Shaanxi Institute of Zoology

Xian, China

Shaanxi Institute of Zoology

Xian, China
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Gang C.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Gang C.,State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents in Agriculture | Kaifeng W.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Zhi W.,Shaanxi Normal University
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2012

Seed dispersal is recognized as a key phase affecting plant regeneration and distribution. By acting as seed dispersal vectors, forest rodents play an essential role in this phase through their scatter hoarding behavior. Although rodents can consume a large number of seeds to meet their immediate energy requirements, they also store some seeds in scatter caches for future use to ensure overwinter survival or reproductive success. Buried seeds are more likely to germinate and survive to the seedling stage if the animal fails to recover some of the seeds; this may occur if, for instance, the animal has died or moved, or stored more than it could use. Pinus armandii, which are common and often dominant tree species in many temperate and subtropical forests, are an important food source for many wild animals. Much attention has been paid to the dispersal biology of Pinus spp.; however, knowledge of the interactions between P. armandii seeds and rodents in Qinling Mountains is still poor. The predation and dispersal of P. armandii seeds by forest rodents were investigated using plastic tags in Foping National Nature Reserve (35°0'N, 105°30'E), located in the southern aspect of Qinling Mountains in Shaanxi Province during September November of 2008 and 2009. Approximately 20 plots (1 m × 1 m), separated by 15 m along a transect line, were established as seed stations in a deciduous broad leaved forest. In September of each year, 50 tagged seeds were placed at each station and seed fates were monitored on 1, 2, 3, 11 and 19 days after initial placement. During each visit, we searched the area around each station (radius < 30 m) for seeds removed by rodents and recorded their fates. The results showed that rodents imposed a strong predation pressure on P. armandii seeds in this study site. In 2008, nearly all the seeds (96. 4%) were consumed by the third day, and almost half of the seeds (49. 6%) were consumed by the third day in 2009. Rodents also played an important role in seed dispersal of P. armandii. In 2009, rodents scatter hoarded 17. 75% seeds by the third day and 12. 25% of hoarded seeds were still alive by day 19. There was a significant difference in seed dispersal of P. armandii between the two years. In 2008, almost all the seeds were consumed by rodents and the quantity of cached seeds was very small. The proportion of cached seeds was significantly greater in 2009 than in 2008. This result may be associated with mast seeding. The yield of P. armandii seeds was very low in 2008 and rodents had to consume a large number of seeds to meet their daily energy needs, leading to a reduction in storage. Whereas the yield of P. armandii seeds was very high in 2009, and there were sufficient seeds to not only meet the daily energy needs of rodents but also to hoard seeds for future use.

Chang G.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Chang G.,State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents in Agriculture
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2012

Using Edward's long-tailed rat (Leopoldamys edwardsi), a dominant species in subtropical evergreen broadleaf forests in Dujiangyan City of Sichuan Province, as the experimental animal, a field study with semi-natural enclosure was conducted to examine the effects of several tag-marked methods on the seed dispersal by rats. Among the methods examined, both the marked lines fishing thread and thin steel wire were effective on tracking the seed fates dispersed by rats, but, in considering that the fishing thread was sometimes bitted off by experimental rats, the steel wire was more worthy of application as a kind of perfect marked line. Three kinds of marked tags, i. e., large plastic tag, small plastic tag, and wire tag, did not differ on tracking the seed fates dispersed by rats, but the large plastic tag, due to its large size and strong visibility, was more suitable to be a perfect marked tag for field seed dispersal.

Chang G.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Chang G.,Shaanxi Normal University | Chang G.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Zhang Z.,CAS Institute of Zoology
Acta Oecologica | Year: 2011

Seed hoarding is an important behavioral adaptation to food shortages for many rodent species. Sympatric rodents may affect the natural regeneration of large-seeded trees differently as seed dispersers or seed predators. Using seeds of oil tea (Camellia oleifera), we investigated differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species in semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest of China. We found that all these six species ate seeds of C. oleifera, but only Edward's long-tailed rats (Leopoldamys edwardsi) were predominantly scatter hoarders; chestnut rats (Niviventer fulvescens) and white-bellied rats (Niviventer confucianus) scatter hoarded and larder hoarded few seeds, but were seed predators; South China field mice (Apodemus draco) exhibited little larder-hoarding behavior; and Chevrier's field mice (A. chevrieri) as well as Himalayan rats (Rattus nitidusa) did not hoard seeds at all. The rodents that engaged in scatter hoarding often formed single-seed caches and tended to cache seeds under grass or shrubs. Our findings indicate that sympatric rodents consuming seeds of the same species of plant can have different hoarding strategies, affecting seed dispersal and plant regeneration differently. We conclude by discussing the role of these species in hoarding seeds of C. oleifera and highlight the essential role of Edward's long-tailed rats as predominantly potential dispersers of this plant species. © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Shen W.,Xi'an University of Science and Technology | Feng L.,Xi'an University of Science and Technology | Feng H.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Lei A.,Xi'an University of Science and Technology
Ceramics International | Year: 2013

