The red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) was introduced to China in the early 20th century. It has been spread to almost all forms of fresh water bodies including lakes, rivers and even paddyfields in most provinces of China. To clarify issues such as the initial entry point(s), dispersal pattern, genetic diversity and genetic structure of Procambarus clarkii in China, the genetic structure and diversity of P. clarkii populations at 37 sampling sites (35 from China, one from the USA and one from Japan) were analyzed using both mitochondrial gene sequences (COI and 16S rRNA) and 12 nuclear microsatellites. Multiple tests including phylogenetic analyses, Bayesian assignment and analysis of isolation by distance showed that (i) the population from Japan and those collected from China, particularly from NanJing (BGt and XG) and its some neighboring sites (CJr, NT and NB), have similar genetic composition, (ii) relatively high genetic diversity was detected in Chinese populations, (iii) the P. clarkii populations in China did not experience significant population expansions. Taken together, Nanjing, Jiangsu province is the presumed initial entry point, and human-mediated dispersal and adaptive variation are likely responsible for the observed genetic pattern of P. clarkii in China.
Biological invasions are a significant driver of human-induced global change and many ecosystems sustain sympatric invaders. Interactions occurring among these invaders have important implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, yet they are poorly understood. Here we apply newly developed metrics derived from stable isotope data to provide quantitative measures of trophic diversity within populations or species. We then use these to test the hypothesis that sympatric invaders belonging to the same functional feeding group occupy a smaller isotopic niche than their allopatric counterparts. Two introduced, globally important, benthic omnivores, Louisiana swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and carp (Cyprinus carpio), are sympatric in Lake Naivasha, Kenya. We applied our metrics to an 8-year data set encompassing the establishment of carp in the lake. We found a strong asymmetric interaction between the two invasive populations, as indicated by inverse correlations between carp abundance and measures of crayfish trophic diversity. Lack of isotopic niche overlap between carp and crayfish in the majority of years indicated a predominantly indirect interaction. We suggest that carp-induced habitat alteration reduced the diversity of crayfish prey, resulting in a reduction in the dietary niche of crayfish. Stable isotopes provide an integrated signal of diet over space and time, offering an appropriate scale for the study of population niches, but few isotope studies have retained the often insightful information revealed by variability among individuals in isotope values. Our population metrics incorporate such variation, are robust to the vagaries of sample size and are a useful additional tool to reveal subtle dietary interactions among species. Although we have demonstrated their applicability specifically using a detailed temporal dataset of species invasion in a lake, they have a wide array of potential ecological applications.
OBJECTIVES: (1) To examine the relation between concentrations of cadmium (Cd) in rice and urinary concentrations of indicators of renal dysfunction and the prevalence of abnormalities in urine in areas polluted by Cd. (2) To establish the maximum allowable concentration of Cd in rice from these findings. METHODS: The target population consisted of 1703 inhabitants (832 men and 871 women) aged over 50 years who consumed home grown rice and had lived in the same hamlet in areas polluted by Cd in the Kakehashi River basin in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan for at least 30 years. The correlation coefficients between concentrations of Cd in rice and several urinary substances, the prevalence of abnormalities in urine and sex in hamlets polluted by Cd were calculated. Finally, regression analysis was performed for significant indicators to calculate the maximum allowable concentration of Cd in rice based on values in a control group. CONCLUSIONS: Significant correlations between concentration of Cd in rice and concentrations of urinary beta 2-microglobulin, metallothionein, glucose, and aminonitrogen were established. Similarly, there were significant correlations between concentration of Cd in rice and the prevalence of beta 2-microglobulinuria, metallothioneinuria, glucosuria, proteinuria, proteinuria with glucosuria, and aminonitrogenuria. The highest maximum allowable concentration of Cd in rice calculated for these indicators was 0.34 ppm/l and 0.29 ppm/g creatinine. Both values are lower than 0.4 ppm, the tentative limit prescribed by the Japanese government.
Reproductive strategy is a central feature of the ecology of invasive species as it determines the potential for population increase and range expansion. The red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, has invaded many countries and caused serious problems in freshwater ecosystems. However, little is known about the effects of environmental conditions on crayfish paternity and offspring traits in the wild. We studied these reproductive characteristics of P. clarkii in wild populations from two different habitats (ponds and ditches) in three locations with different environmental conditions in China. Genotyping of 1,436 offspring and 30 mothers of 30 broods was conducted by using four microsatellites. An analysis of genotyping results revealed that gravid females were the exclusive mother of the progeny they tended. Twenty-nine of 30 mothers had mated with multiple (2-4) males, each of which contributed differently to the number of offspring in a brood. The average number of fathers per brood and the number of offspring per brood were similar (P > 0.05) among six sampling sites, indicating that in P. clarkii multiple paternity and offspring number per brood are independent of environmental conditions studied. Indirect benefits from increasing the genetic diversity of broods, male and sperm competition, and cryptic female choice are a possible explanation for the high level multiple paternity and different contribution of fathers to offspring in this species.
