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Sample records for lungfishes protopterus dolloi

  1. Control of breathing in African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi): A comparison of aquatic and cocooned (terrestrialized) animals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perry, S.F.; Euverman, R.; Wang, Tobias

    2008-01-01

    in terrestrialized fish consisted of multiple bouts of inspiration and expiration in rapid succession, the mean frequency of pulmonary breathing events was unaltered in the terrestrialized fish (16.7 ± 1.4 h-1 versus 20.1 ± 4.9 h-1 in the aquatic and terrestrialized fish, respectively). Hypoxia ( 20 mmHg) increased...... the frequency of breathing events by 16 and 23 h-1 in the aquatic and terrestrialized fish, respectively. Hyperoxia ( 550 mmHg) decreased breathing event frequency by 10 and 15 h-1 in the aquatic and terrestrialized animals. Aquatic hypercapnia ( 37.5 mmHg) increased pulmonary breathing frequency (from 15......African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi exhibited constant rates of O2 consumption before (0.95 ± 0.07 mmol kg-1 h-1), during (1.21 ± 0.32 mmol kg-1 h-1) and after (1.14 ± 0.14 mmol kg-1 h-1) extended periods (1-2 months) of terrestrialization while cocooned. Although a breathing event...

  2. Discovery of J chain in African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi, Sarcopterygii using high throughput transcriptome sequencing: implications in mucosal immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Tacchi

    Full Text Available J chain is a small polypeptide responsible for immunoglobulin (Ig polymerization and transport of Igs across mucosal surfaces in higher vertebrates. We identified a J chain in dipnoid fish, the African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi by high throughput sequencing of the transcriptome. P. dolloi J chain is 161 aa long and contains six of the eight Cys residues present in mammalian J chain. Phylogenetic studies place the lungfish J chain closer to tetrapod J chain than to the coelacanth or nurse shark sequences. J chain expression occurs in all P. dolloi immune tissues examined and it increases in the gut and kidney in response to an experimental bacterial infection. Double fluorescent in-situ hybridization shows that 88.5% of IgM⁺ cells in the gut co-express J chain, a significantly higher percentage than in the pre-pyloric spleen. Importantly, J chain expression is not restricted to the B-cell compartment since gut epithelial cells also express J chain. These results improve our current view of J chain from a phylogenetic perspective.

  3. Aspects of the biology of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Aspects of the biology of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens (Owen, 1839) from Orashi and Sombreiro Rivers in Rivers State, Nigeria were investigated using routine biological approaches. Samples were collected between October 2012 and September 2013. The analysis of the stomach content showed that the ...

  4. Translocation of marbled African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Annual catch data were obtained from the District Fisheries Office, while catch and effort data of the long line fishery were recorded at one active fish-landing site between February and October 2001. Lungfish comprise a significant component of commercial landings, sometimes exceeding catches of the Baringo tilapia ...

  5. Hearing of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) suggests underwater pressure detection and rudimentary aerial hearing in early tetrapods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-02-01

    In the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial lifestyle, vertebrate auditory systems have undergone major changes while adapting to aerial hearing. Lungfish are the closest living relatives of tetrapods and their auditory system may therefore be a suitable model of the auditory systems of early tetrapods such as Acanthostega. Therefore, experimental studies on the hearing capabilities of lungfish may shed light on the possible hearing capabilities of early tetrapods and broaden our understanding of hearing across the water-to-land transition. Here, we tested the hypotheses that (i) lungfish are sensitive to underwater pressure using their lungs as pressure-to-particle motion transducers and (ii) lungfish can detect airborne sound. To do so, we used neurophysiological recordings to estimate the vibration and pressure sensitivity of African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) in both water and air. We show that lungfish detect underwater sound pressure via pressure-to-particle motion transduction by air volumes in their lungs. The morphology of lungfish shows no specialized connection between these air volumes and the inner ears, and so our results imply that air breathing may have enabled rudimentary pressure detection as early as the Devonian era. Additionally, we demonstrate that lungfish in spite of their atympanic middle ear can detect airborne sound through detection of sound-induced head vibrations. This strongly suggests that even vertebrates with no middle ear adaptations for aerial hearing, such as the first tetrapods, had rudimentary aerial hearing that may have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears in recent tetrapods. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Hearing in the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens): pre-adaptation to pressure hearing in tetrapods?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Brandt, Christian; Wilson, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Lungfishes are the closest living relatives of the tetrapods, and the ear of recent lungfishes resembles the tetrapod ear more than the ear of ray-finned fishes and is therefore of interest for understanding the evolution of hearing in the early tetrapods. The water-to-land transition resulted...... shows measurable vibrations above 100 Hz when stimulated by air-borne sound, but the ear is apparently insensitive at these frequencies, suggesting that the lungfish ear is neither adapted nor pre-adapted for aerial hearing. Thus, if the lungfish ear is a model of the ear of early tetrapods...

  7. Hearing of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) suggests underwater pressure detection and rudimentary aerial hearing in early tetrapods

    OpenAIRE

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-01-01

    In the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial lifestyle, vertebrate auditory systems have undergone major changes while adapting to aerial hearing. Lungfish are the closest living relatives of tetrapods and their auditory system may therefore be a suitable model of the auditory systems of early tetrapods such as Acanthostega. Therefore, experimental studies on the hearing capabilities of lungfish may shed light on the possible hearing capabilities of early tetrapods and broaden our under...

  8. Hearing of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) suggests underwater pressure detection and rudimentary aerial hearing in early tetrapods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Madsen, Professor Peter Teglberg

    2015-01-01

    of early tetrapods such as Acanthostega. Therefore, experimental studies on the hearing capabilities of lungfish may shed light on the possible hearing capabilities of early tetrapods and broaden our understanding of hearing across the water-to-land transition. Here, we tested the hypotheses that (i......In the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial lifestyle, vertebrate auditory systems have undergone major changes while adapting to aerial hearing. Lungfish are the closest living relatives of tetrapods and their auditory system may therefore be a suitable model of the auditory systems...... for aerial hearing, such as the first tetrapods, had rudimentary aerial hearing that may have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears in recent tetrapods....

  9. Molecular characterization of three Rhesus glycoproteins from the gills of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and effects of aestivation on their mRNA expression levels and protein abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    You R Chng

    Full Text Available African lungfishes are ammonotelic in water. They can aestivate for long periods on land during drought. During aestivation, the gills are covered with dried mucus and ammonia excretion ceases. In fishes, ammonia excretion through the gills involves Rhesus glycoproteins (RhGP/Rhgp. This study aimed to obtain the complete cDNA coding sequences of rhgp from the gills of Protopterus annectens, and to determine their branchial mRNA and protein expression levels during the induction, maintenance and arousal phases of aestivation. Three isoforms of rhgp (rhag, rhbg and rhcg were obtained in the gills of P. annectens. Their complete cDNA coding sequences ranged between 1311 and 1398 bp, coding for 436 to 465 amino acids with estimated molecular masses between 46.8 and 50.9 kDa. Dendrogramic analyses indicated that Rhag was grouped closer to fishes, while Rhbg and Rhcg were grouped closer to tetrapods. During the induction phase, the protein abundance of Rhag, but not its transcript level, was down-regulated in the gills, suggesting that there could be a decrease in the release of ammonia from the erythrocytes to the plasma. Furthermore, the branchial transcript levels of rhbg and rhcg decreased significantly, in preparation for the subsequent shutdown of gill functions. During the maintenance phase, the branchial expression levels of rhag/Rhag, rhbg/Rhbg and rhcg/Rhcg decreased significantly, indicating that their transcription and translation were down-regulated. This could be part of an overall mechanism to shut down branchial functions and save metabolic energy used for transcription and translation. It could also be regarded as an adaptive response to stop ammonia excretion. During the arousal phase, it is essential for the lungfish to regain the ability to excrete ammonia. Indeed, the protein abundance of Rhag, Rhbg and Rhcg recovered to the corresponding control levels after 1 day or 3 days of recovery from 6 months of aestivation.

  10. Molecular Characterization of Aquaporin 1 and Aquaporin 3 from the Gills of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens, and Changes in Their Branchial mRNA Expression Levels and Protein Abundance during Three Phases of Aestivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chng, You R; Ong, Jasmine L Y; Ching, Biyun; Chen, Xiu L; Hiong, Kum C; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Lam, Siew H; Ip, Yuen K

    2016-01-01

    African lungfishes can undergo long periods of aestivation on land during drought. During aestivation, lungfishes are confronted with desiccation and dehydration, and their gills become non-functional and covered with a thick layer of dried mucus. Aquaporins (Aqps) are a superfamily of integral membrane proteins which generally facilitate the permeation of water through plasma membranes. This study aimed to obtain the complete cDNA coding sequences of aqp1 and aqp3 from the gills of Protopterus annectens , and to determine their branchial mRNA and protein expression levels during the induction, maintenance and arousal phases of aestivation. Dendrogramic analyses of the deduced Aqp1 and Aqp3 amino acid sequences of P. annectens revealed their close relationships with those of Latimeria chalumnae and tetrapods. During the induction phase, there were significant decreases in the transcript levels of aqp1 and aqp3 in the gills of P. annectens , but the branchial Aqp1 and Aqp3 protein abundance remained unchanged. As changes in transcription might precede changes in translation, this could be regarded as an adaptive response to decrease the protein abundance of Aqp1 and Aqp3 in the subsequent maintenance phase of aestivation. As expected, the branchial transcript levels and protein abundance of aqp1 /Aqp1 and aqp3 /Aqp3 were significantly down-regulated during the maintenance phase, probably attributable to the shutdown of branchial functions and the cessation of volume regulation of branchial epithelial cells. Additionally, these changes could reduce the loss of water through branchial epithelial surfaces, supplementing the anti-desiccating property of the dried mucus. Upon arousal, it was essential for the lungfish to restore branchial functions. Indeed, the protein abundance of Aqp1 recovered partially, with complete recovery of mRNA expression level and protein abundance of Aqp3, in the gills of P. annectens after 3 days of arousal. These results provide insights

  11. Differential gene expression in the liver of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after 6 months of aestivation in air or 1 day of arousal from 6 months of aestivation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kum C Hiong

    Full Text Available The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the liver of P. annectens after 6 months (the maintenance phase of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control, or after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation as compared with 6 months of aestivation using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of argininosuccinate synthetase 1 and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase III were up-regulated, indicating an increase in the ornithine-urea cycle capacity to detoxify ammonia to urea. There was also an increase in the expression of betaine homocysteine-S-transferase 1 which could reduce and prevent the accumulation of hepatic homocysteine. On the other hand, the down-regulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression could signify a decrease in ROS production during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, the maintenance phase was marked by decreases in expressions of genes related to blood coagulation, complement fixation and iron and copper metabolism, which could be strategies used to prevent thrombosis and to conserve energy. Unlike the maintenance phase of aestivation, there were increases in expressions of genes related to nitrogen, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and fatty acid transport after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation. There were also up-regulation in expressions of genes that were involved in the electron transport system and ATP synthesis, indicating a greater demand for metabolic energy during arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of sustaining a low rate of waste production and conservation of energy store during the maintenance phase, and the dependence on internal energy store for repair and structural modification during the arousal phase, of

  12. Central projections of the nervus terminalis and the nervus praeopticus in the lungfish brain revealed by nitric oxide synthase.

