ResearchPad - zoology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Early correction of synaptic long-term depression improves abnormal anxiety-like behavior in adult GluN2B-C456Y-mutant mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13831 Mice that carry a heterozygous, autism spectrum disorder-risk C456Y mutation in the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) subunit GluN2B show decreased protein levels, hippocampal NMDAR currents, and NMDAR-dependent long-term depression and have abnormal anxiolytic-like behavior. Early, but not late, treatment of the young mice with the NMDAR agonist D-cycloserine rescues these phenotypes.

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<![CDATA[Molecular clocks, biogeography and species diversity in <i>Herichthys</i> with evaluation of the role of Punta del Morro as a vicariant brake along the Mexican Transition Zone in the context of local and global time frame of cichlid diversification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12834 Using molecular dated phylogenies and biogeographic reconstructions, the species diversity, biogeography and time frame of evolution of the genus Herichthys were evaluated. In particular, we test the role of Punta del Morro (PdM) as a vicariant brake along the Mexican Transition Zone in the context of local and global time frame of cichlid diversification using several sets of calibrations. Species diversity in Herichthys is complex and the here employed dating methods suggest young age and rapid divergence for many species while species delimitation methods did not resolve these young species including both sympatric species pairs. Based on our molecular clock dating analyses, Herichthys has colonized its present distribution area significantly prior to the suggested vicariance by PdM (10–17.1 Ma vs. 5 to 7.5 Ma). The PdM constraint is in conflict with all other paleogeographic and fossil constraints including novel ones introduced in this study that are, however, congruent among each other. Our study demonstrates that any cichlid datings significantly older or younger than the bounds presented by our analyses and discussion have to be taken as highly questionable from the point of view of Middle American paleogeography and cichlid biogeography unless we allow the option that cichlid biogeography is completely independent from ecological and geological constraints.

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<![CDATA[Migratory behaviour and survival of Great Egrets after range expansion in Central Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12772 Great Egret Ardea alba is one of few Western Palearctic species that underwent a rapid range expansion in the recent decades. Originally breeding in central and eastern Europe, the species has spread in northern (up to the Baltic coast) and western (up to the western France) directions and established viable breeding populations throughout almost entire continent. We monitored one of the first Great Egrets colonies established in Poland to infer migratory patterns and survival rates directly after range expansion. For this purpose, we collected resightings from over 200 Great Egret chicks marked between 2002–2017 in central Poland. Direction of migration was non-random, as birds moved almost exclusively into the western direction. Wintering grounds were located mainly in the western Europe (Germany to France) within 800–950 km from the breeding colony. First-year birds migrated farther than adults. We found some, although relatively weak, support for age-dependent survival of Great Egrets and under the best-fitted capture-recapture model, the estimated annual survival rate of adults was nearly twice higher than for first-year birds (φad = 0.85 ± 0.05 vs. φfy = 0.48 ± 0.15). Annual survival rate under the constant model (no age-related variation) was estimated at φ = 0.81 ± 0.05. Our results suggest that Great Egrets rapidly adapted to novel ecological and environmental conditions during range expansion. We suggest that high survival rate of birds from central Poland and their western direction of migration may facilitate further colonization processes in western Europe.

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<![CDATA[Effects of scent lure on camera trap detections vary across mammalian predator and prey species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7840 Camera traps are a unique survey tool used to monitor a wide variety of mammal species. Camera trap (CT) data can be used to estimate animal distribution, density, and behaviour. Attractants, such as scent lures, are often used in an effort to increase CT detections; however, the degree which the effects of attractants vary across species is not well understood. We investigated the effects of scent lure on mammal detections by comparing detection rates between 404 lured and 440 unlured CT stations sampled in Alberta, Canada over 120 day survey periods between February and August in 2015 and 2016. We used zero-inflated negative binomial generalized linear mixed models to test the effect of lure on detection rates for a) all mammals, b) six functional groups (all predator species, all prey, large carnivores, small carnivores, small mammals, ungulates), and c) four varied species of management interest (fisher, Pekania pennanti; gray wolf, Canis lupus; moose, Alces alces; and Richardson’s ground squirrel; Urocitellus richardsonii). Mammals were detected at 800 of the 844 CTs, with nearly equal numbers of total detections at CTs with (7110) and without (7530) lure, and variable effects of lure on groups and individual species. Scent lure significantly increased detections of predators as a group, including large and small carnivore sub-groups and fisher specifically, but not of gray wolf. There was no effect of scent lure on detections of prey species, including the small mammal and ungulate sub-groups and moose and Richardson’s ground squirrel specifically. We recommend that researchers explicitly consider the variable effects of scent lure on CT detections across species when designing, interpreting, or comparing multi-species surveys. Additional research is needed to further quantify variation in species responses to scent lures and other attractants, and to elucidate the effect of attractants on community-level inferences from camera trap surveys.

