Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (19 April 2024) | Viewed by 8068

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Norwegian College of Fishery Science, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
Interests: fish; microbial ecology; lipid nutrition; electron microscopy; gut microbiota
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to collect high-quality papers related to all aspects of animal science, including anatomy, behavior, embryo manipulation, feeding, nutrition, physiology, histology, diseases, animal management, health and welfare, genetics and breeding, gut development, functional food, microbial ecology, gut microbiome, next-generation sequencing, and immunology. We encourage researchers from various fields within the journal’s scope to contribute papers highlighting the latest developments in their research field or to invite relevant experts and colleagues to do so.

Original research, reviews, communications, case reports, and other types of articles are kindly invited to improve knowledge and practice for animal science.

For previous publications, please see: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/life/topical_collections/feature_animals

Prof. Dr. Einar Ringø
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fish
  • microbial ecology
  • lipid nutrition
  • electron microscopy
  • gut microbiota
  • proteomics
  • next generation sequencing
  • arthropod parasites
  • protease inhibitors
  • disease vectors
  • cystatin
  • serpin
  • kunitz
  • tick
  • insect
  • vector–host interaction
  • innate immunity
  • shellfish immunology
  • bivalve molluscs
  • transcriptomics
  • diseases
  • hemocytes
  • microscopy

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 3751 KiB  
Article
Investigating Immunotoxicity in Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) Fingerlings Exposed to Niclosamide
by Hao Wu, Xiping Yuan, Xing Tian, Jinwei Gao, Min Xie, Zhonggui Xie, Rui Song and Dongsheng Ou
Life 2024, 14(5), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14050544 - 24 Apr 2024
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Niclosamide (NIC) is a potent salicylanilide molluscicide/helminthicide commonly utilized for parasite and mollusc control in aquatic environments. Due to its persistent presence in water bodies, there is growing concern regarding its impact on aquatic organisms, yet this remains inadequately elucidated. Consequently, this study [...] Read more.
Niclosamide (NIC) is a potent salicylanilide molluscicide/helminthicide commonly utilized for parasite and mollusc control in aquatic environments. Due to its persistent presence in water bodies, there is growing concern regarding its impact on aquatic organisms, yet this remains inadequately elucidated. Consequently, this study aims to assess the hepatotoxic effects and detoxification capacity of black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) in a semi-static system, employing various parameters for analysis. NIC was applied to juvenile black carp at three different concentrations (0, 10 and 50 μg/L) for 28 days in an environmentally realistic manner. Exposure to 50 μg/L NIC resulted in an increase in hepatic lysozyme (LYZ), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and complement 4 (C4) levels while simultaneously causing a decrease in peroxidase (POD) activity. Additionally, NIC exposure exhibited a dose-dependent effect on elevating serum levels of LYZ, ALP, complement 3 (C3), C4, and immunoglobulin T (IgT). Notably, the mRNA levels of immune-related genes tnfα, il8, and il6, as well as nramp and leap2, were upregulated in fish exposed to NIC. RNA-Seq analysis identified 219 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in M. piceus after NIC exposure, with 94 upregulated and 125 downregulated genes. KEGG and GO analyses showed enrichment in drug metabolism pathways and activities related to oxidoreductase, lip oprotein particles, and cholesterol transport at 50 μg/L NIC. Additionally, numerous genes associated with lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, and innate immunity were upregulated in NIC-exposed M. piceus. Taken together, these findings indicate that NIC has the potential to cause hepatotoxicity and immunotoxicity in M. piceus. This research offers important insights for further understanding the impact of molluscicide/helminthicide aquatic toxicity in ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition)
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40 pages, 17749 KiB  
Article
The Diversity of Parasitoids and Their Role in the Control of the Siberian Moth, Dendrolimus sibiricus (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), a Major Coniferous Pest in Northern Asia
by Natalia I. Kirichenko, Alexander A. Ageev, Sergey A. Astapenko, Anna N. Golovina, Dmitry R. Kasparyan, Oksana V. Kosheleva, Alexander V. Timokhov, Ekaterina V. Tselikh, Evgeny V. Zakharov, Dmitrii L. Musolin and Sergey A. Belokobylskij