Decapod; allochthonous species; microsatellite; mating system; multiple paternity Running title: Multiple paternity in red swamp crayfish
The present investigation continues a previous study in which the soma-dendrite system of sensory neurons was excited by stretch deformation of the peripheral dendrite portions. Recording was done with intracellular leads which were inserted into the cell soma while the neuron was activated orthodromically or antidromically. The analysis was also extended to axon conduction. Crayfish, Procambarus alleni (Faxon) and Orconectes virilis (Hagen), were used. 1. The size and time course of action potentials recorded from the soma-dendrite complex vary greatly with the level of the cell's membrane potential. The latter can be changed over a wide range by stretch deformation which sets up a "generator potential" in the distal portions of the dendrites. If a cell is at its resting unstretched equilibrium potential, antidromic stimulation through the axon causes an impulse which normally overshoots the resting potential and decays into an afternegativity of 15 to 20 msec. duration. The postspike negativity is not followed by an appreciable hyperpolarization (positive) phase. If the membrane potential is reduced to a new steady level a postspike positivity appears and increases linearly over a depolarization range of 12 to 20 mv. in various cells. At those levels the firing threshold of the cell for orthodromic discharges is generally reached. 2. The safety factor for conduction between axon and cell soma is reduced under three unrelated conditions, (a) During the recovery period (2 to 3 msec.) immediately following an impulse which has conducted fully over the cell soma, a second impulse may be delayed, may invade the soma partially, or may be blocked completely. (b) If progressive depolarization is produced by stretch, it leads to a reduction of impulse height and eventually to complete block of antidromic soma invasion, resembling cathodal block, (c) In some cells, when the normal membrane potential is within several millivolts of the relaxed resting state, an antidromic impulse may be blocked and may set up within the soma a local potential only. The local potential can sum with a second one or it may sum with potential changes set up in the dendrites, leading to complete invasion of the soma. Such antidromic invasion block can always be relieved by appropriate stretch which shifts the membrane potential out of the "blocking range" nearer to the soma firing level. During the afterpositivity of an impulse in a stretched cell the membrane potential may fall below or near the blocking range. During that period another impulse may be delayed or blocked. 3. Information regarding activity and conduction in dendrites has been obtained indirectly, mainly by analyzing the generator action under various conditions of stretch. The following conclusions have been reached: The large dendrite branches have similar properties to the cell body from which they arise and carry the same kind of impulses. In the finer distal filaments of even lightly depolarized dendrites, however, no axon type all-or-none conduction occurs since the generator potential persists to a varying degree during antidromic invasion of the cell. With the membrane potential at its resting level the dendrite terminals contribute to the prolonged impulse afternegativity of the soma. 4. Action potentials in impaled axons and in cell bodies have been compared. It is thought that normally the over-all duration of axon impulses is shorter. Local activity during reduction of the safety margin for conduction was studied. 5. An analysis was made of high frequency grouped discharges which occasionally arise in cells. They differ in many essential aspects from the regular discharges set up by the generator action. It is proposed that grouped discharges occur only when invasion of dendrites is not synchronous, due to a delay in excitation spread between soma and dendrites. Each impulse in a group is assumed to be caused by an impulse in at least one of the large dendrite branches. Depolarization of dendrites abolishes the grouped activity by facilitating invasion of the large dendrite branches.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of environmental low-grade cadmium exposure on bone in the population of a non-polluted area. We investigated the relationship between environmental cadmium exposure (via rice intake) and bone metabolism in middle-aged and elderly women living in a non-polluted area in Japan.
Four hundred and twenty-nine women over the age of 39 years (54.6 ± 9.1 years; arithmetic mean ± SD) participated in this study in 2003. We investigated blood and urine, and rice intake, and performed ultrasonic bone evaluation, and obtained individual information about the subjects’ health. Multiple regression analysis was performed in the statistical analysis.