To produce better antibacterial and low water-soluble submicron powders of divalent silver oxide (AgO), divalent silver oxide-diatomite (AgO-d) hybrids were studied. AgO-d hybrids were prepared by chemical oxidation, using silver nitrate and diatomite as raw materials and potassium persulfate as oxidant. The results show that AgO-d hybrids with AgO weight percentage up to 20.8% are obtained by oxidation of Ag+ adsorbing on diatomite in alkaline solution (n(KOH)/n(AgNO3)=7.5) for 1.5 h at 333.15 K. Products were characterized by laser particle sizer, SEM, XRD, XPS, FT-IR and atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). AgO-d hybrids are composed of tetragonal cristobalite, amorphous silica, monoclinic divalent silver oxide and a few of cubic silver oxide. Element Ag can be released from AgO-d hybrids but the dissolution speed is slow, which is about 3.20×10-2 mg (L h)-1. Antibacterial effectiveness of AgO-d hybrids was tested against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus ATCC6538) and Escherichia coli (E. coli ATCC8099) by the shake-flask method. Results show that AgO-d hybrids possess excellent antibacterial properties. When the concentration of AgO-d hybrids is 10 mg L-1 and the contact time with S. aureus and E. coli is 30 min, the bactericidal rates reach up to 99.974% and 99.944%, respectively. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.

Yang B.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Anderson J.R.,Kyoto University | Li B.-G.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Li B.-G.,Northwest University, China
Current Biology | Year: 2016

Responses of nonhuman species to dying and dead conspecifics range from hard-wired, fixed-action patterns - as in social insects - to varied, flexible behaviors with cognitive and emotional correlates - as in some larger-brained mammals [1,2]. Comparative thanatology addresses issues that include empathy, compassion, and conceptual understanding of death across species [1-3]. Several aspects of how great apes react to illness, injury and death of others recall human behavior in comparable situations [1-5]. However, the extent to which more distantly related primates share these responses is largely unknown. Here, we describe behaviors shown toward a dying adult female in wild Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) [6] and argue that empathy and compassion surrounding death extend beyond humans and their closest evolutionary relatives. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Chang G.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Chang G.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Zhang Z.,CAS Institute of Zoology
Acta Oecologica | Year: 2014

Network structure in plant-animal systems has been widely investigated but the roles of functional traits of plants and animals in formation of mutualism and predation interactions and community structure are still not fully understood. In this study, we quantitatively assessed interaction strength of mutualism and predation between 5 tree species and 7 rodent species by using semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest China. Seeds with high handling-time and nutrition traits (for both rat and mouse species) or high tannin trait (for mouse species) show high mutualism but low predation with rodents; while seeds with low handling-time and low nutrition traits show high predation but low mutualism with rodents. Large-sized rat species are more linked to seeds with high handling-time and high nutrition traits, while small-sized mouse species are more connected with seeds with low handling-time, low nutrition value and high tannin traits. Anti-predation seed traits tend to increase chance of mutualism instead of reducing predation by rodents, suggesting formation of mutualism may be connected with that of predation. Our study demonstrates that seed and animal traits play significant roles in the formation of mutualism and predation and network structure of the seed-rodent dispersal system. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Yang C.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology
Yi chuan = Hereditas / Zhongguo yi chuan xue hui bian ji | Year: 2012

The complete sequence of mitochondrial genome of Larus brunnicephalus was determined using long PCR and conserved primers walking approaches. The results showed that the entire mitochondrial genome of L. brunnicephalus is 16,769 bp in length, which has been deposited in GenBank with the accession number JX155863. The mitochondrial genomic organization and gene order of L. brunnicephalus were consistent with that of Gallus gallus, which contains 13 protein coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNA, 2 rRNA, and a control region. Except for COI gene using GTG and ND3 gene with ATT as the initiation codon, all other 11 PCGs of the mtDNA in L. brunnicephalus started with the typical ATG codon. AGG, TAG, TAA, or AGA were used in 11 PCGs as usual termination codons, except for COIII and ND4 genes with incomplete termination codon (T). The secondary structures of 22 tRNAs were predicted and it is found that the tRNASer (AGN) lacks DHU arm and tRNAPhe contains the fourth types of permutation in the TψC arm. It is predicted that the secondary structures of 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA include 4 structural domains with 47 helics and 6 domains with 60 helics, respectively. F-box, E-box, D-box, C-box, B-box, Bird similarity-box, and CSB-boxes (1-3), which were found in the control regions of other bird species were also present in L. brunnicephalus. The sequence in the starting regions of H-strand replication (OH) and the bidirectional light and heavy-strand transcription promoters (LSP/HSP) in the control region were also predicted. Result of phylogeny analysis supports that L. brunnicephalus should be categorized into the Masked gulls species.