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<![CDATA[Juvenile hormone suppresses aggregation behavior through influencing antennal gene expression in locusts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7742 A behavioral change from shy solitarious individuals to highly social gregarious individuals is critical to the formation of disastrous swarms of locusts. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of behavioral plasticity regulated by hormones is still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the effect of juvenile hormone (JH) on the behavioral transition in fourth-instar gregarious and solitarious locusts. We found that JH induced the behavioral shift of the gregarious locust from attraction to repulsion to the volatiles of gregarious locusts. The solitarious locust significantly decreased repulsion behavior after deprivation of JH by precocene or knockdown of JHAMT, a key enzyme to synthesize JH. JH application on gregarious locusts caused significant expression alteration of genes, especially the olfactory genes TO and CSP in the antennae. We further demonstrated that the JH signaling pathway suppressed aggregation behavior in gregarious locusts by increasing TO1 expression and decreasing CSP3 expression at the same time. Our results suggested that internal physiological factors can directly modulate periphery olfactory system to produce behavioral plasticity.

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<![CDATA[Multipurpose chemical liquid sensing applications by microwave approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7700 In this work, a novel sensor based on printed circuit board (PCB) microstrip rectangular patch antenna is proposed to detect different ratios of ethanol alcohol in wines and isopropyl alcohol in disinfectants. The proposed sensor was designed by finite integration technique (FIT) based high-frequency electromagnetic solver (CST) and was fabricated by Proto Mat E33 machine. To implement the numerical investigations, dielectric properties of the samples were first measured by a dielectric probe kit then uploaded into the simulation program. Results showed a linear shifting in the resonant frequency of the sensor when the dielectric constant of the samples were changed due to different concentrations of ethanol alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. A good agreement was observed between the calculated and measured results, emphasizing the usability of dielectric behavior as an input sensing agent. It was concluded that the proposed sensor is viable for multipurpose chemical sensing applications.

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<![CDATA[The 2015-2016 El Niño increased infection parameters of copepods on Eastern Tropical Pacific dolphinfish populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7672 The oceanographic conditions of the Pacific Ocean are largely modified by El Niño (EN), affecting several ecological processes. Parasites and other marine organisms respond to environmental variation, but the influence of the EN cycle on the seasonal variation of parasitic copepods has not been yet evaluated. We analysed the relation between infection parameters (prevalence and mean intensity) of the widespread parasitic copepods Caligus bonito and Charopinopsis quaternia in the dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus and oceanography during the strong 2015–16 EN. Fish were collected from capture fisheries on the Ecuadorian coast (Tropical Eastern Pacific) over a 2-year period. Variations of sea surface temperature (SST), salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl-a), Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), total host length (TL) and monthly infection parameters of both copepod species were analysed using time series and cross-correlations. We used the generalised additive models for determine the relationship between environmental variables and infection parameters. The total body length of the ovigerous females and the length of the eggs of C. bonito were measured in both periods. Infection parameters of both C. bonito and Ch. quaternia showed seasonal and annual patterns associated with the variation of environmental variables examined (SST, salinity, Chl-a and ONI 1+2). Infection parameters of both copepod species were significantly correlated with ONI 1+2, SST, TL and Chl-a throughout the GAMLSS model, and the explained deviance contribution ranged from 16%-36%. Our results suggest than an anomaly higher than +0.5°C triggers a risen in infection parameters of both parasitic copepods. This risen could be related to increases in egg length, female numbers and the total length of the ovigerous females in EN period. This study provides the first evidence showing that tropical parasitic copepods are sensitive to the influence of EN event, especially from SST variations. The observed behaviour of parasitic copepods likely affects the host populations and structure of the marine ecosystem at different scales.

