2010 Vol. 31, No. 5

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Comparing to its sister-family (Rhinolophidae), Hipposideridae was less studied by cytogenetic approaches. Only a few high-resolution G-banded karyotypes have been reported so far, and most of the conclusions on the karyotypic evolution in Hipposideridae were based on conventional Giemsa-staining. In this study, we applied comparative chromosome painting, a method of choice for genome-wide comparison at the molecular level, and G- and C-banding to establish comparative map between five hipposiderid species from China, using a whole set of chromosome-specific painting probes from one of them (Aselliscus stoliczkanus). G-band and C-band comparisons between homologous segments defined by chromosome painting revealed that Robertsonian translocations, paracentric inversions and heterochromatin addition could be the main mechanism of chromosome evolution in Hipposideridae. Comparative analysis of the conserved chromosomal segments among five hipposiderid species and outgroup species suggests that bi-armed chromosomes should be included into the ancestral karyotype of Hipposideridae, which was previously believed to be exclusively composed of acrocentric chromosomes.
In this study, we reported the population genetic analyses in the Elliot’s Pheasant(Syrnaticus ellioti) using seven polymorphism microsatellite loci based on 105 individuals from 4 geographical populations. Departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were found in four geographical populations. The average number of alleles was 8.86, with a total of 62 alleles across 7 loci; observed heterozygosity (HO) was generally low and the average number was 0.504. For the seven microsatellite loci, the polymorphism information content ranged from 0.549 to 0.860, with an average number 0.712. Population bottlenecks of the four geographical populations were tested by infinite allele mutation model, step-wise mutation model and two-phase mutation model, which found that each population had experienced bottleneck effect during the recent period. Fst analysis across all geographical populations indicated that the genetic differentiaton between the Guizhou geographical population and the Hunan geographical population was highly significant (P<0.001), a finding supported by the far genetic relationship showed by the neighbor-joining tree of four geographical populations based on Nei’s unbiased genetic distances. Using hierarchical analysis of molecular variance (Guizhou geographical population relative to all others pooled), we found a low level of the genetic variation among geographical populations and that between groups. However, differences among populations relative to the total sample explained most of the genetic variance (92.84%), which was significant.
In an in silico search for gonand specific expressed genes, we have identified zRAP55 which is enriched in the ovary of zebrafish .zRAP55 encodes a protein of 382 amino acids with a highly conserved Lsm domain. zRAP55 protein shares more than 56% identities with that of other vertebrate species. RT-PCR results show that it is predominantly expressed in the ovary. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry studies reveal that zRAP55 is ubiquitously dispersed throughout the cytoplasm of stages Ⅰ and Ⅱ oocytes, whereas no expression is observed in stages Ⅲ and Ⅳ oocytes. As an RNA associated protein, zRAP55 might function in the control of protein translation at the early stages of oogenesis in zebrafish.
Caveolins, a class ofprincipal proteins forming the structure of caveolae in plasmalemma, were encoded by caveolins gene family. Caveolin-1 gene is a member of caveolins gene family. In the present study, a full-length of 2605 bp caveolin-1 cDNA sequence in Columba livia domestica, which included a 537 bp complete ORF encoding a 178 amino acids long putative peptide, were obtained by using RT-PCR and RACE technique. The Columba livia domestica caveolin-1CDS shared 80.1% − 93.4% homology with Bos taurus, Canis lupus familiaris, Gallus gallus and Rattus norvegicus. Meanwhile, the putative amino acid sequence of Columba livia domestica caveolin-1 shared 85.4% − 97.2% homology with the above species. The semi-quantity RT-PCR revealed that Caveolin-1expressions were detectable in all the Columba livia domestica tissues and the expressional level of caveolin-1 gene was high in adipose, medium in various muscles, low in liver. These results demonstrated that Caveolin-1 gene was potentially involved in some metabolic pathways in adipose and muscle.
The use of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) in human disease studies demands essential research tools, in particular cellular markers and their monoclonal antibodies for immunological studies. Here we cloned the full-length cDNAs encoding CD3ε from total RNA of the spleen, liver and peripheral blood of tree shrews and analyzed their structural characteristics in comparison with other mammals by Discovery Studio software. The results showed that the open reading frame sequence of tree shrew CD3ε was 582 bp, encoding 194 amino acids. The overall structure of tree shrew CD3ε protein was similar to its counterparts of other mammals, intracellular and transmembrane domain highly conserved. However, detailed analysis revealed two potential glycosylation sites and different surface charges in the extracellular domain. Availability of the entire open-reading-frame and related sequence information would therefore facilitate the preparation of monoclonal antibodies against tree shrew CD3 and further studies for its function.
