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2018-04-27
A new genus and three new species of miniaturized microhylid frogs from Indochina (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae: Asterophryinae)
Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr., Chatmongkon Suwannapoom, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Akrachai Aksornneam, Tang Van Duong, Dmitriy V. Korost, Jing Che
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 130-157.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.019
Abstract ( 20 )   PDF (30934KB) (717)
We report on the discovery of a new genus of microhylid subfamily Asterophryinae from northern and eastern Indochina, containing three new species. Vietnamophryne Gen. nov. are secretive miniaturized frogs (SVL<21 mm) with a mostly semi-fossorial lifestyle. To assess phylogenetic relationships, we studied 12S rRNA-16S rRNA mtDNA fragments with a final alignment of 2 591 bp for 53 microhylid species. External morphology characters and osteological characteristics analyzed using micro-CT scanning were used for describing the new genus. Results of phylogenetic analyses assigned the new genus into the mainly Australasian subfamily Asterophryinae as a sister taxon to the genus Siamophryne from southern Indochina. The three specimens collected from Gia Lai Province in central Vietnam, Cao Bang Province in northern Vietnam, and Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand proved to be separate species, different both in morphology and genetics (genetic divergence 3.1%≤P≤5.1%). Our work provides further evidence for the “out of Indo-Eurasia” scenario for Asterophryinae, indicating that the initial cladogenesis and differentiation of this group of frogs occurred in the Indochina Peninsula. To date, each of the three new species of Vietnamophryne Gen. nov. is known only from a single specimen; thus, their distribution, life history, and conservation status require further study.
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2018-01-24
Why China is important in advancing the field of primatology
Paul A. Garber
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 241-243.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.012
Abstract ( 6 )   PDF (240KB) (306)
Over the past few decades, field studies conducted by Chinese primatologists have contributed significant new theoretical and empirical insights into the behavior, ecology, biology, genetics, and conservation of lorises, macaques, langurs, snub-nosed monkeys, and gibbons. With the recent establishment and inaugural meeting of the China Primatological Society in 2017, China has emerged as a leading nation in primate research. Several research teams have conducted long-term studies despite the difficult challenges of habituating and observing wild primates inhabiting mountainous temperate forests, and the fact that some 80% of China’s 25–27 primate species are considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered and are distributed in small isolated subpopulations. In going forward, it is recommended that primatologists in China increase their focus on seasonal differences in the social, ecological, physiological, and nutritional challenges primates face in exploiting high altitude and cold temperate forests. In addition, provisioning as a habitation tool should be minimized or eliminated, as it is difficult to control for its effects on group dynamics, patterns of habitat utilization, and feeding ecology. Finally in the next decade, Chinese primatologists should consider expanding the taxonomic diversity of species studied by conducting research in other parts of Asia, Africa, and the Neotropics.
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In vivo genome editing thrives with diversified CRISPR technologies
Xun Ma, Avery Sum-Yu Wong, Hei-Yin Tam, Samuel Yung-Kin Tsui, Dittman Lai-Shun Chung, Bo Feng
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 58-71.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.012
Abstract ( 5 )   PDF (244KB) (613)
Prokaryotic type II adaptive immune systems have been developed into the versatile CRISPR technology, which has been widely applied in site-specific genome editing and has revolutionized biomedical research due to its superior efficiency and flexibility. Recent studies have greatly diversified CRISPR technologies by coupling it with various DNA repair mechanisms and targeting strategies. These new advances have significantly expanded the generation of genetically modified animal models, either by including species in which targeted genetic modification could not be achieved previously, or through introducing complex genetic modifications that take multiple steps and cost years to achieve using traditional methods. Herein, we review the recent developments and applications of CRISPR-based technology in generating various animal models, and discuss the everlasting impact of this new progress on biomedical research.
