Volumes & issues:
- Developmental Biology
Development of Erythroid Progenitors under Erythropoietin Stimulation in Xenopus laevis Larval Liver33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160040View Description Hide Description
Erythroid progenitors that respond to erythropoietin (Epo) are present in the liver of adult Xenopus laevis. However, cells responding to Epo in the larval liver and through the metamorphosis period under hepatic remodeling have not been characterized. In this study, tadpoles were staged using the tables of Nieuwkoop and Faber (NF). Liver cells from pre- (NF56) or post- (NF66) metamorphic stage were cultured in the presence of Epo. β2-globin mRNA expression peaked at day 7 after the start of culture. Larval β2-globin was highly expressed in NF56-derived cells, while adult β2-globinwas detected in those of NF66. In both NF56- and NF66-derived cells, mRNA expression of eporand gata2 peaked at day 5 and days 3–4, respectively. In contrast, gata1 expression peaked at day 6 in NF56 cells and at day 5 in NF66 cells. Half maximal proliferation of erythrocytic blast cells derived from the liver at NF66 was observed at day 3, which was earlier than that of NF56. These results indicate that erythroid progenitors that respond to Xenopus laevis Epo are maintained in pre- and post-metamorphic liver, although the tissue architecture changes dramatically during metamorphosis. Additionally, the globin switching occurred, and/or the erythroid progenitors for larval erythrocytes were replaced by those for adult erythrocytes in the metamorphic liver.
An RNAi Screen for Genes Involved in Nanoscale Protrusion Formation on Corneal Lens in Drosophila melanogaster33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160105View Description Hide Description
The “moth-eye” structure, which is observed on the surface of corneal lens in several insects, supports anti-reflective and self-cleaning functions due to nanoscale protrusions known as corneal nipples. Although the morphology and function of the “moth-eye” structure, are relatively well studied, the mechanism of protrusion formation from cell-secreted substances is unknown. In Drosophila melanogaster, a compound eye consists of approximately 800 facets, the surface of which is formed by the corneal lens with nanoscale protrusions. In the present study, we sought to identify genes involved in “moth-eye” structure, formation in order to elucidate the developmental mechanism of the protrusions in Drosophila. We re-examined the aberrant patterns in classical glossy-eye mutants by scanning electron microscope and classified the aberrant patterns into groups. Next, we screened genes encoding putative structural cuticular proteins and genes involved in cuticular formation using eye specific RNAi silencing methods combined with the Gal4/UAS expression system. We identified 12 of 100 candidate genes, such as cuticular proteins family genes (Cuticular protein 23B and Cuticular protein 49Ah), cuticle secretion-related genes (Syntaxin 1A and Sec61 ββ subunit), ecdysone signaling and biosynthesis-related genes (Ecdysone receptor, Blimp-1, and shroud), and genes involved in cell polarity/cell architecture (Actin 5C, shotgun, armadillo, discs large1, and coracle). Although some of the genes we identified may affect corneal protrusion formation indirectly through general patterning defects in eye formation, these initial findings have encouraged us to more systematically explore the precise mechanisms underlying the formation of nanoscale protrusions in Drosophila.
- Diversity and Evolution
Phylogeography of the Rice Spittle Bug (Callitettix versicolor) Implies Two Long-Term Mountain Barriers in South China33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160042View Description Hide Description
South China is a region of remarkable topographic complexity. However, the impact of climate fluctuations in the Pleistocene on the local fauna and especially insects has not been extensively studied. We integrated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellite data of the rice spittle bug, Callitettix versicolor, to determine the genetic structure, potential biogeographic barriers, and historical demography of this species. The mtDNA data revealed two distinct lineages (Western and Eastern) congruent with the geographically separated western and eastern sub-regions of the Hengduan Mountains. The Eastern lineage was subdivided into two sub-lineages, E1 and E2, congruent with the geographically separated northern and southern sub-regions of the Dabie Mountains. E2 was further subdivided into two sub-groups, E2-1 and E2-2, with a hybrid zone (Guizhou and Hunan Provinces) in which their areas were contiguous. The genetic structures constructed using mtDNA were corroborated by four clusters (G1–G4) of microsatellite data. The populations of each cluster were nearly consistent with a sub-lineage of the mtDNA gene tree (G1–G4 corresponded to the Western, E1, E2-2 and E2-1 lineages, respectively). The divergence time estimated between the Western and Eastern lineages was 1.17 (0.50–2.37) to 0.89 (0.39–1.78) Mya, indicating that the lineages diversified on both geographic and temporal scales. The historical demography of the Eastern lineage showed continuous population growth after the Last Interglacial (LIG) and a stable population during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) period. However, the Western lineage remained largely unchanged during the LIG and LGM periods. This suggests that the historical demography of C. versicolor is probably related not only to the paleoclimate of South China, but also to the geological restriction and specific habitat preferences of species.
