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Sample records for wallaby macropus eugenii

  1. Toxoplasmosis in Tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) in the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden (2006-2010).

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    Sós, Endre; Szigeti, Alexandra; Fok, Eva; Molnár, Viktor; Erdélyi, Károly; Perge, Edina; Biksi, Imre; Gál, János

    2012-09-01

    Smaller macropodid species (commonly referred to as wallabies) are extremely susceptible to toxoplasmosis: in most cases, infection with Toxoplasma gondii leads to death within a short time. Between June 2006 and July 2010, T. gondii was detected by immunohistochemical examination in six Tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) that died in the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden; in another four specimens histopathology revealed T. gondii-like organisms (which could not be differentiated from Neospora caninum solely by morphology), and in another 11 animals toxoplasmosis as the possible cause of death could not be excluded. The current zoo population of 12 Tammar wallabies was tested for T. gondii IgG antibodies by the modified agglutination test (MAT), with negative results. We suppose that most of the deaths were due to acute toxoplasmosis resulting from a recent infection.

  2. A second-generation anchored genetic linkage map of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii)

    OpenAIRE

    Patel Hardip R; Wakefield Matthew J; Wei Ke-jun; Webley Lee; Wang Chenwei; Deakin Janine E; Alsop Amber; Marshall Graves Jennifer A; Cooper Desmond W; Nicholas Frank W; Zenger Kyall R

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background The tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, a small kangaroo used for decades for studies of reproduction and metabolism, is the model Australian marsupial for genome sequencing and genetic investigations. The production of a more comprehensive cytogenetically-anchored genetic linkage map will significantly contribute to the deciphering of the tammar wallaby genome. It has great value as a resource to identify novel genes and for comparative studies, and is vital for the ongoing...

  3. A second-generation anchored genetic linkage map of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patel Hardip R

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, a small kangaroo used for decades for studies of reproduction and metabolism, is the model Australian marsupial for genome sequencing and genetic investigations. The production of a more comprehensive cytogenetically-anchored genetic linkage map will significantly contribute to the deciphering of the tammar wallaby genome. It has great value as a resource to identify novel genes and for comparative studies, and is vital for the ongoing genome sequence assembly and gene ordering in this species. Results A second-generation anchored tammar wallaby genetic linkage map has been constructed based on a total of 148 loci. The linkage map contains the original 64 loci included in the first-generation map, plus an additional 84 microsatellite loci that were chosen specifically to increase coverage and assist with the anchoring and orientation of linkage groups to chromosomes. These additional loci were derived from (a sequenced BAC clones that had been previously mapped to tammar wallaby chromosomes by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH, (b End sequence from BACs subsequently FISH-mapped to tammar wallaby chromosomes, and (c tammar wallaby genes orthologous to opossum genes predicted to fill gaps in the tammar wallaby linkage map as well as three X-linked markers from a published study. Based on these 148 loci, eight linkage groups were formed. These linkage groups were assigned (via FISH-mapped markers to all seven autosomes and the X chromosome. The sex-pooled map size is 1402.4 cM, which is estimated to provide 82.6% total coverage of the genome, with an average interval distance of 10.9 cM between adjacent markers. The overall ratio of female/male map length is 0.84, which is comparable to the ratio of 0.78 obtained for the first-generation map. Conclusions Construction of this second-generation genetic linkage map is a significant step towards complete coverage of the tammar wallaby

  4. A second-generation anchored genetic linkage map of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chenwei; Webley, Lee; Wei, Ke-jun; Wakefield, Matthew J; Patel, Hardip R; Deakin, Janine E; Alsop, Amber; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A; Cooper, Desmond W; Nicholas, Frank W; Zenger, Kyall R

    2011-08-19

    The tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, a small kangaroo used for decades for studies of reproduction and metabolism, is the model Australian marsupial for genome sequencing and genetic investigations. The production of a more comprehensive cytogenetically-anchored genetic linkage map will significantly contribute to the deciphering of the tammar wallaby genome. It has great value as a resource to identify novel genes and for comparative studies, and is vital for the ongoing genome sequence assembly and gene ordering in this species. A second-generation anchored tammar wallaby genetic linkage map has been constructed based on a total of 148 loci. The linkage map contains the original 64 loci included in the first-generation map, plus an additional 84 microsatellite loci that were chosen specifically to increase coverage and assist with the anchoring and orientation of linkage groups to chromosomes. These additional loci were derived from (a) sequenced BAC clones that had been previously mapped to tammar wallaby chromosomes by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), (b) End sequence from BACs subsequently FISH-mapped to tammar wallaby chromosomes, and (c) tammar wallaby genes orthologous to opossum genes predicted to fill gaps in the tammar wallaby linkage map as well as three X-linked markers from a published study. Based on these 148 loci, eight linkage groups were formed. These linkage groups were assigned (via FISH-mapped markers) to all seven autosomes and the X chromosome. The sex-pooled map size is 1402.4 cM, which is estimated to provide 82.6% total coverage of the genome, with an average interval distance of 10.9 cM between adjacent markers. The overall ratio of female/male map length is 0.84, which is comparable to the ratio of 0.78 obtained for the first-generation map. Construction of this second-generation genetic linkage map is a significant step towards complete coverage of the tammar wallaby genome and considerably extends that of the first

  5. Characterization of the antimicrobial peptide family defensins in the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

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    Jones, Elizabeth A; Cheng, Yuanyuan; O'Meally, Denis; Belov, Katherine

    2017-03-01

    Defensins comprise a family of cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides with important roles in innate and adaptive immune defense in vertebrates. We characterized alpha and beta defensin genes in three Australian marsupials: the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and identified 48, 34, and 39 defensins, respectively. One hundred and twelve have the classical antimicrobial peptides characteristics required for pathogen membrane targeting, including cationic charge (between 1+ and 15+) and a high proportion of hydrophobic residues (>30%). Phylogenetic analysis shows that gene duplication has driven unique and species-specific expansions of devil, koala, and tammar wallaby beta defensins and devil alpha defensins. Defensin genes are arranged in three genomic clusters in marsupials, whereas further duplications and translocations have occurred in eutherians resulting in four and five gene clusters in mice and humans, respectively. Marsupial defensins are generally under purifying selection, particularly residues essential for defensin structural stability. Certain hydrophobic or positively charged sites, predominantly found in the defensin loop, are positively selected, which may have functional significance in defensin-target interaction and membrane insertion.

  6. Esophageal diverticula in Parma wallabies (Macropus parma).

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    Okeson, Danelle M; Esterline, Meredith L; Coke, Rob L

    2009-03-01

    Four adult, wild caught Parma wallabies (Macropus parma) presented with intermittent, postprandial, midcervical swellings. Esophageal diverticula were discovered in the four animals. One of two wallabies was managed successfully with surgery. A third animal died of other causes. The fourth animal died with possible complications from the diverticulum. This is the first published report of esophageal diverticula in macropods.

  7. Lactation transcriptomics in the Australian marsupial, Macropus eugenii: transcript sequencing and quantification

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    Whitley Jane C

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lactation is an important aspect of mammalian biology and, amongst mammals, marsupials show one of the most complex lactation cycles. Marsupials, such as the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii give birth to a relatively immature newborn and progressive changes in milk composition and milk production regulate early stage development of the young. Results In order to investigate gene expression in the marsupial mammary gland during lactation, a comprehensive set of cDNA libraries was derived from lactating tissues throughout the lactation cycle of the tammar wallaby. A total of 14,837 express sequence tags were produced by cDNA sequencing. Sequence analysis and sequence assembly were used to construct a comprehensive catalogue of mammary transcripts. Sequence data from pregnant and early or late lactating specific cDNA libraries and, data from early or late lactation massively parallel sequencing strategies were combined to analyse the variation of milk protein gene expression during the lactation cycle. Conclusion Results show a steady increase in expression of genes coding for secreted protein during the lactation cycle that is associated with high proportion of transcripts coding for milk proteins. In addition, genes involved in immune function, translation and energy or anabolic metabolism are expressed across the lactation cycle. A number of potential new milk proteins or mammary gland remodelling markers, including noncoding RNAs have been identified.

  8. A retrospective study of Babesia macropus associated with morbidity and mortality in eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus and agile wallabies (Macropus agilis

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    Shannon L. Donahoe

    2015-08-01

    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.

  9. HOXA13 and HOXD13 expression during development of the syndactylous digits in the marsupial Macropus eugenii

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    Chew Keng Yih

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Kangaroos and wallabies have specialised limbs that allow for their hopping mode of locomotion. The hindlimbs differentiate much later in development but become much larger than the forelimbs. The hindlimb autopod has only four digits, the fourth of which is greatly elongated, while digits two and three are syndactylous. We investigated the expression of two genes, HOXA13 and HOXD13, that are crucial for digit patterning in mice during formation of the limbs of the tammar wallaby. Results We describe the development of the tammar limbs at key stages before birth. There was marked heterochrony and the hindlimb developed more slowly than the forelimb. Both tammar HOXA13 and HOXD13 have two exons as in humans, mice and chickens. HOXA13 had an early and distal mRNA distribution in the tammar limb bud as in the mouse, but forelimb expression preceded that in the hindlimb. HOXD13 mRNA was expressed earlier in the forelimb than the hindlimb and was predominantly detected in the interdigital tissues of the forelimb. In contrast, the hindlimb had a more restricted expression pattern that appeared to be expressed at discrete points at both posterior and anterior margins of the limb bud, and was unlike expression seen in the mouse and the chicken. Conclusions This is the first examination of HOXA and HOXD gene expression in a marsupial. The gene structure and predicted proteins were highly conserved with their eutherian orthologues. Interestingly, despite the morphological differences in hindlimb patterning, there were no modifications to the polyalanine tract of either HOXA13 or HOXD13 when compared to those of the mouse and bat but there was a marked difference between the tammar and the other mammals in the region of the first polyserine tract of HOXD13. There were also altered expression domains for both genes in the developing tammar limbs compared to the chicken and mouse. Together these findings suggest that the timing of HOX

  10. Suppurative otitis and ascending meningoencephalitis associated with Bacteroides tectus and Porphyromonas gulae in a captive Parma wallaby (Macropus parma) with toxoplasmosis.

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    Giannitti, Federico; Schapira, Andrea; Anderson, Mark; Clothier, Kristin

    2014-09-01

    A 6-year-old female Parma wallaby (Macropus parma) at a zoo in California developed acute ataxia and left-sided circling. Despite intensive care, clinical signs progressed to incoordination and prostration, and the animal was euthanized. At necropsy, the left tympanic cavity was filled with homogeneous suppurative exudate that extended into the cranium expanding the meninges and neuroparenchyma in the lateral and ventral aspect of the caudal ipsilateral brainstem and medulla oblongata. Microscopically, the brainstem showed regional severe suppurative meningoencephalitis with large numbers of neutrophils, fewer macrophages, and lymphocytes admixed with fibrin, necrotic cellular debris, hemorrhage, and mineralization, with numerous intralesional Gram-negative bacilli. Bacteroides spp. and Porphyromonas spp. were isolated on anaerobic culture from the meninges, and the bacteria were further characterized by partial 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing as Bacteroides tectus and Porphyromonas gulae. Bacterial aerobic culture from the meninges yielded very low numbers of mixed flora and Proteus spp., which were considered contaminants. Culture of Mycoplasma spp. from middle ear and meninges was negative. Additionally, Toxoplasma gondii cysts were detected by immunohistochemistry in the heart and brain, and anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were detected in serum. The genera Bacteroides and Porphyromonas have been associated with oral disease in marsupials; but not with otitis and meningoencephalitis. The results of the present work highlight the importance of performing anaerobic cultures in the diagnostic investigation of cases of suppurative otitis and meningoencephalitis in macropods. © 2014 The Author(s).

  11. Lysine and glutamate transport in the erythrocytes of common brushtail possum, Tammar Wallaby and eastern grey, kangaroo.

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    Ogawa, E; Kuchel, P W; Agar, N S

    1998-04-01

    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.

  12. A bipedal mammalian model for spinal cord injury research: The tammar wallaby [version 1; referees: 2 approved

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    Norman R. Saunders

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Most animal studies of spinal cord injury are conducted in quadrupeds, usually rodents. It is unclear to what extent functional results from such studies can be translated to bipedal species such as humans because bipedal and quadrupedal locomotion involve very different patterns of spinal control of muscle coordination. Bipedalism requires upright trunk stability and coordinated postural muscle control; it has been suggested that peripheral sensory input is less important in humans than quadrupeds for recovery of locomotion following spinal injury. Methods: We used an Australian macropod marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii, because tammars exhibit an upright trunk posture, human-like alternating hindlimb movement when swimming and bipedal over-ground locomotion. Regulation of their muscle movements is more similar to humans than quadrupeds. At different postnatal (P days (P7–60 tammars received a complete mid-thoracic spinal cord transection. Morphological repair, as well as functional use of hind limbs, was studied up to the time of their pouch exit. Results: Growth of axons across the lesion restored supraspinal innervation in animals injured up to 3 weeks of age but not in animals injured after 6 weeks of age. At initial pouch exit (P180, the young injured at P7-21 were able to hop on their hind limbs similar to age-matched controls and to swim albeit with a different stroke. Those animals injured at P40-45 appeared to be incapable of normal use of hind limbs even while still in the pouch. Conclusions: Data indicate that the characteristic over-ground locomotion of tammars provides a model in which regrowth of supraspinal connections across the site of injury can be studied in a bipedal animal. Forelimb weight-bearing motion and peripheral sensory input appear not to compensate for lack of hindlimb control, as occurs in quadrupeds. Tammars may be a more appropriate model for studies of therapeutic interventions

  13. Chromosome evolution in kangaroos (Marsupialia: Macropodidae): cross species chromosome painting between the tammar wallaby and rock wallaby spp. with the 2n = 22 ancestral macropodid karyotype.

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    O'Neill, R J; Eldridge, M D; Toder, R; Ferguson-Smith, M A; O'Brien, P C; Graves, J A

    1999-06-01

    Marsupial mammals show extraordinary karyotype stability, with 2n = 14 considered ancestral. However, macropodid marsupials (kangaroos and wallabies) exhibit a considerable variety of karyotypes, with a hypothesised ancestral karyotype of 2n = 22. Speciation and karyotypic diversity in rock wallabies (Petrogale) is exceptional. We used cross species chromosome painting to examine the chromosome evolution between the tammar wallaby (2n = 16) and three 2n = 22 rock wallaby species groups with the putative ancestral karyotype. Hybridization of chromosome paints prepared from flow sorted chromosomes of the tammar wallaby to Petrogale spp., showed that this ancestral karyotype is largely conserved among 2n = 22 rock wallaby species, and confirmed the identity of ancestral chromosomes which fused to produce the bi-armed chromosomes of the 2n = 16 tammar wallaby. These results illustrate the fission-fusion process of karyotype evolution characteristic of the kangaroo group.

  14. Characterisation of Bone Beneficial Components from Australian Wallaby Bone

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    Lao, Weiguo; Jin, Xingliang; Tan, Yi; Xiao, Linda; Padula, Matthew P.; Bishop, David P.; Reedy, Brian; Ong, Madeleine; Kamal, Mohammad A.; Qu, Xianqin

    2016-01-01

    Background: Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become brittle, increasing the risk of fractures. Complementary medicines have traditionally used animal bones for managing bone disorders, such as osteoporosis. This study aimed to discover new natural products for these types of conditions by determining mineral and protein content of bone extracts derived from the Australian wallaby. Methods: Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic analysis were used for mineral tests, proteome analysis was using LC/MS/MS and the effects of wallaby bone extracts (WBE)s on calcium deposition and alkaline phosphatase activity were evaluated in osteogenic cells derived from adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs). Results: Concentrations of calcium and phosphorus were 26.21% and 14.72% in WBE respectively. Additionally, minerals found were wide in variety and high in concentration, while heavy metal concentrations of aluminium, iron, zinc and other elements were at safe levels for human consumption. Proteome analysis showed that extracts contained high amounts of bone remodelling proteins, such as osteomodulin, osteopontin and osteoglycin. Furthermore, in vitro evaluation of WBEs showed increased deposition of calcium in osteoblasts with enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity in differentiated adipose-derived stem cells. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that wallaby bone extracts possess proteins and minerals beneficial for bone metabolism. WBEs may therefore be used for developing natural products for conditions such as osteoporosis and further investigation to understand biomolecular mechanism by which WBEs prevent osteoporosis is warranted. PMID:28930133

  15. Dichromatic colour vision in wallabies as characterised by three behavioural paradigms.

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    Wiebke Ebeling

    Full Text Available Despite lacking genetic evidence of a third cone opsin in the retina of any Australian marsupial, most species tested so far appear to be trichromatic. In the light of this, we have re-examined colour vision of the tammar wallaby which had previously been identified as a dichromat. Three different psychophysical tests, based on an operant conditioning paradigm, were used to confirm that colour perception in the wallaby can be predicted and conclusively explained by the existence of only two cone types. Firstly, colour-mixing experiments revealed a Confusion Point between the three primary colours of a LCD monitor that can be predicted by the cone excitation ratio of the short- and middle-wavelength sensitive cones. Secondly, the wavelength discrimination ability in the wallaby, when tested with monochromatic stimuli, was found to be limited to a narrow range between 440 nm and 500 nm. Lastly, an experiment designed to test the wallaby's ability to discriminate monochromatic lights from a white light provided clear evidence for a Neutral Point around 485 nm where discrimination consistently failed. Relative colour discrimination seemed clearly preferred but it was possible to train a wallaby to perform absolute colour discriminations. The results confirm the tammar wallaby as a dichromat, and so far the only behaviourally confirmed dichromat among the Australian marsupials.

  16. Unique small RNA signatures uncovered in the tammar wallaby genome

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    Lindsay James

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Small RNAs have proven to be essential regulatory molecules encoded within eukaryotic genomes. These short RNAs participate in a diverse array of cellular processes including gene regulation, chromatin dynamics and genome defense. The tammar wallaby, a marsupial mammal, is a powerful comparative model for studying the evolution of regulatory networks. As part of the genome sequencing initiative for the tammar, we have explored the evolution of each of the major classes of mammalian small RNAs in an Australian marsupial for the first time, including the first genome-scale analysis of the newest class of small RNAs, centromere repeat associated short interacting RNAs (crasiRNAs. Results Using next generation sequencing, we have characterized the major classes of small RNAs, micro (mi RNAs, piwi interacting (pi RNAs, and the centromere repeat associated short interacting (crasi RNAs in the tammar. We examined each of these small RNA classes with respect to the newly assembled tammar wallaby genome for gene and repeat features, salient features that define their canonical sequences, and the constitution of both highly conserved and species-specific members. Using a combination of miRNA hairpin predictions and co-mapping with miRBase entries, we identified a highly conserved cluster of miRNA genes on the X chromosome in the tammar and a total of 94 other predicted miRNA producing genes. Mapping all miRNAs to the tammar genome and comparing target genes among tammar, mouse and human, we identified 163 conserved target genes. An additional nine genes were identified in tammar that do not have an orthologous miRNA target in human and likely represent novel miRNA-regulated genes in the tammar. A survey of the tammar gonadal piRNAs shows that these small RNAs are enriched in retroelements and carry members from both marsupial and tammar-specific repeat classes. Lastly, this study includes the first in-depth analyses of the newly

  17. Magnetic resonance imaging findings in a red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) with otitis.

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    Okeson, Danelle M; Coke, Rob L; Kochunov, Peter; Davis, M Duff

    2008-12-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed on an adult, male Red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) with a history of nonspecific neurologic signs and acute discharge from the left ear. MRI revealed findings consistent with otitis and possible osteomyelitis of the temporal and mastoid bones. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of otitis and MRI findings in a kangaroo.

  18. Load Lugging Locomotion: Lessons from Indigenous People, Rhino Beetles, and Wallabies

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    2001-05-01

    they consume metabolic energy at the same rate! Even hopping at a 4-minute mile pace, kangaroos are only at about a third of their aerobic capacity...carried for free. However, there is not a clear link between the mechanical work performed in walking and the metabolic cost. Rhinoceros beetles are...more cheaply. But kangaroos and wallabies can use internal springs to save energy during their hopping gait and to carry loads in their pouches. These

  19. Methicillin resistance gene diversity in staphylococci isolated from captive and free-ranging wallabies

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    Michelle M. S. Chen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Infection with methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS can be life-threatening in humans and its presence in animals is a cause for public health concern. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of MRS in captive and free-ranging wallabies over a 16-month period in South Australia, Australia. Materials and methods: Eighty-nine purified staphylococcal isolates recovered from 98 captive and free-ranging wallabies' anterior nasal swabs were used in this study. All isolates were tested for the presence of the mecA, mecA1, and mecC genes. Multiplex PCR-directed SCCmec-typing, ccrB-typing, and determination of the minimal inhibitory concentration of oxacillin were performed on mec-positive isolates. Results and discussion: In total, 11 non-Staphylococcus aureus MRS were isolated from 7 out of 98 animals, corresponding to a 7.1% carriage rate. The SCCmec types I, III, and V were identified by multiplex PCR and sequencing of the ccrB gene. This is the first report of MRS carriage in both captive and free-ranging wallabies in Australia. These data demonstrate a low prevalence of MRS and no association between wallaby captivity status and MRS carriage could be assigned. These animals may act as a reservoir for the exchange of genetic elements between staphylococci. Furthermore, the mecA genes of animal isolates were identical to that found in human MRS strains and thus the possibility of zoonotic transfer must be considered.

