Webster, K N; Dawson, T J
The locomotory characteristics of kangaroos and wallabies are unusual, with both energetic costs and gait parameters differing from those of quadrupedal running mammals. The kangaroos and wallabies have an evolutionary history of only around 5 million years; their closest relatives, the rat-kangaroos, have a fossil record of more than 26 million years. We examined the locomotory characteristics of a rat-kangaroo, Bettongia penicillata. Locomotory energetics and gait parameters were obtained from animals exercising on a motorised treadmill at speeds from 0.6 m s(-1) to 6.2 m s(-1). Aerobic metabolic costs increased as hopping speed increased, but were significantly different from the costs for a running quadruped; at the fastest speed, the cost of hopping was 50% of the cost of running. Therefore B. penicillata can travel much faster than quadrupedal runners at similar levels of aerobic output. The maximum aerobic output of B. penicillata was 17 times its basal metabolism. Increases in speed during hopping were achieved through increases in stride length, with stride frequency remaining constant. We suggest that these unusual locomotory characteristics are a conservative feature among the hopping marsupials, with an evolutionary history of 20-30 million years.
Webster, Koa N; Dawson, Terence J
We examined the structure-function relationships that underlie the aerobic capacities of marsupial mammals that hop. Marsupials have relatively low basal metabolic rates (BMR) and historically were seen as 'low energy' mammals. However, the red kangaroo, Macropus rufus (family Macropodidae), has aerobic capacities equivalent to athletic placentals. It has an extreme aerobic scope (fAS) and its large locomotor muscles feature high mitochondrial and capillary volumes. M. rufus belongs to a modern group of kangaroos and its high fAS is not general for marsupials. However, other hopping marsupials may have elevated aerobic capacities. Bettongia penicillata, a rat-kangaroo (family Potoroidae), is a small (1 kg), active hopper whose fAS is somewhat elevated. We examined the oxygen delivery system in its muscles to ascertain links with hopping. An elevated fAS of 23 provided a relatively high maximal aerobic oxygen consumption ( ) in B. penicillata; associated with this is a skeletal muscle mass of 44% of body mass. Ten muscles were sampled to estimate the total mitochondrial and capillary volume of the locomotor muscles. Values in B. penicillata were similar to those in M. rufus and in athletic placentals. This small hopper had high muscle mitochondrial volume densities (7.1-11.9%) and both a large total capillary volume (6 ml kg(-1) body mass) and total capillary erythrocyte volume (3.2 ml kg(-1)). Apparently, a considerable aerobic capacity is required to achieve the benefits of the extended stride in fast hopping. Of note, the ratio of to total muscle mitochondrial volume in B. penicillata was 4.9 ml O(2) min(-1) ml(-1). Similar values occur in M. rufus and also placental mammals generally, not only athletic species. If such relationships occur in other marsupials, a fundamental structure-function relationship for oxygen delivery to muscles likely originated with or before the earliest mammals.
Miyaji, E.N.; Johnson, R.T.; Downes, C.S.; Eveno, E.; Mezzina, M.; Sarasin, A.; Menck, C.F.M.
Using a positive selection system for isolating DNA replication and repair related mutants, we isolated a clone from a rat kangaroo cell line (PtK2) that has increased sensitivity to UV light. Characterization of this clone indicated normal post-replication repair after UV irradiation, and normal removal rates of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and pyrimidine(6-4)pyrimidone photoproducts by excision repair. However, this cell line has decreased ability to make early incisions on damaged DNA, po...