Introgression and Habitat Segregation in a Pair of Ladybird Beetle Species in the Genus Propylea (Coccinellidae, Coccinellinae) in Northern Japan33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160062View Description Hide Description
The ladybird beetles Propylea quatuordecimpunctata and P. japonica have largely overlapping distributions in northern Japan, and in the laboratory produce fertile hybrids. In this study, we surveyed the distribution and morphological differentiation of these species and the hybrids in natural populations, with a focus on western Hokkaido, northern Japan. Phenotypic analyses were conducted for 987 individuals collected at 90 localities. In addition, the nuclear internal transcribed spacer-II (ITS2) region (549 bp) and part of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene (700 bp) were sequenced for 620 individuals from 53 localities. Analyses of both phenotypic and genotypic features discriminated two distinct entities assignable to P. quatuordecimpunctata and P. japonica. However, individuals with intermediate phenotypes and/or genotypes also occurred extensively, indicating natural hybridization. Putative P. quatuordecimpunctata individuals were collected across a wide range of altitudes (30–600 m), whereas those of P. japonica were found mostly lower than 300 m alt. In addition, P. quatuordecimpunctata was dominant in semi-open habitats shaded by canopy foliage, whereas P. japonica was frequent in more open habitats. The perceived altitudinal difference in the distributions may thus in part be a consequence of this different habitat preference, as open habitats are more common at lower altitudes in the study area.
Seasonal Variation in the Food Habits of the Eurasian Harvest Mouse (Micromys minutus) from Western Tokyo, Japan33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160087View Description Hide Description
A previous quantitative analysis of the food composition of the Eurasian harvest mouse (Micromys minutus) in Japan showed that it is insectivorous and granivorous. This supports the expectation that such a small mammal requires highly nutritious foods. Other studies have analyzed the feces of harvest mice, but these were only collected during winter in order to minimize disturbance of the animals. In the present study, we collected samples from all four seasons in order to understand changes in diet throughout the year. Results showed apparent seasonal differences in the diet of harvest mice. Insects accounted for ca. 30% of the diet in summer and autumn and seeds increased from 27% in winter to 50% in spring, suggesting the insectivorous nature of the harvest mouse in summer and autumn and graminivorous nature in winter and spring. These results strongly suggest that the harvest mouse is an opportunistic feeder. It has previously been thought that the harvest mice capture insects in the stalk zone of tall grassland community, but here, DNA analysis shows that harvest mice feed on ground-dwelling invertebrates, such as pill bugs (Armadillidium sp.) and carrion beetles (Calosilpha sp. or Ptomascopus sp.). This suggests that the harvest mouse goes down to the ground to feed on them.
Wing Scale Orientation Alters Reflection Directions in the Green Hairstreak Chrysozephyrus smaragdinus (Lycaenidae; Lepidoptera)33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160041View Description Hide Description
There have been only a few reports on the directional reflection of light by butterfly wings. Here, we systematically investigated this phenomenon in a lycaenid butterfly, Chrysozephyrus smaragdinus,in which males have bright green wings based on structural coloration. We used a device that measures intensities of light in hemispherical space by vertical shifting of a sensor and horizontal rotation of the stage carrying the wing, which is illuminated from the top, to determine the direction of light reflected by the fore- and hindwings. The orientation and curvature of wing scales were also examined microscopically. The forewing of this species reflected light shone from the top largely forward, whereas the hindwing reflected it slightly forward. This difference was attributed to the tilt angles of the wing scales. Light reflection by the forewing was relatively weak, and widely scattered, whereas that by the hindwing was rather concentrated, resulting in higher reflectance. This difference was attributed to difference in the curvature of the wing scales on the two wings.
