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PubMed | Beijing Forestry University, Northwest University, China, Temple University, Beijing Zoo and 10 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nature genetics | Year: 2014

Colobines are a unique group of Old World monkeys that principally eat leaves and seeds rather than fruits and insects. We report the sequencing at 146 coverage, de novo assembly and analyses of the genome of a male golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) and resequencing at 30 coverage of three related species (Rhinopithecus bieti, Rhinopithecus brelichi and Rhinopithecus strykeri). Comparative analyses showed that Asian colobines have an enhanced ability to derive energy from fatty acids and to degrade xenobiotics. We found evidence for functional evolution in the colobine RNASE1 gene, encoding a key secretory RNase that digests the high concentrations of bacterial RNA derived from symbiotic microflora. Demographic reconstructions indicated that the profile of ancient effective population sizes for R. roxellana more closely resembles that of giant panda rather than its congeners. These findings offer new insights into the dietary adaptations and evolutionary history of colobine primates.

Li H.,China Agricultural University | Zhao G.,China Agricultural University | Cao L.,China Agricultural University | Xu K.,Beijing Zoo | Cai W.,China Agricultural University
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

The white spot assassin bug Platymeris biguttatus, a large African species is redescribed, along with male genitalia. Some biological notes on life history, nymphal instars, predatory behavior, oviposition, emergence and colonization, etc. based on laboratory rearing and observations are provided. Copyright © 2010 Magnolia Press.

PubMed | Shaanxi Foping National Reserve, Beijing Zoo and China Agricultural University
Type: Clinical Trial | Journal: Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia | Year: 2016

To assess the effects and utility of dexmedetomidine combined with tiletamine and zolazepam (dexMTZ) to immobilize the wild giant panda.Prospective clinical study.Seven giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), five males and two females, aged 7-20years and weighing 69.2-132.9kg.Once an animal was located, prior data on the individual was reviewed and the pandas previously estimated body weight was used to calculate the volumes of drugs to administer: dexmedetomidine (dexM; 8gkg(-1) ; 0.5mgmL(-1) ) and tiletamine-zolazepam (TZ; 2mgkg(-1) ; 50mgmL(-1) ). The mixture was injected intramuscularly (IM) using the Dan-Inject pistol system. When the panda was immobilized, it was weighed, a physical examination was performed and a blood sample collected. Every 5minutes, the heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (fR ), rectal temperature (T), noninvasive systolic arterial pressure (SAP), capillary refill time (CRT), mucous membrane color and pulse quality were recorded. After all procedures had been completed, atipamezole (40gkg(-1) ) was injected IM.A single injection of dexMTZ resulted in the immobilization of all seven giant pandas. The median (range) of anesthetic agents administered was dexM 8.4gkg(-1) (7.3-10.5gkg(-1) ) and TZ 2.0mgkg(-1) (1.8-2.5mgkg(-1) ). The palpebral reflex was lost 8 (7-12)minutes after the injection. Most of the physiological variables remained in the acceptable range. All procedures were completed in approximately 1hour. Six out of the seven (85.7%) giant pandas recovered smoothly; one panda had a rough recovery.DexMTZ produced a satisfactory immobilization and a smooth recovery for wild giant pandas while allowing approximately 55minutes for planned noninvasive procedures.

PubMed | Anhui Normal University, Beijing Zoo and China Agricultural University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, and , the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Ig locus contains 6 C genes, each preceded by a J gene, and 86 potentially functional V genes upstream of (J-C)n. The Ig locus contains a single C gene, 6 Js and 62 functional Vs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 V families and 12 V families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Ig and Ig. By analyzing the cloned Ig/ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed V and V. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed and sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates.

PubMed | Beijing Zoo and China Agricultural University
Type: | Journal: BioMed research international | Year: 2015

This study involved a death which occurred in four Himalayan griffons housed in Beijing zoo, China. Based on pathogen identification and the pathological changes observed, we did characterize the fungi and Hepatitis E virus (HEV) in four dead Himalayan griffons. Pathological changes were severe. Membranous-like material was observed on the surface of the internal organs. Spleen was necrotic. Focal lymphocyte infiltration in the liver and many sunflower-like fungi nodules were evident in the tissues, especially in the kidney. PCR was used to identify the pathogen. Based on the 18SrRNA genomic sequence of known fungi, the results confirmed that all four dead Himalayan griffons were infected with Aspergillus. At the same time the detection of HEV also showed positive results. To the best of our knowledge, this work appears to be the first report of concurrent presence of Aspergillosis and Hepatitis E virus in rare avian species.