Paparini, Andrea; Ryan, Una M; Warren, Kris; McInnes, Linda M; de Tores, Paul; Irwin, Peter J
Piroplasms, which include the genera Theileria and Babesia, are blood-borne parasites transmitted mainly by tick vectors. Relatively little is known about their prevalence and clinical impact in Australian marsupials. In the present study the occurrence and molecular phylogeny of these parasites were studied in both wild and captive marsupials from Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (QLD). Blood samples were screened by microscopy and molecular methods, using PCR and DNA sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rDNA). Overall, 7.1% of the blood samples (8/113) were positive for piroplasm 18S rDNA. Theileria and Babesia rDNA was detected in 0.9% (1/113) and 6.2% (7/113) of the animals, respectively. The single Theileria positive was identified in one of three boodies (Bettongia lesueur) screened from a wildlife rehabilitation centre in WA, while all seven Babesia positives were detected in WA in wild captured woylies (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi). Small intraerythrocytic inclusions were observed in blood films made from six of these individuals. This is the first report of a Babesia sp. in woylies, and Theileria sp. in boodies. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the woylie-derived Babesia was genetically distinct and most closely related to Babesia occultans, the causative agent of a benign form of cattle babesiosis (genetic similarity 98.4%). The Theileria identified was most closely related to the marsupial-derived species Theileria penicillata from the woylie, Theileria brachyuri from the quokka (Setonix brachyurus), and Theileria sp. from the long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Using a positive selection system for isolating DNA replication and repair related mutants, we isolated a clone from a rat kangaroo cell line (PtK2 that has increased sensitivity to UV light. Characterization of this clone indicated normal post-replication repair after UV irradiation, and normal removal rates of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and pyrimidine(6-4pyrimidone photoproducts by excision repair. However, this cell line has decreased ability to make early incisions on damaged DNA, possibly indicating a defect in preferential repair of actively transcribed genes, and a slower cell proliferation rate, including a longer S-phase. This phenotype reinforces the present notion that control of key mechanisms in cell metabolism, such as cell cycle control, repair, transcription and cell death, can be linked.
Warburton, Natalie Marina
The jaw muscles were studied in seven genera of macropodoid marsupials with diets ranging from mainly fungi in Potorous to grass in Macropus. Relative size, attachments, and lamination within the jaw adductor muscles varied between macropodoid species. Among macropodine species, the jaw adductor muscle proportions vary with feeding type. The relative mass of the masseter is roughly consistent, but grazers and mixed-feeders (Macropus and Lagostrophus) had relatively larger medial pterygoids and smaller temporalis muscles than the browsers (Dendrolagus, Dorcopsulus, and Setonix). Grazing macropods show similar jaw muscle proportions to "ungulate-grinding" type placental mammals. The internal architecture of the jaw muscles also varies between grazing and browsing macropods, most significantly, the anatomy of the medial pterygoid muscle. Potoroines have distinctly different jaw muscle proportions to macropodines. The masseter muscle group, in particular, the superficial masseter is enlarged, while the temporalis group is relatively reduced. Lagostrophus fasciatus is anatomically distinct from other macropods with respect to its masticatory muscle anatomy, including enlarged superficial medial pterygoid and deep temporalis muscles, an anteriorly inflected masseteric process, and the shape of the mandibular condyle. The enlarged triangular pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone, in particular, is distinctive of Lagsotrophus. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Full Text Available Herpesviruses have been reported in several marsupial species, but molecular classification has been limited to four herpesviruses in macropodids, a gammaherpesvirus in two antechinus species (Antechinus flavipes and Antechinus agilis, a gammaherpesvirus in a potoroid, the eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi and two gammaherpesviruses in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus. In this study we examined a range of Australian marsupials for the presence of herpesviruses using molecular and serological techniques, and also assessed risk factors associated with herpesvirus infection. Our study population included 99 koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus, 96 eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus, 50 Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii and 33 common wombats (Vombatus ursinius. In total, six novel herpesviruses (one alphaherpesvirus and five gammaherpesviruses were identified in various host species. The overall prevalence of detection of herpesvirus DNA in our study population was 27.2% (95% confidence interval (CI of 22.6-32.2%, but this varied between species and reached as high as 45.4% (95% CI 28.1-63.7% in common wombats. Serum antibodies to two closely related macropodid herpesviruses (macropodid herpesvirus 1 and 2 were detected in 44.3% (95% CI 33.1-55.9% of animals tested. This also varied between species and was as high as 92% (95% CI 74.0-99.0% in eastern grey kangaroos. A number of epidemiological variables were identified as positive predictors for the presence of herpesvirus DNA in the marsupial samples evaluated. The most striking association was observed in koalas, where the presence of Chlamydia pecorum DNA was strongly associated with the presence of herpesvirus DNA (Odds Ratio = 60, 95% CI 12.1-297.8. Our results demonstrate the common presence of herpesviruses in Australian marsupials and provide directions for future research.
