André, Sébastien; Kerfourn, Fabienne; Affaticati, Pierre; Guerci, Aline; Ravassard, Philippe; Fellah, Julien S
Gammadelta T cells localize at mammalian epithelial surfaces to exert both protective and regulatory roles in response to infections. We have previously characterized the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) T cell receptor delta (TRD) chain. In this study, TRD repertoires in spleen, liver, intestine and skin from larvae, pre-adult and adult axolotls were examined and compared to the thymic TRD repertoire. A TRDV transcript without N/D diversity, TRDV1S1-TRDJ1, dominates the TRD repertoires until sexual maturation. In adult tissues, this canonical transcript is replaced by another dominant TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript. In the thymus, these two transcripts are detected early in development. Our results suggest that gammadelta T cells that express the canonical TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript emerge from the thymus and colonize the peripheral tissues, where they are selectively expanded by recurrent ligands. This particular situation is probably related to the neotenic state and the slow development of the axolotl. In thymectomized axolotls, TRD repertoires appear different from those of normal axolotls, suggesting that extrathymic gammadelta T cell differentiation could occur. Gene expression analysis showed the importance of the gut in T cell development.
Thomas, R. M.
Suggests and describes laboratory activities in which the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Shaw) is used, including experiments in embryology and early development, growth and regeneration, neoteny and metamorphosis, genetics and coloration, anatomy and physiology, and behavior. Discusses care and maintenance of animals. (CS)
Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart
The segmental series of somites in the vertebrate embryo gives rise to the axial skeleton. In amniote models, single vertebrae are derived from the sclerotome of two adjacent somites. This process, known as resegmentation, is well-studied using the quail-chick chimeric system, but the presumed generality of resegmentation across vertebrates remains poorly evaluated. Resegmentation has been questioned in anamniotes, given that the sclerotome is much smaller and lacks obvious differentiation between cranial and caudal portions. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that resegmentation does occur in a species of amphibian. Fate mapping of individual somites in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) revealed that individual vertebrae receive cells from two adjacent somites as in the chicken. These findings suggest that large size and segmentation of the sclerotome into distinct cranial and caudal portions are not requirements for resegmentation. Our results, in addition to those for zebrafish, indicate that resegmentation is a general process in building the vertebral column in vertebrates, although it may be achieved in different ways in different groups. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
De Groef, Bert; Grommen, Sylvia V H; Darras, Veerle M
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a salamander species that does not undergo metamorphosis, resulting in the retention of juvenile characteristics in the mature breeding stage (paedomorphosis). Here we review the endocrinological studies investigating the proximate cause of axolotl paedomorphosis with a focus on the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. It is well established that axolotl paedomorphosis is a consequence of low activity of the HPT axis. The pituitary hormone thyrotropin (TSH) is capable of inducing metamorphosis in the axolotl, which indicates that all processes and interactions in the HPT axis below the pituitary level are functional, but that TSH release is impaired. In metamorphosing species, TSH secretion is largely controlled by the hypothalamic neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which seems to have lost its thyrotropic activity in the axolotl. However, preliminary experiments have not yet confirmed a role for faulty CRH signalling in axolotl paedomorphosis. Other hypothalamic factors and potential pituitary inhibitors need to be investigated to identify their roles in amphibian metamorphosis and axolotl paedomorphosis. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Farkas, Johanna E; Monaghan, James R
The aim of this paper is to assemble a significant amount of information on Ambystoma mexicanum, the axolotl salamander, to assist in the basic knowledge needed to raise, breed, and study most aspects of axolotl biology. It is important to understand the basic biology of the axolotl in order to make informed decisions on their proper care and use in experiments. Therefore, we will provide necessary information to the non-herpetologist that will assist in their study of this unique and fascinating animal. We also aim to provide a resource on the general anatomy, behavior, and experimental tips specific to the Mexican axolotl that will be of use to most axolotl laboratories. Axolotls have been actively researched since the 1860s, giving testament to their relatively straightforward maintenance and their versatility as an animal model for development and regeneration. Interest in using the axolotl in laboratory research has grown tremendously over the past decade, so dedicated resources to support the study of this species are needed and encouraged.
Full Text Available Chiara Zullian,1 Aurore Dodelet-Devillers,1 Stéphane Roy,2 Pascal Vachon1 1Département de Biomédecine Vétérinaire, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, 2Département de Stomatologie, Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Montréal, Québec, Canada Abstract: The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum is a unique research model in several fields of medicine, where surgical and invasive procedures may be required. As yet, little is known about the efficacy of MS222 (tricaine methanesulfonate, which is the most commonly used anesthetic agent in amphibians. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the anesthetic effects and physiological changes in adult axolotls following a 20-minute immersion bath, containing progressive MS222 concentrations starting at 0.1%. Depth of anesthesia and physiological changes were evaluated every 15 minutes post-MS222 exposure with the following parameters: righting behavior, withdrawal reflex, acetic acid test response, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation, as well as cloacal and body surface temperatures. A 20-minute exposure in a 0.1% MS222 immersion bath (n=6 animals had no anesthetic effects on adult axolotls after 20 minutes of exposure. With a 0.2% MS222 solution, all axolotls (n=9 were deeply anesthetized at 15 minutes, and 80% were still unresponsive at 30 minutes postexposure. Blood oxygen saturation and heart rate were slightly, but significantly, increased when compared with the baseline value and remained stable up to recovery. There was no significant increase in surface and cloaca temperatures, compared with baseline. With the 0.4% MS222 solution, the duration of anesthesia lasted for 90 minutes to at least 120 minutes (n=3 animals and this concentration was deemed too high. In conclusion, a 20-minute immersion bath with 0.2% MS222 may be used for short procedures (15–30 minutes requiring anesthesia of adult axolotls. Keywords: Ambystoma mexicanum
Safi, Rachid; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Marchand, Oriane; Duffraisse, Marilyne; de Luze, Amaury; Vanacker, Jean-Marc; Maraninchi, Marie; Margotat, Alain; Demeneix, Barbara; Laudet, Vincent
Neotenic amphibians such as the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) are often unable to undergo metamorphosis under natural conditions. It is thought that neoteny represents a deviation from the standard course of amphibian ontogeny, affecting the thyroid axis at different levels from the central nervous system to peripheral organs. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) that bind the thyroid hormone (TH) T(3) have been described in axolotl. However, the full sequences of TR were needed to better characterize the TH response and to be able to assess their functional capacity at the molecular level. We report that each of the alpha and beta axolotl TRs bind both DNA and TH, and they activate transcription in response to TH in a mammalian cell-based transient transfection assay. Moreover, both TRs are expressed in axolotl tissues. Interestingly, each TR gene generates alternatively spliced isoforms, harboring partial or total deletions of the ligand-binding domain, which are expressed in vivo. Further, we found that in the axolotl, TH regulates the expression of stromelysin 3 and collagenase 3, which are TH target genes in Xenopus. Taken together, these results suggest that axolotl TRs are functional and that the molecular basis of neoteny in the axolotl is not linked to a major defect in TH response in peripheral tissues.
Ponomareva, Larissa V; Athippozhy, Antony; Thorson, Jon S; Voss, S Randal
Amphibian vertebrates are important models in regenerative biology because they present exceptional regenerative capabilities throughout life. However, it takes considerable effort to rear amphibians to juvenile and adult stages for regeneration studies, and the relatively large sizes that frogs and salamanders achieve during development make them difficult to use in chemical screens. Here, we introduce a new tail regeneration model using late stage Mexican axolotl embryos. We show that axolotl embryos completely regenerate amputated tails in 7days before they exhaust their yolk supply and begin to feed. Further, we show that axolotl embryos can be efficiently reared in microtiter plates to achieve moderate throughput screening of soluble chemicals to investigate toxicity and identify molecules that alter regenerative outcome. As proof of principle, we identified integration 1 / wingless (Wnt), transforming growth factor beta (Tgf-β), and fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) pathway antagonists that completely block tail regeneration and additional chemicals that significantly affected tail outgrowth. Furthermore, we used microarray analysis to show that inhibition of Wnt signaling broadly affects transcription of genes associated with Wnt, Fgf, Tgf-β, epidermal growth factor (Egf), Notch, nerve growth factor (Ngf), homeotic gene (Hox), rat sarcoma/mitogen-activated protein kinase (Ras/Mapk), myelocytomatosis viral oncogene (Myc), tumor protein 53 (p53), and retinoic acid (RA) pathways. Punctuated changes in the expression of genes known to regulate vertebrate development were observed; this suggests the tail regeneration transcriptional program is hierarchically structured and temporally ordered. Our study establishes the axolotl as a chemical screening model to investigate signaling pathways associated with tissue regeneration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A number of unusual traits, including a remarkable capacity for wound healing and limb regeneration, make the axolotl an interesting animal model. The author provides an overview of axolotl care and use in biomedical research.
Samuels Amy K
Full Text Available Abstract Background Thyroid hormones (TH induce gene expression programs that orchestrate amphibian metamorphosis. In contrast to anurans, many salamanders do not undergo metamorphosis in nature. However, they can be induced to undergo metamorphosis via exposure to thyroxine (T4. We induced metamorphosis in juvenile Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum using 5 and 50 nM T4, collected epidermal tissue from the head at four time points (Days 0, 2, 12, 28, and used microarray analysis to quantify mRNA abundances. Results Individuals reared in the higher T4 concentration initiated morphological and transcriptional changes earlier and completed metamorphosis by Day 28. In contrast, initiation of metamorphosis was delayed in the lower T4 concentration and none of the individuals completed metamorphosis by Day 28. We identified 402 genes that were statistically differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold between T4 treatments at one or more non-Day 0 sampling times. To complement this analysis, we used linear and quadratic regression to identify 542 and 709 genes that were differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold in the 5 and 50 nM T4 treatments, respectively. Conclusion We found that T4 concentration affected the timing of gene expression and the shape of temporal gene expression profiles. However, essentially all of the identified genes were similarly affected by 5 and 50 nM T4. We discuss genes and biological processes that appear to be common to salamander and anuran metamorphosis, and also highlight clear transcriptional differences. Our results show that gene expression in axolotls is diverse and precise, and that axolotls provide new insights about amphibian metamorphosis.
Page, Robert B; Voss, Stephen R; Samuels, Amy K; Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Beachy, Christopher K
Thyroid hormones (TH) induce gene expression programs that orchestrate amphibian metamorphosis. In contrast to anurans, many salamanders do not undergo metamorphosis in nature. However, they can be induced to undergo metamorphosis via exposure to thyroxine (T4). We induced metamorphosis in juvenile Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) using 5 and 50 nM T4, collected epidermal tissue from the head at four time points (Days 0, 2, 12, 28), and used microarray analysis to quantify mRNA abundances. Individuals reared in the higher T4 concentration initiated morphological and transcriptional changes earlier and completed metamorphosis by Day 28. In contrast, initiation of metamorphosis was delayed in the lower T4 concentration and none of the individuals completed metamorphosis by Day 28. We identified 402 genes that were statistically differentially expressed by > or = two-fold between T4 treatments at one or more non-Day 0 sampling times. To complement this analysis, we used linear and quadratic regression to identify 542 and 709 genes that were differentially expressed by > or = two-fold in the 5 and 50 nM T4 treatments, respectively. We found that T4 concentration affected the timing of gene expression and the shape of temporal gene expression profiles. However, essentially all of the identified genes were similarly affected by 5 and 50 nM T4. We discuss genes and biological processes that appear to be common to salamander and anuran metamorphosis, and also highlight clear transcriptional differences. Our results show that gene expression in axolotls is diverse and precise, and that axolotls provide new insights about amphibian metamorphosis.
Ericsson, Rolf; Olsson, Lennart
Vertebrate head development is a classical topic that has received renewed attention during the last decade. Most reports use one of a few model organisms (chicken, mouse, zebrafish) and have focused on molecular mechanisms and the role of the neural crest, while cranial muscle development has received less attention. Here we describe cranial muscle differentiation and morphogenesis in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. To determine the onset of differentiation we use antibodies against desmin and optical sectioning using confocal laser scanning microscopy on whole-mount immunostained embryos. This technique makes it possible to document the cranial muscle in three dimensions while keeping the specimens intact. Desmin expression starts almost simultaneously in the first, second, and third visceral arch muscles (as in other amphibians studied). Muscle anlagen divide up early into the different elements which constitute the larval cranial musculature. We extend and refine earlier findings, e.g., by documenting a clear division between interhyoideus and interhyoideus posterior. The timing of cranial muscle differentiation differs among vertebrate groups, but seems to be constant within each group. This study provides a morphological foundation for further studies of muscle cell fate and early differentiation. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper Bindzus; Hagensen, Mette
are generally restricted by their limited regenerative potential. Conversely, excellent animal models for regenerative studies exist in lower vertebrates such as the urodele amphibians (salamanders and newts), exemplified in the iconic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) capable of regenerating whole limbs...
Sferrazza, Gian-Franco; Zhang, Chi; Jia, Pingping; Lemanski, Sharon L.; Athauda, Gagani; Stassi, Alyssa; Halager, Kristine; Maier, Jennifer A.; Rueda-de-Leon, Elena; Gupta, Amit; Dube, Syamalima; Huang, Xupei; Prentice, Howard M.; Dube, Dipak K.; Lemanski, Larry F.
The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, has been a useful animal model to study heart development and cardiac myofibrillogenesis. A naturally-occurring recessive mutant, gene “c”, for cardiac non-function in the Mexican axolotl causes a failure of myofibrillogenesis due to a lack of tropomyosin expression in homozygous mutant (c/c) embryonic hearts.. Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR) rescues mutant hearts in vitro by promoting tropomyosin expression and myofibril formation thereafter. We have studied the effect of MIR on the expression of various isoforms of cardiac Troponin-T (cTnT), a component of the thin filament that binds with tropomyosin. Four alternatively spliced cTnT isoforms have been characterized from developing axolotl heart. The expression of various cTnT isoforms in normal, mutant, and mutant hearts corrected with MIR, is evaluated by real-time RT-PCR using isoform specific primer pairs; MIR affects the total transcription as well as the splicing of the cTnT in axolotl heart PMID:17408593
Zhu, Wei; Pao, Gerald M; Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian; Monaghan, James R; Harkins, Timothy T; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony
The capacity for tissue and organ regeneration in humans is dwarfed by comparison to that of salamanders. Emerging evidence suggests that mechanisms learned from the early phase of salamander limb regeneration-wound healing, cellular dedifferentiation and blastemal formation-will reveal therapeutic approaches for tissue regeneration in humans. Here we describe a unique transcriptional fingerprint of regenerating limb tissue in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of ce...
Micah D. Gearhart
Full Text Available The Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum is one member of a select group of vertebrate animals that have retained the amazing ability to regenerate multiple body parts. In addition to being an important model system for regeneration, the axolotl has also contributed extensively to studies of basic development. While many genes known to play key roles during development have now been implicated in various forms of regeneration, much of the regulatory apparatus controlling the underlying molecular circuitry remains unknown. In recent years, microRNAs have been identified as key regulators of gene expression during development, in many diseases and also, increasingly, in regeneration. Here, we have used deep sequencing combined with qRT-PCR to undertake a comprehensive identification of microRNAs involved in regulating regeneration in the axolotl. Specifically, among the microRNAs that we have found to be expressed in axolotl tissues, we have identified 4564 microRNA families known to be widely conserved among vertebrates, as well as 59,811 reads of putative novel microRNAs. These findings support the hypothesis that microRNAs play key roles in managing the precise spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression that ensures the correct regeneration of missing tissues.
The effects of X-irradiation were studied on the Mexican axolotl antibody synthesis. To reduce the anti-horse red blood cell (HRBC) antibody titers, 150 rd and smaller doses are ineffective, 200-450 rd are increasingly effective, and 700 rd are maximally effective (and lethal). A significant enhancement of the anti-HRBC titers was observed in low doses (50-150 rd X-irradiated animals). This enhancement was also observed when a low X-ray dose was applied only on the thymic areas. In whole body, but thymus area-shielded, 100 rd X-irradiated animals, the anti-HRBC titers were similar to those of the nonirradiated, HRBC-immunized control group. To explain these phenomena, it is suggested that a radiosensitive, adult thymectomy-sensitive and hydrocortisone-sensitive suppressor T cell subpopulation regulates the antibody synthesis in the axolotl. (orig.) [de
The effects of X-irradiation were studied on the Mexican axolotl antibody synthesis. To reduce the anti-horse red blood cell (HRBC) antibody titers, 150 rd and smaller doses are ineffective, 200-450 rd are increasingly effective, and 700 rd are maximally effective (and lethal). A significant enhancement of the anti-HRBC titers was observed in low doses (50-150 rd X-irradiated animals). This enhancement was also observed when a low X-ray dose was applied only on the thymic areas. In whole body, but thymus area-shielded, 100 rd X-irradiated animals, the anti-HRBC titers were similar to those of the nonirradiated, HRBC-immunized control group. To explain these phenomena, it is suggested that a radiosensitive, adult thymectomy-sensitive and hydrocortisone-sensitive suppressor T cell subpopulation regulates the antibody synthesis in the axolotl.
Zhang, Songyan; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Cai, Shasha; Qiao, Xue; Wang, Yipeng; Yu, Haining
Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) refer to a class of polypeptides that are produced by certain vertebrates, plants, fungi, and bacteria and which permit their survival in subzero environments. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and three-dimensional structure of the axolotl antifreeze-like protein (AFLP) by homology modeling of the first caudate amphibian AFLP. We constructed a full-length spleen cDNA library of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). An EST having highest similarity (∼42%) with freeze-responsive liver protein Li16 from Rana sylvatica was identified, and the full-length cDNA was subsequently obtained by RACE-PCR. The axolotl antifreeze-like protein sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 93 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein were 10128.6 Da and 8.97, respectively. The molecular characterization of this gene and its deduced protein were further performed by detailed bioinformatics analysis. The three-dimensional structure of current AFLP was predicted by homology modeling, and the conserved residues required for functionality were identified. The homology model constructed could be of use for effective drug design. This is the first report of an antifreeze-like protein identified from a caudate amphibian.
Huggins, P; Johnson, CK; Schoergendorfer, A; Putta, S; Bathke, AC; Stromberg, AJ; Voss, SR
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) presents an excellent model to investigate mechanisms of brain development that are conserved among vertebrates. In particular, metamorphic changes of the brain can be induced in free-living aquatic juveniles and adults by simply adding thyroid hormone (T4) to rearing water. Whole brains were sampled from juvenile A. mexicanum that were exposed to 0, 8, and 18 days of 50 nM T4, and these were used to isolate RNA and make normalized cDNA libraries for 454 DNA sequencing. A total of 1,875,732 high quality cDNA reads were assembled with existing ESTs to obtain 5,884 new contigs for human RefSeq protein models, and to develop a custom Affymetrix gene expression array (Amby_002) with approximately 20,000 probe sets. The Amby_002 array was used to identify 303 transcripts that differed statistically (p 1.5) as a function of days of T4 treatment. Further statistical analyses showed that Amby_002 performed concordantly in comparison to an existing, small format expression array. This study introduces a new A. mexicanum microarray resource for the community and the first lists of T4-responsive genes from the brain of a salamander amphibian. PMID:21457787
Huggins, P; Johnson, C K; Schoergendorfer, A; Putta, S; Bathke, A C; Stromberg, A J; Voss, S R
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) presents an excellent model to investigate mechanisms of brain development that are conserved among vertebrates. In particular, metamorphic changes of the brain can be induced in free-living aquatic juveniles and adults by simply adding thyroid hormone (T4) to rearing water. Whole brains were sampled from juvenile A. mexicanum that were exposed to 0, 8, and 18 days of 50 nM T4, and these were used to isolate RNA and make normalized cDNA libraries for 454 DNA sequencing. A total of 1,875,732 high quality cDNA reads were assembled with existing ESTs to obtain 5884 new contigs for human RefSeq protein models, and to develop a custom Affymetrix gene expression array (Amby_002) with approximately 20,000 probe sets. The Amby_002 array was used to identify 303 transcripts that differed statistically (p1.5) as a function of days of T4 treatment. Further statistical analyses showed that Amby_002 performed concordantly in comparison to an existing, small format expression array. This study introduces a new A. mexicanum microarray resource for the community and the first lists of T4-responsive genes from the brain of a salamander amphibian. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Thompson, Sierra; Muzinic, Laura; Muzinic, Christopher; Niemiller, Matthew L; Voss, S Randal
Multiple factors are thought to cause limb abnormalities in amphibian populations by altering processes of limb development and regeneration. We examined adult and juvenile axolotls ( Ambystoma mexicanum ) in the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC) for limb and digit abnormalities to investigate the probability of normal regeneration after bite injury. We observed that 80% of larval salamanders show evidence of bite injury at the time of transition from group housing to solitary housing. Among 717 adult axolotls that were surveyed, which included solitary-housed males and group-housed females, approximately half presented abnormalities, including examples of extra or missing digits and limbs, fused digits, and digits growing from atypical anatomical positions. Bite injury likely explains these limb defects, and not abnormal development, because limbs with normal anatomy regenerated after performing rostral amputations. We infer that only 43% of AGSC larvae will present four anatomically normal looking adult limbs after incurring a bite injury. Our results show regeneration of normal limb anatomy to be less than perfect after bite injury.
Davidian, Asya; Malashichev, Yegor
Traditionally, the cartilaginous viscerocranium of vertebrates is considered as neural crest (NC)-derived. Morphological work carried out on amphibian embryos in the first half of the XX century suggested potentially mesodermal origin for some hyobranchial elements. Since then, the embryonic sources of the hyobranchial apparatus in amphibians has not been investigated due to lack of an appropriate long-term labelling system. We performed homotopic transplantations of neural folds along with the majority of cells of the presumptive NC, and/or fragments of the head lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) from transgenic GFP+ into white embryos. In these experiments, the NC-derived GFP+ cells contributed to all hyobranchial elements, except for basibranchial 2, whereas the grafting of GFP+ head mesoderm led to a reverse labelling result. The grafting of only the most ventral part of the head LPM resulted in marking of the basibranchial 2 and the heart myocardium, implying their origin from a common mesodermal region. This is the first evidence of contribution of LPM of the head to cranial elements in any vertebrate. If compared to fish, birds, and mammals, in which all branchial skeletal elements are NC-derived, the axolotl (probably this is true for all amphibians) demonstrates an evolutionary deviation, in which the head LPM replaces NC cells in a hyobranchial element. This implies that cells of different embryonic origin may have the same developmental program, leading to the formation of identical (homologous) elements of the skeleton.
Hansen, Kasper; Lauridsen, Henrik; Pedersen, Michael
vertebrates such as the urodele amphibians (salamanders and newts), are excellent animal models for regenerative studies. The iconic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is capable of regenerating whole limbs, tail, jaw, and many inner organs, by dedifferentiation of cells to form a blastema (collection...
Zhang, C; Pietras, K M; Sferrazza, G F; Jia, P; Athauda, G; Rueda-de-Leon, E; Rveda-de-Leon, E; Maier, J A; Dube, D K; Lemanski, S L; Lemanski, L F
The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, is an excellent animal model for studying heart development because it carries a naturally occurring recessive genetic mutation, designated gene c, for cardiac nonfunction. The double recessive mutants (c/c) fail to form organized myofibrils in the cardiac myoblasts resulting in hearts that fail to beat. Tropomyosin expression patterns have been studied in detail and show dramatically decreased expression in the hearts of homozygous mutant embryos. Because of the direct interaction between tropomyosin and troponin T (TnT), and the crucial functions of TnT in the regulation of striated muscle contraction, we have expanded our studies on this animal model to characterize the expression of the TnT gene in cardiac muscle throughout normal axolotl development as well as in mutant axolotls. In addition, we have succeeded in cloning the full-length cardiac troponin T (cTnT) cDNA from axolotl hearts. Confocal microscopy has shown a substantial, but reduced, expression of TnT protein in the mutant hearts when compared to normal during embryonic development. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Zhu, Wei; Pao, Gerald M; Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian; Monaghan, James R; Harkins, Timothy T; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony
The capacity for tissue and organ regeneration in humans is dwarfed by comparison to that of salamanders. Emerging evidence suggests that mechanisms learned from the early phase of salamander limb regeneration – wound healing, cellular dedifferentiation and blastemal formation – will reveal therapeutic approaches for tissue regeneration in humans. Here we describe a unique transcriptional fingerprint of regenerating limb tissue in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells to a germline-like state. Two genes that are required for self-renewal of germ cells in mice and flies, Piwi-like 1 (PL1) and Piwi-like 2 (PL2), are expressed in limb blastemal cells, the basal layer keratinocytes and the thickened apical epithelial cap in the wound epidermis in the regenerating limb. Depletion of PL1 and PL2 by morpholino oligonucleotides decreased cell proliferation and increased cell death in the blastema leading to a significant retardation of regeneration. Examination of key molecules that are known to be required for limb development or regeneration further revealed that FGF8 is transcriptionally downregulated in the presence of the morpholino oligos, indicating PL1 and PL2 might participate in FGF signaling during limb regeneration. Given the requirement for FGF signaling in limb development and regeneration, the results suggest that PL1 and PL2 function to establish a unique germline-like state that is associated with successful regeneration. PMID:22841627
Harshbarger, J.C.; Chang, S.C.; DeLanney, L.E.; Rose, F.L.; Green, D.E.
Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2mm to 2cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.
Maex, Margo; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Mortier, Anneleen; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky
Sex pheromones have been shown to constitute a crucial aspect of salamander reproduction. Until now, courtship pheromones of Salamandridae and Plethodontidae have been intensively studied, but information on chemical communication in other urodelan families is essentially lacking. The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum, Ambystomatidae) has a courtship display that suggests a key role for chemical communication in the orchestration of its sexual behavior, but no sex pheromones have yet been characterized from this species. Here we combined whole transcriptome analyses of the male cloaca with proteomic analyses of water in which axolotls were allowed to court to show that male axolotls secrete multiple ca. 20 kDa glycosylated sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) proteins during courtship. In combination with phylogenetic analyses, our data show that the male cloaca essentially secretes a courtship-specific clade of SPF proteins that is orthologous to salamandrid courtship pheromones. In addition, we identified an SPF protein for which no orthologs have been described from other salamanders so far. Overall, our study advocates a central role for SPF proteins during the courtship display of axolotls and adds knowledge on pheromone use in a previously unexplored deep evolutionary branch of salamander evolution.
Ericsson, Rolf; Cerny, Robert; Falck, Pierre; Olsson, Lennart
The role of cranial neural crest cells in the formation of visceral arch musculature was investigated in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. DiI (1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine, perchlorate) labeling and green fluorescent protein (GFP) mRNA injections combined with unilateral transplantations of neural folds showed that neural crest cells contribute to the connective tissues but not the myofibers of developing visceral arch muscles in the mandibular, hyoid, and branchial arches. Extirpations of individual cranial neural crest streams demonstrated that neural crest cells are necessary for correct morphogenesis of visceral arch muscles. These do, however, initially develop in their proper positions also in the absence of cranial neural crest. Visceral arch muscles forming in the absence of neural crest cells start to differentiate at their origins but fail to extend toward their insertions and may have a frayed appearance. Our data indicate that visceral arch muscle positioning is controlled by factors that do not have a neural crest origin. We suggest that the cranial neural crest-derived connective tissues provide directional guidance important for the proper extension of the cranial muscles and the subsequent attachment to the insertion on the correct cartilage. In a comparative context, our data from the Mexican axolotl support the view that the cranial neural crest plays a fundamental role in the development of not only the skeleton of the vertebrate head but also in the morphogenesis of the cranial muscles and that this might be a primitive feature of cranial development in vertebrates. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Full Text Available Background. Mexico has the world’s fifth largest population of amphibians and the second country with the highest quantity of threatened amphibian species. About 10% of Mexican amphibians lack enough data to be assigned to a risk category by the IUCN, so in this paper we want to test a statistical tool that, in the absence of specific demographic data, can assess a species’ risk of extinction, population trend, and to better understand which variables increase their vulnerability. Recent studies have demonstrated that the risk of species decline depends on extrinsic and intrinsic traits, thus including both of them for assessing extinction might render more accurate assessment of threats.Methods. We harvested data from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL and the published literature for Mexican amphibians, and used these data to assess the population trend of some of the Mexican species that have been assigned to the Data Deficient category of the IUCN using Random Forests, a Machine Learning method that gives a prediction of complex processes and identifies the most important variables that account for the predictions.Results. Our results show that most of the data deficient Mexican amphibians that we used have decreasing population trends. We found that Random Forests is a solid way to identify species with decreasing population trends when no demographic data is available. Moreover, we point to the most important variables that make species more vulnerable for extinction. This exercise is a very valuable first step in assigning conservation priorities for poorly known species.
Quintero, Esther; Thessen, Anne E; Arias-Caballero, Paulina; Ayala-Orozco, Bárbara
Background. Mexico has the world's fifth largest population of amphibians and the second country with the highest quantity of threatened amphibian species. About 10% of Mexican amphibians lack enough data to be assigned to a risk category by the IUCN, so in this paper we want to test a statistical tool that, in the absence of specific demographic data, can assess a species' risk of extinction, population trend, and to better understand which variables increase their vulnerability. Recent studies have demonstrated that the risk of species decline depends on extrinsic and intrinsic traits, thus including both of them for assessing extinction might render more accurate assessment of threats. Methods. We harvested data from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and the published literature for Mexican amphibians, and used these data to assess the population trend of some of the Mexican species that have been assigned to the Data Deficient category of the IUCN using Random Forests, a Machine Learning method that gives a prediction of complex processes and identifies the most important variables that account for the predictions. Results. Our results show that most of the data deficient Mexican amphibians that we used have decreasing population trends. We found that Random Forests is a solid way to identify species with decreasing population trends when no demographic data is available. Moreover, we point to the most important variables that make species more vulnerable for extinction. This exercise is a very valuable first step in assigning conservation priorities for poorly known species.
Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart
The fate of single somites has not been analyzed from a comparative perspective with modern cell-marking methods. Most of what we know is based on work using quail-chick chimeras. Consequently, to what degree cell fate has been conserved despite the anatomical differences among vertebrates is unknown. We have analyzed the cell fate of the cranialmost somites, with the focus on somite two, in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). Somite cells were marked by injection of dextran-fluorescein and detected using immunofluorescence after 2 months of development in paraffin sections. Our data confirm and extend earlier studies based on classical histology in salamanders. We show that somite two contributes to different muscles, skeletal elements, and connective tissues of the head and cranial trunk region. Cells from somites two and three migrate latero-ventrally and contribute to the hypobranchial muscles mm. geniohyoideus and rectus cervicis. We provide evidence that the specific formation of the hypobranchial musculature from ventral processes of the somites might be variable in different classes of vertebrates. We further demonstrate that mm. cucullaris and dilatator laryngis, which were earlier thought to have a branchial origin, arise from somitic material in a manner very similar to the findings in quail-chick chimeras. Our findings indicate that the pattern of somitic derivatives is highly conserved within tetrapods.
Stamm, Anne; Strauß, Sarah; Vogt, Peter; Scheper, Thomas; Pepelanova, Iliyana
AmbLOXe is a lipoxygenase, which is up-regulated during limb-redevelopment in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, an animal with remarkable regeneration capacity. Previous studies have shown that mammalian cells transformed with the gene of this epidermal lipoxygenase display faster migration and wound closure rate during in vitro wound healing experiments. In this study, the gene of AmbLOXe was codon-optimized for expression in Escherichia coli and was produced in the insoluble fraction as protein aggregates. These inclusion bodies or nanopills were shown to be reservoirs containing functional protein during in vitro wound healing assays. For this purpose, functional inclusion bodies were used to coat cell culture surfaces prior cell seeding or were added directly to the medium after cells reached confluence. In both scenarios, AmbLOXe inclusion bodies led to faster migration rate and wound closure, in comparison to controls containing either no AmbLOXe or GFP inclusion bodies. Our results demonstrate that AmbLOXe inclusion bodies are functional and may serve as stable reservoirs of this enzyme. Nevertheless, further studies with soluble enzyme are also necessary in order to start elucidating the exact molecular substrates of AmbLOXe and the biochemical pathways involved in the wound healing effect.
putative ion transport mechanisms in the primary ureter of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Primary ureters isolated from axolotl larvae were perfused in vitro and single cells were impaled across the basal cell membrane with glass microelectrodes. In 42 cells the membrane potential......+] steps from 3 to 20 mmol/l and a hyperpolarization of Vm upon lowering [Na+] from 102 to 2 mmol/l, indicating the presence of luminal K+ and Na+ conductances. This study provides the first functional data on the vertebrate primary ureter. The data show that the primary ureter of axolotl larvae...
Demircan, Turan; Keskin, Ilknur; Dumlu, Seda Nilgün; Aytürk, Nilüfer; Avşaroğlu, Mahmut Erhan; Akgün, Emel; Öztürk, Gürkan; Baykal, Ahmet Tarık
Salamander axolotl has been emerging as an important model for stem cell research due to its powerful regenerative capacity. Several advantages, such as the high capability of advanced tissue, organ, and appendages regeneration, promote axolotl as an ideal model system to extend our current understanding on the mechanisms of regeneration. Acknowledging the common molecular pathways between amphibians and mammals, there is a great potential to translate the messages from axolotl research to mammalian studies. However, the utilization of axolotl is hindered due to the lack of reference databases of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data. Here, we introduce the proteome analysis of the axolotl tail section searched against an mRNA-seq database. We translated axolotl mRNA sequences to protein sequences and annotated these to process the LC-MS/MS data and identified 1001 nonredundant proteins. Functional classification of identified proteins was performed by gene ontology searches. The presence of some of the identified proteins was validated by in situ antibody labeling. Furthermore, we have analyzed the proteome expressional changes postamputation at three time points to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of the regeneration process. Taken together, this work expands the proteomics data of axolotl to contribute to its establishment as a fully utilized model. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Makanae, Aki; Satoh, Akira
Amphibian limb regeneration has been studied for a long time. In amphibian limb regeneration, an undifferentiated blastema is formed around the region damaged by amputation. The induction process of blastema formation has remained largely unknown because it is difficult to study the induction of limb regeneration. The recently developed accessory limb model (ALM) allows the investigation of limb induction and reveals early events of amphibian limb regeneration. The interaction between nerves and wound epidermis/epithelium is an important aspect of limb regeneration. During early limb regeneration, neurotrophic factors act on wound epithelium, leading to development of a functional epidermis/epithelium called the apical epithelial cap (AEC). AEC and nerves create a specific environment that inhibits wound healing and induces regeneration through blastema formation. It is suggested that FGF-signaling and MMP activities participate in creating a regenerative environment. To understand why urodele amphibians can create such a regenerative environment and humans cannot, it is necessary to identify the similarities and differences between regenerative and nonregenerative animals. Here we focus on ALM to consider limb regeneration from a new perspective and we also reported that focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-Src signaling controlled fibroblasts migration in axolotl limb regeneration. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Voss, S R; Shaffer, H B
In many organisms metamorphosis allows for an ecologically important habitat-shift from water to land. However, in some salamanders an adaptive life cycle mode has evolved that is characterized by metamorphic failure (paedomorphosis); these species remain in the aquatic habitat throughout the life cycle. Perhaps the most famous example of metamorphic failure is the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), which has become a focal species for developmental biology since it was introduced into laboratory culture in the 1800s. Our previous genetic linkage mapping analysis, using an interspecific crossing design, demonstrated that a major gene effect underlies the expression of metamorphic failure in laboratory stocks of the Mexican axolotl. Here, we repeated this experiment using A. mexicanum that were sampled directly from their natural habitat at Lake Xochimilco, Mexico. We found no significant association between the major gene and metamorphic failure when wild-caught axolotls were used in the experimental design, although there is evidence of a smaller genetic effect. Thus, there appears to be genetic variation among Mexican axolotls (and possibly A. tigrinum tigrinum) at loci that contribute to metamorphic failure. This result suggests a role for more than one mutation and possibly artificial selection in the evolution of the major gene effect in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.
Thygesen, Mathias; Rasmussen, Mikkel Mylius; Madsen, Jesper Guldsmed
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an important model species in regenerative biology. Traditionally, axolotls are anesthetized using benzocaine or MS-222, both of which act to inhibit voltage gated sodium channels thereby preventing action potential propagation. In some neurophysiologi......The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an important model species in regenerative biology. Traditionally, axolotls are anesthetized using benzocaine or MS-222, both of which act to inhibit voltage gated sodium channels thereby preventing action potential propagation. In some...... neurophysiological experiments this is not desirable; therefore we tested propofol as an alternative anesthetic in the axolotl. We evaluated benzocaine, MS-222, and propofol's cardiovascular effects, effects on action potential propagation in the spinal cord, and gross limb regenerative effects. We found...
Demircan, Turan; İlhan, Ayşe Elif; Aytürk, Nilüfer; Yıldırım, Berna; Öztürk, Gürkan; Keskin, İlknur
Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum) has been emerging as a promising model in stem cell and regeneration researches due to its exceptional regenerative capacity. Although it represents lifelong lasting neoteny, induction to metamorphosis with thyroid hormones (THs) treatment advances the utilization of Axolotl in various studies. It has been reported that amphibians undergo anatomical and histological remodeling during metamorphosis and this transformation is crucial for adaptation to terrestrial conditions. However, there is no comprehensive histological investigation regarding the morphological alterations of Axolotl organs and tissues throughout the metamorphosis. Here, we reveal the histological differences or resemblances between the neotenic and metamorphic axolotl tissues. In order to examine structural features and cellular organization of Axolotl organs, we performed Hematoxylin & Eosin, Luxol-Fast blue, Masson's trichrome, Alcian blue, Orcein and Weigart's staining. Stained samples from brain, gallbladder, heart, intestine, liver, lung, muscle, skin, spleen, stomach, tail, tongue and vessel were analyzed under the light microscope. Our findings contribute to the validation of the link between newly acquired functions and structural changes of tissues and organs as observed in tail, skin, gallbladder and spleen. We believe that this descriptive work provides new insights for a better histological understanding of both neotenic and metamorphic Axolotl tissues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Haugan, Birgitte M; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jespersen, Åse
whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light...
Stier, Adrian C.; Michonneau, François; Smith, Matthew D.; Pasch, Bret; Maden, Malcolm
Abstract While most tetrapods are unable to regenerate severed body parts, amphibians display a remarkable ability to regenerate an array of structures. Frogs can regenerate appendages as larva, but they lose this ability around metamorphosis. In contrast, salamanders regenerate appendages as larva, juveniles, and adults. However, the extent to which fundamental traits (e.g., metamorphosis, body size, aging, etc.) restrict regenerative ability remains contentious. Here we utilize the ability of normally paedomorphic adult axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) to undergo induced metamorphosis by thyroxine exposure to test how metamorphosis and body size affects regeneration in age‐matched paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals. We show that body size does not affect regeneration in adult axolotls, but metamorphosis causes a twofold reduction in regeneration rate, and lead to carpal and digit malformations. Furthermore, we find evidence that metamorphic blastemal cells may take longer to traverse the cell cycle and display a lower proliferative rate. This study identifies the axolotl as a powerful system to study how metamorphosis restricts regeneration independently of developmental stage, body size, and age; and more broadly how metamorphosis affects tissue‐specific changes. PMID:27499857
Full Text Available Axolotls (urodele amphibians have the unique ability, among vertebrates, to perfectly regenerate many parts of their body including limbs, tail, jaw and spinal cord following injury or amputation. The axolotl limb is the most widely used structure as an experimental model to study tissue regeneration. The process is well characterized, requiring multiple cellular and molecular mechanisms. The preparation phase represents the first part of the regeneration process which includes wound healing, cellular migration, dedifferentiation and proliferation. The redevelopment phase represents the second part when dedifferentiated cells stop proliferating and redifferentiate to give rise to all missing structures. In the axolotl, when a limb is amputated, the missing or wounded part is regenerated perfectly without scar formation between the stump and the regenerated structure. Multiple authors have recently highlighted the similarities between the early phases of mammalian wound healing and urodele limb regeneration. In mammals, one very important family of growth factors implicated in the control of almost all aspects of wound healing is the transforming growth factor-beta family (TGF-beta. In the present study, the full length sequence of the axolotl TGF-beta1 cDNA was isolated. The spatio-temporal expression pattern of TGF-beta1 in regenerating limbs shows that this gene is up-regulated during the preparation phase of regeneration. Our results also demonstrate the presence of multiple components of the TGF-beta signaling machinery in axolotl cells. By using a specific pharmacological inhibitor of TGF-beta type I receptor, SB-431542, we show that TGF-beta signaling is required for axolotl limb regeneration. Treatment of regenerating limbs with SB-431542 reveals that cellular proliferation during limb regeneration as well as the expression of genes directly dependent on TGF-beta signaling are down-regulated. These data directly implicate TGF
Kevin W Hall
Full Text Available Pheromones play an important role in modifying vertebrate behavior, especially during courtship and mating. Courtship behavior in urodele amphibians often includes female exposure to secretions from the cloacal gland, as well as other scent glands. The first vertebrate proteinaceous pheromone discovered, the decapeptide sodefrin, is a female attracting pheromone secreted by the cloacal gland of male Cynops pyrrhogaster. Other proteinaceous pheromones in salamanders have been shown to elicit responses from females towards conspecific males. The presence and levels of expression of proteinaceous pheromones have not been identified in the family Ambystomatidae, which includes several important research models. The objective of this research was therefore to identify putative proteinaceous pheromones from male axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, as well as their relative expression levels. The results indicate that axolotls possess two different forms of sodefrin precursor-like factor (alpha and beta, as well as a putative ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor. The beta form of sodefrin precursor-like factor was amongst the most highly expressed transcripts within the cloacal gland. The ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor was expressed at a level equivalent to the beta sodefrin precursor-like factor. The results are from a single male axolotl; therefore, we are unable to assess how representative our results may be. Nevertheless, the presence of these highly expressed proteinaceous pheromones suggests that male axolotls use multiple chemical cues to attract female conspecifics. Behavioral assays would indicate whether the putative protein pheromones elicit courtship activity from female axolotls.
Hall, Kevin W; Eisthen, Heather L; Williams, Barry L
Pheromones play an important role in modifying vertebrate behavior, especially during courtship and mating. Courtship behavior in urodele amphibians often includes female exposure to secretions from the cloacal gland, as well as other scent glands. The first vertebrate proteinaceous pheromone discovered, the decapeptide sodefrin, is a female attracting pheromone secreted by the cloacal gland of male Cynops pyrrhogaster. Other proteinaceous pheromones in salamanders have been shown to elicit responses from females towards conspecific males. The presence and levels of expression of proteinaceous pheromones have not been identified in the family Ambystomatidae, which includes several important research models. The objective of this research was therefore to identify putative proteinaceous pheromones from male axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, as well as their relative expression levels. The results indicate that axolotls possess two different forms of sodefrin precursor-like factor (alpha and beta), as well as a putative ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor. The beta form of sodefrin precursor-like factor was amongst the most highly expressed transcripts within the cloacal gland. The ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor was expressed at a level equivalent to the beta sodefrin precursor-like factor. The results are from a single male axolotl; therefore, we are unable to assess how representative our results may be. Nevertheless, the presence of these highly expressed proteinaceous pheromones suggests that male axolotls use multiple chemical cues to attract female conspecifics. Behavioral assays would indicate whether the putative protein pheromones elicit courtship activity from female axolotls.