The arithmetic mean of cadmium content in rice was 70.8 ± 44.7 μg/kg (AM ± SD). The geometric mean of daily cadmium intake (Cd intake) from rice calculated based on food consumption data was 9.12 μg/day (GSD 2.33). The geometric means of serum and urine cadmium concentrations were 1.57 μg/l (GSD 2.11) and 1.93 μg/g creatinine (cr.) (GSD 2.05), respectively. Multiple regression analysis showed positive correlations between (1) urinary free deoxypyridinoline (FDPD-U) and Cd intake (p < 0.05), (2) urinary cross-linked N-telopeptides of type I collagen (NTx-U) and Cd intake (p < 0.05), and (3) FDPD-U or NTx-U and cadmium concentration in urine (p < 0.01). No significant correlation between the parameters of ultrasonic bone evaluation and cadmium associated biomarkers was observed.
The results of the present study suggest the possibility of bone metabolic disorder induced by environmental low-grade cadmium exposure. With respect to osteoporosis, a long-term follow-up survey is required to assess the tolerable intake of cadmium in environmental exposure.
Environmental exposure to cadmium; Cadmium intake from rice; Ultrasonic bone evaluation; Non-polluted area; Bone metabolism
Adult neurogenesis, the generation of new neurons from adult precursor cells, occurs in the brains of a phylogenetically diverse array of animals. In the higher (amniotic) vertebrates, these precursor cells are glial cells that reside within specialized regions, known as neurogenic niches, the elements of which both support and regulate neurogenesis. The in vivo identity and location of the precursor cells responsible for adult neurogenesis in nonvertebrate taxa, however, remain largely unknown. Among the invertebrates, adult neurogenesis has been particularly well characterized in freshwater crayfish (Arthropoda, Crustacea), although the identity of the precursor cells sustaining continuous neuronal proliferation in these animals has yet to be established. Here we provide evidence suggesting that, as in the higher vertebrates, the precursor cells maintaining adult neurogenesis in the crayfish Procambarus clarkii are glial cells. These precursor cells reside within a specialized region, or niche, on the ventral surface of the brain, and their progeny migrate from this niche along glial fibers and then proliferate to form new neurons in the central olfactory pathway. The niche in which these precursor cells reside has many features in common with the neurogenic niches of higher vertebrates. These commonalities include: glial cells functioning as both precursor and support cells, directed migration, close association with the brain vasculature, and specialized basal laminae. The cellular machinery maintaining adult neurogenesis appears, therefore, to be shared by widely disparate taxa. These extensive structural and functional parallels suggest a common strategy for the generation of new neurons in adult brains.
glia; migration; neurogenic niche; olfaction; vasculature
New neurons are produced and integrated into circuits in the adult brains of many organisms, including crustaceans. In some crustacean species, the 1st- generation neuronal precursors reside in a niche exhibiting characteristics analogous to mammalian neurogenic niches. However, unlike mammalian niches where several generations of neuronal precursors coexist, the lineage of precursor cells in crayfish is spatially separated allowing the influence of environmental and endogenous regulators on specific generations in the neuronal precursor lineage to be defined. Experiments also demonstrate that the 1st-generation neuronal precursors in the crayfish Procambarus clarkii are not self-renewing. A source external to the neurogenic niche must therefore provide cells that replenish the 1st-generation precursor pool, because although these cells divide and produce a continuous efflux of 2nd-generation cells from the niche, the population of 1st-generation niche precursors is not diminished with growth and aging. In vitro studies show that cells extracted from the hemolymph, but not other tissues, are attracted to and incorporated into the neurogenic niche, a phenomenon that appears to involve serotonergic mechanisms. We propose that in crayfish, the hematopoietic system may be a source of cells that replenish the niche cell pool. These and other studies reviewed here establish decapod crustaceans as model systems in which the processes underlying adult neurogenesis, such as stem cell origins and transformation, can be readily explored. Studies in diverse species where adult neurogenesis occurs will result in a broader understanding of fundamental mechanisms and how evolutionary processes may have shaped the vertebrate/mammalian condition.
neurogenic niche; serotonin; bromodeoxyuridine; hematopoietic system; Procambarus clarkii
Unlike northern Europe and most of northern North America, the Eastern Palearctic and the northwesternmost tip of North America are believed to have been almost unglaciated during the Quarternary glacial periods. This could have facilitated long-term survival of many organisms in that area. To evaluate this, we studied the phylogeography in east Asia and Alaska of a boreal migratory passerine bird, the Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis, and compared our results with published data on especially North American species.