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<![CDATA[Wing morphology predicts individual niche specialization in <i>Pteronotus mesoamericanus</i> (Mammalia: Chiroptera)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7639 Morphological variation between individuals can increase niche segregation and decrease intraspecific competition when heterogeneous individuals explore their environment in different ways. Among bat species, wing shape correlates with flight maneuverability and habitat use, with species that possess broader wings typically foraging in more cluttered habitats. However, few studies have investigated the role of morphological variation in bats for niche partitioning at the individual level. To determine the relationship between wing shape and diet, we studied a population of the insectivorous bat species Pteronotus mesoamericanus in the dry forest of Costa Rica. Individual diet was resolved using DNA metabarcoding, and bat wing shape was assessed using geometric morphometric analysis. Inter-individual variation in wing shape showed a significant relationship with both dietary dissimilarity based on Bray-Curtis estimates, and nestedness derived from an ecological network. Individual bats with broader and more rounded wings were found to feed on a greater diversity of arthropods (less nested) in comparison to individuals with triangular and pointed wings (more nested). We conclude that individual variation in bat wing morphology can impact foraging efficiency leading to the observed overall patterns of diet specialization and differentiation within the population.

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<![CDATA[The chemistry and histology of sexually dimorphic mental glands in the freshwater turtle, <i>Mauremys leprosa</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8421 Despite evidence from anatomy, behavior and genomics indicating that the sense of smell in turtles is important, our understanding of chemical communication in this group is still rudimentary. Our aim was to describe the microanatomy of mental glands (MGs) in a freshwater turtle, Mauremys leprosa (Geoemydidae), and to assess the chemical composition of their secretions with respect to variation among individuals and between sexes. MGs are paired sac-like organs on the gular region of the neck and are dimorphic in this species with males having fully functional holocrine glands while those of females appear non-secretory and vestigial. In adult males, the glandular epithelium of the inner portion of the gland provides exocytotic products as well as cellular debris into the lumen of the gland. The contents of the lumen can be secreted through the narrow duct portion of the gland ending in an orifice on the surface of the skin. Females have invaginated structures similar in general outline to male glands, but lack a glandular epithelium. Using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, we identified a total of 61 compounds in mental gland secretions, the most numerous being carboxylic acids, carbohydrates, alkanes, steroids and alcohols. The number of compounds per individual varied widely (mean (median) ± SD = 14.54 (13) ± 8.44; min = 3; max = 40), but only cholesterol was found in all samples. We found that the relative abundances of only six chemicals were different between the sexes, although males tended to have larger amounts of particular compounds. Although the lipid fraction of mental gland secretions is rich in chemical compounds, most occur in both sexes suggesting that they are metabolic byproducts with no role in chemical signaling. However, the relative amounts of some compounds tended to be higher in males, with significantly larger amounts of two carboxylic acids and one steroid, suggesting their putative involvement in chemical communication.