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2018-03-07
Contents
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 58-129.   DOI:
Abstract ( 5 )   PDF (16420KB) (73)
 
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2018-02-09
Type I interferon receptor knockout mice as models for infection of highly pathogenic viruses with outbreak potential
Gary Wong, Xiang-Guo Qiu
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 3-14.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.052
Abstract ( 4 )   PDF (429KB) (266)
Due to their inability to generate a complete immune response, mice knockout for type I interferon (IFN) receptors (Ifnar–/–) are more susceptible to viral infections, and are thus commonly used for pathogenesis studies. This mouse model has been used to study many diseases caused by highly pathogenic viruses from many families, including the Flaviviridae, Filoviridae, Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Henipaviridae, and Togaviridae. In this review, we summarize the findings from these animal studies, and discuss the pros and cons of using this model versus other known methods for studying pathogenesis in animals.
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Contents
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 130-240.   DOI:
Abstract ( 3 )   PDF (110275KB) (208)
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Overview of the improvement of the ring-stage survival assay-a novel phenotypic assay for the detection of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum
Jie Zhang, Guo-Hua Feng, Chun-Yan Zou, Pin-Can Su, Huai-E Liu, Zhao-Qing Yang
Zoological Research    2017, 38 (6): 317-320.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.075
Abstract ( 3 )   PDF (250KB) (257)
Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum threatens the remarkable efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapies worldwide. Thus, greater insight into the resistance mechanism using monitoring tools is essential. The ring-stage survival assay is used for phenotyping artemisinin-resistance or decreased artemisinin sensitivity. Here, we review the progress of this measurement assay and explore its limitations and potential applications.
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2018-04-20
A new karst-dwelling bent-toed gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from Xiangkhoang Province, northeastern Laos
Roman A. Nazarov, Olivier S.G. Pauwels, Evgeniy L. Konstantinov, Anatoliy S. Chulisov, Nikolai L. Orlov, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr.
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 202-219.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.010
Abstract ( 3 )   PDF (20938KB) (450)
We describe a new karst-dwelling Cyrtodactylus from Ban Thathom, Xiangkhoang Province, northeastern Laos. The new species can be distinguished from other congeners by having four dark dorsal bands between limb insertions, a discontinuous nuchal loop, 10 precloacal pores in males or 10–12 precloacal pits (females) separated by a diastema from a series of enlarged femoral scales bearing 18 or 19 pores (male) or 8–10 pits (females) along each femur, 14–18 dorsal tubercle rows at midbody, no precloacal groove, 30–36 midbody scale rows across belly between ventrolateral skin folds, transversely enlarged subcaudal plates, and a maximal known snout-vent length of 75.5 mm. Our description brings to 22 the number of Cyrtodactylus species recorded from Laos.
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2018 New Year Address of Zoological Research
Yong-Gang Yao, Xue-Long Jiang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 1-2.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.011
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (257KB) (154)
 
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Contents
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 1-57.   DOI:
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (51564KB) (54)
 
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Contents
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 373-436.   DOI:
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (67569KB) (54)
 
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2018-04-20
A new species of the genus Theloderma Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Tay Nguyen Plateau, central Vietnam
Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr., Ivan I. Kropachev, Svetlana S. Gogoleva, Nikolai L. Orlov
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 158-184.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.018
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (26015KB) (589)
A new species of small tree frog from a primary montane tropical forest of central Vietnam, Tay Nguyen Plateau, is described based on morphological, molecular, and acoustic evidence. The Golden Bug-Eyed Frog, Theloderma auratum sp. nov., is distinguishable from its congeners and other small rhacophorid species based on a combination of the following morphological attributes: (1) bony ridges on head absent; (2) smooth skin completely lacking calcified warts or asperities; (3) pointed elongated tapering snout; (4) vocal opening in males absent; (5) vomerine teeth absent; (6) males of small body size (SVL 21.8–26.4 mm); (7) head longer than wide; ED/SVL ratio 13%–15%; ESL/SVL ratio 16%–20%; (8) small tympanum (TD/EL ratio 50%–60%) with few tiny tubercles; (9) supratympanic fold absent; (10) ventral surfaces completely smooth; (11) webbing between fingers absent; (12) outer and inner metacarpal tubercles present, supernumerary metacarpal tubercle single, medial, oval in shape; (13) toes half-webbed: I 2–2¼ II 1½–2¾ III 2–3¼ IV 3–1½ V; (14) inner metatarsal tubercle present, oval; outer metatarsal tubercle absent; (15) iris bicolored; (16) dorsal surfaces golden-yellow with sparse golden-orange speckling or reticulations and few small dark-brown spots; (17) lateral sides of head and body with wide dark reddish-brown to black lateral stripes, clearly separated from lighter dorsal coloration by straight contrasting edge; (18) ventral surfaces of body, throat, and chest greyish-blue with indistinct brown confluent blotches; (19) upper eyelids with few (3–5) very small flat reddish superciliary tubercles; (20) limbs dorsally reddish-brown, ventrally brown with small bluish-white speckles. The new species is also distinct from all congeners in 12S rRNA to 16S rRNA mitochondrial DNA fragment sequences (uncorrected genetic distance P>8.9%). Advertisement call and tadpole morphology of the new species are described. Our molecular data showed Theloderma auratum sp. nov. to be a sister species of Th. palliatum from Langbian Plateau in southern Vietnam.