PubMed | Sun Yat Sen University, Beijing Zoo, New York University, Cloud Mountain Conservation and 6 more.
Type: | Journal: American journal of primatology | Year: 2017

We describe a species of Hoolock gibbon (Primates: Hylobatidae) that is new to science from eastern Myanmar and southwestern China. The genus of hoolock gibbons comprises two previously described living species, the western (Hoolock hoolock) and eastern hoolock (H. leuconedys) gibbons, geographically isolated by the Chindwin River. We assessed the morphological and genetic characteristics of wild animals and museum specimens, and conducted multi-disciplinary analyses using mitochondrial genomic sequences, external morphology, and craniodental characters to evaluate the taxonomic status of the hoolock population in China. The results suggest that hoolocks distributed to the east of the Irrawaddy-Nmai Hka Rivers, which were previously assigned to H. leuconedys, are morphologically and genetically distinct from those to the west of the river, and should be recognized as a new species, the Gaoligong hoolock gibbon or skywalker hoolock gibbon (H. tianxing sp. nov.). We consider that the new species should be categorized as Endangered under IUCN criteria. The discovery of the new species focuses attention on the need for improved conservation of small apes, many of which are in danger of extinction in southern China and Southeast Asia.

Shan L.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Hu Y.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Zhu L.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Yan L.,CAS Institute of Zoology | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2014

The captive genetic management of threatened species strives to preserve genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding to ensure populations remain available, healthy, and viable for future reintroduction. Determining and responding to the genetic status of captive populations is therefore paramount to these programs. Here, we genotyped 19 microsatellite loci for 240 captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) (∼64% of the captive population) from four breeding centers, Wolong (WL), Chengdu (CD), Louguantai (LGT), and Beijing (BJ), and analyzed 655 bp of mitochondrial DNA control region sequence for 220 of these animals. High levels of genetic diversity and low levels of inbreeding were estimated in the breeding centers, indicating that the captive population is genetically healthy and deliberate further genetic input from wild animals is unnecessary. However, the LGT population faces a higher risk of inbreeding, and significant genetic structure was detected among breeding centers, with LGT-CD and WL-BJ clustering separately. Based on these findings, we highlight that: 1) the LGT population should be managed as an independent captive population to resemble the genetic distinctness of their Qinling Mountain origins; 2) exchange between CD and WL should be encouraged because of similar wild founder sources; 3) the selection of captive individuals for reintroduction should consider their geographic origin, genetic background, and genetic contribution to wild populations; and 4) combining our molecular genetic data with existing pedigree data will better guide giant panda breeding and further reduce inbreeding into the future. © 2014 The Author 2014.

Zhao S.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Zhao S.,Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Transomics Biotechnologies | Zheng P.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Zheng P.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 20 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2013

The panda lineage dates back to the late Miocene and ultimately leads to only one extant species, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Although global climate change and anthropogenic disturbances are recognized to shape animal population demography their contribution to panda population dynamics remains largely unknown. We sequenced the whole genomes of 34 pandas at an average 4.7-fold coverage and used this data set together with the previously deep-sequenced panda genome to reconstruct a continuous demographic history of pandas from their origin to the present. We identify two population expansions, two bottlenecks and two divergences. Evidence indicated that, whereas global changes in climate were the primary drivers of population fluctuation for millions of years, human activities likely underlie recent population divergence and serious decline. We identified three distinct panda populations that show genetic adaptation to their environments. However, in all three populations, anthropogenic activities have negatively affected pandas for 3,000 years. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Yang M.,German Primate Center | Yang Y.,Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve | Cui D.,Beijing Zoo | Fickenscher G.,German Primate Center | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology | Year: 2012

The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi) is a primate species endemic to the Wuling Mountains in southern China. With a maximum of 800 wild animals, the species is endangered and one of the rarest Chinese primates. To assess the genetic diversity within R. brelichi and to analyze its genetic population structure, we collected fecal samples from the wild R. brelichi population and sequenced the hypervariable region I of the mitochondrial control region from 141 individuals. We compared our data with those from the two other Chinese snub-nosed species (R. roxellana, R. bieti) and reconstructed their phylogenetic relationships and divergence times. With only five haplotypes and a maximum of 25 polymorphic sites, R. brelichi shows the lowest genetic diversity in terms of haplotype diversity (h), nucleotide diversity (π), and average number of pairwise nucleotide differences (Π). The most recent common ancestor of R. brelichi lived ∼0.36 million years ago (Ma), thus more recently than those of R. roxellana (∼0.91 Ma) and R. bieti (∼1.33 Ma). Phylogenetic analysis and analysis of molecular variance revealed a clear and significant differentiation among the three Chinese snub-nosed monkey species. Population genetic analyses (Tajima's D, Fu's F s, and mismatch distribution) suggest a stable population size for R. brelichi. For the other two species, results point in the same direction, but population substructure possibly introduces some ambiguity. Because of the lower genetic variation, the smaller population size and the more restricted distribution, R. brelichi might be more vulnerable to environmental changes or climate oscillations than the other two Chinese snub-nosed monkey species. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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