Chevret, P; Denys, C; Jaeger, J J; Michaux, J; Catzeflis, F M
Spiny mice of the genus Acomys traditionally have been classified as members of the Murinae, a subfamily of rodents that also includes rats and mice with which spiny mice share a complex set of morphological characters, including a unique molar pattern. The origin and evolution of this molar pattern, documented by many fossils from Southern Asia, support the hypothesis of the monophyly of Acomys and all other Murinae. This view has been challenged by immunological studies that have suggested that Acomys is as distantly related to mice (Mus) as are other subfamilies (e.g., hamsters: Cricetinae) of the muroid rodents. We present molecular evidence derived from DNA.DNA hybridization data that indicate that the spiny mouse Acomys and two African genera of Murinae, Uranomys and Lophuromys, constitute a monophyletic clade, a view that was recently suggested on the basis of dental characters. However, our DNA.DNA hybridization data also indicate that the spiny mice (Acomys) are more closely related to gerbils (Gerbillinae) than to the true mice and rats (Murinae) with which they have been classified. Because Acomys and the brush-furred mice Uranomys and Lophuromys share no derived morphological characters with the Gerbillinae, their murine morphology must have evolved by convergence, including the molar pattern previously considered to support the monophyly of the Murinae.
MOHEBALI, Mehdi; ZAREI, Zabiholah; Khanaliha, Khadijeh; KIA, Eshrat Beigom; MOTAVALLI-HAGHI, Afsaneh; DAVOODI, Jaber; REZAEIAN, Tahereh; TARIGHI, Fathemeh; REZAEIAN, Mostafa
Background: Majority of parasitic infections in rodents have zoonotic importance. This study aimed to determine the frequency and intensity of intestinal protozoa infections of rodents including Meriones persicus, Mus musculus and, Cricetulus migratorius. Methods: This survey was conducted in Meshkin Shahr district in northwestern Iran from Mar. to Dec. of 2014. Intestinal samples of 204 rodents including M. persicus (n=117), M. musculus (n=63) and C. migratorius (n=24) were parasitologically examined. Formalin-ether concentration method was done for all of rodents stool samples and observed with light microscope. All of suspected cases were stained with trichorome staining Method. Cultivation in dichromate potassium 2.5% was carried out for all of coccidian positive samples. Acid fast and aniline blue staining methods were used for detecting of coccidian oocysts and intestinal microsporidial spores, respectively. Results: About 121(59.3%) of the caught rodents were generally infected with intestinal protozoa. Entamoeba muris 14(6.9%), Trichomonas muris 55(27.0%), Chilomastix betencourtti 17 (8.3%), Giardia muris 19(9.3%), Eimeria spp. 46(22.5%), Isospora spp. 4(2%) and Cryptosporidium spp. 1(0.5%) were found from the collected rodents. Microsporidian spores were identified in 63 (31%) out of the 204 collected rodents using aniline blue staining method. Conclusion: Since some of the infections are zoonotic importance thus, control of rodents can be decreased new cases of the parasitic zoonoses in humans. PMID:28979348
Full Text Available Background: Majority of parasitic infections in rodents have zoonotic importance. This study aimed to determine the frequency and intensity of intestinal protozoa infections of rodents including Meriones persicus, Mus musculus and, Cricetulus migratorius.Methods: This survey was conducted in Meshkin Shahr district in northwestern Iran from Mar. to Dec. of 2014. Intestinal samples of 204 rodents including M. persicus (n=117, M. musculus (n=63 and C. migratorius (n=24 were parasitologically examined. Formalin-ether concentration method was done for all of rodents stool samples and observed with light microscope. All of suspected cases were stained with trichorome staining Method. Cultivation in dichromate potassium 2.5% was carried out for all of coccidian positive samples. Acid fast and aniline blue staining methods were used for detecting of coccidian oocysts and intestinal microsporidial spores, respectively.Results: About 121(59.3% of the caught rodents were generally infected with intestinal protozoa. Entamoeba muris 14(6.9%, Trichomonas muris 55(27.0%, Chilomastix betencourtti 17 (8.3%, Giardia muris 19(9.3%, Eimeria spp. 46(22.5%, Isospora spp. 4(2% and Cryptosporidium spp. 1(0.5% were found from the collected rodents. Microsporidian spores were identified in 63 (31% out of the 204 collected rodents using aniline blue staining method.Conclusion: Since some of the infections are zoonotic importance thus, control of rodents can be decreased new cases of the parasitic zoonoses in humans.