We investigated the early embryonic and larval development of the concave-eared torrent frogs, Odorrana tormota (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae). Embryos were derived from artificial fertilization of frogs’ eggs, and the staging of development was based on morphological and physiological characteristics. Two major periods of development were designated: i) early embryonic period, from fertilization to operculum completion stage, lasted for 324 hat water temperature (WT) 18 −23℃; ii) larval period, from operculum completion stage to tail absorbed stage, took 1207 h at WT 20 − 24℃. Tadpoles of the concave-eared torrent frogsshowed no evidence of abdominal sucker. Absence of this key characteristic supports the view from molecular systematics that concave-eared torrent frog does not belong to the genus Amolops. Two cleavage patterns were observed in embryos at 8-cell and 16-cell stages, with Pattern I - 2 (latitudinal cleavage at the 8-cell stage, and meridional cleavage at the 16-cell stage with two perpendicular meridional furrows) being the predominant pattern and only 1.5% belonging to Pattern II (meridional cleavage at the 8-cell stage and latitudinal cleavage at the 16-cell stage). The factors affecting cleavage and hatching ratios, developmental speed, and ecological adaptation were discussed.
Habitat selection of Mrs. Hume Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) was studied respectively in fall and winter, spring and summer in Dazhongshan in Yunnan Province by the methods of used and available plots. The results of test and Bonferroni confidence interval showed that the pheasant prefer to select broadleaf evergreen forest as habitat category throughout the year, although the dominant species of tree, shrub or herb in habitat differed in seasons. The tests of differences of the factors between used and available plots indicated that there was no obvious selection for the terrain factors in the whole year except the factor of distance to the water in summer. Among all the vegetation factors that the significant different ones were listed as canopy tree coverage in spring; canopy tree density, canopy tree coverage, leaf litter coverage and herb coverage in summer; canopy tree coverage, herb coverage and liana density in autumn and winter. The results of principal component analysis of the factors in used plots revealed that the factors with large loads in principal components differed in different seasons, in other words, the key factors of habitat selection differed with seasons.One-way ANOVA and stepwise discriminant analysis validated that the features of habitat were similar between spring and autumn and winter with comparison to summer.
Although seasonal breeding has been documented in many non-human primates, it is not clear whether sexual behaviors show seasonal variation among male individuals. To test this hypothesis, the focal animal sampling method and continuous recording were used to investigate seasonal variation and synchronization of sexual behaviors in five male Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) at Mt. Huangshan from Oct 2005 to Sept 2006. Both copulatory and sexually motivated behaviors (i.e., sexual chase, grimace, and sexual-inspection), which were significantly higher in the mating season than non-mating season. Furthermore, seasonal variations of sexual behaviors, including copulatory and sexually motivated behaviors, were synchronized among males. The results shed light on sexual competition and tactics for reproductive success of male M. thibetana and other non-human primates with seasonal breeding.
Here we provide a preliminary assessment of dietary and habitat requirements of two sympatric primate taxa, a “simple-stomached” and “complex-stomached” species (Rhinopithecus bieti Colobinae vs. Macaca mulatta Cercopithecinae), as a basis for illuminating how the two coexist. Of ca. 22 plant food species consumed by the macaques, at least 16 were also eaten by the snub-nosed monkeys. Both species showed a preference for fruits. While the snub-nosed monkeys did not utilize any resources associated with human communities, rhesus macaques did occasionally raid agricultural crops. The mean elevation of the snub-nosed monkey group was 3,218 m, while the mean elevation of the macaque group was 2,995 m. Macaques were also spotted on meadows whereas snub-nosed monkeys evidently avoided these. For both species, mixed deciduous broadleaf/conifer forest was the most frequently used ecotype, but whereas evergreen broadleaf forest (Cyclobalanopsis community) accounted for only 3% of the location records of the snub-nosed monkeys, it accounted for 36% of the location records of the macaques. Groups of the two species usually kept a considerable spatial distance from one another (mean 2.4 km). One close encounter and confrontation between groups of the two species resulted in the macaque group moving away. Our findings suggest that the coexistence of the two taxa is facilitated via differential macrohabitat use and spatial avoidance. Although divergent habitat-use strategies may reflect interspecific competition, they may also merely reflect different physiological or ecological requirements.