Life 2024, 14(2), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14020268 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1309
Abstract
The Siberian moth, Dendrolimus sibiricus Tschetv., 1908 (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) is a conifer pest that causes unprecedented forest mortality in Northern Asia, leading to enormous ecological and economic losses. This is the first study summarizing data on the parasitoid diversity and parasitism of this [...] Read more.
The Siberian moth, Dendrolimus sibiricus Tschetv., 1908 (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) is a conifer pest that causes unprecedented forest mortality in Northern Asia, leading to enormous ecological and economic losses. This is the first study summarizing data on the parasitoid diversity and parasitism of this pest over the last 118 years (1905–2022). Based on 860 specimens of freshly reared and archival parasitoids, 16 species from two orders (Hymenoptera and Diptera) were identified morphologically and/or with the use of DNA barcoding. For all of them, data on distribution and hosts and images of parasitoid adults are provided. Among them, the braconid species, Meteorus versicolor (Wesmael, 1835), was documented as a parasitoid of D. sibiricus for the first time. The eastern Palaearctic form, Aleiodes esenbeckii (Hartig, 1838) dendrolimi (Matsumura, 1926), status nov., was resurrected from synonymy as a valid subspecies, and a key for its differentiation from the western Palaearctic subspecies Aleiodes esenbeckii ssp. esenbecki is provided. DNA barcodes of 11 parasitoid species from Siberia, i.e., nine hymenopterans and two dipterans, represented novel records and can be used for accurate molecular genetic identification of species. An exhaustive checklist of parasitoids accounting for 93 species associated with D. sibirisus in northern Asia was compiled. Finally, the literature and original data on parasitism in D. sibiricus populations for the last 83 years (1940–2022) were analysed taking into account the pest population dynamics (i.e., growth, outbreak, decline, and depression phases). A gradual time-lagged increase in egg and pupal parasitism in D. sibiricus populations was detected, with a peak in the pest decline phase. According to long-term observations, the following species are able to cause significant mortality of D. sibiricus in Northern Asia: the hymenopteran egg parasitoids Telenomus tetratomus and Ooencyrtus pinicolus; the larval parasitoids Aleiodes esenbeckii sp. dendrolimi, Cotesia spp., and Glyptapanteles liparidis; and the dipteran pupal parasitoids Masicera sphingivora, Tachina sp., and Blepharipa sp. Their potential should be further explored in order to develop biocontrol programs for this important forest pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition)
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9 pages, 485 KiB  
Article
Distribution and Utilization of Vitamin E in Different Organs of Wild Bats from Different Food Groups
by Diego Antonio Mena Canata, Mara Silveira Benfato, Francielly Dias Pereira, María João Ramos Pereira and Pabulo Henrique Rampelotto
Life 2024, 14(2), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14020266 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 791
Abstract
In this work, we examined the levels of vitamin E in the heart, liver, and kidneys of four species of adult male bats with distinct feeding habits. Our results indicate consistent vitamin E levels in the heart across all four bat species, suggesting [...] Read more.
In this work, we examined the levels of vitamin E in the heart, liver, and kidneys of four species of adult male bats with distinct feeding habits. Our results indicate consistent vitamin E levels in the heart across all four bat species, suggesting the presence of regulatory mechanisms. Additionally, the liver displayed notably higher vitamin E levels in nectarivorous and frugivorous bats, while hematophagous bats exhibited lower levels, indicating a link between dietary intake and liver vitamin E levels. Furthermore, correlation analysis provided additional insights into the relationships between vitamin E and key antioxidant parameters in the livers of bats. On the other hand, no correlation was observed between vitamin E and key antioxidant parameters in the heart. Intriguingly, vitamin E was not detected in the kidneys, likely due to physiological factors and the prioritization of vitamin E mobilization in the heart, where it serves critical physiological functions. This unexpected absence of vitamin E in bat kidneys highlights the unique metabolic demands and prioritization of vitamin mobilization in wild animals like bats, compared to conventional animal models. These findings provide insight into the intricate distribution and utilization of vitamin E in bats, emphasizing the influence of dietary intake and metabolic adaptations on vitamin E levels in different organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition)