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2018-04-10
A new species of the genus Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from southern Vietnam
Tang Van Duong, Dang Trong Do, Chung Dac Ngo, Truong Quang Nguyen, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr.
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 185-201.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.009
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (8313KB) (448)
We describe a new species of megophryid frog from Phu Yen Province in southern Vietnam. Leptolalax macrops sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following morphological attributes: (1) body size medium (SVL 28.0–29.3 mm in three adult males, 30.3 mm in single adult female); (2) supra-axillary glands present, creamy white; ventrolateral glands indistinct; (3) tympanum externally distinct; (4) dorsal skin roughly granular with larger tubercles, dermal ridges on dorsum absent; (5) rudimentary webbing present between fingers I–II and II–III; rudimentary webbing between all toes; fingers and toes without dermal fringes; (6) in life ventral surface greyish-violet with white speckling; (7) supratympanic fold distinct, dark brown in life; (8) iris bicolored, typically golden in upper half, fading to golden green in lower half; (9) tibia short (TbL/SVL 0.44–0.45 in males); and (10) eyes large and protuberant (ED/SVL 0.15–0.16 in males). From all congeners for which comparable sequences are available, the new species differs markedly in the 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene sequence (P-distance>5.7%). The new species is currently known only from montane evergreen tropical forests of Song Hinh District, Phu Yen Province, and M’Drak District of Dak Lak Province at elevations of 470–630 m a.s.l. We suggest the new species should be considered as Data Deficient following the IUCN’s Red List categories. We also report a previously unknown Leptolalax mtDNA lineage from an evergreen tropical forest in the Hoa Thinh District of Phu Yen Province, which may also represent an undescribed species.
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2018-04-03
Variations in diet composition of sympatric Trachypithecus francoisi and Macaca assamensis in the limestone habitats of Nonggang, China
Qi-Hai Zhou, Zhong-Hao Huang, Hua Wei, Cheng-Ming Huang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 284-290.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.046
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (3534KB) (300)
Comparative studies of sympatric species are essential for understanding behavioral and ecological adaptation as well as the mechanisms that can reduce resource competition to allow coexistence. François’ langurs (Trachypithecus francoisi) and Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis) are sympatric primate species found in the limestone seasonal rainforests of Nonggang Nature Reserve, southwestern Guangxi, China. To explore their different adaptation strategies, we collected data on diet using scan sampling at 15-min intervals. Our results revealed that François’ langurs showed a more flexible diet composition than Assamese macaques. François’ langurs increased dietary diversity and mature leaf consumption in response to seasonal scarcity of preferred young leaves and fruits, whereas Assamese macaques relied heavily on young bamboo leaves (Indocalamus calcicolus) in most months. These variations reflect the differences in digestive physiology, morphology, and the temporal and spatial distribution of food resources.
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 Animal models for the study of hepatitis B virus infection
Wei-Na Guo, Bin Zhu, Ling Ai, Dong-Liang Yang, Bao-Ju Wang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 25-31.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.013
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (98KB) (341)
Even with an effective vaccine, an estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) worldwide. Current antiviral therapies, including interferon and nucleot(s)ide analogues, rarely cure chronic hepatitis B. Animal models are very crucial for understanding the pathogenesis of chronic hepatitis B and developing new therapeutic drugs or strategies. HBV can only infect humans and chimpanzees, with the use of chimpanzees in HBV research strongly restricted. Thus, most advances in HBV research have been gained using mouse models with HBV replication or infection or models with HBV-related hepadnaviral infection. This review summarizes the animal models currently available for the study of HBV infection.
