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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed. December 2015, Week 3.

birdRS - Latest News

This message contains My NCBI what's new results from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

View complete results in PubMed (results may change over time).


PubMed Results

1. PLoS One. 2015 Dec 9;10(12):e0143545. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143545. 

Nature's Palette: Characterization of Shared Pigments in Colorful Avian and Mollusk Shells. 
Verdes A(1,)(2), Cho W(3), Hossain M(3), Brennan PL(4), Hanley D(5), Grim T(5), Hauber ME(1,)(6), Holford M(1,)(2,)(3). Author information: (1)The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America. (2)Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States of America. (3)Department of Chemistry, Hunter College Belfer Research Building, City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America. (4)Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, United States of America. (5)Department of Zoology and Laboratory of Ornithology, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. (6)Department of Psychology, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America. 

Abstract
Pigment-based coloration is a common trait found in a variety of organisms across the tree of life. For example, calcareous avian eggs are natural structures that vary greatly in color, yet just a handful of tetrapyrrole pigment compounds are responsible for generating this myriad of colors. To fully understand the diversity and constraints shaping nature's palette, it is imperative to characterize the similarities and differences in the types of compounds involved in color production across diverse lineages. Pigment composition was investigated in eggshells of eleven paleognath bird taxa, covering several extinct and extant lineages, and shells of four extant species of mollusks. Birds and mollusks are two distantly related, calcareous shell-building groups, thus characterization of pigments in their calcareous structures would provide insights to whether similar compounds are found in different phyla (Chordata and Mollusca). An ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) extraction protocol was used to analyze the presence and concentration of biliverdin and protoporphyrin, two known and ubiquitous tetrapyrrole avian eggshell pigments, in all avian and molluscan samples. Biliverdin was solely detected in birds, including the colorful eggshells of four tinamou species. In contrast, protoporphyrin was detected in both the eggshells of several avian species and in the shells of all mollusks. These findings support previous hypotheses about the ubiquitous deposition of tetrapyrroles in the eggshells of various bird lineages and provide evidence for its presence also across distantly related animal taxa. PMID: 26650398 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


2. PLoS One. 2015 Dec 9;10(12):e0143746. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143746. 

Very Low Population Structure in a Highly Mobile and Wide-Ranging Endangered Bird Species. 
Kvistad L(1), Ingwersen D(2), Pavlova A(1), Bull JK(1), Sunnucks P(1). Author information: (1)School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. (2)BirdLife Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 

Abstract
The loss of biodiversity following fragmentation and degradation of habitat is a major issue in conservation biology. As competition for resources increases following habitat loss and fragmentation, severe population declines may occur even in common, highly mobile species; such demographic decline may cause changes within the population structure of the species. The regent honeyeater, Anthochaera phrygia, is a highly nomadic woodland bird once common in its native southeast Australia. It has experienced a sharp decline in abundance since the late 1970s, following clearing of large areas of its preferred habitat, box-ironbark woodland, within the last 200 years. A captive breeding program has been established as part of efforts to restore this species. This study used genetic data to examine the range-wide population structure of regent honeyeaters, including spatial structure, its change through time, sex differences in philopatry and mobility, and genetic differences between the captive and wild populations. There was low genetic differentiation between birds captured in different geographic areas. Despite the recent demographic decline, low spatial structure appears to have some temporal consistency. Both sexes appear to be highly mobile, and there does not seem to be significant genetic differentiation between the captive and wild populations. We conclude that management efforts for survival of this species, including habitat protection, restoration, and release of captive-bred birds into the wild, can treat the species as effectively a single genetic population. PMID: 26649426 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


3. Ecology. 2015 Oct;96(10):2715-25. 

Invasive carnivores alter ecological function and enhance complementarity in scavenger assemblages on ocean beaches. 
Brown MB, Schlacher TA, Schoeman DS, Weston MA, Huijbers CM, Olds AD, Connolly RM. 