Genital Autocleaning in the Male Cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (1): Structure and Function of the Genital Membrane33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160100View Description Hide Description
We found that the genitalia of the male cricket Gryllus bimaculatus are equipped with an autocleaning system. The cricket keeps its genitalia clean by removing foreign matter and endogenous waste. Morphological study showed that the membrane complex consists of a median pouch and a genital chamber floor covered by small scales, each of which has a base of approximately 10 µm in width and a fringe with 5–10 spines 3–20 µm in length. The scales are arranged symmetrically about the midline, curving gradually in the lateral direction and continuing to the lateral pouch serving as a trash container. Observation of cleaning revealed that a small piece of artificial dirt placed on the membrane complex was conveyed over a distance of 1.3 mm to the lateral pouch in 12 minutes. Inspection of the dorsal pouch just after spermatophore extrusion in the mating stage revealed that there were patchy remnants of spermatophore material on the inner surface of the pouch, but that these were evacuated in a few minutes. Surgical elimination of the median pouch caused the formation of abnormal spermatophores with the sperm tube and attachment plate being deformed. These results suggest that genital autocleaning is indispensable for the production of a normal spermatophore in the male cricket.
Genital Autocleaning in the Male Cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (2): Rhythmic Movements of the Genitalia and Their Motor Control33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160101View Description Hide Description
Three types of genital movement, their neural controls, and functional roles were investigated to gain a better understanding of the mechanism underlying autocleaning in the male cricket. The membrane complex consisting of the median pouch and genital chamber floor shows peculiar undulation that is composed of two types of movements: a right-left large shift and small crease-like movements. The large shift was caused by contraction of a pair of muscles (MPA) located anterior to the median pouch, while the crease-like movements were caused by numerous muscle fibers extending over the membrane complex. The MPA and muscle fibers were each innervated by efferent neurons in the terminal abdominal ganglion. Experiments with artificial dirt mimicking a foreign object revealed that the crease-like movements were responsible for dirt transport, while the large shift participated in sweeping the dirt into the lateral pouch as a trash container. On the other hand, the dorsal pouch serving as a template for the spermatophore showed a jerky bending movement. Simultaneous monitoring of the membrane complex and dorsal pouch activities suggested that their movements cooperate to enable the efficient evacuation of waste in the dorsal pouch. Based on the results, we conclude that genital autocleaning supports the production of the spermatophore.
Optomotor Reactions Reveal Polarization Sensitvity in the Zika Virus Transmitting Yellow Fever Mosquito Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (Diptera; Nematocera)33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160005View Description Hide Description
In polarization-sensitive insect species an orthogonal arrangement of photoreceptive microvilli is a characteristic feature. However, mosquito eyes had not revealed this feature, and polarization sensitivity (PS) was considered to be non-existent in them. Recently, however, gravid Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti females were found to possess PS, sequels of which could be demonstrated only in the absence of chemicals emitted by conspecifics. Therefore, PS in Ae. aegypti, unlike that of other aquatic insects, apparently does not play a dominant role in locating water bodies, and is difficult to demonstrate in situations free of chemical cues. Here, we present behavioral evidence with Ae. aegypti females, exposed to large-field optomotor stimuli based solely on polarization contrast. Under conditions with stripes of alternating orthogonal directions of polarization, clear optomotor responses were elicited, no different from those in response to a rotating drum with vertical black and white stripes. Thus, Ae. aegypti is indeed polarization-sensitive; it reacts to vertically-striped contrast patterns with low spatial frequency on the basis of both intensity and polarization differences between the stripes.
First Report of the Morphology and rDNA Sequences of Two Pseudopolydora Species (Annelida: Spionidae) from Japan33, 6(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs160082View Description Hide Description
The morphology of two Pseudopolydora species, P. cf. reticulata Radashevsky and Hsieh, 2000 and P. achaeta Radashevsky and Hsieh, 2000 are reported from Japan for the first time. Pseudopolydora cf. reticulata was collected from Japanese tidal flats, and individuals possess the characteristic netlike pigmentation on the dorsum of anterior chaetigers and the longitudinal black band along midline of caruncle. Pseudopolydora achaeta was collected from subtidal bottom mud of Onagawa Bay, and individuals have distinctive characteristics, such as intensive black pigmentation on dorsal and ventral sides of the anterior body and nearly straight vertical rows of major spines on the fifth chaetiger. The morphology of P. cf. reticulata is very similar to that of P. cf. kempi, with which it had been confused in Japan. We analyzed the 18S and 28S rRNA gene sequences of all five Pseudopolydora species recorded from Japan and found strong evidence that they are genetically distinct. Our analysis also suggests that boring polydorids have evolved among non-boring ones; the genus Pseudopolydora, which mostly shows the non-boring form, appears to have remained in a more ancestral condition.