Odhiambo, Richgard O.; Makundi, Rhodes H.; Leirs, Herwig;
Seasonal abundance, reproductive biology and feeding ecology of the bushveld gerbil Tatera leucogaster (Peters, 1852) were investigated in small-scale maize field-fallow land mosaics in south-western Tanzania. The gerbils were collected over a 2-year period using Sherman live and Victor hold-fast...
Dubois, JYF; Catzeflis, FM; Beintema, JJ
The phylogenetic relationships of Acomys and Uranomys within Muridae were investigated using nuclear pancreatic ribonuclease A gene sequences. The various kinds of substitutions in the data matrix (15 taxa x 375 nucleotides) were examined for saturation, in order to apply a weighted parsimony
Dubois, JYF; Catzeflis, FM; Beintema, JJ
The phylogenetic relationships of Acomys and Uranomys within Muridae were investigated using nuclear pancreatic ribonuclease A gene sequences. The various kinds of substitutions in the data matrix (15 taxa x 375 nucleotides) were examined for saturation, in order to apply a weighted parsimony approa
Systematics and evolution of the Meriones shawii/grandis complex (Rodentia, Gerbillinae) during the Late Quaternary in northwestern Africa: Exploring the role of environmental and anthropogenic changes
Stoetzel, Emmanuelle; Cornette, Raphaël; Lalis, Aude; Nicolas, Violaine; Cucchi, Thomas; Denys, Christiane
Rodents of the Meriones shawii/grandis complex have been attested to in North Africa since the Middle Pleistocene and are abundant in archaeological sites. Today, they are widely spread and represent a major pest to local human populations. This complex, therefore, represents an accurate model for investigating the roles of climate change and human impact in shaping Quaternary faunal diversity and distribution. Many gray areas still exist regarding the systematics, ecology and geographical distribution of this complex, for both present and past populations. The purpose of this study is to compare modern genotyped and fossil Meriones specimens in order to 1) clarify the current systematics and distribution of the Meriones populations of the shawii/grandis complex, 2) document the taxonomic diversity in fossil Meriones from northwestern Africa, and 3) track their phenotypic and biogeographic evolution through time. To answer these questions we used geometric morphometrics on skulls (landmarks) and first upper molars (landmarks and sliding landmarks). We evidenced the existence of two morpho-groups within the M. shawii/grandis complex, with a clear geographic pattern (M. grandis in Morocco vs. M. shawii in Algeria and Tunisia). Currently only one morpho-group, attributed to M. grandis, seems to exist in Morocco, with a small overlap with M. shawii in the most eastern part of the country. However, according to fossil data, M. shawii was also present in Atlantic Morocco during the Late Pleistocene. We have also highlighted the impact of Holocene climate change and habitat anthropization on this arid adapted group. During the Middle Holocene, a major climatic event (last interglacial optimum) seems to have induced a demographic collapse in Moroccan populations and the disappearance of the shawii clade from Morocco (except in the most eastern areas). Both species then re-expanded, benefitting from the increasing aridity and the new ecological niche driven by agriculture dispersal from the Neolithic onwards.
Fatemeh Tabatabaei Yazdi
Full Text Available Jirds (genus Meriones are a diverse group of rodents, with a wide distribution range in Iran. Sundevall’s jird (Meriones crassus Sundevall, 1842 is one such species that shows a disjunct distribution, found on the Iranian Plateau and Western Zagros Mountains. Morphological differences observed between these two populations, however, lack quantitative support. Morphological differences between geographical populations of Meriones crassus were analysed and compared with those of the sympatric M. libycus. Similarities in the cranial morphology of these species were found, e.g. in a relatively large and inflated bulla. A two-dimensional geometric morphometric analysis was done on the skull of 275 M. crassus and 220 M. libycus from more than 70 different localities in their distribution range. Results confirm cranial differences between specimens of M. crassus from the Western Zagros and those from Africa and Arabia, mainly at the level of the relative size of the tympanic bulla, that were significantly correlated with the annual rainfall and elevation. Moreover, the study supports the hypothesis that the Western Zagros specimens are both a geographically and phenotypically distinct group compared to the other Iranian M. crassus specimens, suggesting that the former might be a distinct species.
