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Cumberland Hill, OH, United States

Roth T.L.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Stoops M.A.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Robeck T.R.,SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center | Ball R.L.,Busch Gardens | And 2 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2010

The objective was to determine if seminal alkaline phosphatase (ALP) can serve as an indicator of true ejaculation in the rhinoceros. Concentrations of ALP activity were determined in seminal fractions collected from African black rhinos (Diceros bicornis), an African white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), and an Indian rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) during electroejaculation. In addition, seminal fractions collected during penile massage of a Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) were assessed. Correlations between ALP activity and sperm concentration, fraction pH, and fraction osmolality were evaluated in the Indian rhino and black rhino. Concentrations of ALP activity in rhino ejaculate fractions ranged from < 5 to 11,780 U/L and were positively correlated (P < 0.05) with sperm concentration for both Indian rhino (r = 0.995) and black rhino (r = 0.697), but did not exhibit a strong correlation with either pH or osmolality (P > 0.05). Data were insufficient for establishing meaningful correlation coefficients in the Sumatran rhino and white rhino, but preliminary results were in accordance with findings in the Indian rhino and black rhino. We concluded that ALP was present in rhinoceros semen, likely originated from the epididymides and/or testes, and could serve as a useful tool for assessing the production of ejaculatory versus pre-ejaculatory fluid in the rhinoceros. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Weiss R.B.,The Wilds | Schook M.W.,Cleveland Metroparks Zoo | Wolfe B.A.,Ohio State University
Zoo Biology | Year: 2014

Fluphenazine decanoate is a long-acting phenothiazine neuroleptic that attenuates the stress response and may be useful during intensive handling for reproductive procedures in non-domestic ungulates. However, phenothiazines are also associated with elevated serum prolactin, which can suppress fertility in some species. For this study, 10 female domestic goats were used as a model for non-domestic caprids to test effects of fluphenazine decanoate on serum cortisol and reproductive cyclicity following estrus synchronization. Two identical trials were conducted during the breeding season, employing a random crossover design. First, females underwent estrus synchronization using a 14-day treatment with progesterone (330mg; CIDR). After 7 days of CIDR exposure, the treatment group (n=5) received fluphenazine decanoate (1.0mg/kg IM) and controls (n=5) received an equivalent volume of 0.9% saline IM. At CIDR withdrawal (Day 14), animals received 125mg cloprostenol sodium to lyse any luteal tissue and synchronize estrus. Blood was collected every 2hr from 36hr after CIDR withdrawal until 24hr after standing estrus, or up to 5 days to monitor stress and reproductive hormones. Serum cortisol, prolactin, luteinizing hormone (LH) and progesterone concentrations were determined by enzyme immunoassay. While treatment with fluphenazine was associated with lower cortisol concentrations compared to controls (P=0.001), 4 of the 10 treated animals experienced elevated serum prolactin, suppression of the LH surge and inhibition of ovulation. These findings suggest that long-acting neuroleptic drugs reduce the adrenal stress response, but may interfere with reproductive responses and negatively influence breeding success. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Poncelet D.M.,University of Akron | Cavender N.,The Wilds | Cutright T.J.,University of Akron | Senko J.M.,University of Akron
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2014

To assess the microbiological changes that occur during the maturation of overburden that has been disturbed by surface mining of coal, a surface mining-disturbed overburden unit in southeastern Ohio, USA was characterized. Overburden from the same unit that had been disturbed for 37 and 16 years were compared to undisturbed soil from the same region. Overburden and soil samples were collected as shallow subsurface cores from each subregion of the mined area (i.e., land 16 years and 37 years post-mining, and unmined land). Chemical and mineralogical characteristics of overburden samples were determined, as were microbial respiration rates. The composition of microbial communities associated with overburden and soil were determined using culture-independent, nucleic acid-based approaches. Chemical and mineralogical evaluation of overburden suggested that weathering of disturbed overburden gave rise to a setting with lower pH and more oxidized chemical constituents. Overburden-associated microbial biomass and respiration rates increased with time after overburden disturbance. Evaluation of 16S rRNA gene libraries that were produced by "next-generation" sequencing technology revealed that recently disturbed overburden contained an abundance of phylotypes attributable to sulfur-oxidizing Limnobacter spp., but with increasing time post-disturbance, overburden-associated microbial communities developed a structure similar to that of undisturbed soil, but retained characteristics of more recently disturbed overburden. Our results indicate that over time, the biogeochemical weathering of disturbed overburden leads to the development of geochemical conditions and microbial communities that approximate those of undisturbed soil, but that this transition is incomplete after 37 years of overburden maturation. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media.

