2014 Vol. 35, No. 2

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In this study, both long PCR and conserved primers walking sequencing methods were used to determine the complete sequence of the of Pyrgilauda ruficollis mitochondrial genome (KC836121). The results showed that the complete mitochondrial genome of P. ruficollis is 1 6909 bp in length with 55.0% A+T content, harboring the typical 37 genes. The mitogenome had the same gene order with that of Podoces hendersoni. All protein coding genes started with ATG codon, except ND3 with GTG. For the stop codon usage, most genes terminate with codons TAA or TAG, but ND5 terminated with AGA, while ND1 and COI genes with AGG, and both the genes COⅢ and ND4 have an incomplete termination codon (T). The secondary structures of 22 tRNA genes were also predicted, showing that all tRNAs can form typical clover-leaf secondary structures, except for the tRNASer (AGN) which loses the DHU arm, while tRNAPhe harbor an extra nucleotide inserted in the TψC arm. The predicted secondary structures of 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA exhibit 47 helices in 4 domains and 60 helices in 6 domains respectively. The control region of P. ruficollis with the length of 1 305 bp was located between tRNAGlu and tRNAPhe, and typical domains of which could be found as other bird groups. Using the data from 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes, results of a final phylogenetic analysis strongly supports the traditional view that P. ruficollis is closely related with Passeridae and Fringillidae.
In honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies, queens and workers are alternative forms of the adult female honeybee that develop from genetically identical zygotes but that depend on differential nourishment. Queens and workers display distinct morphologies, anatomies and behavior, better known as caste differentiation. Despite some basic insights, the exact mechanism responsible for this phenomenon, especially at the molecular level, remains unclear although some progress has been achieved. In this study, we examined mRNA levels of the TOR (target of rapamycin) and Dnmt3 (DNA methyltransferase 3) genes, closely related to caste differentiation in honeybees. We also investigated mRNA expression of the S6K (similar to RPS6-p70-protein kinase) gene linked closely to organismal growth and development in queen and worker larvae (1-day and 3-day old). Last, we investigated the methylation status of these three genes in corresponding castes. We found no difference in mRNA expression for the three genes between 1st instar queen and worker larvae; however, 3rd instar queen larvae had a higher level of TOR mRNA than worker larvae. Methylation levels of all three genes were lower in queen larvae than worker larvae but the differences were not statistically significant. These findings provide basic data for broadening our understanding of caste differentiation in female honeybees.
The Dmrt family of genes are involved in sex differentiation in different species of invertebrates, and some vertebrates including human. In this study, we cloned the full-length cDNA of ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) Dmrt1 and DmrtA2. Sequence and phylogenetic tree analyses showed ayu Dmrt1 showed highest similarity to that of Oncorhynchus mykiss while ayu DmrtA2 is most similar to that of Oryzias latipes. Fluorescence-based quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed the Dmrt1 was predominantly expressed in the testis. At the larval stages, Dmrt1 mRNA expression level was highest during 52–64 days post hatching (dph) and at the gastrula stage during embryonic development. DmrtA2, meanwhile, was specifically expressed in the ovary and was highly expressed in the female brain tissue, but not male brain tissue. During the larval stages, DmrtA2 expression remained high before day 34, and then fluctuated while generally decreasing. During embryonic development, DmrtA2 expression increased gradually and peaked at the hatching stage. Our data suggest that ayu Dmrt1 might participate in the differentiation and maintenance of testis while DmrtA2 may play a role in ovary-differentiation and mature-ovary maintenance. DmrtA2 might also participate in brain development.
In the present study, the genetic diversity of one selected strain (Pujiang No. 1), two domesticated populations (GA and HX) and four wild populations (LZ, YN, SS and JL) of blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) was analyzed using 17 microsatellite markers. The results showed that an average of 4.88-7.65 number of alleles (A); an average of 3.20-5.33 effective alleles (Ne); average observed heterozygosity (Ho) of 0.6985-0.9044; average expected heterozygosity (He) of 0.6501-0.7805; and the average polymorphism information content (PIC) at 0.5706-0.7226. Pairwise FST value between populations ranged from 0.0307-0.1451, and Nei's standard genetic distance between populations was 0.0938-0.4524. The expected heterozygosities in the domesticated populations (GA and HX) were significantly lower than those found in three wild populations (LZ, SS and JL), but no difference was detected when compared with the wild YN population. Likewise, no difference was found between the four wild populations or two domesticated populations. The expected heterozygosity in Pujiang No. 1 was higher than the two domesticated populations and lower than the four wild populations. Regarding pairwise FST value between populations, permutation test P-values were significant between the GA, HX and PJ populations, but not between the four wild populations. These results showed that the expected heterozygosity in the selected strain of blunt snout bream, after seven generations of selective breeding, was lower than that of wild populations, but this strain retains higher levels of genetic diversity than domesticated populations. The genetic differences and differentiation amongst wild populations, domesticated populations and the genetically improved strain of blunt snout bream will provide important conservation criteria and guide the utilization of germplasm resources.