Stalder, Kathryn; Vaz, Paola K; Gilkerson, James R; Baker, Rupert; Whiteley, Pam; Ficorilli, Nino; Tatarczuch, Liliana; Portas, Timothy; Skogvold, Kim; Anderson, Garry A; Devlin, Joanne M
Herpesviruses have been reported in several marsupial species, but molecular classification has been limited to four herpesviruses in macropodids, a gammaherpesvirus in two antechinus species (Antechinus flavipes and Antechinus agilis), a gammaherpesvirus in a potoroid, the eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) and two gammaherpesviruses in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus). In this study we examined a range of Australian marsupials for the presence of herpesviruses using molecular and serological techniques, and also assessed risk factors associated with herpesvirus infection. Our study population included 99 koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), 96 eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), 50 Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) and 33 common wombats (Vombatus ursinius). In total, six novel herpesviruses (one alphaherpesvirus and five gammaherpesviruses) were identified in various host species. The overall prevalence of detection of herpesvirus DNA in our study population was 27.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) of 22.6-32.2%), but this varied between species and reached as high as 45.4% (95% CI 28.1-63.7%) in common wombats. Serum antibodies to two closely related macropodid herpesviruses (macropodid herpesvirus 1 and 2) were detected in 44.3% (95% CI 33.1-55.9%) of animals tested. This also varied between species and was as high as 92% (95% CI 74.0-99.0%) in eastern grey kangaroos. A number of epidemiological variables were identified as positive predictors for the presence of herpesvirus DNA in the marsupial samples evaluated. The most striking association was observed in koalas, where the presence of Chlamydia pecorum DNA was strongly associated with the presence of herpesvirus DNA (Odds Ratio = 60, 95% CI 12.1-297.8). Our results demonstrate the common presence of herpesviruses in Australian marsupials and provide directions for future research.
Stalder, Kathryn; Vaz, Paola K.; Gilkerson, James R.; Baker, Rupert; Whiteley, Pam; Ficorilli, Nino; Tatarczuch, Liliana; Portas, Timothy; Skogvold, Kim; Anderson, Garry A.; Devlin, Joanne M.
Herpesviruses have been reported in several marsupial species, but molecular classification has been limited to four herpesviruses in macropodids, a gammaherpesvirus in two antechinus species (Antechinus flavipes and Antechinus agilis), a gammaherpesvirus in a potoroid, the eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) and two gammaherpesviruses in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus). In this study we examined a range of Australian marsupials for the presence of herpesviruses using molecular and serological techniques, and also assessed risk factors associated with herpesvirus infection. Our study population included 99 koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), 96 eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), 50 Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) and 33 common wombats (Vombatus ursinius). In total, six novel herpesviruses (one alphaherpesvirus and five gammaherpesviruses) were identified in various host species. The overall prevalence of detection of herpesvirus DNA in our study population was 27.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) of 22.6–32.2%), but this varied between species and reached as high as 45.4% (95% CI 28.1–63.7%) in common wombats. Serum antibodies to two closely related macropodid herpesviruses (macropodid herpesvirus 1 and 2) were detected in 44.3% (95% CI 33.1–55.9%) of animals tested. This also varied between species and was as high as 92% (95% CI 74.0–99.0%) in eastern grey kangaroos. A number of epidemiological variables were identified as positive predictors for the presence of herpesvirus DNA in the marsupial samples evaluated. The most striking association was observed in koalas, where the presence of Chlamydia pecorum DNA was strongly associated with the presence of herpesvirus DNA (Odds Ratio = 60, 95% CI 12.1–297.8). Our results demonstrate the common presence of herpesviruses in Australian marsupials and provide directions for future research. PMID:26222660
chromosome - - - - - - -I aberrations and sister chromatid exchanges (SCE). Yao (1982) exposed rat kangaroo RH5 and RH1l6 cells to 2.45 GHz radiation, and...control was reported in chromosome aberrations. Yac (1982) investigated the cytogenetic consequences of chronic microwave exposure on rat kangaroo RH5...was said to be 280C. The cells were exposed both as conidia, which are "rather inactive metabolically ," and also after DNA replication had been
The prevalence of microplastics in the marine environment has resulted in a need to understand their association with various fauna. The aim of this study was to assess whether microplastic particles are present in the tube structure of the indigenous reef-building polychaete Gunnarea gaimardi, which occurs along the ...