In a sample of 113 individuals from 18 populations we identified 42 haplotypes of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, which separated into three clades: A - Alaska and mainland Eurasia (except Kamchatka); B - Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Hokkaido; and C - Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu (i.e. Japan except Hokkaido). The oldest split among these clades, between A/B and C, is estimated to have taken place sometime between the mid Pliocene and early Pleistocene, and the second divergence, between clades A and B, in the early to mid Pleistocene. Within all of the three main clades, there are signs of population expansion.
The Arctic Warbler separated into three main clades in close succession around the Pliocene/Pleistocene border, with the two northern clades diverging last. All three clades probably experienced population bottlenecks during the Pleistocene as a result of range shifts and contractions, but nevertheless survived and maintained their integrities. Several other clades of Northeastern Palearctic birds are noted to have diversified during the Pliocene. In contrast, avian species or phylogroups presently occupying formerly glaciated North American ground are generally younger. The differences between these regions could be due to slower speciation rates in the Eastern Palearctic due to less fragmentation of forest habitats during glacial periods, or to longer survival of Eastern Palearctic clades as a result of less severe conditions in that region compared to northern North America. Several other Palearctic organisms show concordant biogeographical patterns to that of the Arctic Warbler, indicating common causes of their diversifications.
JE is increasing in some areas (due to population growth and intensified rice irrigation) but declining in others.
Japanese encephalitis (JE), a vector-borne viral disease, is endemic to large parts of Asia and the Pacific. An estimated 3 billion people are at risk, and JE has recently spread to new territories. Vaccination programs, increased living standards, and mechanization of agriculture are key factors in the decline in the incidence of this disease in Japan and South Korea. However, transmission of JE is likely to increase in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, North Korea, and Pakistan because of population growth, intensified rice farming, pig rearing, and the lack of vaccination programs and surveillance. On a global scale, however, the incidence of JE may decline as a result of large-scale vaccination programs implemented in China and India.
Japanese encephalitis; emerging; rice farming; irrigation; pig rearing; vaccination program; perspective
Marbling, defined by the amount and the distribution of intramuscular fat and measured as beef marbling score (BMS), is an economically important trait of beef cattle in Japan. We recently reported that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), namely, c.-312A>G, in the endothelial differentiation, sphingolipid G-protein-coupled receptor, 1 (EDG1) gene was associated with the BMS level in the Japanese Black beef cattle population of Oita prefecture, with the G allele being associated with a high level of the BMS. Thus, the c.-312A>G SNP seems to be a candidate marker for marker-assisted selection. In this study, we investigated whether this association could be replicated in 3 other independent Japanese Black cattle populations and analyzed the effect of the SNP genotypes on the carcass traits other than the BMS.
Statistically significant differences in the BMS level were detected among the genotypes of the c.-312A>G SNP in the Japanese black beef cattle populations of Miyazaki (P = 0.0377) and Nagasaki (P = 0.0012) prefectures, and marginal difference was detected in the Kagoshima prefecture population (P = 0.0786). The G allele in the SNP was associated with an increase in the BMS level.
The G allele also seemed to have a favorable influence, if any, on the carcass weight, rib eye area and rib thickness of the cattle populations.
These findings suggest that the association of the c.-312A>G SNP with the BMS level in the Japanese Black beef cattle population was replicated in other beef cattle populations, and revealed favorable effects of the G allele on the beef productivity in the general Japanese Black beef cattle population. Thus, we concluded that the c.-312A>G SNP is useful for effective marker-assisted selection to increase the BMS level in Japanese Black beef cattle.
Anthropogenically-induced climate change can alter the current climatic habitat of non-native species and can have complex effects on potentially invasive species. Predictions of the potential distributions of invasive species under climate change will provide critical information for future conservation and management strategies. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to invasive species and climate change, but the effect of climate change on invasive species distributions has been rather neglected, especially for notorious global invaders.
We used ecological niche models (ENMs) to assess the risks and opportunities that climate change presents for the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which is a worldwide aquatic invasive species. Linking the factors of climate, topography, habitat and human influence, we developed predictive models incorporating both native and non-native distribution data of the crayfish to identify present areas of potential distribution and project the effects of future climate change based on a consensus-forecast approach combining the CCCMA and HADCM3 climate models under two emission scenarios (A2a and B2a) by 2050. The minimum temperature from the coldest month, the human footprint and precipitation of the driest quarter contributed most to the species distribution models. Under both the A2a and B2a scenarios, P. clarkii shifted to higher latitudes in continents of both the northern and southern hemispheres. However, the effect of climate change varied considerately among continents with an expanding potential in Europe and contracting changes in others.
