A survey of serum and dietary carotenoids in captive wild animals.
Accumulation of carotenoids varies greatly among animal species and is not fully characterized. Circulating carotenoid concentration data in captive wild animals are limited and may be useful for their management. Serum carotenoid concentrations and dietary intakes were surveyed and the extent of accumulation categorized for 76 species of captive wild animals at Brookfield Zoo. Blood samples were obtained opportunistically from 275 individual animals immobilized for a variety of reasons; serum was analyzed for alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein + zeaxanthin, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin and canthaxanthin. Total carotenoid content of diets was calculated from tables and chemical analyses of commonly consumed dietary components. Diets were categorized as low, moderate or high in carotenoid content as were total serum carotenoid concentrations. Animals were classified as unknown, high, moderate or low (non-) accumulators of dietary cartenoids. Nonaccumulators had total serum carotenoid concentrations of 0-101 nmol/L, whereas accumulators had concentrations that ranged widely, from 225 to 35,351 nmol/L. Primates were uniquely distinguished by the widest range of type and concentration of carotenoids in their sera. Most were classified as high to moderate accumulators. Felids had high accumulation of beta-carotene regardless of dietary intake, whereas a wide range of exotic birds accumulated only the xanthophylls, lutein + zeaxanthin, canthaxanthin or cryptoxanthin. The exotic ungulates, with the exception of the bovids, had negligible or nondetectable carotenoid serum concentrations despite moderate intakes. Bovids accumulated only beta-carotene despite moderately high lutein + zeaxanthin intakes. Wild captive species demonstrated a wide variety of carotenoid accumulation patterns, which could be exploited to answer remaining questions concerning carotenoid metabolism and function. (+info)
The prevalence of Balantidium coli infection in fifty-six mammalian species.
A total of 375 fecal samples of 56 mammalian species belonging to 17 families of 4 orders were examined for the detection of Balantidium coli from December 1994 to August 1995. As a result, B. coli was found from 6 species belonging to 4 families of 2 orders (Primates and Artiodactyla) of host animals examined. White-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar), squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciurea) and Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) were new hosts for B. coli. All the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) examined were positive. The highest number of B. coli was obtained from a chimpanzee (1,230/g feces). No B. coli was detected from the animals of orders Rodentia and Carnivora including dogs and cats. The rarity of B. coli infection in breeding animals in Japan. suggests that there is no serious problem in controlling infections. (+info)
Phylogenetic relationships among cetartiodactyls based on insertions of short and long interpersed elements: hippopotamuses are the closest extant relatives of whales.
Insertion analysis of short and long interspersed elements is a powerful method for phylogenetic inference. In a previous study of short interspersed element data, it was found that cetaceans, hippopotamuses, and ruminants form a monophyletic group. To further resolve the relationships among these taxa, we now have isolated and characterized 10 additional loci. A phylogenetic analysis of these data was able to resolve relationships among the major cetartiodactyl groups, thereby shedding light on the origin of whales. The results indicated (i) that cetaceans are deeply nested within Artiodactyla, (ii) that cetaceans and hippopotamuses form a monophyletic group, (iii) that pigs and peccaries form a monophyletic group to the exclusion of hippopotamuses, (iv) that chevrotains diverged first among ruminants, and (v) that camels diverged first among cetartiodactyls. These findings lead us to conclude that cetaceans evolved from an immediate artiodactyl, not mesonychian, ancestor. (+info)
Genealogy of families of SINEs in cetaceans and artiodactyls: the presence of a huge superfamily of tRNA(Glu)-derived families of SINEs.
Several novel (sub)families of SINEs were isolated from the genomes of cetaceans and artiodactyls, and their sequences were determined. From comparisons of diagnostic nucleotides among the short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs) in these (sub)families, we were able to draw the following conclusions. (1) After the divergence of the suborder Tylopoda (camels), the CHRS family of SINEs was newly created from tRNA(Glu) in a common ancestor of the lineages of the Suina (pigs and peccaries), Ruminantia (cows and deer), and Cetacea (whales and dolphins). (2) After divergence of the Suina lineage, the CHR-1 SINE and the CHR-2 SINE were generated successively in a common ancestor of ruminants, hippopotamuses, and cetaceans. (3) In the Ruminantia lineage, the Bov-tA SINE was generated by recombination between the CHR-2 SINE and Bov-A. (4) In the Suina lineage, the CHRS-S SINE was generated from the CHRS SINE. (5) In this latter lineage, the PRE-1 family of SINEs was created by insertion of part of the gene for tRNA(Arg) into the 5' region of the CHRS-S family. The distribution of a particular family of SINEs among species of artiodactyls and cetaceans confirmed the most recent conclusion for paraphyly of the order Artiodactyla. The present study also revealed that a newly created tRNA(Glu)-derived family of SINEs was subjected both to recombination with different units and to duplication of an internal sequence within a SINE unit to generate, during evolution, a huge superfamily of tRNA(Glu)-related families of SINEs that are now found in the genomes of artiodactyls and cetaceans. (+info)
The role of wild ruminants in the epidemiology of bovine petechial fever.