  20. Cytochrome P450 CYP3A in marsupials: cloning and identification of the first CYP3A subfamily member, isoform 3A70 from Eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus).

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    El-Merhibi, Adaweyah; Ngo, Suong N T; Marchant, Ceilidh L; Height, Tamara A; Stupans, Ieva; McKinnon, Ross A

    2012-09-15

    Australian marsupials are unique fauna that have evolved and adapted to unique environments and thus it is likely that their detoxification systems differ considerably from those of well-studied eutherian mammals. Knowledge of these processes in marsupials is therefore vital to understanding the consequences of exposure to xenobiotics. Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) are critically important in the oxidative metabolism of a diverse array of both xenobiotics and endogenous substrates. In this study we have cloned and characterized CYP3A70, the first identified member of the CYP3A gene subfamily from Eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). A 1665 base pair kangaroo hepatic CYP3A complete cDNA, designated CYP3A70, was cloned by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction approaches, which encodes a protein of 506 amino acids. The CYP3A70 cDNA shares approximately 71% nucleotide and 65% amino acid sequence homology to human CYP3A4 and displays high sequence similarity to other published mammalian CYP3As from human, monkey, cow, pig, dog, rat, rabbit, mouse, hamster, and guinea pig. Transfection of the CYP3A70 cDNAs into 293T cells resulted in stable cell lines expressing a CYP3A immuno-reactive protein that was recognized by a goat anti-human CYP3A4 polyclonal antibody. The anti-human CYP3A4 antibody also detected immunoreactive proteins in liver microsomes from all test marsupials, including the kangaroo, koala, wallaby, and wombat, with multiple CYP3A immunoreactive bands observed in kangaroo and wallaby tissues. Relatively, very low CYP catalytic activity was detected for the kangaroo CYP3A70 cDNA-expressed proteins (19.6 relative luminescent units/μg protein), which may be due to low protein expression levels. Collectively, this study provides primary molecular data regarding the Eastern kangaroo hepatic CYP3A70 gene and enables further functional analyses of CYP3A enzymes in marsupials. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Finding the Balance: Fertility Control for the Management of Fragmented Populations of a Threatened Rock-Wallaby Species.

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    Willers, Nicole; Martin, Graeme B; Matson, Phill; Mawson, Peter R; Morris, Keith; Bencini, Roberta

    2015-12-16

    Populations of Australian marsupials can become overabundant, resulting in detrimental impacts on the environment. For example, the threatened black-flanked rock-wallaby ( Petrogale lateralis lateralis ) has previously been perceived as overabundant and thus 'unwanted' when they graze crops and cause habitat degradation. Hormonally-induced fertility control has been increasingly used to manage population size in other marsupials where alternative management options are not viable. We tested whether deslorelin, a superagonist of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), would suppress reproduction in free-living adult female rock-wallabies without adversely impacting body condition. We trapped, synchronised reproduction and allocated female rock-wallabies to a placebo implant (control, n = 22), one (n = 22) or two (n = 20) subcutaneous implants of deslorelin. Females were then recaptured over the following 36 months to monitor reproduction, including Luteinising Hormone levels, and body condition. Following treatment, diapaused blastocysts reactivated in five females and the resulting young were carried through to weaning. No wallabies treated with deslorelin, conceivede a new young for at least 27 months. We did not observe adverse effects on body condition on treated females. We conclude that deslorelin implants are effective for the medium-term suppression of reproduction in female black-flanked rock-wallabies and for managing overabundant populations of some marsupials.

  2. Finding the Balance: Fertility Control for the Management of Fragmented Populations of a Threatened Rock-Wallaby Species

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    Nicole Willers

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Populations of Australian marsupials can become overabundant, resulting in detrimental impacts on the environment. For example, the threatened black-flanked rock-wallaby ( Petrogale lateralis lateralis has previously been perceived as overabundant and thus ‘unwanted’ when they graze crops and cause habitat degradation. Hormonally-induced fertility control has been increasingly used to manage population size in other marsupials where alternative management options are not viable. We tested whether deslorelin, a superagonist of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH, would suppress reproduction in free-living adult female rock-wallabies without adversely impacting body condition. We trapped, synchronised reproduction and allocated female rock-wallabies to a placebo implant (control, n = 22, one (n = 22 or two (n = 20 subcutaneous implants of deslorelin. Females were then recaptured over the following 36 months to monitor reproduction, including Luteinising Hormone levels, and body condition. Following treatment, diapaused blastocysts reactivated in five females and the resulting young were carried through to weaning. No wallabies treated with deslorelin, conceivede a new young for at least 27 months. We did not observe adverse effects on body condition on treated females. We conclude that deslorelin implants are effective for the medium-term suppression of reproduction in female black-flanked rock-wallabies and for managing overabundant populations of some marsupials.

  3. Ventilatory accommodation of oxygen demand and respiratory water loss in kangaroos from mesic and arid environments, the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, T J; Munn, A J; Blaney, C E; Krockenberger, A; Maloney, S K

    2000-01-01

    We studied ventilation in kangaroos from mesic and arid environments, the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), respectively, within the range of ambient temperatures (T(a)) from -5 degrees to 45 degrees C. At thermoneutral temperatures (Ta=25 degrees C), there were no differences between the species in respiratory frequency, tidal volume, total ventilation, or oxygen extraction. The ventilatory patterns of the kangaroos were markedly different from those predicted from the allometric equation derived for placentals. The kangaroos had low respiratory frequencies and higher tidal volumes, even when adjustment was made for their lower basal metabolism. At Ta>25 degrees C, ventilation was increased in the kangaroos to facilitate respiratory water loss, with percent oxygen extraction being markedly lowered. Ventilation was via the nares; the mouth was closed. Differences in ventilation between the two species occurred at higher temperatures, and at 45 degrees C were associated with differences in respiratory evaporative heat loss, with that of M. giganteus being higher. Panting in kangaroos occurred as a graded increase in respiratory frequency, during which tidal volume was lowered. When panting, the desert red kangaroo had larger tidal volumes and lower respiratory frequencies at equivalent T(a) than the eastern grey kangaroo, which generally inhabits mesic forests. The inference made from this pattern is that the red kangaroo has the potential to increase respiratory evaporative heat loss to a greater level.

  4. Unintended consequences of invasive predator control in an Australian forest: overabundant wallabies and vegetation change.

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    Nick Dexter

    Full Text Available Over-abundance of native herbivores is a problem in many forests worldwide. The abundance of native macropod wallabies is extremely high at Booderee National Park (BNP in south-eastern Australia. This has occurred because of the reduction of exotic predators through an intensive baiting program, coupled with the absence of other predators. The high density of wallabies at BNP may be inhibiting the recruitment of many plant species following fire-induced recruitment events. We experimentally examined the post-fire response of a range of plant species to browsing by wallabies in a forest heavily infested with the invasive species, bitou bush Chrysanthemoides monilifera. We recorded the abundance and size of a range of plant species in 18 unfenced (browsed and 16 fenced (unbrowsed plots. We found the abundance and size of bitou bush was suppressed in browsed plots compared to unbrowsed plots. Regenerating seedlings of the canopy or middle storey tree species Eucalyptus pilularis, Acacia implexa, Allocasuarina littoralis, Breynia oblongifolia and Banksia integrifolia were either smaller or fewer in number in grazed plots than treatment plots as were the vines Kennedia rubicunda, Glycine tabacina and Glycine clandestina. In contrast, the understorey fern, Pteridium esculentum increased in abundance in the browsed plots relative to unbrowsed plots probably because of reduced competition with more palatable angiosperms. Twelve months after plots were installed the community structure of the browsed and unbrowsed plots was significantly different (P = 0.023, Global R = 0.091. The relative abundance of C. monilifera and P. esculentum contributed most to the differences. We discuss the possible development of a low diversity bracken fern parkland in Booderee National Park through a trophic cascade, similar to that caused by overabundant deer in the northern hemisphere. We also discuss its implications for broad scale fox control in southern

  5. Comparative jaw muscle anatomy in kangaroos, wallabies, and rat-kangaroos (marsupialia: macropodoidea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warburton, Natalie Marina

    2009-06-01

    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.

  6. CLINICOPATHOLOGIC CORRELATES OF FASCIOLIASIS IN TWO EASTERN GREY KANGAROOS (MACROPUS GIGANTEUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portas, Timothy J; Taylor, David

    2015-12-01

    Infection with the introduced trematode Fasciola hepatica was associated with anemia, mild to moderate azotemia, hypoalbuminemia, and elevated liver enzymes and creatine kinase values in two free-ranging eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus). Both kangaroos were euthanized because of the severity of clinical signs associated with infection. Histopathologic changes included severe cholangiohepatitis, biliary hyperplasia, and fibrosis. Hepatic, splenic, and intestinal amyloidosis was present in one kangaroo and hepatic abscessation in the other; neither histologic change has been reported in macropodids with fascioliasis previously.

  7. Sexual differentiation in three unconventional mammals: spotted hyenas, elephants and tammar wallabies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glickman, Stephen E; Short, Roger V; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2005-11-01

    The present review explores sexual differentiation in three non-conventional species: the spotted hyena, the elephant and the tammar wallaby, selected because of the natural challenges they present for contemporary understanding of sexual differentiation. According to the prevailing view of mammalian sexual differentiation, originally proposed by Alfred Jost, secretion of androgen and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) by the fetal testes during critical stages of development accounts for the full range of sexually dimorphic urogenital traits observed at birth. Jost's concept was subsequently expanded to encompass sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior. Although the central focus of this review involves urogenital development, we assume that the novel mechanisms described in this article have potentially significant implications for sexual differentiation of brain and behavior, a transposition with precedent in the history of this field. Contrary to the "specific" requirements of Jost's formulation, female spotted hyenas and elephants initially develop male-type external genitalia prior to gonadal differentiation. In addition, the administration of anti-androgens to pregnant female spotted hyenas does not prevent the formation of a scrotum, pseudoscrotum, penis or penile clitoris in the offspring of treated females, although it is not yet clear whether the creation of masculine genitalia involves other steroids or whether there is a genetic mechanism bypassing a hormonal mediator. Wallabies, where sexual differentiation occurs in the pouch after birth, provide the most conclusive evidence for direct genetic control of sexual dimorphism, with the scrotum developing only in males and the pouch and mammary glands only in females, before differentiation of the gonads. The development of the pouch and mammary gland in females and the scrotum in males is controlled by genes on the X chromosome. In keeping with the "expanded" version of Jost's formulation, secretion

  8. Phylogeography of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, Suggests a Mesic Refugium in Eastern Australia.

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    Brett A Coghlan

    Full Text Available Phylogeographic studies around the world have identified refugia where fauna were able to persist during unsuitable climatic periods, particularly during times of glaciation. In Australia the effects of Pleistocene climate oscillations on rainforest taxa have been well studied but less is known about the effects on mesic-habitat fauna, such as the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus. The eastern grey kangaroo is a large mammal that is common and widespread throughout eastern Australia, preferring dry mesic habitat, rather than rainforest. As pollen evidence suggests that the central-eastern part of Australia (southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales experienced cycles of expansion in mesic habitat with contraction in rainforests, and vice versa during glacial and interglacial periods, respectively, we hypothesise that the distribution of the eastern grey kangaroo was affected by these climate oscillations and may have contracted to mesic habitat refugia. From 375 mitochondrial DNA control region sequences from across the distribution of eastern grey kangaroos we obtained 108 unique haplotypes. Phylogenetic analysis identified two clades in Queensland, one of which is newly identified and restricted to a small coastal region in southern Queensland north of Brisbane, known as the Sunshine Coast. The relatively limited geographic range of this genetically isolated clade suggests the possibility of a mesic habitat refugium forming during rainforest expansion during wetter climate cycles. Other potential, although less likely, reasons for the genetic isolation of the highly distinct clade include geographic barriers, separate northward expansions, and strong local adaptation.

  9. Toxoplasmosis in the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Macropus giganteus and the Cape Hyrax, Procavis capensis in Japan

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    Khaled Mohamed El-Dakhly1,4, Nagwan El-Habashi2, El-Shaymaa El-Nahass3,4, Hiroki Sakai4 and Tokuma Yanai4,*

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis was investigated in an eastern grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, and four cape hyraxes, Procavia capensis, in a Japanese zoo. Clinically, the kangaroo showed neurological signs, emaciation, diarrhea, elevated AST and CK, and subjected to coma before death. One young cape hyrax had severe anorexia, while the other three died without exhibiting clinical signs. Grossly, lungs of the kangaroo were dark red in color, while hyraxes, besides, showed hepatic multifocal white foci, and intestinal multifocal hemorrhages. Histologically, the kangaroo had frequent Toxoplasma gondii pseudocysts in brain, heart and skeletal muscles. All hyraxes had multifocal necrosis with cysts containing numerous bradyzoites in liver and spleen, along with necrotic gastroenteritis and intestinal hemorrhages. Immunohistochemically, cysts showed positive reaction to anti-T. gondii antibodies. These findings indicate possible outbreaks of toxoplasmosis in eastern grey kangaroos and cape hyraxes, zoo habitants; therefore, they could be susceptible intermediate hosts for T. gondii in terms of zoonosis. This is the first report of toxoplasmosis in eastern grey kangaroos and cape hyraxes in Japanese zoos.

  10. Morphological and morphometric characteristics of gastric mucosa in western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus

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    Mahmoud Badran Shoeib

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study was aimed to investigate the morphology and histomorphometry of stomach and gastric mucosa in western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus. The stomach was composed of three indistinctive separate parts namely sacciform forestomach, tubiform forestomach, and hindstomach. The tubiform forestomach was the main tubular section of the organ. The stomach had a compound lining. The non-glandular mucosa occupied the medial blind sac (MBS of the sacciform forestomach; the layer covered about one-third of the tubiform forestomach (non-glandular region and the entire length of the gastric sulcus. The glandular part lined the parietal blind sac (PBS of sacciform forestomach and the cardiac gland region of tubiform forestomach as well as fundic and pyloric gland regions of the hindstomach. The cardiac mucosa had smooth and folded areas; these were filled with mixed glands. In the fundic glands, the parietal cells outnumbered the chief cells. The pyloric glands were of serous-like in characteristics. In conclusion, gross and histological structures of the stomach of western grey kangaroo are adaptive with its food habitat, which allows thorough mixing of highly fibrous grasses.

  11. Diagnosis and treatment of mesenteric volvulus in a red kangaroo (Macropus rufus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knafo, S Emmanuelle; Rosenblatt, Alana J; Morrisey, James K; Flanders, James A; Thompson, Margret S; Knapp-Hoch, Heather M

    2014-04-01

    An 8-year-old male red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) was evaluated with a 2-week history of vomiting and anorexia. Four days prior, the patient became refractory to medical management. The kangaroo was admitted for diagnostic testing and treatment including whole body CT, blood work, and emergency laparotomy. CT findings of a severely enlarged stomach, splenic displacement, and a whirl sign were indicative of mesenteric volvulus with gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Contrast enhancement of abdominal viscera suggested intact arterial blood supply; however, compression of the caudal vena cava and portal vein indicated venous obstruction. Results of preoperative blood work suggested biliary stasis without evidence of inflammation. Additionally, a tooth root abscess was diagnosed on the basis of results of CT. Exploratory laparotomy confirmed the diagnosis of mesenteric volvulus and GDV. The volvuli were corrected by clockwise derotation, and a gastropexy was performed. Tissue samples were obtained from the spleen and liver for evaluation. The kangaroo recovered from surgery, and the abscessed tooth was extracted 6 days later. Eight days after initial evaluation, the kangaroo was discharged. In the present report, the CT whirl sign was used to diagnose volvulus of the abdominal viscera, which suggests that this diagnostic indicator has utility in veterinary patients. Mesenteric volvulus with GDV was successfully treated in a nondomestic species. The tooth root abscess, a common condition in macropods, may explain the historic episodes of anorexia reported by the owner and may have contributed to the development of mesenteric volvulus and GDV in this kangaroo.

  12. Phylogeography of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, Suggests a Mesic Refugium in Eastern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coghlan, Brett A; Goldizen, Anne W; Thomson, Vicki A; Seddon, Jennifer M

    2015-01-01

    Phylogeographic studies around the world have identified refugia where fauna were able to persist during unsuitable climatic periods, particularly during times of glaciation. In Australia the effects of Pleistocene climate oscillations on rainforest taxa have been well studied but less is known about the effects on mesic-habitat fauna, such as the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). The eastern grey kangaroo is a large mammal that is common and widespread throughout eastern Australia, preferring dry mesic habitat, rather than rainforest. As pollen evidence suggests that the central-eastern part of Australia (southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales) experienced cycles of expansion in mesic habitat with contraction in rainforests, and vice versa during glacial and interglacial periods, respectively, we hypothesise that the distribution of the eastern grey kangaroo was affected by these climate oscillations and may have contracted to mesic habitat refugia. From 375 mitochondrial DNA control region sequences from across the distribution of eastern grey kangaroos we obtained 108 unique haplotypes. Phylogenetic analysis identified two clades in Queensland, one of which is newly identified and restricted to a small coastal region in southern Queensland north of Brisbane, known as the Sunshine Coast. The relatively limited geographic range of this genetically isolated clade suggests the possibility of a mesic habitat refugium forming during rainforest expansion during wetter climate cycles. Other potential, although less likely, reasons for the genetic isolation of the highly distinct clade include geographic barriers, separate northward expansions, and strong local adaptation.

  13. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii in zoo animals in selected zoos in the midwestern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Camps, Silvia; Dubey, J P; Saville, W J A

    2008-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infections in zoo animals are of interest because many captive animals die of clinical toxoplasmosis and because of the potential risk of exposure of children and elderly to T. gondii oocysts excreted by cats in the zoos. Seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies in wild zoo felids, highly susceptible zoo species, and feral cats from 8 zoos of the midwestern United States was determined by using the modified agglutination test (MAT). A titer of 1:25 was considered indicative of T. gondii exposure. Among wild felids, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 6 (27.3%) of 22 cheetahs (Acynonyx jubatus jubatus), 2 of 4 African lynx (Caracal caracal), 1 of 7 clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), 1 of 5 Pallas cats (Otocolobus manul), 12 (54.5%) of 22 African lions (Panthera leo), 1 of 1 jaguar (Panthera onca), 1 of 1 Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), 1 of 1 Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), 5 (27.8%) of 18 Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), 1 of 4 fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus), 3 of 6 pumas (Puma concolor), 2 of 2 Texas pumas (Puma concolor stanleyana), and 5 (35.7%) of 14 snow leopards (Uncia uncia). Antibodies were found in 10 of 34 feral domestic cats (Felis domesticus) trapped in 3 zoos. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in any of the 78 fecal samples from wild and domestic cats. Among the macropods, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 Dama wallabies (Macropus eugenii), 1 of 1 western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus), 1 of 2 wallaroos (Macropus robustus), 6 of 8 Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus), 21 (61.8%) of 34 red kangaroos (Macropus rufus), and 1 of 1 dusky pademelon (Thylogale brunii). Among prosimians, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), 1 of 21 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), 2 of 9 red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra), and 2 of 4 black- and white-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata). Among the avian species tested, 2 of 3 bald

  14. Further characterisation of two Eimeria species (Eimeria quokka and Eimeria setonicis) in quokkas (Setonix brachyurus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austen, J M; Friend, J A; Yang, R; Ryan, U M

    2014-03-01

    The identification and characterisation of novel Eimeria species has largely been based on sporulated oocyst and sporocyst morphology, the host species and the geographical range. Variation in the size and shape of Eimeria oocysts across their host range however, make the identification and characterisation of novel species using traditional methodologies alone problematic. The use of molecular markers and phylogenetic analysis has greatly advanced our ability to characterise Eimeria species and has recently been applied to understand evolutionary relationships among Eimeria species from Australian marsupials. In the present study, Eimeria species isolated from quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) captured from Two Peoples Bay, Bald Island and Rottnest Island, Western Australia, were morphologically identified as Eimeria quokka and Eimeria setonicis. Both Eimeria species were identified as being polymorphic in nature with regards to sporulated oocyst and sporocyst morphometrics. Phylogenetic analysis using 18S rRNA and COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1) genes, grouped E. quokka and E. setonicis within the Eimeria marsupial clade together with Eimeria trichosuri from brushtail possums, Eimeria macropodis from tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) and several unidentified macropod Eimeria species from western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus). This study is the first to characterise E. quokka and E. setonicis by molecular analysis, enabling more extensive resolution of evolutionary relationships among marsupial-derived Eimeria species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Reproductive implications of exposure to Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus ocydromus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayberry, Chris; Maloney, Shane K; Mitchell, Jeff; Mawson, Peter R; Bencini, Roberta

    2014-04-01

    Australian marsupials are thought to be particularly vulnerable to pathologic impacts of Toxoplasma gondii, and they may be similarly affected by Neospora caninum. Pathology due to either organism could be expressed as reduced female reproductive performance. We studied adult female western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus ocydromus) from suburban Perth, Western Australia, between May 2006 and October 2008. We used indirect fluorescent antibody tests to look for evidence of exposure to T. gondii and N. caninum in M. fuliginosus ocydromus and tested the association between their reproductive performance and a positive test result. Although 20% of plasma samples collected from 102 female kangaroos were positive for T. gondii and 18% were positive for N. caninum, we found no association between positive results and reproductive performance. Further study will be required to clarify if, and under what circumstances, T. gondii and N. caninum are pathogenic to macropod marsupials.