Abstract
Species composition is expected to alter ecological function in assemblages if species traits differ strongly. Such effects are often large and persistent for nonnative carnivores invading islands. Alternatively, high similarity in traits within assemblages creates a degree of functional redundancy in ecosystems. Here we tested whether species turnover results in functional ecological equivalence or complementarity, and whether invasive carnivores on islands significantly alter such ecological function. The model system consisted of vertebrate scavengers (dominated by raptors) foraging on animal carcasses on ocean beaches on two Australian islands, one with and one without invasive red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Partitioning of scavenging events among species, carcass removal rates, and detection speeds were quantified using camera traps baited with fish carcasses at the dune-beach interface. Complete segregation of temporal foraging niches between mammals (nocturnal) and birds (diurnal) reflects complementarity in carrion utilization. Conversely, functional redundancy exists within the bird guild where several species of raptors dominate carrion removal in a broadly similar way. As predicted, effects of red foxes were large. They substantially changed the nature and rate of the scavenging process in the system: (1) foxes consumed over half (55%) of all carrion available at night, compared with negligible mammalian foraging at night on the fox-free island, and (2) significant shifts in the composition of the scavenger assemblages consuming beach-cast carrion are the consequence of fox invasion at one island. Arguably, in the absence of other mammalian apex predators, the addition of red foxes creates a new dimension of functional complementarity in beach food webs. However, this functional complementarity added by foxes is neither benign nor neutral, as marine carrion subsidies to coastal red fox populations are likely to facilitate their persistence as exotic carnivores. PMID: 26649392 [PubMed - in process] 


4. J Neuroendocrinol. 2015 Dec 9. doi: 10.1111/jne.12345. [Epub ahead of print] 

Rapid effects of an aggressive interaction on DHEA, testosterone, and estradiol levels in the male song sparrow brain: a seasonal comparison. 
Heimovics SA(1), Prior NH(2), Ma C(2), Soma KK(2). Author information: (1)University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, USA. (2)University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, CANADA. 

Abstract
Across vertebrates, aggression is robustly expressed during the breeding season when circulating testosterone (T) is elevated, and T activates aggression either directly or after aromatization into 17β-estradiol (E2 ) in the brain. In some species, such as the song sparrow, aggressive behavior is also expressed at high levels during the non-breeding season, when circulating T is non-detectable. At this time, the androgen precursor dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is metabolized within the brain into T and/or E2 to promote aggression. In the present study, we used captive male song sparrows to test the hypothesis that an acute agonistic interaction during the non-breeding season, but not during the breeding season, would alter steroid levels in the brain. Non-breeding and breeding subjects were exposed to either a laboratory simulated territorial intrusion (L-STI) or an empty cage for only 5 min. Immediately following, the brain was rapidly collected and flash frozen. The Palkovits punch technique was used to microdissect specific brain regions implicated in aggressive behavior. Solid phase extraction followed by radioimmunoassay was used to quantify DHEA, T, and E2 in punches. Overall, levels of DHEA, T, and E2 were higher in brain tissue than in plasma. Local T and E2 levels in the preoptic area, anterior hypothalamus, and nucleus taeniae of the amygdala were significantly higher in the breeding season than the non-breeding season and were not affected by the L-STI. Surprisingly, subjects that were dominant in the L-STI had lower levels of DHEA in AH and medial striatum in both seasons and lower levels of DHEA in TnA in the breeding season only. Taken together, these data suggest that local levels of DHEA in the brain are very rapidly modulated by social interactions in a context- and region-specific pattern. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID: 26648568 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


5. PeerJ. 2015 Nov 30;3:e1447. 

Inconsistencies among secondary sources of Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) introductions to the United States. 
Moulton MP(1), Cropper WP Jr(2), Broz AJ(1). Author information: (1)Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida , Gainesville, FL , USA. (2)School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida , Gainesville, FL , USA. 