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<![CDATA[Mitochondrial DNA variation in the Italian Heavy Draught Horse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8417 In the last decades, Italy as well as other developed countries have registered a decrease in the population size of many local horse breeds. The continuous crossbreeding has determined the dilution of genetic heritage of several native breeds. The Italian Heavy Draught Horse (IHD) is the only autochthonous Italian coldblooded horse among these breeds; therefore, it represents a resource to be preserved. In 1927, the first generation of this breed was officially created by crossing different Heavy Draught horses with local mares and recorded in a Studbook.MethodologyTo provide the first comprehensive overview of the genetic diversity of Italian Heavy Draught horses from Central Italy, we produced and phylogenetically analysed 52 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control-region sequences. Furthermore, we evaluated data available from GenBank (N = 568) to have a more complete scenario and to understand the relationships with other European Heavy Draught horse breeds.ResultsAmong the IHD samples that were analysed, we identified ten of the 17 haplogroups described in modern horses. Most of these sequences fell into L, G, and M lineages, thus showing the overall mtDNA legacy of the ancestral mares that were probably used at the initial stages of breeding selections a long time ago. The high mitochondrial haplotype diversity (Hd = 0.969) found in our samples reflected the multiple maternal origins of the horses. Our results highlighted a considerable percentage of haplotypes shared especially with Bardigiano and Hungarian Heavy Draught breeds. Furthermore, both the presence of four unique haplotypes detected in our samples and their absence among all equine mitochondrial published data demonstrate a mitochondrial peculiarity that needs to be further investigated and preserved with careful breeding practices. ]]> <![CDATA[An interaction mechanism for the maintenance of fission–fusion dynamics under different individual densities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8323 Animals often show high consistency in their social organisation despite facing changing environmental conditions. Especially in shoaling fish, fission–fusion dynamics that describe for which periods individuals are solitary or social have been found to remain unaltered even when density changed. This compensatory ability is assumed to be an adaptation towards constant predation pressure, but the mechanism through which individuals can actively compensate for density changes is yet unknown. The aim of the current study is to identify behavioural patterns that enable this active compensation. We compared the fission–fusion dynamics of two populations of the live-bearing Atlantic molly (Poecilia mexicana) that live in adjacent habitats with very different predator regimes: cave mollies that inhabit a low-predation environment inside a sulfidic cave with a low density of predatory water bugs (Belostoma sp.), and mollies that live directly outside the cave (henceforth called “surface” mollies) in a high-predation environment. We analysed their fission–fusion dynamics under two different fish densities of 12 and 6 fish per 0.36 m2. As expected, surface mollies spent more time being social than cave mollies, and this difference in social time was a result of surface mollies being less likely to discontinue social contact (once they had a social partner) and being more likely to resume social contact (once alone) than cave mollies. Interestingly, surface mollies were also less likely to switch among social partners than cave mollies. A random walk simulation predicted each population to show reduced social encounters in the low density treatment. While cave mollies largely followed this prediction, surface mollies maintained their interaction probabilities even at low density. Surface mollies achieved this by a reduction in the size of a convex polygon formed by the group as density decreased. This may allow them to largely maintain their fission–fusion dynamics while still being able to visit large parts of the available area as a group. A slight reduction (21%) in the area visited at low densities was also observed but insufficient to explain how the fish maintained their fission–fusion dynamics. Finally, we discuss potential movement rules that could account for the reduction of polygon size and test their performance.

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<![CDATA[A new species of <i>Cenopalpus</i> Pritchard &amp; Baker (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) from Japan, with ontogeny of chaetotaxy and a key to the world species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8179289f-7933-4eb0-92ba-b50426ec4032 A new species of flat mite, Cenopalpus umbellatus sp. nov. (Acari: Trombidiformes: Tenuipalpidae) is described and illustrated based on females, males, deutonymphs, protonymphs and larvae. The morphological ontogeny in idiosomal and leg chaetotaxy is briefly described for all stages. Mite specimens were collected from the leaves of Rhaphiolepis indica var. umbellata Makino (Rosaceae), an evergreen shrub native to Japan. An identification key to the world species of Cenopalpus is also provided.

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<![CDATA[Restricted Genetic Variation in Populations of Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica outside of East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands Points to the Indian Ocean Islands as the Earliest Known Common Source]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac9ab0ee8fa60bb3aab

The Giant African Land Snail, Achatina ( = Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich, 1822, is a tropical crop pest species with a widespread distribution across East Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean, and North and South America. Its current distribution is attributed primarily to the introduction of the snail to new areas by Man within the last 200 years. This study determined the extent of genetic diversity in global A. fulica populations using the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene. A total of 560 individuals were evaluated from 39 global populations obtained from 26 territories. Results reveal 18 distinct A. fulica haplotypes; 14 are found in East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, but only two haplotypes from the Indian Ocean islands emerged from this region, the C haplotype, now distributed across the tropics, and the D haplotype in Ecuador and Bolivia. Haplotype E from the Philippines, F from New Caledonia and Barbados, O from India and Q from Ecuador are variants of the emergent C haplotype. For the non-native populations, the lack of genetic variation points to founder effects due to the lack of multiple introductions from the native range. Our current data could only point with certainty to the Indian Ocean islands as the earliest known common source of A. fulica across the globe, which necessitates further sampling in East Africa to determine the source populations of the emergent haplotypes.

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<![CDATA[Impact of Phellinus gilvus mycelia on growth, immunity and fecal microbiota in weaned piglets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N29e6fa4b-e2c8-4f6d-9177-b56d8a78ff78

Background

Antibiotics are the most commonly used growth-promoting additives in pig feed especially for weaned piglets. But in recent years their use has been restricted because of bacterial resistance. Phellinus, a genus of medicinal fungi, is widely used in Asia to treat gastroenteric dysfunction, hemrrhage, and tumors. Phellinus is reported to improve body weight on mice with colitis. Therefore, we hypothesize that it could benefit the health and growth of piglets, and could be used as an alternative to antibiotic. Here, the effect of Phellinus gilvus mycelia (SH) and antibiotic growth promoter (ATB) were investigated on weaned piglets.