  16. CRYPTOCOCCUS NEOFORMANS VAR. GRUBII-ASSOCIATED RENAL AMYLOIDOSIS CAUSING PROTEIN-LOSING NEPHROPATHY IN A RED KANGAROO (MACROPUS RUFUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Mary Irene; Gjeltema, Jenessa; Sheley, Matthew; Wack, Ray F

    2017-09-01

    A 10-year-old male castrated red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) presented with mandibular swelling. Examination findings included pitting edema with no dental disease evident on examination or radiographs. The results of blood work were moderate azotemia, hypoalbuminemia, and severely elevated urine protein:creatinine ratio (9.9). Radiographs showed an interstitial pattern of the caudal right lung, and an abdominal ultrasound demonstrated scant effusion. Symptomatic and empirical therapy with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor did not resolve clinical signs. Due to poor prognosis and declining quality of life, euthanasia was elected. Necropsy revealed chronic granulomatous pneumonia of the caudal right lung lobe with intralesional Cryptococcus, identified as C. neoformans var. grubii by DNA sequencing. Severe bilateral glomerular and tubulointerstitial amyloidosis induced protein-losing nephropathy, leading to tri-cavitary effusion, subcutaneous edema, and cachexia. The authors speculate that renal amyloidosis was associated with chronic cryptococcal pneumonia in this red kangaroo.

  17. Infection with Toxoplasma gondii in a red kangaroo (Macropus rufus and a Patagonian mara (Dolichotis patagonum in captivity

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    Nataly Díaz-Ayala

    Full Text Available Abstract Toxoplasmosis is an infectious, zoonotic and parasitic disease, caused by Toxoplasma gondii. In this manucript, two cases of infection with T. gondii in captive animals from a zoological park in the central region of Chile are described. One case was a red kangaroo (Macropus rufus, which is highly susceptible to the infection, and the other was a Patagonian mara (Dolichotis patagonum, a rodent in which there is no previous report of the infection. Both animals had myocarditis, with the presence of intralesional tachizoites and cysts suggestive of infection with T. gondii. This infection was confirmed by immunohistochemistry in both animals. The origin of the infection is unknown, but it is likely that free ranging domestic felines were associated with the dissemination of the parasites. This highlights the importance of controlling the domestic animal populations in zoological parks. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that T. gondii infection is described in a Patagonian mara, adding a new host for this infectious agent.

  18. Secretion of whey acidic protein and cystatin is down regulated at mid-lactation in the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas, K.R.; Fisher, J.A.; Muths, E.; Trott, J.; Janssens, P.A.; Reich, C.; Shaw, D.C.

    2001-01-01

    Milk collected from the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) between day 100 and 260 of lactation showed major changes in milk composition at around day 200 of lactation, the time at which the pouch young begins to temporarily exit the pouch and eat herbage. The carbohydrate content of milk declined abruptly at this time and although there was only a small increase in total protein content, SDS PAGE analysis of milk revealed asynchrony in the secretory pattern of individual proteins. The levels of ??-lactalbumin, ??-lactoglobulin, serum albumin and transferrin remain unchanged during lactation. In contrast, the protease inhibitor cystatin, and the putative protease inhibitor whey acidic protein (WAP) first appeared in milk at elevated concentrations after approximately 150 days of lactation and then ceased to be secreted at approximately 200 days. In addition, a major whey protein, late lactation protein, was first detected in milk around the time whey acidic protein and cystatin cease to be secreted and was present at least until day 260 of lactation. The co-ordinated, but asynchronous secretion of putative protease inhibitors in milk may have several roles during lactation including tissue remodelling in the mammary gland and protecting specific proteins in milk required for physiological development of the dependent young. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Inc.

  19. Water use and the thermoregulatory behaviour of kangaroos in arid regions: insights into the colonisation of arid rangelands in Australia by the Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Terence J; McTavish, Kirsten J; Munn, Adam J; Holloway, Joanne

    2006-01-01

    The Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) occurs mostly in the wetter regions of eastern Australia. However, in the past 30-40 years it has moved into more arid regions (rainfall Kangaroo (Macropus rufus). An increased access to water (supplied for domestic stock) may explain this range extension, but changes in the availability of preferred feed could also be involved. The water use, drinking patterns and thermoregulatory behaviour of these two species of kangaroo have been examined in a semi-free range study, during summer at an arid rangeland site. Foraging was largely nocturnal in both species and during the day they behaved to reduce heat loads. This was especially so for M. giganteus, which showed greater shade seeking. However, it still used more water (72 +/- 2.6 mL kg(-1) day(-1), mean +/- SE) than M. rufus (56 +/- 7.6 mL kg(-1) day(-1)) and drank twice as frequently. Although M. giganteus produced a less concentrated urine (1422 +/- 36 mosmol kg(-1)) than M. rufus (1843 +/- 28 mosmol kg(-1)), kidney physiology did not explain all of the differences in water metabolism between the species. Water from the feed and faecal water retention also appear to be involved. Broadly, a better access to reliable water and the utilisation of mesic microhabitats has enabled M. giganteus to make inroads into the changing rangelands of eastern Australia. However, changes in the vegetation, due to stock grazing, have also favoured M. giganteus, which is a grass eating specialist.

  20. Retrotransposon silencing by DNA methylation can drive mammalian genomic imprinting.

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    Shunsuke Suzuki

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Among mammals, only eutherians and marsupials are viviparous and have genomic imprinting that leads to parent-of-origin-specific differential gene expression. We used comparative analysis to investigate the origin of genomic imprinting in mammals. PEG10 (paternally expressed 10 is a retrotransposon-derived imprinted gene that has an essential role for the formation of the placenta of the mouse. Here, we show that an orthologue of PEG10 exists in another therian mammal, the marsupial tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii, but not in a prototherian mammal, the egg-laying platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus, suggesting its close relationship to the origin of placentation in therian mammals. We have discovered a hitherto missing link of the imprinting mechanism between eutherians and marsupials because tammar PEG10 is the first example of a differentially methylated region (DMR associated with genomic imprinting in marsupials. Surprisingly, the marsupial DMR was strictly limited to the 5' region of PEG10, unlike the eutherian DMR, which covers the promoter regions of both PEG10 and the adjacent imprinted gene SGCE. These results not only demonstrate a common origin of the DMR-associated imprinting mechanism in therian mammals but provide the first demonstration that DMR-associated genomic imprinting in eutherians can originate from the repression of exogenous DNA sequences and/or retrotransposons by DNA methylation.

  1. Energy, water and space use by free-living red kangaroos Macropus rufus and domestic sheep Ovis aries in an Australian rangeland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munn, A J; Dawson, T J; McLeod, S R; Dennis, T; Maloney, S K

    2013-08-01

    We used doubly labelled water to measure field metabolic rates (FMR) and water turnover rates (WTR) in one of Australia's largest native herbivores, the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) and one of Australia's dominant livestock species, the wool-breed Merino sheep, under free-living conditions in a typical Australian rangeland. Also, we used GPS technology to examine animal space use, along with the comparisons of urine concentration, diet, diet digestibility, and subsequent grazing pressures. We found smaller space-use patterns than previously reported for kangaroos, which were between 14 and 25 % those of sheep. The FMR of a 25-kg kangaroo was 30 % that of a 45-kg sheep, while WTR was 15 % and both were associated with smaller travel distances, lower salt intakes, and higher urine concentration in kangaroos than sheep. After accounting for differences in dry matter digestibility of food eaten by kangaroos (51 %) and sheep (58 %), the relative grazing pressure of a standard (mature, non-reproductive) 25-kg kangaroo was 35 % that of a 45-kg sheep. Even for animals of the same body mass (35 kg), the relative grazing pressure of the kangaroo was estimated to be only 44 % that of the sheep. After accounting for the energetic costs of wool growth by sheep, the FMRs of our sheep and kangaroos were 2-3 times their expected BMRs, which is typical for mammalian FMR:BMRs generally. Notably, data collected from our free-living animals were practically identical to those from animals confined to a semi-natural enclosure (collected in an earlier study under comparable environmental conditions), supporting the idea that FMRs are relatively constrained within species.

  2. Developmental and Post-Eruptive Defects in Molar Enamel of Free-Ranging Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus Exposed to High Environmental Levels of Fluoride.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uwe Kierdorf

    Full Text Available Dental fluorosis has recently been diagnosed in wild marsupials inhabiting a high-fluoride area in Victoria, Australia. Information on the histopathology of fluorotic marsupial enamel has thus far not been available. This study analyzed the developmental and post-eruptive defects in fluorotic molar enamel of eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus from the same high-fluoride area using light microscopy and backscattered electron imaging in the scanning electron microscope. The fluorotic enamel exhibited a brownish to blackish discolouration due to post-eruptive infiltration of stains from the oral cavity and was less resistant to wear than normally mineralized enamel of kangaroos from low-fluoride areas. Developmental defects of enamel included enamel hypoplasia and a pronounced hypomineralization of the outer (sub-surface enamel underneath a thin rim of well-mineralized surface enamel. While the hypoplastic defects denote a disturbance of ameloblast function during the secretory stage of amelogenesis, the hypomineralization is attributed to an impairment of enamel maturation. In addition to hypoplastic defects, the fluorotic molars also exhibited numerous post-eruptive enamel defects due to the flaking-off of portions of the outer, hypomineralized enamel layer during mastication. The macroscopic and histopathological lesions in fluorotic enamel of M. giganteus match those previously described for placental mammals. It is therefore concluded that there exist no principal differences in the pathogenic mechanisms of dental fluorosis between marsupial and placental mammals. The regular occurrence of hypomineralized, opaque outer enamel in the teeth of M. giganteus and other macropodids must be considered in the differential diagnosis of dental fluorosis in these species.

  3. Developmental and Post-Eruptive Defects in Molar Enamel of Free-Ranging Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) Exposed to High Environmental Levels of Fluoride

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kierdorf, Uwe; Death, Clare; Hufschmid, Jasmin; Witzel, Carsten; Kierdorf, Horst

    2016-01-01

    Dental fluorosis has recently been diagnosed in wild marsupials inhabiting a high-fluoride area in Victoria, Australia. Information on the histopathology of fluorotic marsupial enamel has thus far not been available. This study analyzed the developmental and post-eruptive defects in fluorotic molar enamel of eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) from the same high-fluoride area using light microscopy and backscattered electron imaging in the scanning electron microscope. The fluorotic enamel exhibited a brownish to blackish discolouration due to post-eruptive infiltration of stains from the oral cavity and was less resistant to wear than normally mineralized enamel of kangaroos from low-fluoride areas. Developmental defects of enamel included enamel hypoplasia and a pronounced hypomineralization of the outer (sub-surface) enamel underneath a thin rim of well-mineralized surface enamel. While the hypoplastic defects denote a disturbance of ameloblast function during the secretory stage of amelogenesis, the hypomineralization is attributed to an impairment of enamel maturation. In addition to hypoplastic defects, the fluorotic molars also exhibited numerous post-eruptive enamel defects due to the flaking-off of portions of the outer, hypomineralized enamel layer during mastication. The macroscopic and histopathological lesions in fluorotic enamel of M. giganteus match those previously described for placental mammals. It is therefore concluded that there exist no principal differences in the pathogenic mechanisms of dental fluorosis between marsupial and placental mammals. The regular occurrence of hypomineralized, opaque outer enamel in the teeth of M. giganteus and other macropodids must be considered in the differential diagnosis of dental fluorosis in these species. PMID:26895178

  4. Inferring kangaroo phylogeny from incongruent nuclear and mitochondrial genes.

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    Matthew J Phillips

    Full Text Available The marsupial genus Macropus includes three subgenera, the familiar large grazing kangaroos and wallaroos of M. (Macropus and M. (Osphranter, as well as the smaller mixed grazing/browsing wallabies of M. (Notamacropus. A recent study of five concatenated nuclear genes recommended subsuming the predominantly browsing Wallabia bicolor (swamp wallaby into Macropus. To further examine this proposal we sequenced partial mitochondrial genomes for kangaroos and wallabies. These sequences strongly favour the morphological placement of W. bicolor as sister to Macropus, although place M. irma (black-gloved wallaby within M. (Osphranter rather than as expected, with M. (Notamacropus. Species tree estimation from separately analysed mitochondrial and nuclear genes favours retaining Macropus and Wallabia as separate genera. A simulation study finds that incomplete lineage sorting among nuclear genes is a plausible explanation for incongruence with the mitochondrial placement of W. bicolor, while mitochondrial introgression from a wallaroo into M. irma is the deepest such event identified in marsupials. Similar such coalescent simulations for interpreting gene tree conflicts will increase in both relevance and statistical power as species-level phylogenetics enters the genomic age. Ecological considerations in turn, hint at a role for selection in accelerating the fixation of introgressed or incompletely sorted loci. More generally the inclusion of the mitochondrial sequences substantially enhanced phylogenetic resolution. However, we caution that the evolutionary dynamics that enhance mitochondria as speciation indicators in the presence of incomplete lineage sorting may also render them especially susceptible to introgression.

  5. Distinct retroelement classes define evolutionary breakpoints demarcating sites of evolutionary novelty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Mark S; Carone, Dawn M; Green, Eric D; O'Neill, Michael J; O'Neill, Rachel J

    2009-01-01

    Background Large-scale genome rearrangements brought about by chromosome breaks underlie numerous inherited diseases, initiate or promote many cancers and are also associated with karyotype diversification during species evolution. Recent research has shown that these breakpoints are nonrandomly distributed throughout the mammalian genome and many, termed "evolutionary breakpoints" (EB), are specific genomic locations that are "reused" during karyotypic evolution. When the phylogenetic trajectory of orthologous chromosome segments is considered, many of these EB are coincident with ancient centromere activity as well as new centromere formation. While EB have been characterized as repeat-rich regions, it has not been determined whether specific sequences have been retained during evolution that would indicate previous centromere activity or a propensity for new centromere formation. Likewise, the conservation of specific sequence motifs or classes at EBs among divergent mammalian taxa has not been determined. Results To define conserved sequence features of EBs associated with centromere evolution, we performed comparative sequence analysis of more than 4.8 Mb within the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, derived from centromeric regions (CEN), euchromatic regions (EU), and an evolutionary breakpoint (EB) that has undergone convergent breakpoint reuse and past centromere activity in marsupials. We found a dramatic enrichment for long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE1s) and endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and a depletion of short interspersed nucleotide elements (SINEs) shared between CEN and EBs. We analyzed the orthologous human EB (14q32.33), known to be associated with translocations in many cancers including multiple myelomas and plasma cell leukemias, and found a conserved distribution of similar repetitive elements. Conclusion Our data indicate that EBs tracked within the class Mammalia harbor sequence features retained since the divergence of marsupials

  6. Distinct retroelement classes define evolutionary breakpoints demarcating sites of evolutionary novelty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green Eric D

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large-scale genome rearrangements brought about by chromosome breaks underlie numerous inherited diseases, initiate or promote many cancers and are also associated with karyotype diversification during species evolution. Recent research has shown that these breakpoints are nonrandomly distributed throughout the mammalian genome and many, termed "evolutionary breakpoints" (EB, are specific genomic locations that are "reused" during karyotypic evolution. When the phylogenetic trajectory of orthologous chromosome segments is considered, many of these EB are coincident with ancient centromere activity as well as new centromere formation. While EB have been characterized as repeat-rich regions, it has not been determined whether specific sequences have been retained during evolution that would indicate previous centromere activity or a propensity for new centromere formation. Likewise, the conservation of specific sequence motifs or classes at EBs among divergent mammalian taxa has not been determined. Results To define conserved sequence features of EBs associated with centromere evolution, we performed comparative sequence analysis of more than 4.8 Mb within the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, derived from centromeric regions (CEN, euchromatic regions (EU, and an evolutionary breakpoint (EB that has undergone convergent breakpoint reuse and past centromere activity in marsupials. We found a dramatic enrichment for long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE1s and endogenous retroviruses (ERVs and a depletion of short interspersed nucleotide elements (SINEs shared between CEN and EBs. We analyzed the orthologous human EB (14q32.33, known to be associated with translocations in many cancers including multiple myelomas and plasma cell leukemias, and found a conserved distribution of similar repetitive elements. Conclusion Our data indicate that EBs tracked within the class Mammalia harbor sequence features retained since the

  7. Energy requirements of the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus): impacts of age, growth and body size in a large desert-dwelling herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munn, A J; Dawson, T J

    2003-09-01

    Generally, young growing mammals have resting metabolic rates (RMRs) that are proportionally greater than those of adult animals. This is seen in the red kangaroo ( Macropus rufus), a large (>20 kg) herbivorous marsupial common to arid and semi-arid inland Australia. Juvenile red kangaroos have RMRs 1.5-1.6 times those expected for adult marsupials of an equivalent body mass. When fed high-quality chopped lucerne hay, young-at-foot (YAF) kangaroos, which have permanently left the mother's pouch but are still sucking, and recently weaned red kangaroos had digestible energy intakes of 641+/-27 kJ kg(-0.75) day(-1) and 677+/-26 kJ kg(-0.75) day(-1), respectively, significantly higher than the 385+/-37 kJ kg(-0.75) day(-1) ingested by mature, non-lactating females. However, YAF and weaned red kangaroos had maintenance energy requirements (MERs) that were not significantly higher than those of mature, non-lactating females, the values ranging between 384 kJ kg(-0.75) day(-1) and 390 kJ kg(-0.75) day(-1) digestible energy. Importantly, the MER of mature female red kangaroos was 84% of that previously reported for similarly sized, but still growing, male red kangaroos. Growth was the main factor affecting the proportionally higher energy requirements of the juvenile red kangaroos relative to non-reproductive mature females. On a good quality diet, juvenile red kangaroos from permanent pouch exit until shortly after weaning (ca. 220-400 days) had average growth rates of 55 g body mass day(-1). At this level of growth, juveniles had total daily digestible energy requirements (i.e. MER plus growth energy requirements) that were 1.7-1.8 times the MER of mature, non-reproductive females. Our data suggest that the proportionally higher RMR of juvenile red kangaroos is largely explained by the additional energy needed for growth. Energy contents of the tissue gained by the YAF and weaned red kangaroos during growth were estimated to be 5.3 kJ g(-1), within the range found for

  8. INFECCIÓN POR PROTOZOARIOS EN INDIVIDUOS DE TITÍ BEBE LECHE -S. fuscicollis-, TITÍ CABEZA BLANCA -S. oedipus-, TITÍ ARDILLA -S. sciureus-, SURICATO -S. suricatta- Y WALLABIE DE BENNETT -M. rufogriseus-: DESCRIPCIÓN DE CASOS

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    G. L. K. López

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available La toxoplasmosis es una de las zoonosis parasitarias más comunes y de especial atención en medicina humana y veterinaria en todo el mundo. Toxoplasma gondii comparte mu - chos de sus parámetros biológicos con otros parásitos apicomplexa, pero es único por su extremadamente amplio rango de huéspedes y su especificidad tisular. La susceptibilidad en especies de primates del Nuevo Mundo y diprotodontos a la infección por protozoarios es alta. Bajo condiciones de cautiverio la toxoplasmosis es una de las infecciones más comunes en macrópodos australianos. En el presente trabajo se exponen los hallazgos clínicos y postmortem de 11 individuos de primates ( Saguinus oedipus, S. fuscicollis, Saimiri sciureus , carnívoros ( Suricata suricatta y diprotodontos ( Macropus rufogriseus , de la Fundación Zoológica de Cali, diagnosticados con toxoplasmosis mediante métodos paraclínicos e histopatológicos. En la mayoría de los casos el cuadro clínico se caracterizó principalmente por disnea, secreción nasal espumosa y signos neurológicos. Los hallazgos más importantes de la necropsia fueron lesiones en pulmón, hígado y encéfalo. Los casos aquí descritos corresponden a cuadros clínicos de ocurrencia natural y permiten entender el desarrollo fisiopatológico y la presentación clínica de las infecciones por protozoarios en especies de fauna silvestre, a pesar de la falta de un diagnóstico definitivo mediante técnicas específicas de inmunohistoquímica para las distintas etiologías.

  9. Energetics and biomechanics of locomotion by red kangaroos (Macropus rufus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kram, R; Dawson, T J

    1998-05-01

    As red kangaroos hop faster over level ground, their rate of oxygen consumption (indicating metabolic energy consumption) remains nearly the same. This phenomenon has been attributed to exceptional elastic energy storage and recovery via long compliant tendons in the legs. Alternatively, red kangaroos may have exceptionally efficient muscles. To estimate efficiency, we measured the metabolic cost of uphill hopping, where muscle fibers must perform mechanical work against gravity. We found that uphill hopping was much more expensive than level hopping. The maximal rate of oxygen consumption measured (3 ml O2 kg-1 s-1) exceeds all but a few vertebrate species. However, efficiency values were normal, approximately 30%. At faster level hopping speeds the effective mechanical advantage of the extensor muscles of the ankle joint remained the same. Thus, kangaroos generate the same muscular force at all speeds but do so more rapidly at faster hopping speeds. This contradicts a recent hypothesis for what sets the cost of locomotion. The cost of transport (J kg-1 m-1) decreases at faster hopping speeds, yet red kangaroos prefer to use relatively slow speeds that avoid high levels of tendon stress.