experiments have allowed insight into the nature of Laboratory of Biochemistry and Metabolism , Bethesda, Mary- interions bewe the strom and the nathe...rat kangaroo cells. These investigators further demonstrated a direct correlation between the number of fluorescent spots in the interphase nuclei and...overall length of human chromosomes was greatest after treatment with 5-azacytidine following a fluorodeoxyuridine (FUdR)/uridine metabolic block
James M. Trappe; Andrew W. Claridge; Ari Jumpponen
In their interesting research on post-fire foraging behaviour of northern bettongs (Bettongia tropica) in tropical Queensland, Australia, Vernes et al. (2004) used forage-diggings of their study animals to locate plots for estimating biomass of hypogeous fungi on prescribed-burnt sites in comparison with unburnt control sites. They concluded that...
... specimens of African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species... bettong (Bettongia penicillata) from Aqua Zoo Friesland, Netherlands, for the purpose of enhancement of... from a ranch in the Republic of South Africa, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the...
exchanges were observed in rat- kangaroo cells treated with p,p’-DDT at 10 Ug/mL/24 hours. The p,p’-isomer accounts for most ot thi toxicity attributed to...ity of degra..ative enzymes (2000,1991). In mammals, including man, DDT is metabolized by 2 pathways. It is convertud to a slight extent to DDE which...sympathetic discharge were observed to accompany the tremors and convulsions. These were thought to be due to changes in the metabolism of brain
Yatani, Ryuichi; Tohgo, Yukihiro; Kunishima, Nobuyoshi.
UV (ultraviolet) damaged DNA and its repair of various cultured animal cells were observed by radioimmunoassay using anti-serum against the UV irradiation induced heat-degenerated DNA. There is some difference among the cells of used animals according to their DNA repairabilities. The cells were divided into four groups according to the existence or strength of their repairabilities. 1) excision repair type: cells of men and chimpanzees. 2) photoreactivation type: cells derived from Tachydromus tachydromoides and chicks. 3) photoreactivation with excision repair: cells of rats, kangaroos and mosquitos. 4) non-excision repair type: cells of mice, Meriones and rats. Animal cells have plural types of repair. Main types of repair will differ according to the kind of animals. (Ichikawa, K.)
Cornea cells of the rat kangaroo or 'potoroo' (Potorous tridactylus) were exposed to far-UV (254 or 302 nm) radiation, with or without subsequent illumination by near-UV or visible light. The DNA of these cells was extracted and tested for the presence of photoproducts binding yeast photoreactivating enzyme (PRE). The effects on repair kinetics of the transforming DNA indicate that in UV-irradiated potoroo cornea cells up to approximately 90% of photorepairable DNA damage can be photorepaired within 15 min. However, the extent of cellular photorepair depends appreciably on experimental parameters during photoreactivating treatment, including the spectral composition of photoreactivating light. Apparently superposition of damage by the photoreactivating treatment itself is the critical factor. This may explain experimental discrepancies existing in different laboratories studying photorepair in UV-irradiated cells of placental mammals. (Auth.)