Pukazhenthi B.S.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Johnson A.,Auburn University | Guthrie H.D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Songsasen N.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | And 5 more authors.
Cryobiology | Year: 2014

Two studies were conducted to understand sperm cryosensitivity in an endangered equid, the Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalski), while testing the cryoprotectant ability of formamides. The first assessed the toxicity of permeating cryoprotectants (glycerol, methylformamide [MF] and dimethylformamide [DMF]) to Przewalski's horse spermatozoa during liquid storage at 4. °C. The second examined the comparative influence of three diluents (with or without formamides) on cryosurvival of sperm from the Przewalski's versus domestic horse. When Przewalski's horse spermatozoa were incubated at 4. °C in INRA 96 with differing concentrations of glycerol, MF or DMF or a combination of these amides, cells tolerated all but the highest concentration (10% v/v) of MF alone or in combination with DMF, both of which decreased (P<. 0.05) motility traits. There was no effect of cryoprotectants on sperm acrosomal integrity. In the cryosurvival study, average sperm motility and proportion of cells with intact acrosomes in fresh ejaculates were similar (P>. 0.05) between the Przewalski's (67%, 84%, respectively) and domestic (66%, 76%) horse donors. Sperm from both species were diluted in lactose-EDTA-glycerol (EQ), Botu-Crio (BOTU; a proprietary product containing glycerol and MF) or SM (INRA 96 plus 2% [v/v] egg yolk and 2.5% [v/v] MF and DMF) and then frozen over liquid nitrogen vapor. After thawing, the highest values recovered for total and progressive sperm motility, acrosomal integrity and mitochondrial membrane potential were 42.4%, 21.8%, 88.7% and 25.4. CN (CN. = mean JC-1 fluorescence intensity/cell on a channel number scale), respectively, in the Przewalski's and 49.3%, 24.6%, 88.9% and 25.8. CN, respectively, in the domestic horse. Although sperm progressive motility and acrosome integrity did not differ (P>. 0.05) among treatments across species, mitochondrial membrane potential was higher (P<. 0.05) in both species using EQ compared to BOTU or SM media. Additionally, Przewalski's stallion sperm expressed higher (P<. 0.05) post-thaw total motility in BOTU and SM compared to EQ, whereas there were no differences among freezing diluents in the domestic horse. In summary, Przewalski's stallion sperm benefit from exposure to either MF or DMF as an alternative cryoprotectant to glycerol. Overt sperm quality appears similar between the Przewalski's and domestic horse, although the total motility of cells from the former appears more sensitive to certain freezing diluents. Nonetheless, post-thaw motility and acrosomal integrity values for Przewalski's horse spermatozoa mimic findings in the domestic horse in the presence of INRA 96 supplemented with 2% (v/v) egg yolk and a combined 2.5% concentration of MF and DMF. © 2014.

Ter Beest J.M.,The Wilds | Schook M.W.,Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Zoo Biology | Year: 2016

The endangered Persian onager (Equus hemionus onager) has experienced significant population declines over the past century due to poaching, habitat destruction, and resource competition. Remaining animals in zoos and the wild are regionally isolated. Artificial insemination (AI) may be particularly useful as a means of aiding in global genetic management of these isolated populations. The first successful AI in onagers was performed in 2009 utilizing urinary hormone analyses and regular transrectal ultrasound examinations that required specialized handling devices. A method for estrous synchronization in this species would alleviate the need for daily handling and provide a more feasible approach to AI. This study tested long-acting controlled-release preparations of estradiol and progesterone, followed by a single injection of prostaglandin 10 days later, in six adult female Persian onagers to determine whether ovulation would occur within a narrow window of time. Serial transrectal ultrasound exams were performed to determine the day of ovulation following hormone treatment. Means and standard deviations were determined for the lengths of follicular and luteal phases, follicle sizes, and time to ovulation, and compared to historical data in this species. All six onagers ovulated between Days 18 and 22, with three females ovulating on Day 19, as determined by the presence of a corpus luteum. This is an apparently safe and effective method for the synchronization of estrous cycles in the Persian onager, and may be used to develop a timed AI protocol for use at institutions that do not have specialized handling facilities to enable regular transrectal ultrasound. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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