2007 Vol. 28, No. 6

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In order to discern dental morphometric variations among the Asian colobines, residuals of the colobines, derived from allometric baselines formed by the Asian macaques (Macaca), were analyzed with Principal Components Analysis and Euclidean Distances. Results indicated that the widely accepted view that the colobines possess relatively smaller front teeth than the macaques is only the case for the first incisors. The colobines show relatively smaller molars than the macaques. Such profiles may be related to the differences in dietary preferences between the two major groups of the Asian Old World monkeys. The magnitude of such differences is not as great as usullay assumed for the two groups that contain both African and Asian taxa. In other words, the two Asian cercopithecoid groups may have homogenously been shaped by the tectonic modifications and climate alterations in the past five million years. There exist marked differences among the Asian colobines when each of the genera is compared with macaques; the dental profile reflects not only the variation in geographic distribution but also in phylogenetic divergence. Thus, the snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus) and the gray langurs (Semnopithecus) are characterized by relatively larger molars than the other colobines – larger even than those of the macaques. The differences among Asian colobines, depicted by Euclidean Distances, seems to reflect the relationship of the phylogeny and evolution between colobines and cercopithecines.
The complete sequence of Atractomorpha sinensis mitochondrial genome was determined using long PCR and conserved primer walking approaches. The results showed that the entire mitochondrial genome of A. sinensis is 15 558 bp long with A+T content 74.3%. All 37 genes are conserved in the position observed in that of Locusta migratoria. Genes are closely assembled one after the other, leaving a total of 64 bp (excluding the A+T rich region) in intergenic spacers, ranging in size from 1 bp to 16 bp. The extremities of some genes overlap with each other by a few nucleotides, of which 15 overlaps range in size from 1 bp to 8 bp, giving a total of 51 overlapping nucleotides. In the 13 protein coding genes (PCGs), six types of start codons were identified, in which TAA and TAG were used in 12 PCGs as stop codons, except ND5 (TA). Most tRNA genes could form typical secondary structures except tRNASer (AGN), which had an absence of the DHU arm. There are six domains, 49 helices and three domains, 33 helices in the secondary structures of lrRNA and srRNA, respectively. In addition, there is an A+T rich region with 778 bp in length containing a polythymidine stretch that may be involved in replication and/or translation initiation.
In vertebrates, Prox1 is homologous to the Drosophila transcription factor, prospero gene. In order to explore Prox1 expression pattern in goldfish, the 2 832 bp full-length cDNA was cloned, which encodes a protein with 739 amino acids, and the protein exhibits a 93% similarity to Danio rerio Prox1. The results of RT-PCR and Western-blotting analysis revealed Prox1 expression in eye, brain, heart, liver, spleen and kidney, but not in the muscle of the goldfish. RT-PCR results indicated that there exists a small quantity of maternal Prox1 mRNAs in the mature eggs, and the zygotic Prox1 begins to transcribe from the gastrula embryos, and the expression level increased in the developmental process. Whole-mount in situ hybridization demonstrated that in the eye Prox1 mRNA is first predominately detected in the lens placode at lens stage. Then the Prox1 mRNA is localized in the whole puerile lens cells and retina germinative zone at the heartbeat stage. After lens fibers form, it can be detected predominantly in the optic fiber layer and inner plexiform layer. At the same time, the Prox1 protein expression in the lens is detected by immunofluorescence. At the heartbeat stage, the localization of Prox1 protein is the same as the mRNA. But when the lens fibers are forming, it is detected in a ring-shaped region on lens fibers under lens epithelium, which is different from the mRNA localization. The results suggest that the Prox1 gene plays an important role during lens development, and the roles are different at different developmental stages. In contrast to expression patterns from the outside to the inside of the mouse, the Prox1 localization in goldfish lens exhibits from inside to outside.