  10. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U05935-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available MOF-029C10, gen... 42 5.6 1 ( CT497775 ) A BAC library has been constructed from cultivar ... 42 5.6 1 ( CC2...... 42 5.6 1 ( CK278923 ) EST725001 potato abiotic stress cDNA library Sola... 42... 5.6 1 ( CK276546 ) EST722624 potato abiotic stress cDNA library Sola... 42 5.6 1 ( CK256717 ) EST740354 potato callus cDNA library...14 ) GR_Sa0007H24.b1 Gossypium raimondii WGS library G... 42 5.6 1 ( DU663768 ) OG_ABa0072K07.r OG_ABa Oryza granulata genomic...) Macropus eugenii clone ME_KBa-598C23, WORKING DRA... 42 5.6 1 ( AY714860 ) Unculture

  11. Familiarity breeds contempt: kangaroos persistently avoid areas with experimentally deployed dingo scents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Michael H; Blumstein, Daniel T

    2010-05-05

    Whether or not animals habituate to repeated exposure to predator scents may depend upon whether there are predators associated with the cues. Understanding the contexts of habituation is theoretically important and has profound implication for the application of predator-based herbivore deterrents. We repeatedly exposed a mixed mob of macropod marsupials to olfactory scents (urine, feces) from a sympatric predator (Canis lupus dingo), along with a control (water). If these predator cues were alarming, we expected that over time, some red kangaroos (Macropus rufous), western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) and agile wallabies (Macropus agilis) would elect to not participate in cafeteria trials because the scents provided information about the riskiness of the area. We evaluated the effects of urine and feces independently and expected that urine would elicit a stronger reaction because it contains a broader class of infochemicals (pheromones, kairomones). Finally, we scored non-invasive indicators (flight and alarm stomps) to determine whether fear or altered palatability was responsible for the response. Repeated exposure reduced macropodid foraging on food associated with 40 ml of dingo urine, X = 986.75+/-3.97 g food remained as compared to the tap water control, X = 209.0+/-107.0 g (P0.5). Macropodids did not habituate to repeated exposure to predator scents, rather they avoided the entire experimental area after 10 days of trials (R(2) = 83.8; P<0.001). Responses to urine and feces were indistinguishable; both elicited fear-based responses and deterred foraging. Despite repeated exposure to predator-related cues in the absence of a predator, macropodids persistently avoided an area of highly palatable food. Area avoidance is consistent with that observed from other species following repeated anti-predator conditioning, However, this is the first time this response has been experimentally observed among medium or large vertebrates - where a local response

  12. Familiarity breeds contempt: kangaroos persistently avoid areas with experimentally deployed dingo scents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H Parsons

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Whether or not animals habituate to repeated exposure to predator scents may depend upon whether there are predators associated with the cues. Understanding the contexts of habituation is theoretically important and has profound implication for the application of predator-based herbivore deterrents. We repeatedly exposed a mixed mob of macropod marsupials to olfactory scents (urine, feces from a sympatric predator (Canis lupus dingo, along with a control (water. If these predator cues were alarming, we expected that over time, some red kangaroos (Macropus rufous, western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus and agile wallabies (Macropus agilis would elect to not participate in cafeteria trials because the scents provided information about the riskiness of the area.We evaluated the effects of urine and feces independently and expected that urine would elicit a stronger reaction because it contains a broader class of infochemicals (pheromones, kairomones. Finally, we scored non-invasive indicators (flight and alarm stomps to determine whether fear or altered palatability was responsible for the response. Repeated exposure reduced macropodid foraging on food associated with 40 ml of dingo urine, X = 986.75+/-3.97 g food remained as compared to the tap water control, X = 209.0+/-107.0 g (P0.5. Macropodids did not habituate to repeated exposure to predator scents, rather they avoided the entire experimental area after 10 days of trials (R(2 = 83.8; P<0.001.Responses to urine and feces were indistinguishable; both elicited fear-based responses and deterred foraging. Despite repeated exposure to predator-related cues in the absence of a predator, macropodids persistently avoided an area of highly palatable food. Area avoidance is consistent with that observed from other species following repeated anti-predator conditioning, However, this is the first time this response has been experimentally observed among medium or large vertebrates - where a local

  13. Chromosomal Speciation in the Genomics Era: Disentangling Phylogenetic Evolution of Rock-wallabies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Sally; Bragg, Jason G; Blom, Mozes P K; Deakin, Janine E; Kirkpatrick, Mark; Eldridge, Mark D B; Moritz, Craig

    2017-01-01

    The association of chromosome rearrangements (CRs) with speciation is well established, and there is a long history of theory and evidence relating to "chromosomal speciation." Genomic sequencing has the potential to provide new insights into how reorganization of genome structure promotes divergence, and in model systems has demonstrated reduced gene flow in rearranged segments. However, there are limits to what we can understand from a small number of model systems, which each only tell us about one episode of chromosomal speciation. Progressing from patterns of association between chromosome (and genic) change, to understanding processes of speciation requires both comparative studies across diverse systems and integration of genome-scale sequence comparisons with other lines of evidence. Here, we showcase a promising example of chromosomal speciation in a non-model organism, the endemic Australian marsupial genus Petrogale . We present initial phylogenetic results from exon-capture that resolve a history of divergence associated with extensive and repeated CRs. Yet it remains challenging to disentangle gene tree heterogeneity caused by recent divergence and gene flow in this and other such recent radiations. We outline a way forward for better integration of comparative genomic sequence data with evidence from molecular cytogenetics, and analyses of shifts in the recombination landscape and potential disruption of meiotic segregation and epigenetic programming. In all likelihood, CRs impact multiple cellular processes and these effects need to be considered together, along with effects of genic divergence. Understanding the effects of CRs together with genic divergence will require development of more integrative theory and inference methods. Together, new data and analysis tools will combine to shed light on long standing questions of how chromosome and genic divergence promote speciation.

  14. A Reproductive Management Program for an Urban Population of Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus

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    Andrew Tribe

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally, culling has been the expedient, most common, and in many cases, the only tool used to control free-ranging kangaroo populations. We applied a reproductive control program to a population of eastern grey kangaroos confined to a golf course in South East Queensland. The program aimed to reduce fecundity sufficiently for the population to decrease over time so that overgrazing of the fairways and the frequency of human–animal conflict situations were minimised. In 2003, 92% of the female kangaroos above 5 kg bodyweight were implanted with the GnRH agonist deslorelin after darting with a dissociative anaesthetic. In 2007, 86% of the females above 5 kg were implanted with deslorelin and also 87% of the males above 5 kg were sterilised by either orchidectomy or vasectomy. In 2005, 2008 and 2009, the population was censused to assess the effect of each treatment. The 2003 deslorelin program resulted in effective zero population growth for approximately 2.5 years. The combined deslorelin–surgery program in 2007 reduced the birth rate from 0.3 to 0.06%/year for 16 months, resulting in a 27% population reduction by November 2009. The results were consistent with implants conferring contraception to 100% of implanted females for at least 12 months. The iatrogenic mortality rates for each program were 10.5% and 4.9%, respectively, with 50% of all mortalities due to darting-related injuries, exertional myopathy/hyperthermia or recovery misadventure. The short term sexual and agonistic behaviour of the males was assessed for the 2007 program: no significant changes were seen in adult males given the vasectomy procedure, while sexual behaviours’ were decreased in adult males given the orchidectomy procedure. It is concluded that female reproduction was effectively controlled by implantation with deslorrelin and male reproductive behaviour was reduced by orchidectomy, which together achieved population control.

  15. Decreasing methane yield with increasing food intake keeps daily methane emissions constant in two foregut fermenting marsupials, the western grey kangaroo and red kangaroo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vendl, Catharina; Clauss, Marcus; Stewart, Mathew; Leggett, Keith; Hummel, Jürgen; Kreuzer, Michael; Munn, Adam

    2015-11-01

    Fundamental differences in methane (CH4) production between macropods (kangaroos) and ruminants have been suggested and linked to differences in the composition of the forestomach microbiome. Using six western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) and four red kangaroos (Macropus rufus), we measured daily absolute CH4 production in vivo as well as CH4 yield (CH4 per unit of intake of dry matter, gross energy or digestible fibre) by open-circuit respirometry. Two food intake levels were tested using a chopped lucerne hay (alfalfa) diet. Body mass-specific absolute CH4 production resembled values previously reported in wallabies and non-ruminant herbivores such as horses, and did not differ with food intake level, although there was no concomitant proportionate decrease in fibre digestibility with higher food intake. In contrast, CH4 yield decreased with increasing intake, and was intermediate between values reported for ruminants and non-ruminant herbivores. These results correspond to those in ruminants and other non-ruminant species where increased intake (and hence a shorter digesta retention in the gut) leads to a lower CH4 yield. We hypothesize that rather than harbouring a fundamentally different microbiome in their foregut, the microbiome of macropods is in a particular metabolic state more tuned towards growth (i.e. biomass production) rather than CH4 production. This is due to the short digesta retention time in macropods and the known distinct 'digesta washing' in the gut of macropods, where fluids move faster than particles and hence most likely wash out microbes from the forestomach. Although our data suggest that kangaroos only produce about 27% of the body mass-specific volume of CH4 of ruminants, it remains to be modelled with species-specific growth rates and production conditions whether or not significantly lower CH4 amounts are emitted per kg of meat in kangaroo than in beef or mutton production. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  16. Molecular characterization and multi-locus genotypes of Enterocytozoon bieneusi from captive red kangaroos (Macropus Rufus in Jiangsu province, China.

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    Zhijun Zhong

    Full Text Available Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most common pathogen of microsporidian species infecting humans worldwide. Although E. bieneusi has been found in a variety of animal hosts, information on the presence of E. bieneusi in captive kangaroos in China is limited. The present study was aimed at determining the occurrence and genetic diversity of E. bieneusi in captive kangaroos. A total of 61 fecal specimens (38 from red kangaroos and 23 from grey kangaroos were collected from Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo and Hongshan Kangaroo Breeding Research Base, Jiangsu province, China. Using the nested PCR amplification ITS gene of rRNA of E. bieneusi, totally 23.0% (14/61 of tested samples were PCR-positive with three genotypes (i.e. one known genotype, CHK1, and two novel genotypes, CSK1 and CSK2. Multi-locus sequence typing using three microsatellites (MS1, MS3, and MS7 and one minisatellite (MS4 revealed one, five, two, and one types at these four loci, respectively. In phylogenetic analysis, the two genotypes, CHK1 and CSK1, were clustered into a new group of unknown zoonotic potential, and the novel genotype CSK2 was clustered into a separate clade with PtEb and PtEbIX. To date, this is the first report on the presence of E. bieneusi in captive red kangaroos in Jiangsu province, China. Furthermore, a high degree of genetic diversity was observed in the E. bieneusi genotype and seven MLGs (MLG1-7 were found in red kangaroos. Our findings suggest that infected kangaroo may act as potential reservoirs of E. bieneusi and be source to transmit infections to other animal.

  17. Differences down-under: alcohol-fueled methanogenesis by archaea present in Australian macropodids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoedt, Emily C; Cuív, Páraic Ó; Evans, Paul N; Smith, Wendy J M; McSweeney, Chris S; Denman, Stuart E; Morrison, Mark

    2016-10-01

    The Australian macropodids (kangaroos and wallabies) possess a distinctive foregut microbiota that contributes to their reduced methane emissions. However, methanogenic archaea are present within the macropodid foregut, although there is scant understanding of these microbes. Here, an isolate taxonomically assigned to the Methanosphaera genus (Methanosphaera sp. WGK6) was recovered from the anterior sacciform forestomach contents of a Western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus). Like the human gut isolate Methanosphaera stadtmanae DSMZ 3091(T), strain WGK6 is a methylotroph with no capacity for autotrophic growth. In contrast, though with the human isolate, strain WGK6 was found to utilize ethanol to support growth, but principally as a source of reducing power. Both the WGK6 and DSMZ 3091(T) genomes are very similar in terms of their size, synteny and G:C content. However, the WGK6 genome was found to encode contiguous genes encoding putative alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases, which are absent from the DSMZ 3091(T) genome. Interestingly, homologs of these genes are present in the genomes for several other members of the Methanobacteriales. In WGK6, these genes are cotranscribed under both growth conditions, and we propose the two genes provide a plausible explanation for the ability of WGK6 to utilize ethanol for methanol reduction to methane. Furthermore, our in vitro studies suggest that ethanol supports a greater cell yield per mol of methane formed compared to hydrogen-dependent growth. Taken together, this expansion in metabolic versatility can explain the persistence of these archaea in the kangaroo foregut, and their abundance in these 'low-methane-emitting' herbivores.

  18. Dietary partitioning of Australia's two marsupial hypercarnivores, the Tasmanian devil and the spotted-tailed quoll, across their shared distributional range.

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    Georgina E Andersen

    Full Text Available Australia's native marsupial fauna has just two primarily flesh-eating 'hypercarnivores', the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii and the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus which coexist only on the island of Tasmania. Devil populations are currently declining due to a fatal transmissible cancer. Our aim was to analyse the diet of both species across their range in Tasmania, as a basis for understanding how devil decline might affect the abundance and distribution of quolls through release from competition. We used faecal analysis to describe diets of one or both species at 13 sites across Tasmania. We compared diet composition and breadth between the two species, and tested for geographic patterns in diets related to rainfall and devil population decline. Dietary items were classified into 6 broad categories: large mammals (≥ 7.0kg, medium-sized mammals (0.5-6.9kg, small mammals (< 0.5kg, birds, reptiles and invertebrates. Diet overlap based on prey-size category was high. Quoll diets were broader than devils at all but one site. Devils consumed more large and medium-sized mammals and quolls more small mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. Medium-sized mammals (mainly Tasmanian pademelon Thylogale billardierii, followed by large mammals (mainly Bennett's wallaby Macropus rufogriseus and birds, were the most important prey groups for both species. Diet composition varied across sites, suggesting that both species are flexible and opportunistic foragers, but was not related to rainfall for devils. Quolls included more large mammals but fewer small mammals and invertebrates in their diet in the eastern drier parts of Tasmania where devils have declined. This suggests that a competitive release of quolls may have occurred and the substantial decline of devils has provided more food in the large-mammal category for quolls, perhaps as increased scavenging opportunities. The high diet overlap suggests that if resources become limited in areas

  19. Stable carbon isotope variability of bone collagen and hair within a modern population of red kangaroos (Macropus rufus) in south western Queensland: some implications for palaeoecological research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Witt, G.B.

    1997-01-01

    Full text: Before any palaeo-reconstruction work can be attempted using stable isotope analysis of macropod remains it will be necessary to determine the nature of natural variability within contemporary populations. This research indicates that δ 13 C of bone collagen is strongly related to age. Furthermore, bone collagen δ 13 C not at equilibrium with dietary δ 13 C, as indicated by analysis of hair, until animals are several years old. These preliminary data suggest that in younger macropods most carbon in bone collagen has been derived via the mother's milk which may have undergone fractionation. These findings have significant implications for any palaeoecological research using bone or tooth. Teeth of macropods erupt from the rear of the jaw and move forward in molar progression. Since the rate of eruption is variable, and many of the forward molars are well formed while the joey is still at the pouch, teeth formed early in the life of a macropod may be isotopically distinct from those that develop later. This hypothesis is currently under investigation

  20. Structure and expression of two nuclear receptor genes in marsupials: insights into the evolution of the antisense overlap between the α-thyroid hormone receptor and Rev-erbα

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown M Scott

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative processing of α-thyroid hormone receptor (TRα, NR1A1 mRNAs gives rise to two functionally antagonistic nuclear receptors: TRα1, the α-type receptor, and TRα2, a non-hormone binding variant that is found only in mammals. TRα2 shares an unusual antisense coding overlap with mRNA for Rev-erbα (NR1D1, another nuclear receptor protein. In this study we examine the structure and expression of these genes in the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, in comparison with that of eutherian mammals and three other marsupial species, Didelphis virginiana, Potorous tridactylus and Macropus eugenii, in order to understand the evolution and regulatory role of this antisense overlap. Results The sequence, expression and genomic organization of mRNAs encoding TRα1 and Rev-erbα are very similar in the opossum and eutherian mammals. However, the sequence corresponding to the TRα2 coding region appears truncated by almost 100 amino acids. While expression of TRα1 and Rev-erbα was readily detected in all tissues of M. domestica ages 0 days to 18 weeks, TRα2 mRNA was not detected in any tissue or stage examined. These results contrast with the widespread and abundant expression of TRα2 in rodents and other eutherian mammals. To examine requirements for alternative splicing of TRα mRNAs, a series of chimeric minigenes was constructed. Results show that the opossum TRα2-specific 5' splice site sequence is fully competent for splicing but the sequence homologous to the TRα2 3' splice site is not, even though the marsupial sequences are remarkably similar to core splice site elements in rat. Conclusions Our results strongly suggest that the variant nuclear receptor isoform, TRα2, is not expressed in marsupials and that the antisense overlap between TRα and Rev-erbα thus is unique to eutherian mammals. Further investigation of the TRα and Rev-erbα genes in marsupial and eutherian species promises to yield

  1. Structure and expression of two nuclear receptor genes in marsupials: insights into the evolution of the antisense overlap between the α-thyroid hormone receptor and Rev-erbα

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Alternative processing of α-thyroid hormone receptor (TRα, NR1A1) mRNAs gives rise to two functionally antagonistic nuclear receptors: TRα1, the α-type receptor, and TRα2, a non-hormone binding variant that is found only in mammals. TRα2 shares an unusual antisense coding overlap with mRNA for Rev-erbα (NR1D1), another nuclear receptor protein. In this study we examine the structure and expression of these genes in the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, in comparison with that of eutherian mammals and three other marsupial species, Didelphis virginiana, Potorous tridactylus and Macropus eugenii, in order to understand the evolution and regulatory role of this antisense overlap. Results The sequence, expression and genomic organization of mRNAs encoding TRα1 and Rev-erbα are very similar in the opossum and eutherian mammals. However, the sequence corresponding to the TRα2 coding region appears truncated by almost 100 amino acids. While expression of TRα1 and Rev-erbα was readily detected in all tissues of M. domestica ages 0 days to 18 weeks, TRα2 mRNA was not detected in any tissue or stage examined. These results contrast with the widespread and abundant expression of TRα2 in rodents and other eutherian mammals. To examine requirements for alternative splicing of TRα mRNAs, a series of chimeric minigenes was constructed. Results show that the opossum TRα2-specific 5' splice site sequence is fully competent for splicing but the sequence homologous to the TRα2 3' splice site is not, even though the marsupial sequences are remarkably similar to core splice site elements in rat. Conclusions Our results strongly suggest that the variant nuclear receptor isoform, TRα2, is not expressed in marsupials and that the antisense overlap between TRα and Rev-erbα thus is unique to eutherian mammals. Further investigation of the TRα and Rev-erbα genes in marsupial and eutherian species promises to yield additional insight into the

  2. 77 FR 70457 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-26

    ... 50 CFR 17.21(g) to include cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and jackass penguin (Spheniscus demersus) to... Lemuridae Genus: Panthera Species: Yellow-footed rock wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus) Cheetah (Acinonyx...

  3. Multiple recent horizontal transfers of a large genomic region in cheese making fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheeseman, Kevin; Ropars, Jeanne; Renault, Pierre; Dupont, Joëlle; Gouzy, Jérôme; Branca, Antoine; Abraham, Anne-Laure; Ceppi, Maurizio; Conseiller, Emmanuel; Debuchy, Robert; Malagnac, Fabienne; Goarin, Anne; Silar, Philippe; Lacoste, Sandrine; Sallet, Erika; Bensimon, Aaron; Giraud, Tatiana; Brygoo, Yves

    2014-01-01

    While the extent and impact of horizontal transfers in prokaryotes are widely acknowledged, their importance to the eukaryotic kingdom is unclear and thought by many to be anecdotal. Here we report multiple recent transfers of a huge genomic island between Penicillium spp. found in the food environment. Sequencing of the two leading filamentous fungi used in cheese making, P. roqueforti and P. camemberti, and comparison with the penicillin producer P. rubens reveals a 575 kb long genomic island in P. roqueforti--called Wallaby--present as identical fragments at non-homologous loci in P. camemberti and P. rubens. Wallaby is detected in Penicillium collections exclusively in strains from food environments. Wallaby encompasses about 250 predicted genes, some of which are probably involved in competition with microorganisms. The occurrence of multiple recent eukaryotic transfers in the food environment provides strong evidence for the importance of this understudied and probably underestimated phenomenon in eukaryotes.

  4. Nanomaterials for electrochemical sensing and biosensing

    CERN Document Server

    Pumera, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Part 1: Nanomaterial-Based ElectrodesCarbon Nanotube-Based Electrochemical Sensors and Biosensors, Martin Pumera, National Institute for Materials Science, JapanElectrochemistry on Single Carbon Nanotube, Pat Collier, Caltech, USATheory of Voltammetry at Nanoparticle-Modified Electrodes, Richard G. Compton, Oxford University, UKMetal Oxide Nanoparticle-Modified Electrodes, Frank Marken, University of Bath, UKSemiconductor Quantum Dots for Electrochemical Bioanalysis, Eugenii Katz, Clarkson University, USAN

  5. Biological effects of ionizing radiation at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levals. Triannual progress report, July 15, 1974--October 14, 1977

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lange, C.S.