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    Schober, A; Meyer, D L; Von Bartheld, C S

    1994-11-01

    Lungfishes possess two cranial nerves that are associated with the olfactory system: the nervus terminalis enters the telencephalon with the olfactory nerve, and the nervus praeopticus enters the diencephalon at the level of the optic nerve. We investigated the central projections of the nervus terminalis and the nervus praeopticus in the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) and in the African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) by NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry (nitric oxide synthase; NOS) and compared them with the projections of the nervus terminalis of the frog (Xenopus laevis). In Neoceratodus, NOS-positive fascicles of the nervus terminalis divide and project with a ventral component through the septum and with a dorsal component through the pallium; fibers of both trajectories extend caudally beyond the anterior commissure and join the lateral forebrain bundle. In the nervus praeopticus, about 300 fibers contain NOS; they innervate the preoptic nucleus and continue their course through the diencephalon; many fibers cross in the commissure of the posterior tuberculum. In Protopterus, ganglion cells of the nervus terminalis and of the nervus praeopticus contain NOS. NOS-positive fibers of the nervus terminalis project through the septal region but not through the pallium. Several major fascicles cross in the rostral part of the anterior commissure, where they are joined by a small number of NOS-containing fibers of the nervus praeopticus. Both nerves innervate the preoptic nucleus. The number and pathways of the fascicles of the nervus terminalis are not always symmetric between the two sides. The nervus terminalis fascicles remain in a ventral position, whereas the nervus praeopticus gives rise to the more dorsal fascicles. Many fibers of the two nerves extend throughout the diencephalon and cross in the commissure of the posterior tuberculum. These findings demonstrate many similarities but also significant differences between the contributions of the

  13. Short communications : Are wild African lungfish obligate air ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Laboratory studies have resulted in classification of the marbled African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus, as an obligate air-breather. However, there have been no investigations of the extent of dependence on aerial respiration by this species in the wild. We used radio telemetry to obtain quantitative information on the ...

  14. Lungfish Hearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Madsen, Peter Teglberg; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    Recent research has shown that tympanic middle ears evolved independently in the major vertebrate groups and represent independent experiments in terrestrial hearing. Furthermore, the tympanic ear emerged quite late – ap - proximately 120 mya after the origin of the tetrapods and approximately 70...... my after the first truly terrestrial tetrapods emerged. One of the major challenges is to understand the transitional stages from tetrapod ancestors to the tympanic tetrapod ear, for example how a non-tympanic ear functions in terrestrial hearing. Lungfish are the closest living relatives...... and urodeles. Based on ABR and vibration measurements also on amphib - ians, lizards, snakes and alligators we can outline scenarios for the initial adaptations of the middle ear to non-tympanic hearing and assess the selection pressures later adapting the middle ear for tympanic hearing. Hearing by bone...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janice K V Tam

    Full Text Available The evolutionary trajectories of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH receptor remain enigmatic since the discovery of physiologically functional GHRH-GHRH receptor (GHRHR in non-mammalian vertebrates in 2007. Interestingly, subsequent studies have described the identification of a GHRHR(2 in chicken in addition to the GHRHR and the closely related paralogous receptor, PACAP-related peptide (PRP receptor (PRPR. In this article, we provide information, for the first time, on the GHRHR in sarcopterygian fish and amphibians by the cloning and characterization of GHRHRs from lungfish (P. dolloi and X. laevis. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses demonstrated structural resemblance of lungfish GHRHR to their mammalian orthologs, while the X. laevis GHRHR showed the highest homology to GHRHR(2 in zebrafish and chicken. Functionally, lungfish GHRHR displayed high affinity towards GHRH in triggering intracellular cAMP and calcium accumulation, while X. laevis GHRHR(2 was able to react with both endogenous GHRH and PRP. Tissue distribution analyses showed that both lungfish GHRHR and X. laevis GHRHR(2 had the highest expression in brain, and interestingly, X. laevis(GHRHR2 also had high abundance in the reproductive organs. These findings, together with previous reports, suggest that early in the Sarcopterygii lineage, GHRHR and PRPR have already established diverged and specific affinities towards their cognate ligands. GHRHR(2, which has only been found in xenopus, zebrafish and chicken hitherto, accommodates both GHRH and PRP.

  16. An exceptionally preserved transitional lungfish from the lower permian of Nebraska, USA, and the origin of modern lungfishes.

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    Jason D Pardo

    Full Text Available Complete, exceptionally-preserved skulls of the Permian lungfish Persephonichthys chthonica gen. et sp. nov. are described. Persephonichthys chthonica is unique among post-Devonian lungfishes in preserving portions of the neurocranium, permitting description of the braincase of a stem-ceratodontiform for the first time. The completeness of P. chthonica permits robust phylogenetic analysis of the relationships of the extant lungfish lineage within the Devonian lungfish diversification for the first time. New analyses of the relationships of this new species within two published matrices using both maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference robustly place P. chthonica and modern lungfishes within dipterid-grade dipnoans rather than within a clade containing Late Devonian 'phaneropleurids' and common Late Paleozoic lungfishes such as Sagenodus. Monophyly of post-Devonian lungfishes is not supported and the Carboniferous-Permian taxon Sagenodus is found to be incidental to the origins of modern lungfishes, suggesting widespread convergence in Late Paleozoic lungfishes. Morphology of the skull, hyoid arch, and pectoral girdle suggests a deviation in feeding mechanics from that of Devonian lungfishes towards the more dynamic gape cycle and more effective buccal pumping seen in modern lungfishes. Similar anatomy observed previously in 'Rhinodipterus' kimberyensis likely represents an intermediate state between the strict durophagy observed in most Devonian lungfishes and the more dynamic buccal pump seen in Persephonichthys and modern lungfishes, rather than adaptation to air-breathing exclusively.

  17. An Exceptionally Preserved Transitional Lungfish from the Lower Permian of Nebraska, USA, and the Origin of Modern Lungfishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo, Jason D.; Huttenlocker, Adam K.; Small, Bryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Complete, exceptionally-preserved skulls of the Permian lungfish Persephonichthys chthonica gen. et sp. nov. are described. Persephonichthys chthonica is unique among post-Devonian lungfishes in preserving portions of the neurocranium, permitting description of the braincase of a stem-ceratodontiform for the first time. The completeness of P. chthonica permits robust phylogenetic analysis of the relationships of the extant lungfish lineage within the Devonian lungfish diversification for the first time. New analyses of the relationships of this new species within two published matrices using both maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference robustly place P. chthonica and modern lungfishes within dipterid-grade dipnoans rather than within a clade containing Late Devonian ‘phaneropleurids’ and common Late Paleozoic lungfishes such as Sagenodus. Monophyly of post-Devonian lungfishes is not supported and the Carboniferous-Permian taxon Sagenodus is found to be incidental to the origins of modern lungfishes, suggesting widespread convergence in Late Paleozoic lungfishes. Morphology of the skull, hyoid arch, and pectoral girdle suggests a deviation in feeding mechanics from that of Devonian lungfishes towards the more dynamic gape cycle and more effective buccal pumping seen in modern lungfishes. Similar anatomy observed previously in ‘Rhinodipterus’ kimberyensis likely represents an intermediate state between the strict durophagy observed in most Devonian lungfishes and the more dynamic buccal pump seen in Persephonichthys and modern lungfishes, rather than adaptation to air-breathing exclusively. PMID:25265394

  18. Visual ecology of the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vorobyev Misha

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transition from water to land was a key event in the evolution of vertebrates that occurred over a period of 15–20 million years towards the end of the Devonian. Tetrapods, including all land-living vertebrates, are thought to have evolved from lobe-finned (sarcopterygian fish that developed adaptations for an amphibious existence. However, while many of the biomechanical and physiological modifications necessary to achieve this feat have been studied in detail, little is known about the sensory adaptations accompanying this transition. In this study, we investigated the visual system and visual ecology of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri, which is the most primitive of all the lungfish and possibly the closest living relative to the ancestors of tetrapods. Results Juvenile Neoceratodus have five spectrally distinct retinal visual pigments. A single type of rod photoreceptor contains a visual pigment with a wavelength of maximum absorbance (λmax at 540 nm. Four spectrally distinct single cone photoreceptors contain visual pigments with λmax at 366 (UVS, 479 (SWS, 558 (MWS and 623 nm (LWS. No double cones were found. Adult lungfish do not possess UVS cones and, unlike juveniles, have ocular media that prevent ultraviolet light from reaching the retina. Yellow ellipsoidal/paraboloidal pigments in the MWS cones and red oil droplets in the LWS cones narrow the spectral sensitivity functions of these photoreceptors and shift their peak sensitivity to 584 nm and 656 nm, respectively. Modelling of the effects of these intracellular spectral filters on the photoreceptor colour space of Neoceratodus suggests that they enhance their ability to discriminate objects, such as plants and other lungfishes, on the basis of colour. Conclusion The presence of a complex colour vision system based on multiple cone types and intracellular spectral filters in lungfishes suggests that many of the ocular characteristics seen in

  19. Visual pigments in a living fossil, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri

    OpenAIRE

    Bailes, Helena J; Davies, Wayne L; Trezise, Ann EO; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Background One of the greatest challenges facing the early land vertebrates was the need to effectively interpret a terrestrial environment. Interpretation was based on ocular adaptations evolved for an aquatic environment millions of years earlier. The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is thought to be the closest living relative to the first terrestrial vertebrate, and yet nothing is known about the visual pigments present in lungfish or the early tetrapods. Results Here we...

  20. Visual pigments in a living fossil, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davies Wayne L

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the greatest challenges facing the early land vertebrates was the need to effectively interpret a terrestrial environment. Interpretation was based on ocular adaptations evolved for an aquatic environment millions of years earlier. The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is thought to be the closest living relative to the first terrestrial vertebrate, and yet nothing is known about the visual pigments present in lungfish or the early tetrapods. Results Here we identify and characterise five visual pigments (rh1, rh2, lws, sws1 and sws2 expressed in the retina of N. forsteri. Phylogenetic analysis of the molecular evolution of lungfish and other vertebrate visual pigment genes indicates a closer relationship between lungfish and amphibian pigments than to pigments in teleost fishes. However, the relationship between lungfish, the coelacanth and tetrapods could not be absolutely determined from opsin phylogeny, supporting an unresolved trichotomy between the three groups. Conclusion The presence of four cone pigments in Australian lungfish suggests that the earliest tetrapods would have had a colorful view of their terrestrial environment.