Ellen A. G. Chernoff
Full Text Available The differentiated state of spinal cord ependymal cells in regeneration-competent amphibians varies between a constitutively active state in what is essentially a developing organism, the tadpole of the frog Xenopus laevis, and a quiescent, activatable state in a slowly growing adult salamander Ambystoma mexicanum, the Axolotl. Ependymal cells are epithelial in intact spinal cord of all vertebrates. After transection, body region ependymal epithelium in both Xenopus and the Axolotl disorganizes for regenerative outgrowth (gap replacement. Injury-reactive ependymal cells serve as a stem/progenitor cell population in regeneration and reconstruct the central canal. Expression patterns of mRNA and protein for the stem/progenitor cell-maintenance Notch signaling pathway mRNA-binding protein Musashi (msi change with life stage and regeneration competence. Msi-1 is missing (immunohistochemistry, or at very low levels (polymerase chain reaction, PCR, in both intact regeneration-competent adult Axolotl cord and intact non-regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole (Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 62+, NF 62+. The critical correlation for successful regeneration is msi-1 expression/upregulation after injury in the ependymal outgrowth and stump-region ependymal cells. msi-1 and msi-2 isoforms were cloned for the Axolotl as well as previously unknown isoforms of Xenopus msi-2. Intact Xenopus spinal cord ependymal cells show a loss of msi-1 expression between regeneration-competent (NF 50–53 and non-regenerating stages (NF 62+ and in post-metamorphosis froglets, while msi-2 displays a lower molecular weight isoform in non-regenerating cord. In the Axolotl, embryos and juveniles maintain Msi-1 expression in the intact cord. In the adult Axolotl, Msi-1 is absent, but upregulates after injury. Msi-2 levels are more variable among Axolotl life stages: rising between late tailbud embryos and juveniles and decreasing in adult cord. Cultures of regeneration
Chernoff, Ellen A. G.; Sato, Kazuna; Salfity, Hai V. N.; Sarria, Deborah A.; Belecky-Adams, Teri
The differentiated state of spinal cord ependymal cells in regeneration-competent amphibians varies between a constitutively active state in what is essentially a developing organism, the tadpole of the frog Xenopus laevis, and a quiescent, activatable state in a slowly growing adult salamander Ambystoma mexicanum, the Axolotl. Ependymal cells are epithelial in intact spinal cord of all vertebrates. After transection, body region ependymal epithelium in both Xenopus and the Axolotl disorganizes for regenerative outgrowth (gap replacement). Injury-reactive ependymal cells serve as a stem/progenitor cell population in regeneration and reconstruct the central canal. Expression patterns of mRNA and protein for the stem/progenitor cell-maintenance Notch signaling pathway mRNA-binding protein Musashi (msi) change with life stage and regeneration competence. Msi-1 is missing (immunohistochemistry), or at very low levels (polymerase chain reaction, PCR), in both intact regeneration-competent adult Axolotl cord and intact non-regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole (Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 62+, NF 62+). The critical correlation for successful regeneration is msi-1 expression/upregulation after injury in the ependymal outgrowth and stump-region ependymal cells. msi-1 and msi-2 isoforms were cloned for the Axolotl as well as previously unknown isoforms of Xenopus msi-2. Intact Xenopus spinal cord ependymal cells show a loss of msi-1 expression between regeneration-competent (NF 50–53) and non-regenerating stages (NF 62+) and in post-metamorphosis froglets, while msi-2 displays a lower molecular weight isoform in non-regenerating cord. In the Axolotl, embryos and juveniles maintain Msi-1 expression in the intact cord. In the adult Axolotl, Msi-1 is absent, but upregulates after injury. Msi-2 levels are more variable among Axolotl life stages: rising between late tailbud embryos and juveniles and decreasing in adult cord. Cultures of regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole
Khattak, Shahryar; Murawala, Prayag; Andreas, Heino; Kappert, Verena; Schuez, Maritta; Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Crawford, Karen; Tanaka, Elly M
The axolotl (Mexican salamander, Ambystoma mexicanum) has become a very useful model organism for studying limb and spinal cord regeneration because of its high regenerative capacity. Here we present a protocol for successfully mating and breeding axolotls in the laboratory throughout the year, for metamorphosing axolotls by a single i.p. injection and for axolotl transgenesis using I-SceI meganuclease and the mini Tol2 transposon system. Tol2-mediated transgenesis provides different features and advantages compared with I-SceI-mediated transgenesis, and it can result in more than 30% of animals expressing the transgene throughout their bodies so that they can be directly used for experimentation. By using Tol2-mediated transgenesis, experiments can be performed within weeks (e.g., 5-6 weeks for obtaining 2-3-cm-long larvae) without the need to establish germline transgenic lines (which take 12-18 months). In addition, we describe here tamoxifen-induced Cre-mediated recombination in transgenic axolotls.
Voss, Stephen R.; Kump, D. Kevin; Putta, Srikrishna; Pauly, Nathan; Reynolds, Anna; Henry, Rema J.; Basa, Saritha; Walker, John A.; Smith, Jeramiah J.
Amphibian genomes differ greatly in DNA content and chromosome size, morphology, and number. Investigations of this diversity are needed to identify mechanisms that have shaped the evolution of vertebrate genomes. We used comparative mapping to investigate the organization of genes in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a species that presents relatively few chromosomes (n = 14) and a gigantic genome (>20 pg/N). We show extensive conservation of synteny between Ambystoma, chicken, and human, and a positive correlation between the length of conserved segments and genome size. Ambystoma segments are estimated to be four to 51 times longer than homologous human and chicken segments. Strikingly, genes demarking the structures of 28 chicken chromosomes are ordered among linkage groups defining the Ambystoma genome, and we show that these same chromosomal segments are also conserved in a distantly related anuran amphibian (Xenopus tropicalis). Using linkage relationships from the amphibian maps, we predict that three chicken chromosomes originated by fusion, nine to 14 originated by fission, and 12–17 evolved directly from ancestral tetrapod chromosomes. We further show that some ancestral segments were fused prior to the divergence of salamanders and anurans, while others fused independently and randomly as chromosome numbers were reduced in lineages leading to Ambystoma and Xenopus. The maintenance of gene order relationships between chromosomal segments that have greatly expanded and contracted in salamander and chicken genomes, respectively, suggests selection to maintain synteny relationships and/or extremely low rates of chromosomal rearrangement. Overall, the results demonstrate the value of data from diverse, amphibian genomes in studies of vertebrate genome evolution. PMID:21482624
Woodcock, M Ryan; Vaughn-Wolfe, Jennifer; Elias, Alexandra; Kump, D Kevin; Kendall, Katharina Denise; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir; Perry, Dustin W; Smith, Jeramiah J; Spiewak, Jessica E; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal
The molecular genetic toolkit of the Mexican axolotl, a classic model organism, has matured to the point where it is now possible to identify genes for mutant phenotypes. We used a positional cloning-candidate gene approach to identify molecular bases for two historic axolotl pigment phenotypes: white and albino. White (d/d) mutants have defects in pigment cell morphogenesis and differentiation, whereas albino (a/a) mutants lack melanin. We identified in white mutants a transcriptional defect in endothelin 3 (edn3), encoding a peptide factor that promotes pigment cell migration and differentiation in other vertebrates. Transgenic restoration of Edn3 expression rescued the homozygous white mutant phenotype. We mapped the albino locus to tyrosinase (tyr) and identified polymorphisms shared between the albino allele (tyr a ) and tyr alleles in a Minnesota population of tiger salamanders from which the albino trait was introgressed. tyr a has a 142 bp deletion and similar engineered alleles recapitulated the albino phenotype. Finally, we show that historical introgression of tyr a significantly altered genomic composition of the laboratory axolotl, yielding a distinct, hybrid strain of ambystomatid salamander. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of identifying genes for traits in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.
Yu, Haining; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Guang, Huijuan; Cai, Shasha; Zhang, Songyan; Wang, Yipeng
Lysozymes are key proteins that play important roles in innate immune defense in many animal phyla by breaking down the bacterial cell-walls. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and phylogeny of the first caudate amphibian g-lysozyme: a full-length spleen cDNA library from axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). A goose-type (g-lysozyme) EST was identified and the full-length cDNA was obtained using RACE-PCR. The axolotl g-lysozyme sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 184 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein are 21523.0 Da and 4.37, respectively. Expression of g-lysozyme mRNA is predominantly found in skin, with lower levels in spleen, liver, muscle, and lung. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that caudate amphibian g-lysozyme had distinct evolution pattern for being juxtaposed with not only anura amphibian, but also with the fish, bird and mammal. Although the first complete cDNA sequence for caudate amphibian g-lysozyme is reported in the present study, clones encoding axolotl's other functional immune molecules in the full-length cDNA library will have to be further sequenced to gain insight into the fundamental aspects of antibacterial mechanisms in caudate.
Thygesen, Mathias; Rasmussen, Mikkel Mylius; Madsen, Jesper Guldsmed
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an important model species in regenerative biology. Traditionally, axolotls are anesthetized using benzocaine or MS-222, both of which act to inhibit voltage gated sodium channels thereby preventing action potential propagation. In some...... neurophysiological experiments this is not desirable; therefore we tested propofol as an alternative anesthetic in the axolotl. We evaluated benzocaine, MS-222, and propofol's cardiovascular effects, effects on action potential propagation in the spinal cord, and gross limb regenerative effects. We found...... that propofol is applicable as a general anesthetic in the axolotl allowing for neurophysiological experiments and yielding a stable anesthesia with significantly less cardiovascular effect than both benzocaine and MS-222. Additionally, propofol did not affect gross limb regeneration. In conclusion we suggest...
Montoro, Rodrigo; Dickie, Renee
The vascular system, the pipeline for oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues, is essential for vertebrate development, growth, injury repair, and regeneration. With their capacity to regenerate entire appendages throughout their lifespan, axolotls are an unparalleled model for vertebrate regeneration, but they lack many of the molecular tools that facilitate vascular imaging in other animal models. The determination of vascular metrics requires high quality image data for the discrimination of vessels from background tissue. Quantification of the vasculature using perfused, cleared specimens is well-established in mammalian systems, but has not been widely employed in amphibians. The objective of this study was to optimize tissue preparation methods for the visualization of the microvascular network in axolotls, providing a basis for the quantification of regenerative angiogenesis. To accomplish this aim, we performed intracardiac perfusion of pigment-based contrast agents and evaluated aqueous and non-aqueous clearing techniques. The methods were verified by comparing the quality of the vascular images and the observable vascular density across treatment groups. Simple and inexpensive, these tissue processing techniques will be of use in studies assessing vascular growth and remodeling within the context of regeneration. Advantages of this method include: •Higher contrast of the vasculature within the 3D context of the surrounding tissue •Enhanced detection of microvasculature facilitating vascular quantification •Compatibility with other labeling techniques.
Full Text Available Wound repair is an extremely complex process that requires precise coordination between various cell types including immune cells. Unfortunately, in mammals this usually results in scar formation instead of restoration of the original fully functional tissue, otherwise known as regeneration. Various animal models like frogs and salamanders are currently being studied to determine the intracellular and intercellular pathways, controlled by gene expression, that elicit cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration of cells during regenerative healing. Now, the necessary genetic tools to map regenerative pathways are becoming available for the axolotl salamander, thus allowing comparative studies between scarring and regeneration. Here, we describe in detail three methods to produce axolotl hematopoietic cell-tagged chimeras for the study of hematopoiesis and regeneration.
Khattak, Shahryar; Tanaka, Elly M
Transgenic animals have been indispensable in elucidating and deciphering mechanisms underlying various biological phenomena. In regeneration, transgenic animals expressing fluorescent protein genes have been crucial for identifying the source cells for regeneration and the mechanism of blastema formation. Animals are usually generated by manipulating their genome using various techniques at/in one cell embryo/fertilized egg stage. Here, we describe the generation of germline transgenic axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) using the I-SceI meganuclease and Tol2 transposase.
Carlson, M R; Bryant, S V; Gardiner, D M
Msx genes are transcription factors that are expressed during embryogenesis of developing appendages in regions of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Various lines of evidence indicate that these genes function to maintain embryonic tissues in an undifferentiated, proliferative state. We have identified the axolotl homolog of Msx-2, and investigated its expression during limb development, limb regeneration, and wound healing. As in limb buds of higher vertebrates, axolotl Msx-2 is expressed in the apical epidermis and mesenchyme; however, its expression domain is more extensive, reflecting the broader region of the apical epidermal cap in amphibians. Msx-2 expression is downregulated at late stages of limb development, but is reexpressed within one hour after limb amputation. Msx-2 is also reexpressed during wound healing, and may be essential in the early stages of initiation of the limb regeneration cascade.
Tassava, Roy A; Mendenhall, Luciara; Apseloff, Glen; Gerber, Nicholas
Gallium nitrate, a drug shown to have efficacy in Paget's disease of bone, hypercalcemia of malignancy, and a variety of experimental autoimmune diseases, also inhibits the growth of some types of cancer. We examined dose and timing of administration of gallium nitrate on limb regeneration in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. Administered by intraperitoneal injection, gallium nitrate inhibited limb regeneration in a dose-dependent manner. Gallium nitrate initially suppressed epithelial wound healing and subsequently distorted both anterior-posterior and proximo-distal chondrogenic patterns. Gallium nitrate given at three days after amputation severely inhibited regeneration at high doses (6.25 mg/axolotl) and altered the normal patterning of the regenerates at low doses (3.75 mg/axolotl). Administration of 6.25 mg of gallium nitrate at four or 14 days prior to amputation also inhibited regeneration. In amputated limbs of gallium-treated axolotls, the chondrocytes were lost from inside the radius/ulna. Limbs that regenerated after gallium treatment was terminated showed blastema formation preferentially over the ulna. New cartilage of the regenerate often attached to the sides of the existing radius/ulna proximally into the stump and less so to the distal cut ends. J. Exp. Zool. 293:384-394, 2002. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Lee, Jangwoo; Gardiner, David M
In spite of numerous investigations of regenerating salamander limbs, little attention has been paid to the details of how joints are reformed. An understanding of the process and mechanisms of joint regeneration in this model system for tetrapod limb regeneration would provide insights into developing novel therapies for inducing joint regeneration in humans. To this end, we have used the axolotl (Mexican Salamander) model of limb regeneration to describe the morphology and the expression patterns of marker genes during joint regeneration in response to limb amputation. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the mechanisms of joint formation whether it be development or regeneration are conserved. We also have determined that defects in the epiphyseal region of both forelimbs and hind limbs in the axolotl are regenerated only when the defect is small. As is the case with defects in the diaphysis, there is a critical size above which the endogenous regenerative response is not sufficient to regenerate the joint. This non-regenerative response in an animal that has the ability to regenerate perfectly provides the opportunity to screen for the signaling pathways to induce regeneration of articular cartilage and joints.
Full Text Available In spite of numerous investigations of regenerating salamander limbs, little attention has been paid to the details of how joints are reformed. An understanding of the process and mechanisms of joint regeneration in this model system for tetrapod limb regeneration would provide insights into developing novel therapies for inducing joint regeneration in humans. To this end, we have used the axolotl (Mexican Salamander model of limb regeneration to describe the morphology and the expression patterns of marker genes during joint regeneration in response to limb amputation. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the mechanisms of joint formation whether it be development or regeneration are conserved. We also have determined that defects in the epiphyseal region of both forelimbs and hind limbs in the axolotl are regenerated only when the defect is small. As is the case with defects in the diaphysis, there is a critical size above which the endogenous regenerative response is not sufficient to regenerate the joint. This non-regenerative response in an animal that has the ability to regenerate perfectly provides the opportunity to screen for the signaling pathways to induce regeneration of articular cartilage and joints.
Shioda, Chieko; Uchida, Kazuyuki; Nakayama, Hiroyuki
A one-year-old, female Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) had a rough-surfaced, polypoid, pink tumor mass of approximately 10 mm in diameter in the oral cavity. Histologically, the tumor extended from the ethmoturbinate region and into the oral cavity and had replaced some of the maxillary bone tissue. The tumor mass was composed of a lobular architecture of small round-shaped tumor cells with occasional Flexner-Wintersteiner-like rosette formation. There were no metastatic lesions in the other organs. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were partly positive for several neural markers (class III beta-tubulin, S-100 protein, and doublecortin) and intensely positive for an epithelial marker (cytokeratin AE1/AE3). These results suggest that the present tumor originated from neuroectodermal tissue. Considering the location and histological and immunohistochemical features of the tumor, a diagnosis of olfactory neuroblastoma was made.
Jiang, Peng; Nelson, Jeffrey D.; Leng, Ning; Collins, Michael; Swanson, Scott; Dewey, Colin N.; Thomson, James A.; Stewart, Ron
The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has long been the subject of biological research, primarily owing to its outstanding regenerative capabilities. However, the gene expression programs governing its embryonic development are particularly underexplored, especially when compared to other amphibian model species. Therefore, we performed whole transcriptome polyA+ RNA sequencing experiments on 17 stages of embryonic development. As the axolotl genome is unsequenced and its gene annotation is incomplete, we built de novo transcriptome assemblies for each stage and garnered functional annotation by comparing expressed contigs with known genes in other organisms. In evaluating the number of differentially expressed genes over time, we identify three waves of substantial transcriptome upheaval each followed by a period of relative transcriptome stability. The first wave of upheaval is between the one and two cell stage. We show that the number of differentially expressed genes per unit time is higher between the one and two cell stage than it is across the mid-blastula transition (MBT), the period of zygotic genome activation. We use total RNA sequencing to demonstrate that the vast majority of genes with increasing polyA+ signal between the one and two cell stage result from polyadenylation rather than de novo transcription. The first stable phase begins after the two cell stage and continues until the mid-blastula transition, corresponding with the pre-MBT phase of transcriptional quiescence in amphibian development. Following this is a peak of differential gene expression corresponding with the activation of the zygotic genome and a phase of transcriptomic stability from stages 9 to 11. We observe a third wave of transcriptomic change between stages 11 and 14, followed by a final stable period. The last two stable phases have not been documented in amphibians previously and correspond to times of major morphogenic change in the axolotl embryo: gastrulation and
Cameron Jo Ann
Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies on amphibian limb regeneration began in the early 1700's but we still do not completely understand the cellular and molecular events of this unique process. Understanding a complex biological process such as limb regeneration is more complicated than the knowledge of the individual genes or proteins involved. Here we followed a systems biology approach in an effort to construct the networks and pathways of protein interactions involved in formation of the accumulation blastema in regenerating axolotl limbs. Results We used the human orthologs of proteins previously identified by our research team as bait to identify the transcription factor (TF pathways and networks that regulate blastema formation in amputated axolotl limbs. The five most connected factors, c-Myc, SP1, HNF4A, ESR1 and p53 regulate ~50% of the proteins in our data. Among these, c-Myc and SP1 regulate 36.2% of the proteins. c-Myc was the most highly connected TF (71 targets. Network analysis showed that TGF-β1 and fibronectin (FN lead to the activation of these TFs. We found that other TFs known to be involved in epigenetic reprogramming, such as Klf4, Oct4, and Lin28 are also connected to c-Myc and SP1. Conclusions Our study provides a systems biology approach to how different molecular entities inter-connect with each other during the formation of an accumulation blastema in regenerating axolotl limbs. This approach provides an in silico methodology to identify proteins that are not detected by experimental methods such as proteomics but are potentially important to blastema formation. We found that the TFs, c-Myc and SP1 and their target genes could potentially play a central role in limb regeneration. Systems biology has the potential to map out numerous other pathways that are crucial to blastema formation in regeneration-competent limbs, to compare these to the pathways that characterize regeneration-deficient limbs and finally, to identify stem
Full Text Available We have previously reported a post-transcriptional RNA amplification observed in vivo following injection of in vitro synthesized transcripts into axolotl oocytes, unfertilized (UFE or fertilized eggs. To further characterize this phenomenon, low speed extracts (LSE from axolotl and Xenopus UFE were prepared and tested in an RNA polymerization assay. The major conclusions are: i the amphibian extracts catalyze the incorporation of radioactive ribonucleotide in RNase but not DNase sensitive products showing that these products correspond to RNA; ii the phenomenon is resistant to α-amanitin, an inhibitor of RNA polymerases II and III and to cordycepin (3'dAMP, but sensitive to cordycepin 5'-triphosphate, an RNA elongation inhibitor, which supports the existence of an RNA polymerase activity different from polymerases II and III; the detection of radiolabelled RNA comigrating at the same length as the exogenous transcript added to the extracts allowed us to show that iii the RNA polymerization is not a 3' end labelling and that iv the radiolabelled RNA is single rather than double stranded. In vitro cell-free systems derived from amphibian UFE therefore validate our previous in vivo results hypothesizing the existence of an evolutionary conserved enzymatic activity with the properties of an RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp.
Lemanski Sharon L
Full Text Available Abstract The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, carries the naturally-occurring recessive mutant gene 'c' that results in a failure of homozygous (c/c embryos to form hearts that beat because of an absence of organized myofibrils. Our previous studies have shown that a noncoding RNA, Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR, is capable of promoting myofibrillogenesis and heart beating in the mutant (c/c axolotls. The present study demonstrates that the MIR gene is essential for tropomyosin (TM expression in axolotl hearts during development. Gene expression studies show that mRNA expression of various tropomyosin isoforms in untreated mutant hearts and in normal hearts knocked down with double-stranded MIR (dsMIR are similar to untreated normal. However, at the protein level, selected tropomyosin isoforms are significantly reduced in mutant and dsMIR treated normal hearts. These results suggest that MIR is involved in controlling the translation or post-translation of various TM isoforms and subsequently of regulating cardiac contractility.
Farkas, Johanna E; Freitas, Polina D; Bryant, Donald M; Whited, Jessica L; Monaghan, James R
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is capable of fully regenerating amputated limbs, but denervation of the limb inhibits the formation of the post-injury proliferative mass called the blastema. The molecular basis behind this phenomenon remains poorly understood, but previous studies have suggested that nerves support regeneration via the secretion of essential growth-promoting factors. An essential nerve-derived factor must be found in the blastema, capable of rescuing regeneration in denervated limbs, and its inhibition must prevent regeneration. Here, we show that the neuronally secreted protein Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) fulfills all these criteria in the axolotl. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization of NRG1 and its active receptor ErbB2 revealed that they are expressed in regenerating blastemas but lost upon denervation. NRG1 was localized to the wound epithelium prior to blastema formation and was later strongly expressed in proliferating blastemal cells. Supplementation by implantation of NRG1-soaked beads rescued regeneration to digits in denervated limbs, and pharmacological inhibition of NRG1 signaling reduced cell proliferation, blocked blastema formation and induced aberrant collagen deposition in fully innervated limbs. Taken together, our results show that nerve-dependent NRG1/ErbB2 signaling promotes blastemal proliferation in the regenerating limb and may play an essential role in blastema formation, thus providing insight into the longstanding question of why nerves are required for axolotl limb regeneration. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Svistunov, S.A.; Mitashov, V.I.
Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of 3 H-thymidine. It was established that the source of replenishment of the retina by new cells is its terminal zone in all animals investigated. This is attested to by the gradual migration of labeled cells from the growth zone into differentiated layers of the retina. The most intensely labeled cells occupy a distal position relative to other labeled cells, therefore marking the boundary between the initial part of the retina, not containing labeled nuclei, and the part being augmented. For each species studied, a level of proliferative activity is characteristic for cells of the terminal zone, which decreases in the order axolotl-clawed frog-triton -ambystoma. In the axolotl and additional growth zone is noted in the retina, in addition to the terminal, which is located in the area of the unclosed section of the embryonic fissure. Results obtained serve as a basis for the regenerative potentials of eye tissues revealed previously in these amphibian species
Ochoa-Ochoa, Leticia M.; Rodríguez, Pilar; Mora, Franz
The aim of this article is to characterize at fine scale alpha and beta diversity patterns for Mexican amphibians and analyze how these patterns might change under a moderate climate-change scenario, highlighting the overall consequences for amphibian diversity at the country level. We used a geo...
Coots, Peggy S; Seifert, Ashley W
The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has remained an important model for regeneration and developmental biology for over a century. Although axolotls in captive-bred colonies usually exist in an aquatic form, they retain the ability to undergo metamorphosis following exposure to thyroid hormone. Here we present a robust method for inducing metamorphosis in adult axolotls that results in high survivability and produces terrestrial animals that can be maintained in long-term captivity.
Holman, Edna C.; Campbell, Leah J.; Hines, John; Crews, Craig M.
Among vertebrates, salamanders stand out for their remarkable capacity to quickly regrow a myriad of tissues and organs after injury or amputation. The limb regeneration process in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) has been well studied for decades at the cell-tissue level. While several developmental genes are known to be reactivated during this epimorphic process, less is known about the role of microRNAs in urodele amphibian limb regeneration. Given the compelling evidence that many microRNAs tightly regulate cell fate and morphogenetic processes through development and adulthood by modulating the expression (or re-expression) of developmental genes, we investigated the possibility that microRNA levels change during limb regeneration. Using two different microarray platforms to compare the axolotl microRNA expression between mid-bud limb regenerating blastemas and non-regenerating stump tissues, we found that miR-21 was overexpressed in mid-bud blastemas compared to stump tissue. Mature A. mexicanum (“Amex”) miR-21 was detected in axolotl RNA by Northern blot and differential expression of Amex-miR-21 in blastema versus stump was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. We identified the Amex Jagged1 as a putative target gene for miR-21 during salamander limb regeneration. We cloned the full length 3′UTR of Amex-Jag1, and our in vitro assays demonstrated that its single miR-21 target recognition site is functional and essential for the response of the Jagged1 gene to miR-21 levels. Our findings pave the road for advanced in vivo functional assays aimed to clarify how microRNAs such as miR-21, often linked to pathogenic cell growth, might be modulating the redeployment of developmental genes such as Jagged1 during regenerative processes. PMID:23028429
Loong, Ai M; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K
The fully grown but nonmetamorphosed (juvenile) axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum was ureogenic and primarily ureotelic in water. A complete ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) was present in the liver. Aerial exposure impeded urea (but not ammonia) excretion, leading to a decrease in the percentage of nitrogen excreted as urea in the first 24 h. However, urea and not ammonia accumulated in the muscle, liver, and plasma during aerial exposure. By 48 h, the rate of urea excretion recovered fully, probably due to the greater urea concentration gradient in the kidney. It is generally accepted that an increase in carbamoyl phosphate synthetase activity is especially critical in the developmental transition from ammonotelism to ureotelism in the amphibian. Results from this study indicate that such a transition in A. mexicanum would have occurred before migration to land. Aerial exposure for 72 h exhibited no significant effect on carbamoyl phosphate synthetase-I activity or that of other OUC enzymes (with the exception of ornithine transcarbamoylase) from the liver of the juvenile A. mexicanum. This supports our hypothesis that the capacities of OUC enzymes present in the liver of the aquatic juvenile axolotl were adequate to prepare it for its invasion of the terrestrial environment. The high OUC capacity was further supported by the capability of the juvenile A. mexicanum to survive in 10 mM NH(4)Cl without accumulating amino acids in its body. The majority of the accumulating endogenous and exogenous ammonia was detoxified to urea, which led to a greater than twofold increase in urea levels in the muscle, liver, and plasma and a significant increase in urea excretion by hour 96. Hence, it can be concluded that the juvenile axolotl acquired ureotelism while submerged in water, and its hepatic capacity of urea synthesis was more than adequate to handle the toxicity of endogenous ammonia during migration to land.
Edna C Holman
Full Text Available Among vertebrates, salamanders stand out for their remarkable capacity to quickly regrow a myriad of tissues and organs after injury or amputation. The limb regeneration process in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum has been well studied for decades at the cell-tissue level. While several developmental genes are known to be reactivated during this epimorphic process, less is known about the role of microRNAs in urodele amphibian limb regeneration. Given the compelling evidence that many microRNAs tightly regulate cell fate and morphogenetic processes through development and adulthood by modulating the expression (or re-expression of developmental genes, we investigated the possibility that microRNA levels change during limb regeneration. Using two different microarray platforms to compare the axolotl microRNA expression between mid-bud limb regenerating blastemas and non-regenerating stump tissues, we found that miR-21 was overexpressed in mid-bud blastemas compared to stump tissue. Mature A. mexicanum ("Amex" miR-21 was detected in axolotl RNA by Northern blot and differential expression of Amex-miR-21 in blastema versus stump was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. We identified the Amex Jagged1 as a putative target gene for miR-21 during salamander limb regeneration. We cloned the full length 3'UTR of Amex-Jag1, and our in vitro assays demonstrated that its single miR-21 target recognition site is functional and essential for the response of the Jagged1 gene to miR-21 levels. Our findings pave the road for advanced in vivo functional assays aimed to clarify how microRNAs such as miR-21, often linked to pathogenic cell growth, might be modulating the redeployment of developmental genes such as Jagged1 during regenerative processes.
Shishikura, Fumio; Takeuchi, Hiro-aki; Nagai, Takatoshi
Erythrocytes of the adult axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, have multiple hemoglobins. We separated and purified two kinds of hemoglobin, termed major hemoglobin (Hb M) and minor hemoglobin (Hb m), from a five-year-old male by hydrophobic interaction column chromatography on Alkyl Superose. The hemoglobins have two distinct alpha type globin polypeptides (alphaM and alpham) and a common beta globin polypeptide, all of which were purified in FPLC on a reversed-phase column after S-pyridylethylation. The complete amino acid sequences of the three globin chains were determined separately using nucleotide sequencing with the assistance of protein sequencing. The mature globin molecules were composed of 141 amino acid residues for alphaM globin, 143 for alpham globin and 146 for beta globin. Comparing primary structures of the five kinds of axolotl globins, including two previously established alpha type globins from the same species, with other known globins of amphibians and representatives of other vertebrates, we constructed phylogenetic trees for amphibian hemoglobins and tetrapod hemoglobins. The molecular trees indicated that alphaM, alpham, beta and the previously known alpha major globin were adult types of globins and the other known alpha globin was a larval type. The existence of two to four more globins in the axolotl erythrocyte is predicted.
Sefton, Elizabeth M; Piekarski, Nadine; Hanken, James
The impressive morphological diversification of vertebrates was achieved in part by innovation and modification of the pharyngeal skeleton. Extensive fate mapping in amniote models has revealed a primarily cranial neural crest derivation of the pharyngeal skeleton. Although comparable fate maps of amphibians produced over several decades have failed to document a neural crest derivation of ventromedial elements in these vertebrates, a recent report provides evidence of a mesodermal origin of one of these elements, basibranchial 2, in the axolotl. We used a transgenic labeling protocol and grafts of labeled cells between GFP+ and white embryos to derive a fate map that describes contributions of both cranial neural crest and mesoderm to the axolotl pharyngeal skeleton, and we conducted additional experiments that probe the mechanisms that underlie mesodermal patterning. Our fate map confirms a dual embryonic origin of the pharyngeal skeleton in urodeles, including derivation of basibranchial 2 from mesoderm closely associated with the second heart field. Additionally, heterotopic transplantation experiments reveal lineage restriction of mesodermal cells that contribute to pharyngeal cartilage. The mesoderm-derived component of the pharyngeal skeleton appears to be particularly sensitive to retinoic acid (RA): administration of exogenous RA leads to loss of the second basibranchial, but not the first. Neural crest was undoubtedly critical in the evolution of the vertebrate pharyngeal skeleton, but mesoderm may have played a central role in forming ventromedial elements, in particular. When and how many times during vertebrate phylogeny a mesodermal contribution to the pharyngeal skeleton evolved remain to be resolved. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Del-Pozo, J; Girling, S; Pizzi, R; Mancinelli, E; Else, R W
This report provides the first account of the pathological changes associated with infection by Serratia marcescens in an adult male axolotl. The infection resulted in septicaemia with severe multifocal necrotizing myocarditis. The latter lesion evolved to cardiac rupture, haemopericardium and death resulting from cardiac tamponade. This animal was exposed to higher than usual temperatures (24-25 °C) 2 weeks before the onset of disease and this may have resulted in immunocompromise and opportunistic bacterial infection. S. marcescens was isolated from the coelomic and pericardial cavity. Both isolates were identical and were resistant to β-lactam antibiotics, but not to aminoglycosides or fluoroquinolones. The production of red prodigiosin pigment by the bacterium suggested an environmental origin. Overall, the clinical and histopathological presentation suggests that S. marcescens should be included in the list of aetiological agents of the 'red-leg'/bacterial dermatosepticaemia syndrome of amphibians. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The ability of axolotls to regenerate their limbs is almost legendary. In fact, urodeles such as the axolotl are the only vertebrates that can regenerate multiple structures like their limbs, jaws, tail, spinal cord, and skin (the list goes on throughout their lives. It is therefore surprising to realize, although we have known of their regenerative potential for over 200 years, how little we understand the mechanisms behind this achievement of adult tissue morphogenesis. Many observations can be drawn between regeneration and other disciplines such as development and wound healing. In this review, we present new developments in functional analysis that will help to address the role of specific genes during the process of regeneration. We also present an analysis of the resemblance between wound healing and regeneration, and discuss whether axolotls are superhealers. A better understanding of these animals' regenerative capacity could lead to major benefits by providing regenerative medicine with directions on how to develop therapeutic approaches leading to regeneration in humans.
Caballero-Pérez, Juan; Espinal-Centeno, Annie; Falcon, Francisco; García-Ortega, Luis F; Curiel-Quesada, Everardo; Cruz-Hernández, Andrés; Bako, Laszlo; Chen, Xuemei; Martínez, Octavio; Alberto Arteaga-Vázquez, Mario; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Cruz-Ramírez, Alfredo
The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is the vertebrate model system with the highest regeneration capacity. Experimental tools established over the past 100 years have been fundamental to start unraveling the cellular and molecular basis of tissue and limb regeneration. In the absence of a reference genome for the Axolotl, transcriptomic analysis become fundamental to understand the genetic basis of regeneration. Here we present one of the most diverse transcriptomic data sets for Axolotl by profiling coding and non-coding RNAs from diverse tissues. We reconstructed a population of 115,906 putative protein coding mRNAs as full ORFs (including isoforms). We also identified 352 conserved miRNAs and 297 novel putative mature miRNAs. Systematic enrichment analysis of gene expression allowed us to identify tissue-specific protein-coding transcripts. We also found putative novel and conserved microRNAs which potentially target mRNAs which are reported as important disease candidates in heart and liver. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Colston, Timothy; Barão-Nóbrega, José António; Manders, Ryan; Lett, Alice; Wilmott, Jamie; Cameron, Gavin; Hunter, Sidony; Radage, Adam; Littlefair, Etienne; Williams, Robert; Lopez Cen, Antonio; Slater, Kathy
We provide a list of amphibians and reptiles of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in the southern half of the Mexican Yucatan, in the state of Campeche. The study area was sampled through opportunistic, transect and pitfall trap surveys conducted for three successive years. These surveys resulted in a total of 2,359 amphibian and reptile encounters, belonging to 20 amphibian and 69 reptile species from 24 total families. We present herein the records for one snake, one chelonian and two salamand...
Denz, Christopher R; Zhang, Chi; Jia, Pingping; Du, Jianfeng; Huang, Xupei; Dube, Syamalima; Thomas, Anish; Poiesz, Bernard J; Dube, Dipak K
Tropomyosins are a family of actin-binding proteins that show cell-specific diversity by a combination of multiple genes and alternative RNA splicing. Of the 4 different tropomyosin genes, TPM4 plays a pivotal role in myofibrillogenesis as well as cardiac contractility in amphibians. In this study, we amplified and sequenced the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene from both normal and mutant axolotl hearts. To identify the cis-elements that are essential for the expression of the TPM4, we created various deletion mutants of the TPM4 promoter DNA, inserted the deleted segments into PGL3 vector, and performed promoter-reporter assay using luciferase as the reporter gene. Comparison of sequences of the promoter region of the TPM4 gene from normal and mutant axolotl revealed no mutations in the promoter sequence of the mutant TPM4 gene. CArG box elements that are generally involved in controlling the expression of several other muscle-specific gene promoters were not found in the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene. In deletion experiments, loss of activity of the reporter gene was noted upon deletion which was then restored upon further deletion suggesting the presence of both positive and negative cis-elements in the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene. We believe that this is the first axolotl promoter that has ever been cloned and studied with clear evidence that it functions in mammalian cell lines. Although striated muscle-specific cis-acting elements are absent from the promoter region of TPM4 gene, our results suggest the presence of positive and negative cis-elements in the promoter region, which in conjunction with positive and negative trans-elements may be involved in regulating the expression of TPM4 gene in a tissue-specific manner.
Mansour, N; Lahnsteiner, F; Patzner, R A
This study established the first protocol for collection of gametes from live axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, by gentle abdominal massage and in vitro fertilization. To stimulate spermiation and ovulation, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and Ovopel pellets, which are commercially used to stimulate spawning in fish, were tested. The hCG was more effective than Ovopel pellets and yielded a higher semen volume in the injected males and a shorter response time in the females. Collected semen by this method was already motile and fertile. Fertile eggs could be collected in 3-4 successive collection times after the female has started the typical spawning behaviour. The fertilization condition that yielded the highest hatching rate was mixing semen with eggs before the addition of a fertilization saline solution (20 mmol/l NaCl, 1 mmol/l KCl, 1 mmol/l Mg(2)SO(4), 1 mmol Ca(2)Cl, 3 mmol NaHCO(3), 10 mmol/l Tris, pH 8.5 - Osmolality = 65 mosmol/kg). When the pH of the fertilization solution was increased to ≥ 10, the hatching rate was significantly increased. The use of fertilization solutions with osmolalities of ≥ 150 and ≥ 182 were accompanied with a significant decrease in hatching rates and the appearance of deformed larvae, respectively. In conclusion, a reliable protocol for gamete collection from live axolotl is established as a laboratory model of in vitro fertilization for urodele amphibians. This protocol may be transferable to endangered urodeles. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Phan, Anne Q; Lee, Jangwoo; Oei, Michelle; Flath, Craig; Hwe, Caitlyn; Mariano, Rachele; Vu, Tiffany; Shu, Cynthia; Dinh, Andrew; Simkin, Jennifer; Muneoka, Ken; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M
Urodele amphibians are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. In salamander regeneration, the cells maintain a memory of their original position and use this positional information to recreate the missing pattern. We used an in vivo gain-of-function assay to determine whether components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) have positional information required to induce formation of new limb pattern during regeneration. We discovered that salamander limb ECM has a position-specific ability to either inhibit regeneration or induce de novo limb structure, and that this difference is dependent on heparan sulfates that are associated with differential expression of heparan sulfate sulfotransferases. We also discovered that an artificial ECM containing only heparan sulfate was sufficient to induce de novo limb pattern in salamander limb regeneration. Finally, ECM from mouse limbs is capable of inducing limb pattern in axolotl blastemas in a position-specific, developmental-stage-specific, and heparan sulfate-dependent manner. This study demonstrates a mechanism for positional information in regeneration and establishes a crucial functional link between salamander regeneration and mammals.
Abuqarn, Mehtap; Allmeling, Christina; Amshoff, Inga; Menger, Bjoern; Nasser, Inas; Vogt, Peter M; Reimers, Kerstin
Urodele amphibians are exceptional in their ability to regenerate complex body structures such as limbs. Limb regeneration depends on a process called dedifferentiation. Under an inductive wound epidermis terminally differentiated cells transform to pluripotent progenitor cells that coordinately proliferate and eventually redifferentiate to form the new appendage. Recent studies have developed molecular models integrating a set of genes that might have important functions in the control of regenerative cellular plasticity. Among them is Msx1, which induced dedifferentiation in mammalian myotubes in vitro. Herein, we screened for interaction partners of axolotl Msx1 using a yeast two hybrid system. A two hybrid cDNA library of 5-day-old wound epidermis and underlying tissue containing more than 2×10⁶ cDNAs was constructed and used in the screen. 34 resulting cDNA clones were isolated and sequenced. We then compared sequences of the isolated clones to annotated EST contigs of the Salamander EST database (BLASTn) to identify presumptive orthologs. We subsequently searched all no-hit clone sequences against non redundant NCBI sequence databases using BLASTx. It is the first time, that the yeast two hybrid system was adapted to the axolotl animal model and successfully used in a screen for proteins interacting with Msx1 in the context of amphibian limb regeneration. 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Among vertebrates lens regeneration is most pronounced in newts, which have the ability to regenerate the entire lens throughout their lives. Regeneration occurs from the dorsal iris by transdifferentiation of the pigment epithelial cells. Interestingly, the ventral iris never contributes to regeneration. Frogs have limited lens regeneration capacity elicited from the cornea during pre-metamorphic stages. The axolotl is another salamander which, like the newt, regenerates its limbs or its tail with the spinal cord, but up until now all reports have shown that it does not regenerate the lens. Results Here we present a detailed analysis during different stages of axolotl development, and we show that despite previous beliefs the axolotl does regenerate the lens, however, only during a limited time after hatching. We have found that starting at stage 44 (forelimb bud stage lens regeneration is possible for nearly two weeks. Regeneration occurs from the iris but, in contrast to the newt, regeneration can be elicited from either the dorsal or the ventral iris and, occasionally, even from both in the same eye. Similar studies in the zebra fish concluded that lens regeneration is not possible. Conclusions Regeneration of the lens is possible in the axolotl, but differs from both frogs and newts. Thus the axolotl iris provides a novel and more plastic strategy for lens regeneration.
Pedro Gomes Sanches
Full Text Available The salamander axolotl is capable of complete regeneration of amputated heart tissue. However, non-invasive imaging tools for assessing its cardiac function were so far not employed. In this study, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is introduced as a non-invasive technique to image heart function of axolotls. Three axolotls were imaged with magnetic resonance imaging using a retrospectively gated Fast Low Angle Shot cine sequence. Within one scanning session the axolotl heart was imaged three times in all planes, consecutively. Heart rate, ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac output were calculated using three techniques: (1 combined long-axis, (2 short-axis series, and (3 ultrasound (control for heart rate only. All values are presented as mean ± standard deviation. Heart rate (beats per minute among different animals was 32.2±6.0 (long axis, 30.4±5.5 (short axis and 32.7±4.9 (ultrasound and statistically similar regardless of the imaging method (p > 0.05. Ejection fraction (% was 59.6±10.8 (long axis and 48.1±11.3 (short axis and it differed significantly (p = 0.019. Stroke volume (μl/beat was 133.7±33.7 (long axis and 93.2±31.2 (short axis, also differed significantly (p = 0.015. Calculations were consistent among the animals and over three repeated measurements. The heart rate varied depending on depth of anaesthesia. We described a new method for defining and imaging the anatomical planes of the axolotl heart and propose one of our techniques (long axis analysis may prove useful in defining cardiac function in regenerating axolotl hearts.
Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Grommen, Sylvia V H; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M
Entanglement of functions between the adrenal (or interrenal) and thyroid axis has been well described for all vertebrates and can be tracked down up to the level of gene expression. Both thyroid hormones and corticosteroids may induce morphological changes leading to metamorphosis climax in the neotenic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In a first series of experiments, metamorphosis was induced with an injection of 25 microg T(4) on three alternate days as judged by a decrease in body weight and tail height together with complete gill resorption. This injection also resulted in elevated plasma concentrations of T(3) and corticosterone. Previous results have indicated that the same dose of dexamethasone (DEX) is ineffective in this regard (Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 127 (2002) 157). In a second series of experiments low doses of T(4) (0.5 microg) or DEX (5 microg) were ineffective to induce morphological changes. However, when these submetamorphic doses were injected together, morphological changes were observed within one week leading to complete metamorphosis. It is concluded that thyroid hormones combined with corticosteroids are essential for metamorphosis in the axolotl and that only high doses of either thyroid hormone or corticosteroid can induce morphological changes when injected separately.
Amphibians have been widely used to study developmental biology due to the fact that embryo development takes place independently of the maternal organism and that observations and experimental approaches are easy. Some amphibians like Xenopus became model organisms in this field. In the first part of this article, the differentiation of the gonads in amphibians and the mechanisms governing this process are reviewed. In the second part, the state of the art about sex reversal, which can be induced by steroid hormones in general and by temperature in some species, is presented. Also information about pollutants found in the environment that could interfere with the development of the amphibian reproductive apparatus or with their reproductive physiology is given. Such compounds could play a part in the amphibian decline, since in the wild, many amphibians are endangered species. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Corn, P. S.
Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines i...
Ferris, Donald R; Satoh, Akira; Mandefro, Berhan; Cummings, Gillian M; Gardiner, David M; Rugg, Elizabeth L
Urodele amphibians (salamanders) are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate structurally complete and fully functional limbs. Regeneration is a stepwise process that requires interactions between keratinocytes, nerves and fibroblasts. The formation of a wound epithelium covering the amputation site is an early and necessary event in the process but the molecular mechanisms that underlie the role of the wound epithelium in regeneration remain unclear. We have developed an ex vivo model that recapitulates many features of in vivo wound healing. The model comprises a circular explant of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) limb skin with a central circular, full thickness wound. Re-epithelialization of the wound area is rapid (typically <11 h) and is dependent on metalloproteinase activity. The ex vivo wound epithelium is viable, responds to neuronal signals and is able to participate in ectopic blastema formation and limb regeneration. This ex vivo model provides a reproducible and tractable system in which to study the cellular and molecular events that underlie wound healing and regeneration. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.
Holder, N.; Clarke, J.D.; Stephens, N.; Wilson, S.W.; Orsi, C.; Bloomer, T.; Tonge, D.A.