Colony-forming ability of cultured rat kangaroo cells (Ptk-2) decreases with increasing exposure to light from a daylight fluorescent lamp. After reaching a minimum, survival increases with further exposure, forming a V-shaped survival curve. This increase is inhibited by low concentrations of the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. The resulting V-shaped survival curve was characterized with respect to several experimental parameters; it appears to be due to an induced repair system dependent on protein synthesis. These results suggest that induced repair, dependent on protein synthesis, in response to fluorescent, near UV, and far UV light damage, is a major repair pathway in Ptk-2 cells, and provides a characterizable system that can elucidate induced repair mechanisms in other mammalian cells
A hybrid cell clone PX1 was isolated by fusing UV sensitive XP20S(SV)neo, an SV-40-transformed, neomycin-resistant xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) cell line, and Pt K2, a rat kangaroo (Potorous tridactilis) cell line. The UV-survival curve of PX1 cells fell midway between those of Pt K2 and XP20S(SV)neo cells, since mean lethal doses(D 0 ) were 2.5, 4.7 and 0.27 J/m 2 for PX1, Pt K2 and XP20S(SV)neo, respectively. Amounts of unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) after UV, relative to normal human cells, were 60.4 % for Pt K2, 37.7 % for PX1 and 0.1 % for XP20S(SV)neo. Such relative UDS capacities for excision repair of Pt K2, PX1 and XP20S(SV)neo were also consistent with the respective relative capacities of host cell reactivation (HCR) of UV-irradiated Herpes simplex virus. Apparently, there was no single Pt K2 chromosome in the PX1 cells. One possibility is that a gene which may account for the partial restoration of the UV resistance has been transferred from Pt K2 to PX1. (author)
Bird, Philip S; Trott, Darren J; Mikkelsen, Deirdre; Milinovich, Gabriel J; Hillman, Kristine M; Burrell, Paul C; Blackall, Linda L
An obligatory anaerobic, Gram-stain-negative coccobacillus with black-pigmented colonies was isolated from the oral cavity of selected Australian marsupial species. Phenotypic and molecular criteria showed that this bacterium was a distinct species within the genus Porphyromonas, and was closely related to Porphyromonas gingivalis and Porphyromonas gulae. This putative novel species and P. gulae could be differentiated from P. gingivalis by catalase activity. Further characterization by multi-locus enzyme electrophoresis of glutamate dehydrogenase and malate dehydrogenase enzyme mobility and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight MS showed that this putative novel species could be differentiated phenotypically from P. gingivalis and P. gulae. Definitive identification by 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that this bacterium belonged to a unique monophyletic lineage, phylogenetically distinct from P. gingivalis (94.9 % similarity) and P. gulae (95.5 %). This also was supported by 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region and glutamate dehydrogenase gene sequencing. A new species epithet, Porphyromonas loveana sp. nov., is proposed for this bacterium, with DSM 28520T (=NCTC 13658T=UQD444T=MRK101T), isolated from a musky rat kangaroo, as the type strain.
In 1964 six pairs of rat kangaroo (Potorous tridactylis) were obtained from Australia. The tissues of these animals were used to initiate cell lines. Since this species has a low chromosome number of six pairs, each pair with its own distinctive morphology, it is particularly favorable for cytogenetic research. In cell cultures derived from the corneal endothelial tissues of one animal there emerged a number of haploid cells. The number of haploid cells in the cultures reached as high as 20% of the total mitotic configurations. The in vitro diploid and haploid mixture cell cultures could be a resemblance or a coincidence to the mixture existence of the diploid primary spermatocytes and the haploid secondary spermatocytes (gametes) in the in vivo testicular tissues of the male animals. It would be interesting to compare reactions of the haploid and diploid cell mixture, either in the cultures or in the testes, to x-ray exposure. Two other studies involving x-ray effects on Chinese hamster oocyte maturation and meiotic chromosomes and the x-ray induction of Chinese hamster spermatocyte meiotic chromosome aberrations have been done in this laboratory. A review of these three studies involving diploid and haploid chromosomes may lead to further research in the x-ray induction of chromosome aberrations
The survival of cultured rat kangaroo cells (PtK-2) and human xeroderma pigmentosum cells incubated with 5 μM cycloheximide subsequent to ultraviolet irradiation is lower than that of cells incubated without cycloheximide. The drop in survival is considerably larger than that produced by incubation of unirradiated cells with cycloheximide. The phenomenon was also observed when PtK-2 cells were incubated with emetine, another protein synthesis inhibitor, or with 5,6-dichloro-1-β-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole, a RNA synthesis inhibitor. PtK cells which received a preliminary UV treatment followed by an incubation period without cycloheximide and then a second irradiation and 24 hour incubation with cycloheximide, survived the effects of the second irradiation better than cells which were incubated in the presence of cycloheximide after the first and second UV irradiation. The application of cycloheximide for 24 hours after UV irradiation of PtK cells resulted in one-half as many 6-thioguanine resistant cells as compared to the number of 6-thioguanine resistant cells found when cycloheximide was not used. These experiments indicate that a UV-inducible cycloheximide-sensitive DNA repair pathway is present in PtK and xeroderma pigmentosum cells, which is error-prone in PtK cells
Labidi, B.; Gregoire, M.; Frackowiak, S.; Hernandez-Verdun, D.; Bouteille, M.