    1977-01-01

    Progress is reported on the following studies: organization and repair of DNA; size measurement of DNA by means of the ultracentrifuge; effects of hydroxyurea, cycloheximide, and methylmercury on cell cycle progression; absence of an effect of photoreactivation on sublethal damage repair in a photoreactivating Wallaby cell line; and the control of differentiation and tissue polarity in planarians

  6. The Genus Culex, Subgenus Eumelanomyia Theobald in Southeast Asia and Adjacent Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    Bore1 1930, Mon. Coil. Sot. Path. exot. 3: 365 (d*, ?, L*). Culex macropus Blanchard 1905, Les Moustiques :327. New name for Culex Zongifies Theobald...Spec. Pub. 111, 147 pp. BOREL, E. 1926. Les Moustiques de la Cochinchine et du Sud-Annam. (I), Arch. Inst. Pasteur d’Indochine. 47 pp. 1930. Les... Moustiques de la Cochinchine et du Sud-Annam. Mon. Coll. Sot. Pat. exot. 3, 423 pp. BRAM, R A. 1967. Contributions to the mosquitoes of Southeast Asia

  7. Seasonal variation in kangaroo tooth enamel oxygen and carbon isotopes in southern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookman, Tom H.; Ambrose, Stanley H.

    2012-09-01

    Serial sampling of tooth enamel growth increments for carbon and oxygen isotopic analyses of Macropus (kangaroo) teeth was performed to assess the potential for reconstructing paleoseasonality. The carbon isotope composition of tooth enamel apatite carbonate reflects the proportional intake of C3 and C4 vegetation. The oxygen isotopic composition of enamel reflects that of ingested and metabolic water. Tooth enamel forms sequentially from the tip of the crown to the base, so dietary and environmental changes during the tooth's formation can be detected. δ13C and δ18O values were determined for a series of enamel samples drilled from the 3rd and 4th molars of kangaroos that were collected along a 900 km north-south transect in southern Australia. The serial sampling method did not yield pronounced seasonal isotopic variation patterns in Macropus enamel. The full extent of dietary isotopic variation may be obscured by attenuation of the isotopic signal during enamel mineralisation. Brachydont (low-crowned) Macropus teeth may be less sensitive to seasonal variation in isotopic composition due to time-averaging during mineralisation. However, geographic variations observed suggest that there may be potential for tracking latitudinal shifts in vegetation zones and seasonal environmental patterns in response to climate change.

  8. Shedding light on the microbial community of the macropod foregut using 454-amplicon pyrosequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa-Maree Gulino

    Full Text Available Twenty macropods from five locations in Queensland, Australia, grazing on a variety of native pastures were surveyed and the bacterial community of the foregut was examined using 454-amplicon pyrosequencing. Specifically, the V3/V4 region of 16S rRNA gene was examined. A total of 5040 OTUs were identified in the data set (post filtering. Thirty-two OTUs were identified as 'shared' OTUS (i.e. present in all samples belonging to either Firmicutes or Bacteroidetes (Clostridiales/Bacteroidales. These phyla predominated the general microbial community in all macropods. Genera represented within the shared OTUs included: unclassified Ruminococcaceae, unclassified Lachnospiraceae, unclassified Clostridiales, Peptococcus sp. Coprococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., Blautia sp., Ruminoccocus sp., Eubacterium sp., Dorea sp., Oscillospira sp. and Butyrivibrio sp. The composition of the bacterial community of the foregut samples of each the host species (Macropus rufus, Macropus giganteus and Macropus robustus was significantly different allowing differentiation between the host species based on alpha and beta diversity measures. Specifically, eleven dominant OTUs that separated the three host species were identified and classified as: unclassified Ruminococcaceae, unclassified Bacteroidales, Prevotella spp. and a Syntrophococcus sucromutans. Putative reductive acetogens and fibrolytic bacteria were also identified in samples. Future work will investigate the presence and role of fibrolytics and acetogens in these ecosystems. Ideally, the isolation and characterization of these organisms will be used for enhanced feed efficiency in cattle, methane mitigation and potentially for other industries such as the biofuel industry.

  9. Shedding light on the microbial community of the macropod foregut using 454-amplicon pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulino, Lisa-Maree; Ouwerkerk, Diane; Kang, Alicia Y H; Maguire, Anita J; Kienzle, Marco; Klieve, Athol V

    2013-01-01

    Twenty macropods from five locations in Queensland, Australia, grazing on a variety of native pastures were surveyed and the bacterial community of the foregut was examined using 454-amplicon pyrosequencing. Specifically, the V3/V4 region of 16S rRNA gene was examined. A total of 5040 OTUs were identified in the data set (post filtering). Thirty-two OTUs were identified as 'shared' OTUS (i.e. present in all samples) belonging to either Firmicutes or Bacteroidetes (Clostridiales/Bacteroidales). These phyla predominated the general microbial community in all macropods. Genera represented within the shared OTUs included: unclassified Ruminococcaceae, unclassified Lachnospiraceae, unclassified Clostridiales, Peptococcus sp. Coprococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., Blautia sp., Ruminoccocus sp., Eubacterium sp., Dorea sp., Oscillospira sp. and Butyrivibrio sp. The composition of the bacterial community of the foregut samples of each the host species (Macropus rufus, Macropus giganteus and Macropus robustus) was significantly different allowing differentiation between the host species based on alpha and beta diversity measures. Specifically, eleven dominant OTUs that separated the three host species were identified and classified as: unclassified Ruminococcaceae, unclassified Bacteroidales, Prevotella spp. and a Syntrophococcus sucromutans. Putative reductive acetogens and fibrolytic bacteria were also identified in samples. Future work will investigate the presence and role of fibrolytics and acetogens in these ecosystems. Ideally, the isolation and characterization of these organisms will be used for enhanced feed efficiency in cattle, methane mitigation and potentially for other industries such as the biofuel industry.

  10. A new lineage of trypanosomes from Australian vertebrates and terrestrial bloodsucking leeches (Haemadipsidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, P B; Stevens, J R; Gidley, J; Holz, P; Gibson, W C

    2005-04-01

    Little is known about the trypanosomes of indigenous Australian vertebrates and their vectors. We surveyed a range of vertebrates and blood-feeding invertebrates for trypanosomes by parasitological and PCR-based methods using primers specific to the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene of genus Trypanosoma. Trypanosome isolates were obtained in culture from two common wombats, one swamp wallaby and an Australian bird (Strepera sp.). By PCR, blood samples from three wombats, one brush-tailed wallaby, three platypuses and a frog were positive for trypanosome DNA. All the blood-sucking invertebrates screened were negative for trypanosomes both by microscopy and PCR, except for specimens of terrestrial leeches (Haemadipsidae). Of the latter, two Micobdella sp. specimens from Victoria and 18 Philaemon sp. specimens from Queensland were positive by PCR. Four Haemadipsa zeylanica specimens from Sri Lanka and three Leiobdella jawarerensis specimens from Papua New Guinea were also PCR positive for trypanosome DNA. We sequenced the SSU rRNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes in order to determine the phylogenetic positions of the new vertebrate and terrestrial leech trypanosomes. In trees based on these genes, Australian vertebrate trypanosomes fell in several distinct clades, for the most part being more closely related to trypanosomes outside Australia than to each other. Two previously undescribed wallaby trypanosomes fell in a clade with Trypanosoma theileri, the cosmopolitan bovid trypanosome, and Trypanosoma cyclops from a Malaysian primate. The terrestrial leech trypanosomes were closely related to the wallaby trypanosomes, T. cyclops and a trypanosome from an Australian frog. We suggest that haemadipsid leeches may be significant and widespread vectors of trypanosomes in Australia and Asia.

  11. Molecular diagnostic for boll weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) based on amplification of three species-specific microsatellites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyung Seok; Szendrei, Zsofia; Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar; Mulder, Phillip G; Sappington, Thomas W

    2009-04-01

    The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is a serious pest of cultivated cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., in the Americas, and reinfestation of zones from which they have been eradicated is of perpetual concern. Extensive arrays of pheromone traps monitor for reintroductions, but occasionally the traps collect nontarget weevils that can be misidentified by scouts. For example, the congeneric pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii Cano, and other superficially similar weevils are attracted to components of the boll weevil lure or trap color. Although morphologically distinguishable by trained personnel, the potential for misidentification is compounded when captured weevils are dismembered or partially consumed by ants or ground beetles that sometimes feed on them in the traps. Because misidentification can have expensive consequences, a molecular diagnostic tool would be of great value to eradication managers. We demonstrate that a cocktail of three primer pairs in a single polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplify species-specific microsatellites that unambiguously distinguish the boll weevil from three other weevil species tested, including pepper weevil; cranberry weevil, Anthonomus eugenii musculus Say; and pecan weevil, Curculio caryae Horn. However, it does not distinguish the boll weevil from the subspecific "thurberia" weevil. A universal internal transcribed spacer primer pair included in the cocktail cross-amplifies DNA from all species, serving as a positive control. Furthermore, the diagnostic primers amplified the target microsatellites from various boll weevil adult body parts, indicating that the PCR technology using the primer cocktail is sensitive enough to positively identify a boll weevil even when the body is partly degraded.

  12. A role for selective contraception of individuals in conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cope, Holly R; Hogg, Carolyn J; White, Peter J; Herbert, Catherine A

    2017-10-28

    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

  13. Inducing sex reversal of the urogenital system of marsupials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renfree, Marilyn B; Chew, Keng Yih; Shaw, Geoff

    2014-01-01

    Marsupials differ from eutherian mammals in their reproductive strategy of delivering a highly altricial young after a short gestation. The young, with its undeveloped organ systems completes its development post-natally, usually within a pouch. The young is dependent on milk with a composition that varies through lactation to support its growth and changing needs as it matures over a lengthy period. Gonadal differentiation occurs after birth, providing a unique opportunity to examine the effects of hormonal manipulations on its sexual differentiation of the highly accessible young. In marsupials a difference in the migration of the urinary ducts around the genital ducts from eutherian mammals results in the unique tammar reproductive tract which has three vaginae and two cervices, and two distinctly separate uteri. In the tammar wallaby, a small member of the kangaroo family, we showed that virilisation of the Wolffian duct, prostate and phallus depends on an alternate androgen pathway, which has now been shown to be important for virilisation in humans. Through hormonal manipulations over differing time periods we have achieved sex reversal of both ovaries and testes, germ cells, genital ducts, prostate and phallus. Whilst we understand many of the mechanisms behind sexual differentiation there are still many lessons to be learned from understanding how sex reversal is achieved by using a model such as the tammar wallaby. This will help guide investigations into the major questions of how and why sex determination is achieved in other species. This review discusses the control and development of the marsupial urogenital system, largely drawn from our studies in the tammar wallaby and our ability to manipulate this system to induce sex reversal. Copyright © 2013 International Society of Differentiation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Impacts of visitor number on Kangaroos housed in free-range exhibits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwen, Sally L; Hemsworth, Paul H; Butler, Kym L; Fanson, Kerry V; Magrath, Michael J L

    2015-01-01

    Free range exhibits are becoming increasingly popular in zoos as a means to enhance interaction between visitors and animals. However very little research exists on the impacts of visitors on animal behaviour and stress in free range exhibits. We investigated the effects of visitor number on the behaviour and stress physiology of Kangaroo Island (KI) Kangaroos, Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus, and Red Kangaroos, Macropus rufus, housed in two free range exhibits in Australian zoos. Behavioural observations were conducted on individual kangaroos at each site using instantaneous scan sampling to record activity (e.g., vigilance, foraging, resting) and distance from the visitor pathway. Individually identifiable faecal samples were collected at the end of each study day and analysed for faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentration. When visitor number increased, both KI Kangaroos and Red Kangaroos increased the time spent engaged in visitor-directed vigilance and KI Kangaroos also increased the time spent engaged in locomotion and decreased the time spent resting. There was no effect of visitor number on the distance kangaroos positioned themselves from the visitor pathway or FGM concentration in either species. While there are limitations in interpreting these results in terms of fear of visitors, there was no evidence of adverse effects animal welfare in these study groups based on avoidance behaviour or stress physiology under the range of visitor numbers that we studied. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Locomotion energetics and gait characteristics of a rat-kangaroo, Bettongia penicillata, have some kangaroo-like features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, K N; Dawson, T J

    2003-09-01

    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.

  16. Diet of dingoes and other wild dogs in peri-urban areas of north-eastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Benjamin L.; Carmelito, Erin; Amos, Matt; Goullet, Mark S.; Allen, Lee R.; Speed, James; Gentle, Matt; Leung, Luke K.-P.

    2016-03-01

    Knowledge of the resource requirements of urban predators can improve our understanding of their ecology and assist town planners and wildlife management agencies in developing management approaches that alleviate human-wildlife conflicts. Here we examine food and dietary items identified in scats of dingoes in peri-urban areas of north-eastern Australia to better understand their resource requirements and the potential for dingoes to threaten locally fragmented populations of native fauna. Our primary aim was to determine what peri-urban dingoes eat, and whether or not this differs between regions. We identified over 40 different food items in dingo scats, almost all of which were mammals. Individual species commonly observed in dingo scats included agile wallabies, northern brown bandicoots and swamp wallabies. Birds were relatively common in some areas but not others, as were invertebrates. Dingoes were identified as a significant potential threat to fragmented populations of koalas. Dietary overlap was typically very high or near-identical between regions, indicating that peri-urban dingoes ate the same types or sizes of prey in different areas. Future studies should seek to quantify actual and perceived impacts of, and human attitudes towards, peri-urban dingoes, and to develop management strategies with a greater chance of reducing human-wildlife conflicts.

  17. Artificial light pollution: Shifting spectral wavelengths to mitigate physiological and health consequences in a nocturnal marsupial mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimovski, Alicia M; Robert, Kylie A

    2018-05-02

    The focus of sustainable lighting tends to be on reduced CO 2 emissions and cost savings, but not on the wider environmental effects. Ironically, the introduction of energy-efficient lighting, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), may be having a great impact on the health of wildlife. These white LEDs are generated with a high content of short-wavelength 'blue' light. While light of any kind can suppress melatonin and the physiological processes it regulates, these short wavelengths are potent suppressors of melatonin. Here, we manipulated the spectral composition of LED lights and tested their capacity to mitigate the physiological and health consequences associated with their use. We experimentally investigated the impact of white LEDs (peak wavelength 448 nm; mean irradiance 2.87 W/m 2 ), long-wavelength shifted amber LEDs (peak wavelength 605 nm; mean irradiance 2.00 W/m 2 ), and no lighting (irradiance from sky glow light treatments. White LED exposed wallabies had significantly suppressed nocturnal melatonin compared to no light and amber LED exposed wallabies, while there was no difference in lipid peroxidation. Antioxidant capacity declined from baseline to week 10 under all treatments. These results provide further evidence that short-wavelength light at night is a potent suppressor of nocturnal melatonin. Importantly, we also illustrate that shifting the spectral output to longer wavelengths could mitigate these negative physiological impacts. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Identification and field evaluation of attractants for the cranberry weevil, Anthonomus musculus Say.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szendrei, Zsofia; Averill, Anne; Alborn, Hans; Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar

    2011-04-01

    Studies were conducted to develop an attractant for the cranberry weevil, Anthonomus musculus, a pest of blueberry and cranberry flower buds and flowers in the northeastern United States. In previous studies, we showed that cinnamyl alcohol, the most abundant blueberry floral volatile, and the green leaf volatiles (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and hexyl acetate, emitted from both flowers and flower buds, elicit strong antennal responses from A. musculus. Here, we found that cinnamyl alcohol did not increase capture of A. musculus adults on yellow sticky traps compared with unbaited controls; however, weevils were highly attracted to traps baited with the Anthonomus eugenii Cano aggregation pheromone, indicating that these congeners share common pheromone components. To identify the A. musculus aggregation pheromone, headspace volatiles were collected from adults feeding on blueberry or cranberry flower buds and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Three male-specific compounds were identified: (Z)-2-(3,3-dimethyl-cyclohexylidene) ethanol (Z grandlure II); (Z)-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene) acetaldehyde (grandlure III); and (E)-(3,3- dimethylcyclohexylidene) acetaldehyde (grandlure IV). A fourth component, (E)-3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-ol (geraniol), was emitted in similar quantities by males and females. The emission rates of these volatiles were about 2.8, 1.8, 1.3, and 0.9 ng/adult/d, respectively. Field experiments in highbush blueberry (New Jersey) and cranberry (Massachusetts) examined the attraction of A. musculus to traps baited with the male-produced compounds and geraniol presented alone and combined with (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and hexyl acetate, and to traps baited with the pheromones of A. eugenii and A. grandis. In both states and crops, traps baited with the A. musculus male-produced compounds attracted the highest number of adults. Addition of the green leaf volatiles did not affect A. musculus attraction to its pheromone but skewed the sex ratio

  19. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in zoo and domestic animals in Jiangxi Province, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luo Houqiang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan parasite that infects a wide range of warm-blooded animals throughout the world. In the present study, antibodies to T. gondii were determined using a commercial indirect hemagglutination (IHA test in wild animals in a zoo. Three of 11 giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis (27%, 1 of 5 wolves (Canis lupus laniger (20%, 1 of 6 hippopotamuses (Hippopotamus amphibious (17%, and 2 of 9 tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus (22% were found to be positive. No antibodies were detected in leopards (Panthera pardus, wild geese (Anser cygnoides, and Eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus. Domestic species from 13 counties of Jiangxi Province, China were also investigated by an indirect hemagglutination (IHA test. Thirty-five of 340 goats (10%, 94 of 560 water buffaloes (17%, and 4 of 35 cattle (11% were found to be seropositive. This is the first report of T. gondii infection in animals kept in zoos and domestic animals in this province.

  20. Complete genomic characterisation of two novel poxviruses (WKPV and EKPV) from western and eastern grey kangaroos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Mark; Tu, Shin-Lin; Upton, Chris; McArtor, Cassie; Gillett, Amber; Laird, Tanya; O'Dea, Mark

    2017-10-15

    Poxviruses have previously been detected in macropods with cutaneous papillomatous lesions, however to date, no comprehensive analysis of a poxvirus from kangaroos has been performed. Here we report the genome sequences of a western grey kangaroo poxvirus (WKPV) and an eastern grey kangaroo poxvirus (EKPV), named for the host species from which they were isolated, western grey (Macropus fuliginosus) and eastern grey (Macropus giganteus) kangaroos. Poxvirus DNA from WKPV and EKPV was isolated and entire coding genome regions determined through Roche GS Junior and Illumina Miseq sequencing, respectively. Viral genomes were assembled using MIRA and SPAdes, and annotations performed using tools available from the Viral Bioinformatics Resource Centre. Histopathology and transmission electron microscopy analysis was also performed on WKPV and its associated lesions. The WKPV and EKPV genomes show 96% identity (nucleotide) to each other and phylogenetic analysis places them on a distinct branch between the established Molluscipoxvirus and Avipoxvirus genera. WKPV and EKPV are 170 kbp and 167 kbp long, containing 165 and 162 putative genes, respectively. Together, their genomes encode up to 47 novel unique hypothetical proteins, and possess virulence proteins including a major histocompatibility complex class II inhibitor, a semaphorin-like protein, a serpin, a 3-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/δ 5→4 isomerase, and a CD200-like protein. These viruses also encode a large putative protein (WKPV-WA-039 and EKPV-SC-038) with a C-terminal domain that is structurally similar to the C-terminal domain of a cullin, suggestive of a role in the control of host ubiquitination. The relationship of these viruses to members of the Molluscipoxvirus and Avipoxvirus genera is discussed in terms of sequence similarity, gene content and nucleotide composition. A novel genus within subfamily Chordopoxvirinae is proposed to accommodate these two poxvirus species from kangaroos; we suggest

  1. The effects of temperature and salinity on Acacia harpophylla (brigalow) (Mimosaceae) germination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reichman, S.M.; Bellairs, S.M.; Mulligan, D.R. [Lincoln University, Lincoln (New Zealand). Division of Agriculture & Life Science

    2006-07-01

    Some coal mining companies in central Queensland have become interested in providing habitat for the endangered bridle nail-tailed wallaby that lives in brigalow vegetation. However, there is little known about establishment techniques for brigalow on mine sites and other disturbed ground; an understanding of brigalow biology and ecology is required to assist in the conservation of this threatened vegetation community and for re-creation of bridled nail-tail wallaby habitat in the post mining landscape. Brigalow is an unusual species of Acacia because it is not hard-seeded and germinates readily without the need to break seed-coat imposed dormancy. Germination trials were undertaken to test the ability of brigalow seed to germinate with a range of temperatures and salinity levels similar to those experienced in coal mine spoil. Optimum germination was found to occur at temperatures from 15 to 38{sup o}C and no germination was recorded at 45{sup o}C. Brigalow was very tolerant of high salt levels and germinated at percentages greater than 50% up to the highest salinity tested, 30 dS/m. Germination of greater than 90% occurred up to an electrical conductivity of 20 dS/m. The results indicate brigalow seed can be sown in summer when rains are most likely to occur; however, shading of the seed with extra soil or mulch may ensure the ground surface does not become too hot for germination. Because of its ability to germinate at high salinity levels, brigalow may be suitable for use in saline mine wastes which are common on sites to be rehabilitated after mining.