Methods

A total of 72 crossbred piglets were randomly assigned to three dietary treatment groups (n = 4 pens per treatment group with six piglets per pen). The control group was fed basal diet; the SH treatment group was fed basal diet containing 5 g/kg SH; the ATB treatment group was feed basal diet containing 75 mg/kg aureomycin and 20 mg/kg kitasamycin. The experiment period was 28 days. Average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), and feed intake to gain ratio were calculated. The concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in serum were assessed. Viable plate counts of Escherichia coli in feces were measured. Fecal microbiota was analyzed via the 16S rRNA gene sequencing method.

Results

The ADG (1–28 day) of piglets was significantly higher in SH and ATB treatment groups (P < 0.05) compared to the control, and the ADG did not show significant difference between SH and ATB treatment groups (P > 0.05). Both SH and ATB treatments increased the MPO, IL-1β, and TNF-α levels in serum compared to the control (P < 0.05), but the levels in SH group were all significantly higher than in the ATB group (P < 0.05). Fecal microbiological analysis showed that viable E. coli counts were dramatically decreased by SH and ATB. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis showed that ATB shifted the microbiota structure drastically, and significantly increased the relative abundance of Prevotella, Megasphaera, and Faecalibacterium genera. But SH slightly influenced the microbiota structure, and only increased the relative abundance of Alloprevotella genus.

Conclusion

Our work demonstrated that though SH slightly influenced the microbiota structure, it markedly reduced the fecal E. coli population, and improved growth and innate immunity in piglets. Our finding suggested that SH could be an alternative to ATB in piglet feed.

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<![CDATA[First transcriptome analysis of bryozoan Fredericella sultana, the primary host of myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nbc223737-c945-4d07-b32b-dae09e0ab6f2

Bryozoans are aquatic invertebrate moss animals that are found worldwide. Fredericella sultana is a freshwater bryozoan and is the most common primary host of myxozoan parasite, Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae. However, limited genomic resources are available for this bryozoan, which hampers investigations into the molecular mechanisms of host-parasite interactions. To better understand these interactions, there is a need to build a transcriptome dataset of F. sultana, for functional genomics analysis by large-scale RNA sequencing. Total RNA was extracted from zooids of F. sultana cultivated under controlled laboratory conditions. cDNA libraries were prepared and were analyzed by the Illumina paired-ends sequencing. The sequencing data were used for de novo transcriptome assembly and functional annotation. Approximately 118 million clean reads were obtained, and assembled into 85,544 contigs with an average length of 852 bp, an N50 of 1,085 bp, and an average GC content 51.4%. A total of 23,978 (28%) contigs were annotated using BLASTX analysis. Of these transcripts, 4,400 contigs had highest similarity to brachiopod species Lingula anatina. Based on Gene ontology (GO) annotation, the most highly scored categories of biological process were categorized into cellular process (27%), metabolic process (24%), and biological regulation (8%) in the transcriptome of F. sultana. This study gives first insights into the transcriptome of F. sultana and provides comprehensive genetic resources for the species. We believe that the transcriptome of F. sultana will serve as a useful genomic dataset to accelerate research of functional genomics and will help facilitate whole genome sequencing and annotation. Candidate genes potentially involved in growth, proteolysis, and stress/immunity-response were identified, and are worthy of further investigation.

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<![CDATA[Size matters: micro-evolution in Polynesian rats highlights body size changes as initial stage in evolution]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2dd55868-5849-4fff-8cf7-11bb065f2041