Micronuclei have been induced by colchicine in rat kangaroo (Potorous tridactylis) PtK1 cells. The synthesis of RNA was investigated both in isolated micronuclei by quantifying RNA polymerase activities at different ionic strengths with or without inhibitors, and in micronucleated cells by radioautography after [ 3 H]uridine pulse labeling. In vitro transcription shows that isolated micronuclei are able to take up [ 3 H]UTP. The rate curves of incorporation are close to those of isolated diploid nuclei, though the level of incorporation was relatively lower (65-70%) than control nuclei. This indicates that micronuclei react to the ionic environment and to inhibitors in the same manner as described for many species of isolated diploid nuclei. The labelling distributions plotted from radioautographs show that micronuclei were able to efficiently incorporate the hot precursor. Furthermore, for short pulses there is no homogeneity in the labelling density among the different micronuclei and there is no correlation between the labelling intensity and the size of micronuclei. After 60-min pulse time, there is an enhanced uptake of [ 3 H]uridine and all the micronuclei exhibit considerable labelling, although less than control cells. Thus, the micronuclei exhibit some characteristic RNA transcriptional activity in situ as well as after isolation. This material should be a particular interesting model with which to study the physiological activity and the role of each individual interphasic chromosome
Forte, L.R.; Krause, W.J.; Freeman, R.H.
Receptors for the heat-stable enterotoxin produced by Escherichia coli were found in the kidney and intestine of the North American opossum and in cultured renal cell lines. The enterotoxin markedly increased guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) production in slices of kidney cortex and medulla, in suspensions of intestinal mucosa, and in the opossum kidney (OK) and rat kangaroo kidney (PtK-2) cell lines. In contrast, atrial natriuretic factor elicited much smaller increases in cGMP levels of kidney, intestine, or cultured kidney cell lines. The enterotoxin receptors in OK cells had a molecular mass of approximately 120 kDa when measured by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of receptors crosslinked with 125 I-enterotoxin. The occurrence of receptors for the E. coli peptide in OK implies that these receptors may be involved in the regulation of renal tubular function in the opossum. E. coli enterotoxin caused a much larger increase in urine cGMP excretion than did atrial natriuretic factor when these peptides were injected intravenously into opossums. However, atrial natriuretic factor elicited a marked diuresis, natriuresis, and increased urinary excretion of calcium, phosphate, potassium, and magnesium. In contrast, the enterotoxin did not acutely influence OK fluid and electrolyte excretion. Thus the substantial increase in cGMP synthesis produced by the bacterial peptide in OK cortex and medulla in vitro and the increased renal excretion of cGMP in vivo were not associated with changes in electrolyte or water excretion. Whether cGMP represents a second messenger molecule in the kidney is an interesting question that was raised but not answered in this series of experiments
Ogawa, E; Kuchel, P W; Agar, N S
It was recently coincidentally discovered, using 1H NMR spectroscopy, that the erythrocytes of two species of Australian marsupials, Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and Bettong (Bettongia penicillata), contain relatively high concentrations of the essential amino acid lysine (Agar NS, Rae CD, Chapman BE, Kuchel PW. Comp Biochem Physiol 1991;99B:575-97). Hence, in the present work the rates of transport of lysine into the erythrocytes from the Common Brushtail Possum (Dactylopsilia trivirgata) and Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) (which both have low lysine concentrations), and Tammar Wallaby were studied, to explore the mechanistic basis of this finding. The concentration-dependence of the uptake was studied with lysine alone and in the presence of arginine, which may be a competitor of the transport in some species. In relation to GSH metabolism, glutamate uptake was determined in the presence and absence of Na+. The data was analysed to yield estimates of the maximal velocity (Vmax) and the Km in each of the species. Erythrocytes from Tammar Wallaby lacked saturable lysine transport in contrast to the other two species. The glutamate uptake was normal in all three animals for adequate GSH biosynthesis.