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2018-04-20
A new species of smooth skink (Squamata: Scincidae: Scincella) from Cambodia
Thy Neang, Somaly Chan, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr.
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 220-240.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.008
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (13346KB) (443)
Based on morphological and genetic evidence we evaluated the taxonomic status of a newly discovered forest-dwelling population of skink (genus Scincella) from the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia. From phylogenetic analysis of a 668-bp fragment of the mtDNA COI and diagnostic morphological characters we allocate the newly discovered population to the Scincella reevesiiS. rufocaudata species complex and describe it as Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov. The new skink species can be distinguished from all other Southeast Asian congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: snout-vent length (SVL) 40.0–52.6 mm; relative tail length (TaL/SVL ratio) 1.25–1.94; prefrontals in broad contact; infralabials 6; primary temporals 2; relative forelimb length (FIL/SVL ratio) 0.20–0.22; relative hindlimb length (HIL/SVL ratio) 0.30–0.33; relative forearm length (FoL/SVL ratio) 0.14–0.16; adpressed forelimbs and hind limbs either overlapping (0.4–2.2 mm) or separated (1.9–2.3 mm); midbody scale rows 32–33, paravertebral scales 69–74, vertebral scales 65–69; dorsal scales between dorsolateral stripes 8; comparatively slender fingers and toes, subdigital lamellae under fourth toe 15–17; dark discontinuous regular dorsal stripes 5–7; distinct black dorsolateral stripes, narrowing to lateral sides and extending to 52%–86% of total tail length. We provide additional information on the holotype of Scincella rufocaudata (Darevsky & Nguyen, 1983), and provide evidence for the species status of Scincella rupicola. Our discovery brings the number of Scincella species in Cambodia to five and emphasizes the incompleteness of knowledge on the herpetofaunal diversity of this country.
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Biogeography of the Shimba Hills ecosystem herpetofauna in Kenya
Patrick K. Malonza, David M. Mulwa, Joash O. Nyamache, Georgina Jones
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 97-104.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.048
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (246KB) (241)
The Shimba Hills ecosystem along the south coast of Kenya is a key East African biodiversity hotspot. Historically, it is biogeographically assignable to the East African coastal biome. We examined the current Shimba Hills herpetofauna and their zoogeographical affinities to the coastal forests and nearby Eastern Arc Mountains biodiversity hotspots. The key studied sites included the Shimba Hills National Reserve, forest reserves, Kaya forests, and adjacent private land. Data on herpetofaunal richness were obtained from recent field surveys, literature, and specimens held at the National Museums of Kenya, Herpetology Section Collection, Nairobi. The Makadara, Mwele, and Longo-Mwagandi forests within the Shimba Hills National Reserve hosted the highest number of unique and rare species. Generally, the forest reserves and Kaya forests were important refuges for forest-associated species. On private land, Mukurumudzi Dam riparian areas were the best amphibian habitat and were host to three IUCN (Red List) Endangered-EN amphibian species, namely, Boulengerula changamwensis, Hyperolius rubrovermiculatus, and Afrixalus sylvaticus, as well as one snake species Elapsoidea nigra. Using herpetofauna as zoogeographic indicators, the Shimba Hills were determined to be at a crossroads between the coastal forests (13 endemic species) and the Eastern Arc Mountains (seven endemic species). Most of the Eastern Arc Mountains endemic species were from recent records, and thus more are likely to be found in the future. This ‘hybrid’ species richness pattern is attributable to the hilly topography of the Shimba Hills and their proximity to the Indian Ocean. This has contributed to the Shimba Hills being the richest herpetofauna area in Kenya, with a total of 89 and 36 reptile and amphibian species, respectively. Because of its unique zoogeography, the Shimba Hills ecosystem is undoubtedly a key biodiversity area for conservation investment.