Abstract
The propagule pressure hypothesis asserts that the number of individuals released is the key determinant of whether an introduction will succeed or not. It remains to be shown whether propagule pressure is more important than either species-level or site-level factors in determining the fate of an introduction. Studies claiming to show that propagule pressure is the primary determinant of introduction success must assume that the historical record as reported by secondary sources is complete and accurate. Here, examine a widely introduced game bird, the Chukar (Alectoris chukar), to the USA. We compare the records reported by two secondary sources (Long, 1981; Lever, 1987) to those in a primary source (Christensen, 1970) and to a recent study by Sol et al. (2012). Numerous inconsistencies exist in the records reported by Sol et al. (2012), Long (1981) and Lever (1987) when compared to the primary record of Christensen (1970). As reported by Christensen (1970), very large numbers of Chukars were released unsuccessfully in some states. Our results strongly imply that factors other than sheer numbers are more important. Site-to-site differences are the most likely explanation for the variation in success. PMID: 26644981 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


6. PeerJ. 2015 Nov 26;3:e1421. 

Geographic variation and genetic structure in the Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi), a critically endangered synanthropic species. 
Price MR(1), Person C(2), Hayes WK(2). Author information: (1)Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa , Honolulu, HI , United States ; Kewalo Marine Laboratory, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa , Honolulu, HI , United States. (2)Department of Earth and Biological Sciences, Loma Linda University , Loma Linda, CA , United States. 

Abstract
Bird species may exhibit unexpected population structuring over small distances, with gene flow restricted by geographic features such as water or mountains. The Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi) is a critically endangered, synanthropic island endemic with a declining population of fewer than 300 individuals. It now remains only on Andros Island (The Bahamas), which is riddled with waterways that past studies assumed did not hinder gene flow. We examined 1,858 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA sequenced from four gene regions in 14 birds (roughly 5% of the remaining population) found on the largest land masses of Andros Island (North Andros and Mangrove Cay/South Andros). We sought to discern genetic structuring between the remaining subpopulations and its relationship to current conservation concerns. Four unique haplotypes were identified, with only one shared between the two subpopulations. Nucleotide and haplotype diversity were higher for the North Andros subpopulation than for the Mangrove Cay/South Andros subpopulation. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) yielded a Wright's fixation index (F st) of 0.60 (P Fst = 0.016), with 40.2% of the molecular variation explained by within-population differences and 59.8% by among-population differences. Based on the mitochondrial regions examined in this study, we suggest the extant subpopulations of Bahama Oriole exhibit significant population structuring over short distances, consistent with some other non-migratory tropical songbird species. PMID: 26644974 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


7. J Exp Biol. 2015 Dec 7. pii: jeb.127910. [Epub ahead of print] 

Minimizing the cost of locomotion with inclined trunk predicts crouched leg kinematics of small birds at realistic levels of elastic recoil. 
Rode C(1), Sutedja Y(2), Kilbourne BM(3), Blickhan R(2), Andrada E(4). Author information: (1)Department of Motion Science, Institute of Sport Science, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany christian.rode@uni-jena.de. (2)Department of Motion Science, Institute of Sport Science, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. (3)Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology with Phyletic Museum, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany College for Life Sciences, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Wallotstraße 19, 19143 Berlin, Germany. (4)Department of Motion Science, Institute of Sport Science, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology with Phyletic Museum, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. 

