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  • Undergraduate Poster Abstracts
  • Animal Sciences

    FRI-830 THE EFFECTS OF UNILATERAL COMMON CAROTID ARTERY OCCLUSION ON MICROVESSEL DENSITY IN STROKE-PRONE, SPONTANEOUSLY HYPERTENSIVE RATS

    • Jesica Vicente-Reyes ;
    • Courtney Fisher ;
    • Nusrat Matin ;
    • Anne Dorrance ;

    FRI-830

    THE EFFECTS OF UNILATERAL COMMON CAROTID ARTERY OCCLUSION ON MICROVESSEL DENSITY IN STROKE-PRONE, SPONTANEOUSLY HYPERTENSIVE RATS

    Jesica Vicente-Reyes1, Courtney Fisher2, Nusrat Matin2, Anne Dorrance2.

    1University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, Cayey, PR, 2Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

    The brain needs a constant and controlled supply of blood. Unilateral carotid artery occlusion (UCAO) induces hypoperfusion of the brain and causes cognitive impairment. Stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSPs) with UCAO are a novel model of cognitive impairment with pre-existing hypertension. Studies suggest that carnosine (CAR), an antioxidant, may have neuroprotective effects. We hypothesized that UCAO in SHRSPs will cause cognitive impairment, and that CAR treatment will alleviate cognitive dysfunction by increasing microvascular perfusion. Forty- to fifty-week-old SHRSP were divided into 3 groups: SHAM, UCAO, and UCAO+CAR. Data are shown as mean ± standard error of the mean. Short-term memory was assessed using the novel-object recognition test. Short-term memory was impaired in UCAO rats (Sham vs UCAO: 0.72 ± 0.05 vs 0.43 ± 0.4), and this was improved by CAR administration (UCAO vs UCAO + CAR: 0.43 ± 0.04 vs 0.64 ± 0.07). To assess microvascular perfusion, rats were injected with FITC-dextran to label the vessels. Then we did Iba-1 staining to assess microglia activation. The memory tests tell us that CAR could be a treatment to improve spatial abilities; also, we confirmed that CAR has neuroprotective properties for UCAO rats. We did not confirm our hypothesis that CAR treatment will alleviate cognitive dysfunction by increasing the cerebral artery number. CAR had no effect on microglia activation. These results suggest that CAR will have therapeutic benefits for vascular dementia.

    FRI-841 ARE FROGS PICKY - THE ROLE OF POND SIZE AND ISOLATION IN ANURAN OVIPOSITION

    • Nalani Kito-Ho ;
    • Tanya Hawley Matlaga ;

    FRI-841

    ARE FROGS PICKY - THE ROLE OF POND SIZE AND ISOLATION IN ANURAN OVIPOSITION

    Nalani Kito-Ho1, Tanya Hawley Matlaga2.

    1University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, 2Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA.

    Amphibian populations are declining globally; therefore, understanding the reproductive behavior and ecology of species is crucial for conservation efforts. We examined how abiotic factors, such as pool size and isolation, affect oviposition in artificial pools at the Las Cruces Biological Station, Coto Brus County, Costa Rica. We hypothesized that frogs would show preference for large pools that were located closer to an existing pool because of their inability to disperse long distances and their limited ability to hear other frogs calling. We placed sets of three different-sized pools (small, medium, and large) at 0, 5, 10, and 20 m from existing garden pools and recorded the number of clutches and eggs deposited by frogs. We found that S. phaeota oviposited preferentially in large pools that were close to an existing permanent pool. In modified habitats where pools are prone to desiccation and overcrowding, frogs must select the optimal environments for offspring survival and development in order to increase fitness.

    FRI-842 ALTERNATIVE NESTING MATERIALS FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT OF C57BL/6 AND BALB/C MICE

    • Honoree' Brewton ;
    • Gregory Boivin ;

    FRI-842

    ALTERNATIVE NESTING MATERIALS FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT OF C57BL/6 AND BALB/C MICE

    Honoree' Brewton, Gregory Boivin.

    Wright State University, Dayton, OH.