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2018-02-09
Animal models for filovirus infections
Vinayakumar Siragam, Gary Wong, Xiang-Guo Qiu
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 15-24.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.053
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (338KB) (357)
The family Filoviridae, which includes the genera Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus, contains some of the most pathogenic viruses in humans and non-human primates (NHPs), causing severe hemorrhagic fevers with high fatality rates. Small animal models against filoviruses using mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, and ferrets have been developed with the goal of screening candidate vaccines and antivirals, before testing in the gold standard NHP models. In this review, we summarize the different animal models used to understand filovirus pathogenesis, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each model with respect to filovirus disease research.
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2018-04-25
Taxonomic revision of the genus Mesechinus (Mammalia: Erinaceidae) with description of a new species
Huai-Sen Ai, Kai He, Zhong-Zheng Chen, Jia-Qi Li, Tao Wan, Quan Li, Wen-Hui Nie, Jin-Huan Wang, Wei-Ting Su, Xue-Long Jiang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (5): 335-347.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.034
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (25432KB) (497)
Hedgehogs in the genus Mesechinus (Family Erinaceidae), which include two currently recognized species (M. dauuricus and M. hughi), are distributed from northeast Mongolia to the upper Amur Basin in Russia and adjacent areas in northeast and northern China. In recent years, a population of Mesechinus hedgehogs was discovered from Mt. Gaoligong, southwestern Yunnan, China, far from the known distribution range of the genus. Furthermore, these hedgehogs are the only known population to be distributed at elevations higher than 2 100 m and in sympatry with gymnures. To evaluate the taxonomic status of these hedgehogs, we examined specimens representing Mesechinus taxa in China and further conducted morphometric and karyotypic analyses. Our results supported the existence of four species in China. Specifically, we identified the hedgehogs from Mt. Gaoligong as a new species, Mesechinus wangi sp. nov., and recognized M. miodon, previously considered as a synonym of either M. dauuricus or M. hughi, as a distinct species. Interestingly, we observed a supernumerary M4 on all specimens of Mesechinus wangi sp. nov., which is an extremely rare event in the evolution of mammalian dentition.
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2018-05-04
Playing it cool: Characterizing social play, bout termination, and candidate play signals of juvenile and infant Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana
Kaitlin R. Wright, Jessica A. Mayhew, Lori K. Sheeran, Jake A. Funkhouser, Ronald. S. Wagner, Li-Xing Sun, Jin-Hua Li
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 272-283.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.048
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (435KB) (138)
Play behaviors and signals during playful interactions with juvenile conspecifics are important for both the social and cognitive development of young animals. The social organization of a species can also influence juvenile social play. We examined the relationships among play behaviors, candidate play signals, and play bout termination in Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) during juvenile and infant social play to characterize the species play style. As Tibetan macaques are despotic and live in groups with strict linear dominance hierarchies and infrequent reconciliation, we predicted that play would be at risk of misinterpretation by both the individuals engaged in the play bout and by those watching, possibly leading to injury of the players. Animals living in such societies might need to frequently and clearly signal playful intent to play partners and other group members to avoid aggressive outcomes. We gathered video data on 21 individually-identified juvenile and infant macaques (one month to five years of age) from the Valley of the Wild Monkeys, Mt. Huangshan, China. We used all-occurrence sampling to record play behaviors and candidate play signals based on an ethogram. We predicted that play groups would use multiple candidate play signals in a variety of contexts and in association with the number of audience members in proximity to the players and play bout length. In the 283 playful interactions we scored, juvenile and infant macaques used multiple body and facial candidate play signals. Our data showed that juvenile and infant Tibetan macaques use a versatile repertoire of play behaviors and signals to sustain play.
 
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2018-05-28
Karyotypes of field mice of the genus Apodemus (Mammalia: Rodentia) from China
Masaharu Motokawa, Yi Wu, Masashi Harada, Yuta Shintaku, Xue-Long Jiang, Yu-Chun Li
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (5): 348-355.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.054
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (595KB) (123)
Karyotypes of four Chinese species of field mice of the genus Apodemus were examined, including Apodemus chevrieri (diploid chromosome number, 2n=48, fundamental number of autosomal arms, FNa=56), A. draco (2n=48, FNa=48), A. ilex (2n=48, FNa=48), and A. latronum (2n=48, FNa=48). Karyotypes of A. chevrieri, A. draco, and A. ilex are reported here for the first time, providing useful information for their species taxonomy. Determining the karyotypes of all species of Apodemus in Asia, both in this and previous studies, provides a solid overview of the chromosome evolution and species differentiation of the genus in East Asia. In addition to allopatric speciation, chromosome rearrangements likely played an important role in the formation of the four Apodemus species groups as well as speciation within each group in East Asia. For example, increased centromeric heterochromatin in A. latronum may have contributed to the post-mating reproductive isolation from the A. draco-A. ilex-A. semotus clade.
