head, in few days. Planarians are common to many parts of the world, living in both saltwater and freshwater, as well as in terrestrial areas. Due to their plasticity Planarians have been a classical model for the study of the mechanisms of regeneration. Currently, their cheap and easy maintenance, as well as the establishment of robust genetic tools, have converted them into an essential system in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine. The aim of our project is to study the effect that micro- and hyper- gravity could exert during the process of planarians regeneration. The reason for planarians extreme regenerative capability is the maintenance until adulthood of a population of totipotent stem cells as well as the continuous activation of the cell-cell communication molecular pathways. Our prediction is that the alteration of the forces could affect planarians regeneration at different levels: 1) To regenerate, planarians must activate both proliferative and apoptotic responses, in order to create new tissue and to remodel the pre-existing one, respectively. Both cellular processes have been reported to be altered in several models under differential gravitational forces; 2) In planarians, the main intercellular signalling pathways (Wnt, TGFb, BMP, Hh, EGF) must control the process of differentiation and determination of each cell. For instances, it has been demonstrated that the differential activity of the wnt/beta-catenin pathway specifies the posterior (tail) versus the anterior (head) identity. Those pathways rely on the distance that secreted molecules (morphogens) are able to reach. Either this mechanism consist in a passive diffusion or an active transport through phyllopodia, it could sense the magnitude of the gravitational force; 3) The epidermis of planarians is covered by cilia, which beat

  7. Marine biodiversity of an Eastern Tropical Pacific oceanic island, Isla del Coco, Costa Rica

    Jorge Cortés

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Isla del Coco (also known as Cocos Island is an oceanic island in the Eastern Tropical Pacific; it is part of the largest national park of Costa Rica and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island has been visited since the 16th Century due to its abundance of freshwater and wood. Marine biodiversity studies of the island started in the late 19th Century, with an intense period of research in the 1930’s, and again from the mid 1990’s to the present. The information is scattered and, in some cases, in old publications that are difficult to access. Here I have compiled published records of the marine organisms of the island. At least 1688 species are recorded, with the gastropods (383 species, bony fishes (354 spp. and crustaceans (at least 263 spp. being the most species-rich groups; 45 species are endemic to Isla del Coco National Park (2.7% of the total. The number of species per kilometer of coastline and by square kilometer of seabed shallower than 200m deep are the highest recorded in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Although the marine biodiversity of Isla del Coco is relatively well known, there are regions that need more exploration, for example, the south side, the pelagic environments, and deeper waters. Also, several groups of organisms, such as the flatworms, nematodes, nemerteans, and gelatinous zooplankton, have been observed around the Island but have been poorly studied or not at all.La Isla del Coco es una isla oceánica en el Pacífico Tropical Oriental; es parte del Parque Nacional más grande de Costa Rica y es un sitio de Patrimonio Mundial. La isla ha sido visitada desde el Siglo XVI por su abundancia de agua dulce y árboles. Estudios de biodiversidad marina de la isla empezaron a finales del Siglo XIX, con un intenso período de investigación en la década de 1930, y de nuevo desde mediados de la década de 1990 al presente. La información sobre organismos marinos se encuentra dispersa y en algunos casos en publicaciones

  8. New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records (October 2015

    F. CROCETTA

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The Collective Article “New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records” of the Mediterranean Marine Science journal offers the means to publish biodiversity records in the Mediterranean Sea. The current article is divided per countries, listed according to a Mediterranean west-east geographic position. New biodiversity data are reported for 7 different countries, although one species hereby reported from Malta is overall new for the entire Mediterranean basin, and is presumably present also in Israel and Lebanon (see below in Malta. Italy: the rare native fish Gobius kolombatovici is first reported from the Ionian Sea, whilst the alien jellyfish Rhopilema nomadica and the alien fish Oplegnathus fasciatus are first reported from the entire country. The presence of O. fasciatus from Trieste is concomitantly the first for the entire Adriatic Sea. Finally, the alien bivalve Arcuatula senhousia is hereby first reported from Campania (Tyrrhenian Sea. Tunisia: a bloom of the alien crab Portunus segnis is first reported from the Gulf of Gabes, from where it was considered as casual. Malta: the alien flatworm Maritigrella fuscopunctata is first recorded from the Mediterranean Sea on the basis of 25 specimens. At the same time, web researches held possible unpublished records from Israel and Lebanon. The alien crab P. segnis, already mentioned above, is first formally reported from Malta based on specimens collected in 1972. Concomitantly, the presence of Callinectes sapidus in Maltese waters is excluded since based on misidentifications. Greece: the Atlantic northern brown shrimp Penaeus atzecus, previously known from the Ionian Sea from sporadic records only, is now well established in Greek and international Ionian waters. The alien sea urchin Diadema setosum is reported from the second time from Greece, and its first record date from the country is backdated to 2010 in Rhodes Island. The alien lionfish Pterois miles is first reported from Greece and