Abstract
Small birds move with pronograde trunk orientation and crouched legs. While the pronograde trunk has been suggested to be beneficial for grounded running, the cause(s) of the specific leg kinematics are unknown. Here we show that three charadriiform bird species (northern lapwing, oystercatcher, and avocet; great examples of closely related species that differ remarkably in their hind limb design) move their leg segments during stance in a way that minimizes the cost of locomotion. We prescribed the trunk motion and the ground reaction forces to a kinematic model of the birds. The model was used to search for leg configurations that minimize leg work that accounts for two factors: elastic recoil in the intertarsal joint and cheaper negative muscle work relative to positive muscle work. A physiological level of elasticity (about 0.6) yielded segment motions that match the experimental data best, with a root mean square of angular deviations of about 2.1°. This finding suggests that the exploitation of elastic recoil shapes the crouched leg kinematics of small birds under the constraint of pronograde trunk motion. Considering that an upright trunk and more extended legs likely decrease the cost of locomotion, our results imply that the cost of locomotion is a secondary movement criterion for small birds. Scaling arguments suggest that our approach may be utilized to provide new insights into the motion of extinct species like dinosaurs. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. PMID: 26643087 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


8. Avian Pathol. 2015 Dec;44(6):430-5. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2015.1083094. 

The effect of cold stress on the pathogenesis of necrotic enteritis in broiler chicks. 
Tsiouris V(1), Georgopoulou I(1), Batzios C(2), Pappaioannou N(3), Ducatelle R(4), Fortomaris P(5). Author information: (1)a Unit of Avian Medicine , Clinic of Farm Animals , Thessaloniki , Greece. (2)b Laboratory of Animal Production Economics , School of Veterinary Medicine , Thessaloniki , Greece. (3)c Laboratory of Pathology , School of Veterinary Medicine , Thessaloniki , Greece. (4)d Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine , Ghent University , Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke , Belgium. (5)e Laboratory of Animal Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences , Aristotle University of Thessaloniki , Stavrou Voutyra 11, 54627 Thessaloniki , Greece. 

Abstract
Cold stress is a physical environmental stressor with significant effect on the poultry industry. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of cold stress as a predisposing factor for necrotic enteritis in broiler chicks. The experimental challenge model included an oral inoculation with 10-fold dose of attenuated anticoccidial vaccine and multiple oral inoculations with a specific strain of Clostridium perfringens. Birds were either challenged or not as described above, and either exposed or not to repeated cold stress (15°C for 12 h/day for 4 days). From each bird, intestinal gross lesions were scored and intestinal digesta pH and viscosity were measured. C. perfringens was counted in the caecum. The statistical analysis and evaluation of the experimental data revealed that the cold stress in challenged birds significantly increased the incidence and the severity of necrotic enteritis lesions (Ρ ≤ 0.05), while causing no lesions in unchallenged birds. Moreover, the cold stress caused a significant increase (Ρ ≤ 0.05) in the pH and C. perfringens counts in the caeca. The study provides evidence that cold stress increased the susceptibility to necrotic enteritis in a subclinical experimental model and thus should be regarded as a physical environmental stressor that could significantly affect the welfare, health and intestinal ecosystem of broiler chicks. PMID: 26642742 [PubMed - in process] 


9. J Environ Qual. 2015 Nov;44(6):1903-10. doi: 10.2134/jeq2015.05.0214. 

Multiple Applications of Sodium Bisulfate to Broiler Litter Affect Ammonia Release and Litter Properties. 
Hunolt AE, Maguire RO, Ogejo JA, Badgley BD, Frame WH, Reiter MS. 

Abstract
Ammonia (NH) emissions from animal manures can cause air and water quality problems. Poultry litter treatment (PLT, sodium bisulfate; Jones-Hamilton Co.) is an acidic amendment that is applied to litter in poultry houses to decrease NH emissions, but currently it can only be applied once before birds are placed in the houses. This project analyzed the effect of multiple PLT applications on litter properties and NH release. Volatility chambers were used to compare multiple, single, and no application of PLT to poultry litter, all with and without fresh manure applications. A field component consisted of two commercial broiler houses: one had a single, preflock PLT application, while the other received PLT reapplications during the flock using an overhead application system. In the volatility chambers, single and reapplied PLT caused greater litter moisture and lower litter pH and , relative to no PLT. After 14 d, NH released from litter treated with reapplied PLT was significantly less than litter with both single and no applications. Furthermore, total N in litter was greatest in litter treated with reapplied PLT, increasing its fertilizer value. In the commercial poultry houses, PLT reapplication led to a temporary decrease in litter pH and , but these effects did not last because of continued bird excretion. Although one preflock PLT application is currently used as a successful strategy to control NH during early flock growth, repeat PLT application using the overhead reapplication system was not successful because of problems with the reapplication system and litter moisture concerns. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc. PMID: 26641342 [PubMed - in process] 