After experimental inoculation of Cytoecetes ondiri, the agent of bovine petechial fever (BPF), multiplication occurred in impala, bushbuck, Thomson's gazelles and wildebeest, as shown by infectivity studies and clinical findings. Similar attempts to infect one eland failed. As a sequel to this, blood and spleen samples were collected from four species of wild ruminants in an area where BPTF was endemic. Isolations of C. ondiri were made from three of five bushbuck, but not from any other species. (+info)
Phylogeography of three closely related African bovids (tribe Alcelaphini).
The phylogeography of three species of African bovids, the hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), the topi (Damaliscus lunatus), and the wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), is inferred from sequence variation of 345 sequences at the control region (d-loop) of the mtDNA. The three species are closely related (tribe Alcelaphini) and share similar habitat requirements. Moreover, their former distribution extended over Africa, as a probable result of the expansion of open grassland on the continent during the last 2.5 Myr. A combination of population genetics (diversity and structure) and intraspecific phylogeny (tree topology and relative branch length) methods is used to substantiate scenarios of the species history. Population dynamics are inferred from the distribution of sequence pairwise differences within populations. In the three species, there is a significant structuring of the populations, as shown by analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) pairwise and hierarchical differentiation estimations. In the wildebeest, a pattern of colonization from southern Africa toward east Africa is consistent with the asymmetric topology of the gene tree, showing a paraphyletic position of southern lineages, as well as their relatively longer branch lengths, and is supported by a progressive decline in population nucleotide diversity toward east Africa. The phylogenetic pattern found in the topi and the hartebeest differs from that of the wildebeest: lineages split into monophyletic clades, and no geographical trend is detected in population diversity. We suggest a scenario where these antelopes, previously with wide pan-African distributions, became extinct except in a few refugia. The hartebeest, and probably also the topi, survived in refugia north of the equator, in the east and the west, respectively, as well as one in the south. The southern refugium furthermore seems to have been the only place where the wildebeest has survived. (+info)
Model dependence of the phylogenetic inference: relationship among carnivores, Perissodactyls and cetartiodactyls as inferred from mitochondrial genome sequences.
Some previous analysis of mitochondrial proteins strongly support the Carnivora/Perissodactyla grouping excluding Cetartiodactyla (Artiodactyla + Cetacea) as an outgroup, but the support of the hypothesis remains equivocal from the analysis of several nuclear-encoded proteins. In order to evaluate the strength of the support by mitochondrial proteins, phylogenetic relationship among Carnivora, Perissodactyla, and Cetartiodactyla was estimated with the ML method by using the updated data set of the 12 mitochondrial proteins with several alternative models. The analyses demonstrate that the phylogenetic inference depends on the model used in the ML analysis; i.e., whether the site-heterogeneity is taken into account and whether the rate parameters are estimated for each individual proteins or for the concatenated sequences. Although the analysis of concatenated sequences strongly supports the Carnivora/Perissodactyla grouping, the total evaluation of the separate analyses of individual proteins, which approximates the data better than the concatenated analysis, gives only ambiguous results, and therefore it is concluded that more data are needed to resolve this trichotomy. (+info)
Conservation within artiodactyls of an AATA interrupt in the IGF-I microsatellite for 19-35 million years.
Occurrence of an AATA interrupt in the IGF-I microsatellite was investigated in a number of Artiodactyl species, namely pigs, camels, deer, cattle, goats, and sheep. Comparison of DNA sequences in the 5' flank of the microsatellite in these species revealed that the interrupt within the microsatellite is conserved in deer, cattle, sheep, and goats but is absent from camels and pigs. The interrupt was introduced into the Artiodactyl phylogeny after the divergence of the Camelidae but before the divergence of the Cervidae, and thus its time of origin can be estimated to be 19-35 MYA. In contrast to the repeat units which are hypermutable, the interrupt has been conserved for a very long time and may even have suppressed microsatellite variation by inhibiting replication slippage. A 12-bp deletion in the 5' flank of the microsatellite in camels corresponds to a consensus reversed repeat in deer, cattle, sheep, and goats with unknown functional significance. Apart from this deletion, the 5' flank of the microsatellite is highly conserved in Artiodactyl species. (+info)