    The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals recommends that mice be checked daily to ensure animal health and an enriched environment. Providing nesting material is an acceptable form of enrichment for laboratory mice. However, it is difficult to visualize mice in the nest. In order to provide an enriched environment and the ability to visualize the mice, we hypothesized that transparent materials would be an improvement over traditional opaque materials. At 6 weeks of age, 12 C57BL/6 and 12 BALB/c female mice were separated into pairs, each receiving one of the following materials: shredded bubble wrap, cling wrap, polyester ribbon, nylon ribbon, cellophane shred, tunnel-shaped bubble wrap, a Nestlet™, or no nesting material. Nest quality and mouse body weights were recorded biweekly and weekly, respectively. After 2 weeks with the nesting material, feces were collected for corticosterone assays and new nest material was placed in the cages. In both strains, nests made from nylon ribbon or polyester ribbon scored significantly higher than nests made from Nestlets™. However, neither improved visibility of the mice. The mice were best seen when using a Nestlet™, bubble wrap, cellophane, or cling wrap as nesting material. No significant differences were found in weight gain or corticosterone levels. No material was found to be superior in both visibility and nest quality compared with Nestlets™; however, the high visibility with Nestlets™ may be due to poor nest quality. The materials tested may be substituted for opaque materials with no negative consequences.

    THU-841 CONSTRUCTION OF A HIGH-RESOLUTION GENETIC MAP FOR RAINBOW TROUT USING GYNOGENETICALLY PRODUCED RECOMBINANT PROGENY AND RESTRICTION-SITE ASSOCIATED DNA (RAD) SEQUENCING

    • Lucydalila Cedillo ;
    • Sean O'Rourke ;
    • Ismail Saglam ;
    • Michael Miller ;

    THU-841

    CONSTRUCTION OF A HIGH-RESOLUTION GENETIC MAP FOR RAINBOW TROUT USING GYNOGENETICALLY PRODUCED RECOMBINANT PROGENY AND RESTRICTION-SITE ASSOCIATED DNA (RAD) SEQUENCING

    Lucydalila Cedillo, Sean O'Rourke, Ismail Saglam, Michael Miller.

    University of California, Davis, Davis, CA.

    The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is an important species in aquaculture, sport fishing, and biomedical research. Despite widespread interest in studying rainbow trout, the current genome assembly is mostly composed of contiguous sequences and scaffolds with no definitive order. Genetic maps have been produced to infer the order of the genome. However, they are currently limited due to the presence of low recombination rates in progeny derived from male meiosis or a low density of genetic markers used for mapping. We hypothesized that a combination of gynogenetically produced recombinant progeny, which represent recombination events derived from female meiosis, and high-density genotyping methods will produce an improved genetic map that will greatly enhance the current state of the reference genome. To this end, we produced 635 recombinant progeny via gynogenesis, and used next generation sequencing of restriction-site associated DNA tags to discover and genotype approximately 40,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms, and constructed a high-resolution genetic map for rainbow trout. Furthermore, we mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) to investigate chromosomal regions of the genome that are associated with phenotypes such as length, weight, and number of parr marks. The linkage and QTL maps constructed here provide critical genetic resources that can be applied to future conservation, aquaculture, and biomedical research.

    THU-840 ASSESSING OSPREY NESTING HABITS, SUCCESS, AND PRODUCTIVITY IN HUMBOLDT BAY USING THE MAYFIELD METHOD FOR NEST SUCCESS MODELING

    • Patricia Torres ;
    • Micaela Szykman-Gunther ;
    • Rene Torres ;

    THU-840

    ASSESSING OSPREY NESTING HABITS, SUCCESS, AND PRODUCTIVITY IN HUMBOLDT BAY USING THE MAYFIELD METHOD FOR NEST SUCCESS MODELING

    Patricia Torres1, Micaela Szykman-Gunther1, Rene Torres2.

    1Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA, 2California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA.