10. Mitochondrial DNA. 2015 Dec 7:1-2. [Epub ahead of print] 

Complete mitochondrial genome of Motacilla alba and implications for Motacillidae taxonomy. 
Dong X(1), Pan T(2), Kang X(2), Zhang Y(2), Sun X(2), Qian L(2). Author information: (1)a Institute of Life Sciences, Jiangsu University , Zhenjiang , PR China and. (2)b School of Life Sciences, Anhui University , Hefei , PR China. 

Abstract
Motacilla alba is a species of small and passerine songbird in the Family Motacillidae, which is widely distributed. In this study, we determined the complete mitochondrial genome of M. alba. The result showed that the total length of the mitogenome was 16 826 bp and contained 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, and one control region. All the genes in M. alba were distributed on the H-strand, except for the ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes which were encoded on the L-strand. The phylogenetic tree was reconstructed using maximum-likelihood analysis and divided into three major clades. The species from genus Anthus were clustered into clade A. The clade B contained M. alba and other seven Motacilla species. Dendronanthus indicus as one species from Dendronanthus comprised the clade C, and received strong support. PMID: 26641012 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


11. Ecol Evol. 2015 Oct 19;5(21):5057-5074. eCollection 2015. 

Predicting bird phenology from space: satellite-derived vegetation green-up signal uncovers spatial variation in phenological synchrony between birds and their environment. 
Cole EF(1), Long PR(2), Zelazowski P(3), Szulkin M(4), Sheldon BC(1). Author information: (1)Department of Zoology Edward Grey Institute University of Oxford Oxford UK. (2)Department of Zoology Biodiversity Institute University of Oxford Oxford UK. (3)Environmental Change Institute University of Oxford Oxford UK ; Centre of New Technologies University of Warsaw Warsaw Poland. (4)Department of Zoology Edward Grey Institute University of Oxford Oxford UK ; Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive UMR 5175 Campus CNRS Montpellier France. 

Abstract
Population-level studies of how tit species (Parus spp.) track the changing phenology of their caterpillar food source have provided a model system allowing inference into how populations can adjust to changing climates, but are often limited because they implicitly assume all individuals experience similar environments. Ecologists are increasingly using satellite-derived data to quantify aspects of animals' environments, but so far studies examining phenology have generally done so at large spatial scales. Considering the scale at which individuals experience their environment is likely to be key if we are to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes acting on reproductive phenology within populations. Here, we use time series of satellite images, with a resolution of 240 m, to quantify spatial variation in vegetation green-up for a 385-ha mixed-deciduous woodland. Using data spanning 13 years, we demonstrate that annual population-level measures of the timing of peak abundance of winter moth larvae (Operophtera brumata) and the timing of egg laying in great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) is related to satellite-derived spring vegetation phenology. We go on to show that timing of local vegetation green-up significantly explained individual differences in tit reproductive phenology within the population, and that the degree of synchrony between bird and vegetation phenology showed marked spatial variation across the woodland. Areas of high oak tree (Quercus robur) and hazel (Corylus avellana) density showed the strongest match between remote-sensed vegetation phenology and reproductive phenology in both species. Marked within-population variation in the extent to which phenology of different trophic levels match suggests that more attention should be given to small-scale processes when exploring the causes and consequences of phenological matching. We discuss how use of remotely sensed data to study within-population variation could broaden the scale and scope of studies exploring phenological synchrony between organisms and their environment. PMCID: PMC4662320 PMID: 26640682 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


12. Ecol Evol. 2015 Oct 15;5(21):5016-5032. eCollection 2015. 

Exceptional avian herbivores: multiple transitions toward herbivory in the bird order Anseriformes and its correlation with body mass. 
Olsen AM(1). Author information: (1)Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy University of Chicago 1027 E. 57th Street Chicago Illinois 60637 ; Bird Division The Field Museum of Natural History 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago Illinois 60605. 