A. Vieira-Da-Silva; F. Adega; H. Guedes-Pinto; R. Chaves
L1 distribution in mammal’s genomes is yet a huge riddle. However, these repetitive sequences were already found in all chromosomic regions, and in general, they seem to be nonrandomly distributed in the genome. It also seems that after insertionand when they are not deleterious, they are always involved in dynamic processes occurring on that particular chromosomic region. Furthermore, it seems that large-scale genome rearrangements and L1 activity and accumulation are somehow interconnected. In the present study, we analysed L1 genomic distribution in Tatera gambiana (Muridae, Gerbillinae), Acomys sp. (Muridae, Deomyinae), Cricetomys sp. (Nesomyidae, Cricetomyinae), Microtus arvalis (Cricetidae, Arvicolinae), Phodopus roborovskii and P. sungorus (Cricetidae, Cricetinae). All the species studied here seems to exhibit a species-specific pattern.Possible mechanisms, and processes involved in L1 distribution and preferential accumulation in certain regions are discussed.
L. Shirani Bidabadi
Full Text Available Background & objectives: Rodents belonging to Gerbillinae subfamily are the main reservoir hosts of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL in Iran. Regarding the important role of these rodents in the maintenance of Leishmania major in the nature, their identification with morphometric, cytogenetic and molecular methods seems to be essential. The karyotype study of these species, captured from a new focus of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis located in the south of Isfahan Province was carried out in 2007.Methods: Twenty specimens containing seventeen Meriones persicus and three Nesokia indica were captured from Mobarakeh rural district south of Isfahan. Giemsa-stained karyotypes of these two species were prepared from bone marrow chromosome preparations. Systematic important characters of the body and cranium (incisors, molars, occipitonasal, condylobasal, zygomatic, tympanic bullae, etc. of these rodents were studied. Cranium size was measured using a Vernier calipers.Results: Specimens of M. persicus and N. indica had 2n = 42. The karyotype study of these species included metacentric, sub-metacentric and acrocentric chromosomes. Morphological studies were completely matched with the reported characters of these species and further confirmed the diagnoses. Interpretation & conclusion: Based on the results of this study, M. persicus and N. indica are two completely differentiated rodents species that were collected from a new focus and they can also be differentiated morphologically.
Robinson, M; Catzeflis, F; Briolay, J; Mouchiroud, D
Phylogenetic relationships among 19 extant species of rodents, with special emphasis on rats, mice, and allied Muroidea, were studied using sequences of the nuclear protein-coding gene LCAT (lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase), an enzyme of cholesterol metabolism. Analysis of 705 base pairs from the exonic regions of LCAT confirmed known groupings in and around Muroidea. Strong support was found for the families Sciuridae (squirrel and marmot) and Gliridae (dormice) and for suprafamilial taxa Muroidea and Caviomorpha (guinea pig and allies). Within Muroidea, the first branching leads to the fossorial mole rats Spalacinae and bamboo rats Rhizomyinae. The other Muroidea appear as a polytomy from which are issued Gerbillinae (gerbils), Murinae (rats and mice), Sigmodontinae (New World cricetids), Cricetinae (hamsters), and Arvicolinae (voles). Evidence from LCAT sequences agrees with that from a number of previous molecular and morphological studies, both concerning branching orders inside Muroidea and the bush-like radiation of rodent suprafamilial taxa (caviomorphs, sciurids, glirids, muroids), thus suggesting that this nuclear gene is an appropriate candidate for addressing questions of rodents relationships.