  1. Visual pigments in a living fossil, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailes, Helena J; Davies, Wayne L; Trezise, Ann E O; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-10-25

    One of the greatest challenges facing the early land vertebrates was the need to effectively interpret a terrestrial environment. Interpretation was based on ocular adaptations evolved for an aquatic environment millions of years earlier. The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is thought to be the closest living relative to the first terrestrial vertebrate, and yet nothing is known about the visual pigments present in lungfish or the early tetrapods. Here we identify and characterise five visual pigments (rh1, rh2, lws, sws1 and sws2) expressed in the retina of N. forsteri. Phylogenetic analysis of the molecular evolution of lungfish and other vertebrate visual pigment genes indicates a closer relationship between lungfish and amphibian pigments than to pigments in teleost fishes. However, the relationship between lungfish, the coelacanth and tetrapods could not be absolutely determined from opsin phylogeny, supporting an unresolved trichotomy between the three groups. The presence of four cone pigments in Australian lungfish suggests that the earliest tetrapods would have had a colorful view of their terrestrial environment.

  2. Use of electroreception during foraging by the Australian lungfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watt; Evans; Joss

    1999-11-01

    A diverse range of animals, including elasmobranchs and nonteleost fish, use passive electroreception to locate hidden prey. The Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Krefft 1870), has ampullary organs analogous in form to the electroreceptors of other nonteleost fish. Afferents from these ampullae project to regions in the brain that are known to process electrosensory information in other species, suggesting that N. forsteri possesses an electric sense that may be used during prey location. To explore this hypothesis directly, we first characterized food-locating behaviour in N. forsteri and then conducted an experiment designed to quantify the effects of manipulating electrical and olfactory stimuli from live prey. A small crayfish, Cherax destructor, was housed in a specially constructed chamber hidden beneath the substrate, which prevented emission of chemical, mechanical and visual cues, but allowed transmission of bioelectric fields. Control treatments included presentation of electrically shielded prey, a dead crayfish and an empty chamber. In some treatments, a competing olfactory signal was presented simultaneously at the other end of the test tank to assess the relative salience of this sensory modality. The lungfish responded to the crayfish in the unshielded chamber with accurate and sustained feeding movements, even with a competing olfactory signal. By contrast, the abolition of electrical cues in the three control treatments reduced the accuracy and frequency of feeding movements in the vicinity of the target chamber. These results show that N. forsteri is capable of perceiving the weak electric fields surrounding living animals, and suggest that it uses this information when foraging to locate prey hidden from view. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  3. Brain - Endocast Relationship in the Australian Lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, Elucidated from Tomographic Data (Sarcopterygii: Dipnoi.

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    Alice M Clement

    Full Text Available Although the brains of the three extant lungfish genera have been previously described, the spatial relationship between the brain and the neurocranium has never before been fully described nor quantified. Through the application of virtual microtomography (μCT and 3D rendering software, we describe aspects of the gross anatomy of the brain and labyrinth region in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri and compare this to previous accounts. Unexpected characters in this specimen include short olfactory peduncles connecting the olfactory bulbs to the telencephalon, and an oblong telencephalon. Furthermore, we illustrate the endocast (the mould of the internal space of the neurocranial cavity of Neoceratodus, also describing and quantifying the brain-endocast relationship in a lungfish for the first time. Overall, the brain of the Australian lungfish closely matches the size and shape of the endocast cavity housing it, filling more than four fifths of the total volume. The forebrain and labyrinth regions of the brain correspond very well to the endocast morphology, while the midbrain and hindbrain do not fit so closely. Our results cast light on the gross neural and endocast anatomy in lungfishes, and are likely to have particular significance for palaeoneurologists studying fossil taxa.

  4. Cranial nerves in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, and in fossil relatives (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, A

    2017-02-01

    Three systems, two sensory and one protective, are present in the skin of the living Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, and in fossil lungfish, and the arrangement and innervation of the sense organs is peculiar to lungfish. Peripheral branches of nerves that innervate the sense organs are slender and unprotected, and form before any skeletal structures appear. When the olfactory capsule develops, it traps some of the anterior branches of cranial nerve V, which emerged from the chondrocranium from the lateral sphenotic foramen. Cranial nerve I innervates the olfactory organ enclosed within the olfactory capsule and cranial nerve II innervates the eye. Cranial nerve V innervates the sense organs of the snout and upper lip, and, in conjunction with nerve IX and X, the sense organs of the posterior and lateral head. Cranial nerve VII is primarily a motor nerve, and a single branch innervates sense organs in the mandible. There are no connections between nerves V and VII, although both emerge from the brain close to each other. The third associated system consists of lymphatic vessels covered by an extracellular matrix of collagen, mineralised as tubules in fossils. Innervation of the sensory organs is separate from the lymphatic system and from the tubule system of fossil lungfish. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Ontogenetic organization of the FMRFamide immunoreactivity in the nervus terminalis of the lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

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    Fiorentino, Maria; D'Aniello, Biagio; Joss, Jean; Polese, Gianluca; Rastogi, Rakesh K

    2002-08-19

    The development of the nervus terminalis system in the lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, was investigated by using FMRFamide as a marker. FMRFamide immunoreactivity appears first within the brain, in the dorsal hypothalamus at a stage around hatching. At a slightly later stage, immunoreactivity appears in the olfactory mucosa. These immunoreactive cells move outside the olfactory organ to form the ganglion of the nervus terminalis. Immunoreactive processes emerge from the ganglion of the nervus terminalis in two directions, one which joins the olfactory nerve to travel to the brain and the other which courses below the brain to enter at the level of the preoptic nucleus. Neither the ganglion of the nervus terminalis nor the two branches of the nervus terminalis form after surgical removal of the olfactory placode at a stage before the development of FMRFamide immunoreactivity external to the brain. Because this study has confirmed that the nervus terminalis in lungfish comprises both an anterior and a posterior branch, it forms the basis for discussion of homology between these branches and the nervus terminalis of other anamniote vertebrates. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Skin structure in the snout of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, A

    2014-10-01

    Many fossil lungfish have a system of mineralised tubules in the dermis of the snout, branching extensively and radiating towards the epidermis. The tubules anastomose in the superficial layer of the dermis, forming a plexus consisting of two layers of vessels, with branches that expand into pore canals and flask organs, flanked by cosmine nodules where these are present. Traces of this system are found in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, consisting of branching tubules in the dermis, a double plexus below the epidermis and dermal papillae entering the epidermis without reaching the surface. In N. forsteri, the tubules, the plexus and the dermal papillae consist of thick, unmineralised connective tissue, enclosing fine blood vessels packed with lymphocytes. Tissues in the epidermis and the dermis of N. forsteri are not associated with deposits of calcium, which is below detectable limits in the skin of the snout at all stages of the life cycle. Canals of the sensory line system, with mechanoreceptors, are separate from the tubules, the plexus and the dermal papillae, as are the electroreceptors in the epidermis. The system of tubules, plexus, dermal papillae and lymphatic capillaries may function to protect the tissues of the snout from infection. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The relationship between temperature and standard rate of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    teleost) fishes, while largely unknown, is essential to an understanding of the effects of temperature on fish energetics. This study quantifies the effect of temperature on the standard rate of metabolism in the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus.

  8. Cardiorespiratory interactions previously identified as mammalian are present in the primitive lungfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Diana A; Taylor, Edwin W; Sartori, Marina R; Cruz, André L; Rantin, Francisco T; Leite, Cleo A C

    2018-02-01

    The present study has revealed that the lungfish has both structural and functional features of its system for physiological control of heart rate, previously considered solely mammalian, that together generate variability (HRV). Ultrastructural and electrophysiological investigation revealed that the nerves connecting the brain to the heart are myelinated, conferring rapid conduction velocities, comparable to mammalian fibers that generate instantaneous changes in heart rate at the onset of each air breath. These respiration-related changes in beat-to-beat cardiac intervals were detected by complex analysis of HRV and shown to maximize oxygen uptake per breath, a causal relationship never conclusively demonstrated in mammals. Cardiac vagal preganglionic neurons, responsible for controlling heart rate via the parasympathetic vagus nerve, were shown to have multiple locations, chiefly within the dorsal vagal motor nucleus that may enable interactive control of the circulatory and respiratory systems, similar to that described for tetrapods. The present illustration of an apparently highly evolved control system for HRV in a fish with a proven ancient lineage, based on paleontological, morphological, and recent genetic evidence, questions much of the anthropocentric thinking implied by some mammalian physiologists and encouraged by many psychobiologists. It is possible that some characteristics of mammalian respiratory sinus arrhythmia, for which functional roles have been sought, are evolutionary relics that had their physiological role defined in ancient representatives of the vertebrates with undivided circulatory systems.

  9. Cardiorespiratory interactions previously identified as mammalian are present in the primitive lungfish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Diana A.; Taylor, Edwin W.; Sartori, Marina R.; Cruz, André L.; Rantin, Francisco T.; Leite, Cleo A. C.

    2018-01-01

    The present study has revealed that the lungfish has both structural and functional features of its system for physiological control of heart rate, previously considered solely mammalian, that together generate variability (HRV). Ultrastructural and electrophysiological investigation revealed that the nerves connecting the brain to the heart are myelinated, conferring rapid conduction velocities, comparable to mammalian fibers that generate instantaneous changes in heart rate at the onset of each air breath. These respiration-related changes in beat-to-beat cardiac intervals were detected by complex analysis of HRV and shown to maximize oxygen uptake per breath, a causal relationship never conclusively demonstrated in mammals. Cardiac vagal preganglionic neurons, responsible for controlling heart rate via the parasympathetic vagus nerve, were shown to have multiple locations, chiefly within the dorsal vagal motor nucleus that may enable interactive control of the circulatory and respiratory systems, similar to that described for tetrapods. The present illustration of an apparently highly evolved control system for HRV in a fish with a proven ancient lineage, based on paleontological, morphological, and recent genetic evidence, questions much of the anthropocentric thinking implied by some mammalian physiologists and encouraged by many psychobiologists. It is possible that some characteristics of mammalian respiratory sinus arrhythmia, for which functional roles have been sought, are evolutionary relics that had their physiological role defined in ancient representatives of the vertebrates with undivided circulatory systems. PMID:29507882

  10. Comparative pelvic development of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri): conservation and innovation across the fish-tetrapod transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisvert, Catherine Anne; Joss, Jean Mp; Ahlberg, Per E