Zhang X.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Qiao J.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Wu X.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Da R.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

Background: Blastocystis hominis is a common protozoan in the human intestinal tract and can cause the so-called blastocystosis characterized by diarrhea. To date, its identification has depended on the discovery of vacuolar, granular, amoebic, or cystic forms in stool samples using wet mount smears, iodine staining, trichrome staining, or iron hematoxylin staining. The permanent staining methods provide more positive findings. However, mercuric chloride (HgCl 2)-based polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and Schaudinn fixative are potentially toxic and dangerous to laboratory personnel and, as hazardous chemicals, present problems with disposal. Methods: To determine whether in vitro culture could be an environmentally safe alternative, the culture growth of B. hominis in three commercially available liquid media (RPMI 1640, 199 Medium, and Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM)) were observed and compared. The sensitivity and specificity of these culture methods to identify B. hominis were compared with those of existing methods used clinically. Results: Conditions for the anaerobic culture of B. hominis in these media were determined as follows: total inoculum sizes no less than 10 5 cells; pH values ranging from 7.0 to 7.5; concentrations of calf or horse serum ranging from 10% to 30% (vol/vol); basic antibiotics added; peaking times at days 3, 6, and 9 (pH 7.5) or days 4 and 8 (or 9) (pH 7.0) at 37°C. No significant differences were noted in multiplication or generation times for the cultivation of B. hominis (p>0.05). In 56 of 398 positive cases, the short-term in vitro culture method achieved the best performance with regard to sensitivity and specificity of the five studied methods. Conclusions: With the advantages of environmental safety, convenience in preparation and storage, facility in morphologic discrimination, and outstanding performance in terms of sensitivity and specificity, the in vitro culture method could be applied to identify B. hominis for both clinical diagnosis and field study purposes. © 2011 International Society for Infectious Diseases.

Jin M.,Northwestern Polytechnical University | Zhao K.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Huang Q.,Northwestern Polytechnical University | Shang P.,Northwestern Polytechnical University
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules | Year: 2014

Recently, a great deal of interest has been developed to isolate and investigate novel bioactive components with health benefit effects from natural resources. The dried root of Astragalus membranaceus, one of the most popular health-promoting herbal medicines, has been used historically as an immunomodulating agent for the treatment of common cold, diarrhea, fatigue and anorexia for more than 2000 years. Modern phytochemistry and pharmacological experiments have proved that polysaccharide is one of the major active ingredients in the root of A. membranaceus with various important bioactivities, such as immunomodulation, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-diabetes, antiviral, hepatoprotection, anti-inflammation, anti-atherosclerosis, hematopoiesis and neuroprotection. The aim of the present review is to summarize previous and current references and give a comprehensive summary regarding the structural features and biological activities of A. membranaceus polysaccharides in order to provide new insight for further development of these macromolecules. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Gou X.,Yunnan Agricultural University | Wang Y.,Shaanxi Institute of Zoology | Yang S.,Yunnan Agricultural University | Deng W.,Yunnan Agricultural University | Mao H.,Yunnan Agricultural University
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics | Year: 2010

There are hump, humpless cattle and gayal distributed in Yunnan province, south-west China, but their genetic background remains unclear. To determine the origin and genetic diversity of Yunnan gayal and cattle (Diqing, Nujiang and Wenshan cattle), we analysed mtDNA control region sequences of 71 samples and SRY gene sequences of 39 samples, together with the available sequences in GenBank. The neighbour-joining phylogeny and the reduced median network analysis showed that Yunnan gayal originated from the hybridization between male Bos frontalis and female Bos taurus or Bos indicus, and that Yunnan cattle mostly originated from B. indicus, also containing some hybrids of male B. indicus and female B. taurus. The phylogenetic pattern of Yunnan cattle was consistent with the recently described cattle matrilineal pool from China and indicated more contribution to the Yunnan cattle from B. indicus than from B. taurus. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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