Gustavsen, Carsten R; Kvicerova, Jana; Dickinson, Hayley; Heller, R Scott
Acomys, also called spiny mice, were once used as a diabetes model. We have recently demonstrated that the closest relatives to the Acomys, members of the family Gerbillinae, lack the transcription factor Pdx-1. Therefore, we sought to determine if members of this family also lack Pdx-1, and describe the pancreatic morphology in three different species of Acomys: Acomys cahirinus (Egyptian spiny mouse), Acomys cilicicus (Asia Minor spiny mouse) and Acomys dimidiatus (eastern spiny mouse). We successfully cloned the Acomys Pdx-1 gene and we demonstrate by immunocytochemistry that the Pdx-1 protein is expressed in the pancreatic insulin immunoreactive cells and in a subset of the somatostatin cells. The basic islet structure is very similar to other rodents - with the insulin cells in the center, and glucagon, somatostatin, PP and occasional PYY cells in the periphery. No ghrelin or CART cells were identified. Nkx6.1 was localized specifically to the insulin immunoreactive cells, while Nkx2.2 was found in all endocrine cells except the somatostatin immunoreactive cells. Both MafA and MafB were expressed in the islets; MafA being specific for the insulin cells, while MafB was primarily in the glucagon cells but also found in some insulin cells. Isl-1 was localized in all endocrine cell types. In conclusion, the closest relatives to the Gerbils express a Pdx-1 protein that is 90% similar to other rodents but also has a unique 3 amino acid insert compared to other species. During the evolution of the spiny mice and the gerbils, it appears that the Pdx-1 gene was lost.
Jeffrey, Amy; Denys, Christiane; Stoetzel, Emmanuelle; Lee-Thorp, Julia A.
The stable isotope composition of small mammal tissues has the potential to provide detailed information about terrestrial palaeoclimate and environments, because their remains are abundant in palaeontological and archaeological sites, and they have restricted home ranges. Applications to the Quaternary record, however, have been sparse and limited by an acute lack of understanding of small mammal isotope ecology, particularly in arid and semi-arid environments. Here we document the oxygen and carbon isotope composition of Gerbillinae (gerbil) tooth apatite across a rainfall gradient in northwestern Africa, in order to test the relative influences of the 18O/16O in precipitation or moisture availability on gerbil teeth values, the sensitivity of tooth apatite 13C/12C to plant responses to moisture availability, and the influence of developmental period on the isotopic composition of gerbil molars and incisors. The results show that the isotopic composition of molars and incisors from the same individuals differs consistent with the different temporal periods reflected by the teeth; molar teeth are permanently rooted and form around the time of birth, whereas incisors grow continuously. The results indicate that tooth choice is an important consideration for applications as proxy Quaternary records, but also highlights a new potential means to distinguish seasonal contexts. The oxygen isotope composition of gerbil tooth apatite is strongly correlated with mean annual precipitation (MAP) below 600 mm, but above 600 mm the teeth reflect the oxygen isotope composition of local meteoric water instead. Predictably, the carbon isotope composition of the gerbil teeth reflected C3 and C4 dietary inputs, however arid and mesic sites could not be distinguished because of the high variability displayed in the carbon isotope composition of the teeth due to the microhabitat and short temporal period reflected by the gerbil. We show that the oxygen isotope composition of small
possible , with the aid of measuring microscope having accuracy 0.001 mm. One of the main goals of the detailed analysis on dental remains is obtaining the changes of teeth size during time and space (Mashkour and Hashemi 2008 . KS remains were recovered out by water sieving a column of three geological sieves with decreasing size of the mesh from top to bottom: 1 cm, 0.5 cm and 0.2 cm. Furthermore, all obtained information, which depending on the type of the skeletal remains has been entered in tables of excel for statistical analysis. Combination of morphometric with morphological studies and their identification keys were used to identify of the remains. Based on these methods, known examples in both archeological sites were belonging to Gerbillinae and Tatera indica species . Discussion of Results & Conclusions The effect of climate change on Tatera indica species was found for the first time in 1973 in the western regions of Iran and Dehloran plain (10,000-3800 years ago (Redding 1978 . This region has 200 to 399 mm of rainfall per year; rivers, streams, marshes and channels which represents wet conditions in most of the year. In this area, in addition of Tatera indica species, Nesokia indica, Mus musculus, Gerbillus nanus and Meriones crassus were identified. The remains of Tatera indica species with Nesokia and Mus were found also in Shahre shoukhteh in Sistan which wa s reported approximately 6000 years ago (Chaline and Helmer 1974 . Presence of Tatera indica in KS site and also in other central, western, southwestern and eastern Iran during the mid to late Holocene can be show that climatic and environmental conditions in the southern half part of the country has not changed from 9000 years to recent (Alley et al. 1997 . Finding the dental and cranial remains of Tatera indica in TN of Mashhad and in another archeological site such as Kohandejh in north east of Iran (Nishapur can be indicate the change climate probably was intense in 2,000 years ago in