    2013-01-23

    The fish-tetrapod transition was one of the major events in vertebrate evolution and was enabled by many morphological changes. Although the transformation of paired fish fins into tetrapod limbs has been a major topic of study in recent years, both from paleontological and comparative developmental perspectives, the interest has focused almost exclusively on the distal part of the appendage and in particular the origin of digits. Relatively little attention has been paid to the transformation of the pelvic girdle from a small unipartite structure to a large tripartite weight-bearing structure, allowing tetrapods to rely mostly on their hindlimbs for locomotion. In order to understand how the ischium and the ilium evolved and how the acetabulum was reoriented during this transition, growth series of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri and the Mexican axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum were cleared and stained for cartilage and bone and immunostained for skeletal muscles. In order to understand the myological developmental data, hypotheses about the homologies of pelvic muscles in adults of Latimeria, Neoceratodus and Necturus were formulated based on descriptions from the literature of the coelacanth (Latimeria), the Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus) and a salamander (Necturus). In the axolotl and the lungfish, the chondrification of the pelvic girdle starts at the acetabula and progresses anteriorly in the lungfish and anteriorly and posteriorly in the salamander. The ilium develops by extending dorsally to meet and connect to the sacral rib in the axolotl. Homologous muscles develop in the same order with the hypaxial musculature developing first, followed by the deep, then the superficial pelvic musculature. Development of the pelvic endoskeleton and musculature is very similar in Neoceratodus and Ambystoma. If the acetabulum is seen as being a fixed landmark, the evolution of the ischium only required pubic pre-chondrogenic cells to migrate posteriorly. It

  11. Osmoregulation during Long-Term Fasting in Lungfish and Elephant Seal: Old and New Lessons for the Nephrologist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossier, Bernard C

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrates control the osmolality of their extra- and intra-cellular compartments despite large variations in salt and water intake. Aldosterone-dependent sodium reabsorption and vasopressin-dependent water transport in the distal nephron and collecting duct play a critical role in the final control of sodium and water balance. Long-term fasting (no eating, no drinking) represents an osmotic challenge for survival. Evolution has found very different solutions to meet this challenge. To illustrate this point, I will discuss osmoregulation of a mammal (elephant seal pup) and of a fish (lungfish) that are able to survive long-term fasting for months or even years. Homer W. Smith taught us how informative comparative anatomy and physiology of the kidney could help physiologists and nephrologists to better understand how the kidney works. In recent years, comparative genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics across the tree of life have led to the emergence of a new discipline, evolutionary medicine. In the near future, physiologists and nephrologists will benefit from this new field of investigation, thanks to its potential for the identification of novel drug targets and therapies. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Primary olfactory projections and the nervus terminalis in the African lungfish: implications for the phylogeny of cranial nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bartheld, C S; Claas, B; Münz, H; Meyer, D L

    1988-08-01

    Primary olfactory and central projections of the nervus terminalis were investigated by injections of horseradish peroxidase into the olfactory epithelium in the African lungfish. In addition, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) immunoreactivity of the nervus terminalis system was investigated. The primary olfactory projections are restricted to the olfactory bulb located at the rostral pole of the telencephalon; they do not extend into caudal parts of the telencephalon. A vomeronasal nerve and an accessory olfactory bulb could not be identified. The nervus terminalis courses through the dorsomedial telencephalon. Major targets include the nucleus of the anterior commissure and the nucleus praeopticus pars superior. some fibers cross to the contralateral side. A few fibers reach the diencephalon and mesencephalon. No label is present in the "posterior root of the nervus terminalis" (= "Pinkus's nerve" or "nervus praeopticus"). GnRH immunoreactivity is lacking in the "anterior root of the nervus terminalis," whereas it is abundant in nervus praeopticus (Pinkus's nerve). These findings may suggest that the nervus terminalis system originally consisted of two distinct cranial nerves, which have fused-in evolution-in most vertebrates. Theories of cranial nerve phylogeny are discussed in the light of the assumed "binerval origin" of the nervus terminalis system.

  13. Acute effects of temperature and hypercarbia on cutaneous and branchial gas exchange in the South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zena, Lucas A; Bícego, Kênia C; da Silva, Glauber S F; Giusti, Humberto; Glass, Mogens L; Sanchez, Adriana P

    2017-01-01

    The South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa inhabits seasonal environments in the Central Amazon and Paraná-Paraguay basins that undergo significant oscillations in temperature throughout the year. They rely on different gas exchange organs, such as gills and skin for aquatic gas exchange while their truly bilateral lungs are responsible for aerial gas exchange; however, there are no data available on the individual contributions of the skin and the gills to total aquatic gas exchange in L. paradoxa. Thus, in the present study we quantify the relative contributions of skin and gills on total aquatic gas exchange during warm (35°C) and cold exposure (20°C) in addition to the effects of aerial and aquatic hypercarbia on aquatic gas exchange and gill ventilation rate (f G ; 25°C), respectively. Elevated temperature (35°C) caused a significant increase in the contribution of cutaneous (from 0.61±0.13 to 1.34±0.26ml. STPD.h -1 kg -1 ) and branchial (from 0.54±0.17 to 1.73±0.53ml. STPD.h -1 kg -1 ) gas exchange for V̇CO 2 relative to the lower temperature (20°C), while V̇O 2 remained relatively unchanged. L. paradoxa exhibited a greater branchial contribution in relation to total aquatic gas exchange at lower temperatures (20 and 25°C) for oxygen uptake. Aerial hypercarbia decreased branchial V̇O 2 whereas branchial V̇CO 2 was significantly increased. Progressive increases in aquatic hypercarbia did not affect f G . This response is in contrast to increases in pulmonary ventilation that may offset any increase in arterial partial pressure of CO 2 owing to CO 2 loading through the animals' branchial surface. Thus, despite their reduced contribution to total gas exchange, cutaneous and branchial gas exchange in L. paradoxa can be significantly affected by temperature and aerial hypercarbia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Fatty acids of polar lipids in heart tissue are good taxonomic markers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The fatty acid profiles in total, neutral and polar lipids in the heart tissues of five freshwater fish species (Nile perch Lates niloticus, Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, marbled lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus, Bagrus docmak and African catfish Clarias gariepinus) from Lakes Victoria and Kyoga were determined ...

  15. Patterns of distribution and conservation status of freshwater fishes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1995-02-15

    Feb 15, 1995 ... Treur River barb Barhus treurensis in the Blyde River; orange-fringed largemouth Chetia brevis in the Komati-. Incomati and Incomati suckermouth ChiJogJanis blfurcus in the Crocodile-Incomati River) (Table I). In addition to the endemic species there are 15 or 16 species like the lungfish. Protopterus ...

  16. Latency transition of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 is evolutionarily conserved

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jendroszek, Agnieszka; Sønnichsen, Malene; Chana Munoz, Andres

    2017-01-01

    relevance of latency transition. In order to study the origin of PAI-1 latency transition, we produced PAI-1 from Spiny dogfish shark (Squalus acanthias) and African lungfish (Protopterus sp.), which represent central species in the evolution of vertebrates. Although human PAI-1 and the non-mammalian PAI-1...

  17. The Effect Of Salinity Stress On Buccal Ventilatory Rate In The ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Effect Of Salinity Stress On Buccal Ventilatory Rate In The African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens Owen. AI Okafor, LO Chukwu, LO Chukwu. Abstract. No Abstract. Animal Research International Vol. 2 (1) 2005 pp. 252-254. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL ...

  18. Extremely low microsatellite diversity but distinct population structure in a long-lived threatened species, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Dipnoi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane M Hughes

    Full Text Available The Australian lungfish is a unique living representative of an ancient dipnoan lineage, listed as 'vulnerable' to extinction under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Historical accounts indicate this species occurred naturally in two adjacent river systems in Australia, the Burnett and Mary. Current day populations in other rivers are thought to have arisen by translocation from these source populations. Early genetic work detected very little variation and so had limited power to answer questions relevant for management including how genetic variation is partitioned within and among sub-populations. In this study, we use newly developed microsatellite markers to examine samples from the Burnett and Mary Rivers, as well as from two populations thought to be of translocated origin, Brisbane and North Pine. We test whether there is significant genetic structure among and within river drainages; assign putatively translocated populations to potential source populations; and estimate effective population sizes. Eleven polymorphic microsatellite loci genotyped in 218 individuals gave an average within-population heterozygosity of 0.39 which is low relative to other threatened taxa and for freshwater fishes in general. Based on FST values (average over loci = 0.11 and STRUCTURE analyses, we identify three distinct populations in the natural range, one in the Burnett and two distinct populations in the Mary. These analyses also support the hypothesis that the Mary River is the likely source of translocated populations in the Brisbane and North Pine rivers, which agrees with historical published records of a translocation event giving rise to these populations. We were unable to obtain bounded estimates of effective population size, as we have too few genotype combinations, although point estimates were low, ranging from 29 - 129. We recommend that, in order to preserve any local adaptation in the three distinct

  19. Polypteridae (Actinopterygii: Cladistia) and DANA-SINEs insertions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morescalchi, Maria Alessandra; Barucca, Marco; Stingo, Vincenzo; Capriglione, Teresa

    2010-06-01

    SINE sequences are interspersed throughout virtually all eukaryotic genomes and greatly outnumber the other repetitive elements. These sequences are of increasing interest for phylogenetic studies because of their diagnostic power for establishing common ancestry among taxa, once properly characterized. We identified and characterized a peculiar family of composite tRNA-derived short interspersed SINEs, DANA-SINEs, associated with mutational activities in Danio rerio, in a group of species belonging to one of the most basal bony fish families, the Polypteridae, in order to investigate their own inner specific phylogenetic relationships. DANA sequences were identified, sequenced and then localized, by means of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), in six Polypteridae species (Polypterus delhezi, P. ornatipinnis, P. palmas, P. buettikoferi P. senegalus and Erpetoichthys calabaricus) After cloning, the sequences obtained were aligned for phylogenetic analysis, comparing them with three Dipnoan lungfish species (Protopterus annectens, P. aethiopicus, Lepidosiren paradoxa), and Lethenteron reissneri (Petromyzontidae)was used as outgroup. The obtained overlapping MP, ML and NJ tree clustered together the species belonging to the two taxonomically different Osteichthyans groups: the Polypteridae, by one side, and the Protopteridae by the other, with the monotypic genus Erpetoichthys more distantly related to the Polypterus genus comprising three distinct groups: P. palmas and P. buettikoferi, P. delhezi and P. ornatipinnis and P. senegalus. In situ hybridization with DANA probes marked along the whole chromosome arms in the metaphases of all the Polypteridae species examined. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Arthropod pests of dried fish and fish by product in a tropical urban ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A four months research survey of arthropod pests infesting dried fish sold in a tropical urban community market (Ogige), Nsukka, Ngeria showed that 10 genera o dried freshwater fish (Synodontis, Hemisynodontis, Oreochromis, Hepsetus, Gymnarchus, Labeo, Protopterus, Heterobranchus, Alestes, Heterotis) and two ...

  1. Walakira culturing.pmd

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACSS

    1, diet-2, diet-3) fed to wild caught lungfish fingerlings reared in indoor tanks for ... gradually accepted sinking pellets, and marginal increases in average body .... under 6 hr of light with an 18 hr dark photo ..... Asian sea bass, Latescalcarifer.

  2. Visualisation of animal anatomy using MRI and CT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauridsen, Henrik; Hansen, Kasper; Pedersen, Michael

    imaging (MRI) and CT. Various species (tarantula, horseshoe crab, carp, haddock, lungfish, axolotl) were subjected to multi-slice MRI and CT protocols to produce 2D images of body slices, followed by volume rendering producing 3D digital models of animal anatomy with applications for visualising specific...