Microevolutionary patterns in populations of introduced rodent species have often been the focus of analytic studies for their potential relevance to understanding vertebrate evolution. The Polynesian rat (Rattus exulans) is an excellent proxy species because of its wide geographic and temporal distribution: its native and introduced combined range spans half the globe and it has been living for at least seven centuries wherever it was introduced. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of long-term isolation (insularity; up to 4,000 years) and geographic variables on skull shape variation using geometric morphometrics. A sample of 513 specimens from 103 islands and four mainland areas was analysed. This study, to my knowledge the first to extensively sample introduced rats, analysed 59 two-dimensional landmarks on the skull. Landmarks were obtained in three separate aspects (dorsal, lateral, ventral skull view). The coordinate data were then subjected to a multivariate ordination analysis (principal components analysis, or PCA), multivariate regressions, and a canonical variates analysis (CVA). Three measures of disparity were evaluated for each view. The results show that introduced Polynesian rats evolve skull shapes that conform to the general mammalian interspecific pattern of cranial evolutionary allometry (CREA), with proportionally longer snouts in larger specimens. In addition, larger skulls are more tubular in shape than the smaller skulls, which are more balloon-shaped with a rounder and wider braincase relative to those of large skulls. This difference is also observed between the sexes (sexual dimorphism), due to the slightly larger average male size. Large, tubular skulls with long snouts are typical for Polynesia and Remote Oceania, where no native mammals occur. The greater disparity of Polynesian rats on mammal species-poor islands (’exulans-only’ region) provides further insight into how diversity may affect diversification through ecological release from predators and competitors.

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<![CDATA[Two species of Thoracostomopsidae (Nematoda: Enoplida) from Jeju Island, South Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd6f075e6-61c4-4ffd-9fc5-9d3a90d27b8d

During a survey of intertidal zones at beaches on Jeju Island, two species belonging to the family Thoracostomopsidae were discovered. One new species, Enoploides koreanus sp. nov. and one known species, Epacanthion hirsutum Shi & Xu, 2016 are reported. Along with morphological analysis, mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (mtCOI) sequences and 18S rRNA sequences of the species were also obtained and used to check relative p-distance and phylogenetic positions. While most species of Enoploides have long spicules, the new species belongs to a group of Enoploides with short spicules < 150 µm). Of the seven species with short spicules, the new species is most closely related to E. disparilis Sergeeva, 1974. They both have similar body length, fairly similar sized and shaped spicules with small gubernaculum running parallel to distal end of spicule, and an index value of b. The new species can be distinguished from E. disparilis by having pre-anal supplementary organ with short conical tail, while E. disparilis lacks pre-anal supplementary organ and has a long conico-cylindrical tail. Along with the description of the new species, the genus Enoploides Ssaweljev, 1912 is bibliographically reviewed and revised. Of 45 species described to date, 27 are now considered valid, 16 species inquirendae due to inadequate descriptions and ambiguity of the material examined, along with two cases of nomen nudum. With this review, we provide an updated diagnosis and list of valid species, a tabular key comparing diagnostic characters of all valid species, and a new complete key to species. One known species, Epacanthion hirsutum Shi & Xu, 2016, is reported in Korea for the first time. The morphology agrees well with the original description provided by Shi & Xu, 2016. As they had already reviewed the genus at the time of reporting four Epacanthion species, we provide only a description, depiction, and measurements for comparison purposes.

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<![CDATA[Clinical applicability of the Feline Grimace Scale: real-time versus image scoring and the influence of sedation and surgery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2856c4d5-d500-4a4f-95c9-9bc743f8a422

Background

The Feline Grimace Scale (FGS) is a facial expression-based scoring system for acute pain assessment in cats with reported validity using image assessment. The aims of this study were to investigate the clinical applicability of the FGS in real-time when compared with image assessment, and to evaluate the influence of sedation and surgery on FGS scores in cats.

Methods

Sixty-five female cats (age: 1.37 ± 0.9 years and body weight: 2.85 ± 0.76 kg) were included in a prospective, randomized, clinical trial. Cats were sedated with intramuscular acepromazine and buprenorphine. Following induction with propofol, anesthesia was maintained with isoflurane and cats underwent ovariohysterectomy (OVH). Pain was evaluated at baseline, 15 min after sedation, and at 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 24 h after extubation using the FGS in real-time (FGS-RT). Cats were video-recorded simultaneously at baseline, 15 min after sedation, and at 2, 6, 12, and 24 h after extubation for subsequent image assessment (FGS-IMG), which was performed six months later by the same observer. The agreement between FGS-RT and FGS-IMG scores was calculated using the Bland & Altman method for repeated measures. The effects of sedation (baseline versus 15 min) and OVH (baseline versus 24 h) were assessed using linear mixed models. Responsiveness to the administration of rescue analgesia (FGS scores before versus one hour after) was assessed using paired t-tests.