In learning and memory studies on honeybees (Apis mellifera), cold-induced narcosis has been widely used to temporarily immobilize honeybees. In this study, we investigated the effects of cold narcosis on the associative memories in honeybees by using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm. Severe impairments in memory acquisition was found when cold narcosis was performed 30 min, instead of 1 h before training. Locomotor activities were reduced when honeybees were tested 15 min, instead of 30 min after cold narcosis. These results indicate that cold narcosis impairs locomotor activities, as well as memory acquisition in a time-dependent manner, but by comparison no such effects on memory retrieval have yet been observed.[0]
While developmental plasticity can facilitate evolutionary diversification of organisms, the effects of water levels as an environmental pressure on tiger frogs remains unclear. This study clarifies the relationship by studying the responses of tiger frog (Hoplobatrachus chinensis) tadpoles to simulated hydroperiods (i.e., constant low water levels, constant high water levels, increasing water levels, decreasing water levels, rapid changes in water levels and gradual fluctuations in water levels) in a laboratory setting. ANOVA analysis showed that none of the water level treatments had any significant effect on the total length, body mass, or developmental stages of H. chinensis tadpoles half way through development (11 days old). Tadpoles raised in rapidly fluctuating water levels had protracted metamorphosis, whereas tadpoles raised under low and gradually fluctuating water levels had shortened metamorphosis. None of the water level treatments had a significant effect on the snout-vent length (SVL) or body mass of H. chinensis tadpoles at Gosner stage 42, or on the body mass of tadpoles at Gosner stage 45. However, the tadpoles raised in high levels and rapidly fluctuating water levels, significantly larger SVL at Gosner stage 45, while ones under gradually fluctuating water levels had smaller SVL than the other groups. Time to metamorphosis was positively correlated with body size (SVL) at metamorphosis in H. chinensis tadpoles. H. chinensis tadpoles under constant low water level had the highest mortality rate among all the treatments (G-test). Moreover, ANOVA and ACNOVA (with body length as the covariate) indicated that water levels had no significant effect on either the morphology (i.e. head length, head width, forelimb length, hindlimb length and body width) or the jumping ability of juvenile H. chinensis. These results suggest that the observed accelerated metamorphosis and high mortality of H. chinensis tadpoles under decreasing water level treatment was driven by density-induced physical interactions among increasing conspecifics.
Arctodiaptomus salinus inhabits water bodies across Eurasia and North Africa. Based on our own data and that from the literature, we analyzed the influences of several factors on the intra- and inter-population variability of this species. A strong negative linear correlation between temperature and average body size in the Crimean and African populations was found, in which the parameters might be influenced by salinity. Meanwhile, a significant negative correlation between female body size and the altitude of habitats was found by comparing body size in populations from different regions. Individuals from environments with highly varying abiotic parameters, e.g. temporary reservoirs, had a larger body size than individuals from permanent water bodies. The changes in average body mass in populations were at 11.4 times, whereas, those in individual metabolic activities were at 6.2 times. Moreover, two size groups of A. salinus in the Crimean and the Siberian lakes were observed. The ratio of female length to male length fluctuated between 1.02 and 1.30. The average size of A. salinus in populations and its variations were determined by both genetic and environmental factors. However, the parities of these factors were unequal in either spatial or temporal scales.
Selected, little known taxa of northern and central Vietnamese freshwater fish species are reviewed. Nomenclatural acts are taken: Hemibarbus lehoai is placed in synonymy of H. maculatus, Paracobitis hagiangensis in synonymy of Schistura caudofurca. A neotype of Micronemacheilus bacmeensis is assigned. The name Channa hanamensis is treated as a nomen nudum. Two labeonine species described from China are nomenclaturally affected: Garra findolabium is transferred to Vinagarra and its specific epithet is treated as a noun in apposition; the specific epithet of Sinigarra napoense is corrected to napoensis.