  3. MRI zoo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Christoffer

    The basic idea was to use MRI to produce a sequence of 3D gray scale image slices of various animals, subsequentlyimaged with a clinical CT system. For this purpose, these animals were used: toad, lungfish, python snake and a horseshoe crab. Each animal was sacrificed according to standard...... visually inspected, both in 2D and 3D, and compared with photographs and anatomy atlases found at library and on the internet....

  4. Changes in pulmonary blood flow do not affect gas exchange during intermittent ventilation in resting turtles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Tobias; Hicks, James W.

    2008-01-01

    The breathing pattern of many different air-breathing vertebrates, including lungfish, anuran amphibians, turtles, crocodiles and snakes, is characterized by brief periods of lung ventilation interspersed among apnoeas of variable duration. These intermittent ventilatory cycles are associated...... experimentally. The present study measured pulmonary gas exchange in fully recovered, freely diving turtles, where changes in pulmonary blood flow were prevented by partial occlusion of the pulmonary artery. Prevention of L-R shunt during ventilation did not impair CO2 excretion and overall, oxygen uptake and CO...

  5. On causal roles and selected effects: our genome is mostly junk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, W Ford; Brunet, Tyler D P

    2017-12-05

    The idea that much of our genome is irrelevant to fitness-is not the product of positive natural selection at the organismal level-remains viable. Claims to the contrary, and specifically that the notion of "junk DNA" should be abandoned, are based on conflating meanings of the word "function". Recent estimates suggest that perhaps 90% of our DNA, though biochemically active, does not contribute to fitness in any sequence-dependent way, and possibly in no way at all. Comparisons to vertebrates with much larger and smaller genomes (the lungfish and the pufferfish) strongly align with such a conclusion, as they have done for the last half-century.

  6. A general scenario of Hox gene inventory variation among major sarcopterygian lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Chaolin

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hox genes are known to play a key role in shaping the body plan of metazoans. Evolutionary dynamics of these genes is therefore essential in explaining patterns of evolutionary diversity. Among extant sarcopterygians comprising both lobe-finned fishes and tetrapods, our knowledge of the Hox genes and clusters has largely been restricted in several model organisms such as frogs, birds and mammals. Some evolutionary gaps still exist, especially for those groups with derived body morphology or occupying key positions on the tree of life, hindering our understanding of how Hox gene inventory varied along the sarcopterygian lineage. Results We determined the Hox gene inventory for six sarcopterygian groups: lungfishes, caecilians, salamanders, snakes, turtles and crocodiles by comprehensive PCR survey and genome walking. Variable Hox genes in each of the six sarcopterygian group representatives, compared to the human Hox gene inventory, were further validated for their presence/absence by PCR survey in a number of related species representing a broad evolutionary coverage of the group. Turtles, crocodiles, birds and placental mammals possess the same 39 Hox genes. HoxD12 is absent in snakes, amphibians and probably lungfishes. HoxB13 is lost in frogs and caecilians. Lobe-finned fishes, amphibians and squamate reptiles possess HoxC3. HoxC1 is only present in caecilians and lobe-finned fishes. Similar to coelacanths, lungfishes also possess HoxA14, which is only found in lobe-finned fishes to date. Our Hox gene variation data favor the lungfish-tetrapod, turtle-archosaur and frog-salamander relationships and imply that the loss of HoxD12 is not directly related to digit reduction. Conclusions Our newly determined Hox inventory data provide a more complete scenario for evolutionary dynamics of Hox genes along the sarcopterygian lineage. Limbless, worm-like caecilians and snakes possess similar Hox gene inventories to animals with

  7. Impact of North Mara gold mine on the element contents in fish from the river Mara, Tanzania

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mohamed, N. K.; Ntarisa, A. V. R.; Makundi, I. N.; Kučera, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 309, č. 1 (2016), s. 421-427 ISSN 0236-5731. [14th International Conference on Modern Trends in Activation Analysis (MTAA) / 11th International conference on Nuclear Analytical Methods in the Life Science (NAMLS). Delft, 23.08.2015-23.08.2015] R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2011019; GA ČR(CZ) GBP108/12/G108 Institutional support: RVO:61389005 Keywords : gold mining * contamination * lungfish * catfisch * INAA * EDXRF Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 1.282, year: 2016

  8. Origin of secretin receptor precedes the advent of tetrapoda: evidence on the separated origins of secretin and orexin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janice K V Tam

    Full Text Available At present, secretin and its receptor have only been identified in mammals, and the origin of this ligand-receptor pair in early vertebrates is unclear. In addition, the elusive similarities of secretin and orexin in terms of both structures and functions suggest a common ancestral origin early in the vertebrate lineage. In this article, with the cloning and functional characterization of secretin receptors from lungfish and X. laevis as well as frog (X. laevis and Rana rugulosa secretins, we provide evidence that the secretin ligand-receptor pair has already diverged and become highly specific by the emergence of tetrapods. The secretin receptor-like sequence cloned from lungfish indicates that the secretin receptor was descended from a VPAC-like receptor prior the advent of sarcopterygians. To clarify the controversial relationship of secretin and orexin, orexin type-2 receptor was cloned from X. laevis. We demonstrated that, in frog, secretin and orexin could activate their mutual receptors, indicating their coordinated complementary role in mediating physiological processes in non-mammalian vertebrates. However, among the peptides in the secretin/glucagon superfamily, secretin was found to be the only peptide that could activate the orexin receptor. We therefore hypothesize that secretin and orexin are of different ancestral origins early in the vertebrate lineage.

  9. Environmental insecticide residues from tsetse fly control measures in Uganda

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sserunjoji-Sebalija, J.

    1976-01-01

    Up to June 1974 areas in Uganda totalling 8600km 2 have been successfully reclaimed from tsetse fly infestation by ground spray of 3% dieldrin water emulsions. A search for equally effective but less persistent and toxic compounds against tsetse flies has been unsuccessful. Fourteen insecticide formulations have been tested for their persistence on tree bark surfaces and, therefore, their availability and toxicity to the target tsetse flies. Only those compounds with a high immediate insecticidal activity (some higher than dieldrin) like endosulfan, Chlorfenvinphos and propoxur could merit further consideration in tsetse control. While some were toxic to tsetse as fresh deposits, they lacked sufficient persistence. A study of the environmental implication from the continued use of the highly persistent and toxic dieldrin has provided useful data on residues likely to be found both in terrestrial and aquatic fauna and flora. These are generally low. Moreover, there is evidence of degradation in some fish species (Protopterus aethiopicus and Clarias). Also, dilution factors and adsorption involving the muddy nature of water run-off, etc., and controlled burning of grasses after tsetse eradication would tend to inactivate the residual insecticide and protect aquatic systems. The general findings have indicated less risk than anticipated of the environmental contamination from tsetse control by application of persistent and toxic insecticides. (author)

  10. Avian IgY antibodies: characteristics and applications in immunodiagnostic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lívia Silveira Munhoz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Immunoglobulin Y (IgY is the major antibody isotype in birds, reptiles, amphibia, and lungfish, playing a similar biological role as mammal IgG. Due to its phylogenetic distance, immune diversification and presence in the egg yolk, IgY provide a number of advantages in immunodiagnostic compared to IgG from mammals. Moreover, IgY production is in agreement with international efforts to reduce, refine and if possible, to replace animals in experimentation, contributing substantially in favor of animal welfare. This article presents an overview about structural and functional features, production and applications of IgY in immunodiagnostic, as well as the advantages of chicken antibodies use.

  11. The Late Devonian Gogo Formation Lägerstatte of Western Australia: Exceptional Early Vertebrate Preservation and Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, John A.; Trinajstic, Kate

    2010-05-01

    The Gogo Formation of Western Australia preserves a unique Late Devonian (Frasnian) reef fauna. The exceptional three-dimensional preservation of macrofossils combined with unprecedented soft-tissue preservation (including muscle bundles, nerve cells, and umbilical structures) has yielded a particularly rich assemblage with almost 50 species of fishes described. The most significant discoveries have contributed to resolving placoderm phylogeny and elucidating their reproductive physiology. Specifically, these discoveries have produced data on the oldest known vertebrate embryos; the anatomy of the primitive actinopterygian neurocranium and phylogeny of the earliest actinopterygians; the histology, radiation, and plasticity of dipnoan (lungfish) dental and cranial structures; the anatomy and functional morphology of the extinct onychodonts; and the anatomy of the primitive tetrapodomorph head and pectoral fin.

  12. Hemoglobins: models of physiological adaptation, with special reference to O2 availability and temperature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weber, Roy E.

    In transporting O2 from the respiratory surfaces to the respiring tissues of animals, hemoglobin (Hb) directly links aerobic metabolism with O2 availability and is a paradigm for studying mechanisms of molecular adaptations. Hb-O2 binding is cooperative (described by sigmoid O2 binding curves......) and decreased by allosteric effectors (protons, CO2, lactate, organic phosphates and chloride ions) that modulate O2 binding in response to changes in environmental and metabolic dictates. Hb-O2 affinity moreover decreases with rising temperature. This increases O2 unloading in warm tissues that consume more O2......, but may be maladaptive – and thus is reduced - in regional heterothermic animals where it may hamper O2 unloading (in cold extremities of Artic mammals) or cause excessive O2 release (in warm organs of fast-swimming fish). Illustrated with case studies (estivating lungfish, high altitude frogs, birds...

  13. Spiracular air breathing in polypterid fishes and its implications for aerial respiration in stem tetrapods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jeffrey B.; Wegner, Nicholas C.; Miller, Lauren A.; Jew, Corey J.; Lai, N. Chin; Berquist, Rachel M.; Frank, Lawrence R.; Long, John A.

    2014-01-01

    The polypterids (bichirs and ropefish) are extant basal actinopterygian (ray-finned) fishes that breathe air and share similarities with extant lobe-finned sarcopterygians (lungfishes and tetrapods) in lung structure. They are also similar to some fossil sarcopterygians, including stem tetrapods, in having large paired openings (spiracles) on top of their head. The role of spiracles in polypterid respiration has been unclear, with early reports suggesting that polypterids could inhale air through the spiracles, while later reports have largely dismissed such observations. Here we resolve the 100-year-old mystery by presenting structural, behavioural, video, kinematic and pressure data that show spiracle-mediated aspiration accounts for up to 93% of all air breaths in four species of Polypterus. Similarity in the size and position of polypterid spiracles with those of some stem tetrapods suggests that spiracular air breathing may have been an important respiratory strategy during the fish-tetrapod transition from water to land.