Our findings are the first to predict the impact of climate change on the future distribution of a globally invasive aquatic species. We confirmed the complexities of the likely effects of climate change on the potential distribution of globally invasive species, and it is extremely important to develop wide-ranging and effective control measures according to predicted geographical shifts and changes.
Spanish freshwater ecosystems are suffering great modification and some macroinvertebrates like Austropotamobius italicus, the white-clawed crayfish, are threatened. This species was once widely distributed in Spain, but its populations have shown a very strong decline over the last thirty years, due to different factors. Three Spanish populations of this crayfish—from different scenarios—were analysed with nuclear (microsatellites) and mitochondrial markers (COI and 16S rDNA). Data analyses reveal the existence of four haplotypes at mitochondrial level and polymorphism for four microsatellite loci. Despite this genetic variability, bottlenecks were detected in the two natural Spanish populations tested. In addition, the distribution of the mitochondrial haplotypes and SSR alleles show a similar geographic pattern and the genetic differentiation between these samples is mainly due to genetic drift. Given the current risk status of the species across its range, this diversity offers some hope for the species from a management point of view.
Background and Aims
Previously, we found significantly higher serum leptin in Japanese-Americans in Hawaii than Japanese in Japan. We investigated whether differences in dietary and other lifestyle factors explain higher serum leptin concentrations in Japanese living a Western lifestyle in Hawaii compared with Japanese in Japan.
Methods and Results
Serum leptin and nutrient intakes were examined by standardized methods in men and women ages 40 to 59 years from two population samples, one Japanese-American in Hawaii (88 men, 94 women), the other Japanese in central Japan (123 men, 111 women). Multiple linear regression models were used to assess role of dietary and other lifestyle traits in accounting for serum leptin difference between Hawaii and Japan. Mean leptin was significantly higher in Hawaii than Japan (7.2±6.8 vs 3.7±2.3 ng/ml in men, P<0.0001; 12.8±6.6 vs 8.5±5.0 in women <0.0001). In men, higher BMI in Hawaii explained over 90% of the difference in serum leptin; in women, only 47%. In multiple linear regression analyses in women, further adjustment for physical activity and dietary factors - - alcohol, dietary fiber, iron- - produced a further reduction in the coefficient for the difference, total reduction 70.7%; P value for the Hawaii-Japan difference became 0.126.
The significantly higher mean leptin concentration in Hawaii than Japan may be attributable largely to differences in BMI. Differences in nutrient intake in the two samples were associated with only modest relationship to the leptin difference.
Self-rated health (SRH) is reported as a reliable predictor of disability and mortality in the aged population and has been studied worldwide to enhance the quality of life of the elderly. Nowadays, the elderly living alone, a particular population at great risk of suffering physical and mental health problems, is increasing rapidly in Japan and could potentially make up the majority of the aged population. However, few data are available pertaining to SRH of this population. Given the fact that sufficient healthcare is provided to the disabled elderly whereas there is little support for non-disabled elderly, we designed this population-based survey to investigate SRH of non-disabled elderly living alone and to identify the factors associated with good SRH with the purpose of aiding health promotion for the elderly.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a metropolitan suburb in Japan. Questionnaires pertaining to SRH and physical conditions, lifestyle factors, psychological status, and social activities, were distributed in October 2005 to individuals aged ≥ 65 years and living alone. Response rate was 75.1%. Among these respondents, a total of 600 male and 2587 female respondents were identified as non-disabled elderly living alone and became our subjects. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the factors associated with good SRH and sex-specific effect was tested by stepwise logistic regression.
Good SRH was reported by 69.8% of men and 73.8% of women. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that good SRH correlated with, in odds ratio sequence, "can go out alone to distant places", no depression, no weight loss, absence of self-rated chronic disease, good chewing ability, and good visual ability in men; whereas with "can go out alone to distant places", absence of self-rated chronic disease, no weight loss, no depression, no risk of falling, independent IADL, good chewing ability, good visual ability, and social integration (attend) in women.
For the non-disabled elderly living alone, sex-appropriate support should be considered by health promotion systems from the view point of SRH. Overall, the ability to go out alone to distant places is crucial to SRH of both men and women.