During growth of the axolotl, motor neurons, and muscle fibres are added to the motor system. By double labelling neurons with tritiated thymidine and retrogradely transported HRP, we show that some motor neurons are born at postembryonic stages. Further analysis of motor neurons with the aid of HRP reveals this population of newly born cells relatively frequently in small (5-7 cm long) axolotls, but only rarely in large (7-13 cm long) axolotls. Evidence is presented that suggests that these immature cells are in the process of migrating from close to the ependyma out to the ventral horn. HRP transport also reveals growth cones of advancing axons within spinal nerves in animals up to 6 cm in length. Cell counts by light and electron microscopic methods show that muscle fibres are generated throughout larval life in the iliotibialis, a typical limb muscle. This analysis provides data consistent with the notion that new muscle fibres are added from a localised growth zone situated at the superficial edge of the muscle. These results are discussed in terms of the correlation between continuous growth of the motor system and the ability of the axolotl to functionally repair lesions to the peripheral nervous system
Sanches, Pedro Gomes; Op 't Veld, Roel C.; de Graaf, Wolter; Strijkers, Gustav J.; Grüll, Holger
The salamander axolotl is capable of complete regeneration of amputated heart tissue. However, non-invasive imaging tools for assessing its cardiac function were so far not employed. In this study, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is introduced as a non-invasive technique to image heart function
Sanches, P.G.; Op ‘t Veld, R.C.; de Graaf, W.; Strijkers, G.J.; Grüll, H.
The salamander axolotl is capable of complete regeneration of amputated heart tissue. However, non-invasive imaging tools for assessing its cardiac function were so far not employed. In this study, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is introduced as a noninvasive technique to image heart function of
Kurth, Thomas; Berger, Jürgen; Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela; Kretschmar, Susanne; Cerny, Robert; Schwarz, Heinz; Löfberg, Jan; Piendl, Thomas; Epperlein, Hans H
In this chapter we provide a set of different protocols for the ultrastructural analysis of amphibian (Xenopus, axolotl) tissues, mostly of embryonic origin. For Xenopus these methods include: (1) embedding gastrulae and tailbud embryos into Spurr's resin for TEM, (2) post-embedding labeling of methacrylate (K4M) and cryosections through adult and embryonic epithelia for correlative LM and TEM, and (3) pre-embedding labeling of embryonic tissues with silver-enhanced nanogold. For the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) we present the following methods: (1) SEM of migrating neural crest (NC) cells; (2) SEM and TEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material; (3) Cryo-SEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material after cryoimmobilization; and (4) TEM analysis of hyaluronan using high-pressure freezing and HABP labeling. These methods provide exemplary approaches for a variety of questions in the field of amphibian development and regeneration, and focus on cell biological issues that can only be answered with fine structural imaging methods, such as electron microscopy. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species
Corn, P. S.
Full Text Available Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species
Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M
In the present study, morphological changes leading to complete metamorphosis have been induced in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum using a submetamorphic dose of T(4) together with an injection of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). An injection of CRH alone is ineffective in this regard presumably due to a lack of thyrotropic stimulation. Using this low hormone profile for induction of metamorphosis, the deiodinating enzymes D2 and D3 known to be present in amphibians were measured in liver and brain 24h following an intraperitoneal injection. An injection of T(4) alone did not influence liver nor brain D2 and D3, but dexamethasone (DEX) or CRH alone or in combination with T(4) decreased liver D2 and D3. Brain D2 activity was slightly increased with a higher dose of DEX, though CRH did not have this effect. A profound synergistic effect occurred when T(4) and DEX or CRH were injected together, in the dose range leading to metamorphosis, increasing brain D2 activity more than fivefold. This synergistic effect was not found in the liver. It is concluded that brain T(3) availability may play an important role for the onset of metamorphosis in the neotenic axolotl.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Amphibian metabolite data used in Snyder, M.N., Henderson, W.M., Glinski, D.G., Purucker, S. T., 2017. Biomarker analysis of american toad (Anaxyrus americanus) and...
Theodosiou, Maria; Monaghan, James R; Spencer, Michael L; Voss, S Randal; Noonan, Daniel J
Retinoic acid, a key morphogen in early vertebrate development and tissue regeneration, mediates its effects through the binding of receptors that act as ligand-induced transcription factors. These binding events function to recruit an array of transcription co-regulatory proteins to specific gene promoters. One such co-regulatory protein, neuronal proliferation and differentiation control-1 (NPDC-1), is broadly expressed during mammalian development and functions as an in vitro repressor of retinoic acid receptor (RAR)-mediated transcription. To obtain comparative and developmental insights about NPDC-1 function, we cloned the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) orthologue and measured transcript abundances among tissues sampled during the embryonic and juvenile phases of development, and also during spinal cord regeneration. Structurally, the axolotl orthologue of NPDC-1 retained sequence identity to mammalian sequences in all functional domains. Functionally, we observed that axolotl NPDC-1 mRNA expression peaked late in embryogenesis, with highest levels of expression occurring during the time of limb development, a process regulated by retinoic acid signaling. Also similar to what has been observed in mammals, axolotl NPDC-1 directly interacts with axolotl RAR, modulates axolotl RAR DNA binding, and represses cell proliferation and axolotl RAR-mediated gene transcription. These data justify axolotl as a model to further investigate NPDC-1 and its role in regulating retinoic acid signaling. PMID:17331771
Guelke, Eileen; Bucan, Vesna; Liebsch, Christina; Lazaridis, Andrea; Radtke, Christine; Vogt, Peter M; Reimers, Kerstin
For the precise quantitative RT-PCR normalization a set of valid reference genes is obligatory. Moreover have to be taken into concern the experimental conditions as they bias the regulation of reference genes. Up till now, no reference targets have been described for the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In a search in the public database SalSite for genetic information of the axolotl we identified fourteen presumptive reference genes, eleven of which were further tested for their gene expression stability. This study characterizes the expressional patterns of 11 putative endogenous control genes during axolotl limb regeneration and in an axolotl tissue panel. All 11 reference genes showed variable expression. Strikingly, ACTB was to be found most stable expressed in all comparative tissue groups, so we reason it to be suitable for all different kinds of axolotl tissue-type investigations. Moreover do we suggest GAPDH and RPLP0 as suitable for certain axolotl tissue analysis. When it comes to axolotl limb regeneration, a validated pair of reference genes is ODC and RPLP0. With these findings, new insights into axolotl gene expression profiling might be gained. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DEMIRCAN, Turan; KESKIN, Ilknur; GUNAL, Yalcin; ILHAN, Ayse Elif; KOLBASI, Bircan; OZTURK, Gurkan
Adult mammalian skin wound repair is defective due to loss of the regulation in balancing the complete epithelial regeneration and excessive connective tissue production, and this repair process commonly results in scar tissue formation. However, unlike mammals, adult salamanders repair the wounds by regeneration compared to scarring. To elucidate the healing capability of a salamander, Axolotl, in a different species, here we addressed this question by treating the wounds in mice with Axolot...
Full Text Available Axolotls have amazing ability to regenerate their lost limbs. Our previous works showed that after amputation the remnant muscle ends remained at their original location whilst sending satellite cells into the regenerating parts to develop into early muscle fibers in the late differentiation stage. The parental and the newly formed muscle fibers were not connected until very late stage. The present study used non-invasive diffusion tensor imaging (DTI to monitor weekly axolotl upper arm muscles after amputation of their upper arms. DTI tractography showed that the regenerating muscle fibers became visible at 9-wpa (weeks post amputation, but a gap was observed between the regenerating and parental muscles. The gap was filled at 10-wpa, indicating reconnection of the fibers of both muscles. This was confirmed by histology. The DTI results indicate that 23% of the muscle fibers were reconnected at 10-wpa. In conclusion, DTI can be used to visualize axolotls' skeletal muscles and the results of muscle reconnection were in accordance with our previous findings. This non-invasive technique will allow researchers to identify the timeframe in which muscle fiber reconnection takes place and thus enable the study of the mechanisms underlying this reconnection.
Boisvert, Catherine Anne; Joss, Jean Mp; Ahlberg, Per E
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
Franklin, Brandon M; Voss, S Randal; Osborn, Jeffrey L
Little is known about the potential for ion channels to regulate cellular behaviors during tissue regeneration. Here, we utilized an amphibian tail regeneration assay coupled with a chemical genetic screen to identify ion channel antagonists that altered critical cellular processes during regeneration. Inhibition of multiple ion channels either partially (anoctamin1/Tmem16a, anoctamin2/Tmem16b, K V 2.1, K V 2.2, L-type Ca V channels and H/K ATPases) or completely (GlyR, GABA A R, K V 1.5 and SERCA pumps) inhibited tail regeneration. Partial inhibition of tail regeneration by blocking the calcium activated chloride channels, anoctamin1&2, was associated with a reduction of cellular proliferation in tail muscle and mesenchymal regions. Inhibition of anoctamin 1/2 also altered the post-amputation transcriptional response of p44/42 MAPK signaling pathway genes, including decreased expression of erk1/erk2. We also found that complete inhibition via voltage gated K + channel blockade was associated with diminished phagocyte recruitment to the amputation site. The identification of H + pumps as required for axolotl tail regeneration supports findings in Xenopus and Planaria models, and more generally, the conservation of ion channels as regulators of tissue regeneration. This study provides a preliminary framework for an in-depth investigation of the mechanistic role of ion channels and their potential involvement in regulating cellular proliferation and other processes essential to wound healing, appendage regeneration, and tissue repair. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Diego de Jesus Chaparro-Herrera
Full Text Available Ambystoma mexicanum, a highly endangered species, is endemic to lake Xochimilco (Mexico City, Mexico which currently is being negatively affected by the introduction of Oreochromis niloticus (Tilapia and water pollution. During the first weeks of development, when mortality is the highest, Ambystoma mexicanumdepends on a diet of zooplankton. The aim of this study was to check whether contamination levels in lake Xochimilco influence zooplankton consumption by similar size classes of A. mexicanum and Oreochromis niloticus. In this study, we analysed changes in the functional responses and prey preference of A. mexicanum and larval Tilapia in two media, one with filtered lake Xochimilco water and another one with reconstituted water. As prey we used cladocerans (Moina macrocopa, Alona glabra, Macrothrix triserialis and Simocephalus vetulus and ostracods (Heterocypris incongruens. Zooplankton was offered in 5 different densities, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160 ind./mL. Prey consumption by A. mexicanum varied in relation to the species offered and age of the larvae. From the first week to the eighth week prey consumption by A. mexicanum increased by 57%. Our functional response tests showed that regardless of the prey type, prey consumption by A. mexicanum was lower in the contaminated water from lake Xochimilco. Among the zooplankton offered in the contaminated environment predators preferred smaller and slower moving microcrustaceans such as Alona glabra and Heterocypris incongruens. Furthermore, O. niloticus preferred prey such as Moina macrocopa and Macrothrix triserialis in the contaminated medium and was more voracious than the axolotl. Our results indicate that both water quality of the lake and the presence of the more resistant exotic fish adversely impact the survival of this endangered amphibian.
Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P
Although they are frequently lumped together, reptiles and amphibians belong to two very different zoological groups. Nevertheless, one fact is clear: while numerous reptile and amphibian species on Earth are in decline, others have taken advantage of trade or human movements to become established in new lands, adopting different, and sometimes unusual, strategies. The authors have taken a few examples from these two zoological groups that illustrate the majority of cases. A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health.
Amphibians evolved from fishes about 360 million years ago and were the first vertebrates adapted to life on land. The word amphibian means "double life." It refers to the life history of many amphibians, which spend part of their life in water and part on land. There are three major groups of amphibians: salamanders, frogs, and toads, and caecilians. Salamanders, frogs, and toads can be found in Olympic National Park (ONP), but caecilians live only in tropical regions. Many amphibians are generalist predators, eating almost any prey they can fit into their mouths.
Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…
Baltus, E; Hanocq-Quertier, J; Hanocq, F; Brachet, J
The presence of a ras protein was demonstrated in cleaving axolotl eggs by selective immunoprecipitation with a polyclonal antibody against a peptide encoded by the c-Ha-ras oncogene, cellular homolog of the v-Ha-ras oncogene of Harvey rat sarcoma virus. Injection of this antibody into axolotl oocytes subjected to progesterone treatment does not prevent meiotic maturation. Injection of the same antibody into a blastomere of axolotl eggs at the 2- or 4-cell stage causes cleavage arrest in the ...
Donald M. Bryant
Full Text Available Mammals have extremely limited regenerative capabilities; however, axolotls are profoundly regenerative and can replace entire limbs. The mechanisms underlying limb regeneration remain poorly understood, partly because the enormous and incompletely sequenced genomes of axolotls have hindered the study of genes facilitating regeneration. We assembled and annotated a de novo transcriptome using RNA-sequencing profiles for a broad spectrum of tissues that is estimated to have near-complete sequence information for 88% of axolotl genes. We devised expression analyses that identified the axolotl orthologs of cirbp and kazald1 as highly expressed and enriched in blastemas. Using morpholino anti-sense oligonucleotides, we find evidence that cirbp plays a cytoprotective role during limb regeneration whereas manipulation of kazald1 expression disrupts regeneration. Our transcriptome and annotation resources greatly complement previous transcriptomic studies and will be a valuable resource for future research in regenerative biology.
Shimokawa, Takashi; Kominami, Rieko; Yasutaka, Satoru; Shinohara, Harumichi
Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) have the ability to regenerate amputated limbs throughout their life span. In the present study, we attempted to elucidate how axolotls can specify limb type correctly during the regeneration process. We misexpressed Tbx5 in regenerating hindlimb blastema, and consequently a forelimb-like hindlimb regenerated from the hindlimb blastema. On the other hand, no change was observed in Tbx5-overexpressing forelimb blastema, and thus we considered that Tbx5 plays a key role in the specification of forelimb during the regeneration process of axolotl limbs. However, axolotls' fore- and hindlimbs have very similar structures except for the number of fingers, and it was very difficult to judge whether the forelimb-like regenerate was a true forelimb or merely a forelimb-like hindlimb. Therefore, in order to confirm our conclusion, we have to investigate other genes that are expressed differentially between fore- and hindlimbs in future experiments.
Full Text Available Limb amputation in axolotls was performed to obtain data demonstrating that a chemical agonist of Wnt (int-related protein/β-catenin signalling can have a role in axolotl limb regeneration (Wischin et al., 2017 . The data revealed that active β-catenin protein was present during limb regeneration in some Leydig cells in the epithelium; after the chemical treatment, it was observed in more Leydig cells. In addition, the chemical agonist of Wnt generated distinct limb malformation.
Richman, A D; Herrera, G; Reynoso, V H; Méndez, G; Zambrano, L
The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has been characterized as immunodeficient, and the absence of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II polymorphism has been cited as a possible explanation. Here we present evidence for considerable allelic polymorphism at the MHC class II DAB locus for a sample of wild-caught axolotls. Evidence that these sequences are the product of balancing selection for disease resistance is discussed.
Big jaws of amphibians and reptiles are mainly treated in this article. In amphibians enlarged skulls are for the big jaw in contrast with human's skulls for the brain. For example, famous fossils of Homo diluvii testis are ones of salamanders in fact. In reptiles, mosasaur jaws and teeth and their ecology are introduced for instance.
It was the complex and far-reaching transformation of the Mexican Revolution rather than the First World War that left its mark on Mexican history in the second decade of the 20th century. Nevertheless, although the country maintained its neutrality in the international conflict, it was a hidden theatre of war. Between 1914 and 1918, state actors in Germany, Great Britain and the United States defined their policies towards Mexico and its nationalist revolution with a view not only to improve...
This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Amphibians are often thought of as relatively simple animals especially when compared to mammals. Yet the chemosignaling systems used by amphibians are varied and complex. Amphibian chemosignals are particularly important in reproduction, in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Chemosignaling is most evident in salamanders and newts, but increasing evidence indicates that chemical communication facilitates reproduction in frogs and toads as well. Reproductive hormones shape the production, dissemination, detection, and responsiveness to chemosignals. A large variety of chemosignals have been identified, ranging from simple, invariant chemosignals to complex, variable blends of chemosignals. Although some chemosignals elicit straightforward responses, others have relatively subtle effects. Review of amphibian chemosignaling reveals a number of issues to be resolved, including: 1) the significance of the complex, individually variable blends of courtship chemosignals found in some salamanders, 2) the behavioral and/or physiological functions of chemosignals found in anuran "breeding glands", 3) the ligands for amphibian V2Rs, especially V2Rs expressed in the main olfactory epithelium, and 4) the mechanism whereby transdermal delivery of chemosignals influences behavior. To date, only a handful of the more than 7000 species of amphibians has been examined. Further study of amphibians should provide additional insight to the role of chemosignals in reproduction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Vences, Miguel; Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Verheyen, Erik
Only a few major research programs are currently targeting COI barcoding of amphibians and reptiles (including chelonians and crocodiles), two major groups of tetrapods. Amphibian and reptile species are typically old, strongly divergent, and contain deep conspecific lineages which might lead to problems in species assignment with incomplete reference databases. As far as known, there is no single pair of COI primers that will guarantee a sufficient rate of success across all amphibian and reptile taxa, or within major subclades of amphibians and reptiles, which means that the PCR amplification strategy needs to be adjusted depending on the specific research question. In general, many more amphibian and reptile taxa have been sequenced for 16S rDNA, which for some purposes may be a suitable complementary marker, at least until a more comprehensive COI reference database becomes available. DNA barcoding has successfully been used to identify amphibian larval stages (tadpoles) in species-rich tropical assemblages. Tissue sampling, DNA extraction, and amplification of COI is straightforward in amphibians and reptiles. Single primer pairs are likely to have a failure rate between 5 and 50% if taxa of a wide taxonomic range are targeted; in such cases the use of primer cocktails or subsequent hierarchical usage of different primer pairs is necessary. If the target group is taxonomically limited, many studies have followed a strategy of designing specific primers which then allow an easy and reliable amplification of all samples.
Prehn Lea R
Full Text Available Abstract Background Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development: the pronephroi, mesonephroi and metanephroi. The pronephric duct is the first or primary ureter of these kidney systems. Its role as a key player in the induction of nephrogenic mesenchyme is well established. Here we investigate whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light and transmission electron microscopy as well as confocal laser scanning microscopy on fixed tissue and applying the microperfusion technique on isolated pronephric ducts in combination with single cell microelectrode impalements. Our data show that the fully differentiated pronephric duct is composed of a single layered epithelium consisting of one cell type comparable to the principal cell of the renal collecting duct system. The cells are characterized by a prominent basolateral labyrinth and a relatively smooth apical surface with one central cilium. Cellular impalements demonstrate the presence of apical Na+ and K+ conductances, as well as a large K+ conductance in the basolateral cell membrane. Immunolabeling experiments indicate heavy expression of Na+/K+-ATPase in the basolateral labyrinth. Conclusions We propose that the pronephric duct is important for the subsequent modification of urine produced by the pronephros. Our results indicate that it reabsorbs sodium and secretes potassium via channels present in the apical cell membrane with the driving force for ion movement provided by the Na+/K+ pump. This is to our knowledge the first characterization of the pronephric duct, the precursor of the collecting duct system, which provides a model of cell structure and basic mechanisms for ion transport. Such information may be important in understanding
James R. Monaghan
Salamander limb regeneration is dependent upon tissue interactions that are local to the amputation site. Communication among limb epidermis, peripheral nerves, and mesenchyme coordinate cell migration, cell proliferation, and tissue patterning to generate a blastema, which will form missing limb structures. An outstanding question is how cross-talk between these tissues gives rise to the regeneration blastema. To identify genes associated with epidermis-nerve-mesenchymal interactions during limb regeneration, we examined histological and transcriptional changes during the first week following injury in the wound epidermis and subjacent cells between three injury types; 1 a flank wound on the side of the animal that will not regenerate a limb, 2 a denervated limb that will not regenerate a limb, and 3 an innervated limb that will regenerate a limb. Early, histological and transcriptional changes were similar between the injury types, presumably because a common wound-healing program is employed across anatomical locations. However, some transcripts were enriched in limbs compared to the flank and are associated with vertebrate limb development. Many of these genes were activated before blastema outgrowth and expressed in specific tissue types including the epidermis, peripheral nerve, and mesenchyme. We also identified a relatively small group of transcripts that were more highly expressed in innervated limbs versus denervated limbs. These transcripts encode for proteins involved in myelination of peripheral nerves, epidermal cell function, and proliferation of mesenchymal cells. Overall, our study identifies limb-specific and nerve-dependent genes that are upstream of regenerative growth, and thus promising candidates for the regulation of blastema formation.
Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Perrow, Martin
Summary – We reviewed all the peer-reviewed scientific publications we could find on the known and potential effects of wind farm development, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning on reptiles and amphibians (collectively herpetofauna) worldwide. Both groups are declining globally due to a multitude of threats including energy development. Effect studies were limited to the long-term research by the authors on Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise ecology and behavior at single operational wind farm in California, US and an analysis of the effects of wind farm installation on species richness of vertebrates including reptiles and amphibians in northwestern Portugal. Research on Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise found few demonstrable differences in biological parameters between populations in the wind farm and those in more natural habitats. High reproductive output is due to the regional climate and not to the presence or operation of the wind farm. Site operations have resulted in death and injury to a small number of adult tortoises and over the long-term tortoises now appear to avoid the areas of greatest turbine concentration. Research in Portugal using models and simulations based on empirical data show that vertebrate species richness (including herpetofauna) decreased by almost 20% after the installation of only two large monopole turbines per 250 x 250 m plot. Knowledge of the known responses of herpetofauna to various disturbances allows identification of potential impacts from construction material acquisition in offsite areas, mortality and stress due to impacts of roads and related infrastructure, destruction and modification of habitat, habitat fragmentation and barriers to gene flow, noise, vibration, electromagnetic field generation, heat from buried high voltage transmission lines, alteration of local and regional climate, predator attraction, and increased risk of fire. Research on herpetofauna lags far behind what is needed and, in particular, before
Eisthen, Heather L; Krause, Brianne Chung
Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are aquatic salamanders that are widely used in research. Axolotls have been bred in laboratories for nearly 150 years, yet little is known about the basic biology of reproduction in these animals. We investigated the effects of changing day length, time of year, and food availability on levels of circulating estradiol and androgens in adult female and male axolotls, respectively. In addition, we examined the effects of these variables on the mass of ovaries, oviducts, and eggs in females and on mass of testes in males relative to each individual's body weight, to calculate a form of gonadosomatic index (GSI). In both sexes, GSI was not correlated with levels of circulating steroids. In female axolotls, estradiol levels were influenced by food availability, changes in day length, and season, even when animals were held at a constant temperature and day length was decorrelated with calendar date. In addition, the mass of ovaries, oviducts, and eggs varied seasonally, peaking in the winter months and declining during the summer months, even though our animals were not breeding and shedding eggs. In males, levels of androgens appeared to vary independently of external conditions, but GSI varied dramatically with changes in day length. These results suggest that reproduction in axolotls may vary seasonally, as it does in many other ambystomid species, although both male and female axolotls are capable of reproducing several times each year. The physiological basis of this ability remains enigmatic, given the indications of seasonality contained in our data. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Robles-Mendoza, Cecilia; Zúñiga-Lagunes, Sebastian R; Ponce de León-Hill, Claudia A; Hernández-Soto, Jesús; Vanegas-Pérez, Cecilia
The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is a neotenic salamander considered a good biological model due to its ability to regenerate limbs, tail, brain and heart cells. Nevertheless, severe reduction of A. mexicanum wild populations in the lacustrine area of Xochimilco, the natural habitat of the axolotl, could be related to several environmental pressures as the presence of organophosphate pesticides (OPPs), intensively applied in agricultural activities in Xochimilco. Thus the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of environmentally realistic chlorpyrifos (CPF) concentrations, a OPP commonly used in this zone, on esterases activity (acetylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase) and bioconcentration of CPF and to relate them with the motor activity of A. mexicanum juveniles. Axolotls were exposed 48 h to 0.05 and 0.1mg CPF/L, and the responses were evaluated at the end of the CPF exposure. Results suggest that CPF is bioconcentrated into axolotls and that the CPF internal concentrations are related with the observed inhibition activity of AChE (>50%) and CbE (≈ 50%). CPF concentration responsible of the inhibition of the 50% of AChE activity (IC50) was estimated in 0.04 mg CPF/L; however IC50 for CbE activity was not possible to calculate since inhibition levels were lower than 50%, results that suggest a higher resistance of CbE enzymatic activity to CPF. However, motor activity was a more sensitive endpoint to CPF poisoning since time that axolotls spent active and walking, frequency and speed of swimming, frequency of prey attack were reduced >90% of control groups. The motor activity alterations in the axolotl could be related with the registered esterases inhibition. Thus important alterations on axolotls were identified even at short time and low concentrations of CPF exposure. Also, it was possible to link biochemical responses as esterases activity with higher levels of biological organization as behavior. This study provides tools for the regulation of the
Garner, Trenton W. J.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Muths, Erin L.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Weldon, Che; Fisher, Matthew C.; Bosch, Jaime
Amphibians across the planet face the threat of population decline and extirpation caused by the disease chytridiomycosis. Despite consensus that the fungal pathogens responsible for the disease are conservation issues, strategies to mitigate their impacts in the natural world are, at best, nascent. Reducing risk associated with the movement of amphibians, non-amphibian vectors and other sources of infection remains the first line of defence and a primary objective when mitigating the threat of disease in wildlife. Amphibian-associated chytridiomycete fungi and chytridiomycosis are already widespread, though, and we therefore focus on discussing options for mitigating the threats once disease emergence has occurred in wild amphibian populations. All strategies have shortcomings that need to be overcome before implementation, including stronger efforts towards understanding and addressing ethical and legal considerations. Even if these issues can be dealt with, all currently available approaches, or those under discussion, are unlikely to yield the desired conservation outcome of disease mitigation. The decision process for establishing mitigation strategies requires integrated thinking that assesses disease mitigation options critically and embeds them within more comprehensive strategies for the conservation of amphibian populations, communities and ecosystems.
Full Text Available In this crónica, I pay homage (and talk back to! one of my favourite authors, Julio Cortázar, who I had the great privilege and pleasure of befriending in 1980, when he was a visiting professor at UC-Berkeley. I have been obsessed with time-travel, doubling, and interstitiality since I was very young; even the most casual Cortázar reader (if such a thing is possible will immediately recognise these as recurrent themes in his work. Here, faced with several actual axolotl in a Buenos Aires aquarium, I explore and comment on Cortázar’s strangely mesmerising meditation on identity and transformation. My personal connection is (as in much of my writing concerned with aspects of gender and sexuality suppressed or (more likely ignored in Cortázar’s version. I identify, too, with a poignant in-betweenness and ambiguity I read in the figure of the axolotl—and in the work of Cortázar and Alejandra Pizarnik.
Ghosh, Sukla; Roy, Stéphane; Séguin, Carl; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M
Urodele amphibians are unique adult vertebrates because they are able to regenerate body parts after amputation. Studies of urodele limb regeneration, the key model system for vertebrate regeneration, have led to an understanding of the origin of blastema cells and the importance of positional interactions between blastema cells in the control of growth and pattern formation. Progress is now being made in the identification of the signaling pathways that regulate dedifferentiation, blastema morphogenesis, growth and pattern formation. Members of the Wnt family of secreted proteins are expressed in developing and regenerating limbs, and have the potential to control growth, pattern formation and differentiation. We have studied the expression of two non-canonical Wnt genes, Wnt-5a and Wnt-5b. We report that they are expressed in equivalent patterns during limb development and limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and during limb development in other tetrapods, implying conservation of function. Our analysis of the effects of ectopic Wnt-5a expression is consistent with the hypothesis that canonical Wnt signaling functions during the early stages of regeneration to control the dedifferentiation of stump cells giving rise to the regeneration-competent cells of the blastema.
Robles-Mendoza, C; García-Basilio, C; Cram-Heydrich, S; Hernández-Quiroz, M; Vanegas-Pérez, C
Ambystoma mexicanum is an endemic salamander of Xochimilco, a wetland of the basin of Mexico valley. Nowadays, axolotl populations are decreasing due environmental stressors. Particularly, studies about organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs; i.e. chlorpyrifos and malathion) toxicity are of great importance due to their intensive use in agricultural activities in Xochimilco. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate under controlled conditions the toxicity of chlorpyrifos (CPF) and malathion (MLT) on embryos and larvae (stage 44 and 54) of A. mexicanum. Embryos and larvae were exposure 96h from 0.5 to 3mg CPFL(-1) and from 10 to 30mg MLTL(-1) in independent tests. Embryos at the end of this period were maintained 9d without pesticide in order to identify possible recuperation. Differences obtained in mortality, hatching success, development, morphological abnormalities, behaviour and activity, suggest that toxicity of CPF and MLT differs in embryos and larval stages. Embryos were less sensitive to OPPs acute exposure than axolotl larvae; additionally, toxicity of CPF in larval stages was greater than MLT. On the other hand, data obtained in axolotl embryos during the period of recuperation to CPF in particular as delay and inhibition of development, malformations and success of hatching, indicated that these responses turned out more sensitive than mortality. This study allowed to identify the toxicological potential of OPPs on early developmental stages of A. mexicanum and it is a valuable contribution for the future management of the axolotl wild population.
Flowers, G. Parker; Timberlake, Andrew T.; Mclean, Kaitlin C.; Monaghan, James R.; Crews, Craig M.
Among tetrapods, only urodele salamanders, such as the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum, can completely regenerate limbs as adults. The mystery of why salamanders, but not other animals, possess this ability has for generations captivated scientists seeking to induce this phenomenon in other vertebrates. Although many recent advances in molecular biology have allowed limb regeneration and tissue repair in the axolotl to be investigated in increasing detail, the molecular toolkit for the study of this process has been limited. Here, we report that the CRISPR-Cas9 RNA-guided nuclease system can efficiently create mutations at targeted sites within the axolotl genome. We identify individual animals treated with RNA-guided nucleases that have mutation frequencies close to 100% at targeted sites. We employ this technique to completely functionally ablate EGFP expression in transgenic animals and recapitulate developmental phenotypes produced by loss of the conserved gene brachyury. Thus, this advance allows a reverse genetic approach in the axolotl and will undoubtedly provide invaluable insight into the mechanisms of salamanders' unique regenerative ability. PMID:24764077
Carlson, Bruce M.
Flexor and extensor muscles in the upper arms of axolotls were minced and cross-transplanted. The limbs were amputated 5 and 30 days after mincing. In each experiment a high percentage of the regenerates consisted of multiple limbs. This demonstrates that the morphogenetic information which produces
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for reptiles and amphibians in coastal Louisiana. Vector polygons represent reptile and amphibian habitats,...
Growing concern over worldwide amphibian declines warrants serious examination. Amphibians are important to the proper functioning of ecosystems and provide many direct benefits to humans in the form of pest and disease control, pharmaceutical compounds, and even food. Amphibians have permeable skin and rely on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during different seasons and stages of their lives. Their association with these ecosystems renders them likely to serve as sensitive indicators of environmental change. While much research on amphibian declines has centered on mysterious causes, or on causes that directly affect humans (global warming, chemical pollution, ultraviolet-B radiation), most declines are the result of habitat loss and habitat alteration. Improving our ability to characterize, model, and monitor the interactions between environmental variables and amphibian habitats is key to addressing amphibian conservation. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to address issues surrounding amphibian declines.
Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...
Nye Holly LD
Full Text Available Abstract Background Following amputation, urodele salamander limbs reprogram somatic cells to form a blastema that self-organizes into the missing limb parts to restore the structure and function of the limb. To help understand the molecular basis of blastema formation, we used quantitative label-free liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS-based methods to analyze changes in the proteome that occurred 1, 4 and 7 days post amputation (dpa through the mid-tibia/fibula of axolotl hind limbs. Results We identified 309 unique proteins with significant fold change relative to controls (0 dpa, representing 10 biological process categories: (1 signaling, (2 Ca2+ binding and translocation, (3 transcription, (4 translation, (5 cytoskeleton, (6 extracellular matrix (ECM, (7 metabolism, (8 cell protection, (9 degradation, and (10 cell cycle. In all, 43 proteins exhibited exceptionally high fold changes. Of these, the ecotropic viral integrative factor 5 (EVI5, a cell cycle-related oncoprotein that prevents cells from entering the mitotic phase of the cell cycle prematurely, was of special interest because its fold change was exceptionally high throughout blastema formation. Conclusion Our data were consistent with previous studies indicating the importance of inositol triphosphate and Ca2+ signaling in initiating the ECM and cytoskeletal remodeling characteristic of histolysis and cell dedifferentiation. In addition, the data suggested that blastema formation requires several mechanisms to avoid apoptosis, including reduced metabolism, differential regulation of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic proteins, and initiation of an unfolded protein response (UPR. Since there is virtually no mitosis during blastema formation, we propose that high levels of EVI5 function to arrest dedifferentiated cells somewhere in the G1/S/G2 phases of the cell cycle until they have accumulated under the wound epidermis and enter mitosis in response to
For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.
Full Text Available Amphibians are important vertebrates in toxicology often representing both aquatic and terrestrial forms within the life history of the same species. Of the thousands of species, only two have substantial genomics resources: the recently published genome of the Pipid, Xenopus (Silurana tropicalis, and transcript information (and ongoing genome sequencing project of Xenopus laevis. However, many more species representative of regional ecological niches and life strategies are used in toxicology worldwide. Since Xenopus species diverged from the most populous frog family, the Ranidae, ~200 million years ago, there are notable differences between them and the even more distant Caudates (salamanders and Caecilians. These differences include genome size, gene composition, and extent of polyploidization. Application of toxicogenomics to amphibians requires the mobilization of resources and expertise to develop de novo sequence assemblies and analysis strategies for a broader range of amphibian species. The present mini-review will present the advances in toxicogenomics as pertains to amphibians with particular emphasis upon the development and use of genomic techniques (inclusive of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics and the challenges inherent therein.
This chapter focuses on small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that inhabit the grasslands within the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service. The chapter is not intended to be an all inclusive list of species, but rather to address the species that play important roles in grassland ecosystems and that often are associated with the management of grasslands....
Full Text Available Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs.
Full Text Available Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum can completely regenerate lost limbs, whereas Xenopus laevis frogs cannot. During limb regeneration, a blastema is first formed at the amputation plane. It is thought that this regeneration blastema forms a limb by mechanisms similar to those of a developing embryonic limb bud. Furthermore, Xenopus laevis frogs can form a blastema after amputation; however, the blastema results in a terminal cone-shaped cartilaginous structure called a "spike." The causes of this patterning defect in Xenopus frog limb regeneration were explored. We hypothesized that differences in chondrogenesis may underlie the patterning defect. Thus, we focused on chondrogenesis. Chondrogenesis marker genes, type I and type II collagen, were compared in regenerative and nonregenerative environments. There were marked differences between axolotls and Xenopus in the expression pattern of these chondrogenesis-associated genes. The relative deficit in the chondrogenic capacity of Xenopus blastema cells may account for the absence of total limb regenerative capacity.
Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Richter, Tobias; Knapp, Dunja; Haigo, Saori L.; Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Hradlikova, Kristyna; Duemmler, Annett; Kerney, Ryan; Tanaka, Elly M.
The salamander is the only tetrapod that regenerates complex body structures throughout life. Deciphering the underlying molecular processes of regeneration is fundamental for regenerative medicine and developmental biology, but the model organism had limited tools for molecular analysis. We describe a comprehensive set of germline transgenic strains in the laboratory-bred salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) that open up the cellular and molecular genetic dissection of regeneration. We demonstrate tissue-dependent control of gene expression in nerve, Schwann cells, oligodendrocytes, muscle, epidermis, and cartilage. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of tamoxifen-induced Cre/loxP-mediated recombination to indelibly mark different cell types. Finally, we inducibly overexpress the cell-cycle inhibitor p16INK4a, which negatively regulates spinal cord regeneration. These tissue-specific germline axolotl lines and tightly inducible Cre drivers and LoxP reporter lines render this classical regeneration model molecularly accessible. PMID:24052945
Phan, Anne Quy
Salamanders are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. Axolotl limb regeneration is a stepwise sequence of three requisite processes: (1) scarless wound healing to generate a regenerative wound epithelium, (2) blastema formation by migration, proliferation and dedifferentiation to create a mass of multipotent regeneration-competent progenitor cells, and (3) induction of pattern formation by interaction of cells with opposi...
Epperlein, Hans-Henning; Khattak, Shahryar; Knapp, Dunja; Tanaka, Elly M; Malashichev, Yegor B
A major step during the evolution of tetrapods was their transition from water to land. This process involved the reduction or complete loss of the dermal bones that made up connections to the skull and a concomitant enlargement of the endochondral shoulder girdle. In the mouse the latter is derived from three separate embryonic sources: lateral plate mesoderm, somites, and neural crest. The neural crest was suggested to sustain the muscle attachments. How this complex composition of the endochondral shoulder girdle arose during evolution and whether it is shared by all tetrapods is unknown. Salamanders that lack dermal bone within their shoulder girdle were of special interest for a possible contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral elements and muscle attachment sites, and we therefore studied them in this context. We grafted neural crest from GFP+ fluorescent transgenic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) donor embryos into white (d/d) axolotl hosts and followed the presence of neural crest cells within the cartilage of the shoulder girdle and the connective tissue of muscle attachment sites of the neck-shoulder region. Strikingly, neural crest cells did not contribute to any part of the endochondral shoulder girdle or to the connective tissue at muscle attachment sites in axolotl. Our results in axolotl suggest that neural crest does not serve a general function in vertebrate shoulder muscle attachment sites as predicted by the "muscle scaffold theory," and that it is not necessary to maintain connectivity of the endochondral shoulder girdle to the skull. Our data support the possibility that the contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral shoulder girdle, which is observed in the mouse, arose de novo in mammals as a developmental basis for their skeletal synapomorphies. This further supports the hypothesis of an increased neural crest diversification during vertebrate evolution.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A major step during the evolution of tetrapods was their transition from water to land. This process involved the reduction or complete loss of the dermal bones that made up connections to the skull and a concomitant enlargement of the endochondral shoulder girdle. In the mouse the latter is derived from three separate embryonic sources: lateral plate mesoderm, somites, and neural crest. The neural crest was suggested to sustain the muscle attachments. How this complex composition of the endochondral shoulder girdle arose during evolution and whether it is shared by all tetrapods is unknown. Salamanders that lack dermal bone within their shoulder girdle were of special interest for a possible contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral elements and muscle attachment sites, and we therefore studied them in this context. RESULTS: We grafted neural crest from GFP+ fluorescent transgenic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum donor embryos into white (d/d axolotl hosts and followed the presence of neural crest cells within the cartilage of the shoulder girdle and the connective tissue of muscle attachment sites of the neck-shoulder region. Strikingly, neural crest cells did not contribute to any part of the endochondral shoulder girdle or to the connective tissue at muscle attachment sites in axolotl. CONCLUSIONS: Our results in axolotl suggest that neural crest does not serve a general function in vertebrate shoulder muscle attachment sites as predicted by the "muscle scaffold theory," and that it is not necessary to maintain connectivity of the endochondral shoulder girdle to the skull. Our data support the possibility that the contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral shoulder girdle, which is observed in the mouse, arose de novo in mammals as a developmental basis for their skeletal synapomorphies. This further supports the hypothesis of an increased neural crest diversification during vertebrate evolution.
The data available up to now concerning the structure of Golgi complex in different types of normal and pathologically changed cells are very divergent. Results are reported from detailed studies on changes occurring within the Golgi complex in the spleen of three-month old axolotls after x-ray irradiation with a single dose of 1,200 R and killed by decapitation 15, 30, 60 minutes and 3, 6, and 12 hours after irradiation.
Koshiba, K; Kuroiwa, A; Yamamoto, H; Tamura, K; Ide, H
Msx genes, homeobox-containing genes, have been isolated as homologues of the Drosophila msh gene and are thought to play important roles in the development of chick or mouse limb buds. We isolated two Msx genes, Msx1 and Msx2, from regenerating blastemas of axolotl limbs and examined their expression patterns using Northern blot and whole mount in situ hybridization during regeneration and development. Northern blot analysis revealed that the expression level of both Msx genes increased during limb regeneration. The Msx2 expression level increased in the blastema at the early bud stage, and Msx1 expression level increased at the late bud stage. Whole mount in situ hybridization revealed that Msx2 was expressed in the distal mesenchyme and Msx1 in the entire mesenchyme of the blastema at the late bud stage. In the developing limb bud, Msx1 was expressed in the entire mesenchyme, while Msx2 was expressed in the distal and peripheral mesenchyme. The expression patterns of Msx genes in the blastemas and limb buds of the axolotl were different from those reported for chick or mouse limb buds. These expression patterns of axolotl Msx genes are discussed in relation to the blastema or limb bud morphology and their possible roles in limb patterning.
Ackerly, Kerri L; Ward, Andrea B
Environmental conditions during early development in ectothermic vertebrates can lead to variation in vertebral number among individuals of the same species. It is often seen that individuals of a species raised at cooler temperatures have more vertebrae than individuals raised at warmer temperatures, although the functional consequences of this variation in vertebral number on swimming performance are relatively unclear. To investigate this relationship, we tested how vertebral number in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) affected performance of aquatic escape responses (C-starts). Axolotls were reared at four temperatures (12-24°C) encompassing their natural thermal range and then transitioned to a mean temperature (18°C) three months before C-starts were recorded. Our results showed variation in vertebral number, but that variation was not significantly affected by developmental temperature. C-start performance among axolotls was significantly correlated with caudal vertebral number, and individuals with more caudal vertebrae were able to achieve greater curvature more quickly during their responses than individuals with fewer vertebrae. However, our results show that these individuals did not achieve greater displacements or velocities, and that developmental temperature did not have any effect on C-start performance. We highlight that the most important aspects of escape swim performance (i.e., how far individuals get from a threat and how quickly they move the most important parts of the body away from that threat) are consistent across individuals regardless of developmental temperature and morphological variation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Wilczynski, Walter; Lynch, Kathleen S
Rather than being a static, species specific trait, reproductive behavior in female amphibians is variable within an individual during the breeding season when females are capable of reproductive activity. Changes in receptivity coincide with changes in circulating estrogen. Estrogen is highest at the point when females are ready to choose a male and lay eggs. At this time female receptivity (her probability of responding to a male vocal signal) is highest and her selectivity among conspecific calls (measured by her probability of responding to a degraded or otherwise usually unattractive male signal) is lowest. These changes occur even though females retain the ability to discriminate different acoustic characteristics of various conspecific calls. After releasing her eggs, female amphibians quickly become less receptive and more choosy in terms of their responses to male sexual advertisement signals. Male vocal signals stimulate both behavior and estrogen changes in amphibian females making mating more probable. The changes in female reproductive behavior are the same as those generally accepted as indicative of a change in female sexual arousal leading to copulation. They are situationally triggered, gated by interactions with males, and decline with the consummation of sexual reproduction with a chosen male. The changes can be triggered by either internal physiological state or by the presence of stimuli presented by males, and the same stimuli change both behavior and physiological (endocrine) state in such a way as to make acceptance of a male more likely. Thus amphibian females demonstrate many of the same general characteristics of changing female sexual state that in mammals indicate sexual arousal. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chen Xiaoguang; Wayne Brodland, G
The novel multi-scale computational approach introduced here makes possible a new means for testing hypotheses about the forces that drive specific morphogenetic movements. A 3D model based on this approach is used to investigate neurulation in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a type of amphibian. The model is based on geometric data from 3D surface reconstructions of live embryos and from serial sections. Tissue properties are described by a system of cell-based constitutive equations, and parameters in the equations are determined from physical tests. The model includes the effects of Shroom-activated neural ridge reshaping and lamellipodium-driven convergent extension. A typical whole-embryo model consists of 10 239 elements and to run its 100 incremental time steps requires 2 days. The model shows that a normal phenotype does not result if lamellipodium forces are uniform across the width of the neural plate; but it can result if the lamellipodium forces decrease from a maximum value at the mid-sagittal plane to zero at the plate edge. Even the seemingly simple motions of neurulation are found to contain important features that would remain hidden, they were not studied using an advanced computational model. The present model operates in a setting where data are extremely sparse and an important outcome of the study is a better understanding of the role of computational models in such environments
Chen, Xiaoguang; Brodland, G. Wayne
The novel multi-scale computational approach introduced here makes possible a new means for testing hypotheses about the forces that drive specific morphogenetic movements. A 3D model based on this approach is used to investigate neurulation in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a type of amphibian. The model is based on geometric data from 3D surface reconstructions of live embryos and from serial sections. Tissue properties are described by a system of cell-based constitutive equations, and parameters in the equations are determined from physical tests. The model includes the effects of Shroom-activated neural ridge reshaping and lamellipodium-driven convergent extension. A typical whole-embryo model consists of 10 239 elements and to run its 100 incremental time steps requires 2 days. The model shows that a normal phenotype does not result if lamellipodium forces are uniform across the width of the neural plate; but it can result if the lamellipodium forces decrease from a maximum value at the mid-sagittal plane to zero at the plate edge. Even the seemingly simple motions of neurulation are found to contain important features that would remain hidden, they were not studied using an advanced computational model. The present model operates in a setting where data are extremely sparse and an important outcome of the study is a better understanding of the role of computational models in such environments.
too dangerous. The 1st Engineer Amphibian Brigade was relegated to truck duty in England instead of preparing for the cross-channel invasion.21 Before...and dumps through the swamp.93 91 Office of the Chief Engineer , Amphibian Engineer ...inland, whereas the DUKW (and LVT) could drive direct from ship to dump site. 116 Office of the Chief Engineer , Amphibian Engineer Operations, 320-21
Agrochemical exposure is one of the factors that contributes to worldwide amphibian declines. Most studies that examine agrochemicals and amphibian declines focus on toxicity. However, declines are more likely caused by the sub-lethal effects of agrochemical exposure. Past emphases on the lethal effects of agrochemical exposure have overshadowed the contribution of decreased recruitment in amphibian declines. Additionally, studies that examine agrochemicals and reproductive function tend to f...