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2018-05-24
Assessment of habitat suitability of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in Qomolangma National Nature Reserve based on MaxEnt modeling
De-Feng Bai, Peng-Ju Chen, Luciano Atzeni, Lhaba Cering, Qian Li, Kun Shi
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 373-386.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.057
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (20625KB) (280)
Habitat evaluation constitutes an important and fundamental step in the management of wildlife populations and conservation policy planning. Geographic information system (GIS) and species presence data provide the means by which such evaluation can be done. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) is widely used in habitat suitability modeling due to its power of accuracy and additional descriptive properties. To survey snow leopard populations in Qomolangma (Mt. Everest, QNNR) National Nature Reserve, Tibet, China, we pooled 127 pugmarks, 415 scrape marks, and 127 non-invasive identifications of the animal along line transects and recorded 87 occurrences through camera traps from 2014–2017. We adopted the MaxEnt model to generate a map highlighting the extent of suitable snow leopard habitat in QNNR. Results showed that the accuracy of the MaxEnt model was excellent (mean AUC=0.921). Precipitation in the driest quarter, ruggedness, elevation, maximum temperature of the warmest month, and annual mean temperature were the main environmental factors influencing habitat suitability for snow leopards, with contribution rates of 20.0%, 14.4%, 13.3%, 8.7%, and 8.2% respectively. The suitable habitat area extended for 7001.93 km2, representing 22.72% of the whole reserve. The regions bordering Nepal were the main suitable snow leopard habitats and consisted of three separate habitat patches. Our findings revealed that precipitation, temperature conditions, ruggedness, and elevations of around 4000 m influenced snow leopard preferences at the landscape level in QNNR. We advocate further research and cooperation with Nepal to evaluate habitat connectivity and to explore possible proxies of population isolation among these patches. Furthermore, evaluation of subdivisions within the protection zones of QNNR is necessary to improve conservation strategies and enhance protection. 
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2018-05-31
Patterns of human-wildlife conflict and compensation practices around Daxueshan Nature Reserve, China
Cheng Huang, Xue-You Li, Liu-Jun Shi, Xue-Long Jiang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 406-412.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.056
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (1240KB) (321)
Understanding the spatial patterns of human-wildlife conflict is essential to inform management decisions to encourage coexistence, but it is constrained by the lack of spatially-explicit data. We collected spatially-implicit data of human-wildlife conflicts from 2009–2015 around Daxueshan Nature Reserve, Yunnan, China, and investigated the patterns and drivers of these conflicts. A questionnaire was also designed to capture local resident attitudes toward insurance-based compensation for the losses caused by targeted wildlife. We found that the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) was the most conflict-prone animal around the reserve, followed by the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) and Southeast Asian sambar (Cervus equinus). Conflicts were unevenly distributed among seasons, villages, and communities, with several grids identified as conflict hotspots. Poisson models revealed that human-bear conflicts were negatively related to distance to the reserve and proportion of forest, but positively correlated to the proportion of cropland. Binomial models showed that communities affected by crop depredation were positively correlated with the proportion of cropland and negatively correlated with distance to the reserve, whereas communities affected by livestock depredation were negatively correlated with the proportion of cropland. The insurance-based scheme has compensated over 90% of losses, to the satisfaction of 90.6% of respondents. Our results suggest that human-bear conflict could be potentially reduced by eliminating food crops near the reserve boundary and livestock grazing at conflict hotspots. In addition, the insurance-based scheme could be replicated at a broader scale with improvement in loss assessment.