The Culex pipiens complex in Asia includes a temperate subspecies, Culex pipiens pallens, of uncertain taxonomic status. The shape of the male genitalia suggests it is a hybrid between Cx. pipiens and Cx. quinquefasciatus. We studied populations of Cx. p. pallens in Japan, Korea, and China and compared them to local populations of Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. p. pipiens. We examined variation in a nuclear intron in the acetylcholinesterase-2 gene [ACE] and eight microsatellite loci. We found a distinct microsatellite signature for Cx. p. pallens indicating restricted gene flow between Eastern and Western populations of Cx. pipiens, supporting the existence of two subspecies. Furthermore, a multilocus genotype analysis revealed current hybridization between Cx. p. pallens and Cx. quinquefasciatus in southern Japan, Republic of Korea, and China but not in Hokkaido, in northern Japan. Surprisingly, however, we found that the sex-linked ACE locus in chromosome I has introgressed asymmetrically through the males such that all male Cx. p. pallens have a copy of the Cx. quinquefasciatus ACE locus. This result highlights some of the potential consequences of hybridization between local and introduced species to disease transmission worldwide.
HYBRIDIZATION; GENETIC INTROGRESSION; SPECIATION; INVASIVE SPECIES; DISEASE VECTORS; ASIA; SEX-LINKED
The Far Eastern sea cucumber, Stichopus japonicus, is a favored food in Eastern Asia, including Korea, Japan, and China. Aquaculture production of this species has increased because of recent declines in natural stocks and government-operated stock release programs are ongoing. Therefore, the analyses of genetic structure in wild and hatchery populations are necessary to maintain the genetic diversity of this valuable marine resource. In addition, given that sea cucumber color affects market price, with the rare, possibly reproductively isolated, red type being the most valuable, an understanding of the genetic structure and diversity in color variation of green and red types is necessary. We analyzed the genetic structure of wild and hatchery-produced green type S. japonicus from Korea and China, and wild red type from Korea using 9 microsatellite makers. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 11 to 29 across all populations. The mean allele numbers of the green types from Korea (10.6) and China (10.1) were similar, but differed slightly from that of the red type (9.1). Pairwise multilocus FST and genetic distance estimations showed no significant differences between the green types from Korea and China, whereas the differences between the green and red types were significant. This was clearly illustrated by a UPGMA dendrogram, in which the two close subclusters of green types were completely separated from the red type. In addition, the allele frequencies of the green and red types were significantly different. Assignment tests correctly assigned 100% (quality index 99.97%) of individuals to their original color types and demonstrated the feasibility of microsatellite analysis for discrimination between color types.
Stichopus japonicus; microsatellite; genetic differentiation; color variants
Intra-specific genetic diversity is important not only because it influences population persistence and evolutionary potential, but also because it contains past geological, climatic and environmental information. In this paper, we show unusually clear genetic structure of the endangered Japanese crayfish that, as a sedentary species, provides many insights into lesser-known past environments in northern Japan. Over the native range, most populations consisted of unique 16S mtDNA haplotypes, resulting in significant genetic divergence (overall FST = 0.96). Owing to the simple and clear structure, a new graphic approach unraveled a detailed evolutionary history; regional crayfish populations were comprised of two distinct lineages that had experienced contrasting demographic processes (i.e. rapid expansion vs. slow stepwise range expansion) following differential drainage topologies and past climate events. Nuclear DNA sequences also showed deep separation between the lineages. Current ocean barriers to dispersal did not significantly affect the genetic structure of the freshwater crayfish, indicating the formation of relatively recent land bridges. This study provides one of the best examples of how phylogeographic analysis can unravel a detailed evolutionary history of a species and how this history contributes to the understanding of the past environment in the region. Ongoing local extinctions of the crayfish lead not only to loss of biodiversity but also to the loss of a significant information regarding past geological and climatic events.
Individual, isolated rhabdoms from dark-adapted crayfish (Orconectes, Procambarus) were studied with a laterally incident microbeam that could be placed in single stacks of microvilli. Concentration gradients of metarhodopsin along the lengths of microvilli were produced by local bleaches, accomplished by irradiation with small spots of orange light at pH 9 in the presence of glutaraldehyde or formaldehyde. No subsequent redistribution of pigment was observed in the dark, indicating an absence of translational diffusion. On the basis of comparison with other systems, glutaraldehyde, but not formaldehyde (0.75%), would be expected to prevent diffusion of protein in the membrane. Under the same conditions photodichroism is observed, indicating an absence of free Brownian rotation. Photodichroism is larger in glutaraldehyde than in formaldehyde, suggesting that the bifunctional reagent quiets some molecular motion that is present after treatment with formaldehyde. Quantitative comparison of photodichroism with mathematical models indicates that the pigment absorption vectors are aligned within +/- 50 degrees of the microvillar axes and are tilted into the surface of the membrane at an average value of about 20 degrees. The photoconversion of rhodopsin to metarhodopsin is accompanied by an increase in molar extinction of about 20% at the lambda maxand a reorientation of the absorption vector by several degrees. The transition moment either tilts further into the membrane or loses some of its axial orientation, or both. The change in orientation is 3.5 time larger in formaldehyde than in glutaraldehyde.