  2. Chemical characterization of milk oligosaccharides of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urashima, Tadasu; Taufik, Epi; Fukuda, Rino; Nakamura, Tadashi; Fukuda, Kenji; Saito, Tadao; Messer, Michael

    2013-11-01

    Previous structural characterizations of marsupial milk oligosaccharides had been performed in only two macropod species, the tammar wallaby and the red kangaroo. To clarify the homology and heterogeneity of milk oligosaccharides among marsupial species, which could provide information on their evolution, the oligosaccharides of the koala milk carbohydrate fraction were characterized in this study. Neutral and acidic oligosaccharides were separated from the carbohydrate fraction of milk of the koala, a non-macropod marsupial, and characterized by (1)H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The structures of the neutral saccharides were found to be Gal(β1-4)Glc (lactose), Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (3'-galactosyllactose), Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (3',3″-digalactosyllactose), Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (lacto-N-novopentaose I) and Gal(β1-3){Gal(β1-4)[Fuc(α1-3)]GlcNAc(β1-6)}Gal(β1-4)Glc (fucosyl lacto-N-novopentaose I), while those of the acidic saccharides were Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (3'-SL), Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Gal (sialyl 3'-galactosyllactose), Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose a), Gal(β1-3)[Neu5Ac(α2-6)Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose b), Gal(β1-3)[Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose c), and Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-3){Gal(β1-4)[Fuc(α1-3)]GlcNAc(β1-6)}Gal(β1-4)Glc (fucosyl sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose a). The neutral oligosaccharides, other than fucosyl lacto-N-novopentaose I, a novel hexasaccharide, had been found in milk of the tammar wallaby, a macropod marsupial, while the acidic oligosaccharides, other than fucosyl sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose a had been identified in milk carbohydrate of the red kangaroo. The presence of fucosyl oligosaccharides is a significant feature of koala milk, in which it differs from milk of the tammar wallaby and the red kangaroo.

  3. Cytochrome P450 CYP3A in marsupials: cloning and characterisation of the second identified CYP3A subfamily member, isoform 3A78 from koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Merhibi, Adaweyah; Ngo, Suong N T; Crittenden, Tamara A; Marchant, Ceilidh L; Stupans, Ieva; McKinnon, Ross A

    2011-11-01

    Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) are critically important in the oxidative metabolism of a diverse array of xenobiotics and endogenous substrates. Previously, we cloned and characterised the CYP2C, CYP4A, and CYP4B gene subfamilies from marsupials and demonstrated important species-differences in both activity and tissue expression of these CYP enzymes. Recently, we isolated the Eastern grey kangaroo CYP3A70. Here we have cloned and characterised the second identified member of marsupial CYP3A gene subfamily, CYP3A78 from the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). In addition, we have examined the gender-differences in microsomal erythromycin N-demethylation activity (a CYP3A marker) and CYP3A protein expression across test marsupial species. Significant differences in hepatic erythromycin N-demethylation activity were observed between male and female koalas, with the activity detected in female koalas being 2.5-fold higher compared to that in male koalas (p<0.01). No gender-differences were observed in tammar wallaby or Eastern grey kangaroo. Immunoblot analysis utilising anti-human CYP3A4 antibody detected immunoreactive proteins in liver microsomes from all test male and female marsupials including the koala, tammar wallaby, and Eastern grey kangaroo, with no gender-differences detected across test marsupials. A 1610 bp koala hepatic CYP3A complete cDNA, designated CYP3A78, was cloned by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction approaches. It displays 64% nucleotide and 57% amino acid sequence identity to the Eastern grey kangaroo CYP3A70. The CYP3A78 cDNA encodes a protein of 515 amino acids, shares approximately 68% nucleotide and 56% amino acid sequence identity to human CYP3A4, and displays high sequence similarity to other published mammalian CYP3As from human, monkey, cow, pig, dog, rat, rabbit, mouse, hamster, and guinea pig. Collectively, this study provides primary molecular data regarding koala hepatic CYP3A78 gene and enables further functional analyses of CYP

  4. Isolation and Identification of Pyrene Mineralizing Mycobacterium spp. from Contaminated and Uncontaminated Sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lease, C.W.M; Bentham, R.H; Gaskin, S.E; Juhasz, A.L

    2011-01-01

    Mycobacterium isolates obtained from PAH-contaminated and uncontaminated matrices were evaluated for their ability to degrade three-, four- and five-ring PAHs. PAH enrichment studies were prepared using pyrene and inocula obtained from manufacturing gas plant (MGP) soil, uncontaminated agricultural soil, and faeces from Macropus fuliginosus (Western Grey Kangaroo). Three pyrene-degrading microorganisms isolated from the corresponding enrichment cultures had broad substrate ranges, however, isolates could be differentiated based on surfactant, phenol, hydrocarbon and PAH utilisation. 16S rRNA analysis identified all three isolates as Mycobacterium sp. The Mycobacterium spp. could rapidly degrade phenanthrene and pyrene, however, no strain had the capacity to utilise fluorene or benzo[a]pyrene. When pyrene mineralisation experiments were performed, 70-79% of added 14 C was evolved as 14 CO 2 after 10 days. The present study demonstrates that PAH degrading microorganisms may be isolated from a diverse range of environmental matrices. The present study demonstrates that prior exposure to PAHs was not a prerequisite for PAH catabolic activity for two of these Mycobacterium isolates.

  5. The evolution of the DLK1-DIO3 imprinted domain in mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol A Edwards

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive, domain-wide comparative analysis of genomic imprinting between mammals that imprint and those that do not can provide valuable information about how and why imprinting evolved. The imprinting status, DNA methylation, and genomic landscape of the Dlk1-Dio3 cluster were determined in eutherian, metatherian, and prototherian mammals including tammar wallaby and platypus. Imprinting across the whole domain evolved after the divergence of eutherian from marsupial mammals and in eutherians is under strong purifying selection. The marsupial locus at 1.6 megabases, is double that of eutherians due to the accumulation of LINE repeats. Comparative sequence analysis of the domain in seven vertebrates determined evolutionary conserved regions common to particular sub-groups and to all vertebrates. The emergence of Dlk1-Dio3 imprinting in eutherians has occurred on the maternally inherited chromosome and is associated with region-specific resistance to expansion by repetitive elements and the local introduction of noncoding transcripts including microRNAs and C/D small nucleolar RNAs. A recent mammal-specific retrotransposition event led to the formation of a completely new gene only in the eutherian domain, which may have driven imprinting at the cluster.

  6. A new role for muscle segment homeobox genes in mammalian embryonic diapause

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Jeeyeon; Sun, Xiaofei; Bartos, Amanda; Fenelon, Jane; Lefèvre, Pavine; Daikoku, Takiko; Shaw, Geoff; Maxson, Robert; Murphy, Bruce D.; Renfree, Marilyn B.; Dey, Sudhansu K.

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian embryonic diapause is a phenomenon defined by the temporary arrest in blastocyst growth and metabolic activity within the uterus which synchronously becomes quiescent to blastocyst activation and implantation. This reproductive strategy temporally uncouples conception from parturition until environmental or maternal conditions are favourable for the survival of the mother and newborn. The underlying molecular mechanism by which the uterus and embryo temporarily achieve quiescence, maintain blastocyst survival and then resume blastocyst activation with subsequent implantation remains unknown. Here, we show that uterine expression of Msx1 or Msx2, members of an ancient, highly conserved homeobox gene family, persists in three unrelated mammalian species during diapause, followed by rapid downregulation with blastocyst activation and implantation. Mice with uterine inactivation of Msx1 and Msx2 fail to achieve diapause and reactivation. Remarkably, the North American mink and Australian tammar wallaby share similar expression patterns of MSX1 or MSX2 as in mice—it persists during diapause and is rapidly downregulated upon blastocyst activation and implantation. Evidence from mouse studies suggests that the effects of Msx genes in diapause are mediated through Wnt5a, a known transcriptional target of uterine Msx. These studies provide strong evidence that the Msx gene family constitutes a common conserved molecular mediator in the uterus during embryonic diapause to improve female reproductive fitness. PMID:23615030

  7. A new role for muscle segment homeobox genes in mammalian embryonic diapause.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Jeeyeon; Sun, Xiaofei; Bartos, Amanda; Fenelon, Jane; Lefèvre, Pavine; Daikoku, Takiko; Shaw, Geoff; Maxson, Robert; Murphy, Bruce D; Renfree, Marilyn B; Dey, Sudhansu K

    2013-04-24

    Mammalian embryonic diapause is a phenomenon defined by the temporary arrest in blastocyst growth and metabolic activity within the uterus which synchronously becomes quiescent to blastocyst activation and implantation. This reproductive strategy temporally uncouples conception from parturition until environmental or maternal conditions are favourable for the survival of the mother and newborn. The underlying molecular mechanism by which the uterus and embryo temporarily achieve quiescence, maintain blastocyst survival and then resume blastocyst activation with subsequent implantation remains unknown. Here, we show that uterine expression of Msx1 or Msx2, members of an ancient, highly conserved homeobox gene family, persists in three unrelated mammalian species during diapause, followed by rapid downregulation with blastocyst activation and implantation. Mice with uterine inactivation of Msx1 and Msx2 fail to achieve diapause and reactivation. Remarkably, the North American mink and Australian tammar wallaby share similar expression patterns of MSX1 or MSX2 as in mice-it persists during diapause and is rapidly downregulated upon blastocyst activation and implantation. Evidence from mouse studies suggests that the effects of Msx genes in diapause are mediated through Wnt5a, a known transcriptional target of uterine Msx. These studies provide strong evidence that the Msx gene family constitutes a common conserved molecular mediator in the uterus during embryonic diapause to improve female reproductive fitness.

  8. Curvature reduces bending strains in the quokka femur

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle McCabe

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This study explores how curvature in the quokka femur may help to reduce bending strain during locomotion. The quokka is a small wallaby, but the curvature of the femur and the muscles active during stance phase are similar to most quadrupedal mammals. Our hypothesis is that the action of hip extensor and ankle plantarflexor muscles during stance phase place cranial bending strains that act to reduce the caudal curvature of the femur. Knee extensors and biarticular muscles that span the femur longitudinally create caudal bending strains in the caudally curved (concave caudal side bone. These opposing strains can balance each other and result in less strain on the bone. We test this idea by comparing the performance of a normally curved finite element model of the quokka femur to a digitally straightened version of the same bone. The normally curved model is indeed less strained than the straightened version. To further examine the relationship between curvature and the strains in the femoral models, we also tested an extra-curved and a reverse-curved version with the same loads. There appears to be a linear relationship between the curvature and the strains experienced by the models. These results demonstrate that longitudinal curvature in bones may be a manipulable mechanism whereby bone can induce a strain gradient to oppose strains induced by habitual loading.

  9. Evolution of vertebrate interferon inducible transmembrane proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hickford Danielle

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interferon inducible transmembrane proteins (IFITMs have diverse roles, including the control of cell proliferation, promotion of homotypic cell adhesion, protection against viral infection, promotion of bone matrix maturation and mineralisation, and mediating germ cell development. Most IFITMs have been well characterised in human and mouse but little published data exists for other animals. This study characterised IFITMs in two distantly related marsupial species, the Australian tammar wallaby and the South American grey short-tailed opossum, and analysed the phylogeny of the IFITM family in vertebrates. Results Five IFITM paralogues were identified in both the tammar and opossum. As in eutherians, most marsupial IFITM genes exist within a cluster, contain two exons and encode proteins with two transmembrane domains. Only two IFITM genes, IFITM5 and IFITM10, have orthologues in both marsupials and eutherians. IFITM5 arose in bony fish and IFITM10 in tetrapods. The bone-specific expression of IFITM5 appears to be restricted to therian mammals, suggesting that its specialised role in bone production is a recent adaptation specific to mammals. IFITM10 is the most highly conserved IFITM, sharing at least 85% amino acid identity between birds, reptiles and mammals and suggesting an important role for this presently uncharacterised protein. Conclusions Like eutherians, marsupials also have multiple IFITM genes that exist in a gene cluster. The differing expression patterns for many of the paralogues, together with poor sequence conservation between species, suggests that IFITM genes have acquired many different roles during vertebrate evolution.

  10. Being a victim or an aggressor: Different functions of triadic post-conflict interactions in wolves (Canis lupus lupus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordoni, Giada; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Animals adopt different behavioral strategies to cope with the conflict of interests coming from the competition over limited resources. Starting from the study on chimpanzees, post-conflict third-party affiliation (the affiliative contact provided by a third-party toward the victim--VTA--or the aggressor--ATA) was investigated mainly in primates. Later, this post-conflict mechanism has been demonstrated also in other mammals, such as wallabies, horses, dolphins, domestic dogs, and wolves. Here, we present data on triadic post-conflict affiliation in wolves (Canis lupus lupus) by exploring some of the hypotheses already proposed for primates and never tested before in other social mammals. In this carnivore species, the study of VTA and ATA revealed that these strategies cannot be considered as a unique behavioral category since they differ in many functional aspects. VTA serves to protect the victim by reducing the likelihood of reiterated attacks from the previous aggressor and to reinforce the relationship shared by the third-party and the victim. On the other hand, ATA has a role in bystander protection by limiting the renewed attacks of the previous aggressor toward uninvolved group-members (potential third-parties). In conclusion, exploring VTA and ATA gives the opportunity to concurrently demonstrate some functional differences in triadic post-conflict affiliation according to the different targets of bystanders (victims or aggressors). The data comparison between primates and other social mammals should permit to open new lines of research. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Gradients in cytoarchitectural landscapes of the isocortex: Diprotodont marsupials in comparison to eutherian mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvet, Christine J; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Kim, Young Do; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H; Hof, Patrick R; Gómez-Robles, Aida; Krienen, Fenna M; Sherwood, Chet C

    2017-06-01

    Although it has been claimed that marsupials possess a lower density of isocortical neurons compared with other mammals, little is known about cross-cortical variation in neuron distributions in this diverse taxonomic group. We quantified upper-layer (layers II-IV) and lower-layer (layers V-VI) neuron numbers per unit of cortical surface area in three diprotodont marsupial species (two macropodiformes, the red kangaroo and the parma wallaby, and a vombatiform, the koala) and compared these results to eutherian mammals (e.g., xenarthrans, rodents, primates). In contrast to the notion that the marsupial isocortex contains a low density of neurons, we found that neuron numbers per unit of cortical surface area in several marsupial species overlap with those found in eutherian mammals. Furthermore, neuron numbers vary systematically across the isocortex of the marsupial mammals examined. Neuron numbers under a unit of cortical surface area are low toward the frontal cortex and high toward the caudo-medial (occipital) pole. Upper-layer neurons (i.e., layers II-IV) account for most of the variation in neuron numbers across the isocortex. The variation in neuron numbers across the rostral to the caudal pole resembles primates. These findings suggest that diprotodont marsupials and eutherian mammals share a similar cortical architecture despite their distant evolutionary divergence. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Ethnoecological knowledge of the artisan fishermen of octopi (Octopus spp. in the community of Coroa Vermelha (Santa Cruz Cabrália, Bahia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviane S Martins

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are quite diverse ecosystems that carry out several ecological functions and plays a relevant socioeconomic role. The artisan fishing of octopi (Octopus spp. is practiced for the survival of part of the inhabitants of Coroa Vermelha community, in the south of the state of Bahia. We intended to study the knowledge of the octopi fishermen of Coroa Vermelha using the comprehensive ethnoecological proposal of Marques. The data were collected between July, 2006 and April, 2008 through direct observation and from interviews with fishermen met by chance and through the "native specialists" criterion. Twenty semi-structured interviews were carried out following an itinerary of pre-established questions about the activity of octopi capture, and the biological and ecological aspects of the resource. The data showed that the fishermen have knowledge about biological and ecological aspects of the octopi. Two capture techniques are used: octopus fishing (polvejamento in the reefs and through diving. Two specific folk are recognized: the "normal octopus" (Octopus insularis and the "east octopus" (Octopus macropus (?. The intervieews demonstrated ecological knowledge sometimes compatible with the scientific literature, mainly in which concerns the trophic ecology and behavior of the octopi.Os recifes de coral são ecossistemas muito diversos que realizam várias funções ecológicas e possuem um relevante papel socioeconômico. A pesca artesanal de polvo (Octopus spp. é realizada para a sobrevivência de uma parte da população da comunidade de Coroa Vermelha, no Sul do Estado da Bahia. A intenção deste estudo foi avaliar o conhecimento dos pescadores de polvos de Coroa Vermelha, usando a proposta da etnoecologia abrangente de Marques. Os dados foram coletados entre julho de 2006 e abril de 2008 através da observação direta e entrevistas com pescadores encontrados oportunisticamente e com os especialistas "nativos". Vinte entrevistas semi

  13. Prevalence of gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens in a population of zoo animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stirling, J; Griffith, M; Blair, I; Cormican, M; Dooley, J S G; Goldsmith, C E; Glover, S G; Loughrey, A; Lowery, C J; Matsuda, M; McClurg, R; McCorry, K; McDowell, D; McMahon, A; Cherie Millar, B; Nagano, Y; Rao, J R; Rooney, P J; Smyth, M; Snelling, W J; Xu, J; Moore, J E

    2008-04-01

    Faecal prevalence of gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens, including Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia, as well as Arcobacter, were examined in 317 faecal specimens from 44 animal species in Belfast Zoological Gardens, during July-September 2006. Thermophilic campylobacters including Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter lari, were the most frequently isolated pathogens, where members of this genus were isolated from 11 animal species (11 of 44; 25%). Yersinia spp. were isolated from seven animal species (seven of 44; 15.9%) and included, Yersinia enterocolitica (five of seven isolates; 71.4%) and one isolate each of Yersinia frederiksenii and Yersinia kristensenii. Only one isolate of Salmonella was obtained throughout the entire study, which was an isolate of Salmonella dublin (O 1,9,12: H g, p), originating from tiger faeces after enrichment. None of the animal species found in public contact areas of the zoo were positive for any gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens. Also, water from the lake in the centre of the grounds, was examined for the same bacterial pathogens and was found to contain C. jejuni. This study is the first report on the isolation of a number of important bacterial pathogens from a variety of novel host species, C. jejuni from the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), C. lari from a maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), Y. kristensenii from a vicugna (Vicugna vicugna) and Y. enterocolitica from a maned wolf and red panda (Ailurus fulgens). In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the faeces of animals in public contact areas of the zoo were not positive for the bacterial gastrointestinal pathogens examined. This is reassuring for the public health of visitors, particularly children, who enjoy this educational and recreational resource.

  14. Sounds scary? Lack of habituation following the presentation of novel sounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tine A Biedenweg

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Animals typically show less habituation to biologically meaningful sounds than to novel signals. We might therefore expect that acoustic deterrents should be based on natural sounds. METHODOLOGY: We investigated responses by western grey kangaroos (Macropus fulignosus towards playback of natural sounds (alarm foot stomps and Australian raven (Corvus coronoides calls and artificial sounds (faux snake hiss and bull whip crack. We then increased rate of presentation to examine whether animals would habituate. Finally, we varied frequency of playback to investigate optimal rates of delivery. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Nine behaviors clustered into five Principal Components. PC factors 1 and 2 (animals alert or looking, or hopping and moving out of area accounted for 36% of variance. PC factor 3 (eating cessation, taking flight, movement out of area accounted for 13% of variance. Factors 4 and 5 (relaxing, grooming and walking; 12 and 11% of variation, respectively discontinued upon playback. The whip crack was most evocative; eating was reduced from 75% of time spent prior to playback to 6% following playback (post alarm stomp: 32%, raven call: 49%, hiss: 75%. Additionally, 24% of individuals took flight and moved out of area (50 m radius in response to the whip crack (foot stomp: 0%, raven call: 8% and 4%, hiss: 6%. Increasing rate of presentation (12x/min ×2 min caused 71% of animals to move out of the area. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The bull whip crack, an artificial sound, was as effective as the alarm stomp at eliciting aversive behaviors. Kangaroos did not fully habituate despite hearing the signal up to 20x/min. Highest rates of playback did not elicit the greatest responses, suggesting that 'more is not always better'. Ultimately, by utilizing both artificial and biological sounds, predictability may be masked or offset, so that habituation is delayed and more effective deterrents may be produced.

  15. Hopping Down the Main Street: Eastern Grey Kangaroos at Home in an Urban Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme Coulson

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Most urban mammals are small. However, one of the largest marsupials, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo Macropus giganteus, occurs in some urban areas. In 2007, we embarked on a longitudinal study of this species in the seaside town of Anglesea in southern Victoria, Australia. We have captured and tagged 360 individuals to date, fitting each adult with a collar displaying its name. We have monitored survival, reproduction and movements by resighting, recapture and radio-tracking, augmented by citizen science reports of collared individuals. Kangaroos occurred throughout the town, but the golf course formed the nucleus of this urban population. The course supported a high density of kangaroos (2–5/ha, and approximately half of them were tagged. Total counts of kangaroos on the golf course were highest in summer, at the peak of the mating season, and lowest in winter, when many males but not females left the course. Almost all tagged adult females were sedentary, using only part of the golf course and adjacent native vegetation and residential blocks. In contrast, during the non-mating season (autumn and winter, many tagged adult males ranged widely across the town in a mix of native vegetation remnants, recreation reserves, vacant blocks, commercial properties and residential gardens. Annual fecundity of tagged females was generally high (≥70%, but survival of tagged juveniles was low (54%. We could not determine the cause of death of most juveniles. Vehicles were the major (47% cause of mortality of tagged adults. Road-kills were concentrated (74% in autumn and winter, and were heavily male biased: half of all tagged males died on roads compared with only 20% of tagged females. We predict that this novel and potent mortality factor will have profound, long-term impacts on the demography and behavior of the urban kangaroo population at Anglesea.