  14. Molecular evolution of proopiomelanocortin in early vertebrates; Gensakudobutsu hoya no shinkeisen ni saguru fukujinhishitsu sigeki horumon no kigen to bunshi shinka

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takahashi, Akiyoshi [Kitasato University, Tokyo (Japan). School of Fishieries Sciences

    1998-12-16

    Proolpiomelanocortin (POMC) is a precursor for melanotrophin (MSH) and {beta}-endorphin that regulate stress and environmental adaptation. The present study was undertaken to provide insight into the molecular evolution of POMC in the early vertebrates by examining structures of POMCs in protochordates and in ancient and advanced fishes. Lungfish POMC is similar to tetrapods because they include three MSHs ({alpha}, {beta} and {gamma}) and {beta}-endorphin. In contrast to the consistent occurrence of three MSHs in tetrapods and dipnoans, fish POMC varies in the number of MSH types it contains. POMCs of tuna and sturgeon lack {gamma}-MSH whereas POMC of dogfish has a forth ({delta}) MSH in addition to {alpha}-, {beta}- and {gamma}-MSH. b-endorphin, however, occurs in all vertebrates. These results suggest that POMC has evolved by duplication, insertion and deletion of MSH genomic segments. The diversity of MSH may have contributed to development of the ability to adapt to different conditions. (author)

  15. Taxonomic composition and trophic structure of the continental bony fish assemblage from the early late cretaceous of Southeastern Morocco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavin, Lionel; Boudad, Larbi; Tong, Haiyan; Läng, Emilie; Tabouelle, Jérôme; Vullo, Romain

    2015-01-01

    The mid-Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage from south-eastern Morocco is one of the most diversified continental vertebrate assemblages of this time worldwide. The bony fish component (coelacanths, lungfishes and ray-finned fishes) is represented by relatively complete specimens and, mostly, by fragmentary elements scattered along 250 kilometres of outcrops. Here we revisit the bony fish assemblage by studying both isolated remains collected during several fieldtrips and more complete material kept in public collections. The assemblage comprises several lungfish taxa, with the first mention of the occurrence of Arganodus tiguidiensis, and possibly two mawsoniid coelacanths. A large bichir cf. Bawitius, is recorded and corresponds to cranial elements initially referred to 'Stromerichthys' from coeval deposits in Egypt. The ginglymodians were diversified with a large 'Lepidotes' plus two obaichthyids and a gar. We confirm here that this gar belongs to a genus distinctive from Recent gars, contrary to what was suggested recently. Teleosteans comprise a poorly known ichthyodectiform, a notopterid, a probable osteoglossomorph and a large tselfatiiform, whose cranial anatomy is detailed. The body size and trophic level for each taxon are estimated on the basis of comparison with extant closely related taxa. We plotted the average body size versus average trophic level for the Kem Kem assemblage, together with extant marine and freshwater assemblages. The Kem Kem assemblage is characterized by taxa of proportionally large body size, and by a higher average trophic level than the trophic level of the extant compared freshwater ecosystems, but lower than for the extant marine ecosystems. These results should be regarded with caution because they rest on a reconstructed assemblage known mostly by fragmentary remains. They reinforce, however, the ecological oddities already noticed for this mid-Cretaceous vertebrate ecosystem in North Africa.

  16. Mercury in fish from three rift valley lakes (Turkana, Naivasha and Baringo), Kenya, East Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, L.M.; Osano, O.; Hecky, R.E.; Dixon, D.G

    2003-09-01

    Mercury concentrations in Kenyan fish vary with tropic position but, in general, do not pose an unacceptable risk to human consumers of wildlife. -Total mercury (THg) concentrations were measured for various fish species from Lakes Turkana, Naivasha and Baringo in the rift valley of Kenya. The highest THg concentration (636 ng g{sup -1} wet weight) was measured for a piscivorous tigerfish Hydrocynus forskahlii from Lake Turkana. THg concentrations for the Perciformes species, the Nile perch Lates niloticus from Lake Turkana and the largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides from Lake Naivasha ranged between 4 and 95 ng g{sup -1}. The tilapiine species in all lakes, including the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, had consistently low THg concentrations ranging between 2 and 25 ng g{sup -1}. In Lake Naivasha, the crayfish species, Procambrus clarkii, had THg concentrations similar to those for the tilapiine species from the same lake, which is consistent with their shared detritivore diet. THg concentrations in all fish species were usually consistent with their known trophic position, with highest concentrations in piscivores and declining in omnivores, insectivores and detritivores. One exception is the detritivore Labeo cylindricus from Lake Baringo, which had surprisingly elevated THg concentrations (mean=75 ng g{sup -1}), which was similar to those for the top trophic species (Clarias and Protopterus) in the same lake. Except for two Hydrocynus forskahlii individuals from Lake Turkana, which had THg concentrations near or above the international marketing limit of 500 ng g{sup -1}, THg concentrations in the fish were generally below those of World Health Organization's recommended limit of 200 ng g{sup -1} for at-risk groups.

  17. Diversity and repertoire of IgW and IgM VH families in the newborn nurse shark.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumfelt, Lynn L; Lohr, Rebecca L; Dooley, Helen; Flajnik, Martin F

    2004-05-06

    Adult cartilaginous fish express three immunoglobulin (Ig) isotypes, IgM, IgNAR and IgW. Newborn nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum, produce 19S (multimeric) IgM and monomeric/dimeric IgM1gj, a germline-joined, IgM-related VH, and very low amounts of 7S (monomeric) IgM and IgNAR proteins. Newborn IgNAR VH mRNAs are diverse in the complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) with non-templated nucleotide (N-region) addition, which suggests that, unlike in many other vertebrates, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) expressed at birth is functional. IgW is present in the lungfish, a bony fish sharing a common ancestor with sharks 460 million years ago, implying that the IgW VH family is as old as the IgM VH family. This nurse shark study examined the IgM and IgW VH repertoire from birth through adult life, and analyzed the phylogenetic relationships of these gene families. IgM and IgW VH cDNA clones isolated from newborn nurse shark primary and secondary lymphoid tissues had highly diverse and unique CDR3 with N-region addition and VDJ gene rearrangement, implicating functional TdT and RAG gene activity. Despite the clear presence of N-region additions, newborn CDR3 were significantly shorter than those of adults. The IgM clones are all included in a conventional VH family that can be classified into five discrete groups, none of which is orthologous to IgM VH genes in other elasmobranchs. In addition, a novel divergent VH family was orthologous to a published monotypic VH horn shark family. IgW VH genes have diverged sufficiently to form three families. IgM and IgW VH serine codons using the potential somatic hypermutation hotspot sequence occur mainly in VH framework 1 (FR1) and CDR1. Phylogenetic analysis of cartilaginous fish and lungfish IgM and IgW demonstrated they form two major ancient gene groups; furthermore, these VH genes generally diversify (duplicate and diverge) within a species. As in ratfish, sandbar and horn sharks, most nurse shark IgM VH

  18. Diversity and repertoire of IgW and IgM VH families in the newborn nurse shark

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dooley Helen

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adult cartilaginous fish express three immunoglobulin (Ig isotypes, IgM, IgNAR and IgW. Newborn nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum, produce 19S (multimeric IgM and monomeric/dimeric IgM1gj, a germline-joined, IgM-related VH, and very low amounts of 7S (monomeric IgM and IgNAR proteins. Newborn IgNAR VH mRNAs are diverse in the complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3 with non-templated nucleotide (N-region addition, which suggests that, unlike in many other vertebrates, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT expressed at birth is functional. IgW is present in the lungfish, a bony fish sharing a common ancestor with sharks 460 million years ago, implying that the IgW VH family is as old as the IgM VH family. This nurse shark study examined the IgM and IgW VH repertoire from birth through adult life, and analyzed the phylogenetic relationships of these gene families. Results IgM and IgW VH cDNA clones isolated from newborn nurse shark primary and secondary lymphoid tissues had highly diverse and unique CDR3 with N-region addition and VDJ gene rearrangement, implicating functional TdT and RAG gene activity. Despite the clear presence of N-region additions, newborn CDR3 were significantly shorter than those of adults. The IgM clones are all included in a conventional VH family that can be classified into five discrete groups, none of which is orthologous to IgM VH genes in other elasmobranchs. In addition, a novel divergent VH family was orthologous to a published monotypic VH horn shark family. IgW VH genes have diverged sufficiently to form three families. IgM and IgW VH serine codons using the potential somatic hypermutation hotspot sequence occur mainly in VH framework 1 (FR1 and CDR1. Phylogenetic analysis of cartilaginous fish and lungfish IgM and IgW demonstrated they form two major ancient gene groups; furthermore, these VH genes generally diversify (duplicate and diverge within a species. Conclusion As in ratfish

  19. REE compositions in fossil vertebrate dental tissues indicate biomineral preservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Žigaite, Ž.; Kear, B.; Pérez-Huerta, A.; Jeffries, T.; Blom, H.

    2012-04-01

    Rare earth element (REE) abundances have been measured in a number of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic dental tissues using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass-spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Fossil vertebrates analysed comprise scales and tesserae of Silurian and Devonian acanthodians, chondrichthyans, galeaspids, mongolepids, thelodonts, as well as teeth of Cretaceous lungfish and marine reptiles. The evaluation of fossil preservation level has been made by semi-quantitative spot geochemistry analyses on fine polished teeth and scale thin sections, using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS). Fossil teeth and scales with significant structure and colour alteration have shown elevated heavy element concentrations, and the silicification of bioapatite has been common in their tissues. Stable oxygen isotope measurements (δ18O) of bulk biomineral have been conducted in parallel, and showed comparatively lower heavy oxygen values in the same fossil tissues with stronger visible alteration. Significant difference in REE concentrations has been observed between the dentine and enamel of Cretaceous plesiosaurs, suggesting the enamel to be more geochemically resistant to diagenetic overprint.