Chromosome quantities, forms and karyotype of seven lac insect species, which are of significant economic value, were analyzed and compared. Several type of chromosomes shape such as stick-alike, ellipse, kidney-alike and dumbbell-alike were found in the seven species. Their chromosome number was all 2n=18. All the chromosomes were composed of metacentric (or sub-metacentric) and telocentric chromosomes. And there were four kinds of chromosomes structure shape: K=10m+8T, K=8m+10T,K=6m+12T, K=4m+14T. The result of karyotype analysis showed that Kerria sindica and K. lacca had a close relationship, of which the chromosome type, karyotypic style and constitution of relative length were in consistent. Kerria pusana and K. nepalensis were similar in the chromosome type and karyotype asymmetry index, which revealed their near homology from chromosomes level. The chromosomes of K. ruralis and K. yunnanensis were both formed with eight metacentric (or sub-metacentric) chromosomes and 10 telocentric chromosomes, indicating the close nexus between them. The karyotype of K. chinensis was different from other six species and it has the far relationship with others. We concluded that the main commercial species of lac insect belonged to K. yunnanensis.
Complete sequences of the mitochondrial DNA control region from nine species of Carangidae were amplified by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and were aligned by Clustal W with three other species of Carangidae from GenBank. According to the alignment, three domains, the termination associated sequence domain (TAS), the central conserved domain (CD) and the conserved sequence block domain (CSB), were identified in the mtDNA control region of Carangidae. A termination associated sequence (TACAT) and its reverse complementary sequence (ATGTA) were found in the TAS domain. Three conserved blocks (CSB-F, CSB-E,CSB-D) in the CD domain and three conserved sequence blocks (CSB-1, CSB-2, CSB-3) in the CSB domain were also identified. Repeat sequences were found in the 5′ and 3′ ends of the control region in Scomberoides commersonianus. With Lates calcarifer as the outgroup, the molecular phylogenetic relationship of Carangidae was analyzed using the neighbor-joining (NJ) method in PAUP 4.0b 10. The results showed that Carangidae could be divided into four subfamilies: Caranginae, Seriolinae, Trachinotinae and Chorineminae. Each of these subfamilies formed a monophyly. Caranginae and Seriolinae formed a sister group, and Trachinotini was sister to the clade of Caranginae and Seriolinae. Chorineminae, which located in the base of the tree and was sister to the other three subfamilies.
An investigation had been made into the bird communities in habitats of the villages, farmlands, plantations of pine,and grasslands in Gaoping Airport and the surrounding area from September 2006 to February 2007, with the related diversity indices analyzed. A total of 81 species belonging to 37 families and 13 orders was recorded. The bird density in the farmlands and villages were higher than in the grasslands and plantations of pine in autumn and winter. The density in winter was higher than in autumn in the grasslands. Based on the habits and habitats, analysis of important values, the habitat distribution coefficient, the densities of Egretta garzetta,Columba domestica,Streptopelia orientalis,Motacilla alba,Pycnonotus sinensis,Alauda gulgula,Emberiza pusilla etc were dangerous to airplanes in autumn;Columba domestica,Alauda gulgula,Emberiza pusilla,Carduelis sinica,Pycnonotus sinensis,Anthus spinoletta etc were dangerous to airplanes in winter. Some control measures to prevent birds striking aircraft have been proposed in this paper, such as decresing the quantity of the bearing plants, reducing grass in height and limiting the density of soil fauna etc.
The Cabot’s Tragopan, Tragopan caboti, endemic to China, is among one of the critically endangered species globally. It is distributed only in Zhejiang, Fujiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong and Guangxi province. There are about 4,000 individuals in the wild but their natural habitat is seriously fragmented. One captive population has been established in Hunan since 1997 by adding new individuals, and its population stood at 131 individuals in 2004. Based on the data collected from this captive population, we used Vortex 9.51 to simulate the dynamics of this population. Results of the simulation suggested that the population has a 97% probability of being extinct under current conditions, within the next 100 years. The high mortality of adult females and the impact of disasters are two key factors which influence the long-term survival of the population. The possibility of extinction will decline to 5% if the mortality of adult females was decreased to the level between 2002 and 2004. And it will decline to 0 if disasters were controlled at the same time. Carrying capacity has positive impacts on the population size and genetic diversity, but has no impact on the extinction probability. Taking individuals out of the wild can only be considered when the mortality of the adult females has decreased and disasters are controlled. Five adult males and five adult females can be taken out of the wild when the population has reproduced after 10 years. To ensure the long-term survival of this captive population, management should focus on decreasing the mortality in adult females, controlling disasters, and increasing the carrying capacity.
