Totally found 612 items.

  • [期刊] Rewarding compounds identified from the medicinal plant Rhodiola rosea
    Preparations of Rhodiola rosea root are widely used in traditional medicine. They can increase life span in worms and flies, and have various effects related to nervous system function in different animal species and humans. However, which of the compounds in R. rosea is mediating any one of these effects has remained unknown in most cases. Here, an analysis of the volatile and non-volatile low-molecular-weight constituents of R. rosea root samples was accompanied by an investigation of their behavioral impact on Drosophila melanogaster larvae. Rhodiola rosea root samples have an attractive smell and taste to the larvae, and exert a rewarding effect. This rewarding effect was also observed for R. rosea root extracts, and did not require activity of dopamine neurons that mediate known rewards such as sugar. Based on the chemical profiles of R. rosea root extracts and resultant fractions, a bioactivity-correlation analysis (AcorA) was performed to identify candidate rewarding compounds. This suggested positive correlations for - among related compounds - ferulic acid eicosyl ester (FAE-20) and 1-sitosterol glucoside. A validation using these as pure compounds confirmed that the correlations were causal. Their rewarding effects can be observed even at low micromolar concentrations and thus at remarkably lower doses than for any known taste reward in the larva. We discuss whether similar rewarding effects, should they be observed in humans, would indicate a habit-forming or addictive potential.
  • [期刊] Rewarding compounds identified from the medicinal plant Rhodiola rosea
    Preparations of Rhodiola rosea root are widely used in traditional medicine. They can increase life span in worms and flies, and have various effects related to nervous system function in different animal species and humans. However, which of the compounds in R. rosea is mediating any one of these effects has remained unknown in most cases. Here, an analysis of the volatile and non-volatile low-molecular-weight constituents of R. rosea root samples was accompanied by an investigation of their behavioral impact on Drosophila melanogaster larvae. Rhodiola rosea root samples have an attractive smell and taste to the larvae, and exert a rewarding effect. This rewarding effect was also observed for R. rosea root extracts, and did not require activity of dopamine neurons that mediate known rewards such as sugar. Based on the chemical profiles of R. rosea root extracts and resultant fractions, a bioactivity-correlation analysis (AcorA) was performed to identify candidate rewarding compounds. This suggested positive correlations for - among related compounds - ferulic acid eicosyl ester (FAE-20) and 1-sitosterol glucoside. A validation using these as pure compounds confirmed that the correlations were causal. Their rewarding effects can be observed even at low micromolar concentrations and thus at remarkably lower doses than for any known taste reward in the larva. We discuss whether similar rewarding effects, should they be observed in humans, would indicate a habit-forming or addictive potential.
  • [期刊] Absolute ethanol intake predicts ethanol preference in Drosophila melanogaster
    Factors that mediate ethanol preference in Drosophila melanogaster are not well understood. A major confound has been the use of diverse methods to estimate ethanol consumption. We measured fly consumptive ethanol preference on base diets varying in nutrients, taste and ethanol concentration. Both sexes showed an ethanol preference that was abolished on high nutrient concentration diets. Additionally, manipulating total food intake without altering the nutritive value of the base diet or the ethanol concentration was sufficient to evoke or eliminate ethanol preference. Absolute ethanol intake and food volume consumed were stronger predictors of ethanol preference than caloric intake or the dietary caloric content. Our findings suggest that the effect of the base diet on ethanol preference is largely mediated by total consumption associated with the delivery medium, which ultimately determines the level of ethanol intake. We speculate that a physiologically relevant threshold for ethanol intake is essential for preferential ethanol consumption.