  20. Epithelial sodium transport and its control by aldosterone: the story of our internal environment revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossier, Bernard C; Baker, Michael E; Studer, Romain A

    2015-01-01

    Transcription and translation require a high concentration of potassium across the entire tree of life. The conservation of a high intracellular potassium was an absolute requirement for the evolution of life on Earth. This was achieved by the interplay of P- and V-ATPases that can set up electrochemical gradients across the cell membrane, an energetically costly process requiring the synthesis of ATP by F-ATPases. In animals, the control of an extracellular compartment was achieved by the emergence of multicellular organisms able to produce tight epithelial barriers creating a stable extracellular milieu. Finally, the adaptation to a terrestrian environment was achieved by the evolution of distinct regulatory pathways allowing salt and water conservation. In this review we emphasize the critical and dual role of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase in the control of the ionic composition of the extracellular fluid and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) in salt and water conservation in vertebrates. The action of aldosterone on transepithelial sodium transport by activation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) at the apical membrane and that of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase at the basolateral membrane may have evolved in lungfish before the emergence of tetrapods. Finally, we discuss the implication of RAAS in the origin of the present pandemia of hypertension and its associated cardiovascular diseases. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  1. Generation and Characterization of Polyclonal Antibody Against Part of Immunoglobulin Constant Heavy υ Chain of Goose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Panpan; Guo, Yongli; Ma, Bo; Wang, Junwei

    2014-01-01

    Immunoglobulin Y (abbreviated as IgY) is a type of immunoglobulin that is the major antibody in bird, reptile, and lungfish blood. IgY consists of two light (λ) and two heavy (υ) chains. In the present study, polyclonal antibody against IgYFc was generated and evaluated. rIgYCυ3/Cυ4 was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and utilized to raise polyclonal antibody in rabbit. High affinity antisera were obtained, which successfully detected the antigen at a dilution of 1:204,800 for ELISA assay. The antibody can specifically recognize both rIgYCυ3/Cυ4 and native IgY by Western bolt analysis. Furthermore, the serum of Grus japonensis or immunoglobulin of chicken, duck, turkey, and silkie samples and dynamic changes of serum GoIgY after immunogenicity with GPV-VP3-virus-like particles (GPV-VP3-VLPs) can be detected with the anti-GoIgYFc polyclonal antibody. These results suggested that the antibody is valuable for the investigation of biochemical properties and biological functions of GoIgY. PMID:25171010

  2. The role of the nervous system in fish evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H Hofmann

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The nervous system plays an important role in the evolution and adaptation of animals. All sensory and motor functions as well as cognitive abilities are organized in the brain and spinal cord. Volumetric measurements of different brain regions were made in more than 150 species of ray finned fishes as well as in several outgroups. In Actanthopterygii, the hypothalamus shows greatest enlargement most likely due to an enormous visual input via the nucleus glomerulosos. The telencephalon is highly differentiated in many acanthopterygii, mostly coral reef species, but its relative size is not much effected. There is, however, a clear shift from olfactory to visual functions in ray finned fishes. In species with a highly differentiated telencephalon, the area where place memory may be located is very prominent. In basal ray finned fishes, lungfish, amphibia and elasmobranchs, the olfactory bulb is relatively large and the ratio of the olfactory bulb and telencephalon large as well. This holds also for elopomorpha and spiny eels, but in most other groups vision dominates. Apart from differences between larger clades, variation in brain architecture are also seen in closely related species and even between sexes of the same species. Profound differences are present in the cerebellum between male and female swordtails and in the telencephalon of sticklebacks. Morphometric analysis of brain architecture turned out to be an important tool to study the evolution and adaptations of the brain in fishes.

  3. Evolution and Diversity of Transposable Elements in Vertebrate Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotero-Caio, Cibele G; Platt, Roy N; Suh, Alexander; Ray, David A

    2017-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are selfish genetic elements that mobilize in genomes via transposition or retrotransposition and often make up large fractions of vertebrate genomes. Here, we review the current understanding of vertebrate TE diversity and evolution in the context of recent advances in genome sequencing and assembly techniques. TEs make up 4-60% of assembled vertebrate genomes, and deeply branching lineages such as ray-finned fishes and amphibians generally exhibit a higher TE diversity than the more recent radiations of birds and mammals. Furthermore, the list of taxa with exceptional TE landscapes is growing. We emphasize that the current bottleneck in genome analyses lies in the proper annotation of TEs and provide examples where superficial analyses led to misleading conclusions about genome evolution. Finally, recent advances in long-read sequencing will soon permit access to TE-rich genomic regions that previously resisted assembly including the gigantic, TE-rich genomes of salamanders and lungfishes. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  4. Defences against ammonia toxicity in tropical air-breathing fishes exposed to high concentrations of environmental ammonia: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Y K; Chew, S F; Wilson, J M; Randall, D J

    2004-10-01

    In the tropics, air-breathing fishes can be exposed to environmental ammonia when stranded in puddles of water during the dry season, during a stay inside a burrow, or after agricultural fertilization. At low concentrations of environmental ammonia, NH(3) excretion is impeded, as in aerial exposure, leading to the accumulation of endogenous ammonia. At high concentrations of environmental ammonia, which results in a reversed NH(3) partial pressure gradient (DeltaP(NH3)), there is retention of endogenous ammonia and uptake of exogenous ammonia. In this review, several tropical air-breathing fishes (giant mudskipper, African catfish, oriental weatherloach, swamp eel, four-eyed sleeper, abehaze and slender African lungfish), which can tolerate high environmental ammonia exposure, are used as examples to demonstrate how eight different adaptations can be involved in defence against ammonia toxicity. Four of these adaptations deal with ammonia toxicity at branchial and/or epithelial surfaces: (1) active excretion of NH(4)(+); (2) lowering of environmental pH; (3) low NH(3) permeability of epithelial surfaces; and (4) volatilization of NH(3), while another four adaptations ameliorate ammonia toxicity at the cellular and subcellular levels: (5) high tolerance of ammonia at the cellular and subcellular levels; (6) reduction in ammonia production; (7) glutamine synthesis; and (8) urea synthesis. The responses of tropical air-breathing fishes to high environmental ammonia are determined apparently by behavioural adaptations and the nature of their natural environments.

  5. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria

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    Chiari Ylenia

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes, to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles, or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. Results In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation

  6. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes), to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles), or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. Results In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites) for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation. Conclusions These results

  7. The origin of vertebrate limbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, M I

    1994-01-01

    The earliest tetrapod limbs are polydactylous, morphologically varied and do not conform to an archetypal pattern. These discoveries, combined with the unravelling of limb developmental morphogenetic and regulatory mechanisms, have prompted a re-examination of vertebrate limb evolution. The rich fossil record of vertebrate fins/limbs, although restricted to skeletal tissues, exceeds the morphological diversity of the extant biota, and a systematic approach to limb evolution produces an informative picture of evolutionary change. A composite framework of several phylogenetic hypotheses is presented incorporating living and fossil taxa, including the first report of an acanthodian metapterygium and a new reconstruction of the axial skeleton and caudal fin of Acanthostega gunnari. Although significant nodes in vertebrate phylogeny remain poorly resolved, clear patterns of morphogenetic evolution emerge: median fin origination and elaboration initially precedes that of paired fins; pectoral fins initially precede pelvic fin development; evolving patterns of fin distribution, skeletal tissue diversity and structural complexity become decoupled with increased taxonomic divergence. Transformational sequences apparent from the fish-tetrapod transition are reiterated among extant lungfishes, indicating further directions for comparative experimental research. The evolutionary diversification of vertebrate fin and limb patterns challenges a simple linkage between Hox gene conservation, expression and morphology. A phylogenetic framework is necessary in order to distinguish shared from derived characters in experimental model regulatory systems. Hox and related genomic evolution may include convergent patterns underlying functional and morphological diversification. Brachydanio is suggested as an example where tail-drive patterning demands may have converged with the regulation of highly differentiated limbs in tetrapods.

  8. Excretory nitrogen metabolism and defence against ammonia toxicity in air-breathing fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chew, S F; Ip, Y K

    2014-03-01

    With the development of air-breathing capabilities, some fishes can emerge from water, make excursions onto land or even burrow into mud during droughts. Air-breathing fishes have modified gill morphology and morphometry and accessory breathing organs, which would tend to reduce branchial ammonia excretion. As ammonia is toxic, air-breathing fishes, especially amphibious ones, are equipped with various strategies to ameliorate ammonia toxicity during emersion or ammonia exposure. These strategies can be categorized into (1) enhancement of ammonia excretion and reduction of ammonia entry, (2) conversion of ammonia to a less toxic product for accumulation and subsequent excretion, (3) reduction of ammonia production and avoidance of ammonia accumulation and (4) tolerance of ammonia at cellular and tissue levels. Active ammonia excretion, operating in conjunction with lowering of ambient pH and reduction in branchial and cutaneous NH₃ permeability, is theoretically the most effective strategy to maintain low internal ammonia concentrations. NH₃ volatilization involves the alkalization of certain epithelial surfaces and requires mechanisms to prevent NH₃ back flux. Urea synthesis is an energy-intensive process and hence uncommon among air-breathing teleosts. Aestivating African lungfishes detoxify ammonia to urea and the accumulated urea is excreted following arousal. Reduction in ammonia production is achieved in some air-breathing fishes through suppression of amino acid catabolism and proteolysis, or through partial amino acid catabolism leading to alanine formation. Others can slow down ammonia accumulation through increased glutamine synthesis in the liver and muscle. Yet, some others develop high tolerance of ammonia at cellular and tissue levels, including tissues in the brain. In summary, the responses of air-breathing fishes to ameliorate ammonia toxicity are many and varied, determined by the behaviour of the species and the nature of the environment in

  9. Extreme variation in the atrial septation of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona)

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bakker, Desiderius M; Wilkinson, Mark; Jensen, Bjarke

    2015-01-01

    Caecilians (order Gymnophiona) are elongate, limbless, snake-like amphibians that are the sister-group (closest relatives) of all other recent amphibians (frogs and salamanders). Little is known of their cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, but one nearly century old study suggests that Hypogeophis (family Indotyphlidae), commonly relied upon as a representative caecilian species, has atrial septation in the frontal plane and more than one septum. In contrast, in other vertebrates there generally is one atrial septum in the sagittal plane. We studied the adult heart of Idiocranium (also Indotyphlidae) using immunohistochemistry and confirm that the interatrial septum is close to the frontal plane. Additionally, a parallel right atrial septum divides three-fourths of the right atrial cavity of this species. Idiocranium embryos in the Hill collection reveal that atrial septation initiates in the sagittal plane as in other tetrapods. Late developmental stages, however, see a left-ward shift of visceral organs and a concordant rotation of the atria that reorients the atrial septa towards the frontal plane. The gross anatomies of species from six other caecilian families reveal that (i) the right atrial septum developed early in caecilian evolution (only absent in Rhinatrematidae) and that (ii) rotation of the atria evolved later and its degree varies between families. In most vertebrates a prominent atrial trabeculation associates with the sinuatrial valve, the so-called septum spurium, and the right atrial septum seems homologous to this trabeculation but much more developed. The right atrial septum does not appear to be a consequence of body elongation because it is absent in some caecilians and in snakes. The interatrial septum of caecilians shares multiple characters with the atrial septum of lungfishes, salamanders and the embryonic septum primum of amniotes. In conclusion, atrial septation in caecilians is based on evolutionarily conserved structures but

  10. Analyzing the evolution of beta-endorphin post-translational processing events: studies on reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoureshi, Pezhman; Baron, Andrea; Szynskie, Laura; Dores, Robert M

    2007-01-01

    In many cartilaginous fishes, most ray-finned fishes, lungfishes, and amphibians, the post-translational processing of POMC includes the monobasic cleavage of beta-endorphin to yield an opioid that is eight to ten amino acids in length. The amino acid motif within the beta-endorphin sequence required for a monobasic cleavage event is -E-R-(S/G)-Q-. Mammals and birds lack this motif and as a result beta-endorphin(1-8) is a not an end-product in either group. Since both mammals and birds were derived from ancestors with reptilian origins, an analysis of beta-endorphin sequences from extant groups of reptiles should provide insights into the manner in which beta-endorphin post-translational processing mechanisms have evolved in amniotes. To this end a POMC cDNA was cloned from the pituitary of the turtle, Chrysemys scripta. The beta-endorphin sequence in this species was compared to other reptile beta-endorphin sequences (i.e., Chinese soft shell turtle and gecko) and to known bird and mammal sequences. This analysis indicated that either the loss of the arginine residue at the cleavage site (the two turtle species, chick, and human) or a substitution at the glutamine position in the consensus sequence (gecko and ostrich) would account for the loss of the monobasic cleavage reaction in that species. Since amphibians are capable of performing the beta-endorphin monobasic reaction, it would appear that the amino acid substitutions that eliminated this post-translational process event in reptilian-related tetrapods must have occurred in the ancestral amniotes.