Mills, Charlotte H; Letnic, Mike
Functional extinction of once abundant species has frequently preceded understanding of their ecological roles. Consequently, our understanding of ecosystems is prone to shifting baselines because it often relies on observations made on depauperate species assemblages. In Australian deserts, current paradigms are that ants are the dominant granivores, mammals are unimportant seed predators and that myrmecochory in many Australian shrubs is an adaptation to increase dispersal distance and direct seeds to favourable germination sites. Here, we ask whether these paradigms could be artefacts of mammal extinction. We take advantage of a predator-proof reserve within which locally extinct native mammals have been reintroduced to compare seed removal by ants and mammals. Using foraging trays that selectively excluded mammals and ants we show that a reintroduced mammal, the woylie ( Bettongia penicillata ) was at least as important as ants in the removal of seeds of two shrub species ( Dodonaea viscosa and Acacia ligulata ). Our results provide evidence that the dominance of ants as granivores and current understanding of the adaptive benefit of myrmecochory in arid Australia may be artefacts of the functional extinction of mammals. Our study shows how reversing functional extinction can provide the opportunity to rethink contemporary understanding of ecological processes.
Shannon L. Donahoe
Full Text Available This is a retrospective study of 38 cases of infection by Babesia macropus, associated with a syndrome of anaemia and debility in hand-reared or free-ranging juvenile eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus from coastal New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland between 1995 and 2013. Infection with B. macropus is recorded for the first time in agile wallabies (Macropus agilis from far north Queensland. Animals in which B. macropus infection was considered to be the primary cause of morbidity had marked anaemia, lethargy and neurological signs, and often died. In these cases, parasitised erythrocytes were few or undetectable in peripheral blood samples but were sequestered in large numbers within small vessels of visceral organs, particularly in the kidney and brain, associated with distinctive clusters of extraerythrocytic organisms. Initial identification of this piroplasm in peripheral blood smears and in tissue impression smears and histological sections was confirmed using transmission electron microscopy and molecular analysis. Samples of kidney, brain or blood were tested using PCR and DNA sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA and heat shock protein 70 gene using primers specific for piroplasms. The piroplasm detected in these samples had 100% sequence identity in the 18S rRNA region with the recently described Babesia macropus in two eastern grey kangaroos from New South Wales and Queensland, and a high degree of similarity to an unnamed Babesia sp. recently detected in three woylies (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi in Western Australia.
Carlo PACIONI, Adrian F.WAYNE, Peter B.S.SPENCER
Full Text Available Translocations are an important conservation strategy for many species. However simply observing demographic growth of a translocated population is not sufficient to infer species recovery. Adequate genetic representation of the source population(s and their long-term viability should also be considered. The woylie Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi has been subject to more formal translocations for conservation than any other marsupial that, up until recently, has resulted in one of the most successful species recoveries in Australia. We used mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers to assess the genetic outcomes of translocated woylie populations. These populations have lost genetic variability, differentiated from their source population and the supplementation program on two island populations appears to have failed. We discuss the conservation implications that our results have for managing threatened species, outline some general recommendations for the management of present and future translocations and discuss the appropriate sampling design for the establishment of new populations or captive breeding programs that may mitigate the genetic ‘erosion’ seen in our study species. This research provides some practical outcomes and a pragmatic understanding of translocation biology. The findings are directly applicable to other translocation programs [Current Zoology 59 (3: 294-310, 2013].
