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Yoshikawa N.,Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research
Current Herpetology | Year: 2016

Antipredator behavior of Cynops pyrrhogaster was observed in the field. A male, found in a temporal pool (11.7C), tightly coiled his body around the observer's finger (putative model of predator) when he was touched from lateral side. The body-coiling was formed both dextrally and sinistrally, depending on direction from which the newt's body was touched. Undulation of tail and noxious secretion accompanied the behavior. The coiling-Around behavior was aborted immediately when the newt lost physical contact with finger. Apart from this, pushing on the head with a finger caused Unken reflex, which is commonly known as defensive behavior of newts. It is suggested that C. pyrrhogaster varies their defensive behavior depending on the situation of encounter with the predator.

Osigus H.-J.,Stiftung Tierarztliche Hochschule Hanover | Eitel M.,Stiftung Tierarztliche Hochschule Hanover | Eitel M.,University of Hong Kong | Bernt M.,University of Leipzig | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

Unraveling the base of metazoan evolution is of crucial importance for rooting the metazoan Tree of Life. This subject has attracted substantial attention for more than a century and recently fueled a burst of modern phylogenetic studies. Conflicting scenarios from different studies and incongruent results from nuclear versus mitochondrial markers challenge current molecular phylogenetic approaches. Here we analyze the presently most comprehensive data sets of mitochondrial genomes from non-bilaterian animals to illuminate the phylogenetic relationships among early branching metazoan phyla. The results of our analyses illustrate the value of mitogenomics and support previously known topologies between animal phyla but also identify several problematic taxa, which are sensitive to long branch artifacts or missing data. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Christa G.,Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research | Christa G.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | De Vries J.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | Jahns P.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | Gould S.B.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf
Communicative and Integrative Biology | Year: 2014

Sometimes the elementary experiment can lead to the most surprising result. This was recently the case when we had to learn that so-called ''photosynthetic slugs'' survive just fine in the dark and with chemically inhibited photosynthesis. Sacoglossan sea slugs feed on large siphonaceous, often single-celled algae by ingesting their cytosolic content including the organelles. A few species of the sacoglossan clade fascinate researcher from many disciplines, as they can survive starvation periods of many months through the plastids they sequestered, but not immediately digested - a process known as kleptoplasty. Ever since the term ''leaves that crawl'' was coined in the 1970s, the course was set in regard to how the subject was studied, but the topics of how slugs survive starvation and what for instance mediates kleptoplast longevity have often been conflated. It was generally assumed that slugs become photoautotrophic upon plastid sequestration, but most recent results challenge that view and the predominant role of the kleptoplasts in sacoglossan sea slugs. © 2014 Landes Bioscience.

Koevoets T.,University of Groningen | Niehuis O.,Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research | Van De Zande L.,University of Groningen | Beukeboom L.W.,University of Groningen
Heredity | Year: 2012

The occurrence of hybrid incompatibilities forms an important stage during the evolution of reproductive isolation. In early stages of speciation, males and females often respond differently to hybridization. Haldane's rule states that the heterogametic sex suffers more from hybridization than the homogametic sex. Although haplodiploid reproduction (haploid males, diploid females) does not involve sex chromosomes, sex-specific incompatibilities are predicted to be prevalent in haplodiploid species. Here, we evaluate the effect of sex/ploidy level on hybrid incompatibilities and locate genomic regions that cause increased mortality rates in hybrid males of the haplodiploid wasps Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia longicornis. Our data show that diploid F 1 hybrid females suffer less from hybridization than haploid F 2 hybrid males. The latter not only suffer from an increased mortality rate, but also from behavioural and spermatogenic sterility. Genetic mapping in recombinant F 2 male hybrids revealed that the observed hybrid mortality is most likely due to a disruption of cytonuclear interactions. As these sex-specific hybrid incompatibilities follow predictions based on Haldane's rule, our data accentuate the need to broaden the view of Haldane's rule to include species with haplodiploid sex determination, consistent with Haldane's original definition. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Hosoya T.,National Museum of Nature and Science | Hosaka K.,National Museum of Nature and Science | Saito Y.,Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research | Degawa Y.,University of Tsukuba | Suzuki R.,University of Tsukuba
Mycoscience | Year: 2013

Since the summer of 2010, a discomycete with erumpent apothecia associated with a leaf blight of Miscanthus leaves, were often collected. The morphological characteristics of the fungus suggested it was a member of the Helotiales rather than the Rhytismatales and this was supported by a phylogenetic analysis. Based on a morphological comparison with the type specimen of Naemacyclus culmigenus, currently known from Poaceae (Andropogon and Panicum), it was identified as N. culmigenus, new to Japan. The molecular phylogenetic analysis showed that the generic delimitation of Naemacyclus and related species requires clarification, as does their higher classification within the Leotiomycetes. © 2013 The Mycological Society of Japan.

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