Abstract
Herbivory is rare among birds and is usually thought to have evolved predominately among large, flightless birds due to energetic constraints or an association with increased body mass. Nearly all members of the bird order Anseriformes, which includes ducks, geese, and swans, are flighted and many are predominately herbivorous. However, it is unknown whether herbivory represents a derived state for the order and how many times a predominately herbivorous diet may have evolved. Compiling data from over 200 published diet studies to create a continuous character for herbivory, models of trait evolution support at least five independent transitions toward a predominately herbivorous diet in Anseriformes. Although a nonphylogenetic correlation test recovers a significant positive correlation between herbivory and body mass, this correlation is not significant when accounting for phylogeny. These results indicate a lack of support for the hypothesis that a larger body mass confers an advantage in the digestion of low-quality diets but does not exclude the possibility that shifts to a more abundant food source have driven shifts toward herbivory in other bird lineages. The exceptional number of transitions toward a more herbivorous diet in Anseriformes and lack of correlation with body mass prompts a reinterpretation of the relatively infrequent origination of herbivory among flighted birds. PMCID: PMC4662324 PMID: 26640679 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 


13. Front Zool. 2015 Dec 4;12:35. 

Ultrastructural study of vitellogenesis of Ligula intestinalis (Diphyllobothriidea) reveals the presence of cytoplasmic-like cell death in cestodes. 
Yoneva A(1), Scholz T(2), Młocicki D(3), Kuchta R(2). Author information: (1)Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Gagarin Street, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria ; Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic. (2)Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic. (3)W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 51/55Twarda Street, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland ; Department of General Biology and Parasitology, Medical University of Warsaw, 5 Chałubinskiego Street, 02-004 Warsaw, Poland. 

Abstract
BACKGROUND: The tapeworm Ligula intestinalis (Diphyllobothriidea) is one of the most fascinating cestode parasites because it may cause parasitic castration of its second intermediate host, teleost freshwater fishes, due to inhibition of production of fish gonadotropic hormones. Large-sized (length up to 1 m) larvae called plerocercoids develop several months in the body cavity of freshwater fish and affect host behavior to facilitate transmission to the final host, a fish-eating bird. Vitellogenesis, i.e. formation of vitellocytes, is a key process in formation and nutrition of female gametes, oocytes in many flatworms, mainly parasitic Neodermata. The present study provides the first ultrastructural evidence in flatworms (Platyhelminthes) of the process that is interpreted as cytoplasmic-like cell death, i.e. a special case of programmed cell death (paraptosis) in vitellocytes of L. intestinalis. RESULTS: As molecular markers for paraptosis are not yet available, its identification was based on morphological criteria. Electron microscopy analyses revealed evident structural changes in vitellocytes associated with progressive cytoplasmatic vacuolation, swelling of the granular endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. In addition, the present study has shown that vitellocytes of L. intestinalis share numerous features in common with the members of other earliest evolved eucestodes. CONCLUSIONS: The present study indicates that paraptotic-like cell death may occur in parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). The presence of GER-bodies in mature vitellocytes indicates close relationship between the Diphyllobothriidea, Caryophyllidea and Spathebothriidea, which are considered as the earliest evolved groups of the Eucestoda. Beyond the general similarities, however, a number of differences exist between the morphology, chemical composition and amount of these inclusions which could be due to the variations in their embryonic development, life cycle strategies and definitive host groups. PMCID: PMC4670514 PMID: 26640506 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


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