Fei, Ji-Feng; Schuez, Maritta; Knapp, Dunja; Taniguchi, Yuka; Drechsel, David N; Tanaka, Elly M
Salamanders exhibit extensive regenerative capacities and serve as a unique model in regeneration research. However, due to the lack of targeted gene knockin approaches, it has been difficult to label and manipulate some of the cell populations that are crucial for understanding the mechanisms underlying regeneration. Here we have established highly efficient gene knockin approaches in the axolotl ( Ambystoma mexicanum ) based on the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Using a homology-independent method, we successfully inserted both the Cherry reporter gene and a larger membrane-tagged Cherry-ER T2 -Cre-ER T2 (∼5-kb) cassette into axolotl Sox2 and Pax7 genomic loci. Depending on the size of the DNA fragments for integration, 5-15% of the F0 transgenic axolotl are positive for the transgene. Using these techniques, we have labeled and traced the PAX7-positive satellite cells as a major source contributing to myogenesis during axolotl limb regeneration. Our work brings a key genetic tool to molecular and cellular studies of axolotl regeneration.
Rowley, Jodi; Brown, Rafe; Bain, Raoul; Kusrini, Mirza; Inger, Robert; Stuart, Bryan; Wogan, Guin; Thy, Neang; Chan-Ard, Tanya; Trung, Cao Tien; Diesmos, Arvin; Iskandar, Djoko T; Lau, Michael; Ming, Leong Tzi; Makchai, Sunchai; Truong, Nguyen Quang; Phimmachak, Somphouthone
With an understudied amphibian fauna, the highest deforestation rate on the planet and high harvesting pressures, Southeast Asian amphibians are facing a conservation crisis. Owing to the overriding threat of habitat loss, the most critical conservation action required is the identification and strict protection of habitat assessed as having high amphibian species diversity and/or representing distinctive regional amphibian faunas. Long-term population monitoring, enhanced survey efforts, collection of basic biological and ecological information, continued taxonomic research and evaluation of the impact of commercial trade for food, medicine and pets are also needed. Strong involvement of regional stakeholders, students and professionals is essential to accomplish these actions.
Rosenkilde, Per; Sørensen, Inger; Ussing, Anne Phaff
Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder.......Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder....
Halgunseth, Linda C.; Ispa, Jean M.
The present study was conducted in four phases and constructed a self-report parenting instrument for use with Mexican immigrant mothers of children aged 6 to 10. The 14-item measure was based on semistructured qualitative interviews with Mexican immigrant mothers (N = 10), was refined by a focus group of Mexican immigrant mothers (N = 5), and was…
Hanner, R H; Ryan, G B
Renal juxtaglomerular regions were examined in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and toad (Bufo marinus). Prominent granulated peripolar epithelial cells were found surrounding the origin of the glomerular tuft in the axolotl. These cells resembled the peripolar cells recently discovered in mammalian species. They contained multiple electron-dense cytoplasmic granules, some of which showed a paracrystalline substructure and signs of exocytoxic activity. Such cells were difficult to find and smaller in the toad. In contrast, granulated juxtaglomerular arteriolar myoephithelial cells were much more readily found and larger in the toad than in the axolotl. No consistent differences were noted in juxtaglomerular cells or their granules in response to changes in environmental chloride concentration. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 PMID:7410189
Brühl, Carsten A; Pieper, Silvia; Weber, Brigitte
Current pesticide risk assessment does not specifically consider amphibians. Amphibians in the aquatic environment (aquatic life stages or postmetamorphic aquatic amphibians) and terrestrial living juvenile or adult amphibians are assumed to be covered by the risk assessment for aquatic invertebrates and fish, or mammals and birds, respectively. This procedure has been evaluated as being sufficiently protective regarding the acute risk posed by a number of pesticides to aquatic amphibian life stages (eggs, larvae). However, it is unknown whether the exposure and sensitivity of terrestrial living amphibians are comparable to mammalian and avian exposure and sensitivity. We reviewed the literature on dermal pesticide absorption and toxicity studies for terrestrial life stages of amphibians, focusing on the dermal exposure pathway, that is, through treated soil or direct overspray. In vitro studies demonstrated that cutaneous absorption of chemicals is significant and that chemical percutaneous passage, P (cm/h), is higher in amphibians than in mammals. In vivo, the rapid and substantial uptake of the herbicide atrazine from treated soil by toads (Bufo americanus) has been described. Severe toxic effects on various amphibian species have been reported for field-relevant application rates of different pesticides. In general, exposure and toxicity studies for terrestrial amphibian life stages are scarce, and the reported data indicate the need for further research, especially in light of the global amphibian decline. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.
Fard, Mojdeh Sharifian; Pasmans, Frank; Adriaensen, Connie; Laing, Gijs Du; Janssens, Geert Paul Jules; Martel, An
Different species of chironomids larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae) so-called bloodworms are widely distributed in the sediments of all types of freshwater habitats and considered as an important food source for amphibians. In our study, three species of Chironomidae (Baeotendipes noctivagus, Benthalia dissidens, and Chironomus riparius) were identified in 23 samples of larvae from Belgium, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine provided by a distributor in Belgium. We evaluated the suitability of these samples as amphibian food based on four different aspects: the likelihood of amphibian pathogens spreading, risk of heavy metal accumulation in amphibians, nutritive value, and risk of spreading of zoonotic bacteria (Salmonella, Campylobacter, and ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae). We found neither zoonotic bacteria nor the amphibian pathogens Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in these samples. Our data showed that among the five heavy metals tested (Hg, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Zn), the excess level of Pb in two samples and low content of Zn in four samples implicated potential risk of Pb accumulation and Zn inadequacy. Proximate nutritional analysis revealed that, chironomidae larvae are consistently high in protein but more variable in lipid content. Accordingly, variations in the lipid: protein ratio can affect the amount and pathway of energy supply to the amphibians. Our study indicated although environmentally-collected chironomids larvae may not be vectors of specific pathogens, they can be associated with nutritional imbalances and may also result in Pb bioaccumulation and Zn inadequacy in amphibians. Chironomidae larvae may thus not be recommended as single diet item for amphibians. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
A study was made of the endoparasites in specimens of Rana arvalis and R. temporaria collected on two occasions from a locality of southern Sweden. Some frogs were investigated directly after capture while other frogs were kept hibernating and the composition of the parasites as well...... as the behaviour of the parasites were studied after the termination of hibernation. Twelve species of parasites were found. Six of them, Polystoma integerrimum, Pleurogenes claviger (Trematoda), Rhabdias bufonis, Oswaldocruzia filiformis, Cosmocerca ornata and Oxysomatium brevicauda- tum (Nematoda), have...... not previously been reported from Sweden. The late Prof. O. Nybelin's unpublished records of parasites found in Swedish amphibians are also given....
Background Salamanders are unique among vertebrates in their ability to completely regenerate amputated limbs through the mediation of blastema cells located at the stump ends. This regeneration is nerve-dependent because blastema formation and regeneration does not occur after limb denervation. To obtain the genomic information of blastema tissues, de novo transcriptomes from both blastema tissues and denervated stump ends of Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotls) 14 days post-amputation were sequenced and compared using Solexa DNA sequencing. Results The sequencing done for this study produced 40,688,892 reads that were assembled into 307,345 transcribed sequences. The N50 of transcribed sequence length was 562 bases. A similarity search with known proteins identified 39,200 different genes to be expressed during limb regeneration with a cut-off E-value exceeding 10-5. We annotated assembled sequences by using gene descriptions, gene ontology, and clusters of orthologous group terms. Targeted searches using these annotations showed that the majority of the genes were in the categories of essential metabolic pathways, transcription factors and conserved signaling pathways, and novel candidate genes for regenerative processes. We discovered and confirmed numerous sequences of the candidate genes by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization. Conclusion The results of this study demonstrate that de novo transcriptome sequencing allows gene expression analysis in a species lacking genome information and provides the most comprehensive mRNA sequence resources for axolotls. The characterization of the axolotl transcriptome can help elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying blastema formation during limb regeneration. PMID:23815514
Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J
Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole.
Pereira, P L L; Torres, A M C; Soares, D F M; Hijosa-Valsero, M; Bécares, E
Chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. The disease is one of the main causes of the global decline in amphibians. The aetiological agent is ubiquitous, with worldwide distribution, and affects a large number of amphibian species in several biomes. In the last decade, scientific research has substantially increased knowledge of the aetiological agent and the associated infection. However, important epidemiological aspects of the environment-mediated interactions between the aetiological agent and the host are not yet clear. The objective of the present review is to describe chytridiomycosis with regard to the major features of the aetiological agent, the host and the environment.
Full Text Available The salamander has the remarkable ability to regenerate its limb after amputation. Cells at the site of amputation form a blastema and then proliferate and differentiate to regrow the limb. To better understand this process, we performed deep RNA sequencing of the blastema over a time course in the axolotl, a species whose genome has not been sequenced. Using a novel comparative approach to analyzing RNA-seq data, we characterized the transcriptional dynamics of the regenerating axolotl limb with respect to the human gene set. This approach involved de novo assembly of axolotl transcripts, RNA-seq transcript quantification without a reference genome, and transformation of abundances from axolotl contigs to human genes. We found a prominent burst in oncogene expression during the first day and blastemal/limb bud genes peaking at 7 to 14 days. In addition, we found that limb patterning genes, SALL genes, and genes involved in angiogenesis, wound healing, defense/immunity, and bone development are enriched during blastema formation and development. Finally, we identified a category of genes with no prior literature support for limb regeneration that are candidates for further evaluation based on their expression pattern during the regenerative process.
Vladimirova, I G; Kleĭmenov, S Iu; Alekseeva, T A; Radzinskaia, L I
Concordant changes in the rate of energy metabolism and specific growth rate of axolotls have been revealed. Several periods of ontogeny are distinguished, which differ in the ratio of energy metabolism to body weight and, therefore, are described by different allometric equations. It is suggested that the specific growth rate of an animal determines the type of dependence of energy metabolism on body weight.
Carlson, Bruce M.
Rotation of a skin cuff 180° around the proximodistal axis of the upper arm in the axolotl results in the formation of multiple regenerates in about 80° of cases after amputation of the limb through the rotated skin. Rotation of the dermis or the flexor and extensor muscles folowed by amputation
In July 2007 physicians, biologists and physicists that have collaborated in previous meetings of the medical branch of the Mexican Physical Society constituted the Mexican Society of Bioelectromagnetism with the purpose of promote scientific study of the interaction of electromagnetic energy (at frequencies ranging from zero Hertz through those of visible light) and acoustic energy with biological systems. A second goal was to increase the contribution of medical and biological professionals in the meetings of the medical branch of the Mexican Physical Society. The following paragraphs summarize some objectives of the Mexican Society of Bioelectromagnetism for the next two years
Mousley, Angela; Polese, Gianluca; Marks, Nikki J.; Eisthen, Heather L.
The vertebrate brain actively regulates incoming sensory information, effectively filtering input and focusing attention toward environmental stimuli that are most relevant to the animal's behavioral context or physiological state. Such centrifugal modulation has been shown to play an important role in processing in the retina and cochlea, but has received relatively little attention in olfaction. The terminal nerve, a cranial nerve that extends underneath the lamina propria surrounding the olfactory epithelium, displays anatomical and neurochemical characteristics that suggest that it modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium. Using immunocytochemical techniques, we demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) is abundantly present in the terminal nerve in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), an aquatic salamander. Because NPY plays an important role in regulating appetite and hunger in many vertebrates, we investigated the possibility that NPY modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium in relation to the animal's hunger level. We therefore characterized the full length NPY gene from axolotls to enable synthesis of authentic axolotl NPY for use in electrophysiological experiments. We find that axolotl NPY modulates olfactory epithelial responses evoked by L-glutamic acid, a food-related odorant, but only in hungry animals. Similarly, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrate that bath application of axolotl NPY enhances the magnitude of a tetrodotoxin-sensitive inward current, but only in hungry animals. These results suggest that expression or activity of NPY receptors in the olfactory epithelium may change with hunger level, and that terminal nerve-derived peptides modulate activity in the olfactory epithelium in response to an animal's changing behavioral and physiological circumstances. PMID:16855098
Mousley, Angela; Polese, Gianluca; Marks, Nikki J; Eisthen, Heather L
The vertebrate brain actively regulates incoming sensory information, effectively filtering input and focusing attention toward environmental stimuli that are most relevant to the animal's behavioral context or physiological state. Such centrifugal modulation has been shown to play an important role in processing in the retina and cochlea, but has received relatively little attention in olfaction. The terminal nerve, a cranial nerve that extends underneath the lamina propria surrounding the olfactory epithelium, displays anatomical and neurochemical characteristics that suggest that it modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium. Using immunocytochemical techniques, we demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) is abundantly present in the terminal nerve in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), an aquatic salamander. Because NPY plays an important role in regulating appetite and hunger in many vertebrates, we investigated the possibility that NPY modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium in relation to the animal's hunger level. We therefore characterized the full-length NPY gene from axolotls to enable synthesis of authentic axolotl NPY for use in electrophysiological experiments. We find that axolotl NPY modulates olfactory epithelial responses evoked by l-glutamic acid, a food-related odorant, but only in hungry animals. Similarly, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrate that bath application of axolotl NPY enhances the magnitude of a tetrodotoxin-sensitive inward current, but only in hungry animals. These results suggest that expression or activity of NPY receptors in the olfactory epithelium may change with hunger level, and that terminal nerve-derived peptides modulate activity in the olfactory epithelium in response to an animal's changing behavioral and physiological circumstances.
Currie, Joshua D; Kawaguchi, Akane; Traspas, Ricardo Moreno; Schuez, Maritta; Chara, Osvaldo; Tanaka, Elly M
Connective tissues-skeleton, dermis, pericytes, fascia-are a key cell source for regenerating the patterned skeleton during axolotl appendage regeneration. This complexity has made it difficult to identify the cells that regenerate skeletal tissue. Inability to identify these cells has impeded a mechanistic understanding of blastema formation. By tracing cells during digit tip regeneration using brainbow transgenic axolotls, we show that cells from each connective tissue compartment have distinct spatial and temporal profiles of proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Chondrocytes proliferate but do not migrate into the regenerate. In contrast, pericytes proliferate, then migrate into the blastema and give rise solely to pericytes. Periskeletal cells and fibroblasts contribute the bulk of digit blastema cells and acquire diverse fates according to successive waves of migration that choreograph their proximal-distal and tissue contributions. We further show that platelet-derived growth factor signaling is a potent inducer of fibroblast migration, which is required to form the blastema. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
McCusker, Catherine; Bryant, Susan V.
Abstract The axolotl is one of the few tetrapods that are capable of regenerating complicated biological structures, such as complete limbs, throughout adulthood. Upon injury the axolotl generates a population of regeneration‐competent limb progenitor cells known as the blastema, which will grow, establish pattern, and differentiate into the missing limb structures. In this review we focus on the crucial early events that occur during wound healing, the neural−epithelial interactions that drive the formation of the early blastema, and how these mechanisms differ from those of other species that have restricted regenerative potential, such as humans. We also discuss how the presence of cells from the different axes of the limb is required for the continued growth and establishment of pattern in the blastema as described in the polar coordinate model, and how this positional information is reprogrammed in blastema cells during regeneration. Multiple cell types from the mature limb stump contribute to the blastema at different stages of regeneration, and we discuss the contribution of these types to the regenerate with reference to whether they are “pattern‐forming” or “pattern‐following” cells. Lastly, we explain how an engineering approach will help resolve unanswered questions in limb regeneration, with the goal of translating these concepts to developing better human regenerative therapies. PMID:27499868
Full Text Available Axolotls show a remarkable regeneration capacity compared with higher vertebrates, regenerating missing appendages such as limbs and tail as well as other body parts (i.e., apex of the heart, forebrain, and jaw after amputations which makes this animal a very interesting research model for tissue regeneration mechanisms. Larvae are individually housed in a 20% Holtfreter’s solution within clear plastic containers. The photoperiod light : darkness cycle is 12 : 12 h. Larvae with a total body length of less than 5 cm are fed once a day with large brine shrimp and blood worm. Albino larvae appeared to have a tendency to exhibit abdominal distention. No clinical signs of illness seemed to be associated with the condition; however, these animals exhibit a relatively slower growth rate. To better characterize this condition, we performed histological sectioning for cross sectional slide preparation on wild type and albino axolotl larvae following euthanasia. The only lesion seen in the albino larvae was a thickened gut wall and the presence of fungi within the intestines. We hypothesize that this may be due to a lower efficacy of the albino larvae’s immune system.
The aim of the study was to obtain further information on the participation of irradiated tissue cells in formation of regenerated limbs after X-irradiation of axolotls and experimental restoration of the regenerational ability. Cells of irradiated tissues were labeled with H 3 -thymidine; the presence of the label in regenerated tissues would be indicative of participation of irradiated cells in the regeneration process. Irradiation dose was 700 R. 30 axolotls with irradiated limbs were intramuscularly injected with rat muscle homogenate into the right limb once a day beginning from the day of treatment. 15 similarly irradiated animals which did not receive homogenate served as a control. The authors concluded that the presence of highly labeled cells in regenerated tissues was likely to indicate the participation of irradiated tissue cells in regeneration of the limb. However, the quantitative contribution of such cells was impossible to determine since remaining irradiated tissues of the organ contained mostly unlabeled cells. It was also impossible to rule out the possibility of cell migration from non-irradiated tissues [ru
Jarial, M S; Wilkins, J H
The ultrastructure of the external gill epithelium of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, has been examined using conventional transmission electron microscopy to elucidate its role in ionic transport. Four cell types are identified in the gill filament and primary gill bar epithelium. These are granular, ciliated, Leydig and basal cells. A fifth cell type, the flat mitochondria-rich cell is only found in the gill bar epithelium. The predominant granular cells display microvilli at their surface and their cytoplasm contains abundant mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes, vesicles and PAS+ secretory granules that are extruded at the surface, which along with secretions from the Leydig cells form a mucous coat. The granular cells are joined apically by junctional complexes consisting of zonulae occludens, zonulae adherens and desmosomes. The lateral membranes of granular cells enclose large intercellular spaces that are closed at the apical ends but remain open at the basal ends adjoining capillaries. In AgNO3-treated axolotl, the gills become darkly stained, the silver grains penetrate apical membranes and appear in the cytoplasm, accumulating near the lateral membranes and also enter the intercellular spaces. These findings are consistent with the dual role of the gill epithelium in mucus production and active ionic transport.
The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program has been under development for the past three years. The monitoring strategy for NAAMP has five main prongs: terrestrial salamander surveys, calling surveys, aquatic surveys, western surveys, and atlassing. Of these five, calling surveys were selected as one of the first implementation priorities due to their friendliness to volunteers of varying knowledge levels, relative low cost, and the fact that several groups had already pioneered the techniques involved. While some states and provinces had implemented calling surveys prior to NAAMP, like WI and IL, most states and provinces had little or no history of state/provincewide amphibian monitoring. Thus, the majority of calling survey programs were initiated in the past two years. To assess the progress of this pilot phase, a program review was conducted on the status of the NAAMP calling survey program, and the results of that review will be presented at the meeting. Topics to be discussed include: who is doing what where, extent of route coverage, the continuing random route discussions, quality assurance, strengths and weaknesses of calling surveys, reliability of data, and directions for the future. In addition, a brief overview of the DISPro project will be included. DISPro is a new amphibian monitoring program in National Parks, funded by the Demonstration of Intensive Sites Program (DISPro) through the EPA and NPS. It will begin this year at Big Bend and Shenandoah National Parks. The purpose of the DISPro Amphibian Project will be to investigate relationships between environmental factors and stressors and the distribution, abundance, and health of amphibians in these National Parks. At each Park, amphibian long-term monitoring protocols will be tested, distributions and abundance of amphibians will be mapped, and field research experiments will be conducted to examine stressor effects on amphibians (e.g., ultraviolet radiation, contaminants, acidification).
Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller
Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.
Cervantes, Christi A.
Mother-child conversations during story-telling play were analyzed for patterns of emotion talk. Subjects were 48 Mexican immigrant and Mexican American mothers and their children aged 3-4. Contrary to previous findings, Mexican immigrant mothers used more explanations of emotions than labels. Mexican American mothers used both, equally. Results…
The purpose of this paper, prepared for the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, is to indicate the types and ranges of problems facing the Mexican American community and to suggest ways in which these problems are peculiar to Mexican Americans. Specific examples are cited to illustrate major problems and personal experiences. Topics covered in the…
while serving in the United States military, working in the Bracero program and in American factories. By working with Americans, Mexicans learned that...Mexican government blames the problem on the United States. During the history of the Bracero Program (1942 -1964) 4.6 million Mexicans traveled to...and became familiar to Mexican migrants.ŕ The termination of the Bracero Program did not discourage Mexican agricultural workers from entering the
Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M
The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface
Full Text Available Populations of Mexican plethodontid salamanders have been surveyed non-systematically over the last 25 years. In light of many reports of disappearance of amphibians around the world, we checked for persistence of reported species at ten of these sites. All of the commoner species persist (we observed individuals representing a total of 30 species. While observed densities of many species of Mexican plethodontids are lower to much lower than was the case 20 to 25 years ago, evidence for recent extinctions, such as has been reported for amphibian taxa elsewhere, is equivocal or lacking. Habitat modification has contributed to difficulties in finding certain species.Poblaciones de varias especies de salamandras pletodóntidas en México han sido monitoreadas de manera no sistemática durante los últimos 25 años. Diez de éstas poblaciones fueran visitadas recientemente con el propósito de verificar la persistencia de las especies reportadas para dichas localidades. Nuestras observaciones confirman la persistencia local de más de 30 especies cuyo estatus era desconocido, aunque la frecuencia de observación de estas especies es en general menor que en fechas anteriores. Estas observaciones son particularmente relevantes dada la situación actual de preocupación por la disminución mundial de anfibios.
Reiss, John O
Frogs have one of the most extreme metamorphoses among vertebrates. How did this metamorphosis evolve? By combining the methods previously proposed by Mabee and Humphries (1993) and Velhagen (1997), I develop a phylogenetic method suited for rigorous analysis of this question. In a preliminary analysis using 12 transformation sequence characters and 36 associated event sequence characters, all drawn from the osteology of the skull, the evolution of metamorphosis is traced on an assumed phylogeny. This phylogeny has lissamphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) monophyletic, with frogs the sister group of salamanders. Successive outgroups used are temnospondyls and discosauriscids, both of which are fossil groups for which ontogenetic data are available. In the reconstruction of character evolution, an unambiguous change (synapomorphy) along the branch leading to lissamphibians is a delay in the lengthening of the maxilla until metamorphosis, in accordance with my previous suggestion (Reiss, 1996). However, widening of the interpterygoid vacuity does not appear as a synapomophy of lissamphibians, due to variation in the character states in the outgroups. From a more theoretical perspective, the reconstructed evolution of amphibian metamorphosis involves examples of heterochrony, through the shift of ancestral premetamorphic events to the metamorphic period, caenogenesis, through the origin of new larval features, and terminal addition, through the origin of new adult features. Other changes don't readily fit these categories. This preliminary study provides evidence that metamorphic changes in frogs arose as further modifications of changes unique to lissamphibians, as well as a new method by which such questions can be examined.
Maden, M.; Wallace, H.
The effects of an inhibiting dose of 2,000 rad of x-rays on the regenerating limbs of axolotl larvae have been examined in a histological and cytological study. Particular attention was paid to the mitotic indices of normal and irradiated epidermal and blastemal cells. Both the characteristic pattern of epidermal mitotic stimulation which normally follows amputation and the later increase in blastemal mitoses are suppressed by irradiation. In most cells the effects are permanent, but in a small proportion a mitotic delay is induced and upon subsequent division chromosome damage in the form of micronuclei is revealed. Thus irradiated cells which do divide almost certainly die. These results are discussed in relation to other theories of x-ray inhibition of regeneration with particular reference to the view that irradiated cells can be reactivated
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Global Amphibians Presence Grids of the Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1 is a reclassified version of the original grids of amphibian species distribution...
In the environment of growing domestic demand and enhanced international competitiveness, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX)-the Mexican national oil company-faces the challenge of not only responding adequately to the rapid changes taking place in the Mexican economy, but making a significant contribution towards solid and stable growth. This paper reports that the relevant concern is how PEMEX is going to live up to these expectations. The Mexican oil industry, especially including the petrochemical sector, has great potential in terms of an ample domestic market as well as external foreign-currency-generating markets
Lemos-Espinal, Julio; Smith, Geoffrey
We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The herpetofauna of Hidalgo consists of a total of 175 species: 54 amphibians (14 salamanders and 40 anurans); and 121 reptiles (one crocodile, five turtles, 36 lizards, 79 snakes). These taxa represent 32 families (12 amphibian families, 20 reptile families) and 87 genera (24 amphibian genera, 63 reptile genera). Two of these species are non-native species (Hemidactylus frenatus Duméril and Bibron, 1836 a...
Blaustein, Andrew R.; Walls, Susan C.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Searle, Catherine L.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.
As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth...
Flowers, Grant Parker; Sanor, Lucas D; Crews, Craig M
Salamanders are unparalleled among tetrapods in their ability to regenerate many structures, including entire limbs, and the study of this ability may provide insights into human regenerative therapies. The complex structure of the limb poses challenges to the investigation of the cellular and molecular basis of its regeneration. Using CRISPR/Cas, we genetically labelled unique cell lineages within the developing axolotl embryo and tracked the frequency of each lineage within amputated and fully regenerated limbs. This allowed us, for the first time, to assess the contributions of multiple low frequency cell lineages to the regenerating limb at once. Our comparisons reveal that regenerated limbs are high fidelity replicas of the originals even after repeated amputations.
C.L. Searle; S.S. Gervasi; J. Hua; J.I. Hammond; R.A. Relyea; D.H. Olson; A.R. Blaustein
The amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has received considerable attention due to its role in amphibian population declines worldwide. Although many amphibian species appear to be affected by Bd, there is little information on species-specific differences in susceptibility to this pathogen. We used a comparative...
Karen E. Bagne; Deborah M. Finch; Megan M. Friggens
Many amphibian populations have declined drastically in recent years due to a large number of factors including the emerging threat of climate change (Wake 2007). Rangelands provide important habitat for amphibians. In addition to natural wetlands, stock tanks and other artificial water catchments provide habitat for many amphibian species (Euliss et al. 2004).
Petrov, V.S.; Sharygin, S.A.
Data on the presence of certain toxic elements in organisms of amphibians and reptiles are reported. Differences in chemical composition of organisms of amphibians and reptiles living in wild biotopes and in settlements are shown. Analysis of microelement concentration in organisms of amphibians and reptiles can be used to detect pollution in urban areas.
Larson, Diane L.; Euliss, Ned H.; Lannoo, Michael J.; Mushet, David M.; Mac, M.J.; Opler, P.A.; Puckett Haecker, C. E.; Doran, P.D.
No cry of alarm has been sounded over the fate of amphibian populations in the northern grasslands of North America, yet huge percentages of prairie wetland habitat have been lost, and the destruction continues. Scarcely 30% of the original mixedgrass prairie remains in Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota (See Table 1 in this chapter). If amphibian populations haven’t declined, why haven’t they? Or, have we simply failed to notice? Amphibians in the northern grasslands evolved in a boom-or-bust environment: species that were unable to survive droughts lasting for years died out long before humans were around to count them. Species we find today are expert at seizing the rare, wet moment to rebuild their populations in preparation for the next dry season. When numbers can change so rapidly, who can say if a species is rare or common? A lot depends on when you look.
Fritz, Susanne; Rahbek, Carsten
Aim Phylogenetic diversity can provide insight into how evolutionary processes may have shaped contemporary patterns of species richness. Here, we aim to test for the influence of phylogenetic history on global patterns of amphibian species richness, and to identify areas where macroevolutionary...... processes such as diversification and dispersal have left strong signatures on contemporary species richness. Location Global; equal-area grid cells of approximately 10,000 km2. Methods We generated an amphibian global supertree (6111 species) and repeated analyses with the largest available molecular...... phylogeny (2792 species). We combined each tree with global species distributions to map four indices of phylogenetic diversity. To investigate congruence between global spatial patterns of amphibian species richness and phylogenetic diversity, we selected Faith’s phylogenetic diversity (PD) index...
Amphibians are a diverse group of animals that includes frogs, toads, and salamanders. They are adapted to living in a variety of habitats, but most require water for at least one life stage. Amphibians have recently become a worldwide conservation concern because of declines and extinctions even in remote protected areas previously thought to be safe from the pressures of habitat loss and degradation. Amphibians are an important part of ecosystem dynamics because they can be quite abundant and serve both as a predator of smaller organisms and as prey to a suite of vertebrate predators. Their permeable skin and aquatic life history also make them useful as indicators of ecosystem health. Since 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey has been studying the frog and toad species inhabiting the Atchafalaya Basin to monitor for population declines and to better understand how the species are potentially affected by disease, environmental contaminants, and climate change.
Clarkson, Pamela M; Beachy, Christopher K
We tested the hypothesis that salamanders growing at different rates would have allocation patterns that differ among male and female metamorphic and larval salamanders. We raised individual axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum , on four food regimes: constant high growth (throughout the experiment), constant low growth (restricted throughout the experiment), high growth switched to low growth (ad libitum switched after 140 d to restricted), and low growth switched to high growth (restricted switched after 140 d to ad libitum). Because axolotls are obligate paedomorphs, we exposed half of the salamanders to thyroid hormone to induce metamorphosis. We assayed growth and dissected and weighed gonads and fat bodies. Salamanders that were switched from restricted to ad libitum food regime delayed metamorphosis. In all treatment groups, females had larger gonads than males and males had larger fat bodies than females. The association between storage and reproduction differed between larvae and metamorphs and depended on sex.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Although the brains of lower vertebrates are known to exhibit somewhat limited regeneration after incisional or stab wounds, the Urodele brain exhibits extensive regeneration after massive tissue removal. Discovering whether and how neural progenitor cells that reside in the ventricular zones of Urodeles proliferate to mediate tissue repair in response to injury may produce novel leads for regenerative strategies. Here we show that endogenous neural progenitor cells resident to the ventricular zone of Urodeles spontaneously proliferate, producing progeny that migrate throughout the telencephalon before terminally differentiating into neurons. These progenitor cells appear to be responsible for telencephalon regeneration after tissue removal and their activity may be up-regulated by injury through an olfactory cue. Results There is extensive proliferation of endogenous neural progenitor cells throughout the ventricular zone of the adult axolotl brain. The highest levels are observed in the telencephalon, especially the dorsolateral aspect, and cerebellum. Lower levels are observed in the mesencephalon and rhombencephalon. New cells produced in the ventricular zone migrate laterally, dorsally and ventrally into the surrounding neuronal layer. After migrating from the ventricular zone, the new cells primarily express markers of neuronal differentiative fates. Large-scale telencephalic tissue removal stimulates progenitor cell proliferation in the ventricular zone of the damaged region, followed by proliferation in the tissue that surrounds the healing edges of the wound until the telencephalon has completed regeneration. The proliferative stimulus appears to reside in the olfactory system, because telencephalic regeneration does not occur in the brains of olfactory bulbectomized animals in which the damaged neural tissue simply heals over. Conclusion There is a continual generation of neuronal cells from neural progenitor cells
Catalina Villalobos Díaz
Full Text Available El presente artículo propone una lectura de la animalidad, principalmente de la metamorfosis, por medio de dos relatos de dos grandes escritores de la literatura: Axolotl, de Julio Cortázar, y La Metamorfosis, de Franz Kafka. A través de estos textos, se plantea un análisis con respecto a lo que representa una transformación y el mito tras la metamorfosis como tal.
Full Text Available Infectious diseases caused by ranaviruses (RV, family Iridoviridae not only affect wild amphibian populations but also agriculture and international animal trade. Although, the prevalence of RV infections and die offs has markedly increased over the last decade, it is still unclear whether these viruses are direct causal agents of extinction or rather are the resulting (secondary consequences of weakened health of amphibian populations leading to increased susceptibility to viral pathogens. In either case, it is important to understand the critical role of host immune defense in controlling RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission; this is the focus of this review.
de la Navarre, Byron J S
Reptiles and amphibians continue to be popular as pets in the United States and throughout the world. It therefore behooves veterinarians interested in caring for these exotic species to continually gather knowledge concerning both their proper husbandry and the conditions that require medical and/or surgical intervention. This article covers husbandry, physical examination, and clinical and diagnostic techniques in an effort to present guidelines for the evaluation of the reptile or amphibian patient. Gathering clinical data will aid veterinarians in arriving at the proper diagnosis,increasing the chances of success with treatment protocols, and educating the clients in proper nutrition and husbandry for their pets.
http://www .indiana.edu/- axolotl ). 10.0 JUSTIFICATION OF TEST SYSTEM Perchlorate occurs in ground and surface waters in 44 states in the USA... axolotl ). * Sequentially numbered in order of the date that the change is effective Dept. of Biological Sciences (DBS) Box 43131 Lubbock, TX 79409...KCl, 0.025 giL; CaCh2 H20, 0.65 g/L; MgS04·7H20, 0.1 giL (http://www.indiana.edu/~ axolotl ). *Sequentially numbered in order of the date that the
Muths, E.; Adams, M.J.; Grant, E.H.C.; Miller, D.; Corn, P.S.; Ball, L.C.
More than 25 years ago, scientists began to identify unexplained declines in amphibian populations around the world. Much has been learned since then, but amphibian declines have not abated and the interactions among the various threats to amphibians are not clear. Amphibian decline is a problem of local, national, and international scope that can affect ecosystem function, biodiversity, and commerce. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the state of the amphibians and introduces examples to illustrate the range of issues in the United States.
Jonathan E Kolby
Full Text Available The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd, a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.
Kolby, Jonathan E
The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.
Anticipating chronic effects of contaminant exposure on amphibian species is complicated both by toxicological and ecological uncertainty. Data for both chemical exposures and amphibian vital rates, including altered growth, are sparse. Developmental plasticity in amphibians further complicates evaluation of chemical impacts as metamorphosis is also influenced by other biotic and abiotic stressors, such as temperature, hydroperiod, predation, and conspecific density. Determining the effect of delayed tadpole development on survival through metamorphosis and subsequent recruitment must include possible effects of pond drying accelerating metamorphosis near the end of the larval stage. This model considers the combined influence of delayed onset of metamorphosis in a cohort as well as accelerated metamorphosis toward the end of the hydroperiod and determines the net influence of counteracting forces on tadpole development and survival. Amphibian populations with greater initial density dependence have less capacity for developmental plasticity and are therefore more vulnerable to delayed development and reduced hydroperiod. The consequential reduction in larval survival has a relatively greater impact on species with a shorter lifespan, allowing for fewer breeding seasons during which to successfully produce offspring. In response to risk assessment approaches that consider only survival and reproductive endpoints in population evaluation, we calculate conta
Paul Stephen Corn; R. Bruce. Bury
Methods described for sampling amphibians and reptiles in Douglas-fir forests in the Pacific Northwest include pitfall trapping, time-constrained collecting, and surveys of coarse woody debris. The herpetofauna of this region differ in breeding and nonbreeding habitats and vagility, so that no single technique is sufficient for a community study. A combination of...
Mechanisms controlling the distribution of amphibians in western Europe have been studied in France where related species, isolated from each other at least during the last glacial period, are now sympatric. Occurrences and biotope preferences of the various species were investigated in several
Eric W. Stitt; Theresa M. Mau-Crimmins; Don E. Swann
We examined patterns of species richness for amphibians and reptiles in Arizona and evaluated patterns in species distribution between ecoregions based on species range size. In Arizona, the Sonoran Desert has the highest herpetofauna diversity, and the southern ecoregions are more similar than other regions. There appear to be distinct low- and mid-elevational...
Woodhams, Douglas C; Bletz, Molly; Kueneman, Jordan; McKenzie, Valerie
The contribution of emerging amphibian diseases to the sixth mass extinction is driving innovative wildlife management strategies, including the use of probiotics. Bioaugmentation of the skin mucosome, a dynamic environment including host and microbial components, may not provide a generalized solution. Multi-omics technologies and ecological context underlie effective implementation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Thanks to the courtesy of Drs. Boschma and Brongersma the author has been privileged to examine a large series of West African amphibians from the collections of the Royal Museum of Natural History in Leiden. Of the comparatively easily accessible parts of Africa, Liberia is probably the least
Full Text Available Abstract Background Axolotls have the unique ability, among vertebrates, to perfectly regenerate complex body parts, such as limbs, after amputation. In addition, axolotls pattern developing and regenerating autopods from the anterior to posterior axis instead of posterior to anterior like all tetrapods studied to date. Sonic hedgehog is important in establishing this anterior-posterior axis of limbs in all tetrapods including axolotls. Interestingly, its expression is conserved (to the posterior side of limb buds and blastemas in axolotl limbs as in other tetrapods. It has been suggested that BMP-2 may be the secondary mediator of sonic hedgehog, although there is mounting evidence to the contrary in mice. Since BMP-2 expression is on the anterior portion of developing and regenerating limbs prior to digit patterning, opposite to the expression of sonic hedgehog, we examined whether BMP-2 expression was dependent on sonic hedgehog signaling and whether it affects patterning of the autopod during regeneration. Results The expression of BMP-2 and SOX-9 in developing and regenerating axolotl limbs corresponded to the first digits forming in the anterior portion of the autopods. The inhibition of sonic hedgehog signaling with cyclopamine caused hypomorphic limbs (during development and regeneration but did not affect the expression of BMP-2 and SOX-9. Overexpression of BMP-2 in regenerating limbs caused a loss of digits. Overexpression of Noggin (BMP inhibitor in regenerating limbs also resulted in a loss of digits. Histological analysis indicated that the loss due to BMP-2 overexpression was the result of increased cell condensation and apoptosis while the loss caused by Noggin was due to a decrease in cell division. Conclusion The expression of BMP-2 and its target SOX-9 was independent of sonic hedgehog signaling in developing and regenerating limbs. Their expression correlated with chondrogenesis and the appearance of skeletal elements has
Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.; Majumdar, S.K.; Huffman, J.E.; Brenner, F.J.; Panah, A.I.
Amphibians generally are prolific egg producers. In tropical and semi-tropical regions, deposition of eggs may occur year-round or may coincide with rainy seasons, while in temperate regions, deposition of eggs usually occurs immediately after emergence from hibernation. Numbers of eggs produced by each species may vary from a few dozen to thousands. Accordingly, some eggs may be infertile and wastage of embryos is to be expected. Fertility, viability and decomposition of eggs and embryos must be considered before it is assumed that diseases are present. An important consideration in the evaluation of egg masses is the fact that some will contain infertile and non-viable eggs. These infertile and nonviable eggs will undergo decomposition and they may appear similar to eggs that are infected by a pathogen. Evaluation of egg masses and embryos for the presence of disease may require repeated observations in a given breeding season as well as continued monitoring of egg masses during their growth and development and over successive breeding seasons. Amphibian eggs rarely are subjected to a comprehensive health (diagnostic) examination; hence, there is scant literature on the diseases of this life stage. Indeed, the eggs of some North American amphibians have yet to be described. Much basic physiology and normal biomedical baseline data on amphibian eggs is lacking. For example, it is known that the aquatic eggs of some species of shrimp quickly are coated by a protective and commensal bacterium that effectively impedes invasion of the eggs by other environmental organisms and potential pathogens. In the absence of this bacterium, shrimp eggs are rapidly killed by other bacteria and fungi (Green, 2001). The possibility that amphibian eggs also have important symbiotic or commensal bacteria needs to be investigated. Furthermore, the quantity and types of chemicals in the normal gelatinous capsules of amphibian eggs have scarcely been examined. Abnormalities of the
Morgan Consoli, Melissa L.; Llamas, Jasmín; Consoli, Andrés J.
The authors examined traditional Mexican/Mexican American and perceived U.S. mainstream cultural values as predictors of thriving. One hundred twenty-four (37 men, 87 women) self-identified Mexican/Mexican American college students participated in the study. The traditional Mexican/Mexican American cultural values of family support and religion…
Stephanie S. Gervasi
Full Text Available As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions.
is the result of my three year PhD study at the National Environmental Research Institute, Kalø, and University of Copenhagen. Funded by NERI, the Danish Research Academy, and the Danish Road Directorate, it has dealt mainly with the effects of traffic and roads on amphibian populations. The Spadefoot toad...... of Spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus Laur.) II The effect of road kills on amphibian populations III Simulating viability of a Spadefoot toad (P. fuscus) metapopulation in a landscape fragmented by a road The manuscripts are preceded by a synopsis which sums up the work and puts it into a broader perspective......, Johan Elmberg, Andreas Seiler, and Per Sjögren-Gulve, for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for science with me. Constructive ideas, different approaches, and elaborate discussions are crucial parts of any scientific process: I thank Lenore Fahrig for dedicated and original teaching and discussions...
Full Text Available Sundaland is an interesting area to be explored based on its geological history, topography, and climate. Sundaland consists of Penisular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java which experienced some emergence and submergence process in the past. During 1981-2015, most of research in Sundaland found that amphibian family in Sundaland was dominated by Bufonidae, Ranidae, Microhylidae, Megophrydae, Rachophoridae, and Dicroglossidae which experienced lot of speciation in its history. Among of 4 major islands in Sundaland, Borneo has the highest number of species diversity, then Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Java. During those years, Sumatra and Java got least concern by researcher. Therefore, it is suggested for further study to explore more in Sumatra and Java. Keywords: Sundaland, amphibian, speciation, zoogeography.
Dominguez, Graciela; And Others
Directions, suggested materials, and illustrations are given for making paper mache pinatas and masks, cascarones, Ojos de Dios, maracas, dresser scarf embroidery, burlap murals, yarn designs, paper plate trays, paper cut designs, the poppy, sarape aprons, and paper Mexican dolls. Filled with candy and broken, the pinata is used on most Mexican…
This document presents an outline and teacher's guide for a community college-level teaching module in Mexican identification, designed for students in introductory courses in the social sciences. Although intended specifically for cultural anthropology, urban anthropology, comparative social organization and sex roles in cross-cultural…
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.
McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley
Molecular ecology has become one of the key tools in the modern conservationist's kit. Here we review three areas where molecular ecology has been applied to amphibian conservation: genes on landscapes, within-population processes, and genes that matter. We summarize relevant analytical methods, recent important studies from the amphibian literature, and conservation implications for each section. Finally, we include five in-depth examples of how molecular ecology has been successfully applied to specific amphibian systems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Boris S. Tuniyev
Full Text Available For the first time we have summarised the results of the study of batraho- and herpetofauna of the Republic of South Ossetia. We present an Annotated List of species as authentically living in the region, as well as ever mentioned for it in literature, field notebooks, museum collections and our own expeditions in South Ossetia. The batrachofauna of the Republic of South Ossetia counts nine species and the herpetofauna 19 species. It provides a complete inventory of all finds (65 localities. A number of confirmed species have been assigned for the first time in scientific literature for the territory of South Ossetia: Emys orbicularis, Darevskia mixta, Natrix megalocephala, Hierophis schmidti, Pelias dinniki, P. kaznakovi. We detected the morphological specificity of the South Ossetia' populations of Darevskia praticola, D. brauneri and D. caucasica. The Assessment of conservation status has been evaluated for all forms of amphibians and reptiles in the region. According to its results, five amphibian species and ten reptile species are recommended for inclusion into the Red Data Book of the Republic of South Ossetia. The central problem of environmental activities in the Region is the lack of a network of different rank protected areas covering all natural zones and altitudinal belts. The South Ossetian State Nature Reserve is the single protected area of South Ossetia, which provides protection only for three endangered species of amphibians and three species of reptiles.