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2017-06-15
Maternal gene Ooep may participate in homologous recombination-mediated DNA double-strand break repair in mouse oocytes
Da-Jian He, Lin Wang, Zhi-Bi Zhang, Kun Guo, Jing-Zheng Li, Xie-Chao He, Qing-Hua Cui, Ping Zheng
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 387-395.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.067
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (2102KB) (344)
DNA damage in oocytes can cause infertility and birth defects. DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are highly deleterious and can substantially impair genome integrity. Homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DNA DSB repair plays dominant roles in safeguarding oocyte quantity and quality. However, little is known regarding the key players of the HR repair pathway in oocytes. Here, we identified oocyte-specific gene Ooep as a novel key component of the HR repair pathway in mouse oocytes. OOEP was required for efficient ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase activation and Rad51 recombinase(RAD51)focal accumulation at DNA DSBs. Ooep null oocytes were defective in DNA DSB repair and prone to apoptosis upon exogenous DNA damage insults. Moreover, Ooep null oocytes exhibited delayed meiotic maturation. Therefore, OOEP played roles in preserving oocyte quantity and quality by maintaining genome stability. Ooep expression decreased with the advance of maternal age, suggesting its involvement in maternal aging. 
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2018-06-19
How many species of Apodemus and Rattus occur in China? A survey based on mitochondrial cyt b and morphological analyses
Shao-Ying Liu, Kai He, Shun-De Chen, Wei Jin, Robert W. Murphy, Ming-Kun Tang, Rui Liao, Feng-Jun Li
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (5): 309-320.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.053
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (7935KB) (301)
Apodemus (mice) and Rattus (rats) are the top rodent reservoirs for zoonoses in China, yet little is known about their diversity. We reexamined the alpha diversity of these two genera based on a new collection of specimens from China and their cyt b sequences in GenBank. We also tested whether species could be identified using external and craniodental measurements exclusively. Measurements from 147 specimens of Apodemus and 236 specimens of Rattus were used for morphological comparisons. We analysed 74 cyt b sequences of Apodemus and 100 cyt b sequences of Rattus to facilitate phylogenetic estimations. Results demonstrated that nine species of Apodemus and seven species of Rattus, plus a new subspecies of Rattus nitidus, are distributed in China. Principal component analysis using external and craniodental measurements revealed that measurements alone could not separate the recognized species. The occurrence of Rattus pyctoris in China remains uncertain.
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2018-06-19
Genomic and transcriptomic analyses reveal selection of genes for puberty in Bama Xiang pigs
Yang Yang, Adeniyi C. Adeola, Hai-Bing Xie, Ya-Ping Zhang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 424-430.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.068
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The Bama Xiang pig (BMX) is a famous early-maturing Chinese indigenous breed with a two-end black coat. To uncover the genetic basis of the BMX phenotype, we conducted comparative genomic analyses between BMX and East Asian wild boars and Laiwu pigs, respectively. Genes under positive selection were enriched in pathways associated with gonadal hormone and melanin synthesis, consistent with the phenotypic changes observed during development in BMX pigs. We also performed differentially expressed gene analysis based on RNA-seq data from pituitary tissues of BMX and Large White pigs. The CTTNBP2NL, FRS2, KANK4, and KATNAL1 genes were under selection and exhibited expressional changes in the pituitary tissue, which may affect BMX pig puberty. Our study demonstrated the positive selection of early maturity in the development of BMX pigs and advances our knowledge on the role of regulatory elements in puberty evolution in pigs. 
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2018-06-25
Rhinogobius immaculatus, a new species of freshwater goby (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from the Qiantang River, China
Fan Li, Shan Li, Jia-Kuan Chen
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 396-405.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.065
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A new freshwater goby, Rhinogobius immaculatus sp. nov., is described here from the Qiantang River in China. It is distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: second dorsal-fin rays I, 7–9; anal-fin rays I, 6–8; pectoral-fin rays 14–15; longitudinal scales 29–31; transverse scales 7–9; predorsal scales 2–5; vertebrae 27 (rarely 28); preopercular canal absent or with two pores; a red oblique stripe below eye in males; branchiostegal membrane mostly reddish-orange, with 3–6 irregular discrete or connected red blotches on posterior branchiostegal membrane and lower operculum in males; caudal-fin base with a median black spot; and no black blotch on anterior part of first dorsal fin in males.