  16. Modelling digestive constraints in non-ruminant and ruminant foregut-fermenting mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munn, Adam J; Streich, W Jürgen; Hummel, Jürgen; Clauss, Marcus

    2008-09-01

    It has been suggested that large foregut-fermenting marsupial herbivores, the kangaroos and their relatives, may be less constrained by food intake limitations as compared with ruminants, due mainly to differences in their digestive morphology and management of ingesta particles through the gut. In particular, as the quality of forage declines with increasing contents of plant fibre (cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin; measured as neutral-detergent fibre, NDF), the tubiform foregut of kangaroos may allow these animals to maintain food intakes more so than ruminants like sheep, which appear to be limited by fibrous bulk filling the foregut and truncating further ingestion. Using available data on dry matter intake (DMI, g kg(-0.75) d(-1)), ingesta mean retention time (MRT, h), and apparent digestibility, we modelled digestible dry matter intake (DDMI) and digestible energy intake (DEI) by ruminant sheep (Ovis aries) and by the largest marsupial herbivore, the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus). Sheep achieved higher MRTs on similar DMIs, and hence sheep achieved higher DDMIs for any given level of DMI as compared with kangaroos. Interestingly, MRT declined in response to increasing DMI in a similar pattern for both species, and the association between DMI and plant NDF contents did not support the hypothesis that kangaroos are less affected by increasing fibre relative to sheep. However, when DEI was modelled according to DDMIs and dietary energy contents, we show that the kangaroos could meet their daily maintenance energy requirements (MER) at lower levels of DMI and on diets with higher fibre contents compared with sheep, due largely to the kangaroos' lower absolute maintenance and basal energy metabolisms compared with eutherians. These results suggest that differences in the metabolic set-point of different species can have profound effects on their nutritional niche, even when their digestive constraints are similar, as was the case for these ruminant and non

  17. The high aerobic capacity of a small, marsupial rat-kangaroo (Bettongia penicillata) is matched by the mitochondrial and capillary morphology of its skeletal muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Koa N; Dawson, Terence J

    2012-09-15

    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.

  18. Eaten out of house and home: impacts of grazing on ground-dwelling reptiles in Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J; Manning, Adrian D; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing.

  19. Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Herpesvirus Infection in Populations of Australian Marsupials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn Stalder

    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.

  20. Eaten out of house and home: impacts of grazing on ground-dwelling reptiles in Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett Howland

    Full Text Available Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1 density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2 grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing.

  1. Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Herpesvirus Infection in Populations of Australian Marsupials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  2. Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Herpesvirus Infection in Populations of Australian Marsupials

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Interspecific and geographic variation in the diets of sympatric carnivores: dingoes/wild dogs and red foxes in south-eastern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi E Davis

    Full Text Available Dingoes/wild dogs (Canis dingo/familiaris and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes are widespread carnivores in southern Australia and are controlled to reduce predation on domestic livestock and native fauna. We used the occurrence of food items in 5875 dingo/wild dog scats and 11,569 fox scats to evaluate interspecific and geographic differences in the diets of these species within nine regions of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. The nine regions encompass a wide variety of ecosystems. Diet overlap between dingoes/wild dogs and foxes varied among regions, from low to near complete overlap. The diet of foxes was broader than dingoes/wild dogs in all but three regions, with the former usually containing more insects, reptiles and plant material. By contrast, dingoes/wild dogs more regularly consumed larger mammals, supporting the hypothesis that niche partitioning occurs on the basis of mammalian prey size. The key mammalian food items for dingoes/wild dogs across all regions were black wallaby (Wallabia bicolor, brushtail possum species (Trichosurus spp., common wombat (Vombatus ursinus, sambar deer (Rusa unicolor, cattle (Bos taurus and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus. The key mammalian food items for foxes across all regions were European rabbit, sheep (Ovis aries and house mouse (Mus musculus. Foxes consumed 6.1 times the number of individuals of threatened Critical Weight Range native mammal species than did dingoes/wild dogs. The occurrence of intraguild predation was asymmetrical; dingoes/wild dogs consumed greater biomass of the smaller fox. The substantial geographic variation in diet indicates that dingoes/wild dogs and foxes alter their diet in accordance with changing food availability. We provide checklists of taxa recorded in the diets of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes as a resource for managers and researchers wishing to understand the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on dingoes/wild dogs, foxes and the food

  4. Evaluation of next generation sequencing for the analysis of Eimeria communities in wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeulen, Elke T; Lott, Matthew J; Eldridge, Mark D B; Power, Michelle L

    2016-05-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques are well-established for studying bacterial communities but not yet for microbial eukaryotes. Parasite communities remain poorly studied, due in part to the lack of reliable and accessible molecular methods to analyse eukaryotic communities. We aimed to develop and evaluate a methodology to analyse communities of the protozoan parasite Eimeria from populations of the Australian marsupial Petrogale penicillata (brush-tailed rock-wallaby) using NGS. An oocyst purification method for small sample sizes and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol for the 18S rRNA locus targeting Eimeria was developed and optimised prior to sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform. A data analysis approach was developed by modifying methods from bacterial metagenomics and utilising existing Eimeria sequences in GenBank. Operational taxonomic unit (OTU) assignment at a high similarity threshold (97%) was more accurate at assigning Eimeria contigs into Eimeria OTUs but at a lower threshold (95%) there was greater resolution between OTU consensus sequences. The assessment of two amplification PCR methods prior to Illumina MiSeq, single and nested PCR, determined that single PCR was more sensitive to Eimeria as more Eimeria OTUs were detected in single amplicons. We have developed a simple and cost-effective approach to a data analysis pipeline for community analysis of eukaryotic organisms using Eimeria communities as a model. The pipeline provides a basis for evaluation using other eukaryotic organisms and potential for diverse community analysis studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Evaluation and re-evaluation of genetic radiation hazards in man

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sankaranarayanan, K.

    1976-01-01

    The arm number hypothesis proposed by Brewen and colleagues in 1973 has been examined in the light of information thus far available from mammalian studies. In experiments with peripheral blood lymphocytes (radiation in vitro), a linear relationship between dicentric yield and the effective chromosome arm number of the species was obtained in the mouse, Chinese hamster, goat, sheep, pig, wallaby and man. However, the data are not consistent with such a relationship in several primate species (marmoset, rhesus monkey, cynomolgus monkey, squirrel monkey and the slow loris), the cat and the dog. In the rabbit, the data are conflicting. In the mouse and the Chinese hamster the frequencies of reciprocal translocations recorded in spermatocytes descended from irradiated spermatogonia are in line with the expectation based on the arm number hypothesis, whereas in the golden hamster, rabbit and the rhesus they are not. In man and the marmoset, the limited data are not inconsistent with a 2-fold higher sensitivity of these species relative to the mouse although they do not rule out a difference as high as 4-fold. In the guinea-pig, the situation is unclear. New data on the transmission of reciprocal translocations in mice suggest that the frequency in the F 1 progeny may be close to one-quarter of that recorded in the spermatocytes of the irradiated fathers (spermatogonial irradiation) at an exposure level of 150 R, whereas at higher exposures, the reduction factor is about one-eighth, the latter being in line with the earlier finding. All these results taken together suggest that inter-specific extrapolation from the radiosensitivity of somatic cells (to dicentric induction) to that of germ cells (to translocation induction) is fraught with uncertainty at present. Certain aspects that need to be studied in more detail in the context of induced chromosome aberrations are discussed

  6. Ancient Exaptation of a CORE-SINE Retroposon into a Highly Conserved Mammalian Neuronal Enhancer of the Proopiomelanocortin Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumaschny, Viviana F; Low, Malcolm J; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    The proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC) is expressed in the pituitary gland and the ventral hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates, producing several bioactive peptides that function as peripheral hormones or central neuropeptides, respectively. We have recently determined that mouse and human POMC expression in the hypothalamus is conferred by the action of two 5′ distal and unrelated enhancers, nPE1 and nPE2. To investigate the evolutionary origin of the neuronal enhancer nPE2, we searched available vertebrate genome databases and determined that nPE2 is a highly conserved element in placentals, marsupials, and monotremes, whereas it is absent in nonmammalian vertebrates. Following an in silico paleogenomic strategy based on genome-wide searches for paralog sequences, we discovered that opossum and wallaby nPE2 sequences are highly similar to members of the superfamily of CORE-short interspersed nucleotide element (SINE) retroposons, in particular to MAR1 retroposons that are widely present in marsupial genomes. Thus, the neuronal enhancer nPE2 originated from the exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon in the lineage leading to mammals and remained under purifying selection in all mammalian orders for the last 170 million years. Expression studies performed in transgenic mice showed that two nonadjacent nPE2 subregions are essential to drive reporter gene expression into POMC hypothalamic neurons, providing the first functional example of an exapted enhancer derived from an ancient CORE-SINE retroposon. In addition, we found that this CORE-SINE family of retroposons is likely to still be active in American and Australian marsupial genomes and that several highly conserved exonic, intronic and intergenic sequences in the human genome originated from the exaptation of CORE-SINE retroposons. Together, our results provide clear evidence of the functional novelties that transposed elements contributed to their host genomes throughout evolution. PMID:17922573

  7. Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbiota from the Crop of an Invasive Snail Reveals a Rich Reservoir of Novel Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Alexander M.; Cavalcante, Janaína J. V.; Cantão, Maurício E.; Thompson, Claudia E.; Flatschart, Roberto B.; Glogauer, Arnaldo; Scapin, Sandra M. N.; Sade, Youssef B.; Beltrão, Paulo J. M. S. I.; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Martins, Orlando B.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2012-01-01

    The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO2 emissions have raised global concerns and highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable energy sources. Second-generation ethanol made from lignocellulosic materials is considered to be one of the most promising fuels for vehicles. The giant snail Achatina fulica is an agricultural pest whose biotechnological potential has been largely untested. Here, the composition of the microbial population within the crop of this invasive land snail, as well as key genes involved in various biochemical pathways, have been explored for the first time. In a high-throughput approach, 318 Mbp of 454-Titanium shotgun metagenomic sequencing data were obtained. The predominant bacterial phylum found was Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Viruses, Fungi, and Archaea were present to lesser extents. The functional analysis reveals a variety of microbial genes that could assist the host in the degradation of recalcitrant lignocellulose, detoxification of xenobiotics, and synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins, contributing to the adaptability and wide-ranging diet of this snail. More than 2,700 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase (GH) domains and carbohydrate-binding modules were detected. When we compared GH profiles, we found an abundance of sequences coding for oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes (36%), very similar to those from wallabies and giant pandas, as well as many novel cellulase and hemicellulase coding sequences, which points to this model as a remarkable potential source of enzymes for the biofuel industry. Furthermore, this work is a major step toward the understanding of the unique genetic profile of the land snail holobiont. PMID:23133637

  8. Tackle characteristics and injury in a cross section of rugby union football.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Andrew S; Savage, Trevor N; McCrory, Paul; Fréchède, Bertrand O; Wolfe, Rory

    2010-05-01

    The tackle is the game event in rugby union most associated with injury. This study's main aims were to measure tackle characteristics from video using a qualitative protocol, to assess whether the characteristics differed by level of play, and to measure the associations between tackle characteristics and injury. A cohort study was undertaken. The cohort comprised male rugby players in the following levels: younger than 15 yr, 18 yr, and 20 yr, grade, and elite (Super 12 and Wallabies). All tackle events and technique characteristics were coded in 77 game halves using a standardized qualitative protocol. Game injuries and missed-game injuries were identified and correlated with tackle events. A total of 6618 tackle events, including 81 resulting in a game injury, were observed and coded in the 77 game halves fully analyzed (145 tackle events per hour). An increase in the proportion of active shoulder tackles was observed from younger than 15 yr (13%) to elite (31%). Younger players engaged in more passive tackles and tended to stay on their feet more than experienced players. Younger than 15 yr rugby players had a significantly lower risk of tackle game injury compared with elite players. No specific tackle technique was observed to be associated with a significantly increased risk of game injury. There was a greater risk of game injury associated with two or more tacklers involved in the tackle event, and the greatest risk was associated with simultaneous contact by tacklers, after adjusting for level of play. Tackle characteristics differed between levels of play. The number of tacklers and the sequence of tackler contact with the ball carrier require consideration from an injury prevention perspective.

  9. Metagenomic insights into the carbohydrate-active enzymes carried by the microorganisms adhering to solid digesta in the rumen of cows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingling Wang

    Full Text Available The ruminal microbial community is a unique source of enzymes that underpin the conversion of cellulosic biomass. In this study, the microbial consortia adherent on solid digesta in the rumen of Jersey cattle were subjected to an activity-based metagenomic study to explore the genetic diversity of carbohydrolytic enzymes in Jersey cows, with a particular focus on cellulases and xylanases. Pyrosequencing and bioinformatic analyses of 120 carbohydrate-active fosmids identified genes encoding 575 putative Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZymes and proteins putatively related to transcriptional regulation, transporters, and signal transduction coupled with polysaccharide degradation and metabolism. Most of these genes shared little similarity to sequences archived in databases. Genes that were predicted to encode glycoside hydrolases (GH involved in xylan and cellulose hydrolysis (e.g., GH3, 5, 9, 10, 39 and 43 were well represented. A new subfamily (S-8 of GH5 was identified from contigs assigned to Firmicutes. These subfamilies of GH5 proteins also showed significant phylum-dependent distribution. A number of polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs were found, and two of them contained genes encoding Sus-like proteins and cellulases that have not been reported in previous metagenomic studies of samples from the rumens of cows or other herbivores. Comparison with the large metagenomic datasets previously reported of other ruminant species (or cattle breeds and wallabies showed that the rumen microbiome of Jersey cows might contain differing CAZymes. Future studies are needed to further explore how host genetics and diets affect the diversity and distribution of CAZymes and utilization of plant cell wall materials.

  10. Genomic imprinting of IGF2 in marsupials is methylation dependent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imumorin Ikhide

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background- Parent-specific methylation of specific CpG residues is critical to imprinting in eutherian mammals, but its importance to imprinting in marsupials and, thus, the evolutionary origins of the imprinting mechanism have been the subject of controversy. This has been particularly true for the imprinted Insulin-like Growth Factor II (IGF2, a key regulator of embryonic growth in vertebrates and a focal point of the selective forces leading to genomic imprinting. The presence of the essential imprinting effector, DNMT3L, in marsupial genomes and the demonstration of a differentially methylated region (DMR in the retrotransposon-derived imprinted gene, PEG10, in tammar wallaby argue for a role for methylation in imprinting, but several studies have found no evidence of parent-specific methylation at other imprinted loci in marsupials. Results- We performed the most extensive search to date for allele-specific patterns of CpG methylation within CpG isochores or CpG enriched segments across a 22 kilobase region surrounding the IGF2 gene in the South American opossum Monodelphis domestica. We identified a previously unknown 5'-untranslated exon for opossum IGF2, which is flanked by sequences defining a putative neonatal promoter, a DMR and an active Matrix Attachment Region (MAR. Demethylation of this DMR in opossum neonatal fibroblasts results in abherrant biallelic expression of IGF2. Conclusion- The demonstration of a DMR and an active MAR in the 5' flank of opossum IGF2 mirrors the regulatory features of the 5' flank of Igf2 in mice. However, demethylation induced activation of the maternal allele of IGF2 in opossum differs from the demethylation induced repression of the paternal Igf2 allele in mice. While it can now be concluded that parent-specific DNA methylation is an epigentic mark common to Marsupialia and Eutheria, the molecular mechanisms of transcriptional silencing at imprinted loci have clearly evolved along independent

  11. Evaluation and re-evaluation of genetic radiation hazards in man. The arm number hypothesis and the induction of reciprocal translocations in man. II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sankaranarayanan, K [Rijksuniversiteit Leiden (Netherlands). Lab. voor Stralengenetica en Chemische Mutagenese; Cohen (J.A.) Instituut voor Radiopathologie en Stralenbescherming, Leiden (Netherlands))

    1976-06-01

    The arm number hypothesis proposed by Brewen and colleagues in 1973 has been examined in the light of information thus far available from mammalian studies. In experiments with peripheral blood lymphocytes (radiation in vitro), a linear relationship between dicentric yield and the effective chromosome arm number of the species was obtained in the mouse, Chinese hamster, goat, sheep, pig, wallaby and man. However, the data are not consistent with such a relationship in several primate species (marmoset, rhesus monkey, cynomolgus monkey, squirrel monkey and the slow loris), the cat and the dog. In the rabbit, the data are conflicting. In the mouse and the Chinese hamster the frequencies of reciprocal translocations recorded in spermatocytes descended from irradiated spermatogonia are in line with the expectation based on the arm number hypothesis, whereas in the golden hamster, rabbit and the rhesus they are not. In man and the marmoset, the limited data are not inconsistent with a 2-fold higher sensitivity of these species relative to the mouse although they do not rule out a difference as high as 4-fold. In the guinea-pig, the situation is unclear. New data on the transmission of reciprocal translocations in mice suggest that the frequency in the F/sub 1/ progeny may be close to one-quarter of that recorded in the spermatocytes of the irradiated fathers (spermatogonial irradiation) at an exposure level of 150 R, whereas at higher exposures, the reduction factor is about one-eighth, the latter being in line with the earlier finding. All these results taken together suggest that inter-specific extrapolation from the radiosensitivity of somatic cells (to dicentric induction) to that of germ cells (to translocation induction) is fraught with uncertainty at present. Certain aspects that need to be studied in more detail in the context of induced chromosome aberrations are discussed.

  12. Metagenomic analysis of the microbiota from the crop of an invasive snail reveals a rich reservoir of novel genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M Cardoso

    Full Text Available The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO(2 emissions have raised global concerns and highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable energy sources. Second-generation ethanol made from lignocellulosic materials is considered to be one of the most promising fuels for vehicles. The giant snail Achatina fulica is an agricultural pest whose biotechnological potential has been largely untested. Here, the composition of the microbial population within the crop of this invasive land snail, as well as key genes involved in various biochemical pathways, have been explored for the first time. In a high-throughput approach, 318 Mbp of 454-Titanium shotgun metagenomic sequencing data were obtained. The predominant bacterial phylum found was Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Viruses, Fungi, and Archaea were present to lesser extents. The functional analysis reveals a variety of microbial genes that could assist the host in the degradation of recalcitrant lignocellulose, detoxification of xenobiotics, and synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins, contributing to the adaptability and wide-ranging diet of this snail. More than 2,700 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase (GH domains and carbohydrate-binding modules were detected. When we compared GH profiles, we found an abundance of sequences coding for oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes (36%, very similar to those from wallabies and giant pandas, as well as many novel cellulase and hemicellulase coding sequences, which points to this model as a remarkable potential source of enzymes for the biofuel industry. Furthermore, this work is a major step toward the understanding of the unique genetic profile of the land snail holobiont.

  13. Artificial insemination in marsupials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodger, John C; Paris, Damien B B P; Czarny, Natasha A; Harris, Merrilee S; Molinia, Frank C; Taggart, David A; Allen, Camryn D; Johnston, Stephen D

    2009-01-01

    Assisted breeding technology (ART), including artificial insemination (AI), has the potential to advance the conservation and welfare of marsupials. Many of the challenges facing AI and ART for marsupials are shared with other wild species. However, the marsupial mode of reproduction and development also poses unique challenges and opportunities. For the vast majority of marsupials, there is a dearth of knowledge regarding basic reproductive biology to guide an AI strategy. For threatened or endangered species, only the most basic reproductive information is available in most cases, if at all. Artificial insemination has been used to produce viable young in two marsupial species, the koala and tammar wallaby. However, in these species the timing of ovulation can be predicted with considerably more confidence than in any other marsupial. In a limited number of other marsupials, such precise timing of ovulation has only been achieved using hormonal treatment leading to conception but not live young. A unique marsupial ART strategy which has been shown to have promise is cross-fostering; the transfer of pouch young of a threatened species to the pouches of foster mothers of a common related species as a means to increase productivity. For the foreseeable future, except for a few highly iconic or well studied species, there is unlikely to be sufficient reproductive information on which to base AI. However, if more generic approaches can be developed; such as ICSI (to generate embryos) and female synchronization (to provide oocyte donors or embryo recipients), then the prospects for broader application of AI/ART to marsupials are promising.