Underwater behavioral patterns of one Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) calf in captivity and those performed on the water surface by two calves in semi-natural environment were focally followed and continuously recorded until one year postpartum to construct the ethogram. The results indicate that 1) the three calves could display diverse and active behavioral patterns; 2) soon after birth, patterns critical for survival appeared first; 3) playful and social patterns predominated the ethogram; 4) most of the patterns were alike across age classes; 5) most of the patterns appeared at the calves’ early life stage. It is possible that the above characteristics are adaptively shaped by the aquatic and social life of this subspecies.
T his study aims to develop a multi‐metric, fish‐based Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) for assessing the environmental quality of rivers in Hechi Prefecture, Guangxi Province, South China. Data on fish assemblage were collected via electrofishing We screened 21 candidate metrics representing attributes of fish assemblage. Among these, six metrics were finally selected for the IBI. It was shown that the fish-based biological integrity was good in Xiaohuanjiang River , fair in Hongshuihe, Longjiang and Dahuanjiang Rivers, but poor in Diaojiang River. The results of assessment were consistent with the actual situation of human disturbance. The assessment system constructed by this study could be used or used for reference in the area around Hechi. Biotic integrity assessment was an important means of water environment quality monitoring. To enable the biotic integrity assessment more scientific and more objective, much more research work is required to focus on the relationship between biotic integrity and environmental factors.
As a defensive behavior of escaping from the predators, sudden inflating (“puffing”) has been found in all members of the pufferfish sister taxa Diodontidae and Tetraodontidae. However, the mechanism of inflation is largely unknown. To further understand the inflation behavior of Tetraodontidae, morphological dissection, X-ray and staining methods were conducted to investigate morphological variations and functional adaptation during the inflation in Takifugu obscurus. The results indicated that after receiving stimulation, Takifugu obscurus quickly and frequently swallows water or/and air into the flexible but tough sac, which is a distinct portion of the specialized esophagus. For adapting the inflation, the anterior and posterior joints of the sac and the digestive duct are tightened by special musculature; and the structure and arrangement of the skin of the body, as well as the abdomen muscle bundles are particularly modified to be elasticated; more over, even the backbone and the nerve are ready for flexible positioning change. This study provides some important information about the inflation mechanism of the Takifugu obscurus in sucking and expelling water/air during the puffing behavior, which would be helpful to further understand the neural control mechanism of pufferfish inflation.
The jaw sheaths morphology of eight megophryid larvae were examined using scanning electron microscope. The morphology of jaw sheaths of Leptobrachiinae and Leptolalaginae larvae was similar. Their jaw sheaths were U-shaped and strong keratinized, the serrations were pyramidal, with broad-based and short pointed. While the jaw sheaths of Megophryinae larvae were less curved and weak keratinized, the serrations were ivory-shaped, with narrow-based and long pointed. It has been found that the relationship between serration’s diameter and density was negatively correlated, the changing trend reflected the functional significance of serrations. These distinctions among the jaw sheaths of tadpoles most could be related to their specific ecological habits and to their dietary specializations.
Nest fate of Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler (Cettia fortipes) was conducted in breeding seasons from 1999 to 2009 in Kuankuoshui Natural Reserve, Guizhou province. Predation rate, parasitism rate, hatching success, nesting success and reproductive success were surveyed and egg color was quantified using spectrophotometer. Principal component analysis, reflectance spectrum and Robinson Project were used to analyze the egg color of bush warbler and egg mimicry of Lesser Cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus) in parasitized nests. Our results indicated that the Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler suffered from high predation rate and relatively high parasitism rate of 49.26% and 9.18%, respectively. Reflectance analysis showed that the hue and chroma of Lesser Cuckoo eggs were highly mimetic but the egg brightness and ultraviolet reflectance were different from the bush warbler.
Short report
During genotyping 150 microsatellites in a F1 family of common carp, six mutations were found at five microsatellite loci. The overall mutation rate of common carp microsatellites was 2.53×10-4 per locus per generation. At five loci, mutations increased the length of alleles by at least one repeat unit, suggesting mutations at microsatellite loci in common carp do not follow strict stepwise mutation model. The data on mutation rates and patterns can facilitate population genetics studies, and provide useful parameters for estimating a long-term effective population size of common carp.