Results

Minimal bias (−0.057) and narrow limits of agreement (−0.351 to 0.237) were observed between the FGS-IMG and FGS-RT. Scores at baseline (FGS-RT: 0.16 ± 0.13 and FGS-IMG: 0.14 ± 0.13) were not different after sedation (FGS-RT: 0.2 ± 0.15, p = 0.39 and FGS-IMG: 0.16 ± 0.15, p = 0.99) nor at 24 h after extubation (FGS-RT: 0.16 ± 0.12, p = 0.99 and FGS-IMG: 0.12 ± 0.12, p = 0.96). Thirteen cats required rescue analgesia; their FGS scores were lower one hour after analgesic administration (FGS-RT: 0.21 ± 0.18 and FGS-IMG: 0.18 ± 0.17) than before (FGS-RT: 0.47 ± 0.24, p = 0.0005 and FGS-IMG: 0.45 ± 0.19, p = 0.015).

Conclusions

Real-time assessment slightly overestimates image scoring; however, with minimal clinical impact. Sedation with acepromazine-buprenorphine and ovariohysterectomy using a balanced anesthetic protocol did not influence the FGS scores. Responsiveness to analgesic administration was observed with both the FGS-RT and FGS-IMG.

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<![CDATA[Dynamic changes in intestinal microbiota in young forest musk deer during weaning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb5e63058-fd58-46c0-a479-bf0d30e58298

Weaning is an important event for all mammals, including young forest musk deer. However, weaning stress may cause intestinal microbiota-related disorders. Therefore, high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing was applied to study the dynamic changes in intestinal microbiota during pre-weaning (10 days before weaning) and post-weaning (10 days after weaning) in 15 young forest musk deer. We saw that intestinal microbiota diversity in the post-weaning period was significantly higher than that in the pre-weaning period. The most dominant bacterial phyla were similar in the two groups (Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia). Meanwhile, we applied Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LefSe) to identify the most differentially microbial taxa in the pre-weaning and post-weaning groups. In the post-weaning forest musk deer, the relative abundance of Actinobacteria, Spirochaetes, Ruminococcaceae_UCG-005, Treponema and Prevotella was higher than in the pre-weaning group. However, higher relative abundance of the phyla Bacteroidetes was found in the pre-weaning group compared with that in the post-weaning group. In summary, this research provides a theoretical foundation for the dynamics of young forest musk deer intestinal microbiota during the weaning transition, which may benefit in understanding the growth and health of forest musk deer.

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<![CDATA[Identification of separation-related problems in domestic cats: A questionnaire survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N096b59e8-8c6c-4ade-a9c3-2213a89d5014

Identifying and preventing the occurrence of separation-related problems (SRP) in companion animals are relevant to animal welfare and the quality of human-pet interactions. The SRP are defined as a set of behaviors and physiological signs displayed by the animal when separated from its attachment person. In cats, SRP has been insufficiently studied. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop a questionnaire for cat owners which identifies behaviors that may indicate SRP, as well as relates the occurrence of SRP to the management practices applied in the sampled cats. The associations of SRP with cats’ characteristics, as well as owner, environmental, and management traits were investigated. The questionnaire was developed based on the scientific literature about separation anxiety syndrome in dogs and a few papers in cats, and it was completed by 130 owners of 223 cats. Analysis of owners’ answers was done through categorization and acquisition of relative frequencies of each response category, followed by Fisher’s exact test, chi-square tests in contingency table and Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Among the sampled animals, 13.45% (30 / 223) met at least one of the behavioral criteria we used to define SRP. Destructive behavior was the most frequently reported behavior (66.67%, 20 / 30), followed by excessive vocalization (63.33%, 19 / 30), urination in inappropriate places (60.00%, 18 / 30), depression-apathy (53.33%, 16 / 30), aggressiveness (36.67%, 11 / 30) and agitation-anxiety (36.67%, 11 / 30) and, in lower frequency, defecation in inappropriate places (23.33%, 7 / 30). The occurrence of SRP was associated with the number of females living in the residence (P = 0.01), with not having access to toys (P = 0.04), and no other animal residing in the house (P = 0.04). Separation-related problems in domestic cats are difficult to identify due to the limited amount of knowledge regarding the issue. The questionnaire developed in this study supported identification of the main behaviors likely related to SRP in cats and could be used as a starting point for future research.

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