The synapse-bearing nerve terminals of the opener muscle of the crayfish Procambarus were reconstructed using electron micrographs of regions which had been serially sectioned. The branching patterns of the terminals of excitatory and inhibitory axons and the locations and sizes of neuromuscular and axo-axonal synapses were studied. Excitatory and inhibitory synapses could be distinguished not only on the basis of differences in synaptic vesicles, but also by a difference in density of pre- and postsynaptic membranes. Synapses of both axons usually had one or more sharply localized presynaptic "dense bodies" around which synaptic vesicles appeared to cluster. Some synapses did not have the dense bodies. These structures may be involved in the physiological activity of the synapse. Excitatory axon terminals had more synapses, and a larger percentage of terminal surface area devoted to synaptic contacts, than inhibitory axon terminals. However, the largest synapses of the inhibitory axon exceeded in surface area those of the excitatory axon. Both axons had many side branches coming from the main terminal; often, the side branches were joined to the main terminal by narrow necks. A greater percentage of surface area was devoted to synapses in side branches than in the main terminal. Only a small fraction of total surface area was devoted to axo-axonal synapses, but these were often located at narrow necks or constrictions of the excitatory axon. This arrangement would result in effective blockage of spike invasion of regions of the terminal distal to the synapse, and would allow relatively few synapses to exert a powerful effect on transmitter release from the excitatory axon. A hypothesis to account for the development of the neuromuscular apparatus is presented, in which it is suggested that production of new synapses is more important than enlargement of old ones as a mechanism for allowing the axon to adjust transmitter output to the functional needs of the muscle.
Adjacent segments of the septate axon of the crayfish Procambarus are electrotonically coupled by junction located in the septa between them (see Pappas et al. 1970. J. Cell Biol. 49:173). The coupling resistance at the septa was changed by several experimental treatments. Mechanical injury to an axon increased coupling resistance (more than 7-fold); no recovery of coupling resistance was observed, although the resting potential and resistance of the injured axon could return to near normal levels. Immersion in salines with Na propionate substituted for NaCl increased coupling resistance (mean: 6.1-fold). On return of the preparation to normal saline, coupling resistance recovered virtually completely. Immersion in low Ca++ solutions moderately increased coupling resistance (3.5-fold or less), but return to normal saline was followed by large increases in coupling resistance (5–100-fold). 60 nM Ca++ is near the maximum concentration that leads to increased coupling resistance on return to normal saline. Large increases in coupling resistance are associated with separation of junctional membranes (Pappas et al. 1970. Ibid.); calculations show that the separated membranes greatly increase in resistance. Increase in coupling resistance is probably an important response to injury. Mechanisms underlying changes reported here may be relevant to normal physiological processes of coupling and decoupling.
The evolution of increased competitive ability hypothesis (EICA) predicts that when alien plants are free from their natural enemies they evolve lower allocation to defense in order to achieve a higher growth rate. If this hypothesis is true, the converse implication would be that the defense against herbivory could be restored if a natural enemy also becomes present in the introduced range. We tested this scenario in the case of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) – a species that invaded Japan from North America. We collected seeds from five North American populations, three populations in enemy free areas of Japan and four populations in Japan where the specialist herbivore Ophraella communa naturalized recently. Using plants grown in a common garden in Japan, we compared performance of O. communa with a bioassay experiment. Consistent with the EICA hypothesis, invasive Japanese populations of A. artemisiifolia exhibited a weakened defense against the specialist herbivores and higher growth rate than native populations. Conversely, in locations where the herbivore O. communa appeared during the past decade, populations of A. artemisiifolia exhibited stronger defensive capabilities. These results strengthen the case for EICA and suggest that defense levels of alien populations can be recuperated rapidly after the native specialist becomes present in the introduced range. Our study implies that the plant defense is evolutionary labile depending on plant-herbivore interactions.