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2018-06-28
A new genus of Asiatic short-tailed shrew (Soricidae, Eulipotyphla) based on molecular and morphological comparisons
Kai He, Xing Chen, Peng Chen, Shui-Wang He, Feng Cheng, Xue-Long Jiang, Kevin Campbell
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (5): 321-334.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.058
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Blarinellini is a tribe of soricine shrews comprised of nine fossil genera and one extant genus. Blarinelline shrews were once widely distributed throughout Eurasia and North America, though only members of the Asiatic short-tailed shrew genus Blarinella currently persist (mostly in southwestern China and adjacent areas). Only three forms of Blarinella have been recognized as either species or subspecies. However, recent molecular studies indicated a strikingly deep divergence within the genus, implying the existence of a distinct genus-level lineage. We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes and one nuclear gene of three Asiatic short-tailed and two North American shrews and analyzed them morphometrically and morphologically. Our molecular analyses revealed that specimens ascribed to B. griselda formed two deeply diverged lineages, one a close relative to B. quadraticauda, whereas the other — comprised of topotype specimens from southern Gansu — diverged from other Blarinella in the middle Miocene (ca. 18.2 million years ago (Ma), 95% confidence interval=13.4–23.6 Ma). Although the skulls were similarly shaped in both lineages, we observed several diagnostic characteristics, including the shape of the upper P4. In consideration of the molecular and morphological evidence, we recognize B. griselda as the sole species of a new genus, namely, Pantherina gen. nov. Interestingly, some characteristics of Pantherina griselda are more similar to fossil genera, suggesting it represents an evolutionarily more primitive form than Blarinella. Recognition of this new genus sheds light on the systematics and evolutionary history of the tribe Blarinellini throughout Eurasia and North America. 
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2018-07-06
Tail regeneration reduction in lizards after repetitive amputation or cauterization reflects an increase of immune cells in blastemas
Lorenzo Alibardi
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 413-423.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.050
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Lizards are key amniote models for studying organ regeneration. During tail regeneration in lizards, blastemas contain sparse granulocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes among the prevalent mesenchymal cells. Using transmission electron microscopy to examine scarring blastemas after third and fourth sequential tail amputations, the number of granulocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes increased at 3–4 weeks in comparison to the first regeneration. An increase in granulocytes and agranulocytes also occurred within a week after blastema cauterization during the process of scarring. Blood at the third and fourth regeneration also showed a significant increase in white blood cells compared with that under normal conditions and at the first regeneration. The extracellular matrix of the scarring blastema, especially after cauterization, was denser than that in the normal blastema and numerous white blood cells and fibroblasts were surrounded by electron-pale, fine fibrinoid material mixed with variable collagen fibrils. In addition to previous studies, the present observations support the hypothesis that an increase in inflammation and immune reactions determine scarring rather than regeneration. These new findings verify that an immune reaction against mesenchymal and epidermal cells of the regenerative blastema is one of the main causes for the failure of organ regeneration in amniotes.
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2018-07-25
Receptor variability-driven evolution of snake toxins
Xian-Hong Ji, Shang-Fei Zhang, Bin Gao, Shun-Yi Zhu
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 431-436.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.063
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Three-finger toxins (TFTs) are well-recognized non-enzymatic venom proteins found in snakes. However, although TFTs exhibit accelerated evolution, the drivers of this evolution remain poorly understood. The structural complexes between long-chain α-neurotoxins, a subfamily of TFTs, and their nicotinic acetylcholine receptor targets have been determined in previous research, providing an opportunity to address such questions. In the current study, we observed several previously identified positively selected sites (PSSs) and the highly variable C-terminal loop of these toxins at the toxin/receptor interface. Of interest, analysis of the molecular adaptation of the toxin-recognition regions in the corresponding receptors provided no statistical evidence for positive selection. However, these regions accumulated abundant amino acid variations in the receptors from the prey of snakes, suggesting that accelerated substitution of TFTs could be a consequence of adaptation to these variations. To the best of our knowledge, this atypical evolution, initially discovered in scorpions, is reported in snake toxins for the first time and may be applicable for the evolution of toxins from other venomous animals.
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