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Yokohama-shi, Japan

Ohishi K.,Japan Agency for Marine - Earth Science and Technology | Suzuki R.,Japan National Institute of Agrobiological Science | Maeda T.,Japan Agency for Marine - Earth Science and Technology | Tsuda M.,Japan Agency for Marine - Earth Science and Technology | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2014

The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) is a receptor for morbilliviruses. To understand the recent host range expansion of canine distemper virus (CDV) in carnivores, we determined the nucleotide sequences of SLAMs of various carnivores and generated three-dimensional homology SLAM models. Thirty-four amino acid residues were found for the candidates binding to CDV on the interface of the carnivore SLAMs. SLAM of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) were similar to those of other members of the suborder Caniformia, indicating that the animals in this group have similar sensitivity to dog CDV. However, they were different at nine positions from those of felids. Among the nine residues, four of domestic cat (Felis catus) SLAM (72, 76, 82, and 129) and three of lion (Panthera leo persica) SLAM(72, 82, and 129) were associated with charge alterations, suggesting that the felid interfaces have lower affinities to dog CDV. Only the residue at 76 was different between domestic cat and lion SLAM interfaces. The domestic cat SLAM had threonine at 76, whereas the lion SLAM had arginine, a positively charged residue like that of the dog SLAM. The cat SLAM with threonine is likely to have lower affinity to CDV-H and to confer higher resistance against dog CDV. Thus, the four residues (72, 76, 82, and 129) on carnivore SLAMs are important for the determination of affinity and sensitivity with CDV. Additionally, the CDV-H protein of felid strains had a substitution of histidine for tyrosine at 549 of dog CDV-H and may have higher affinity to lion SLAM. Three-dimensional model construction is a new risk assessment method of morbillivirus infectivity. Because the method is applicable to animals that have no information about virus infection, it is especially useful for morbillivirus risk assessment and wildlife conservation. © Wildlife Disease Association 2014. Source


Waku D.,Tokyo University of Agriculture | Segawa T.,Japan National Institute of Polar Research | Segawa T.,Transdisciplinary Research Integration Center | Yonezawa T.,Fudan University | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

The Japanese otter lived throughout four main Japanese islands, but it has not been observed in the wild since 1979 and was declared extinct in 2012. Although recent taxonomic and molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that it should be treated as an independent species, International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List considers it as subspecies of Lutra lutra. Therefore, the taxonomic status of this species needs to be resolved. Here we determined the complete mitochondrial genome of two Japanese otters caught in Kanagawa and Kochi prefectures and five Eurasian otters (L. lutra). We reconstructed a molecular phylogenetic tree to estimate the phylogenetic position of the Japanese otter in Lutrinae using the Japanese otters and the other 11 Lutrinae species on the basis of ND5 (692 bp) and cytochrome b (1,140 bp) sequences. We observed that the two Japanese otters had close relationships with Eurasian otters, forming a monophyletic group (100% bootstrap probability). To elucidate detailed phylogenetic relationships among the Japanese and Eurasian otters, we reconstructed a maximum likelihood tree according to mitochondrial genome sequences (14,740 bp). The Japanese otter (JO1) collected in Kanagawa was deeply nested in the Eurasian otter clade, whereas the Japanese otter (JO2) collected in Kochi formed a distinct independent lineage in the Lutra clade. The estimated molecular divergences time for the ancestral lineages of the Japanese otters was 0.10 Ma (95%: 0.06-0.16 Ma) and 1.27 Ma (95%: 0.98-1.59 Ma) for JO1 and JO2 lineages, respectively. Thus, JO1 was identified as a member of L. lutra; JO2 represented the old Japanese otter lineage, which may be a distinct new species or subspecies of Lutra. We suggest that the ancestral population of the JO2 lineage migrated to Japan via the land bridge that existed between western Japanese islands and Asian continent at 1.27 Ma. © 2016 Waku et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Ogata M.,Preservation and Research Center | Seino S.,Yokohama Zoological Gardens
Zoo Biology | Year: 2014

Information on the genetic relationships of captive founders is important for captive population management. In this study, we investigated DNA polymorphisms of four microsatellite loci and the mitochondrial control region sequence of five proboscis monkeys residing in a Japanese zoo as captive founders, to clarify their genetic relationship. We found that two of the five monkeys appeared to be genetically related. Furthermore, the haplotypes of the mitochondrial control region of the five monkeys were well differentiated from the haplotypes previously reported from wild populations from the northern area of Borneo, indicating a greater amount of genetic diversity in proboscis monkeys than previously reported. Zoo Biol. 34:76-79, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


Ueda S.,Tokyo Institute of Technology | Ueda S.,Kyoto University | Kumagai G.,Tama Zoological Park | Otaki Y.,Yokohama Zoological Gardens | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

As facial color pattern around the eyes has been suggested to serve various adaptive functions related to the gaze signal, we compared the patterns among 25 canid species, focusing on the gaze signal, to estimate the function of facial color pattern in these species. The facial color patterns of the studied species could be categorized into the following three types based on contrast indices relating to the gaze signal: A-type (both pupil position in the eye outline and eye position in the face are clear), B-type (only the eye position is clear), and C-type (both the pupil and eye position are unclear). A-type faces with light-colored irises were observed in most studied species of the wolf-like clade and some of the red fox-like clade. Atype faces tended to be observed in species living in family groups all year-round, whereas B-type faces tended to be seen in solo/pair-living species. The duration of gazing behavior during which the facial gaze-signal is displayed to the other individual was longest in gray wolves with typical A-type faces, of intermediate length in fennec foxes with typical B-type faces, and shortest in bush dogs with typical C-type faces. These results suggest that the facial color pattern of canid species is related to their gaze communication and that canids with A-type faces, especially gray wolves, use the gaze signal in conspecific communication. ©2014 Ueda et al. Source


Ueda S.,Tokyo Institute of Technology | Kumagai G.,Tama Zoological Park | Otaki Y.,Yokohama Zoological Gardens | Yamaguchi S.,Yokohama Zoological Gardens | Kohshima S.,Kyoto University
PloS one | Year: 2014

As facial color pattern around the eyes has been suggested to serve various adaptive functions related to the gaze signal, we compared the patterns among 25 canid species, focusing on the gaze signal, to estimate the function of facial color pattern in these species. The facial color patterns of the studied species could be categorized into the following three types based on contrast indices relating to the gaze signal: A-type (both pupil position in the eye outline and eye position in the face are clear), B-type (only the eye position is clear), and C-type (both the pupil and eye position are unclear). A-type faces with light-colored irises were observed in most studied species of the wolf-like clade and some of the red fox-like clade. A-type faces tended to be observed in species living in family groups all year-round, whereas B-type faces tended to be seen in solo/pair-living species. The duration of gazing behavior during which the facial gaze-signal is displayed to the other individual was longest in gray wolves with typical A-type faces, of intermediate length in fennec foxes with typical B-type faces, and shortest in bush dogs with typical C-type faces. These results suggest that the facial color pattern of canid species is related to their gaze communication and that canids with A-type faces, especially gray wolves, use the gaze signal in conspecific communication. Source

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