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Taira W.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology | Kinjo S.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology | Otaki J.M.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology
Zoological Science | Year: 2015

Butterfly wing color patterns are highly complex and diverse, but they are believed to be derived from the nymphalid groundplan, which is composed of several color pattern systems. Among these pattern systems, the marginal band system, including marginal and submarginal bands, has rarely been studied. Here, we examined the color pattern diversity of the marginal band system among nymphalid butterflies. Marginal and submarginal bands are usually expressed as a pair of linear bands aligned with the wing margin. However, a submarginal band can be expressed as a broken band, an elongated oval, or a single dot. The marginal focus, usually a white dot at the middle of a wing compartment along the wing edge, corresponds to the pupal edge spot, one of the pupal cuticle spots that signify the locations of color pattern organizing centers. A marginal band can be expressed as a semicircle, an elongated oval, or a pair of eyespot-like structures, which suggest the organizing activity of the marginal focus. Physical damage at the pupal edge spot leads to distal dislocation of the submarginal band in Junonia almana and in Vanessa indica, suggesting that the marginal focus functions as an organizing center for the marginal band system. Taken together, we conclude that the marginal band system is developmentally equivalent to other symmetry systems. Additionally, the marginal band is likely a core element and the submarginal band a paracore element of the marginal band system, and both bands are primarily specified by the marginal focus organizing center. © 2015 Zoological Society of Japan Source


Nohara C.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology | Hiyama A.,University of Ryukyus | Taira W.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology | Tanahara A.,University of Ryukyus | Otaki J.M.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology
Scientific Reports | Year: 2014

A massive amount of radioactive materials has been released into the environment by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, but its biological impacts have rarely been examined. Here, we have quantitatively evaluated the relationship between the dose of ingested radioactive cesium and mortality and abnormality rates using the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha. When larvae from Okinawa, which is likely the least polluted locality in Japan, were fed leaves collected from polluted localities, mortality and abnormality rates increased sharply at low doses in response to the ingested cesium dose. This dose-response relationship was best fitted by power function models, which indicated that the half lethal and abnormal doses were 1.9 and 0.76â €...Bq per larva, corresponding to 54,000 and 22,000â €...Bq per kilogram body weight, respectively. Both the retention of radioactive cesium in a pupa relative to the ingested dose throughout the larval stage and the accumulation of radioactive cesium in a pupa relative to the activity concentration in a diet were highest at the lowest level of cesium ingested. We conclude that the risk of ingesting a polluted diet is realistic, at least for this butterfly, and likely for certain other organisms living in the polluted area. Source


Taira W.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology | Nohara C.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology | Hiyama A.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology | Otaki J.M.,BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology
Journal of Heredity | Year: 2014

To evaluate the effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the surrounding area, we studied the pale grass blue butterfly Zizeeria maha, the most common butterfly in Japan. We here review our important findings and their implications. We found forewing size reduction, growth retardation, high mortality rates, and high abnormality rates in the field and reared samples. The abnormality rates observed in September 2011 were higher than those observed in May 2011 in almost all localities, implying transgenerational accumulation of genetic damage. Some of the abnormal traits in the F1 generation were inherited by the F2 generation. In a particular cross, the F 2 abnormality rate scored 57%. The forewing size reduction and high mortality and abnormality rates were reproduced in external and internal exposure experiments conducted in our laboratory using Okinawa larvae. We observed the possible real-time evolution of radiation resistance in the Fukushima butterflies, which, in retrospect, indicates that field sampling attempts at the very early stages of such accidents are required to understand the ecodynamics of polluted regions. We propose, as the postulates of pollutant-induced biological impacts, that the collection of phenotypic data from the field and their relevant reproduction in the laboratory should be the basis of experimental design to demonstrate the biological effects of environmental pollutants and to investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for these effects. © The American Genetic Association 2014. All rights reserved. Source

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