  • [期刊] Ventilatory sensitivity to ammonia in the Pacific hagfish (Eptatretus stoutii), a representative of the oldest extant connection to the ancestral vertebrates
    Ventilatory sensitivity to ammonia occurs in teleosts, elasmobranchs and mammals. Here, we investigated whether the response is also present in hagfish. Ventilatory parameters (nostril flow, pressure amplitude, velar frequency and ventilatory index, the last representing the product of pressure amplitude and frequency), together with blood and water chemistry, were measured in hagfish exposed to either high environmental ammonia (HEA) in the external sea water or internal ammonia loading by intra-vascular injection. HEA exposure (10 mmol l(-1) NH4HCO3 or 10 mmol l(-1) NH4Cl) caused a persistent hyperventilation by 3 h, but further detailed analysis of the NH4HCO3 response showed that initially (within 5 min) there was a marked decrease in ventilation (80% reduction in ventilatory index and nostril flow), followed by a later 3-fold increase, by which time plasma total ammonia concentration had increased 11-fold. Thus, hyperventilation in HEA appeared to be an indirect response to internal ammonia elevation, rather than a direct response to external ammonia. HEA-mediated increases in oxygen consumption also occurred. Responses to NH4HCO3 were greater than those to NH4Cl, reflecting greater increases over time in water pH and P-NH(3) in the former. Hagfish also exhibited hyperventilation in response to direct injection of isotonic NH4HCO3 or NH4Cl solutions into the caudal sinus. In all cases where hyperventilation occurred, plasma total ammonia and P-NH3 levels increased significantly, while blood acid-base status remained unchanged, indicating specific responses to internal ammonia elevation. The sensitivity of breathing to ammonia arose very early in vertebrate evolution.
  • [期刊] Altered thermoregulation as a driver of host behaviour in glochidia-parasitised fish
    Parasites alter their host behaviour and vice versa as a result of mutual adaptations in the evolutionary arms race. One of these adaptations involves changes in host thermoregulation, which has the potential to harm the parasite and thereby act as a defence mechanism. We used a model of the brown trout (Salmo trutta) experimentally parasitised with glochidia ectoparasitic larvae from the endangered freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) to reveal whether parasitisation alters fish behavioural thermoregulation. A study using radiotelemetry temperature sensors was performed during almost one year of the M. margaritifera parasitic stage. Glochidia-infested S. trutta altered their thermoregulation through active searching for habitats with different thermal regimes. The general preference for temperatures in infested fish varied and was either above or below the temperature preferred by uninfested individuals. Infested fish also preferred different temperatures across localities, whereas uninfested fish maintained their thermal preference no matter which stream they inhabited. Glochidia further induced the expression of a behavioural syndrome among S. trutta personality traits, suggesting that it might increase the probability that the fish host would occur in the glochidia temperature optimum. Our findings present the first evidence that thermoregulation plays a fundamental role in the relationship of affiliated mussels and their fish hosts. Incorporating thermoregulation as a factor in the study of this relationship can help to interpret results from previous behavioural studies, as well as to optimise management measures related to endangered mussels.
  • [期刊] Increased apical sodium-dependent glucose transporter abundance in the ctenidium of the giant clam Tridacna squamosa upon illumination
    Giant clams contain phototrophic zooxanthellae, and live in nutrient-deficient tropical waters where light is available. We obtained the complete cDNA coding sequence of a homolog ofmammalian sodium/glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1) - SGLT1-like-from the ctenidium of the fluted giant clam, Tridacna squamosa. SGLT1-like had a host origin and was expressed predominantly in the ctenidium. Molecular characterizations reveal that SGLT1-like of T. squamosa could transport urea, in addition to glucose, as other SGLT1s do. It has an apical localization in the epithelium of ctenidial filaments and water channels, and the apical anti-SGLT1-like immunofluorescence was stronger in individuals exposed to light than to darkness. Furthermore, the protein abundance of SGLT1-like increased significantly in the ctenidium of individuals exposed to light for 12 h, although the SGLT1-like transcript level remained unchanged. As expected, T. squamosa could perform light-enhanced glucose absorption, which was impeded by exogenous urea. These results denote the close relationships between light-enhanced glucose absorption and light-enhanced SGLT1-like expression in the ctenidium of T. squamosa. Although glucose absorption could be trivial compared with the donation of photosynthates from zooxanthellae in symbiotic adults, SGLT1-like might be essential for the survival of aposymbiotic larvae, leading to its retention in the symbiotic stage. A priori, glucose uptake through SGLT1-like might be augmented by the surface microbiome through nutrient cycling, and the absorbed glucose could partially fulfill the metabolic needs of the ctenidial cells. Additionally, SGLT1-like could partake in urea absorption, as T. squamosa is known to conduct light-enhanced urea uptake to benefit the nitrogen-deficient zooxanthellae.