    Understanding the reproductive biology of sensitive species of wildlife is essential to making well- informed management decisions, especially in a highly urbanized setting. An assessment of osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nesting success and productivity has not been conducted in the Humboldt Bay area of northern California in recent decades, following steep population declines in the 1950s associated with the widespread use of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides such as DDT. Our goals are to better understand how osprey have adapted to an increasingly urbanized landscape by studying the local population's nesting success and productivity as well as observing nest location and structure. With this information, we will determine if current breeding pairs of osprey are producing enough young to maintain a stable population in this region. Our study was conducted by surveying on foot and using local knowledge to locate and map osprey nests along Humboldt Bay. We will model nest success using the Mayfield method, a method known to be effective in reducing bias associated with sampling error. Observations suggest that nesting success and productivity of osprey will be stable as many breeding pairs reared young in close proximity to human activity and in various manmade structures. We also observed competition with local gull species, which reared young on abandoned osprey nests. High nesting success and productivity will be indicative of a species with versatile nesting habits. As urbanization continues to expand throughout the U.S. and the world, studying how species adapt to these changes is an integral element in conservation.

    THU-842 INFLUENCE OF WATER PRESENCE ON BAT COMMUNITIES AND THEIR DIET

    • Natasha Edwin ;
    • Rachel Blakey ;

    THU-842

    INFLUENCE OF WATER PRESENCE ON BAT COMMUNITIES AND THEIR DIET

    Natasha Edwin1, Rachel Blakey2.

    1College of Micronesia-FSM, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FM, 2University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, AU.

    Wet habitats like streams and lakes are important for bat communities as they provide a source of abundant insects and open flyways for foraging. As well as insectivorous bats, frugivorous and nectarivorous bats also eat insects, though few studies have looked at the importance of insects in their diet. It is very important for us to understand and take care of bat habitats and their food sources since bats play an important role in the restoration of tropical forests. We trapped bats with mist nets, identified them, and took and stored fecal samples. We then separated frugivorous and nectarivorous bat fecal samples from insectivorous bat fecal samples and studied the frugivorous bat fecal samples, identifying insects, fruit, and pollen within the samples. We expected a greater bat abundance and richness near water. We also expected more frugivorous and nectarivorous bats to be eating insects near water than away from water. We caught 93 individual bats during 9 nights of mist netting in 2 treatments: away from water and near water. We caught a greater proportion of insectivorous and nectarivorous bats near water but a greater proportion of frugivorous bats away from water. Thirty-five percent of frugivorous and nectarivorous bats ate insects. Near the water, 57% of frugivorous and nectarivorous bats ate insects and, away from water, only 23% of them ate insects. To confirm the trends we observed, future studies with greater sample sizes and geographic ranges should investigate the importance for bat foraging of wet habitats in the tropics.

    THU-830 EXPRESSION OF MEMBRANE STEROID RECEPTORS AND COMPONENTS OF THE CXCL12/CXCR4 SIGNALING AXIS IN HUMAN CHORIOCARCINOMA CELLS

    • Adriana Alire ;
    • Ryan Ashley ;

    THU-830

    EXPRESSION OF MEMBRANE STEROID RECEPTORS AND COMPONENTS OF THE CXCL12/CXCR4 SIGNALING AXIS IN HUMAN CHORIOCARCINOMA CELLS

    Adriana Alire, Ryan Ashley.

    New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

    During early pregnancy when implantation and development of the placenta occur, most embryonic losses occur. This process is regulated by interplay between sex steroids and local signaling molecules. Our lab has demonstrated the chemokine CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 have potential roles in placental development, and membrane progesterone receptors (MPRα, MPRβ, MPRγ, and PGRMC1) are expressed in placental tissue. To elucidate the functions of these proteins in fetal trophoblast cells, a human choriocarcinoma cell line (BeWo) was used. We hypothesize steroid hormone treatments will alter synthesis of PAD2, CXCR4, CXCL12, and MPRs (α, β, γ) in BeWo cells. First, expression of CXCL12, CXCR4, MPRα, MPRβ, MPRγ, PGRMC1, GPR30, and PAD2 was confirmed in BeWo cells using RT-PCR and western blot analysis. To alter synthesis of our proteins of interest, BeWo cells were treated with estradiol, progesterone, medroxyprosterone acetate, membrane progesterone receptor-agonist, 5α-dihydroprogesterone, or 3α-dihydroprogesterone for a duration of 48 hours. Currently, western blot analysis is still in progress. Future experiments will use BeWo cells to elucidate mechanisms of action for our proteins of interest.