The survey was carried out from June 2006 to May 2007 in the recreational park Pattika situated at 34°27′ latitude and 73° 34′ longitudes. During the survey a total of 73 species were recorded belonging to 10 orders and 35 families. Out of 73, 55% were Passeriformes, 45% were non-Passeriformes. The distribution and abundance varied with season, the maximum species number was found during the monsoon season when most of the birds migrate to breed. As this park is in the environs of a human population, the human related impacts such as grazing by livestock, removal of shrub cover, disturbance of habitat etc. were also studied.
An in situ study on the macrobenthic fauna community in Scirpus mariqueter zone of Chongming Dongtan in the Yangtze Estuary was carried out from April to October in 2006. The macrobenthic fauna and vegetation were sampled using a quadrat method synchronously every month,and samples were analysed in the laboratory,including species identification,individual count and biomass measure (Dry weight). Then biodiversity,cluster and multidimensional scaling analyses were carried out. The results proved that during the growing seasons,the abundance and the biomass of the macrobenthic fauna community in the Scirpus mariqueter zone had a trend of increasing,while there was still some fluctuation between different months. The abundance arrived at a peak of 1536 ind/m2 on average in September,and the biomass arrived at a peak level of 21.60 g/m2 (DW) on average in October. The composition,abundance and biomass of the dominant group had different characteristics in different months,the species of Lamellibranchia only had the dominant characteristics in some periods. The track of the species’ monthly variation had a similar shape to character V,and the low point arrived in August. Due to the temporal lag between the change in species number and the variation of individual number distribution among different species,the fluctuation of the Shannon-Wiener index value and Pielou evenness index value appeared to be a little later than that of the species number,regardless of whether it was a peak or low point. The species numbers had a low point in May,and the biodiversity indices got the lowest point in June. The synthesis of different factors including hydrological dynamics and the vegetation led to the monthly variation in the macrobenthic fauna community. And during different periods different factors had various impacts on the community. Usually they directly affected the species composition and abundance,which in turn changed the biodiversity and biomass characteristics of the community.
Six specimens of Macroglossinae bat, which were collected from Mengla County (Bubeng and Mamushu), Xishuangbanna, Southern Yunnan, China in March 1992 and December 1999, were compared with Macroglossinae species recorded in China. All of these specimens have very long tongues with a brush-like tongue tip and tridentate papillae in the center of the tongue, and forearms that are 47.31~51.01 mm long, which are similar to Eonycteris spelaea. However there are many differences from Eonycteris spelaea; a claw on the second digit, wing membrane ending at the base of the third toe, no groove on upper lip, a non-projected nose, very short tail covered by fur, rear skull significantly inclined posterior and down-wards, upper alveolar line spreads rearward clearly exceeding upper edge of lambdoidal ridge and reaching upper edge of interparietale and long slim teeth. These characteristics are identical with those of Macroglossus sobrinus recorded in Northeast India and Southeast Asia. They should represent a new genus and species records under Chiroptera, Pteropodidae, and Macroglossinae for China. This paper presents a detailed description of this species, and adds new information about Eonycteris spelaea.
Application of drugs made in China on culture of embryonic stem cells could decrease the cost of ES cell research. In our experiment, mytomycin made in China(Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd, authorized H33020786)was used to process feeder cells, from which mouse embryonic stem cells have been isolated and cultured in vitro. When the blastocysts were cultured directly on treated feeder cell layer, the inner cell masses were growing. After 4-6 days culture, ICM-derived outgrowths were separated into clumps, and placed on mitomycin C-treated mouse embryonic fibroblasts feeder layer. Every 2-3 days, passage were made ever since. These ES cells have been proven to have a potential for germ-line contribution.