  • [期刊] Light avoidance by a non-ocular photosensing system in the terrestrial slug Limax valentianus
    Although the eye is the best-studied photoreceptive organ in animals, the presence of non-ocular photosensing systems has been reported in numerous animal species. However, most of the roles that non-ocular photosensory systems play remain elusive. We found that the terrestrial slug Limax valentianus avoids light and escapes into dark areas even if it is blinded by the removal of the bilateral superior tentacle. The escape behaviour was more evident for short-wavelength light. Illumination to the head with blue but not red light elicited avoidance behaviour in the blinded slugs. Illumination to the tail was ineffective. The light-avoidance behaviour of the blinded slugs was not affected by the removal of the penis, which lies on the brain in the head, suggesting that the penis is dispensable for sensing light in the blinded slug. mRNA of Opn5A, xenopsin, retinochrome and, to a lesser extent, rhodopsin was expressed in the brain according to RT-PCR. Light-evoked neural responses were recorded from the left cerebro-pleural connective of the isolated suboesophageal ganglia of the brain, revealing that the brain is sensitive to short wavelengths of light (400-480 nm). This result is largely consistent with the wavelength dependency of the light-avoidance behaviour of the blinded slugs that we observed in the present study. Our results strongly support that the terrestrial slug L. valentianus detects and avoids light by using its brain as a light-sensing organ in the absence of eyes.
  • [期刊] Enhanced transport of nutrients powered by microscale flows of the self-spinning dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp.
    The metabolism of a living organism (e.g. bacteria, algae, zooplankton) requires a continuous uptake of nutrients from the surrounding environment. However, within local spatial scales, nutrients are quickly used up under dense concentrations of organisms. Here, we report that self-spinning dinoflagellates Symbiodinium sp. (clade E) generate a microscale flow that mitigates competition and enhances the uptake of nutrients from the surrounding environment. Our experimental and theoretical results reveal that this incessant active behavior enhances transport by approximately 80-fold when compared with Brownian motion in living fluids. We found that the tracer ensemble probability density function for displacement is time-dependent, but consists of a Gaussian core and robust exponential tails (so-called nonGaussian diffusion). This can be explained by interactions of far-field Brownian motions and a near-field entrainment effect along with microscale flows. The contribution of exponential tails sharply increases with algal density, and saturates at a critical density, implying a trade-off between aggregated benefit and negative competition for the spatially self-organized cells. Our work thus shows that active motion and migration of aquatic algae play key roles in diffusive transport and should be included in theoretical and numerical models of physical and biogeochemical ecosystems.
  • [期刊] A new, practicable and economical cage design for experimental studies on small honey bee colonies
    Bees are in decline globally as a result of multiple stressors including pests, pathogens and contaminants. The management of bees in enclosures can identify causes of decline under standardized conditions but the logistics of conducting effect studies in typical systems used across several colonies is complex and costly. This study details a practicable, new and economical cage system that effectively houses live honey bee colonies to investigate the impact of physical conditions, biological factors and environmental contaminants on honey bee health. The method has broad application for a range of effect studies concerning honey bee development, physiology, survival and population dynamics because it enables entire colonies, as opposed to individual workers, to be managed well in captivity.
  • [期刊] A novel mechanism of mixing by pulsing corals
    The dynamic pulsation of xeniid corals is one of the most fascinating phenomena observed in coral reefs. We quantify for the first time the flow near the tentacles of these soft corals, the active pulsations of which are thought to enhance their symbionts' photosynthetic rates by up to an order of magnitude. These polyps are approximately 1 cm in diameter and pulse at frequencies between approximately 0.5 and 1 Hz. As a result, the frequency-based Reynolds number calculated using the tentacle length and pulse frequency is on the order of 10 and rapidly decays as with distance from the polyp. This introduces the question of how these corals minimize the reversibility of the flow and bring in new volumes of fluid during each pulse. We estimate the Peclet number of the bulk flow generated by the coral as being on the order of 100-1000 whereas the flow between the bristles of the tentacles is on the order of 10. This illustrates the importance of advective transport in removing oxygen waste. Flow measurements using particle image velocimetry reveal that the individual polyps generate a jet of water with positive vertical velocities that do not go below 0.1 cm s(-1) and with average volumetric flow rates of approximately 0.71 cm(3) s(-1). Our results show that there is nearly continual flow in the radial direction towards the polyp with only approximately 3.3% back flow. 3D numerical simulations uncover a region of slow mixing between the tentacles during expansion. We estimate that the average flow that moves through the bristles of the tentacles is approximately 0.03 cm s(-1). The combination of nearly continual flow towards the polyp, slow mixing between the bristles, and the subsequent ejection of this fluid volume into an upward jet ensures the polyp continually samples new water with sufficient time for exchange to occur.
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