Full Text Available Understanding how the limb blastema is established after the initial wound healing response is an important aspect of regeneration research. Here we performed parallel expression profile time courses of healing lateral wounds versus amputated limbs in axolotl. This comparison between wound healing and regeneration allowed us to identify amputation-specific genes. By clustering the expression profiles of these samples, we could detect three distinguishable phases of gene expression - early wound healing followed by a transition-phase leading to establishment of the limb development program, which correspond to the three phases of limb regeneration that had been defined by morphological criteria. By focusing on the transition-phase, we identified 93 strictly amputation-associated genes many of which are implicated in oxidative-stress response, chromatin modification, epithelial development or limb development. We further classified the genes based on whether they were or were not significantly expressed in the developing limb bud. The specific localization of 53 selected candidates within the blastema was investigated by in situ hybridization. In summary, we identified a set of genes that are expressed specifically during regeneration and are therefore, likely candidates for the regulation of blastema formation.
Satoh, A; Graham, G M C; Bryant, S V; Gardiner, D M
Adult urodeles (salamanders) are unique in their ability to regenerate complex organs perfectly. The recently developed Accessory Limb Model (ALM) in the axolotl provides an opportunity to identify and characterize the essential signaling events that control the early steps in limb regeneration. The ALM demonstrates that limb regeneration progresses in a stepwise fashion that is dependent on signals from the wound epidermis, nerves and dermal fibroblasts from opposite sides of the limb. When all the signals are present, a limb is formed de novo. The ALM thus provides an opportunity to identify and characterize the signaling pathways that control blastema morphogenesis and limb regeneration. In the present study, we have utilized the ALM to identity the buttonhead-like zinc-finger transcription factor, Sp9, as being involved in the formation of the regeneration epithelium. Sp9 expression is induced in basal keratinocytes of the apical blastema epithelium in a pattern that is comparable to its expression in developing limb buds, and it thus is an important marker for dedifferentiation of the epidermis. Induction of Sp9 expression is nerve-dependent, and we have identified KGF as an endogenous nerve factor that induces expression of Sp9 in the regeneration epithelium.
Full Text Available The formation of a blastema during regeneration of an axolotl limb involves important changes in the behavior and function of cells at the site of injury. One of the earliest events is the formation of the wound epithelium and subsequently the apical epidermal cap, which involves in vivo dedifferentiation that is controlled by signaling from the nerve. We have investigated the role of epigenetic modifications to the genome as a possible mechanism for regulating changes in gene expression patterns of keratinocytes of the wound and blastema epithelium that are involved in regeneration. We report a modulation of the expression DNMT3a, a de novo DNA methyltransferase, within the first 72 hours post injury that is dependent on nerve signaling. Treatment of skin wounds on the upper forelimb with decitabine, a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, induced changes in gene expression and cellular behavior associated with a regenerative response. Furthermore, decitabine-treated wounds were able to participate in regeneration while untreated wounds inhibited a regenerative response. Elucidation of the specific epigenetic modifications that mediate cellular dedifferentiation likely will lead to insights for initiating a regenerative response in organisms that lack this ability.
Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian M C; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M
The ability of animals to repair tissue damage is widespread and impressive. Among tissues, the repair and remodeling of bone occurs during growth and in response to injury; however, loss of bone above a threshold amount is not regenerated, resulting in a "critical-size defect" (CSD). The development of therapies to replace or regenerate a CSD is a major focus of research in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Adult urodeles (salamanders) are unique in their ability to regenerate complex tissues perfectly, yet like mammals do not regenerate a CSD. We report on an experimental model for the regeneration of a CSD in the axolotl (the Excisional Regeneration Model) that allows for the identification of signals to induce fibroblast dedifferentiation and skeletal regeneration. This regenerative response is mediated in part by BMP signaling, as is the case in mammals; however, a complete regenerative response requires the induction of a population of undifferentiated, regeneration-competent cells. These cells can be induced by signaling from limb amputation to generate blastema cells that can be grafted to the wound, as well as by signaling from a nerve and a wound epithelium to induce blastema cells from fibroblasts within the wound environment. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Walls, Susan C.
This state‐of‐the‐art book has made its timely emergence amid a crisis of global magnitude: that of population declines, range reductions, and extinctions of numerous species of amphibians. A clear understanding of the fundamental concepts in amphibian biology is crucial to the success of any conservation effort. This volume compiles the information necessary to acquire that basic understanding. It is a comprehensive synthesis of both traditional and contemporary facets of amphibian biology, spanning a breadth of topics ranging from phylogeny, physiology, behavior, population and community ecology, and conservation. As such, it undoubtedly takes its place among contemporary volumes as the single, authoritative source for basic topics relevant to amphibian life.
Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Young, Bruce E; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Fischman, Debra L; Waller, Robert W
The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.
Jarial, M S
The fine structure of the Leydig cells in the epidermis of the strictly aquatic adult axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum resembles that of similar cells in larval salamanders. The major finding of this study is that the mucous secretion of the Leydig cells is released into the intercellular spaces from which it is discharged through pores onto the surface of the epidermis where it forms a mucous layer to protect the skin. Images Figs. 1-2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Figs. 11-13 PMID:2630544
Lamers, W. H.; Vink, C.; Charles, R.
1. In axolotl liver, the activity of carbamoyl-phosphate synthase (ammonia), expressed per mg liver protein, decreases to a minimum at 5 months of age, then increases to a maximum at 8 months of age which is followed by a decrease again. The initial decrease between 3 and 5 months of age appears to
Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Ramirez, Sara D.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F.
We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease
Jonathan E Kolby
Full Text Available We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by
Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Ramirez, Sara D; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P; Brunner, Jesse L; Goldberg, Caren S; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F
We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease
This report documents the circumstances contributing to the inadvertent melting of cobalt 60 (Co-60) contaminated scrap metal in two Mexican steel foundries and the subsequent distribution of contaminated steel products into the United States. The report addresses mainly those actions taken by US Federal and state agencies to protect the US population from radiation risks associated with the incident. Mexico had much more serious radiation exposure and contamination problems to manage. The United States Government maintained a standing offer to provide technical and medical assistance to the Mexican Government. The report covers the tracing of the source to its origin, response actions to recover radioactive steel in the United States, and return of the contaminated materials to Mexico. The incident resulted in significant radiation exposures within Mexico, but no known significant exposure within the United States. Response to the incident required the combined efforts of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of State, and US Customs Service (Department of Treasury) personnel at the Federal level and representatives of all 50 State Radiation Control Programs and, in some instances, local and county government personnel. The response also required a diplomatic interface with the Mexican Government and cooperation of numerous commercial establishments and members of the general public. The report describes the factual information associated with the event and may serve as information for subsequent recommendations and actions by the NRC. 8 figures
Ilg, Christiane; Oertli, Beat
Amphibian decline has led to worldwide conservation efforts, including the identification and designation of sites for their protection. These sites could also play an important role in the conservation of other freshwater taxa. In 89 ponds in Switzerland, we assessed the effectiveness of amphibians as a surrogate for 4 taxonomic groups that occur in the same freshwater ecosystems as amphibians: dragonflies, aquatic beetles, aquatic gastropods, and aquatic plants. The ponds were all of high value for amphibian conservation. Cross-taxon correlations were tested for species richness and conservation value, and Mantel tests were used to investigate community congruence. Species richness, conservation value, and community composition of amphibians were weakly congruent with these measures for the other taxonomic groups. Paired comparisons for the 5 groups considered showed that for each metric, amphibians had the lowest degree of congruence. Our results imply that site designation for amphibian conservation will not necessarily provide protection for freshwater biodiversity as a whole. To provide adequate protection for freshwater species, we recommend other taxonomic groups be considered in addition to amphibians in the prioritization and site designation process. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
Contrary to the earlier assumption that monogeneans in Nigeria were preferentially parasites of amphibians in drier environments such as the savanna, this study has shown that these parasites also infect amphibians in highly humid environments such as the rainforest. Monogeneans recorded included Metapolystoma ...
Zachary I. Felix; Yong Wang; Callie J. Schweitzer
Although effects of forest management on amphibians are relatively well studied, few studies have examined how these practices affect egg deposition by adults, which can impact population recruitment. We quantified the effects of 4 canopy tree-retention treatments on amphibian oviposition patterns in clusters of 60-L aquatic mesocosms located in each treatment. We also...
MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.
We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.
R. Bruce Bury; Paul Stephen. Corn
Methods describing how to sample aquatic and semiaquatic amphibians in small streams and headwater habitats in the Pacific Northwest are presented. We developed a technique that samples 10-meter stretches of selected streams, which was adequate to detect presence or absence of amphibian species and provided sample sizes statistically sufficient to compare abundance of...
We present the first annotated amphibian checklist of Shimba Hills National Reserve (SHNR). The list comprises of 30 currently known amphibians (28 anurans and two caecilians), which includes 11 families and 15 genera. In addition, individual records per species, distribution in the reserve and brief remarks about the ...
This videotape teaches children about their favorite amphibious creatures, as well as amphibians' nearest cousins--toads, newts, and salamanders. Young students discover how these amazing creatures can live both in and out of water, learn about the amphibious life cycle, and compare the differences between amphibians and reptiles. This videotape…
Full Text Available The main component of classical contraceptives, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2, has high estrogenic activity even at environmentally relevant concentrations. Although estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds are assumed to contribute to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations by adverse effects on sexual differentiation, evidence for EE2 affecting amphibian mating behaviour is lacking. In this study, we demonstrate that EE2 exposure at five different concentrations (0.296 ng/L, 2.96 ng/L, 29.64 ng/L, 2.96 µg/L and 296.4 µg/L can disrupt the mating behavior of adult male Xenopus laevis. EE2 exposure at all concentrations lowered male sexual arousal, indicated by decreased proportions of advertisement calls and increased proportions of the call type rasping, which characterizes a sexually unaroused state of a male. Additionally, EE2 at all tested concentrations affected temporal and spectral parameters of the advertisement calls, respectively. The classical and highly sensitive biomarker vitellogenin, on the other hand, was only induced at concentrations equal or higher than 2.96 µg/L. If kept under control conditions after a 96 h EE2 exposure (2.96 µg/L, alterations of male advertisement calls vanish gradually within 6 weeks and result in a lower sexual attractiveness of EE2 exposed males toward females as demonstrated by female choice experiments. These findings indicate that exposure to environmentally relevant EE2 concentrations can directly disrupt male mate calling behavior of X. laevis and can indirectly affect the mating behavior of females. The results suggest the possibility that EE2 exposure could reduce the reproductive success of EE2 exposed animals and these effects might contribute to the global problem of amphibian decline.
Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.
Ines Van Bocxlaer
Full Text Available Overseas dispersals are often invoked when Southern Hemisphere terrestrial and freshwater organism phylogenies do not fit the sequence or timing of Gondwana fragmentation. We used dispersal-vicariance analyses and molecular timetrees to show that two species-rich frog groups, Microhylidae and Natatanura, display congruent patterns of spatial and temporal diversification among Gondwanan plates in the Late Cretaceous, long after the presumed major tectonic break-up events. Because amphibians are notoriously salt-intolerant, these analogies are best explained by simultaneous vicariance, rather than by oceanic dispersal. Hence our results imply Late Cretaceous connections between most adjacent Gondwanan landmasses, an essential concept for biogeographic and palaeomap reconstructions.
Wake, Marvalee H
Live-bearing has evolved in all three orders of amphibians--frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Developing young may be either yolk dependent, or maternal nutrients may be supplied after yolk is resorbed, depending on the species. Among frogs, embryos in two distantly related lineages develop in the skin of the maternal parents' backs; they are born either as advanced larvae or fully metamorphosed froglets, depending on the species. In other frogs, and in salamanders and caecilians, viviparity is intraoviductal; one lineage of salamanders includes species that are yolk dependent and born either as larvae or metamorphs, or that practice cannibalism and are born as metamorphs. Live-bearing caecilians all, so far as is known, exhaust yolk before hatching and mothers provide nutrients during the rest of the relatively long gestation period. The developing young that have maternal nutrition have a number of heterochronic changes, such as precocious development of the feeding apparatus and the gut. Furthermore, several of the fetal adaptations, such as a specialized dentition and a prolonged metamorphosis, are homoplasious and present in members of two or all three of the amphibian orders. At the same time, we know little about the developmental and functional bases for fetal adaptations, and less about the factors that drive their evolution and facilitate their maintenance. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.
Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran
The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.
Nick J B Isaac
Full Text Available The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.
Calatayud, N E; Stoops, M; Durrant, B S
Amphibian evolution spans over 350 million years, consequently this taxonomic group displays a wide, complex array of physiological adaptations and their diverse modes of reproduction are a prime example. Reproduction can be affected by taxonomy, geographic and altitudinal distribution, and environmental factors. With some exceptions, amphibians can be categorized into discontinuous (strictly seasonal) and continuous breeders. Temperature and its close association with other proximate and genetic factors control reproduction via a tight relationship with circadian rhythms which drive genetic and hormonal responses to the environment. In recent times, the relationship of proximate factors and reproduction has directly or indirectly lead to the decline of this taxonomic group. Conservationists are tackling the rapid loss of species through a wide range of approaches including captive rescue. However, there is still much to be learned about the mechanisms of reproductive control and its requirements in order to fabricate species-appropriate captive environments that address a variety of reproductive strategies. As with other taxonomic groups, assisted reproductive technologies and other reproductive monitoring tools such as ultrasound, hormone analysis and body condition indices can assist conservationists in optimizing captive husbandry and breeding. In this review we discuss some of the mechanisms of ovarian control and the different tools being used to monitor female reproduction. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians that affects over 700 species on all continents where amphibians occur. The amphibian–chytridiomycosis system is complex, and the response of any amphibian species to chytrid depends on many aspects of the ecology and evolutionary history of the amphibian, the genotype and phenotype of the fungus, and how the biological and physical environment can mediate that interaction. Impacts of chytridiomycosis on amphibians are varied; some species have been driven extinct, populations of others have declined severely, whereas still others have not obviously declined. Understanding patterns and mechanisms of amphibian responses to chytrids is critical for conservation and management. Robust estimates of population numbers are needed to identify species at risk, prioritize taxa for conservation actions, design management strategies for managing populations and species, and to develop effective measures to reduce impacts of chytrids on amphibians. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience’. PMID:28080989
Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.
Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.
Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N
Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles.
Linder, G.; Krest, S.K.; Sparkling, D.W. (eds.)
Environmental effects of stressors on amphibians have received increased attention but little is known about the effects of these stressors on amphibian populations. The workshop addressed this issue. The proceedings contain 15 chapters, two of which mention effects of coal combustion wastes. These are: Chapter 4: Chemical stressors, by J.H. Burkhart, J.R. Bidwell, D.J. Fort, S.R. Sheffield, and Chapter 8E: Anthropogenic activities producing sink habitats for amphibians in the local landscape: a case study of lethal and sublethal effects of coal combustion residues in the aquatic environment by C.L. Rose and W.A. Hopkins.
Mitchell, Mark A
Reptiles and amphibians are popular as pets. There are increased concerns among public health officials because of the zoonotic potential associated with these animals. Encounters with reptiles and amphibians are also on the rise in the laboratory setting and with wild animals; in both of these practices, there is also an increased likelihood for exposure to zoonotic pathogens. It is important that veterinarians remain current with the literature as it relates to emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases attributed to reptiles and amphibians so that they can protect themselves, their staff, and their clients from potential problems.
Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA C on st ru ct io n E n gi n ee ri n g R es ea rc...online library at http://acwc.sdp.sirsi.net/client/default. ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 May 2013 Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA...Washington, DC 20314-1000 ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 ii Abstract Many reptile and amphibian (collectively termed “herpetofauna”) populations are declining at
Hansen, G N; Hansen, B L; Jørgensen, P N
The pancreas of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, was investigated by immunocytochemical methods for the presence of immunoreactivity to a number of antisera raised against mammalian insulins. All anti-insulin antisera tested revealed substantial amounts of reaction products confined solely...
Ruiz-Mendoza, B.J.; Sheinbaum-Pardo, C. [Institute of Engineering of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Circuito Exterior s/n, Edificio 12 Bernardo Quintana, Piso 3, Cubiculo 319, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegacion Coyoacan, CP 04510, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)
Two renewable electricity bills have been proposed in Congress since 2005 in Mexico. The first one was rejected by the Senate and the second one was approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in October 2008. Our objective is to explain the nature of both bills and to analyze each of them bearing in mind the Mexican electricity sector management scheme. In the Mexican electricity sector single-buyer scheme, the state-owned companies (Comision Federal de Electricidad and Luz y Fuerza del Centro) are responsible of the public services and the private sector generates electricity under six modalities: self-supply, cogeneration, independent production, small production, export, and import, which are not considered a public service. This scheme has caused controversies related to the constitutionality of the 1992 Power Public Services Law that allowed this scheme to be implemented. Both bills, the rejected one and the approved one, were formulated and based on that controversial law and their objectives are linked precisely more to the controversial issues than to the promotion of renewable electricity technologies; consequently, the gap among environmental, economic and social issues related with sustainability notion is wider. (author)
Ruiz-Mendoza, B.J.; Sheinbaum-Pardo, C.
Two renewable electricity bills have been proposed in Congress since 2005 in Mexico. The first one was rejected by the Senate and the second one was approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in October 2008. Our objective is to explain the nature of both bills and to analyze each of them bearing in mind the Mexican electricity sector management scheme. In the Mexican electricity sector single-buyer scheme, the state-owned companies (Comision Federal de Electricidad and Luz y Fuerza del Centro) are responsible of the public services and the private sector generates electricity under six modalities: self-supply, cogeneration, independent production, small production, export, and import, which are not considered a public service. This scheme has caused controversies related to the constitutionality of the 1992 Power Public Services Law that allowed this scheme to be implemented. Both bills, the rejected one and the approved one, were formulated and based on that controversial law and their objectives are linked precisely more to the controversial issues than to the promotion of renewable electricity technologies; consequently, the gap among environmental, economic and social issues related with sustainability notion is wider. (author)
Suzuki, Hirohumi; Yamamoto, Toshiharu
In this study, we used immunohistochemical techniques to determine the cell type of leucine-enkephalin (Leu-ENK)-immunoreactive cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary. Immunoreactive cells were scattered throughout the pars distalis except for the dorso-caudal portion. These cells were immuno-positive for luteinizing hormone (LH), but they were immuno-negative for adrenocorticotrophic, growth, and thyroid-stimulating hormones, as well as prolactin. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that Leu-ENK-like substance and LH co-localized within the same secretory granules. Leu-ENK secreted from gonadotrophs may participate in LH secretion in an autocrine fashion, and/or may participate in the release of sex steroids together with LH. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles, estuarine turtles, and amphibians for Long Island, New York. Vector polygons in this data...
Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J
We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management.
Adams, Michael J.; Miller, David A.W.; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C.
Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.
Michael J Adams
Full Text Available Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.
Green, David E.
No abstract available.Book information: Reptiles and Amphibians: Self-Assessment Color Review. 2nd Edition. By Fredric L. Frye. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida USA. 2015. 252 pp. ISBN 9781482257601.
Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.
Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.
Full Text Available Data sheets are provided for 46 threatened South African reptiles and amphibians, two being endangered (leatherback turtle, geometric tortoise) ten vulnerable (loggerhead turtle, Nile crocodile, veld monitor, water monitor, giant girdled lizard...
Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...
Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.
Volumes of data illustrate the severity of the crisis affecting amphibians, where > 32% of amphibians worldwide are threatened with declining populations. Although there have been isolated victories, the current approach to the issue is unsuccessful. We suggest that a radically different approach, something akin to human emergency response management (i.e. the Incident Command System), is one alternative to addressing the inertia and lack of cohesion in responding to amphibian issues. We acknowledge existing efforts and the useful research that has been conducted, but we suggest that a change is warranted and that the identification of a new amphibian chytrid provides the impetus for such a change. Our goal is to recognize that without a centralized effort we (collectively) are likely to fail in responding to this challenge.
This study identified the factors responsible for the decline of native amphibians in the U.S. The type of land use, the introduction of exotic animal species, and chemical contamination were identified as the most likely causes of decline.
San Mauro, D.; Vences, M.; Alcobendas, M.; Zardoya, R.; Meyer, A.
The origin and divergence of the three living orders of amphibians (Anura, Caudata, Gymnophiona) and their main lineages are one of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution. Here, we present a robust molecular phylogeny based on the nuclear RAG1 gene as well as results from a variety of alternative independent molecular clock calibrations. Our analyses suggest that the origin and early divergence of the three living amphibian orders dates back to the Palaeozoic or early Mesozoic,...
Muths, Erin; Gallant, Alisa L.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Battaglin, William A.; Green, David E.; Staiger, Jennifer S.; Walls, Susan C.; Gunzburger, Margaret S.; Kearney, Rick F.
The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is an innovative, multidisciplinary program that began in 2000 in response to a congressional directive for the Department of the Interior to address the issue of amphibian declines in the United States. ARMI’s formulation was cross-disciplinary, integrating U.S. Geological Survey scientists from Biology, Water, and Geography to develop a course of action (Corn and others, 2005a). The result has been an effective program with diverse, yet complementary, expertise.
pools observed on site persist through the breeding season and long enough for the larvae to metamorphose, suitable amphibian breeding habitat exists in...frog (R. palustris): vocalizations • Fairy shrimp (Eubranchipus sp.): dip net • Isopoda: dip net • Unknown water beetle (Coleoptera): dip net...oxygen-lacking) conditions that favor the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation)) to amphibians. This test procedure uses larvae of the
Sloggett, John J
Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups.
Densmore, Christine L.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.
Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.
Bletz, Molly C.; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N.
For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, inc...
Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.; Gary M. Fellers; Amy J. Lind
Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984â86 and from 1993â95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines...
Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C Guilherme; Toledo, Luís Felipe
The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd 's global emergence , further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd -screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd -infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979-1987). We also found that clusters of Bd -positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. © 2017 The Author(s).
Todd, Brian D; Willson, John D; Bergeron, Christine M; Hopkins, William A
Despite widespread concern about the role of environmental contaminants in global amphibian declines, and evidence that post-metamorphic life stages contribute disproportionately to amphibian population dynamics, most studies in amphibian ecotoxicology focus on larval life stages. Studies that focus solely on early life stages may miss important effects of contaminant exposure, such as latent effects that manifest some time after previous exposure. Moreover, it is often assumed that effects observed in amphibian larvae will persist to affect survival or reproduction later in life. We used terrestrial enclosures to determine whether exposure to mercury (Hg) through maternal transfer and/or larval diet had any adverse effects in post-metamorphic American toads (Bufo americanus). We found a 5% difference in size at metamorphosis that was attributed to maternal Hg exposure persisted for 1 year in the terrestrial environment, resulting in a 7% difference at the conclusion of the study. Although patterns of survival differed among treatments through time, we found no overall difference in survival after 1 year. We also found no evidence of emergent latent effects in the terrestrial toads that could be attributed to earlier exposure. Our results indicate that adverse effects of maternal Hg exposure that were observed in larval amphibians may persist to affect later terrestrial life stages but that no novel adverse effects developed when animals were raised in a semi-natural environment. Moreover, we found no evidence of persistent effects of dietary Hg exposure in larvae, highlighting a need for greater focus on maternal effects in amphibian ecotoxicology. Finally, we suggest an increase in the use of longitudinal studies to better understand contaminant impacts to amphibian populations via effects in both aquatic and terrestrial life stages.
Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C. Guilherme
The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd's global emergence, further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd-screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd-infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979–1987). We also found that clusters of Bd-positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. PMID:28179514
Harding, Gemma; Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette
Captive breeding and reintroduction remain high profile but controversial conservation interventions. It is important to understand how such programs develop and respond to strategic conservation initiatives. We analyzed the contribution to conservation made by amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction since the launch of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) in 2007. We assembled data on amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction from a variety of sources including the Amphibian Ark database and the IUCN Red List. We also carried out systematic searches of Web of Science, JSTOR, and Google Scholar for relevant literature. Relative to data collected from 1966 to 2006, the number of species involved in captive breeding and reintroduction projects increased by 57% in the 7 years since release of the ACAP. However, there have been relatively few new reintroductions over this period; most programs have focused on securing captive-assurance populations (i.e., species taken into captivity as a precaution against extinctions in the wild) and conservation-related research. There has been a shift to a broader representation of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians within programs and an increasing emphasis on threatened species. There has been a relative increase of species in programs from Central and South America and the Caribbean, where amphibian biodiversity is high. About half of the programs involve zoos and aquaria with a similar proportion represented in specialist facilities run by governmental or nongovernmental agencies. Despite successful reintroduction often being regarded as the ultimate milestone for such programs, the irreversibility of many current threats to amphibians may make this an impractical goal. Instead, research on captive assurance populations may be needed to develop imaginative solutions to enable amphibians to survive alongside current, emerging, and future threats. © 2015
Thyroperoxidase (TPO) catalyzes the production of thyroid hormones in the vertebrate thyroid gland by oxidizing iodide (I- ) to produce iodinated tyrosines on thyroglobulin, and further coupling of specific mono- or di-iodinated tyrosines to generate the triiodo- and tetra-iodothyronine, precursors to thyroid hormone. This enzyme is a target for thyroid disrupting chemicals. TPO-inhibition by xenobiotics is a molecular initiating event that is known to perturb the thyroid axis by preventing synthesis of thyroid hormone. Previous work on TPO-inhibition has been focused on mammalian TPO; specifically, the rat and pig. A primary objective of this experiment was to directly measure TPO activity in a non-mammalian system, in this case a thyroid gland homogenate from Xenopus laevis; as well as compare chemical inhibition from past mammalian studies to the amphibian data generated. Thyroid glands obtained from X. laevis tadpoles at NF stages 58-60, were pooled and homogenized by sonication in phosphate buffer. This homogenate was then used to test 24 chemicals for inhibition of TPO as measured by conversion of Amplex UltraRed (AUR) substrate to its fluorescent product. The test chemicals were selected based upon previous results from rat in vitro TPO assays, and X. laevis in vitro and in vivo studies for thyroid disrupting endpoints, and included both positive and negative chemicals in these assays. An initial screening of the chemicals was done at a single high con
Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.
Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.
This unit in Mexican cooking can be used in Junior High School home economics classes to introduce students to Mexican culture or as a mini-course in Spanish at almost any level. It is divided into two parts. Part One provides historical background and information on basic foods, the Mexican market, shopping tips, regional cooking and customs.…
Stark, T.; Laurijssens, C.; Weterings, M.J.A.; Spitzen-van der Sluis, A.; Martel, A.; Pasmans, F.
Amphibian diseases are acknowledged as significant contributors to the decline and extinction of amphibian species. The main culprits currently considered are chytridiomycosis and Ranavirus. In Central America, highly endemic and geographical restricted terrestrial species may be at risk from these
Background/Question/Methods Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Historically, evaluation of pesticide risk to both amphibians and reptiles has been achieved by comparing ingestion and inhalat...
Zhang, Peng; Zhou, Hui; Chen, Yue-Qin; Liu, Yi-Fei; Qu, Liang-Hu
Establishing the relationships among modern amphibians (lissamphibians) and their ancient relatives is necessary for our understanding of early tetrapod evolution. However, the phylogeny is still intractable because of the highly specialized anatomy and poor fossil record of lissamphibians. Paleobiologists are still not sure whether lissamphibians are monophyletic or polyphyletic, and which ancient group (temnospondyls or lepospondyls) is most closely related to them. In an attempt to address these problems, eight mitochondrial genomes of living amphibians were determined and compared with previously published amphibian sequences. A comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences yields a highly resolved tree congruent with the traditional hypotheses (Batrachia). By using a molecular clock-independent approach for inferring dating information from molecular phylogenies, we present here the first molecular timescale for lissamphibian evolution, which suggests that lissamphibians first emerged about 330 million years ago. By observing the fit between molecular and fossil times, we suggest that the temnospondyl-origin hypothesis for lissamphibians is more credible than other hypotheses. Moreover, under this timescale, the potential geographic origins of the main living amphibian groups are discussed: (i) advanced frogs (neobatrachians) may possess an Africa-India origin; (ii) salamanders may have originated in east Asia; (iii) the tropic forest of the Triassic Pangaea may be the place of origin for the ancient caecilians. An accurate phylogeny with divergence times can be also helpful to direct the search for "missing" fossils, and can benefit comparative studies of amphibian evolution.
Dolmen, Dag; Finstad, Anders Gravbrøt; Skei, Jon Kristian
We here report the first sign of amphibian recovery after a strong decline due to acidic precipitation over many decades and peaking around 1980-90. In 2010, the pH level of ponds and small lakes in two heavily acidified areas in southwestern Scandinavia (Aust-Agder and Østfold in Norway) had risen significantly at an (arithmetic) average of 0.14 since 1988-89. Parallel with the general rise in pH, amphibians (Rana temporaria, R. arvalis, Bufo bufo, Lissotriton vulgaris, and Triturus cristatus) had become significantly more common: the frequency of amphibian localities rose from 33% to 49% (n = 115), and the average number of amphibian species per locality had risen from 0.51 to 0.88. In two other (reference) areas, one with better buffering capacity (Telemark, n = 21) and the other with much less input of acidic precipitation (Nord-Trøndelag, n = 106), there were no significant changes in pH or amphibians.
Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M
Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis.
Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J.J.; Williams, J.
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.
Full Text Available Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.
Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; McKenzie, D J; Wang, T
Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG) located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.
Full Text Available Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.
Cano-Martínez, Agustina; Vargas-González, Alvaro; Guarner-Lans, Verónica; Prado-Zayago, Esteban; León-Oleda, Martha; Nieto-Lima, Betzabé
"In the present study we evaluated the effect of partial ventricular amputation (PVA) in the heart of the adult urodele amphibian (Ambystoma mexicanum) in vivo on spontaneous heart contractile activity recorded in vitro in association to the structural recovery at one, five, 30 and 90 days after injury. One day after PVA, ventricular-tension (VT) (16 ± 3%), atrium-tension (AT) (46 ± 4%) and heart rate (HR) (58+10%) resulted lower in comparison to control hearts. On days five, 30 and 90 after damage, values achieved a 61 ± 5, 93 ± 3, and 98 ± 5% (VT), 60 ± 4, 96 ± 3 and 99 ± 5% (AT) and 74 ± 5, 84 ± 10 and 95 ± 10% (HR) of the control values, respectively. Associated to contractile activity recovery we corroborated a gradual tissue restoration by cardiomyocyte proliferation. Our results represent the first quantitative evidence about the recovery of heart of A. mexicanum restores its functional capacity concomitantly to the structural recovery of the myocardium by proliferation of cardiomyocytes after PVA. These properties make the heart of A. mexicanum a potential model to study the mechanisms underlying heart regeneration in adult vertebrates in vivo.
Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.
Abstract We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus . Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 sp...
Brown, Donald J.; Street, Garrett M.; Nairn, Robert W.; Forstner, Michael R. J.
Loss and degradation of wetland habitats are major contributing factors to the global decline of amphibians. Creation and restoration of wetlands could be a valuable tool for increasing local amphibian species richness and abundance. We synthesized the peer-reviewed literature addressing amphibian use of created and restored wetlands, focusing on aquatic habitat, upland habitat, and wetland connectivity and configuration. Amphibian species richness or abundance at created and restored wetland...
González, Cynthia; Brenis, Ángel; Arrazola, Teresa
During 2011 we performed a microregional inventory of amphibians and reptiles from the south-central region of the Papaloapan basin in northern Oaxaca. We recorded one amphibian species previously unknown in the state, and recorded range extensions for two additional amphibian and four reptile species. This increases the known herpetofauna of Oaxaca to 378 species.
Rochelle B. Renken
Current information about the effect of fire on amphibians and reptiles in oak forests of the Eastern and Central United States is reviewed. Current data suggest that fire results in little direct mortality of amphibians and reptiles. Fire has no effect on overall amphibian abundance, diversity, and number of species in comparisons of burned and unburned plots, though...
Roland A. Knapp
Amphibians are declining worldwide for a variety of reasons, including habitat alteration, introduction of non-native species, disease, climate change, and environmental contaminants. Amphibians often play important roles in structuring ecosystems, and, as a result, amphibian population declines or extinctions are likely to affect other trophic levels (Matthews and...
Visualisation of axolotl blastema cells and pig endothelial progenitor cells using very small super paramagnetic iron oxide particles in MRI: A technique with applications for non invasive visualisation of regenerative processes
Lauridsen, Henrik; Kjær, N.B.; Bek, Maria
oxide particles (VSOP) in animal cells enable non invasive cell tracking using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and can prove useful, when visualising regenerative processes. This study examines the possibility of labelling limited numbers of axolotl blastema cells (aBC) and pig endothelial progenitor...... implanted in live axolotl tail and dead porcine heart, respectively. Cellular iron uptake was determined using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Results: T2*-weighted 2D gradient-echo sequences on samples of 10˄5 cells yielded at significant linear correlations between...
Full Text Available Little attention has been paid to the herpetological fauna of the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park, Latium (Central Italy. In this study, we surveyed 50 sites in the course of about ten years of field research, especially during the period 2005-2008. Nine amphibian species, four Caudata and five Anura, 60.0% out of the 15 amphibian species so far observed in Latium, were discovered in the protected area: Salamandra salamandra, Salamandrina perspicillata, Lissotriton vulgaris, Triturus carnifex, Bombina pachypus, Bufo balearicus, Bufo bufo, Rana dalmatina, Rana italica. Physiography of sites has been detailed together with potential threatening patterns. For each species the following topics have been discussed; ecology of sites, altitudinal distribution, phenology, sintopy. Salamandra salamandra and Bombina pachypus are at higher risk. The importance of the maintenance of artificial/natural water bodies for the conservation management of amphibian population of this territory is discussed.
Matthew C. Fisher
Full Text Available Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history variables with the pathogen's predicted distribution. We apply our rule set to the known global diversity of amphibians in order to prioritize pecies that are most at risk of loss from disease emergence. This risk assessment shows where limited conservation funds are best deployed in order to prevent further loss of species by enabling ex situ amphibian salvage operations and focusing any potential disease mitigation projects.
White, Gregory; Ottendorfer, Christy; Graham, Sean; Unnasch, Thomas R
Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is endemic throughout most of the eastern United States. Although it is transmitted year round in Florida, transmission elsewhere is seasonal. The mechanism that enables EEEV to overwinter in seasonal foci remains obscure. In previous field studies, early season EEEV activity was detected in mosquito species that feed primarily upon ectothermic hosts, suggesting that reptiles and amphibians might represent overwintering reservoir hosts for EEEV. To determine if this might be possible, two commonly fed upon amphibian and reptile species were evaluated as hosts for the North American subtype I strain of EEEV. Neither amphibian species was a competent host. However, circulating viremias were detected in both reptile species examined. Hibernating infected garter snakes remained viremic after exiting hibernation. These data suggest that snakes may represent an overwintering host for North American EEEV.
Olivero, J M; Roberts, J B
The human rights organization Americas Watch, which toured Mexican prisons, reported in 1991 that all prisoners with HIV infection in the Mexico City area were housed in a single AIDS ward in Santa Marta Prison. In 1991, the 16-bed facility had 15 patients; in 1993, this number had increased by 5. In Mexico City, with 3 prisons holding over 2000 male adults each, there were only 20 known infected prisoners in the AIDS ward at Santa Marta. In 1991, authorities at Matamoros, in the state of Tamaulipas, insisted that none of their inmates had ever been diagnosed as infected with HIV. The prison physician at Reynosa indicated that only 2 inmates since 1985 had ever been diagnosed as infected. In 1992, the prison in Saltillo, in the state of Coahuila, reported that here had yet to be a single positive test for HIV. The prison at Reynosa held 1500 people and only 2 inmates were diagnosed as having AIDS between 1985 and 1991. Prisons at Matamoros and Saltillo held similar numbers but had no experience of infected inmates. A survey of 2 prisons in the state of Tamaulipas indicates that around 12% of the population may use IV drugs, and 9% indicate sharing needles. It is possible for prisoners to die of diseases like pneumonia, associated with AIDS, without the connection to AIDS being diagnosed. Each state, and possibly each prison in Mexico, has its own particular AIDS policies. Santa Marta was the single facility in Mexico City used to house AIDS-infected prisoners, who were segregated. Finally, the prison at Saltillo required all women entering the facility to have a medical examination, including a test for HIV. High-level prison personnel have demonstrated ignorance and fear of AIDS and intolerance of infected prisoners. Mexico must reassess the need to provide adequate medical care to offenders who are sick and dying behind bars.
Brito Lemus, R; Beamish, J
The Gente Joven project of the Mexican Foundation for Family Planning (MEXFAM) trains young volunteers in 19 cities to spread messages about sexually transmitted diseases and population growth to their peers. They also distribute condoms and spermicides. It also uses films and materials to spread its messages. The project would like to influence young men's behavior, but the Latin image of machismo poses a big challenge. It would like to become more responsible toward pregnancy prevention. About 50% of adolescents have sexual intercourse, but few use contraceptives resulting in a high adolescent pregnancy rate. Many of these pregnant teenagers choose not to marry. Adolescent pregnancy leads to girls leaving school, few marketable skills, and rearing children alone. Besides women who began childbearing as a teenager have 1.5 times more children than other women. Male involvement in pregnancy prevention should improve these statistics. As late as 1973, the Health Code banned promotion and sales of contraceptives, but by 1992 about 50% of women of reproductive age use contraceptives. The Center for the Orientation of Adolescents has organized 8 Young Men's Clubs in Mexico City to involve male teenagers more in family planning and to develop self-confidence. It uses a holistic approach to their development through discussions with their peers. A MEXFAM study shows that young men are not close with their fathers who tend to exude a machismo attitude, thus the young men do not have a role model for responsible sexual behavior. MEXFAM's work is cut out for them, however, since the same study indicates that 50% of the young men believe it is fine to have 1 girlfriend and 33% think women should earn more than men. A teenager volunteer reports, however, that more boys have been coming to him for contraception and information than girls in 1992 while in other years girls outnumbered the boys.
Full Text Available Although amphibians have been widely promoted as indicators of biodiversity and environmental change, rigorous tests are lacking. Here key indicator criteria are distilled from published papers, and a species that has been promoted as a bioindicator, the great crested newt, is tested against them. Although a link was established between the presence of great crested newts and aquatic plant diversity, this was not repeated with the diversity of macroinvertebrates. Equally, amphibians do not meet many of the published criteria of bioindicators. Our research suggests that a suite of indicators, rather than a single species, will usually be required.
Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B
Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given.
This booklet contains instructions in English and Spanish for making eleven typical Mexican craft articles. The instructions are accompanied by pen-and-ink drawings. The objects are (1) "La Rosa" (The Rose); (2) "El Crisantemo" (The Chrysanthemum); (3) "La Amapola" (The Poppy); (4) "Ojos de Dios" (God's Eyes); (5) "Ojitos con dos caras" (Two-Sided…
Bayardo, Sergio Javier Villaseñor
Mexican psychiatry initiated since pre-Hispanic times. Historically, treatments were a mixture of magic, science and religion. Ancient Nahuas had their own medical concepts with a holistic view of medicine, considering men and cosmos as a whole. The first psychiatric hospital appeared in 1566 and a more modern psychiatric asylum emerged until 1910. International exchanges of theoretical approaches started in the National University with the visit of Pierre Janet. There were other important figures that influenced Mexican psychiatry, such as Erich Fromm, Henri Ey, Jean Garrabé and Yves Thoret. Regarding Mexican psychiatrists, some of the most important contributors to Mexican psychiatry were José Luis Patiño Rojas, Manuel Guevara Oropeza and Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz. This article includes excerpts from "Clinical Psychiatry", a book by Patiño Rojas where he tries to understand and describe the inner world experienced by patients with schizophrenia; also, the thesis conducted by Guevara Oropeza ("Psychoanalisis"), which is a critical comparison between the theories of Janet and Freud. Finally, we include "The study of consciousness: current status" by Ramón de la Fuente, which leads us through the initial investigations concerning consciousness, its evolution, and the contributions made by psychology, philosophy and neurobiology.
Arora, Shirley L.
Examines proverb use among 304 Mexican Americans (aged 16-85) of Los Angeles (California), assembling information on how or where particular proverbs were learned, with whom or what kind of individual their use is associated, the occasions on which they are used, and general attitudes toward the use of proverbs. (LC)
Fog, K.; Podloucky, R.; Dierking, U.; Stumpel, A. H. P.
In the Wadden Sea, in total, 8 species of amphibians and 4 species of reptiles are threatened in at least one subregion. Of these, 7 species of amphibians and all 4 species of reptiles are threatened in the entire area and are therefore placed on the trilateral Red List. 1 species of the listed reptiles is (probably) extinct in the entire Wadden Sea area. The status of 1 species of amphibians is endangered, the status of (probably) 4 species of amphibians and 3 species of reptiles are vulnerable and of 2 species of amphibians susceptible.
Lehrberg, Jeffrey; Gardiner, David M
We have modified and optimized the technique of organotypic slice culture in order to study the mechanisms regulating growth and pattern formation in regenerating axolotl limb blastemas. Blastema cells maintain many of the behaviors that are characteristic of blastemas in vivo when cultured as slices in vitro, including rates of proliferation that are comparable to what has been reported in vivo. Because the blastema slices can be cultured in basal medium without fetal bovine serum, it was possible to test the response of blastema cells to signaling molecules present in serum, as well as those produced by nerves. We also were able to investigate the response of blastema cells to experimentally regulated changes in BMP signaling. Blastema cells responded to all of these signals by increasing the rate of proliferation and the level of expression of the blastema marker gene, Prrx-1. The organotypic slice culture model provides the opportunity to identify and characterize the spatial and temporal co-regulation of pathways in order to induce and enhance a regenerative response.
Full Text Available We have modified and optimized the technique of organotypic slice culture in order to study the mechanisms regulating growth and pattern formation in regenerating axolotl limb blastemas. Blastema cells maintain many of the behaviors that are characteristic of blastemas in vivo when cultured as slices in vitro, including rates of proliferation that are comparable to what has been reported in vivo. Because the blastema slices can be cultured in basal medium without fetal bovine serum, it was possible to test the response of blastema cells to signaling molecules present in serum, as well as those produced by nerves. We also were able to investigate the response of blastema cells to experimentally regulated changes in BMP signaling. Blastema cells responded to all of these signals by increasing the rate of proliferation and the level of expression of the blastema marker gene, Prrx-1. The organotypic slice culture model provides the opportunity to identify and characterize the spatial and temporal co-regulation of pathways in order to induce and enhance a regenerative response.
Lazzari, Maurizio; Bettini, Simone; Ciani, Franco; Franceschini, Valeria
The GLUT-1 isoform of the glucose transporter is commonly considered a reliable molecular marker of blood-brain barrier endothelia in the neural vasculature organized in a three-dimensional network of single vessels. The central nervous system of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is characterized by a vascular architecture that contains both single and paired vessels. The presence and distribution of the GLUT-1 transporter are studied in this urodele using both immunoperoxidase histochemistry and immunogold technique. Light microscopy reveals immunopositivity in both parenchymal and meningeal vessels. The transverse-sectioned pairs of vessels do not show the same size. Furthermore, in the same pair, the two elements often differ in diameter. The main regions of the central nervous system show a different percentage of the paired structures. Only immunogold cytochemistry reveals different staining intensity in the two adjoined elements of a vascular pair. Colloidal gold particles show an asymmetric distribution in the endothelia of both single and paired vessels. These particles are more numerous on the abluminal surface than on the luminal one. The particle density is calculated in both vascular types. The different values could indicate functional differences between single and paired vessels and between the two adjoined elements of a pair, regarding glucose transport.
Capaldi, Stefano; Guariento, Mara; Perduca, Massimiliano; Di Pietro, Santiago M; Santomé, José A; Monaco, Hugo L
The family of the liver bile acid-binding proteins (L-BABPs), formerly called liver basic fatty acid-binding proteins (Lb-FABPs) shares fold and sequence similarity with the paralogous liver fatty acid-binding proteins (L-FABPs) but has a different stoichiometry and specificity of ligand binding. This article describes the first X-ray structure of a member of the L-BABP family, axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) L-BABP, bound to two different ligands: cholic and oleic acid. The protein binds one molecule of oleic acid in a position that is significantly different from that of either of the two molecules that bind to rat liver FABP. The stoichiometry of binding of cholate is of two ligands per protein molecule, as observed in chicken L-BABP. The cholate molecule that binds buried most deeply into the internal cavity overlaps well with the analogous bound to chicken L-BABP, whereas the second molecule, which interacts with the first only through hydrophobic contacts, is more external and exposed to the solvent. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Molly C. Bletz
Full Text Available For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd. We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd. A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd-associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd. Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively. Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd-associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were
Bletz, Molly C; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N
For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) has only recently been detected. While no Bd -associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd . We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd . A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd -associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates) cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd . Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively). Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd -associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were estimated to be
D. Craig Rudolph; James G. Dickson
Many natural pine-hardwood stands in the southeastern United States are being converted to pine plantations with short rotations. This forest conversion alters vertebrate communities, particularly amphibians and reptiles (Bennett et al., 1980; Rakowitz, 1983). One practice in stand conversion to accommodate vertebrate species is the retention of strips of unharvested,...
Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.
Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…
Capinha, C.; Seebens, H.; Cassey, P.; García-Díaz, P.; Lenzner, B.; Mang, T.; Moser, D.; Pyšek, Petr; Rödder, D.; Scalera, R.; Winter, M.; Dullinger, S.; Essl, F.
Roč. 23, č. 11 (2017), s. 1313-1322 ISSN 1366-9516 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : amphibians and reptiles * invasions * global distribution Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 4.391, year: 2016
Fröbisch, Nadia B; Schoch, Rainer R
Among the diverse clade of Paleozoic dissorophoid amphibians, the small, terrestrial amphibamids and the neotenic branchiosaurids have frequently been suggested as possible antecedents of either all or some of the modern amphibian clades. Classically, amphibamids and branchiosaurids have been considered to represent distinct, but closely related clades within dissorophoids, but despite their importance for the controversial lissamphibian origins, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of small dissorophoids has thus far not been attempted. On the basis of an integrated data set, the relationships of amphibamids and branchiosaurids were analyzed using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. Both groups represent miniaturized forms and it was tested whether similar developmental pathways, associated with miniaturization, lead to an artificial close relationship of branchiosaurids and amphibamids. Moreover, the fit of the resulting tree topologies to the distribution of fossil taxa in the stratigraphic rock record was assessed as an additional source of information. The results show that characters associated with a miniaturized morphology are not responsible for the close clustering of branchiosaurids and amphibamids. Instead, all analyses invariably demonstrate a monophyletic clade of branchiosaurids highly nested within derived amphibamids, indicating that branchiosaurids represent a group of secondarily neotenic amphibamid dissorophoids. This understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of small dissorophoid amphibians provides a new framework for the discussion of their evolutionary history and the evolution of characters shared by branchiosaurids and/or amphibamids with modern amphibian taxa.
Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Galán, Pedro
Most examples that support the substitution-habitat hypothesis (human-made habitats act as substitutes of original habitat) deal with birds and mammals. We tested this hypothesis in 14 amphibians by using percentage occupancy as a proxy of habitat quality (i.e., higher occupancy percentages indicate higher quality). We classified water body types as original habitat (no or little human influence) depending on anatomical, behavioral, or physiological adaptations of each amphibian species. Ten species had relatively high probabilities (0.16-0.28) of occurrence in original habitat, moderate probability of occurrence in substitution habitats (0.11-0.14), and low probability of occurrence in refuge habitats (0.05-0.08). Thus, the substitution-habitat hypothesis only partially applies to amphibians because the low occupancy of refuges could be due to the negligible human persecution of this group (indicating good conservation status). However, low occupancy of refuges could also be due to low tolerance of refuge conditions, which could have led to selective extinction or colonization problems due to poor dispersal capabilities. That original habitats had the highest probabilities of occupancy suggests amphibians have a good conservation status in the region. They also appeared highly adaptable to anthropogenic substitution habitats. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.
Full Text Available In contrast to fish, amphibians inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. To better understand osmoregulation in fish and amphibian, we have investigated the morphological changes in kidney cells to osmotic stress. To address this, kidney cell line isolated from the freshwater grass carp (CIK and Chinese giant salamander (GSK were challenged to different mediums with distinct osmotic pressures (100, 300 and 700 mOsm. Morphological alterations of the fish and amphibian cells were compared by optical and electron microscopy. Following hyposmotic treatment (100 mOsm, both CIK and GSK cells became unhealthy and show condensed chromatin, swollen mitochondria and cytoplasmic vacuole. Meanwhile, after hyperosmotic treatment (700 mOsm, shrunken CIK cells with multipolar shape, pale or lightly stained cytoplasm, condensed chromatin, vacuoles and swollen mitochondria were detected. GSK cells were seriously damaged and most were completely lysed. The results suggest that fish kidney cells show a higher degree of tolerance to hyperosmoticity by comparing to amphibians and provide novel insights on the osmoregulatory capacity and adaptability of kidney cells between the two animal groups.
Collins, Sara J.; Russell, Ronald W.
The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC 50 ) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. - Salt toxicity is presented as a mechanism affecting the distribution of amphibians and structure of amphibian communities in roadside wetlands
Noreen Parks; Deanna H. Olson
Climate variation exacerbates threats to amphibians such as disease and habitat loss. Yet, by and large existing species- and land-management plans give little if any consideration to climate impacts. Moreover, many management actions that do address emerging climate patterns have yet to be evaluated for feasibility and effectiveness. To help address these needs,...
Rohr, Jason R; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Raffel, Thomas R; Carrick, Hunter J; Halstead, Neal; Hoverman, Jason T; Johnson, Catherine M; Johnson, Lucinda B; Lieske, Camilla; Piwoni, Marvin D; Schoff, Patrick K; Beasley, Val R
Global amphibian declines have often been attributed to disease, but ignorance of the relative importance and mode of action of potential drivers of infection has made it difficult to develop effective remediation. In a field study, here we show that the widely used herbicide, atrazine, was the best predictor (out of more than 240 plausible candidates) of the abundance of larval trematodes (parasitic flatworms) in the declining northern leopard frog Rana pipiens. The effects of atrazine were consistent across trematode taxa. The combination of atrazine and phosphate--principal agrochemicals in global corn and sorghum production--accounted for 74% of the variation in the abundance of these often debilitating larval trematodes (atrazine alone accounted for 51%). Analysis of field data supported a causal mechanism whereby both agrochemicals increase exposure and susceptibility to larval trematodes by augmenting snail intermediate hosts and suppressing amphibian immunity. A mesocosm experiment demonstrated that, relative to control tanks, atrazine tanks had immunosuppressed tadpoles, had significantly more attached algae and snails, and had tadpoles with elevated trematode loads, further supporting a causal relationship between atrazine and elevated trematode infections in amphibians. These results raise concerns about the role of atrazine and phosphate in amphibian declines, and illustrate the value of quantifying the relative importance of several possible drivers of disease risk while determining the mechanisms by which they facilitate disease emergence.
Parasitic infections of amphibians in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin. ... Results obtained show the possible influence of land-use pattern on parasite distribution. For example, the ... Furthermore, this infection pattern may be indicative of an immunosuppressive effect of pesticides on the frogs of the Agricultural Zone.
Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.
We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.
Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Nogués-Bravo, David; Diniz-Filho, Alexandre F.
debated without reaching consensus. Here, we test the proposition that European species richness of reptiles and amphibians is driven by climate changes in the Quaternary. We find that climate stability between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the present day is a better predictor of species richness...
Serious threats to the health and sustainability of global amphibian populations have been well documented over the last few decades. Encroachment upon and destruction of primary habitat is the most critical threat, but some species have disappeared while their habitat remains. Additional stressor...
Yap, Tiffany A.; Nguyen, Natalie T.; Serr, Megan; Shepak, Alex; Vredenburg, Vance
Amphibians are experiencing devastating population declines globally. A major driver is chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Bdwas described in 1999 and has been linked with declines since the 1970s, while Bsal is a more recently discovered pathogen that was described in 2013. It is hypothesized that Bsaloriginated in Asia and spread via international trade to Europe, where it has been linked to salamander die-offs. Trade in live amphibians thus represents a significant threat to global biodiversity in amphibians. We review the current state of knowledge regarding Bsal and describe the risk of Bsal spread. We discuss regional responses to Bsal and barriers that impede a rapid, coordinated global effort. The discovery of a second deadly emerging chytrid fungal pathogen in amphibians poses an opportunity for scientists, conservationists, and governments to improve global biosecurity and further protect humans and wildlife from a growing number of emerging infectious diseases.
Haijun GU, Qiang DAI, Qian WANG, Yuezhao WANG
Full Text Available To understand road characteristics and landscape features associated with high road mortality of amphibians in Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve, we surveyed road mortality along four major roads after rainfall in May and September 2007. Road mortality of three species, Rana kukunoris, Nanorana pleskei and Bufo minshanicus, was surveyed across 225 transects (115 in May and 110 in September. Transects were 100 m long and repeated every two kilometers along the four major roads. We used model averaging to assess factors that might determine amphibian road mortality. We recorded an average of 24.6 amphibian road mortalities per kilometer in May and 19.2 in September. Among road characteristics, road width was positively associated with road morality for R. kukunori and B. minshanicus. Traffic volume also increased the road mortality of B. minshanicus in September. Of the landscape features measured, area proportions of three types of grassland (wet, mesic and dry within 1 km of the roads, particularly that of wet grassland, significantly increased road mortality for R. kukunori and total mortality across all three species. To most effectively reduce road mortality of amphibians in the Zoige wetlands, we suggest better road design such as avoiding wet grasslands, minimizing road width, underground passes and traffic control measures. The implementation of public transit in the area would reduce traffic volume, and hence mortality [Current Zoology 57 (6: 768–774, 2011].
Puglis, Holly J.; Boone, Michelle D.
A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians. PMID:22761833
Pickering, Q.H.; Hunt, E.P.; Phipps, G.L.; Roush, T.H.; Smith, W.E.; Spehar, D.L.; Stephan, C.E.; Tanner, D.K.
A literature review is presented dealing with studies on the effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians. The pollutants studied included acid mine drainage, PCBs, cadmium, lead, naphthalene, plutonium, in addition to several studies dealing with pH effects
Dr. Neil Vora, an EIS Officer at CDC, discusses his article about Salmonella infections in childcare centers caused by reptiles and amphibians. Created: 2/7/2013 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). Date Released: 2/7/2013.
Luke P. Shoo; Deanna H. Olson; Sarah K. McMenamin; Kris A. Murray; Monique VanSluys; Maureen A. Donnelly; Danial Stratford; Juhani Terhivuo; Andres Merino-Viteri; Sarah M. Herbert; Phillip J. Bishop; Paul Stephen Corn; Liz Dovey; Richard A. Griffiths; Katrin Lowe; Michael Mahony; Hamish McCallum; Jonathan D. Shuker; Clay Simpkins; Lee F. Skerratt; Stephen E. Williams; Jean-Marc Hero
Altered global climates in the 21st century pose serious threats for biological systems and practical actions are needed to mount a response for species at risk. We identify management actions from across the world and from diverse disciplines that are applicable to minimizing loss of amphibian biodiversity under climate change. Actions were...
Cannatella, David C
Becker et al. (Reports, 14 December 2007, p. 1775) reported that forest amphibians with terrestrial development are less susceptible to the effects of habitat degradation than those with aquatic larvae. However, analysis with more appropriate statistical methods suggests there is no evidence for a difference between aquatic-reproducing and terrestrial-reproducing species.
Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...
Navjot S Sodhi
Full Text Available Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545 or had increased (n = 28. These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.
Research into fish and amphibian reproduction has increased exponentially in recent years owing to the expansion of the aquaculture industry, the need to recover fishery populations, the impact of endocrine disruptors on the aquatic environment and the global decline of amphibian populations. This review focuses on a group of parasites, the Myxozoa, that affect fish and amphibian reproduction. Lists of the myxosporeans that specifically infect gonads are provided. Most of these are parasitic of freshwater hosts, and most amphibian cases are reported from testes. Sex specificity and sex reversal are discussed in relation to gonadal parasitism. The immune response of the fish to the infection is described, and the contribution of the immunoprivilege of gonads to host invasion is emphasized. The pathological effect of these parasites can be significant, especially in aquacultured broodstocks, on some occasions, leading to parasitic castration. Although myxosporean parasites are currently not very frequent in gonads, their impact could increase in the future owing to the transactions in the global market. Their easy release into the aquatic environment with spawning could make their spreading even more feasible. In the absence of commercial drugs or vaccines to treat and prevent these infections, there is an urgent need to develop specific, rapid and reliable diagnostic tools to control and manage animal movements. In addition, much effort is still to be made on deciphering the life cycle of these organisms, their invasion strategies and their immune evasion mechanisms.
Martel, An; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Blooi, Mark; Bert, Wim; Ducatelle, Richard; Fisher, Matthew C; Woeltjes, Antonius; Bosman, Wilbert; Chiers, Koen; Bossuyt, Franky; Pasmans, Frank
The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi.
Sodhi, Navjot S; Bickford, David; Diesmos, Arvin C; Lee, Tien Ming; Koh, Lian Pin; Brook, Barry W; Sekercioglu, Cagan H; Bradshaw, Corey J A
Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species) to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545) or had increased (n = 28). These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.
The montane forest associated amphibian species of the Taita Hills, Kenya. ... They are surrounded by the dry Tsavo plains. ... The biodiversity importance of the Taita Hills lies with the number of endemics per unit of area of remaining forest, ...
Brown, Jason L.; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R.; Vences, Miguel
Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800–1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount
Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel
Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of
Parveen, B; Chew T H; Shamsir, M S; Ahmad, N
The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or ''apps'' for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification
Parveen, B.; H, Chew T.; Shamsir, M. S.; Ahmad, N.
The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or "apps" for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification.
Kouba, Andrew J; Vance, Carrie K
As amphibian populations continue to decline, both government and non-government organisations are establishing captive assurance colonies to secure populations deemed at risk of extinction if left in the wild. For the most part, little is known about the nutritional ecology, reproductive biology or husbandry needs of the animals placed into captive breeding programs. Because of this lack of knowledge, conservation biologists are currently facing the difficult task of maintaining and reproducing these species. Academic and zoo scientists are beginning to examine different technologies for maintaining the genetic diversity of founder populations brought out of the wild before the animals become extinct from rapidly spreading epizootic diseases. One such technology is genetic resource banking and applied reproductive technologies for species that are difficult to reproduce reliably in captivity. Significant advances have been made in the last decade for amphibian assisted reproduction including the use of exogenous hormones for induction of spermiation and ovulation, in vitro fertilisation, short-term cold storage of gametes and long-term cryopreservation of spermatozoa. These scientific breakthroughs for a select few species will no doubt serve as models for future assisted breeding protocols and the increasing number of amphibians requiring conservation intervention. However, the development of specialised assisted breeding protocols that can be applied to many different families of amphibians will likely require species-specific modifications considering their wide range of reproductive modes. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current state of knowledge in the area of assisted reproduction technologies and gene banking for the conservation of amphibians.
Indelpro - the Grupo Alfa/Himont joint venture 150,000-m.t./year polypropylene (PP) plant in Altamira, Mexico - has been working to find its place in the Mexican market since coming onstream in March. At the same time, that market has been complicated by the imposition of import and export tariffs by the U.S. Department of Commerce early this fall. Commerce's accession to a 10% ad valorem tax on US PP exports to Mexico surprised some industry observers. The tariff is scheduled to be phased out within 10 years and is partly countermanded by a 5% tariff over a five-year period on Mexican PP exports to the US. But some market analysts say the arrangement is baffling
Whitfield, Steven M; Alvarado, Gilbert; Abarca, Juan; Zumbado, Hector; Zuñiga, Ibrahim; Wainwright, Mark; Kerby, Jacob
Global amphibian biodiversity has declined dramatically in the past 4 decades, and many amphibian species have declined to near extinction as a result of emergence of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). However, persistent or recovering populations of several amphibian species have recently been rediscovered, and such populations may illustrate how amphibian species that are highly susceptible to chytridiomycosis may survive in the presence of Bd. We conducted field surveys for Bd infection in 7 species of Costa Rican amphibians (all species that have declined to near extinction but for which isolated populations persist) to characterize infection profiles in highly Bd-susceptible amphibians post-decline. We found highly variable patterns in infection, with some species showing low prevalence (~10%) and low infection intensity and others showing high infection prevalence (>80%) and either low or high infection intensity. Across sites, infection rates were negatively associated with mean annual precipitation, and infection intensity across sites was negatively associated with mean average temperatures. Our results illustrate that even the most Bd-susceptible amphibians can persist in Bd-enzootic ecosystems, and that multiple ecological or evolutionary mechanisms likely exist for host-pathogen co-existence between Bd and the most Bd-susceptible amphibian species. Continued monitoring of these populations is necessary to evaluate population trends (continuing decline, stability, or population growth). These results should inform efforts to mitigate impacts of Bd on amphibians in the field.
its loans. Then President Miguel de la Madrid took steps to open and liberalize the Mexican economy and initiated procedures to replace import...capita income in countries. 24 Lessons from NAFTA, 2005. 25 Economia , “NAFTA and Convergence in North America: High Expectations, Big Events, Little Time...Easterly, Norbert Fiess, and Daniel Lederman, Economia , “NAFTA and Convergence in North America: High Expectations, Big Events, Little Time,” Fall 2003. The
Chen, Xiaoping; Song, Fengyu; Jhamb, Deepali; Li, Jiliang; Bottino, Marco C.; Palakal, Mathew J.; Stocum, David L.
We tested the ability of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) fibula to regenerate across segment defects of different size in the absence of intervention or after implant of a unique 8-braid pig small intestine submucosa (SIS) scaffold, with or without incorporated growth factor combinations or tissue protein extract. Fractures and defects of 10% and 20% of the total limb length regenerated well without any intervention, but 40% and 50% defects failed to regenerate after either simple removal of bone or implanting SIS scaffold alone. By contrast, scaffold soaked in the growth factor combination BMP-4/HGF or in protein extract of intact limb tissue promoted partial or extensive induction of cartilage and bone across 50% segment defects in 30%-33% of cases. These results show that BMP-4/HGF and intact tissue protein extract can promote the events required to induce cartilage and bone formation across a segment defect larger than critical size and that the long bones of axolotl limbs are an inexpensive model to screen soluble factors and natural and synthetic scaffolds for their efficacy in stimulating this process. PMID:26098852
Full Text Available The salamander is the only tetrapod that functionally regenerates all cell types of the limb and spinal cord (SC and thus represents an important regeneration model, but the lack of gene-knockout technology has limited molecular analysis. We compared transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs in the knockout of three loci in the axolotl and find that CRISPRs show highly penetrant knockout with less toxic effects compared to TALENs. Deletion of Sox2 in up to 100% of cells yielded viable F0 larvae with normal SC organization and ependymoglial cell marker expression such as GFAP and ZO-1. However, upon tail amputation, neural stem cell proliferation was inhibited, resulting in spinal-cord-specific regeneration failure. In contrast, the mesodermal blastema formed normally. Sox3 expression during development, but not regeneration, most likely allowed embryonic survival and the regeneration-specific phenotype. This analysis represents the first tissue-specific regeneration phenotype from the genomic deletion of a gene in the axolotl.
Full Text Available We tested the ability of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum fibula to regenerate across segment defects of different size in the absence of intervention or after implant of a unique 8-braid pig small intestine submucosa (SIS scaffold, with or without incorporated growth factor combinations or tissue protein extract. Fractures and defects of 10% and 20% of the total limb length regenerated well without any intervention, but 40% and 50% defects failed to regenerate after either simple removal of bone or implanting SIS scaffold alone. By contrast, scaffold soaked in the growth factor combination BMP-4/HGF or in protein extract of intact limb tissue promoted partial or extensive induction of cartilage and bone across 50% segment defects in 30%-33% of cases. These results show that BMP-4/HGF and intact tissue protein extract can promote the events required to induce cartilage and bone formation across a segment defect larger than critical size and that the long bones of axolotl limbs are an inexpensive model to screen soluble factors and natural and synthetic scaffolds for their efficacy in stimulating this process.
Full Text Available Although in recent years the study of gene expression variation in the absence of genetic or environmental cues or gene expression heterogeneity has intensified considerably, many basic and applied biological fields still remain unaware of how useful the study of gene expression heterogeneity patterns might be for the characterization of biological systems and/or processes. Largely based on the modulator effect chromatin compaction has for gene expression heterogeneity and the extensive changes in chromatin compaction known to occur for specialized cells that are naturally or artificially induced to revert to less specialized states or dedifferentiate, I recently hypothesized that processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation would show an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity. The confirmation of the existence of such trend could be of wide interest because of the biomedical and biotechnological relevance of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, i.e., regenerative development, cancer, human induced pluripotent stem cells, or plant somatic embryogenesis. Here, I report the first empirical evidence consistent with the existence of an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation by analyzing transcriptome dynamics along forearm regenerative development in Ambystoma mexicanum or axolotl. Also, I briefly discuss on the utility of the study of gene expression heterogeneity dynamics might have for the characterization of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, and the engineering of tools that afforded better monitoring and modulating such processes. Finally, I reflect on how a transitional reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for dedifferentiated cells can promote a long-term increase in phenotypic heterogeneity following cell dedifferentiation with potential adverse effects for biomedical and biotechnological applications.
Although in recent years the study of gene expression variation in the absence of genetic or environmental cues or gene expression heterogeneity has intensified considerably, many basic and applied biological fields still remain unaware of how useful the study of gene expression heterogeneity patterns might be for the characterization of biological systems and/or processes. Largely based on the modulator effect chromatin compaction has for gene expression heterogeneity and the extensive changes in chromatin compaction known to occur for specialized cells that are naturally or artificially induced to revert to less specialized states or dedifferentiate, I recently hypothesized that processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation would show an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity. The confirmation of the existence of such trend could be of wide interest because of the biomedical and biotechnological relevance of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, i.e., regenerative development, cancer, human induced pluripotent stem cells, or plant somatic embryogenesis. Here, I report the first empirical evidence consistent with the existence of an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation by analyzing transcriptome dynamics along forearm regenerative development in Ambystoma mexicanum or axolotl. Also, I briefly discuss on the utility of the study of gene expression heterogeneity dynamics might have for the characterization of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, and the engineering of tools that afforded better monitoring and modulating such processes. Finally, I reflect on how a transitional reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for dedifferentiated cells can promote a long-term increase in phenotypic heterogeneity following cell dedifferentiation with potential adverse effects for biomedical and biotechnological applications. PMID:29134148
Hattem, M V; Paterson, L; Woollett, J
65 surveys were completed in 2002 to assess the current distribution of special status amphibians at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Livermore Site and Site 300. Combined with historical information from previous years, the information presented herein illustrates the dynamic and probable risk that amphibian populations face at both sites. The Livermore Site is developed and in stark contrast to the mostly undeveloped Site 300. Yet both sites have significant issues threatening the long-term sustainability of their respective amphibian populations. Livermore Site amphibians are presented with a suite of challenges inherent of urban interfaces, most predictably the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), while Site 300's erosion issues and periodic feral pig (Sus scrofa) infestations reduce and threaten populations. The long-term sustainability of LLNL's special status amphibians will require active management and resource commitment to maintain and restore amphibian habitat at both sites.
Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.
amphibian orders and across biogeographical regions. To our knowledge, this is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis of the phylogenetic signal in species climatic niches for an entire clade across the world. Even though our results do not provide a strong test of the niche conservatism......The question of whether closely related species share similar ecological requirements has attracted increasing attention, because of its importance for understanding global diversity gradients and the impacts of climate change on species distributions. In fact, the assumption that related species...... are also ecologically similar has often been made, although the prevalence of such a phylogenetic signal in ecological niches remains heavily debated. Here, we provide a global analysis of phylogenetic niche relatedness for the world's amphibians. In particular, we assess which proportion of the variance...
Collins, Sara J; Russell, Ronald W
The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC(50)) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species.
Bondar'kov, M.D.; Gashchak, S.P.; Goryanaya, Yu.A.
In result of our investigations there was found out, that though there are great variations of accumulation indices of 90 Sr and 137 Cs, there are certain species differences between amphibians. Basing on general ideas, it can be caused by features of nutrition, behavior and ecology of the species. Terrestrial forms accumulate 137 Cs more than water one, and toads have more high indices of 90 Sr accumulation than frogs. It can been expected, that larvae stages of the terrestrial amphibians, due to water living, will have lower parameters of the radionuclide accumulation, than individuals came on dry land. They also must have and more low variation coefficient of TF values. However, it demands to be checked
Shaffer, H Bradley; Gidiş, Müge; McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Neal, Kevin M; Oyamaguchi, Hilton M; Tellez, Marisa; Toffelmier, Erin M
Amphibians and reptiles as a group are often secretive, reach their greatest diversity often in remote tropical regions, and contain some of the most endangered groups of organisms on earth. Particularly in the past decade, genetics and genomics have been instrumental in the conservation biology of these cryptic vertebrates, enabling work ranging from the identification of populations subject to trade and exploitation, to the identification of cryptic lineages harboring critical genetic variation, to the analysis of genes controlling key life history traits. In this review, we highlight some of the most important ways that genetic analyses have brought new insights to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Although genomics has only recently emerged as part of this conservation tool kit, several large-scale data sources, including full genomes, expressed sequence tags, and transcriptomes, are providing new opportunities to identify key genes, quantify landscape effects, and manage captive breeding stocks of at-risk species.
V. Gregory Chinchar
Full Text Available Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the impact that many viruses have on ecologically and commercially important animals. Frogs and other amphibians are sentinels of environmental health and their disappearance following viral or fungal (chytrid infection is a cause for alarm. Likewise, because aquaculture and mariculture are providing an increasingly large percentage of the “seafood” consumed by humans, viral agents that adversely impact the harvest of cultured fish and amphibians are of equal concern. [...
Becker, Carlos Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Haddad, Célio Fernando Baptista; Batista, Rômulo Fernandes; Prado, Paulo Inácio
The worldwide decline in amphibians has been attributed to several causes, especially habitat loss and disease. We identified a further factor, namely "habitat split"-defined as human-induced disconnection between habitats used by different life history stages of a species-which forces forest-associated amphibians with aquatic larvae to make risky breeding migrations between suitable aquatic and terrestrial habitats. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, we found that habitat split negatively affects the richness of species with aquatic larvae but not the richness of species with terrestrial development (the latter can complete their life cycle inside forest remnants). This mechanism helps to explain why species with aquatic larvae have the highest incidence of population decline. These findings reinforce the need for the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation.
Sarre, Stephen D; Ezaz, Tariq; Georges, Arthur
Important technological advances in genomics are driving a new understanding of the evolution of sex determination in vertebrates. In particular, comparative chromosome mapping in reptiles has shown an intriguing distribution of homology in sex chromosomes across reptile groups. When this new understanding is combined with the widespread distribution of genetic and temperature-dependent sex-determination mechanisms among reptiles, it is apparent that transitions between modes have occurred many times, as they have for amphibians (particularly between male and female heterogamety). It is also likely that thermosensitivity in sex determination is a key factor in those transitions in reptiles, and possibly in amphibians too. New models of sex determination involving temperature thresholds are providing the framework for the investigation of transitions and making possible key predictions about the homologies and sex-determination patterns expected among taxa in these groups. Molecular cytogenetics and other genomic approaches are essential to providing the fundamental material necessary to make advances in this field.
Wijnands, J.H.M.; Armenta Gutierrez, B.M.; Poelarends, J.J.; Valk, van der O.M.C.
This study explores the Mexican and Dutch business opportunities in the dairy industry in Mexico. The report discusses first the external environment of the Mexican dairy sector: the economic developments, the country's overall competitiveness, and the economic and agricultural policies. Next, it
Guinn, Bobby; Vincent, Vern; Dugas, Donna
The purpose of this study was to identify factors distinguishing Mexican American women living near the U.S.-Mexican border who are resilient to the experience of stress from those who are not. The study sample consisted of 418 participants ranging in age from 20 to 61 years. Data were gathered through a self-report survey instrument composed of…
Baca, Reynaldo; Dexter, Bryan
Compares Mexican women involved in migration to understand how their sex roles and status have been affected. Uses data from two separate studies: ethnography on migrants' wives left at home in a Mexican village and a survey of unauthorized immigrants in the Los Angeles area. (SA)
Maertz, Carl P.; Stevens, Michael J.; Campion, Michael A.
From interviews with 47 Mexican maquiladora workers, a model of voluntary turnover was created and compared with models from the United States, Canada, England, and Australia. Despite similarities, the cultural and economic environment affected the precise content of antecedents in the Mexican model. (Contains 63 references.) (SK)
Patrick J. Kearns
Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases caused by fungal taxa are increasing and are placing a substantial burden on economies and ecosystems worldwide. Of the emerging fungal diseases, chytridomycosis caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd is linked to global amphibian declines. Amphibians have innate immunity, as well as additional resistance through cutaneous microbial communities. Despite the targeting of bacteria as potential probiotics, the role of fungi in the protection against Bd infection in unknown. We used a four-part approach, including high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities, cultivation of fungi, Bd challenge assays, and experimental additions of probiotic to Midwife Toads (Altyes obstetricans, to examine the overlapping roles of bacterial and fungal microbiota in pathogen defense in captive bred poison arrow frogs (Dendrobates sp.. Our results revealed that cutaneous fungal taxa differed from environmental microbiota across three species and a subspecies of Dendrobates spp. frogs. Cultivation of host-associated and environmental fungi realved numerous taxa with the ability to inhibit or facilitate the growth of Bd. The abundance of cutaneous fungi contributed more to Bd defense (~45% of the fungal community, than did bacteria (~10% and frog species harbored distinct inhibitory communities that were distinct from the environment. Further, we demonstrated that a fungal probiotic therapy did not induce an endocrine-immune reaction, in contrast to bacterial probiotics that stressed amphibian hosts and suppressed antimicrobial peptide responses, limiting their long-term colonization potential. Our results suggest that probiotic strategies against amphibian fungal pathogens should, in addition to bacterial probiotics, focus on host-associated and environmental fungi such as Penicillium and members of the families Chaetomiaceae and Lasiosphaeriaceae.
Gibbons, J.W.; Patterson, K.K.
Taxonomic, distributional, and ecological information on the reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) is provided. The purpose of such a presentation is to give a professional biologist an initial familiarity with herpetology on the SRP, and to provide sufficient comprehensive information to an ecologist, regardless of his experience in herpetology, to permit him to undertake studies that in some manner incorporate the herpetofauna of the SRP
Charlotte E. Matthews; Christopher E. Moorman; Cathryn H. Greenberg; Thomas A. Waldrop
Recent use of prescribed fire and fire surrogates to reduce fuel hazards has spurred interest in their effects on wildlife. Studies of fire in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA) have documented few effects on reptiles and amphibians. However, these studies were conducted after only one fire and for only a short time (1â3 yr) after the fire. From mid-May to mid-...
Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J
Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines
Rödder, Dennis; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan; Fisher, Matthew C.; Lötters, Stefan
Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history varia...
Daniel Saenz; Heather V. Podlipny; Pei-Yu Tasi; D. Brent Burt; Hsiao-Wei Yuan
Little is known about the reptiles and amphibians of Kinmen Island, Taiwan. Until recently, Kinmen had been off-limits to outsiders. It wasnât until the mid 1990âs that civilian travel was allowed to and from the island. We surveyed 8 sites from 19 May through 18 July 2005, using 15 m drift fences with collapsible funnel traps on the ends. We documented encounters with...
Picco, Angela M; Collins, James P
The commercial trade of wildlife occurs on a global scale. In addition to removing animals from their native populations, this trade may lead to the release and subsequent introduction of nonindigenous species and the pathogens they carry. Emerging infectious diseases, such as chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and ranaviral disease have spread with global trade in amphibians and are linked to amphibian declines and die-offs worldwide, which suggests that the commercial trade in amphibians may be a source of pathogen pollution. We screened tiger salamanders involved in the bait trade in the western United States for both ranaviruses and Bd with polymerase chain reaction and used oral reports from bait shops and ranavirus DNA sequences from infected bait salamanders to determine how these animals and their pathogens are moved geographically by commerce. In addition, we conducted 2 surveys of anglers to determine how often tiger salamanders are used as bait and how often they are released into fishing waters by anglers, and organized bait-shop surveys to determine whether tiger salamanders are released back into the wild after being housed in bait shops. Ranaviruses were detected in the tiger salamander bait trade in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, and Bd was detected in Arizona bait shops. Ranaviruses were spread geographically through the bait trade. All tiger salamanders in the bait trade were collected from the wild, and in general they moved east to west and north to south, bringing with them their multiple ranavirus strains. Finally, 26-73% of anglers used tiger salamanders as fishing bait, 26-67% of anglers released tiger salamanders bought as bait into fishing waters, and 4% of bait shops released tiger salamanders back into the wild after they were housed in shops with infected animals. The tiger salamander bait trade in the western United States is a useful model for understanding the consequences of the
Thekkiniath, Jose; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; Kottapalli, Kameswara Rao; Pasham, Mithun R.; San Francisco, Susan; San Francisco, Michael
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3). Tadpoles may be...
Taniguchi, Kazumi; Saito, Shouichiro; Oikawa, Toshihiro; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki
The phylogenic significance of the subdivision of dual olfactory system is reviewed mainly on the basis of our findings by electron microscopy and lectin histochemistry in the three amphibian species. The dual olfactory system is present in common in these species and consists of the projection from the olfactory epithelium (OE) to the main olfactory bulb (MOB) and that from the vomeronasal epithelium (VNE) to the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). The phylogenic significance of subdivisions in the dual olfactory system in the amphibian must differently be interpreted. The subdivision of the MOB into its dorsal region (D-MOB) and ventral region (V-MOB) in Xenopus laevis must be attributed to the primitive features in their olfactory receptors. The middle cavity epithelium lining the middle cavity of this frog possesses both ciliated sensory cells and microvillous sensory cells, reminding the OE in fish. The subdivision of the AOB into the rostral (R-AOB) and caudal part (C-AOB) in Bufo japonicus formosus must be regarded as an advanced characteristic. The lack of subdivisions in both MOB and AOB in Cynops pyrrhogaster may reflect their phylogenic primitiveness. Since our lectin histochemistry to detect glycoconjugates expressed in the olfactory pathway reveals the subdivisions in the dual olfactory system in the amphibian, the glycoconjugates may deeply participate in the organization and function of olfactory pathways in phylogeny.
San Mauro, Diego; Vences, Miguel; Alcobendas, Marina; Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel
The origin and divergence of the three living orders of amphibians (Anura, Caudata, Gymnophiona) and their main lineages are one of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution. Here, we present a robust molecular phylogeny based on the nuclear RAG1 gene as well as results from a variety of alternative independent molecular clock calibrations. Our analyses suggest that the origin and early divergence of the three living amphibian orders dates back to the Palaeozoic or early Mesozoic, before the breakup of Pangaea, and soon after the divergence from lobe-finned fishes. The resulting new biogeographic scenario, age estimate, and the inferred rapid divergence of the three lissamphibian orders may account for the lack of fossils that represent plausible ancestors or immediate sister taxa of all three orders and the heretofore paradoxical distribution of some amphibian fossil taxa. Furthermore, the ancient and rapid radiation of the three lissamphibian orders likely explains why branch lengths connecting their early nodes are particularly short, thus rendering phylogenetic inference of implicated relationships especially difficult.
Shoo, L.P.; Olson, D.H.; Mcmenamin, S.K.; Murray, K.A.; Van Sluys, M.; Donnelly, M.A.; Stratford, D.; Terhivuo, J.; Merino-Viteri, A.; Herbert, S.M.; Bishop, P.J.; Corn, P.S.; Dovey, L.; Griffiths, R.A.; Lowe, K.; Mahony, M.; McCallum, H.; Shuker, J.D.; Simpkins, C.; Skerratt, L.F.; Williams, S.E.; Hero, J.-M.
1. Altered global climates in the 21st century pose serious threats for biological systems and practical actions are needed to mount a response for species at risk. 2. We identify management actions from across the world and from diverse disciplines that are applicable to minimizing loss of amphibian biodiversity under climate change. Actions were grouped under three thematic areas of intervention: (i) installation of microclimate and microhabitat refuges; (ii) enhancement and restoration of breeding sites; and (iii) manipulation of hydroperiod or water levels at breeding sites. 3. Synthesis and applications. There are currently few meaningful management actions that will tangibly impact the pervasive threat of climate change on amphibians. A host of potentially useful but poorly tested actions could be incorporated into local or regional management plans, programmes and activities for amphibians. Examples include: installation of irrigation sprayers to manipulate water potentials at breeding sites; retention or supplementation of natural and artificial shelters (e.g. logs, cover boards) to reduce desiccation and thermal stress; manipulation of canopy cover over ponds to reduce water temperature; and, creation of hydrologoically diverse wetland habitats capable of supporting larval development under variable rainfall regimes. We encourage researchers and managers to design, test and scale up new initiatives to respond to this emerging crisis.
De Lisle, Stephen P.; Rowe, Locke
Classic ecological theory predicts that the evolution of sexual dimorphism constrains diversification by limiting morphospace available for speciation. Alternatively, sexual selection may lead to the evolution of reproductive isolation and increased diversification. We test contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by examining the relationship between sexual dimorphism and diversification in amphibians. Our analysis shows that the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is associated with increased diversification and speciation, contrary to the ecological theory. Further, this result is unlikely to be explained by traditional sexual selection models because variation in amphibian SSD is unlikely to be driven entirely by sexual selection. We suggest that relaxing a central assumption of classic ecological models—that the sexes share a common adaptive landscape—leads to the alternative hypothesis that independent evolution of the sexes may promote diversification. Once the constraints of sexual conflict are relaxed, the sexes can explore morphospace that would otherwise be inaccessible. Consistent with this novel hypothesis, the evolution of SSD in amphibians is associated with reduced current extinction threat status, and an historical reduction in extinction rate. Our work reconciles conflicting predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory and illustrates that the ability of the sexes to evolve independently is associated with a spectacular vertebrate radiation. PMID:25694616
Pantchev, Nikola; Tappe, Dennis
Reptiles are growing in popularity as pets.The colonization of reptiles and amphibians by parasites and the resulting disease conditions are the most common problems seen in captive animals.This review focuses on pentastomiasis and sparganosis, important parasitic zoonoses of reptiles and amphibians, respectively, and free living-amoebae. Humans are suitable accidental hosts for some pentastomid species (particularly Armillifer and Porocephalus). In geographical areas with special ethnics, such as in West and Central Africa, and East Asia, 8-45% of the human population can be affected. Usually the larvae are coincidentally found during abdominal surgeries. However, fatalities have been described. Extreme caution is necessary when handling infected reptiles. Ocular or cerebral sparganosis is not uncommonly found in humans in East Asia. This disease is caused by spargana, tapeworm larvae (plerocercoids) of Spirometra sp. The infection occurs when uncooked meat from reptiles or amphibians is applied to wounds or eyes and the parasites migrate directly to human tissue, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. As a consequence of the reptile's predatory behaviour, the full spectrum of endo- and ectoparasites from potential prey animals can be found as transiting parasites in the intestinal tract, e. g. Hymenolepis nana, Cryptosporidium (C.) muris, C parvum or Capillaria hepatica. Occasionally, free-living amoebae are also found in reptile faeces (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmanella, Vahlkampfia or Echinamoeba sp.).
García-Muñoz, Enrique; Ceacero, Francisco; Carretero, Miguel A.; Pedrajas-Pulido, Luis; Parra, Gema; Guerrero, Francisco
Amphibians epitomize the modern biodiversity crisis, and attract great attention from the scientific community since a complex puzzle of factors has influence on their disappearance. However, these factors are multiple and spatially variable, and declining in each locality is due to a particular combination of causes. This study shows a suitable statistical procedure to determine threats to amphibian species in medium size administrative areas. For our study case, ten biological and ecological variables feasible to affect the survival of 15 amphibian species were categorized and reduced through Principal Component Analysis. The principal components extracted were related to ecological plasticity, reproductive potential, and specificity of breeding habitats. Finally, the factor scores of species were joined in a presence-absence matrix that gives us information to identify where and why conservation management are requires. In summary, this methodology provides the necessary information to maximize benefits of conservation measures in small areas by identifying which ecological factors need management efforts and where should we focus them on.
Scheele, Ben C; Hunter, David A; Grogan, Laura F; Berger, Lee; Kolby, Jon E; McFadden, Michael S; Marantelli, Gerry; Skerratt, Lee F; Driscoll, Don A
Wildlife diseases pose an increasing threat to biodiversity and are a major management challenge. A striking example of this threat is the emergence of chytridiomycosis. Despite diagnosis of chytridiomycosis as an important driver of global amphibian declines 15 years ago, researchers have yet to devise effective large-scale management responses other than biosecurity measures to mitigate disease spread and the establishment of disease-free captive assurance colonies prior to or during disease outbreaks. We examined the development of management actions that can be implemented after an epidemic in surviving populations. We developed a conceptual framework with clear interventions to guide experimental management and applied research so that further extinctions of amphibian species threatened by chytridiomycosis might be prevented. Within our framework, there are 2 management approaches: reducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis) in the environment or on amphibians and increasing the capacity of populations to persist despite increased mortality from disease. The latter approach emphasizes that mitigation does not necessarily need to focus on reducing disease-associated mortality. We propose promising management actions that can be implemented and tested based on current knowledge and that include habitat manipulation, antifungal treatments, animal translocation, bioaugmentation, head starting, and selection for resistance. Case studies where these strategies are being implemented will demonstrate their potential to save critically endangered species. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.
Briones, Víctor; Téllez, Sonia; Goyache, Joaquín; Ballesteros, Cristina; del Pilar Lanzarot, María; Domínguez, Lucas; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F
During the spring and summer of 2001, faeces from 166 wild reptiles (94 individuals) and amphibians (72 individuals) from 21 different species found in central Spain were examined for the presence of Salmonella. Thirty-nine reptiles (41.5%) yielded 48 Salmonella isolates, whereas all the amphibians examined were negative. Subspecies Salmonella enterica enterica (I) accounted for up to 50% of isolates. Fourteen isolates (29.2%) belonged to subspecies diarizonae (IIIb), six isolates (12.5%) to subspecies salamae (II), and four isolates (8.3%) to subspecies arizonae (IIIa). Twenty-seven different serotypes were identified. Serotypes Anatum (12.5%), Herzliya (8.3%), Abony, 18:l,v:z, 9,12:z29:1,5 and 38:z10:z53 (6.2%/each) were the most frequently isolated. A high percentage (39.6%) of isolates belonged to serotypes previously associated with environmental sources. Also, 37.5% of isolates belonged to serotypes which had been related to human cases of salmonellosis. From these data, it is concluded that wild reptiles, but apparently not amphibians, may represent an important reservoir of Salmonella in nature and have potential implications for public health.
Full Text Available A review of extinct and living amphibians known from fossils (Allocaudata, Anura and Caudata has revealed several cases that require nomenclatural changes in order to stabilize the taxonomy of the group. Nomenclatural changes include homonym replacements, corrections of spelling variants and authorships, name availabilities, and in particular, the proposal of new combinations. These changes will allow the incorporation of some palaeontological taxa to the current evolutionary models of relationship of modern forms based on molecular phylogenies. Rana cadurcorum for Rana plicata Filhol, 1877, Rana auscitana for Rana pygmaea Lartet, 1851, and Rana sendoa for Rana robusta Brunner, 1956. Anchylorana Taylor, 1942 is considered a new synonym of Lithobates Fitzinger, 1843. New combinations proposed are: Anaxyrus defensor for Bufo defensor Meylan, 2005; Anaxyrus hibbardi for Bufo hibbardi Taylor, 1937; Anaxyrus pliocompactilis for Bufo pliocompactilis Wilson, 1968; Anaxyrus repentinus for Bufo repentinus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus rexroadensis for Bufo rexroadensis Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus spongifrons for Bufo spongifrons Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus suspectus for Bufo suspectus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus tiheni for Bufo tiheni Auffenberg, 1957; Anaxyrus valentinensis for Bufo valentinensis Estes et Tihen, 1964; Ichthyosaura wintershofi for Triturus wintershofi Lunau, 1950; Incilius praevius for Bufo praevius Tihen, 1951; Lithobates bucella for Rana bucella Holman, 1965; Lithobates dubitus for Anchylorana dubita Taylor, 1942; Lithobates fayeae for Rana fayeae Taylor, 1942; Lithobates miocenicus for Rana miocenica Holman, 1965; Lithobates moorei for Anchylorana moorei Taylor, 1942; Lithobates parvissimus for Rana parvissima
Corn, Paul Stephen
The decline of amphibian species has emerged as a major global conservation issue in the last decade. Last year, the Department of the Interior (DOI) initiated a major national initiative to detect trends in amphibian populations and research the causes of declines. The program, conducted principally by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), emphasizes lands managed by DOI, but collaboration with the Forest Service is encouraged to increase the scope of inference about population trends. Although amphibians are not usually the first group of animals that comes to mind when one thinks of wilderness, conservation of amphibian populations is clearly a wilderness issue.