Salt stress is one of the most serious factors limiting the productivity of rice, the staple diet in many countries. Gibberellic acid has been reported to reduce NaCl-induced growth inhibition in some plants including rice. Most paddy soils have a natural population of Cyanobacteria, prokaryotic photosynthethic microorganisms, which synthesize and liberate plant growth regulators such as gibberellins that could exert a natural beneficial effect on salt stressed rice plants. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of the cyanobacterium Scytonema hofmanni extracellular products on the growth of rice seedlings inhibited by NaCl and to compare it with the effect of the gibberellic acid in the same stress condition. Growth (length and weight of the seedlings) and biochemical parameters (5-aminolevulinate dehydratase activity, total free porphyrin and pigments content) were evaluated.
Salt exposure negatively affected all parameters measured, with the exception of chlorophyll. Chlrorophyll concentrations nearly doubled upon exposure to high salt. Gibberellic acid counteracted the effect of salt on the length and dry weight of the shoot, and on carotenoid and chlorophyll b contents. Extracellular products nullified the salt effect on shoot dry weight and carotenoid content; partially counteracted the effect on shoot length (from 54% to 38% decrease), root dry weight (from 59% to 41% decrease) and total free porphyrin (from 31 to 13% decrease); reduced by 35% the salt increase of chlorophyll a; had no effect on root length and chlorophyll b. Gibberellic acid and extracellular products increased 5-aminolevulinate dehydratase activity over the control without salt. When coincident with high salinity, exposure to either EP or GA3, resulted in a reversal of shoot-related responses to salt stress. We propose that Scytonema hofmanni extracellular products may counteract altered hormone homeostasis of rice seedlings under salt stress by producing gibberellin-like plant growth regulators.
Extraction of two visual pigments from crayfish eyes prompted an electrophysiological examination of the role of visual pigments in the compound eyes of six arthropods. The intact animals were used; in crayfishes isolated eyestalks also. Thresholds were measured in terms of the absolute or relative numbers of photons per flash at various wavelengths needed to evoke a constant amplitude of electroretinogram, usually 50 µv. Two species of crayfish, as well as the green crab, possess blue- and red-sensitive receptors apparently arranged for color discrimination. In the northern crayfish, Orconectes virilis, the spectral sensitivity of the dark-adapted eye is maximal at about 550 mµ, and on adaptation to bright red or blue lights breaks into two functions with λmax respectively at about 435 and 565 mµ, apparently emanating from different receptors. The swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, displays a maximum sensitivity when dark-adapted at about 570 mµ, that breaks on color adaptation into blue- and red-sensitive functions with λmax about 450 and 575 mµ, again involving different receptors. Similarly the green crab, Carcinides maenas, presents a dark-adapted sensitivity maximal at about 510 mµ that divides on color adaptation into sensitivity curves maximal near 425 and 565 mµ. Each of these organisms thus possesses an apparatus adequate for at least two-color vision, resembling that of human green-blinds (deuteranopes). The visual pigments of the red-sensitive systems have been extracted from the crayfish eyes. The horse-shoe crab, Limulus, and the lobster each possesses a single visual system, with λmax respectively at 520 and 525 mµ. Each of these is invariant with color adaptation. In each case the visual pigment had already been identified in extracts. The spider crab, Libinia emarginata, presents another variation. It possesses two visual systems apparently differentiated, not for color discrimination but for use in dim and bright light, like vertebrate rods and cones. The spectral sensitivity of the dark-adapted eye is maximal at about 490 mµ and on light adaptation, whether to blue, red, or white light, is displaced toward shorter wavelengths in what is essentially a reverse Purkinje shift. In all these animals dark adaptation appears to involve two phases: a rapid, hyperbolic fall of log threshold associated probably with visual pigment regeneration, followed by a slow, almost linear fall of log threshold that may be associated with pigment migration.
Despite their widespread use as model organisms, the phylogenetic status of the around 520 species of freshwater crayfish is still in doubt. One hypothesis suggests two distinct origins of freshwater crayfish as indicated by their geographical distribution, with two centres of origin near the two present centres of diversity; one in south-eastern United States and the other in Victoria, Australia. An alternative theory proposes a single (monophyletic) origin of freshwater crayfish. Here we use over 3000 nucleotides from three different gene regions in estimating phylogenetic relationships among freshwater crayfish and related Crustacea. We show clear evidence for monophyly of freshwater crayfish and for the sister-group relationship between crayfish and clawed lobsters. Monophyly of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea is also supported. However, the monophyly of the family Cambaridae is questioned with the genus Cambaroides being associated with the Astacidae.