  11. Multiple thyrotropin β-subunit and thyrotropin receptor-related genes arose during vertebrate evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gersende Maugars

    Full Text Available Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH is composed of a specific β subunit and an α subunit that is shared with the two pituitary gonadotropins. The three β subunits derive from a common ancestral gene through two genome duplications (1R and 2R that took place before the radiation of vertebrates. Analysis of genomic data from phylogenetically relevant species allowed us to identify an additional Tshβ subunit-related gene that was generated through 2R. This gene, named Tshβ2, present in cartilaginous fish, little skate and elephant shark, and in early lobe-finned fish, coelacanth and lungfish, was lost in ray-finned fish and tetrapods. The absence of a second type of TSH receptor (Tshr gene in these species suggests that both TSHs act through the same receptor. A novel Tshβ sister gene, named Tshβ3, was generated through the third genomic duplication (3R that occurred early in the teleost lineage. Tshβ3 is present in most teleost groups but was lostin tedraodontiforms. The 3R also generated a second Tshr, named Tshrb. Interestingly, the new Tshrb was translocated from its original chromosomic position after the emergence of eels and was then maintained in its new position. Tshrb was lost in tetraodontiforms and in ostariophysians including zebrafish although the latter species have two TSHs, suggesting that TSHRb may be dispensable. The tissue distribution of duplicated Tshβs and Tshrs was studied in the European eel. The endocrine thyrotropic function in the eel would be essentially mediated by the classical Tshβ and Tshra, which are mainly expressed in the pituitary and thyroid, respectively. Tshβ3 and Tshrb showed a similar distribution pattern in the brain, pituitary, ovary and adipose tissue, suggesting a possible paracrine/autocrine mode of action in these non-thyroidal tissues. Further studies will be needed to determine the binding specificity of the two receptors and how these two TSH systems are interrelated.

  12. Development and evolution of the vertebrate primary mouth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soukup, Vladimír; Horácek, Ivan; Cerny, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The vertebrate oral region represents a key interface between outer and inner environments, and its structural and functional design is among the limiting factors for survival of its owners. Both formation of the respective oral opening (primary mouth) and establishment of the food-processing apparatus (secondary mouth) require interplay between several embryonic tissues and complex embryonic rearrangements. Although many aspects of the secondary mouth formation, including development of the jaws, teeth or taste buds, are known in considerable detail, general knowledge about primary mouth formation is regrettably low. In this paper, primary mouth formation is reviewed from a comparative point of view in order to reveal its underestimated morphogenetic diversity among, and also within, particular vertebrate clades. In general, three main developmental modes were identified. The most common is characterized by primary mouth formation via a deeply invaginated ectodermal stomodeum and subsequent rupture of the bilaminar oral membrane. However, in salamander, lungfish and also in some frog species, the mouth develops alternatively via stomodeal collar formation contributed both by the ecto- and endoderm. In ray-finned fishes, on the other hand, the mouth forms via an ectoderm wedge and later horizontal detachment of the initially compressed oral epithelia with probably a mixed germ-layer derivation. A very intriguing situation can be seen in agnathan fishes: whereas lampreys develop their primary mouth in a manner similar to the most common gnathostome pattern, hagfishes seem to undergo a unique oropharyngeal morphogenesis when compared with other vertebrates. In discussing the early formative embryonic correlates of primary mouth formation likely to be responsible for evolutionary–developmental modifications of this area, we stress an essential role of four factors: first, positioning and amount of yolk tissue; closely related to, second, endoderm formation during

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. How insights from cardiovascular developmental biology have impacted the care of infants and children with congenital heart disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Alvin J.; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre; Lo, Cecilia W.

    2012-01-01

    To illustrate the impact developmental biology and genetics have already had on the clinical management of the million infants born worldwide each year with CHD, we have chosen three stories which have had particular relevance for pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, and cardiac nurses. First, we show how Margaret Kirby’s finding of the unexpected contribution of an ectodermal cell population – the cranial neural crest – to the aortic arch arteries and arterial pole of the embryonic avian heart provided a key impetus to the field of cardiovascular patterning. Recognition that a majority of patients affected by the neurocristopathy DiGeorge syndrome have a chromosome 22q11 deletion, have also spurred tremendous efforts to characterize the molecular mechanisms contributing to this pathology, assigning a major role to the transcription factor Tbx1. Second, synthesizing the work of the last two decades by many laboratories on a wide gamut of metazoans (invertebrates, tunicates, agnathans, teleosts, lungfish, amphibians, and amniotes), we review the >20 major modifications and additions to the ancient circulatory arrangement composed solely of a unicameral (one-chambered), contractile myocardial tube and a short proximal aorta. Two changes will be discussed in detail – the interposition of a second cardiac chamber in the circulation and the septation of the cardiac ventricle. By comparing the developmental genetic data of several model organisms, we can better understand the origin of the various components of the multicameral (multi-chambered) heart seen in humans. Third, Martina Brueckner’s discovery that a faulty axonemal dynein was responsible for the phenotype of the iv/iv mouse (the first mammalian model of human heterotaxy) focused attention on the biology of cilia. We discuss how even the care of the complex cardiac and non-cardiac anomalies seen in heterotaxy syndrome, which have long seemed impervious to

  15. Comparative morphology, histology and growth of the dental plates of the Devonian dipnoan Chirodipterus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M M; Campbell, K S

    1987-10-14

    The dental plates of the Devonian lungfish Chirodipterus australis Miles (Osteichthyes; Dipnoi) are shown to have achieved their characteristic morphology by a growth process different from that assumed for the plates of genera such as Dipterus. Each plate was thickened by the addition of layers of bone that also extended the plate labially, thus providing the base on which and into which dentine grew. Distinctive features of the dentition are: (a) labial increase of the dentine mass by the addition of blister-like denticles of simple enamel-covered dentine, which is initially ingrown by pleromic dentine and subsequently resorbed and replaced by petrodentine; (b) increase in the midline by a similar process that results in the addition of one (or possibly two) new ridges; (c) resorption of the posterior edge of the pterygoid plates and the posterior and posteromedial edges of the prearticular plates, with subsequent development over the resorbed surfaces of several generations of simple regenerative dentine; (d) resorption and redeposition of pleromic dentine and bone in a triangular region posteromedially on the pterygoid plates; (e) the formation of tuberosities that simulate teeth at a short distance in from the labial edge, by four processes: formation of an undulating plate margin, differential growth of petrodentine (hard compact dentine) within the pulp cavity, differential wear of the petrodentine and the adjacent bone plus pleromic dentine, and slightly greater growth of the petrodentine towards the occlusal surface relative to the adjacent bone and dentine; (f) expansion of the large flat surfaces of the plates by gradual replacement of the bone and dentine at the proximal ends of the furrows and also by the development of linkages of petrodentine across the furrows; (g) development of isolated tuberosities on the flat posterolateral parts of the plates. The petrodentine of the ridges, tuberosities and plateaus of the plates is indistinguishable

  16. A micropalaeontological and palynological insight into Early Carboniferous floodplain environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Carys; Kearsey, Timothy; Davies, Sarah; Millward, David; Marshall, John; Reeves, Emma

    2016-04-01

    -marine bivalves, chondrichthyan teeth and denticles. Conglomerates have a microfauna of fragments of lungfish, rhizodonts and chondrichthyans, with rarer ostracods and an absence of megaspores or arthropod cuticle. The dominance in abundance of the most common fishes (actinopterygians and rhizodonts) varies between successive beds. Rhizodonts occur in a range of environments, while acinopterygians are most common in facies representing short-lived shallow lakes or ponds. Chondrichthyans are most abundant within conglomerate lags and this may represent either a habitat preference for rivers or potential anadromous behaviour. Palynological analysis of sediments from Burnmouth, and a correlative borehole section, reveals common miospores and megaspores. A preliminary analysis of data from over 100 samples throughout the formation indicates significant fluctuation in the relative abundance of dry and humid-tolerant species. It would appear that there were successive times when a largely lycopod scrub and/or arborescent vegetation dominated the system. Between these episodes the vegetation degenerated to dry-tolerant species. The upper part of the formation is dominated by humid-tolerant species. The sandy siltstones contain a higher proportion of humid tolerant species compared to the other two tetrapod-bearing sediments. This, in combination with the common occurrence of palaeosols, desiccation cracks and evaporites, indicates that a seasonally wet to dry climate with monsoonal rains was operating. Our results open a window into the redevelopment of the earliest freshwater ecosystems and are helping us to elucidate the character of these new habitats and ecosystems.

  17. Fundamental structural aspects and features in the bioengineering of the gas exchangers: comparative perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maina, J N

    2002-01-01

    the ubiquitous method of transfer of O2 across biological tissues. Gills, evaginated gas exchangers, were the primordial respiratory organs that evolved for water breathing, whereas lungs (invaginated gas exchangers) developed for terrestrial (air) breathing. Transitional (= bimodal = amphibious) breathing has evolved in animals with specialized organs that extract O2 from both water and air. Lungs are tidally (= bidirectionally) ventilated, while gills are unidirectionally ventilated, a feature that allows the highly efficient counter-current disposition between blood and water. Since animals occupy inconstant environmental milieus and their metabolic states vary, gas exchangers are designed to operate optimally across a spectrum of conditions that range from resting to exercise and even under hypoxia. Inbuilt structural and functional flexibility provides the requisite safety factors that allow adjustments to modest pressures. The fundamental structural features that determine the respiratory function of a gas exchanger are respiratory surface area, thickness of the blood-water/gas (tissue) barrier and volume of the pulmonary capillary blood. The diffusing capacity of a gas exchanger correlates directly with the surface area and inversely with the thickness of the blood-water/gas (tissue) barrier. An extensive surface area is generated in gills by extensive stratification of the gas exchanger and in lungs by profuse internal subdivision. Compartmentalization yields small terminal gas exchange compartments that compel greater commitment of energy to ventilate. The surfactant, a phospholipid lining, reduces the forces of surface tension at the air-water interface. This attenuates the propensity of physical collapse of the minute gas exchange units and minimizes the cost of ventilation. The surfactant characterizes all the gas exchangers derived from the piscine air bladder. In the lower air-breathing vertebrates, such as the lungfishes (Dipnoi), amphibians and certain