Kiesecker, J.M.; Blaustein, R.
Previous research has shown that amphibians have differential sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. In some species, ambient levels of UV-B radiation cause embryonic mortality in nature. The detrimental effects of UV-B alone or with other agents may ultimately affect amphibians at the population level. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a synergistic effect between UV-B radiation and a pathogenic fungus in the field that increases the mortality of amphibian embryos compared with either factor alone. Studies investigating single factors for causes of amphibian egg mortality or population declines may not reveal the complex factors involved in declines
Whitfield, Steven M; Bell, Kristen E; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M; Donnelly, Maureen A
Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these "enigmatic" declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by approximately 75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks.
Reeves, Rebecca A.; Pierce, Clay; Smalling, Kelly L.; Klaver, Robert W.; Vandever, Mark W.; Battaglin, William A.; Muths, Erin L.
Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape.
Shoots, Jenny; Fraccalvieri, Domenico; Franks, Diana G; Denison, Michael S; Hahn, Mark E; Bonati, Laura; Powell, Wade H
Structural features of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) can underlie species- and population-specific differences in its affinity for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). These differences often explain variations in TCDD toxicity. Frogs are relatively insensitive to dioxin, and Xenopus AHRs bind TCDD with low affinity. Weak TCDD binding results from the combination of three residues in the ligand-binding domain: A354 and A370, and N325. Here we sought to determine whether this mechanism of weak TCDD binding is shared by other amphibian AHRs. We isolated an AHR cDNA from the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). The encoded polypeptide contains identical residues at positions that confer low TCDD affinity to X. laevis AHRs (A364, A380, and N335), and homology modeling predicts they protrude into the binding cavity. Axolotl AHR bound one-tenth the TCDD of mouse AHR in velocity sedimentation analysis, and in transactivation assays, the EC50 for TCDD was 23 nM, similar to X. laevis AHR1β (27 nM) and greater than AHR containing the mouse ligand-binding domain (0.08 nM). Sequence, modeled structure, and function indicate that axolotl AHR binds TCDD weakly, predicting that A. mexicanum lacks sensitivity toTCDD toxicity. We hypothesize that this characteristic of axolotl and Xenopus AHRs arose in a common ancestor of the Caudata and Anura.
Jimenez C, M.J.
50% of the Mexican territory is formed by volcanic sequences of the Pliocene type, which appear extensively in the northwest states (Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Durango) and west of Mexico (Jalisco and Nayarit), in central Mexico (Zacatecas, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, Hidalgo) and south of Mexico (Guerrero, Oaxaca); therefore, it is to be expected that in our country big locations of natural zeolites exist in its majority of the clinoptilolite type. The present study was focused toward the characterization of two Mexican natural zeolite rocks presumably of the clinoptilolite and filipsite types, one of them comes from the state of Chihuahua and the other of a trader company of non metallic minerals, due that these materials are not characterized, its are not known their properties completely and therefore, the uses that can be given to these materials. In this investigation work it was carried out the characterization of two Mexican zeolite rocks, one coming from the Arroyo zone, municipality of La Haciendita, in the state of Chihuahua; and the other one was bought to a trader company of non metallic minerals. The two zeolites so much in their natural form as conditioned with sodium; they were characterized by means of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy of high vacuum and elementary microanalysis (EDS), surface area analysis (BET), thermal gravimetric analysis. To differentiate the heulandite crystalline phase of the other clinoptilolite rock, its were carried out thermal treatments. The quantification of Al, Na, Ca, K, Mg, Fe was carried out in solution, by means of atomic absorption spectroscopy and the quantity of Si was determined by gravimetry. The zeolite rocks presented for the major part the crystalline heulandite and clinoptilolite phases for the most part, and it was found that the zeolite coming from the state of Chihuahua possesses a bigger content of heulandite and the denominated filipsite it is really a zeolite
Crane, Mark; Finnegan, Meaghean; Weltje, Lennart; Kosmala-Grzechnik, Sylwia; Gross, Melanie; Wheeler, James R
Amphibians are currently the most threatened and rapidly declining group of vertebrates and this has raised concerns about their potential sensitivity and exposure to plant protection products and other chemicals. Current environmental risk assessment procedures rely on surrogate species (e.g. fish and birds) to cover the risk to aquatic and terrestrial life stages of amphibians, respectively. Whilst a recent meta-analysis has shown that in most cases amphibian aquatic life stages are less sensitive to chemicals than fish, little research has been conducted on the comparative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages. Therefore, in this paper we address the questions "What is the relative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages to acute chemical oral exposure when compared with mammals and birds?" and "Are there correlations between oral toxicity data for amphibians and data for mammals or birds?" Identifying a relationship between these data may help to avoid additional vertebrate testing. Acute oral amphibian toxicity data collected from the scientific literature and ecotoxicological databases were compared with toxicity data for mammals and birds. Toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages are generally sparse, as noted in previous reviews. Single-dose oral toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages were available for 26 chemicals and these were positively correlated with LD50 values for mammals, while no correlation was found for birds. Further, the data suggest that oral toxicity to terrestrial amphibian life stages is similar to or lower than that for mammals and birds, with a few exceptions. Thus, mammals or birds are considered adequate toxicity surrogates for use in the assessment of the oral exposure route in amphibians. However, there is a need for further data on a wider range of chemicals to explore the wider applicability of the current analyses and recommendations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The rate of oxygen use and activity of cytochrome oxidase in a homogenate of mitochondria and nuclei of muscle tissue of axolotl limbs after suppression of their regenerative capability by x irradiation and their restoration was studied experimentally. With suppression of the regenative capability the use of oxygen was depressed. Cytochrome oxidase activity in the homogenate and mitochondria decreased compared to that of the intact limb, in the nuclei of muscle tissue it was the same or greater. With restoration of the regenerative capability of the limbs the respiration rate of the homogenate and the mitochondria increased, accompanied by increased cytochrome oxidase activity. In the nuclei the cytochrome oxidase activity did not change in the blastema stage and sharply decreased in the limb formation state. (E.T.)
Teplits, N A [AN SSSR, Moscow. Inst. Biologii Razvitiya
The rate of oxygen use and activity of cytochrome oxidase in a homogenate of mitochondria and nuclei of muscle tissue of axolotl limbs after suppression of their regenerative capability by x irradiation and their restoration was studied experimentally. With suppression of the regenative capability the use of oxygen was depressed. Cytochrome oxidase activity in the homogenate and mitochondria decreased compared to that of the intact limb, in the nuclei of muscle tissue it was the same or greater. With restoration of the regenerative capability of the limbs the respiration rate of the homogenate and the mitochondria increased, accompanied by increased cytochrome oxidase activity. In the nuclei the cytochrome oxidase activity did not change in the blastema stage and sharply decreased in the limb formation state.
Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff
The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…
Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Erens, Jesse; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Vences, Miguel
This study summarises amphibian and reptile records from ad hoc surveys in a series of localities in the North-West of Madagascar, largely centred on the delta of the Betsiboka River. Eleven amphibian and approximately 32 reptile species were found, with taxonomic uncertainties remaining for some
..., reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited and endangered and threatened species; designated ports of..., Birds, and Insects § 12.26 Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and... crustacea), amphibians, reptiles, or the offspring or eggs of any of the foregoing which the Secretary of...
Mitigating Ammonium Perchlorate (AP) Exposure........................................................................18 Table 5-1. Funding History and...amphibian species were reared on perchlorate-laden food (e.g., hydroponically grown lettuce ) and their growth and development monitored. Thyroid...of Perchlorate Derived from Food Sources on Amphibian Development 8 Table 3.1 (Continued) 3.1 Initiate Lettuce Growth 3.2 Tests with Native
C.A. Pearl; E.L. Bull; D.E. Green; J. Bowerman; M.J. Adams; A. Hyatt; W.H. Wente
Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is an emerging pathogen of amphibians that is associated with declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 271 field-sampled amphibians from Oregon and Washington. Chytridiomycosis was detected on 5 of 7 species and from 31 percent of all...
Blake R. Hossack; Michael J. Adams; Evan H. Campbell Grant; Christopher A. Pearl; James B. Bettaso; William J. Barichivich; Winsor H. Lowe; Kimberly True; Joy L. Ware; Paul Stephen Corn
Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To...
Persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs have been hypothesized to contribute to the observed global decline of amphibian populations. Thyroid hormone (TH) disruption is one of the possible mechanisms for effects of xenobiotics on amphibian development. In addition to the important functions
Tamukai, Kenichi; Une, Yumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi
The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd.
Frank A. Vertucci; Paul Stephen Corn
We define criteria for documenting episodic acidification of amphibian breeding habitats and examine whether episodic acidification is responsible for observed declines of amphibian populations in the Rocky Mountains. Anthropogenic episodic acidification, caused by atmospheric deposition of sulfate and nitrate, occurs when the concentration of acid anions increases...
... important taxonomic groups such as reptiles and amphibians. This note provides an overview of the importance of riparian habitat at Corps projects for reptiles and amphibians, identifies riparian zone functions and habitat characteristics, provides examples of representative taxa and regional comparisons, and describes impacts of riparian habitat modification.
Badawy, Gamal; Reinecke, Manfred
Evidence for the presence and potential co-existence of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in gastro-intestinal endocrine cells and/or nerve fibers is conflicting and very few results exist on development. This immunofluorescence study aims to clarify the appearance and localization of VIP, PACAP and NOS in the gastro-intestinal tract of the Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, during ontogeny. VIP-immunoreactivity appeared in nerve fibers as early as on day 3 after hatching likely indicating a particular role, such as a trophic action, of VIP in very early development. PACAP-immunoreactivity was observed 3 days later within the VIP-immunoreactive (-IR) fibers. From this time on, VIP- and PACAP-immunoreactivity exhibited complete co-existence. VIP/PACAP-IR fibers were found throughout the gastro-intestinal tract. They were most prominent in the myenteric plexus and the muscle layers and less frequent in the submucosa. NOS-immunoreactivity appeared as late as at the 1st (64 days) juvenile stage in a subpopulation of the VIP/PACAP-IR fibers that contacted submucosal arteries. We found only very few VIP/PACAP-IR perikarya, indicating that part of the VIP/PACAP-IR fibers is of extrinsic origin. On day 12 and in the 1st and 2nd (104 days) juvenile stage, infrequent PACAP-IR entero-endocrine cells were noted, while neither VIP- nor NOS-immunoreactivity occurred in endocrine cells at any stage of development. The complete coexistence of neuronal PACAP- and VIP-immunoreactivities and their very early appearance in ontogeny may suggest important and coordinated roles of both peptides in the control of Axolotl gastro-intestinal activity, while the VIP/ PACAP/NOS-IR fibers may be involved in the regulation of submucosal blood flow.
K.R. Matthews; R.A. Knapp; K.L. Pope
ABSTRACT.âThe dramatic amphibian population declines reported worldwide likely have important effects on their predators. In the Sierra Nevada, where amphibian declines are well documented and some are closely tied to the introduction of nonnative trout, the mountain garter snake, Thamnophis elegans elegans, preys predominately on amphibians. We surveyed 2103 high-...
Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Maia, Joao P; Egea-Serrano, Andrés; Lopes, Isabel
Amphibians and reptiles are the two most endangered groups of vertebrates. Environmental pollution by pesticides is recognised as one of the major factors threatening populations of these groups. However, the effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles have been studied for few substances, which is partly related to the fact that these animals are not included in the mandatory toxicity testing conducted as part of environmental risk assessments of pesticides. Whether risks of pesticides to amphibians and reptiles are addressed by surrogate taxa used in risk assessment is currently under debate. In order to develop a scientifically sound and robust risk assessment scheme, information needs to be gathered to examine whether fish, birds and mammals are valid surrogates for amphibians and reptiles. We updated a systematic review of scientific literature that was recently published compiling toxicity data on amphibians and reptiles. The outcome of this review was analysed with the purposes to (1) compare endpoints from amphibians and reptiles with the available information from fish, birds and mammals, and (2) develop species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) for those substances tested in at least six amphibian species (no substances were found tested in at least six reptile species) to identify a candidate amphibian model species to be used as surrogate in risk assessment. A positive correlation was found between toxicity recorded on fish and amphibians, the former revealing, in general, to be more sensitive than the latter to waterborne pollutants. In the terrestrial environment, although birds and mammals were more sensitive than amphibians and reptiles to at least 60% of tested substances, just a few weak significant correlations were observed. As a general rule, homoeothermic vertebrates are not good surrogates for reptiles and terrestrial amphibians in pesticide risk assessment. However, some chemical-dependent trends were detected, with pyrethroids and
Zapata-Martínez, J; Sánchez-Toranzo, G; Chaín, F; Catalán, C A N; Bühler, M I
Sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) are a large and structurally diverse group of plant metabolites generally found in the Asteraceae family. STLs exhibit a wide spectrum of biological activities and it is generally accepted that their major mechanism of action is the alkylation of the thiol groups of biological molecules. The guaianolides is one of various groups of STLs. Anti-tumour and anti-migraine effects, an allergenic agent, an inhibitor of smooth muscle cells and of meristematic cell proliferation are only a few of the most commonly reported activities of STLs. In amphibians, fully grown ovarian oocytes are arrested at the beginning of meiosis I. Under stimulus with progesterone, this meiotic arrest is released and meiosis progresses to metaphase II, a process known as oocyte maturation. There are previous records of the inhibitory effect of dehydroleucodin (DhL), a guaianolide lactone, on the progression of meiosis. It has been also shown that DhL and its 11,13-dihydroderivative (2H-DhL; a mixture of epimers at C-11) act as blockers of the resumption of meiosis in fully grown ovarian oocytes from the amphibian Rhinella arenarum (formerly classified as Bufo arenarum). The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of four closely related guaianolides, i.e., DhL, achillin, desacetoxymatricarin and estafietin as possible inhibitors of meiosis in oocytes of amphibians in vitro and discuss some structure-activity relationships. It was found that the inhibitory effect on meiosis resumption is greater when the lactone has two potentially reactive centres, either a α,β-α',β'-diunsaturated cyclopentanone moiety or an epoxide group plus an exo-methylene-γ-lactone function.
Meredith, Helen M R; St John, Freya A V; Collen, Ben; Black, Simon A; Griffiths, Richard A
Conservation requires successful outcomes. However, success is perceived in many different ways depending on the desired outcome. Through a questionnaire survey, we examined perceptions of success among 355 scientists and practitioners working on amphibian conservation from over 150 organizations in more than 50 countries. We also sought to identify how different types of conservation actions and respondent experience and background influenced perceptions. Respondents identified 4 types of success: species and habitat improvements (84% of respondents); effective program management (36%); outreach initiatives such as education and public engagement (25%); and the application of science-based conservation (15%). The most significant factor influencing overall perceived success was reducing threats. Capacity building was rated least important. Perceptions were influenced by experience, professional affiliation, involvement in conservation practice, and country of residence. More experienced practitioners associated success with improvements to species and habitats and less so with education and engagement initiatives. Although science-based conservation was rated as important, this factor declined in importance as the number of programs a respondent participated in increased, particularly among those from less economically developed countries. The ultimate measure of conservation success-population recovery-may be difficult to measure in many amphibians; difficult to relate to the conservation actions intended to drive it; and difficult to achieve within conventional funding time frames. The relaunched Amphibian Conservation Action Plan provides a framework for capturing lower level processes and outcomes, identifying gaps, and measuring progress. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.
O'Reilly, C. M.; Brooks, P. D.; Corn, P. S.; Muths, E.; Campbell, D. H.; Diamond, S.; Tonnessen, K.
Widespread reports of amphibian declines have been considered a warning of large-scale environmental degradation, yet the reasons for these declines remain unclear. This study suggests that exposure to ultraviolet radiation may act as an environmental stressor that affects population breeding success or susceptibility to disease. Ultraviolet radiation is attenuated by dissolved and particulate compounds in water, which may be of either terrestrial or aquatic origin. UV attenuation by dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is primarily due to compounds in the fulvic acid fraction, which originate in soil environments. These terrestrially-derived fulvic acids are transported to during hydrologic flushing events such as snowmelt and episodic precipitation and play an important role in controlling UV exposure in surface waters. As part of a previously published project, amphibian surveys were conducted at seventeen sites in Rocky Mountain National Park both during, and subsequent to, a three-year drought (1988 - 1990). During this period, ten sites lost one amphibian species, while only one site gained a previously unreported species. One possible explanation for these localized species losses is increased exposure to UV radiation, mediated by reduced terrestrial DOC inputs during dry periods. Several subsequent years of water chemistry data showed that the sites with documented species losses were characterized by a range of DOC concentrations, but tended to have a greater proportion of terrestrial DOC than sites that did not undergo species loss. This suggests that terrestrial inputs exert a strong control on DOC concentrations that may influence species success. We used physical environmental factors to develop a classification scheme for these sites. There are many physical factors that can influence terrestrial DOC inputs, including landscape position, geomorphology, soil type, and watershed vegetation. In addition, we considered the possible effects on internal aquatic
Donald J. Brown
Full Text Available Loss and degradation of wetland habitats are major contributing factors to the global decline of amphibians. Creation and restoration of wetlands could be a valuable tool for increasing local amphibian species richness and abundance. We synthesized the peer-reviewed literature addressing amphibian use of created and restored wetlands, focusing on aquatic habitat, upland habitat, and wetland connectivity and configuration. Amphibian species richness or abundance at created and restored wetlands was either similar to or greater than reference wetlands in 89% of studies. Use of created and restored wetlands by individual species was driven by aquatic and terrestrial habitat preferences, as well as ability to disperse from source wetlands. We conclude that creating and restoring wetlands can be valuable tools for amphibian conservation. However, the ecological needs and preferences of target species must be considered to maximize the potential for successful colonization and long-term persistence.
Chatigny, Frederic; Kamunde, Collins; Creighton, Catherine M; Stevens, E Don
Local anesthetics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use is relatively limited in fish, amphibians and reptiles. These animals frequently undergo potentially painful surgical procedures and therefore could possibly benefit from those drugs. Some recommendations are currently available in the literature concerning analgesic use in these animals. However the pharmacological properties, safety and often efficacy of local anesthetic drugs have not been investigated yet in fish, amphibians, or reptiles. This review compiled current information concerning the use of those agents in fish, reptiles and amphibians to help clinicians make an informed decision as to which dose and drug to use. The resulting literature search showed that the literature concerning use of local analgesics in fish and amphibians is very limited while the literature for reptiles is more extensive. We found few experimental studies evaluating the efficacy of local anesthetics. Further studies would provide additional information for developing guidelines to improve the welfare of fish, amphibians and reptiles.
Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R
We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna.
Eskew, Evan A; Todd, Brian D
Pathogenic fungi have substantial effects on global biodiversity, and 2 emerging pathogenic species-the chytridiomycete Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and the ascomycete Geomyces destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats-are implicated in the widespread decline of their vertebrate hosts. We synthesized current knowledge for chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome regarding disease emergence, environmental reservoirs, life history characteristics of the host, and host-pathogen interactions. We found striking similarities between these aspects of chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome, and the research that we review and propose should help guide management of future emerging fungal diseases.
Hemoparasites were harvested from 993 individuals belonging to 15 reptilian and 1 amphibian species, from various Italian localities. Hemogregarins were found in 10 reptilian species while a flagellate and microfilariae were found only in Tarentola mauritanica from Lampedusa. For each host species and place of origin the frequencies of hemogregarins are reported and discussed. Longitudinal studies with periodical thin smears were carried out on 5 Tarentola mauritanica, 4 Lacerta viridis, 26 Podarcis filfolensis, 10 Podarcis muralis, 38 Podarcis sicula, 8 Chalcides ocellatus. This material, whose study has not yet been completed, is made available by the author who strongly encourages further investigations on this subject.
Menchaca-Rocha, A.; Buenerd, M.; Cabrera, J. I.; Canizal, C.; Esquivel, O.; Núñez, R.; Plascencia, J. C.; Reyes, T.; Villoro, M. F.
Optical characterization of hydrophobic silica aerogel SP-25 for the RICH, and a scheme to generate particle-ID conditions on TOF and Tracker amplitude data are reported, as part of a Mexican effort to contribute to the AMS Project. .
The purpose of this study is to examine the determinants of mammographic screening in older Mexican- American women, particularly the influence of strong family relationships on promoting screening behavior...
Full Text Available Amphibians often feed on beetle larvae, including those of ground beetles (Carabidae. Preliminary reports have detailed an unusual trophic interaction in which, in contrast, larvae of the ground beetle Epomis prey upon juvenile and adult amphibians. While it is known that these larvae feed exclusively on amphibians, how the predator-prey encounter occurs to the advantage of the beetle larvae had been unknown to date. Using laboratory observations and controlled experiments, we recorded the feeding behavior of Epomis larvae, as well as the behavior of their amphibian prey. Here we reveal that larvae of two species of Epomis (E. circumscriptus and E. dejeani lure their potential predator, taking advantage of the amphibian's predation behavior. The Epomis larva combines a sit-and-wait strategy with unique movements of its antennae and mandibles to draw the attention of the amphibian to the presence of a potential prey. The intensity of this enticement increases with decreasing distance between the larva and the amphibian. When the amphibian attacks, the larva almost always manages to avoid the predator's protracted tongue, exploiting the opportunity to attach itself to the amphibian's body and initiate feeding. Our findings suggest that the trophic interaction between Epomis larvae and amphibians is one of the only natural cases of obligatory predator-prey role reversal. Moreover, this interaction involves a small insect larva that successfully lures and preys on a larger vertebrate. Such role reversal is exceptional in the animal world, extending our perspective of co-evolution in the arms race between predator and prey, and suggesting that counterattack defense behavior has evolved into predator-prey role reversal.
NAFTA contributed to modest increases in Mexican formal employment since 1994. Since employment constitutes one of the chief factors affecting poverty...any other provision of law , no person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a...FINAL 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE NAFTA , the Mexican Economy, and Undocumented Migration 5a
This dissertation examines intermarriage across generations of the Mexican-origin population in order to better understand how this population is incorporating in U.S. society, and looks at parental migration status and parental nativity as factors that may impede or facilitate intermarriage incorporation. Using data from the Immigration and Intergenerational Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles (IIMMLA) survey the research shows that: the majority of intermarriages among the Mexican-origin ...
An Van Hecke
This study focuses on the symbolic meanings of the axolotl in Juan Villoro’s novel Materia dispuesta and the way the author approaches the concept of identity from both, the adolescent protagonist and Mexicans in general. This novel will be read in light of Roger Bartra’s essay, La jaula de la melancolía. Bartra uses the metaphor of the axolotl to analyse the concept of metamorphosis in the Mexican identity. Thereafter, Villoro’s novel will be compared with Julio Cortazar’s short story “Axolotl”, and Octavio Paz’s poem “Salamandra”. This comparison will allow to amplify the perspective and deepen the analysis of this hybrid animal by Villoro. The study of the axolotl demonstrates that Villoro revives the ancient aztec mythology about this amphibian, that was the representation of the god Xolotl, and that he introduces at the same time new meanings. It is in that combination of both perspectives that the richness of Villoro’s literary universe will be revealed.
West, Daniel M; K Lal, Ishan; Leamy, Michael J; Hu, David L
The Mexican jumping bean, Laspeyresia saltitans, consists of a hollow seed housing a moth larva. Heating by the sun induces movements by the larva which appear as rolls, jumps and flips by the bean. In this combined experimental, numerical and robotic study, we investigate this unique means of rolling locomotion. Time-lapse videography is used to record bean trajectories across a series of terrain types, including one-dimensional channels and planar surfaces of varying inclination. We find that the shell encumbers the larva's locomotion, decreasing its speed on flat surfaces by threefold. We also observe that the two-dimensional search algorithm of the bean resembles the run-and-tumble search of bacteria. We test this search algorithm using both an agent-based simulation and a wheeled Scribbler robot. The algorithm succeeds in propelling the robot away from regions of high temperature and may have application in biomimetic micro-scale navigation systems. (paper)
Azorin N, J.
The possibility of using naturally ocurring mexican gems as thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) was investigated. Twelve types of gems were irradiated with X and gamma rays in order to determinate their dosimetric properties. Three of these gems showed favorable thermoluminescent characteristics compared with commercial thermoluminescent dosimeters. The plots of their thermoluminescent response as a function of gamma dose are straight lines on full log paper in the dose range 10 -2 to 10 2 Gy. The energy dependence is very strong to low energies of the radiation. Their fading was found to be about 5%/yr. and they may be annealed as reused without loss in sensitivity. Therefore, these gems can be used as X and gamma radiation dosimeters. (author)
Winters-Smith, Carol; Larner, Mary
This presentation describes a home visiting health education program serving Mexican and Mexican-American migrant farmworkers in Florida. The purposes of the program were to educate farmworker families about pregnancy, childbirth, nutrition, and child development, and to encourage the use of preventive health care services. Home visitors were…
Fedorenkova, Anastasia; Vonk, J Arie; Lenders, H J Rob; Creemers, Raymond C M; Breure, Anton M; Hendriks, A Jan
Populations of amphibians have been declining worldwide since the late 1960s. Despite global concern, no studies have quantitatively assessed the major causes of this decline. In the present study, species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were developed to analyze the sensitivity of anurans for ammonium, nitrate, heavy metals (cadmium, copper), pesticides (18 compounds), and acidification (pH) based on laboratory toxicity data. Ecological risk (ER) was calculated as the probability that a measured environmental concentration of a particular stressor in habitats where anurans were observed would exceed the toxic effect concentrations derived from the species sensitivity distributions. The assessment of ER was used to rank the stressors according to their potential risk to anurans based on a case study of Dutch freshwater bodies. The derived ERs revealed that threats to populations of anurans decreased in the sequence of pH, copper, diazinon, ammonium, and endosulfan. Other stressors studied were of minor importance. The method of deriving ER by combining field observation data and laboratory data provides insight into potential threats to species in their habitats and can be used to prioritize stressors, which is necessary to achieve effective management in amphibian conservation. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.
UV-B (280-315 nm) radiation is the most significant biologically damaging radiation at the terrestrial surface. At the organismal level, UV-B radiation can slow growth rates, cause immune dysfunction and result in sublethal damage. UV-B radiation can lead to mutations and cell death. Over evolutionary time, UV radiation has been an important stressor on living organisms. Natural events, including impacts from comets and asteroids, volcanic activity, supernova explosions and solar flares, can cause large-scale ozone depletion with accompanying increases in UV radiation. However, these natural events are transient. Moreover, the amount of ozone damage due to natural events depends upon a number of variables, including the magnitude of the event. This is different from modern-day human-induced production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chemicals that deplete stratospheric ozone continuously, resulting in long-term increases in UV-B radiation at the surface of the earth. We will briefly review the effects of UV-B exposure in one group of aquatic organisms_amphibians. UV-B has been implicated as a possible factor contributing to global declines and range reductions in amphibian populations.
Alexandra C North
Full Text Available Ranaviruses are causing mass amphibian die-offs in North America, Europe and Asia, and have been implicated in the decline of common frog (Rana temporaria populations in the UK. Despite this, we have very little understanding of the environmental drivers of disease occurrence and prevalence. Using a long term (1992-2000 dataset of public reports of amphibian mortalities, we assess a set of potential predictors of the occurrence and prevalence of Ranavirus-consistent common frog mortality events in Britain. We reveal the influence of biotic and abiotic drivers of this disease, with many of these abiotic characteristics being anthropogenic. Whilst controlling for the geographic distribution of mortality events, disease prevalence increases with increasing frog population density, presence of fish and wild newts, increasing pond depth and the use of garden chemicals. The presence of an alternative host reduces prevalence, potentially indicating a dilution effect. Ranavirosis occurrence is associated with the presence of toads, an urban setting and the use of fish care products, providing insight into the causes of emergence of disease. Links between occurrence, prevalence, pond characteristics and garden management practices provides useful management implications for reducing the impacts of Ranavirus in the wild.
Gangloff, Eric J; Telemeco, Rory S
Much recent theoretical and empirical work has sought to describe the physiological mechanisms underlying thermal tolerance in animals. Leading hypotheses can be broadly divided into two categories that primarily differ in organizational scale: 1) high temperature directly reduces the function of subcellular machinery, such as enzymes and cell membranes, or 2) high temperature disrupts system-level interactions, such as mismatches in the supply and demand of oxygen, prior to having any direct negative effect on the subcellular machinery. Nonetheless, a general framework describing the contexts under which either subcellular component or organ system failure limits organisms at high temperatures remains elusive. With this commentary, we leverage decades of research on the physiology of ectothermic tetrapods (amphibians and non-avian reptiles) to address these hypotheses. Available data suggest both mechanisms are important. Thus, we expand previous work and propose the Hierarchical Mechanisms of Thermal Limitation (HMTL) hypothesis, which explains how subcellular and organ system failures interact to limit performance and set tolerance limits at high temperatures. We further integrate this framework with the thermal performance curve paradigm commonly used to predict the effects of thermal environments on performance and fitness. The HMTL framework appears to successfully explain diverse observations in reptiles and amphibians and makes numerous predictions that remain untested. We hope that this framework spurs further research in diverse taxa and facilitates mechanistic forecasts of biological responses to climate change.
Wilczynski, Walter; Quispe, Maricel; Muñoz, Matías I; Penna, Mario
Arginine vasotocin (AVT) is the non-mammalian homolog of arginine vasopressin (AVP) and, like vasopressin, serves as an important modulator of social behavior in addition to its peripheral functions related to osmoregulation, reproductive physiology, and stress hormone release. In amphibians and reptiles, the neuroanatomical organization of brain AVT cells and fibers broadly resembles that seen in mammals and other taxa. Both parvocellular and magnocellular AVT-containing neurons are present in multiple populations located mainly in the basal forebrain from the accumbens-amygdala area to the preoptic area and hypothalamus, from which originate widespread fiber connections spanning the brain with a particularly heavy innervation of areas associated with social behavior and decision-making. As for mammalian AVP, AVT is present in greater amounts in males in many brain areas, and its presence varies seasonally, with hormonal state, and in males with differing social status. AVT's social influence is also conserved across herpetological taxa, with significant effects on social signaling and aggression, and, based on the very small number of studies investigating more complex social behaviors in amphibians and reptiles, AVT may also modulate parental care and social bonding when it is present in these vertebrates. Within this conserved pattern, however, both AVT anatomy and social behavior effects vary significantly across species. Accounting for this diversity represents a challenge to understanding the mechanisms by which AVT exerts its behavioral effects, as well are a potential tool for discerning the structure-function relationships underlying AVT's many effects on behavior.
Weltje, Lennart; Ufer, Andreas; Hamer, Mick; Sowig, Peter; Demmig, Sandra; Dechet, Friedrich
Some amphibians occur in agricultural landscapes during certain periods of their life cycle and consequently might be exposed to plant protection products (PPPs). While the sensitivity of aquatic life-stages is considered to be covered by the standard assessment for aquatic organisms (especially fish), the situation is less clear for terrestrial amphibian life-stages. In this paper, considerations are presented on how a risk assessment for PPPs and terrestrial life-stages of amphibians could be conducted. It discusses available information concerning the toxicity of PPPs to terrestrial amphibians, and their potential exposure to PPPs in consideration of aspects of amphibian biology. The emphasis is on avoiding additional vertebrate testing as much as possible by using exposure-driven approaches and by making use of existing vertebrate toxicity data, where appropriate. Options for toxicity testing and risk assessment are presented in a flowchart as a tiered approach, progressing from a non-testing approach, to simple worst-case laboratory testing, to extended laboratory testing, to semi-field enclosure tests and ultimately to full-scale field testing and monitoring. Suggestions are made for triggers to progress to higher tiers. Also, mitigation options to reduce the potential for exposure of terrestrial life-stages of amphibians to PPPs, if a risk were identified, are discussed. Finally, remaining uncertainties and research needs are considered by proposing a way forward (road map) for generating additional information to inform terrestrial amphibian risk assessment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.
The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.
Ohmer, Michel E; Bishop, Phillip J
As a result of global declines in amphibian populations, interest in the conservation of amphibians has grown. This growth has been fueled partially by the recent discovery of other potential causes of declines, including chytridiomycosis (the amphibian chytrid, an infectious disease) and climate change. It has been proposed that researchers have shifted their focus to these novel stressors and that other threats to amphibians, such as habitat loss, are not being studied in proportion to their potential effects. We tested the validity of this proposal by reviewing the literature on amphibian declines, categorizing the primary topic of articles within this literature (e.g., habitat loss or UV-B radiation) and comparing citation rates among articles on these topics and impact factors of journals in which the articles were published. From 1990 to 2009, the proportion of papers on habitat loss remained fairly constant, and although the number of papers on chytridiomycosis increased after the disease was described in 1998, the number of published papers on amphibian declines also increased. Nevertheless, papers on chytridiomycosis were more highly cited than papers not on chytridiomycosis and were published in journals with higher impact factors on average, which may indicate this research topic is more popular in the literature. Our results were not consistent with a shift in the research agenda on amphibians. We believe the perception of such a shift has been supported by the higher citation rates of papers on chytridiomycosis. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.
Crawford, Andrew J; Cruz, Catalina; Griffith, Edgardo; Ross, Heidi; Ibáñez, Roberto; Lips, Karen R; Driskell, Amy C; Bermingham, Eldredge; Crump, Paul
Amphibians constitute a diverse yet still incompletely characterized clade of vertebrates, in which new species are still being discovered and described at a high rate. Amphibians are also increasingly endangered, due in part to disease-driven threats of extinctions. As an emergency response, conservationists have begun ex situ assurance colonies for priority species. The abundance of cryptic amphibian diversity, however, may cause problems for ex situ conservation. In this study we used a DNA barcoding approach to survey mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in captive populations of 10 species of Neotropical amphibians maintained in an ex situ assurance programme at El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (EVACC) in the Republic of Panama. We combined these mtDNA sequences with genetic data from presumably conspecific wild populations sampled from across Panama, and applied genetic distance-based and character-based analyses to identify cryptic lineages. We found that three of ten species harboured substantial cryptic genetic diversity within EVACC, and an additional three species harboured cryptic diversity among wild populations, but not in captivity. Ex situ conservation efforts focused on amphibians are therefore vulnerable to an incomplete taxonomy leading to misidentification among cryptic species. DNA barcoding may therefore provide a simple, standardized protocol to identify cryptic diversity readily applicable to any amphibian community. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Karraker, Nancy E; Ruthig, Gregory R
Some causative agents of amphibian declines act synergistically to impact individual amphibians and their populations. In particular, pathogenic water molds (aquatic oomycetes) interact with environmental stressors and increase mortality in amphibian embryos. We documented colonization of eggs of three amphibian species, the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), the green frog (Rana clamitans), and the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), by water molds in the field and examined the interactive effects of road deicing salt and water molds, two known sources of mortality for amphibian embryos, on two species, R. clamitans and A. maculatum in the laboratory. We found that exposure to water molds did not affect embryonic survivorship in either A. maculatum or R. clamitans, regardless of the concentration of road salt to which their eggs were exposed. Road salt decreased survivorship of A. maculatum, but not R. clamitans, and frequency of malformations increased significantly in both species at the highest salinity concentration. The lack of an effect of water molds on survival of embryos and no interaction between road salt and water molds indicates that observations of colonization of these eggs by water molds in the field probably represent a secondary invasion of unfertilized eggs or of embryos that had died of other causes. Given increasing salinization of freshwater habitats on several continents and the global distribution of water molds, our results suggest that some amphibian species may not be susceptible to the combined effects of these factors, permitting amphibian decline researchers to devote their attention to other potential causes.
Wagner, Norman; Reichenbecher, Wolfram; Teichmann, Hanka; Tappeser, Beatrix; Lötters, Stefan
Use of glyphosate-based herbicides is increasing worldwide. The authors review the available data related to potential impacts of these herbicides on amphibians and conduct a qualitative meta-analysis. Because little is known about environmental concentrations of glyphosate in amphibian habitats and virtually nothing is known about environmental concentrations of the substances added to the herbicide formulations that mainly contribute to adverse effects, glyphosate levels can only be seen as approximations for contamination with glyphosate-based herbicides. The impact on amphibians depends on the herbicide formulation, with different sensitivity of taxa and life stages. Effects on development of larvae apparently are the most sensitive endpoints to study. As with other contaminants, costressors mainly increase adverse effects. If and how glyphosate-based herbicides and other pesticides contribute to amphibian decline is not answerable yet due to missing data on how natural populations are affected. Amphibian risk assessment can only be conducted case-specifically, with consideration of the particular herbicide formulation. The authors recommend better monitoring of both amphibian populations and contamination of habitats with glyphosate-based herbicides, not just glyphosate, and suggest including amphibians in standardized test batteries to study at least dermal administration. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.
Harper, Elizabeth B; Patrick, David A; Gibbs, James P
Forest loss is a primary cause of worldwide amphibian decline. Timber harvesting in the United States has caused dramatic changes in quality and extent of forest ecosystems, and intensive forest management still occurs. Although numerous studies have documented substantial reductions in amphibian densities related to timber harvest, subsequent extinctions are rare. To better understand the population dynamics that have allowed so many amphibian species to persist in the face of widespread forest disturbance, we developed spatially explicit metapopulation models for four forest-dependent amphibian species (Lithobates sylvaticus, Ambystoma opacum, A. talpoideum, and A. maculatum) that incorporated demographic and habitat selection data derived from experiments conducted as part of the Land Use Effects on Amphibian Populations Project (LEAP). We projected local and landscape-scale population persistence under 108 different forestry practice scenarios, varying treatment (partial cut, clear-cut with coarse woody debris [CWD] removed, and clearcut with CWD retained), cut patch size (1, 10, or 50 ha), total area cut (10, 20, or 30%), and initial amphibian population size (5, 50, or 500 adult females per local breeding population). Under these scenarios, landscape-scale extinction was highly unlikely, occurring in amphibian populations in the United States should focus not on questions of landscape-scale extinction but on the ecological consequences of dramatic reductions in amphibian biomass, including changes in trophic interactions, nutrient cycling, and energy transfer. Additionally, we conclude that amphibian declines and extinctions are far more likely to occur as a result of permanent habitat loss resulting from development than from the temporary degradation of habitat caused by current forestry practices.
This report is a view from Fermilab of Mexican particle physics at the Laboratory since about 1980; it is not intended to be a history of Mexican particle physics: that topic is outside the expertise of the writer. The period 1980 to the present coincides with the growth of Mexican experimental particle physics from essentially no activity to its current state where Mexican groups take part in experiments at several of the world's major laboratories
It was studied the peculiarity of the radionuclide intake to organism of amphibians and reptiles in the Poles'e radioecological reserve in 1997. The radioactive contamination level of investigated area was from 15 to 40 Ci/km 2 . It was measured 38 samples (26 for amphibians and 12 for reptiles) from points with background gamma-irradiation from 35 to 800 micro R/h. For the last eleven years of investigation it was revealed the total tendency to reduction of level of gamma-radioactive accumulation in 18,8-42,6 times for amphibians and in 2,8-52,5 times for reptiles
Araújo, Miguel B.; Thuiller, W.; Pearson, R. G.
deleterious than previously postulated; indeed, climate cooling would be more deleterious for the persistence of amphibian and reptile species than warming. The ability of species to cope with climate warming may, however, be offset by projected decreases in the availability of water. This should......-east are projected to gain suitable climate. This is because dry conditions in the south-west are projected to increase, approaching the levels found in North Africa, where few amphibian species are able to persist. Main conclusions The impact of increasing temperatures on amphibian and reptile species may be less...
Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.; Cruz, Alexander
Abstract We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo Le?n. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo Le?n. Nuevo Le?n contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus . Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo Le?n and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least C...
Hays, J.B.; Hoffman, P.D.; Pandelova, Iovanna; Coyle, Daniel
Many amphibian species, in widely scattered locations, currently show population declines and/or reductions in range, but other amphibian species show no such declines. There is no known single cause for these declines. Differential sensitivity to UVB radiation among species might be one contributing factor. We have focused on amphibian eggs, potentially the most UVB-sensitive stage, and compared their resistance to UVB components of sunlight with their levels of photolyase, typically the most important enzyme for repair of the major UV photoproducts in DNA, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers. (Author)
Lötters, Stefan; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan F; Fisher, Matthew C; Rödder, Dennis
Amphibians are globally declining and approximately one-third of all species are threatened with extinction. Some of the most severe declines have occurred suddenly and for unknown reasons in apparently pristine habitats. It has been hypothesized that these "rapid enigmatic declines" are the result of a panzootic of the disease chytridiomycosis caused by globally emerging amphibian chytrid fungus. In a Species Distribution Model, we identified the potential distribution of this pathogen. Areas and species from which rapid enigmatic decline are known significantly overlap with those of highest environmental suitability to the chytrid fungus. We confirm the plausibility of a link between rapid enigmatic decline in worldwide amphibian species and epizootic chytridiomycosis.
Aldrich, Annette; Junghans, Marion; Aeberli, Caroline; Brühl, Carsten A; Streissl, Franz; Schmidt, Benedikt R
The majority of Swiss amphibians are threatened. There is a range of factors which have been discussed as possible causes for their decline, including plant protection products (PPPs). The influence of PPPs on amphibian populations has not yet been studied to any great extent, neither for active ingredients nor for the wetting agents, breakdown products or tank mixtures. A further topic of discussion was how to better protect amphibians by reducing their exposure to PPPs in agricultural fields. Experts at a workshop concluded that further research is needed.
Schmidt, Benedikt R
The evidence for amphibian population declines is based on count data that were not adjusted for detection probabilities. Such data are not reliable even when collected using standard methods. The formula C = Np (where C is a count, N the true parameter value, and p is a detection probability) relates count data to demography, population size, or distributions. With unadjusted count data, one assumes a linear relationship between C and N and that p is constant. These assumptions are unlikely to be met in studies of amphibian populations. Amphibian population data should be based on methods that account for detection probabilities.
Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.
Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.
McAllister, Chris T; Bursey, Charles R; Freed, Paul S
Twenty individual amphibians representing 9 species within 6 families and 44 individual reptiles representing 15 species within 8 families from the Ucayali Region, Peru, were examined for helminths. Seven (35%) of the amphibian species and 15 (34%) of the reptiles were found to harbor at least 1 species of helminth; 5 (25%) of the amphibians and 4 (9%) of the reptiles harbored multiple infections. A cyclophyllidean cestode and 14 taxa of nematodes within 7 families were found in the herpetofauna surveyed. Thirteen new host and 6 new geographic distribution records are documented.
Traditional Mexican American herbal potions and remedies and their history are explained in an introductory book for the general reader. The importance of curanderismo, or green medicine, in Mexican and Mexican American cultures is explored. A brief history traces the herbal aspects of curanderismo through Mayan and Aztec cultures, the Spanish…
This book explores race relations between Mexican Americans and Anglo Americans in "Middlewest," a fictitious name for an actual rural Idaho community with the highest proportion of Mexican Americans in the state. Many Mexican Americans in this predominantly agricultural area are current or former migrant workers. The first chapter…
Sheinbaum-Pardo, Claudia; Ruiz-Mendoza, Belizza Janet; Rodríguez-Padilla, Víctor
The authors analyze the Mexican energy policy taking as reference the methodological framework for sustainable energy development proposed by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. This methodology takes eight related indicators to the social, environmental and economic dimensions in order to calculate a general sustainability indicator for the energy sector. In this methodology, the weight of each dimension is different; namely, the social and environmental issues have less relevance than the economic issues. The authors use this methodology because government institutions as the Department of Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have used some indicators from such a methodology to propose plans, programs, projects and bills. Authors know of the existence of other methodologies about sustainability. Nonetheless, opting for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean's methodology is convenient because this organization is a respectable authority for civil servants from the Mexican institutions. Our objective is just to contrast the sustainability grade of the energy sector between 1990 and 2008 for Mexico whose government started reforms in the 1990s. It concludes that those reforms did not bring about a higher sustainability level for the energy sector. - Highlights: ► We used the OLADE, CEPAL and GTZ's methodology to calculate sustainability indicators for the Mexican energy sector. ► We studied the Mexican energy policy from 1990 to date and presented it. ► Currently, the Mexican energy sector is less sustainable than in 1990.
