2016 Vol. 37, No. 6

Full issue
The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is one of the most widely distributed terrestrial mammals, and its distribution and ecology in Europe and North America are largely well described. However, the distribution of grey wolves in southern China is still highly controversial. Several well-known western literatures stated that there were no grey wolves in southern China, while the presence of grey wolves across China has been indicated in A Guide to the Mammals of China, published by Princeton University Press. It is essential to solve this discrepancy since dogs may have originated from grey wolves in southern China. Therefore, we systematically investigated Chinese literatures about wild animal surveys and identified more than 100 articles and books that included information of the distribution of grey wolves in China. We also surveyed the collections of three Chinese natural museums and found 26 grey wolf skins specimens collected across China. Moreover, we investigated the fossil records in China and identified 25 archaeological sites with wolf remains including south China. In conclusion, with the comprehensive summary of Chinese literatures, museum specimens and fossil records, we demonstrate that grey wolves do distribute across all parts of the Chinese mainland, including the most southern parts.
We describe a new species of frog in the dicroglossid genus Fejervarya from Ban Monjong, Omkoi District, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. Analysis of DNA sequence data from the mitochondrial gene 16S, advertisement calls, and morphological distinctiveness support recognition of the new species. Matrilineal genealogy suggests that the new population from Chiang Mai is a sister taxon to the South Asian clade that includes F. syhadrensis, F. granosa, and F. pierrei. The new species, Fejervarya chiangmaiensis sp. nov ., differs morphologically from its congeners by its relatively small body size and proportions and the presence of dorsal warts and dermal ridges. Discovery of this new species indicates that the biodiversity of amphibians in this region remains underestimated.
Using total counts in simultaneous annual surveys, we monitored the population size and spatial distribution of oriental white storks (Ciconia boyciana) wintering in Poyang Lake between 1998 and 2011. Results showed that Poyang Lake wetland is an important wintering ground for oriental white storks, with an annual average population number of 2 305±326. The population sizes in 2004, 2005, 2010, and 2011 were higher than the highest-ever estimate of its global population. In 2005, we recorded 3 789 individuals, which was the maximum population number within the period of 1998-2011. The storks inhabited 52 lakes, with the greatest distance between these lakes being 180.3 km. The storks presented a clustered distribution pattern in the Poyang Lake wetland, irrespective of the number of individuals or occurrence frequencies. Shahu, Dahuchi, Banghu, and Hanchihu were most frequently used lakes and had the largest annual average numbers of storks. There was a significant positive correlation between occurrence frequency and annual average number of storks in the lakes. Most of the lakes important for storks were covered by existing nature reserves, though some lakes outside the reserves were also frequently used. About 64.9%±5.5% of the storks were found in nature reserves. In addition, the storks more frequently used and clumped in significantly larger flocks in lakes within nature reserves than lakes outside.
The piscidin family, which includes potent antimicrobial peptides with broad-spectrum activity, plays an important role in the innate immune system of fish. In this study, we cloned piscidin-5-like type 3 (Lcpis5lt3) in large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea). Multiple alignments with other known piscidins revealed amino acid conservation throughout the fish, especially at the signal peptide (22 amino acids). The phylogenetic tree confirmed that Lcpis5lt3 and large yellow croaker piscidin-5-like proteins were grouped together to form a branch. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that Lcpis5lt3 was expressed in a wide range of tissues, including the brain, muscle, gill, head kidney, intestine, kidney, liver, and spleen. The highest mRNA expression level of Lcpis5lt3 was found in the spleen. After Vibrio alginolyticus infection, mRNA expression was rapidly upregulated in the liver, head kidney, gill, kidney, and intestine at 4, 8, 12, and 24 h post infection (hpi), whereas there were no significant changes in the spleen. The antimicrobial spectrum showed that the synthetic mature peptide of Lcpis5lt3 exhibited different activity in vitro against various bacteria, such as Aeromonas hydrophila, V. anguillarum, V. alginolyticus, V. parahaemolyticus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes. In addition, survival rates from the in vivo assay indicated that the synthetic peptide of Lcpis5lt3 increased the survival rate of large yellow croaker after V. alginolyticus challenge, resulting in a decline in bacterial burden and mRNA expression levels of interleukin-1β, interleukin-10, and tumor necrosis factor-α. These data suggest that Lcpis5lt3 plays an important role in innate immunity in large yellow croaker and might represent a potential therapeutic agent against pathogen invasion.
Quality deficiencies in single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses have important implications. We used missingness rates to investigate the quality of a recently published dataset containing 424 mitochondrial, 211 Y chromosomal, and 160 432 autosomal SNPs generated by a semicustom Illumina SNP array from 5 392 dogs and 14 grey wolves. Overall, the individual missingness rate for mitochondrial SNPs was ~43.8%, with 980 (18.1%) individuals completely missing mitochondrial SNP genotyping (missingness rate=1). In males, the genotype missingness rate was ~28.8% for Y chromosomal SNPs, with 374 males recording rates above 0.96. These 374 males also exhibited completely failed mitochondrial SNPs genotyping, indicative of a batch effect. Individual missingness rates for autosomal markers were greater than zero, but less than 0.5. Neither mitochondrial nor Y chromosomal SNPs achieved complete genotyping (locus missingness rate=0), whereas 5.9% of autosomal SNPs had a locus missingness rate=1. The high missingness rates and possible batch effect show that caution and rigorous measures are vital when genotyping and analyzing SNP array data for domestic animals. Further improvements of these arrays will be helpful to future studies.
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