Yeatman, Georgina J; Wayne, Adrian F; Mills, Harriet R; Prince, Jane
The aim of this study was to investigate how landscape disturbance associated with roads, agriculture and forestry influenced temporal patterns in woylie (Bettongia penicillata) abundance before, during and after periods of rapid population change. Data were collected from an area of approximately 140,000 ha of forest within the Upper Warren region in south-western Australia. Woylie abundance was measured using cage trapping at 22 grid and five transect locations with varying degrees of landscape disturbance between 1994 and 2012. We found evidence that the distribution and abundance of woylies over time appears to be related to the degree of fragmentation by roads and proximity to agriculture. Sites furthest from agriculture supported a greater abundance of woylies and had slower rates of population decline. Sites with fewer roads had a greater abundance of woylies generally and a greater rate of increase in abundance after the implementation of invasive predator control. The results of this study suggest that landscape disturbance is less important at peak population densities, but during times of environmental and population change, sites less dissected by roads and agriculture better support woylie populations. This may be due to the role these factors play in increasing the vulnerability of woylies to introduced predators, population fragmentation, weed species invasion, mortality from road collisions or a reduction in available habitat. Strategies that reduce the impact of disturbance on woylie populations could include the rationalisation of forest tracks and consolidation of contiguous habitat through the acquisition of private property. Reducing the impact of disturbance in the Upper Warren region could improve the resilience of this critically important woylie population during future environmental change.
Giljov, Andrey; Karenina, Karina; Malashichev, Yegor
Factors determining patterns of laterality manifestation in mammals remain unclear. In primates, the upright posture favours the expression of manual laterality across species, but may have little influence within a species. Whether the bipedalism acts the same in non-primate mammals is unknown. Our recent findings in bipedal and quadrupedal marsupials suggested that differences in laterality pattern, as well as emergence of manual specialization in evolution might depend on species-specific body posture. Here, we evaluated the hypothesis that the postural characteristics are the key variable shaping the manual laterality expression across mammalian species. We studied forelimb preferences in a most bipedal marsupial, brush-tailed bettong, Bettongia penicillata in four different types of unimanual behavior. The significant left-forelimb preference at the group level was found in all behaviours studied. In unimanual feeding on non-living food, catching live prey and nest-material collecting, all or most subjects were lateralized, and among lateralized bettongs a significant majority displayed left-forelimb bias. Only in unimanual supporting of the body in the tripedal stance the distribution of lateralized and non-lateralized individuals did not differ from chance. Individual preferences were consistent across all types of behaviour. The direction or the strength of forelimb preferences were not affected by the animals' sex. Our findings support the hypothesis that the expression of manual laterality depends on the species-typical postural habit. The interspecies comparison illustrates that in marsupials the increase of bipedality corresponds with the increase of the degree of group-level forelimb preference in a species. Thus, bipedalism can predict pronounced manual laterality at both intra- and interspecific levels in mammals. We also conclude that quadrupedal position in biped species can slightly hinder the expression of manual laterality, but the evoked biped
Cope, Holly R; Hogg, Carolyn J; White, Peter J; Herbert, Catherine A
Contraception has an established role in managing overabundant populations and preventing undesirable breeding in zoos. We propose that it can also be used strategically and selectively in conservation to increase the genetic and behavioral quality of the animals. In captive breeding programs, it is becoming increasingly important to maximize the retention of genetic diversity by managing the reproductive contribution of each individual and preventing genetically suboptimal breeding through the use of selective contraception. Reproductive suppression of selected individuals in conservation programs has further benefits of allowing animals to be housed as a group in extensive enclosures without interfering with breeding recommendations, which reduces adaptation to captivity and facilitates the expression of wild behaviors and social structures. Before selective contraception can be incorporated into a breeding program, the most suitable method of fertility control must be selected, and this can be influenced by factors such as species life history, age, ease of treatment, potential for reversibility, and desired management outcome for the individual or population. Contraception should then be implemented in the population following a step-by-step process. In this way, it can provide crucial, flexible control over breeding to promote the physical and genetic health and sustainability of a conservation dependent species held in captivity. For Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii), black-flanked rock wallabies (Petrogale lateralis), and burrowing bettongs (Bettongia lesueur), contraception can benefit their conservation by maximizing genetic diversity and behavioral integrity in the captive breeding program, or, in the case of the wallabies and bettongs, by reducing populations to a sustainable size when they become locally overabundant. In these examples, contraceptive duration relative to reproductive life, reversibility, and predictability of the contraceptive