  14. Ancient exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon into a highly conserved mammalian neuronal enhancer of the proopiomelanocortin gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Santangelo

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC is expressed in the pituitary gland and the ventral hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates, producing several bioactive peptides that function as peripheral hormones or central neuropeptides, respectively. We have recently determined that mouse and human POMC expression in the hypothalamus is conferred by the action of two 5' distal and unrelated enhancers, nPE1 and nPE2. To investigate the evolutionary origin of the neuronal enhancer nPE2, we searched available vertebrate genome databases and determined that nPE2 is a highly conserved element in placentals, marsupials, and monotremes, whereas it is absent in nonmammalian vertebrates. Following an in silico paleogenomic strategy based on genome-wide searches for paralog sequences, we discovered that opossum and wallaby nPE2 sequences are highly similar to members of the superfamily of CORE-short interspersed nucleotide element (SINE retroposons, in particular to MAR1 retroposons that are widely present in marsupial genomes. Thus, the neuronal enhancer nPE2 originated from the exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon in the lineage leading to mammals and remained under purifying selection in all mammalian orders for the last 170 million years. Expression studies performed in transgenic mice showed that two nonadjacent nPE2 subregions are essential to drive reporter gene expression into POMC hypothalamic neurons, providing the first functional example of an exapted enhancer derived from an ancient CORE-SINE retroposon. In addition, we found that this CORE-SINE family of retroposons is likely to still be active in American and Australian marsupial genomes and that several highly conserved exonic, intronic and intergenic sequences in the human genome originated from the exaptation of CORE-SINE retroposons. Together, our results provide clear evidence of the functional novelties that transposed elements contributed to their host genomes throughout evolution.

  15. Molecular evolution of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA in Ungulata (mammalia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douzery, E; Catzeflis, F M

    1995-11-01

    The complete 12S rRNA gene has been sequenced in 4 Ungulata (hoofed eutherians) and 1 marsupial and compared to 38 available mammalian sequences in order to investigate the molecular evolution of the mitochondrial small-subunit ribosomal RNA molecule. Ungulata were represented by one artiodactyl (the collared peccary, Tayassu tajacu, suborder Suiformes), two perissodactyls (the Grevy's zebra, Equus grevyi, suborder Hippomorpha; the white rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum, suborder Ceratomorpha), and one hyracoid (the tree hyrax, Dendrohyrax dorsalis). The fifth species was a marsupial, the eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). Several transition/transversion biases characterized the pattern of changes between mammalian 12S rRNA molecules. A bias toward transitions was found among 12S rRNA sequences of Ungulata, illustrating the general bias exhibited by ribosomal and protein-encoding genes of the mitochondrial genome. The derivation of a mammalian 12S rRNA secondary structure model from the comparison of 43 eutherian and marsupial sequences evidenced a pronounced bias against transversions in stems. Moreover, transversional compensatory changes were rare events within double-stranded regions of the ribosomal RNA. Evolutionary characteristics of the 12S rRNA were compared with those of the nuclear 18S and 28S rRNAs. From a phylogenetic point of view, transitions, transversions and indels in stems as well as transversional and indels events in loops gave congruent results for comparisons within orders. Some compensatory changes in double-stranded regions and some indels in single-stranded regions also constituted diagnostic events. The 12S rRNA molecule confirmed the monophyly of infraorder Pecora and order Cetacea and demonstrated the monophyly of the suborder Ruminantia was not supported and the branching pattern between Cetacea and the artiodacytyl suborders Ruminantia and Suiformes was not established. The monophyly of the order Perissodactyla was evidenced

  16. Aerobic characteristics of red kangaroo skeletal muscles: is a high aerobic capacity matched by muscle mitochondrial and capillary morphology as in placental mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Terence J; Mifsud, Brock; Raad, Matthew C; Webster, Koa N

    2004-07-01

    Marsupials and placentals together comprise the Theria, the advanced mammals, but they have had long independent evolutionary histories, with the last common ancestor occurring more than 125 million years ago. Although in the past the marsupials were considered to be metabolically 'primitive', the red kangaroo Macropus rufus has been reported to have an aerobic capacity (VO2max) comparable to that of the most 'athletic' of placentals such as dogs. However, kangaroos travel at moderate speeds with lower relative cost than quadrupedal placentals. Given the long independent evolution of the two therian groups, and their unusual locomotor energetics, do kangaroos achieve their high aerobic capacity using the same structural and functional mechanisms used by (athletic) placentals? Red kangaroo skeletal muscle morphometry matched closely the general aerobic characteristics of placental mammals. The relationship between total mitochondrial volume in skeletal muscle and VO2max during exercise was identical to that in quadrupedal placentals, and differed from that in bipedal humans. As for placentals generally, red kangaroo mitochondrial oxygen consumption at VO2max was 4.7 ml O2 min(-1) ml(-1) of mitochondria. Also, the inner mitochondrial membrane densities were 35.8 +/- 0.7 m2 ml(-1) of mitochondria, which is the same as for placental mammals, and the same pattern of similarity was seen for capillary densities and volumes. The overall data for kangaroos was equivalent to that seen in athletic placentals such as dogs and pronghorns. Total skeletal muscle mass was high, being around 50% of body mass, and was concentrated around the pelvis and lower back. The majority of the muscles sampled had relatively high mitochondrial volume densities, in the range 8.8-10.6% in the major locomotor muscles. Again, capillary densities and capillary blood volumes followed the pattern seen for mitochondria. Our results indicate that the red kangaroo, despite its locomotion and extreme

  17. Biologically meaningful scents: a framework for understanding predator-prey research across disciplines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Michael H; Apfelbach, Raimund; Banks, Peter B; Cameron, Elissa Z; Dickman, Chris R; Frank, Anke S K; Jones, Menna E; McGregor, Ian S; McLean, Stuart; Müller-Schwarze, Dietland; Sparrow, Elisa E; Blumstein, Daniel T

    2018-02-01

    Fear of predation is a universal motivator. Because predators hunt using stealth and surprise, there is a widespread ability among prey to assess risk from chemical information - scents - in their environment. Consequently, scents often act as particularly strong modulators of memory and emotions. Recent advances in ecological research and analytical technology are leading to novel ways to use this chemical information to create effective attractants, repellents and anti-anxiolytic compounds for wildlife managers, conservation biologists and health practitioners. However, there is extensive variation in the design, results, and interpretation of studies of olfactory-based risk discrimination. To understand the highly variable literature in this area, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach and synthesize the latest findings from neurobiology, chemical ecology, and ethology to propose a contemporary framework that accounts for such disparate factors as the time-limited stability of chemicals, highly canalized mechanisms that influence prey responses, and the context within which these scents are detected (e.g. availability of alternative resources, perceived shelter, and ambient physical parameters). This framework helps to account for the wide range of reported responses by prey to predator scents, and explains, paradoxically, how the same individual predator scent can be interpreted as either safe or dangerous to a prey animal depending on how, when and where the cue was deposited. We provide a hypothetical example to illustrate the most common factors that influence how a predator scent (from dingoes, Canis dingo) may both attract and repel the same target organism (kangaroos, Macropus spp.). This framework identifies the catalysts that enable dynamic scents, odours or odorants to be used as attractants as well as deterrents. Because effective scent tools often relate to traumatic memories (fear and/or anxiety) that cause future avoidance, this information may

  18. Differential roles of TGIF family genes in mammalian reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renfree Marilyn B

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background TG-interacting factors (TGIFs belong to a family of TALE-homeodomain proteins including TGIF1, TGIF2 and TGIFLX/Y in human. Both TGIF1 and TGIF2 act as transcription factors repressing TGF-β signalling. Human TGIFLX and its orthologue, Tex1 in the mouse, are X-linked genes that are only expressed in the adult testis. TGIF2 arose from TGIF1 by duplication, whereas TGIFLX arose by retrotransposition to the X-chromosome. These genes have not been characterised in any non-eutherian mammals. We therefore studied the TGIF family in the tammar wallaby (a marsupial mammal to investigate their roles in reproduction and how and when these genes may have evolved their functions and chromosomal locations. Results Both TGIF1 and TGIF2 were present in the tammar genome on autosomes but TGIFLX was absent. Tammar TGIF1 shared a similar expression pattern during embryogenesis, sexual differentiation and in adult tissues to that of TGIF1 in eutherian mammals, suggesting it has been functionally conserved. Tammar TGIF2 was ubiquitously expressed throughout early development as in the human and mouse, but in the adult, it was expressed only in the gonads and spleen, more like the expression pattern of human TGIFLX and mouse Tex1. Tammar TGIF2 mRNA was specifically detected in round and elongated spermatids. There was no mRNA detected in mature spermatozoa. TGIF2 protein was specifically located in the cytoplasm of spermatids, and in the residual body and the mid-piece of the mature sperm tail. These data suggest that tammar TGIF2 may participate in spermiogenesis, like TGIFLX does in eutherians. TGIF2 was detected for the first time in the ovary with mRNA produced in the granulosa and theca cells, suggesting it may also play a role in folliculogenesis. Conclusions The restricted and very similar expression of tammar TGIF2 to X-linked paralogues in eutherians suggests that the evolution of TGIF1, TGIF2 and TGIFLX in eutherians was accompanied by

  19. COMPARING H{alpha} AND H I SURVEYS AS MEANS TO A COMPLETE LOCAL GALAXY CATALOG IN THE ADVANCED LIGO/VIRGO ERA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Metzger, Brian D. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08542 (United States); Kaplan, David L. [Physics Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211 (United States); Berger, Edo, E-mail: bmetzger@astro.princeton.edu, E-mail: kaplan@uwm.edu, E-mail: eberger@cfa.harvard.edu [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2013-02-20

    Identifying the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave (GW) sources detected by upcoming networks of advanced ground-based interferometers will be challenging, due in part to the large number of unrelated astrophysical transients within the {approx}10-100 deg{sup 2} sky localizations. A potential way to greatly reduce the number of such false positives is to limit detailed follow-up to only those candidates near galaxies within the GW sensitivity range of {approx}200 Mpc for binary neutron star mergers. Such a strategy is currently hindered by the fact that galaxy catalogs are grossly incomplete within this volume. Here, we compare two methods for completing the local galaxy catalog: (1) a narrowband H{alpha} imaging survey and (2) an H I emission line radio survey. Using H{alpha} fluxes, stellar masses (M {sub *}), and star formation rates (SFRs) from galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), combined with H I data from the GALEX Arecibo SDSS Survey and the Herschel Reference Survey, we estimate that an H{alpha} survey with a luminosity sensitivity of L {sub H{alpha}} = 10{sup 40} erg s{sup -1} at 200 Mpc could achieve a completeness of f {sup H{alpha}} {sub SFR} Almost-Equal-To 75% with respect to total SFR, but only f{sub M* Star-Operator }{sup H{alpha}} approx. 33% with respect to M {sub *} (due to lack of sensitivity to early-type galaxies). These numbers are significantly lower than those achieved by an idealized spectroscopic survey due to the loss of H{alpha} flux resulting from resolving out nearby galaxies and the inability to correct for the underlying stellar continuum. An H I survey with sensitivity similar to the proposed WALLABY survey on ASKAP could achieve f{sub SFR}{sup H{sub I}} Almost-Equal-To 80% and f{sub M Star-Operator }{sup H{sub I}} Almost-Equal-To 50%, somewhat higher than that of the H{alpha} survey. Finally, both H{alpha} and H I surveys should achieve {approx}> 50% completeness with respect to the host galaxies of

  20. Seasonal prolactin secretion and its role in seasonal reproduction: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curlewis, J D

    1992-01-01

    also under photoperiodic control. It is likely therefore that a seasonal pattern of prolactin secretion is only evidence of neuroendocrine sensitivity to changing photoperiod. Depending upon the species, this sensitivity to the seasonal changes in daylength may or may not be accompanied by seasonal changes in a biological endpoint such as seasonal reproduction or indeed other adaptations. Whether the seasonal change in prolactin secretion is an endocrine mediator of such adaptations remains in contention. Certainly in some species this signal does have a role in reproduction. For example, in species with an obligate seasonal embryonic diapause, the seasonal increase in prolactin can act as a luteotrophin (mink and western spotted skunk) or luteostatin (Bennett's and tammar wallabies.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

  1. A transcriptome resource for the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus): insights into koala retrovirus transcription and sequence diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, Matthew; Pavasovic, Ana; King, Andrew G; Prentis, Peter J; Eldridge, Mark D B; Chen, Zhiliang; Colgan, Donald J; Polkinghorne, Adam; Wilkins, Marc R; Flanagan, Cheyne; Gillett, Amber; Hanger, Jon; Johnson, Rebecca N; Timms, Peter

    2014-09-11

    The koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, is a biologically unique and evolutionarily distinct Australian arboreal marsupial. The goal of this study was to sequence the transcriptome from several tissues of two geographically separate koalas, and to create the first comprehensive catalog of annotated transcripts for this species, enabling detailed analysis of the unique attributes of this threatened native marsupial, including infection by the koala retrovirus. RNA-Seq data was generated from a range of tissues from one male and one female koala and assembled de novo into transcripts using Velvet-Oases. Transcript abundance in each tissue was estimated. Transcripts were searched for likely protein-coding regions and a non-redundant set of 117,563 putative protein sequences was produced. In similarity searches there were 84,907 (72%) sequences that aligned to at least one sequence in the NCBI nr protein database. The best alignments were to sequences from other marsupials. After applying a reciprocal best hit requirement of koala sequences to those from tammar wallaby, Tasmanian devil and the gray short-tailed opossum, we estimate that our transcriptome dataset represents approximately 15,000 koala genes. The marsupial alignment information was used to look for potential gene duplications and we report evidence for copy number expansion of the alpha amylase gene, and of an aldehyde reductase gene.Koala retrovirus (KoRV) transcripts were detected in the transcriptomes. These were analysed in detail and the structure of the spliced envelope gene transcript was determined. There was appreciable sequence diversity within KoRV, with 233 sites in the KoRV genome showing small insertions/deletions or single nucleotide polymorphisms. Both koalas had sequences from the KoRV-A subtype, but the male koala transcriptome has, in addition, sequences more closely related to the KoRV-B subtype. This is the first report of a KoRV-B-like sequence in a wild population. This transcriptomic

  2. Expression profiles of the immune genes CD4, CD8β, IFNγ, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 in mitogen-stimulated koala lymphocytes (Phascolarctos cinereus by qRT-PCR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iona E. Maher

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Investigation of the immune response of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus is needed urgently, but has been limited by scarcity of species-specific reagents and methods for this unique and divergent marsupial. Infectious disease is an important threat to wild populations of koalas; the most widespread and important of these is Chlamydial disease, caused by Chlamydia pecorum and Chlamydia pneumoniae. In addition, koala retrovirus (KoRV, which is of 100% prevalence in northern Australia, has been proposed as an important agent of immune suppression that could explain the koala’s susceptibility to disease. The correct balance of T regulatory, T helper 1 (Th1 and Th2 lymphocyte responses are important to an individual’s susceptibility or resistance to chlamydial infection. The ability to study chlamydial or KoRV pathogenesis, effects of environmental stressors on immunity, and the response of koalas to vaccines under development, by examining the koala’s adaptive response to natural infection or in-vitro stimulation, has been limited to date by a paucity of species- specific reagents. In this study we have used cytokine sequences from four marsupial genomes to identify mRNA sequences for key T regulatory, Th1 and Th2 cytokines interleukin 4 (IL-4, interleukin 6 (IL-6, interleukin 10 (IL-10 and interferon gamma (IFNγ along with CD4 and CD8β. The koala sequences used for primer design showed >58% homology with grey short-tailed opossum, >71% with tammar wallaby and 78% with Tasmanian devil amino acid sequences. We report the development of real-time RT-PCR assays to measure the expression of these genes in unstimulated cells and after three common mitogen stimulation protocols (phorbol myristate acetate/ionomycin, phorbol myristate acetate/phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin A. Phorbol myristate acetate/ionomycin was found to be the most effective mitogen to up-regulate the production of IL-4, IL-10 and IFNγ. IL-6 production was not

  3. Expression profiles of the immune genes CD4, CD8β, IFNγ, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 in mitogen-stimulated koala lymphocytes (Phascolarctos cinereus) by qRT-PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maher, Iona E; Griffith, Joanna E; Lau, Quintin; Reeves, Thomas; Higgins, Damien P

    2014-01-01

    Investigation of the immune response of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is needed urgently, but has been limited by scarcity of species-specific reagents and methods for this unique and divergent marsupial. Infectious disease is an important threat to wild populations of koalas; the most widespread and important of these is Chlamydial disease, caused by Chlamydia pecorum and Chlamydia pneumoniae. In addition, koala retrovirus (KoRV), which is of 100% prevalence in northern Australia, has been proposed as an important agent of immune suppression that could explain the koala's susceptibility to disease. The correct balance of T regulatory, T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 lymphocyte responses are important to an individual's susceptibility or resistance to chlamydial infection. The ability to study chlamydial or KoRV pathogenesis, effects of environmental stressors on immunity, and the response of koalas to vaccines under development, by examining the koala's adaptive response to natural infection or in-vitro stimulation, has been limited to date by a paucity of species- specific reagents. In this study we have used cytokine sequences from four marsupial genomes to identify mRNA sequences for key T regulatory, Th1 and Th2 cytokines interleukin 4 (IL-4), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 10 (IL-10) and interferon gamma (IFNγ) along with CD4 and CD8β. The koala sequences used for primer design showed >58% homology with grey short-tailed opossum, >71% with tammar wallaby and 78% with Tasmanian devil amino acid sequences. We report the development of real-time RT-PCR assays to measure the expression of these genes in unstimulated cells and after three common mitogen stimulation protocols (phorbol myristate acetate/ionomycin, phorbol myristate acetate/phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin A). Phorbol myristate acetate/ionomycin was found to be the most effective mitogen to up-regulate the production of IL-4, IL-10 and IFNγ. IL-6 production was not consistently up-regulated by

  4. Development of non-lethal methods for investigation of actinide uptake by wildlife

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johansen, M.; Child, D.; Davis, E.; Harrison, J.; Hotchkis, M.; Payne, T.; Thiruvoth, S. [Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Org. (Australia); Wood, M. [University of Salford (United Kingdom)

    2014-07-01

    There is growing interest in the use of non-lethal methods in radioecology and an International Union of Radioecology Task Group has been established to facilitate international cooperation in this field (http://iur-uir.org/en/task-groups/id-19-non-lethal-methods-in-radioecology). In this paper, we evaluate the use of lethally-, and non-lethally obtained samples (various body tissues, excreta and blood withdrawals as well as parasites and found bones) as indicators of contamination. Samples of mammals and reptiles were collected from the semi-arid former weapons test site at Maralinga, Australia and analysed for thorium, plutonium, and uranium isotopes by accelerator mass spectrometry and alpha-spectrometry. Most samples were of low mass and presented analytical challenges as a result. The plutonium concentrations in blood withdrawn from the marginal ear veins of Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit) were successfully analysed using small samples (0.2 -7.9 ml, below the ∼10 ml threshold for safe extraction of blood from these rabbits). The results demonstrate that small-volume blood samples can serve as indicators of the presence of plutonium absorbed within other tissues (e.g., muscle, bone). However, the magnitude of the blood plutonium masses were poorly correlated with those in muscle and bone due to the presence of a small number of outliers (without the outliers, correlations improved to r = +0.66 and r = +0.51 for muscle and bone respectively). The activity concentrations in parasitic ticks were relatively high compared with those of their hosts Pseudomys hermannsburgensis (sandy inland mouse) and Ctenophorus cristatus (crested dragon lizard). Successful measurement of tick samples indicates a potential for use of parasites as general indicators of contamination within host organisms. The concentrations of actinides in found bones of Macropus rufus (red kangaroo) and O. cuniculus demonstrated potential for their use as indicators of the areal extent of

  5. Accumulation of plutonium in mammalian wildlife tissues: comparison of recent data with the ICRP distribution models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johansen, M.; Child, D.; Davis, E.; Hotchkis, M.; Payne, T. [Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Org. (Australia); Ikeda-Ohno, A. [University of New South Wales (Australia); Twining, J. [Austral Radioecology (Australia)

    2014-07-01

    We examined the distribution of plutonium (Pu) in the tissues of mammalian wildlife to address the paucity of such data under environmental exposure conditions. Pu activity concentrations were measured in Macropus rufus (red kangaroo), Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit), and Pseudomys hermannsburgensis (sandy inland mouse)inhabiting the relatively undisturbed, semi-arid conditions at the former Taranaki weapons test site at Maralinga, Australia. Of the absorbed Pu (distributed via circulatory and lymph systems) accumulation was foremost in bone (83% ±10% SD), followed by muscle (9% ±10%), liver (7% ±7%), kidneys (0.5% ±0.3%), and heart (0.4% ±0.4%). The bone values are higher than those reported in ICRP 19 and 48 (45-50% bone), while the liver values are lower than ICRP values (30-45% liver). The ICRP values were based on data dominated by relatively soluble forms of Pu, including prepared solutions and single-atom ions produced by decay following the volatilisation of uranium during nuclear detonation (fallout Pu, ICRP 1986). In contrast, the Maralinga data relates to low-soluble forms of Pu used in tests designed to simulate accidental release and dispersal. We measured Pu in lung, GI-tract and the skin and fur as distinct from the absorbed Pu in bone, liver, muscle, and kidneys. Compared with the mean absorbed activity concentrations, the results for lung tissues were higher by up to one order of magnitude, and those in the GI tract contents and the washed skin/fur were higher by more than two orders of magnitude. These elevated levels are consistent with the presence of low-soluble Pu, including particulate forms, which pass through, or adhere upon, certain organs, but are not readily absorbed into the bloodstream. This more transitory Pu can provide dose to the lung and GI tract organs, as well as provide potential transfer of contamination when consumed in predator-prey food chains, or during human foodstuff consumption. For example, activity