Dehong buffalo are an indigenous buffalo breed in Yunnan province, China. A total of 81 unrelated samples from Dehong buffalo breeds were genotyped using 15 microsatellite DNA markers from 14 chromosomes to estimate genetic diversity, genetic differentiation and gene flow within populations. A total of 62 alleles were detected across the 15 loci assayed. All the loci were polymorphic and the number of alleles ranged from two to six, giving a mean number of 4.13 alleles per locus. The expected heterozygosity and polymorphism information content of 15 microsatellite loci were 0.6520±0.1526 and 0.5863±0.1789, respectively. Coefficients of genetic differentiation ranged from 0 to 0.0919, with the average of 0.0202. Gene flow at each locus was large, with a mean Nm of 12.1502. The results indicated that the genetic diversity was rich among Dehong buffalo and the genetic differentiation in its sub-populations was relatively low, with larger gene flow and less inbreeding.
The aim of this study was to obtain preliminary data about the frequency of 2 MHC class II genes, Mamu-DRB*W101 and Mamu-DRB*W201 among Chinese rhesus macaques. Blood was obtained, and DNA was extracted using QIAamp DNA Blood Mini Kit according to the manufacturer’s instruction. PCR was performed using sequence specific primers to amplify the 2nd exon of Mamu-DRB*W101 and Mamu-DRB*W201. The nucleotide sequences of the amplicons were confirmed by sequencing. In the 136 samples tested in this study, 10 samples were found positive by PCR for Mamu-DRB*W101 and 10 samples positive for Mamu-DRB*W201. The frequency of positive individuals among the Chinese macaques tested was 7.35% for both Mamu-DRB*W101 and Mamu-DRB*W201. The nucleotide sequences of the amplicons were identical to the published sequences. This study demonstrated the existence of both Mamu-DRB*W101 and Mamu-DRB*W201 among Chinese rhesus macaques and provided the basis for large scale typing of these two alleles and studies using Chinese rhesus macaques in SAIDS.
Ibex (Capra ibex), a first grade protected animal, has not been well studied in China. Surveys were conducted to investigate the distribution of the ibex in the Tomur National Nature Reserve during October-November 2004, July 2005, and October―December 2005. The results were as follows:① Out of five valleys, the ibex was distributed in the Qiong-Tailan, Keqik-Tailan, and Muzart Valleys;② Ibexes were not observed in the Tomur Valley and Kuzbayi Valley in our surveys, but interview investigations indicated that they may be found here as well. Our results indicated that the nature reserve as a whole is in the distribution range of ibex and it plays an important role in protecting ibex and the alpine biodiversity. However, the uneven distribution pattern can be due to human activities. Therefore, the management of the reserve needs to be improved in the future.
Encapsulation, a kind of cellular immune reaction of insect, plays an important role in eliminating foreign objects such as pathogens and parasites which invade insect hemocoels. As a result of limited observation and complicated manipulations, analysis of encapsulation can not be easily performed in vivo. Encapsulation in vitro resolves these problems to a certain extent. Now, encapsulation assays in vitro are usually performed in 96-well plates in which foreign objects such as sephadex beads and insect hemocytes are contained and observed,but some shortcomings exist in this method. In this paper,an improved analysis method on the encapsulation of Ostrinia furnacalis larvae hemocytes in vitro is introduced. 0.2 mL Eppendorf tubes are the substitute for the 96-well plates and they are fixed to a revolving rotator at a speed of 4 circles per min. The states of hemocytes and sephadex beads in insect’s hemocoels are replicated under this method. Results showed that the states of hemocytes were improved and encapsulation was enhanced under the new method and anticoagulants might inhibit the encapsulation ability of hemocytes.
The theories and models of habitat selection have been developed through two important stages, i.e. ideal-free distribution models and spatially explicit habitat selection models. Various new theories and models were developed with a relaxed hypothesis of, free moving, and negative density-dependency. Key processes of habitat selection were identified as habitat preference, environmental information apperceiving, decision-making and choice behavior. There are still many questions concerning these four key links that require solutions. Habitat preference requires more controlled experimental studies rather than correlation analysis. Environmental information apperceiving needs to be further investigated by looking at behavior and cognitive scientific methods. Understanding decision-making is limited and needs to incorporate other methods of science, such as artificial intelligence. Understanding effects of choice behavior on the physiological condition of animals requires more physiological and ecological research.