Nouri, Comron; Gordon, Richard; Luppes, Roel; Veldman, Arthur E P; Tuszynski, Jack A
The one-cell amphibian embryo is modeled as a rigid spherical shell containing equal volumes of two immiscible fluids with different densities and viscosities and a surface tension between them. The fluids represent denser yolk in the bottom hemisphere and clearer cytoplasm and the germinal vesicle in the top hemisphere. The unstable equilibrium configuration of the inverted system (the heavier fluid on top) depends on the value of the contact angle. The theoretically calculated normal modes of perturbation and the instability of each mode are in agreement with the results from ComFlo computational fluid dynamic simulations of the same system. The two dominant types of modes of perturbation give rise to axisymmetric and asymmetric sloshing of the cytoplasm of the inverted embryos, respectively. This work quantifies our hypothesis that the axisymmetric mode corresponds to failure of development, and the asymmetric sloshing mode corresponds to development proceeding normally, but with reversed pigmentation, for inverted embryos
Ping-Chun Lucy Hou
Full Text Available Pet trade is an important mechanism for introducing alien species. We surveyed a total of 434 pet shops in major cities of Taiwan and found 49 species of alien amphibians belonging to 14 families and 31 genera. Two of the alien species, Rana catesbeiana and Kaloula pulchra, have established in the fields and the other three, Bufo marinus, Xenopus laevis, and Dendrobates auratus, have invasion records in other countries. There were 16 CITES Appendix II species. The most frequently displayed species were the horned frogs, eratophrys spp. And the most abundant species was the American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana. We urge the authority of Taiwan establishing regulations on pet trade and enforcing the wildlife conservation law to reduce the risks of alien species invasions.
Beebee, Trevor J C
Road mortality is a widely recognized but rarely quantified threat to the viability of amphibian populations. The global extent of the problem is substantial and factors affecting the number of animals killed on highways include life-history traits and landscape features. Secondary effects include genetic isolation due to roads acting as barriers to migration. Long-term effects of roads on population dynamics are often severe and mitigation methods include volunteer rescues and under-road tunnels. Despite the development of methods that reduce road kill in specific locations, especially under-road tunnels and culverts, there is scant evidence that such measures will protect populations over the long term. There also seems little likelihood that funding will be forthcoming to ameliorate the problem at the scale necessary to prevent further population declines. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.
Stark, Karolina; Scott, David E; Tsyusko, Olga; Coughlin, Daniel P; Hinton, Thomas G
In parallel with a renewed interest in nuclear power and its possible environmental impacts, a new environmental radiation protection system calls for environmental indicators of radiological stress. However, because environmental stressors seldom occur alone, this study investigated the combined effects of an ecological stressor (larval density) and an anthropogenic stressor (ionizing radiation) on amphibians. Scaphiopus holbrookii tadpoles reared at different larval densities were exposed to four low irradiation dose rates (0.13, 2.4, 21, and 222 mGy d(-1)) from (137)Cs during the sensitive period prior to and throughout metamorphosis. Body size at metamorphosis and development rate served as fitness correlates related to population dynamics. Results showed that increased larval density decreased body size but did not affect development rate. Low dose rate radiation had no impact on either endpoint. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Marchenkovskaya А. А.
Full Text Available We examined the abundance of juvenile (fingerlings and yearlings and sexually mature (3-6 years of various anurans at various biotopes with different degrees of anthropogenic influence. Population analysis has revealed that the number of juveniles in all the habitats are depended on type and level of anthropogenic influence. In all the habitats the most numerous species was synanthropic bufo viridis. In biotopes with high contamination of pollutants, only one species of amphibians - the marsh frog has populations with juveniles migrating here in the early fall. The highest number of mature individuals registered for the population of Bombina bombina, pelobates fuscus and in one biotope for hyla arborea. The populations of pelophylax ridibundus could be considered as the most balanced by number of juvenile and mature individuals.
Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Hartwig, Airn E; Bowen, Richard A
Chikungunya virus is an emerging arbovirus of significant human-health concern. Little is known about its sylvatic cycle, including whether ectothermic vertebrates are permissive to infection. In this study, individuals from ten species of reptiles and amphibians were inoculated with chikungunya virus and samples of blood were tested to characterize viremia and seroconversion. Viremia was not detected in cane toads, house geckos, or American alligators, but most of the green iguanas, red-eared sliders, ball and Burmese pythons, leopard frogs, Texas toads, and garter snakes developed viremia. Peak virus titers in serum of up to 4.5, 4.7, and 5.1 log 10 plaque-forming units per milliliter were observed for garter snakes, ball pythons, and Texas toads, respectively. These results add to those of other studies that have suggested a possible role for ectothermic vertebrates in the ecology of arbovirus maintenance and transmission in nature.
Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J
The evolution of climatic niche specialization has important implications for many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation. The climatic niche reflects the set of temperature and precipitation conditions where a species can occur. Thus, specialization to a limited set of climatic conditions can be important for understanding patterns of biogeography, species richness, community structure, allopatric speciation, spread of invasive species and responses to climate change. Nevertheless, the factors that determine climatic niche width (level of specialization) remain poorly explored. Here, we test whether species that occur in more extreme climates are more highly specialized for those conditions, and whether there are trade-offs between niche widths on different climatic niche axes (e.g. do species that tolerate a broad range of temperatures tolerate only a limited range of precipitation regimes?). We test these hypotheses in amphibians, using phylogenetic comparative methods and global-scale datasets, including 2712 species with both climatic and phylogenetic data. Our results do not support either hypothesis. Rather than finding narrower niches in more extreme environments, niches tend to be narrower on one end of a climatic gradient but wider on the other. We also find that temperature and precipitation niche breadths are positively related, rather than showing trade-offs. Finally, our results suggest that most amphibian species occur in relatively warm and dry environments and have relatively narrow climatic niche widths on both of these axes. Thus, they may be especially imperilled by anthropogenic climate change. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Wilczynski, Walter; Quispe, Maricel; Muñoz, Matías I.; Penna, Mario
Arginine vasotocin (AVT) is the non-mammalian homolog of arginine vasopressin (AVP) and, like vasopressin, serves as an important modulator of social behavior in addition to its peripheral functions related to osmoregulation, reproductive physiology, and stress hormone release. In amphibians and reptiles, the neuroanatomical organization of brain AVT cells and fibers broadly resembles that seen in mammals and other taxa. Both parvocellular and magnocellular AVT-containing neurons are present in multiple populations located mainly in the basal forebrain from the accumbens–amygdala area to the preoptic area and hypothalamus, from which originate widespread fiber connections spanning the brain with a particularly heavy innervation of areas associated with social behavior and decision-making. As for mammalian AVP, AVT is present in greater amounts in males in many brain areas, and its presence varies seasonally, with hormonal state, and in males with differing social status. AVT’s social influence is also conserved across herpetological taxa, with significant effects on social signaling and aggression, and, based on the very small number of studies investigating more complex social behaviors in amphibians and reptiles, AVT may also modulate parental care and social bonding when it is present in these vertebrates. Within this conserved pattern, however, both AVT anatomy and social behavior effects vary significantly across species. Accounting for this diversity represents a challenge to understanding the mechanisms by which AVT exerts its behavioral effects, as well are a potential tool for discerning the structure-function relationships underlying AVT’s many effects on behavior. PMID:28824546
Full Text Available Arginine vasotocin (AVT is the non-mammalian homolog of arginine vasopressin (AVP and, like vasopressin, serves as an important modulator of social behavior in addition to its peripheral functions related to osmoregulation, reproductive physiology, and stress hormone release. In amphibians and reptiles, the neuroanatomical organization of brain AVT cells and fibers broadly resembles that seen in mammals and other taxa. Both parvocellular and magnocellular AVT-containing neurons are present in multiple populations located mainly in the basal forebrain from the accumbens–amygdala area to the preoptic area and hypothalamus, from which originate widespread fiber connections spanning the brain with a particularly heavy innervation of areas associated with social behavior and decision-making. As for mammalian AVP, AVT is present in greater amounts in males in many brain areas, and its presence varies seasonally, with hormonal state, and in males with differing social status. AVT’s social influence is also conserved across herpetological taxa, with significant effects on social signaling and aggression, and, based on the very small number of studies investigating more complex social behaviors in amphibians and reptiles, AVT may also modulate parental care and social bonding when it is present in these vertebrates. Within this conserved pattern, however, both AVT anatomy and social behavior effects vary significantly across species. Accounting for this diversity represents a challenge to understanding the mechanisms by which AVT exerts its behavioral effects, as well are a potential tool for discerning the structure-function relationships underlying AVT’s many effects on behavior.
Groff, Luke A.; Loftin, Cynthia S.; Calhoun, Aram J.K.
Ecological relationships and processes vary across species’ geographic distributions, life stages and spatial, and temporal scales. Montane landscapes are characterized by low wetland densities, rugged topographies, and cold climates. Consequently, aquatic-dependent and low-vagility ectothermic species (e.g., pool-breeding amphibians) may exhibit unique ecological associations in montane landscapes. We evaluated the relative importance of breeding- and landscape-scale features associated with spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) wetland occupancy in Maine's Upper Montane-Alpine Zone ecoregion, and we determined whether models performed better when the inclusive landscape-scale covariates were estimated with topography-weighted or circular buffers. We surveyed 135 potential breeding sites during May 2013–June 2014 and evaluated environmental relationships with multi-season implicit dynamics occupancy models. Breeding site occupancy by both species was influenced solely by breeding-scale habitat features. Spotted salamander occupancy probabilities increased with previous or current beaver (Castor canadensis) presence, and models generally were better supported when the inclusive landscape-scale covariates were estimated with topography-weighted rather than circular buffers. Wood frog occupancy probabilities increased with site area and percent shallows, but neither buffer type was better supported than the other. Model rank order and support varied between buffer types, but model inferences did not. Our results suggest pool-breeding amphibian conservation in montane Maine include measures to maintain beaver populations and large wetlands with proportionally large areas of shallows ≤1-m deep. Inconsistencies between our study and previous studies substantiate the value of region-specific research for augmenting species’ conservation management plans and suggest the application of out-of-region inferences may promote
Spradley, Katherine; Stull, Kyra E; Hefner, Joseph T
Research by economists suggests that recent Mexican migrants are better educated and have higher socioeconomic status (SES) than previous migrants. Because factors associated with higher SES and improved education can lead to positive secular changes in overall body form, secular changes in the craniofacial complex were analyzed within a recent migrant group from Mexico. The Mexican group represents individuals in the act of migration, not yet influenced by the American environment, and thus can serve as a starting point for future studies of secular change in this population group. The excavation of a historic Hispanic cemetery in Tucson, Arizona, also allows for a comparison between historic Hispanics and recent migrants to explore craniofacial trends over a broad time period, as both groups originate from Mexico. The present research addresses two main questions: (1) Are cranial secular changes evident in recent Mexican migrants? (2) Are historic Hispanics and recent Mexican migrants similar? By studying secular changes within a migrant population group, secular trends may be detected, which will be important for understanding the biological variation of the migrants themselves and will serve as a preliminary investigation of secular change within Mexican migrants. The comparison of a sample of recent Mexican migrants with a historic Hispanic sample, predominantly of Mexican origin, allows us to explore morphological similarities and differences between early and recent Mexicans within the United States. Vault and face size and a total of 82 craniofacial interlandmark distances were used to explore secular changes within the recent Mexican migrants (females, n = 38; males, n = 178) and to explore the morphological similarities between historic Hispanics (females, n = 54; males, n = 58) and recent migrants. Sexes were separated, and multivariate adaptive regression splines and basis splines (quadratic with one knot) were used to assess the direction and magnitude
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for threatened/endangered sea turtles, diamondback terrapins, and rare reptiles/amphibians in coastal Rhode...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for amphibians and reptiles in Central California. Vector polygons in this data set represent sea turtle...
Taylor, Tamra Faris
This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for amphibians and reptiles in Central California. Vector lines in this data set represent general stream...
Background/Question/Methods Although isolated wetlands comprise a significant portion of amphibian breeding habitats throughout the United States, they are not protected under the Clean Water Act. In SW Georgia where agriculture is dominant within the landscape, many isolated ...
Warwick, C; Jessop, M; Arena, P; Pliny, A; Nicholas, E; Lambiris, A
In a review summary on page 450, Pasmans and others discuss the future of keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets. Here, Clifford Warwick and others discuss the animal welfare and public health implications of exotic pet business. British Veterinary Association.
Wang, Xi; Wang, Yan-Ping; Ding, Ping
Habitat fragmentation is a main cause for the loss of biological diversity. Combining line-transect methods to survey the amphibians and reptiles on 23 islands on Thousand Island Lake in Zhejiang province, along with survey data on nearby plant species and habitat variables collected by GIS, we used the"BINMATNEST (binary matrix nestedness temperature calculator)" software and the Spearman rank correlation to examine whether amphibians and reptiles followed nested subsets and their influencing factors. The results showed that amphibians and reptiles were significantly nested, and that the island area and habitat type were significantly associated with their nested ranks. Therefore, to effectively protect amphibians and reptiles in the Thousand Islands Lake area we should pay prior attention to islands with larger areas and more habitat types.
In support of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA) Test Guideline for the detection of substances that interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, a document was developed that provides a standardized appro...
Full Text Available Geographical position of Pakistan is unique, and country harbors two out of six zoogeographical regions. The country can be divided into 15 habitat types in three major divisions: the mountainous region, foothills, and Indus plains. Overall, 219 species including 24 amphibians and 195 reptiles have been reported so far. Out of these, nine amphibian and 13 reptilian species are endemic to Pakistan. Despite this richness, there is paucity of knowledge regarding diversity of amphibians and reptiles as very few species have been thoroughly studied and very small area has been explored. This has led to the uncertainties regarding distribution and taxonomy of these taxa in the country. The herpetofauna is not protected by law in the country, and their conservation status is yet to be evaluated. Furthermore, distribution ranges of amphibians and reptiles have been changed and systemized survey work is required to update baseline information in the country.
Julio A. Lemos-Espinal
Full Text Available Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest state, and its physiographic complexity affects the distribution of its herpetofauna. We list amphibians and reptiles for the state of Chihuahua, with their conservation status. We also compare this list to those of six adjoining states in the United States and Mexico (New Mexico, Texas, Coahuila, Durango, Sinaloa, and Sonora. A total of 175 species of amphibians and reptiles is found in Chihuahua. Thirty-eight are amphibians, and 137 reptiles. Chihuahuan amphibians and reptiles represent just over 37% of such species from Chihuahua and neighboring states. Chihuahua shares the highest proportion of its herpetofauna with Sonora and Durango. Most of the herpetofauna of Chihuahua falls in IUCNs least concern category and is not listed by SEMARNAT. However, turtles in Chihuahua are a group of particular conservation concern.
Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R; Woolrich-Piña, Guillermo A; Cruz, Alexander
Chihuahua is Mexico's largest state, and its physiographic complexity affects the distribution of its herpetofauna. We list amphibians and reptiles for the state of Chihuahua, with their conservation status. We also compare this list to those of six adjoining states in the United States and Mexico (New Mexico, Texas, Coahuila, Durango, Sinaloa, and Sonora). A total of 175 species of amphibians and reptiles is found in Chihuahua. Thirty-eight are amphibians, and 137 reptiles. Chihuahuan amphibians and reptiles represent just over 37% of such species from Chihuahua and neighboring states. Chihuahua shares the highest proportion of its herpetofauna with Sonora and Durango. Most of the herpetofauna of Chihuahua falls in IUCNs least concern category and is not listed by SEMARNAT. However, turtles in Chihuahua are a group of particular conservation concern.
Corn, Paul Stephen
The problem of declining amphibian species is thought to be particularly acute in western North America, but there are many gaps in our knowledge. Although several declines have been well-documented, other declines are anecdotal or hypothesized. Most documented declines are of ranid frogs or toads (Bufo). Species from montane habitats and those occurring in California have been best studied. Status of many desert species is unknown. Habitat destruction and introduced predators are the most common threats to amphibian populations. Some declines may represent natural variation in population size. Causes have not been determined for several cases where common species have declined over large areas. There are important considerations for ecosystem management, whether changes in amphibian populations are natural or caused by human activities. Causes for declines must be known so that management can be prescribed (or proscribed) to eliminate or minimize these causes. The natural variability of amphibian population numbers and the complexity of metapopulation structure emphasize the necessity of considering multiple temporal and spatial scales in ecosystem management. The decline of amphibian species throughout the world has received considerable recent attention (e.g., Blaustein and Wake 1990, Griffiths and Beebee 1992, Yoffe 1992). Much of this attention derives from a workshop held in February, 1990 on declining amphibians sponsored by the National Research Council Board (NRC) on Biology in Irvine, California (Barinaga 1990, Borchelt 1990). Because of media attention in the aftermath of this conference, it is a popular perception that amphibian declines are a new phenomenon that herpetologists have been slow to recognize (Griffiths and Beebee 1992, Quammen 1993). However, concern about amphibian populations in the United States dates back over 20 years. Beginning in the 1960s, a large, well-documented decline of northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) occurred in the
Ward, A; Hide, G; Jehle, R
Amphibians are the most endangered group of vertebrates, and conservation measures increasingly rely on information drawn from genetic markers. The present study explores skin swabs with Whatman FTA® cards as a method to retrieve PCR-amplifiable amphibian DNA. Swabs from ten adult great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) were used to compare FTA® card-based protocols with tissue sampling based on toe clips. PCR success rates were measured for seven microsatellite markers and one mtDNA marker ...
Crawford, Andrew J.; Lips, Karen R.; Bermingham, Eldredge
Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing...
Bishop, Christine A.; Cunnington, David C.; Fellers, Gary M.; Gibbs, James P.; Pauli, Bruce D.; Rothermel, Betsie B.; Linder, Greg L.; Krest, Sherry K.; Sparling, Donald W.
Amphibians as a class of vertebrates have persisted for hundreds of millions of years (Stebbins and Cohen 1995), but they are currently threatened by a variety of stressors, many resulting from human-related alterations of the environment. Most species of amphibians live closely associated with moist environments throughout their life and have evolved specialized adaptations that conserve water and reduce desiccation (Stebbins and Cohen 1995; Henry 2000; Chapter 2A). Amphibians are ectotherms, so their body temperatures fluctuate with the local environment. Latitude, elevation, and habitat affect environmental temperature and have a strong influence on amphibian distributions. Despite these physiological and habitat constraints, the 4750 species of amphibians in the world today have exploited a wide variety of habitats that range from dry deserts to tropical rain forests and from sea level to elevations above 4000 m (McDairmid and Mitchell 2000).The direct loss of suitable habitat has had a profound effect on amphibian populations (Johnson 1992), as it has on nearly all species of wildlife. In the U.S., 53% of wetlands have been lost to human development in the last 200 years (Dahl 1990). Similar loss of wetlands has occurred throughout much of the world, especially in developing countries (Miller 1993). In many regions, deforestation has reduced or eliminated suitable terrestrial habitats, and this may prove to be the largest global threat to amphibian populations (Johnson 1992). Eight thousand years ago, forests covered approximately 40% of the world’s land (6 billion hectares), but by 1997, the world’s forests had been reduced to 3.5 billion hectares, a 42% loss worldwide (CIDA 2001). The effect of habitat loss is generally both obvious and predictable; with increasing restriction of suitable habitat, amphibian populations will probably not survive. The anthropogenic effects on the quality of the habitat that remains are often less obvious.
Ecological Receptors at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP), Karnack, TX. Ecotoxicology , 10: 305-313. Smith JN, Pan X, Gentles, BA, Smith...Page 32 of 225 Hayes, TB. 2000. Endocrine disruption in amphibians. In Sparling DW, Linder G, Bishop C, eds. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and... macrophytes and was programmed in Matlab using difference equations. To simulate and predict the uptake and transport of explosives in various
Luiz, Amom Mendes; Le?o-Pires, Thiago Augusto; Sawaya, Ricardo J.
Beta diversity patterns are the outcome of multiple processes operating at different scales. Amphibian assemblages seem to be affected by contemporary climate and dispersal-based processes. However, historical processes involved in present patterns of beta diversity remain poorly understood. We assess and disentangle geomorphological, climatic and spatial drivers of amphibian beta diversity in coastal lowlands of the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that geomorph...
Klimaszewski, Krzysztof; Pacholik, Ewa; Snopek, Adam
The study was aimed to evaluate the selected improvements of nature restoration in a depleted gravel pit. The study site consisted of four water reservoirs of different shapes and sizes, flooded after the gravel extraction ended. Ecological succession monitoring, conducted by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences students associated in the Student Scientific Association of Animal Sciences Faculty since the completion of mining, have focused on amphibians. A twofold approach upheld amphibian ...
Collins, James P
For over 350 million yr, thousands of amphibian species have lived on Earth. Since the 1980s, amphibians have been disappearing at an alarming rate, in many cases quite suddenly. What is causing these declines and extinctions? In the modern era (post 1500) there are 6 leading causes of biodiversity loss in general, and all of these acting alone or together are responsible for modern amphibian declines: commercial use; introduced/exotic species that compete with, prey on, and parasitize native frogs and salamanders; land use change; contaminants; climate change; and infectious disease. The first 3 causes are historical in the sense that they have been operating for hundreds of years, although the rate of change due to each accelerated greatly after about the mid-20th century. Contaminants, climate change, and emerging infectious diseases are modern causes suspected of being responsible for the so-called 'enigmatic decline' of amphibians in protected areas. Introduced/exotic pathogens, land use change, and infectious disease are the 3 causes with a clear role in amphibian decline as well as extinction; thus far, the other 3 causes are only implicated in decline and not extinction. The present work is a review of the 6 causes with a focus on pathogens and suggested areas where new research is needed. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a chytrid fungus that is an emerging infectious disease causing amphibian population decline and species extinction. Historically, pathogens have not been seen as a major cause of extinction, but Bd is an exception, which is why it is such an interesting, important pathogen to understand. The late 20th and early 21st century global biodiversity loss is characterized as a sixth extinction event. Amphibians are a striking example of these losses as they disappear at a rate that greatly exceeds historical levels. Consequently, modern amphibian decline and extinction is a lens through which we can view the larger story of biodiversity
Kilburn, Vanessa L; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M
Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is considered to be a disease exclusively of amphibians. However, B. dendrobatidis may also be capable of persisting in the environment, and non-amphibian vectors or hosts may contribute to disease transmission. Reptiles living in close proximity to amphibians and sharing similar ecological traits could serve as vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis, harbouring the organism on their skin without succumbing to disease. We surveyed for the presence of B. dendrobatidis DNA among 211 lizards and 8 snakes at 8 sites at varying elevations in Panama where the syntopic amphibians were at pre-epizootic, epizootic or post-epizootic stages of chytridiomycosis. Detection of B. dendrobatidis DNA was done using qPCR analysis. Evidence of the amphibian pathogen was present at varying intensities in 29 of 79 examined Anolis humilis lizards (32%) and 9 of 101 A. lionotus lizards (9%), and in one individual each of the snakes Pliocercus euryzonus, Imantodes cenchoa, and Nothopsis rugosus. In general, B. dendrobatidis DNA prevalence among reptiles was positively correlated with the infection prevalence among co-occurring anuran amphibians at any particular site (r = 0.88, p = 0.004). These reptiles, therefore, may likely be vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis and could serve as disease transmission agents. Although there is no evidence of B. dendrobatidis disease-induced declines in reptiles, cases of coincidence of reptile and amphibian declines suggest this potentiality. Our study is the first to provide evidence of non-amphibian carriers for B. dendrobatidis in a natural Neotropical environment.
Kay, M; Portillo, C
One hundred widows participating in experimental research entitled Efficacy of Support Groups for Mexican American Widows were studied to learn how they express the loss of their husbands. Mourning practices, acknowledged symptoms of dysphoria, and somatic reactions were studied to learn if the syndrome of nervios subsumes their reaction to bereavement. In addition, their responses to instruments designed to measure depression, the Spanish version of the Beck Depression Inventory and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, were examined for correlation with nervios and relationships to Mexican American acculturation. Nervios seems to be a manifestation of dysphoria rather than a specific syndrome for these women.
Bazan G., Gerardo; Gonzalez, Cristobal J.
Mexico has stepped into an important transition of declining oil fields and new challenging oil projects. The aim of this paper is to show a new perspective of the oil resources that have been exploited throughout the Mexican territory, as well as the remaining resources yet to be exploited. We have developed a resources/production-costs chart that illustrates the historical and future development of the Mexican oil industry, showing the shift that the industry will face in the coming years; this chart was taken from a model already in use by the most prestige energy agencies in the world.
Enrique Plasencia de la Parra
Full Text Available This paper analyses the participation of Mexican and Mexican- American troops in the United States army during World War II. Recruiting, discrimination, their role in the armed forces and their reinsertion into society once the war ended, are examined. Special emphasis is placed on the Hispanics fight for their civil and political rights that was carried on very actively by many War veterans.
Eduardo Fernández Guzmán
Full Text Available You might think that by definition the migrant labor plays in less profitable niches and meager social mobility. However, a large group of migrants in different economically developed countries have successfully launched businesses of diverse nature and volume. This is why entrepreneurship of migrants is an issue that has received increasing attention in recent years. Compared to other immigrant groups in the United States, Mexicans show low levels of entrepreneurial activity. The aim of this paper is to, through a general literature review of official statistical data, a preliminary analysis of mexican migrant entrepreneurship in the United States, that is to say in recent years has been growing in importance.
Bacigalupe, Leonardo D; Soto-Azat, Claudio; García-Vera, Cristobal; Barría-Oyarzo, Ismael; Rezende, Enrico L
Chytridiomycosis, due to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with the alarming decline and extinction crisis of amphibians worldwide. Because conservation programs are implemented locally, it is essential to understand how the complex interactions among host species, climate and human activities contribute to Bd occurrence at regional scales. Using weighted phylogenetic regressions and model selection, we investigated geographic patterns of Bd occurrence along a latitudinal gradient of 1500 km within a biodiversity hot spot in Chile (1845 individuals sampled from 253 sites and representing 24 species), and its association with climatic, socio-demographic and economic variables. Analyses show that Bd prevalence decreases with latitude although it has increased by almost 10% between 2008 and 2013, possibly reflecting an ongoing spread of Bd following the introduction of Xenopus laevis. Occurrence of Bd was higher in regions with high gross domestic product (particularly near developed centers) and with a high variability in rainfall regimes, whereas models including other bioclimatic or geographic variables, including temperature, exhibited substantially lower fit and virtually no support based on Akaike weights. In addition, Bd prevalence exhibited a strong phylogenetic signal, with five species having high numbers of infected individuals and higher prevalence than the average of 13.3% across all species. Taken together, our results highlight that Bd in Chile might still be spreading south, facilitated by a subset of species that seem to play an important epidemiological role maintaining this pathogen in the communities, in combination with climatic and human factors affecting the availability and quality of amphibian breeding sites. This information may be employed to design conservation strategies and mitigate the impacts of Bd in the biodiversity hot spot of southern Chile, and similar studies may prove useful to disentangle the
Barbara A Han
Full Text Available The effects of parasites and pathogens on host behaviors may be particularly important in predator-prey contexts, since few animal behaviors are more crucial for ensuring immediate survival than the avoidance of lethal predators in nature. We examined the effects of an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on anti-predator behaviors of tadpoles of four frog species. We also investigated whether amphibian predators consumed infected prey, and whether B. dendrobatidis caused differences in predation rates among prey in laboratory feeding trials. We found differences in anti-predator behaviors among larvae of four amphibian species, and show that infected tadpoles of one species (Anaxyrus boreas were more active and sought refuge more frequently when exposed to predator chemical cues. Salamander predators consumed infected and uninfected tadpoles of three other prey species at similar rates in feeding trials, and predation risk among prey was unaffected by B. dendrobatidis. Collectively, our results show that even sub-lethal exposure to B. dendrobatidis can alter fundamental anti-predator behaviors in some amphibian prey species, and suggest the unexplored possibility that indiscriminate predation between infected and uninfected prey (i.e., non-selective predation could increase the prevalence of this widely distributed pathogen in amphibian populations. Because one of the most prominent types of predators in many amphibian systems is salamanders, and because salamanders are susceptible to B. dendrobatidis, our work suggests the importance of considering host susceptibility and behavioral changes that could arise from infection in both predators and prey.
Supen WANG; Wei ZHU; Liqing FAN; Jiaqi LI; Yiming LI
A disease caused by the fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is responsible for recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations.The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is aglobal biodiversity hotspot,yet little is known about the prevalence of Bd and Bsal in this region.In this study,we collected 336 non-invasive skin swabs from wild amphibians (including an exotic amphibian species) on the QTP.In addition,to assess the historical prevalence of Bd and Bsal on the QTP,we collected 117 non-invasive skin swabs from museum-archived amphibian samples (from 1964-1982) originating from the QTP.Our results showed all samples to be negative for Bd and Bsal.The government should ban the potentially harmful introduction of non-native amphibian species to the QTP and educate the public about the impacts of releasing exotic amphibians from chytrid-infected areas into native environments of the QTP.
Luis Daniel Prada-Salcedo
Full Text Available Most research related to the decline of amphibians has been focused on the detection of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytriumdendrobatidis. This fungus is the main pathogen detected around the world. However, research has shown the presence of another fungus,Saprolegnia ferax, as a cause of mortality in amphibians in North America. Our study suggests a possible interspecific transmissioncaused by the presence of rainbow trout; thus, amphibian declines may not be attributable only to the presence of a single pathogen, butto other organisms and factors. Materials and methods. Our study revealed the presence of Saprolegnia sp. in the Andean frog Atelopusmittermeieri using the imprinting technique with lactophenol blue staining, which allowed the typical structures of this fungus to beobserved. Results. The importance of this discovery is the presence of two pathogenic fungi, B. dendrobatidis and Saprolegnia, whichaffecting simultaneously a population of amphibians. This finding brings attention to the eventual presence of other microorganismsthat might be involved individually or collectively in the decline of amphibian species. Conclusions. This record suggests a possibletransmission between rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, an introduced species in the highlands of Colombia, which shares thesame habitats with different species of amphibians in the Sanctuary of Flora and Fauna Guanentá in the upper river Fonce in the midCordillera Oriental of Colombia.
Vieites, David R; Wollenberg, Katharina C; Andreone, Franco; Köhler, Jörn; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel
Amphibians are in decline worldwide. However, their patterns of diversity, especially in the tropics, are not well understood, mainly because of incomplete information on taxonomy and distribution. We assess morphological, bioacoustic, and genetic variation of Madagascar's amphibians, one of the first near-complete taxon samplings from a biodiversity hotspot. Based on DNA sequences of 2,850 specimens sampled from over 170 localities, our analyses reveal an extreme proportion of amphibian diversity, projecting an almost 2-fold increase in species numbers from the currently described 244 species to a minimum of 373 and up to 465. This diversity is widespread geographically and across most major phylogenetic lineages except in a few previously well-studied genera, and is not restricted to morphologically cryptic clades. We classify the genealogical lineages in confirmed and unconfirmed candidate species or deeply divergent conspecific lineages based on concordance of genetic divergences with other characters. This integrative approach may be widely applicable to improve estimates of organismal diversity. Our results suggest that in Madagascar the spatial pattern of amphibian richness and endemism must be revisited, and current habitat destruction may be affecting more species than previously thought, in amphibians as well as in other animal groups. This case study suggests that worldwide tropical amphibian diversity is probably underestimated at an unprecedented level and stresses the need for integrated taxonomic surveys as a basis for prioritizing conservation efforts within biodiversity hotspots.
For more than 10 years living as a Mexican migrant, between two countries (Mexico and Australia), two cities (Mexico City and Sydney), and two social worlds (Mexican and multicultural Australian ‘families-friends’), I have been immersed in a systematic process of self observation and self reflection on my life in my country of destination. During this time I have explored my memories of place and their relationship with my emotional experiences, looking for strategies to continue to be connec...
Ray, Andrew M.; Legg, Kristin; Sepulveda, Adam; Hossack, Blake R.; Patla, Debra
Amphibians have been selected as a “vital sign” by several National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) networks. An eight-year amphibian monitoring data set provided opportunities to examine spatial and temporal patterns in amphibian breeding richness and wetland desiccation across Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Amphibian breeding richness was variable across both parks and only four of 31 permanent monitoring catchments contained all four widely distributed species. Annual breeding richness was also variable through time and fluctuated by as much as 75% in some years and catchments. Wetland desiccation was also documented across the region, but alone did not explain variations in amphibian richness. High annual variability across the region emphasizes the need for multiple years of monitoring to accurately describe amphibian richness and wetland desiccation dynamics.
Fleuriet, K Jill; Sunil, T S
Recent Mexican immigrant women on average have an unexpectedly low incidence of low birth weight (LBW). Birth weights decline and LBW incidence increases in post-immigrant generations. This pilot project tested the hypothesis that subjective social status (SSS) of pregnant women predicts variation in birth weight between Mexican immigrant and Mexican-American women. 300 low-income pregnant Mexican immigrant and Mexican-American women in South Texas were surveyed for SSS, depression, pregnancy-related anxiety, perceived social stress and self-esteem and subsequent birth weight. No significant difference in SSS levels between pregnant Mexican immigrant and Mexican-American women were found. However, SSS better predicted variation in birth weight across both groups than mental and psychosocial health variables. Results suggest distinct relationships among SSS, mental and psychosocial health that could impact birth weight. They underscore the relevance of a multilevel, biopsychosocial analytical framework to studying LBW.
Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N.; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel
Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Usin...
Kozłowski, J.; Czarnołęski, M.; François-Krassowska, A.; Maciak, S.; Pis, T.
We examined cell size correlations between tissues, and cell size to body mass relationships in passerine birds, amphibians and mammals. The size correlated highly between all cell types in birds and amphibians; mammalian tissues clustered by size correlation in three tissue groups. Erythrocyte size correlated well with the volume of other cell types in birds and amphibians, but poorly in mammals. In birds, body mass correlated positively with the size of all cell types including erythrocytes...
O. V. Zhukov
Full Text Available High emphasis is placed on amphibian importance as a buffer system, which has inhibiting effect on technogenic transformation of biogeocoenoses. Issues of the animals’ use in biological restoration, ecological rehabilitation of technogenic landscapes and in bioindication of environmental conditions are covered. Сhange in any component of the ecosystem leads to changing of the whole ecosystem. Anuran amphibians are extremely vulnerable to harmful effects of many factors of natural and anthropogenic origin. That is why, the destruction of forests, draining of wetlands, global climate change, global and local environmental pollution lead to complete disappearance or drastic decrease in numbers of many species of amphibians, reduction and fragmentation of their habitats, increased diversity and overall proportion of morphological anomalies in the natural populations of this group of animals. Recent studies of morphological changes in amphibians are increasingly being used to assess the state of the natural state of their populations and quality of their environment. In the biogeocenoses which are in the conditions of transformation amphibians have a number of advantages relative to their activity, the rate of reproduction, and euribiont character. Practical recommendations on protection and enrichment of the regional herpetofauna are given. The impact of the number and species diversity of amphibians on forest ecosystems of the steppe Dnieperin various conditions is assessed. Parametric entropy factors, the coefficient of biodiversity helped to identify the dominant species of amphibians. Taking into account the influence of predictors, there is the possibility to determine the number and species diversity of amphibians in the conditions of floodplain lime-ash forest. As a result of recording, the following species were caught: Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768, Rana arvalis Nilsson, 1842, Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758, Bombina bombina (Linnaeus, 1758
Galarza, Ernesto; And Others
With findings as presented in this 1969 book, a 2-year field study conducted by a 3-member team analyzed the economic, cultural, political, and educational conditions of Mexican Americans in the Southwest (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas) with some reference to braceros and the situation in Mexico. An overview of 8 geographic…
Reviews the contributions to Mexican education of Gabino Barredas' positivism between 1867-1898 and the contributions of Jose Vasconcelos during the 1920s. Discusses the secondary curriculum reforms of Barreda's era and the vocational education and the education for women and adults during the Vasconcelos era. (SB)
Guinn, Bobby; Jorgensen, Layne; Semper, Tom; Vincent, Vern
Investigated the contribution of body size, self-esteem, age, mainstream acculturation, and athletic status to concern or preoccupation about weight among female Mexican American adolescents. Students had low acculturation, high body fatness, and moderate self-esteem. There was little difference between athletes and non-athletes. Greater body size…
After a construction period of only 10 months, the second steel Offshore platform was recently completed in the Mexican Gulf. The pattern for this structure was the Cognac platform. The erection of the new platform, called the 'Cerveza' platform, is described in the article.
Killoren, Sarah E.; Thayer, Shawna M.; Updegraff, Kimberly A.
We investigated correlates of adolescents' sibling conflict resolution strategies in 246, two-parent Mexican origin families. Specifically, we examined links between siblings' conflict resolution strategies and sibling dyad characteristics, siblings' cultural orientations and values, and sibling relationship qualities. Data were gathered during…
For a long time Chicanas have been self-denying, self sacrificing. Well, it is time that Mexican American women began thinking of themselves. It follows that if women love and cherish others, they must begin by loving and cherishing themselves. From the mental health perspective it is essential that they do so, not only for their sake, but for…
Perez, William; Espinoza, Roberta; Ramos, Karina; Coronado, Heidi; Cortes, Richard
This study examined the civic engagement of undocumented Mexican students. Civic engagement was defined as providing a social service, activism, tutoring, and functionary work. Survey data results (n = 126) suggest that despite high feelings of rejection because of their undocumented status, part-time employment, and household responsibilities,…
Adame, Silvia I.; Llorens, Luis
This paper presents a description of the metadata harvester software development. This system provides access to reliable and quality educational resources, shared by Mexican Universities through their repositories, to anyone with Internet Access. We present the conceptual and contextual framework, followed by the technical basis, the results and…
Serrano, Hector M.
In the area of the arts, the Mexican American has discovered a rich cultural heritage which gives him a strong sense of pride and a deep feeling of satisfaction. A new interest in the literature of Mexico and the Southwestern states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and California has started the Chicano people reading classic and modern…
An exploratory study of decision-making in families of Mexican heritage was carried out in Phoenix, Arizona. A Normative model of decision rationality and measurement (Family Problem Instrument-FPI) was adapted from previous research. Tape-recorded data were provided by 27 families. Husbands and wives responded separately to family decision…
Ortiz, Vilma; Telles, Edward
How racial barriers play in the experiences of Mexican Americans has been hotly debated. Some consider Mexican Americans similar to European Americans of a century ago that arrived in the United States with modest backgrounds but were eventually able to participate fully in society. In contrast, others argue that Mexican Americans have been racialized throughout U.S. history and this limits their participation in society. The evidence of persistent educational disadvantages across generations and frequent reports of discrimination and stereotyping support the racialization argument. In this paper, we explore the ways in which race plays a role in the lives of Mexican Americans by examining how education, racial characteristics, social interactions, relate to racial outcomes. We use the Mexican American Study Project, a unique data set based on a 1965 survey of Mexican Americans in Los Angeles and San Antonio combined with surveys of the same respondents and their adult children in 2000, thereby creating a longitudinal and intergenerational data set. First, we found that darker Mexican Americans, therefore appearing more stereotypically Mexican, report more experiences of discrimination. Second, darker men report much more discrimination than lighter men and than women overall. Third, more educated Mexican Americans experience more stereotyping and discrimination than their less-educated counterparts, which is partly due to their greater contact with Whites. Lastly, having greater contact with Whites leads to experiencing more stereotyping and discrimination. Our results are indicative of the ways in which Mexican Americans are racialized in the United States.
Seimon, Tracie A.; Ayebare, Samuel; Sekisambu, Robert; Muhindo, Emmanuel; Mitamba, Guillain; Greenbaum, Eli; Menegon, Michele; Pupin, Fabio; McAloose, Denise; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa; Meirte, Danny; Lukwago, Wilbur; Behangana, Mathias; Seimon, Anton; Plumptre, Andrew J.
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the cause of chytridiomycosis, is a pathogenic fungus that is found worldwide and is a major contributor to amphibian declines and extinctions. We report results of a comprehensive effort to assess the distribution and threat of Bd in one of the Earth’s most important biodiversity hotspots, the Albertine Rift in central Africa. In herpetological surveys conducted between 2010 and 2014, 1018 skin swabs from 17 amphibian genera in 39 sites across the Albertine Rift were tested for Bd by PCR. Overall, 19.5% of amphibians tested positive from all sites combined. Skin tissue samples from 163 amphibians were examined histologically; of these two had superficial epidermal intracorneal fungal colonization and lesions consistent with the disease chytridiomycosis. One amphibian was found dead during the surveys, and all others encountered appeared healthy. We found no evidence for Bd-induced mortality events, a finding consistent with other studies. To gain a historical perspective about Bd in the Albertine Rift, skin swabs from 232 museum-archived amphibians collected as voucher specimens from 1925–1994 were tested for Bd. Of these, one sample was positive; an Itombwe River frog (Phrynobatrachus asper) collected in 1950 in the Itombwe highlands. This finding represents the earliest record of Bd in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We modeled the distribution of Bd in the Albertine Rift using MaxEnt software, and trained our model for improved predictability. Our model predicts that Bd is currently widespread across the Albertine Rift, with moderate habitat suitability extending into the lowlands. Under climatic modeling scenarios our model predicts that optimal habitat suitability of Bd will decrease causing a major range contraction of the fungus by 2080. Our baseline data and modeling predictions are important for comparative studies, especially if significant changes in amphibian health status or climactic conditions are
Egea-Serrano, Andrés; Relyea, Rick A; Tejedo, Miguel; Torralva, Mar
Many studies have assessed the impact of different pollutants on amphibians across a variety of experimental venues (laboratory, mesocosm, and enclosure conditions). Past reviews, using vote-counting methods, have described pollution as one of the major threats faced by amphibians. However, vote-counting methods lack strong statistical power, do not permit one to determine the magnitudes of effects, and do not compare responses among predefined groups. To address these challenges, we conducted a meta-analysis of experimental studies that measured the effects of different chemical pollutants (nitrogenous and phosphorous compounds, pesticides, road deicers, heavy metals, and other wastewater contaminants) at environmentally relevant concentrations on amphibian survival, mass, time to hatching, time to metamorphosis, and frequency of abnormalities. The overall effect size of pollutant exposure was a medium decrease in amphibian survival and mass and a large increase in abnormality frequency. This translates to a 14.3% decrease in survival, a 7.5% decrease in mass, and a 535% increase in abnormality frequency across all studies. In contrast, we found no overall effect of pollutants on time to hatching and time to metamorphosis. We also found that effect sizes differed among experimental venues and among types of pollutants, but we only detected weak differences among amphibian families. These results suggest that variation in sensitivity to contaminants is generally independent of phylogeny. Some publication bias (i.e., selective reporting) was detected, but only for mass and the interaction effect size among stressors. We conclude that the overall impact of pollution on amphibians is moderately to largely negative. This implies that pollutants at environmentally relevant concentrations pose an important threat to amphibians and may play a role in their present global decline.
San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Müller, Hendrik; Loader, Simon P; Zardoya, Rafael; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Wilkinson, Mark
We analyze mitochondrial genomes to reconstruct a robust phylogenetic framework for caecilian amphibians and use this to investigate life-history evolution within the group. Our study comprises 45 caecilian mitochondrial genomes (19 of them newly reported), representing all families and 27 of 32 currently recognized genera, including some for which molecular data had never been reported. Support for all relationships in the inferred phylogenetic tree is high to maximal, and topology tests reject all investigated alternatives, indicating an exceptionally robust molecular phylogenetic framework of caecilian evolution consistent with current morphology-based supraspecific classification. We used the mitogenomic phylogenetic framework to infer ancestral character states and to assess correlation among three life-history traits (free-living larvae, viviparity, specialized pre-adult or vernal teeth), each of which occurs only in some caecilian species. Our results provide evidence that an ancestor of the Seychelles caecilians abandoned direct development and re-evolved a free-living larval stage. This study yields insights into the concurrent evolution of direct development and of vernal teeth in an ancestor of Teresomata that likely gave rise to skin-feeding (maternal dermatophagy) behavior and subsequently enabled evolution of viviparity, with skin feeding possibly a homologous precursor of oviduct feeding in viviparous caecilians. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Feller, A E; Hedges, S B
The evolutionary relationships of the three orders of living amphibians (lissamphibians) has been difficult to resolve, partly because of their specialized morphologies. Traditionally, frogs and salamanders are considered to be closest relatives, and all three orders are thought to have arisen in the Paleozoic (>250 myr). Here, we present evidence from the DNA sequences of four mitochondrial genes (2.7 kilobases) that challenges the conventional hypothesis and supports a salamander-caecilian relationship. This, in light of the fossil record and distribution of the families, suggests a more recent (Mesozoic) origin for salamanders and caecilians directly linked to the initial breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea. We propose that this single geologic event isolated salamanders and archaeobatrachian frogs on the northern continents (Laurasia) and the caecilians and neobatrachian frogs on the southern continents (Gondwana). Among the neobatrachian frog families, molecular evidence supports a South American clade and an African clade, inferred here to be the result of mid-Cretaceous vicariance. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.