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18 pages, 5491 KiB  
Article
Oxidation Products of Tryptophan and Proline in Adipokinetic Hormones—Artifacts or Post-Translational Modifications?
by Simone König, Heather G. Marco and Gerd Gäde
Life 2023, 13(12), 2315; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13122315 - 10 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Background: Adipokinetic hormones (AKHs) regulate important physiological processes in insects. AKHs are short peptides with blocked termini and Trp in position 8. Often, proline occupies position 6. Few post-translational modifications have been found, including hydroxyproline ([Hyp6]) and kynurenine. Our recent data [...] Read more.
Background: Adipokinetic hormones (AKHs) regulate important physiological processes in insects. AKHs are short peptides with blocked termini and Trp in position 8. Often, proline occupies position 6. Few post-translational modifications have been found, including hydroxyproline ([Hyp6]) and kynurenine. Our recent data suggest that the Hyp- and Kyn-containing AKHs occur more often than originally thought and we here investigate if they are natural or artifactual. Methods: From crude extracts of the corpora cardiaca (CC) of various insect species, AKHs were analyzed using liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Synthetic [Hyp6]-AKHs were tested in an in vivo metabolic assay. Freshly dissected Periplaneta americana and Blaberus atropos CCs (with precautions taken against oxidation) were analyzed. B. atropos CC were placed into a depolarizing saline and the released AKHs were measured. Results: Hyp was detected in several decapeptides from cockroaches. The modified form accompanied the AKH at concentrations below 7%. The [Hyp6]-AKHs of B. atropos were present in fresh CC preparations and were shown to be releasable from the CC ex vivo. Synthetic [Hyp6]-containing peptides tested positively in a hypertrehalosemic bioassay. Hydroxyprolination was also detected for Manto-CC from the termite Kalotermes flavicollis and for Tetsu-AKH of the grasshopper, Tetrix subulata. Oxidized Trp-containing forms of Nicve-AKH were found in species of the burying beetle genus Nicrophorus. Conclusions: Trp oxidation is known to occur easily during sample handling and is likely the reason for the present findings. For hydroxyprolination, however, the experimental evidence suggests endogenous processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition)
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12 pages, 1816 KiB  
Article
Effects of Mycotoxin-Sequestering Agents on Growth Performance and Nutrient Utilization of Growing Pigs Fed Deoxynivalenol-Contaminated Diets
by Woong Bi Kwon, Seung Youp Shin, Yoon Soo Song, Changsu Kong and Beob Gyun Kim
Life 2023, 13(10), 1953; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13101953 - 23 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of supplemental mycotoxin-sequestering agents on growth performance and nutrient utilization in growing pigs fed deoxynivalenol (DON)-contaminated diets. Twelve barrows with an initial body weight of 35.5 kg (standard deviation = 1.3) were assigned [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of supplemental mycotoxin-sequestering agents on growth performance and nutrient utilization in growing pigs fed deoxynivalenol (DON)-contaminated diets. Twelve barrows with an initial body weight of 35.5 kg (standard deviation = 1.3) were assigned to six dietary treatments in a replicated 6 × 5 incomplete Latin square design. Five experimental diets consisted of an uncontaminated diet (PC), a DON-contaminated diet at 6.89 mg/kg (NC), NC + bentonite 0.5%, NC + yeast cell wall 0.5%, and NC + a mixture product 0.5% which consisted of enzymes, microorganisms, minerals, and plant extracts. Pigs had ad libitum access to the five diets. In the last group, the PC diet was restrictedly provided to pigs at the quantity of feed consumption of the NC group. Average daily gain, average daily feed intake, and gain:feed were not affected by supplemental mycotoxin-sequestering agents except for the mixed product that tended to improve (p = 0.064) gain:feed in pigs fed DON-contaminated diets. The apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dry matter was not affected by DON contamination or by supplemental mycotoxin-sequestering agents, whereas the ATTD of Ca was decreased (p = 0.032) by supplemental yeast cell wall in pigs fed DON-contaminated diets. The ATTD of P was greater (p = 0.042) in pigs fed the NC diet compared with the pigs fed the restricted amount of the PC diet. In conclusion, bentonite and yeast cell wall did not affect growth performance of pigs fed DON-contaminated diets, but a supplemental mixed product consisting of enzymes, microorganisms, minerals, and plant extracts partially alleviated the negative effects of dietary DON on the gain:feed of pigs. Calcium digestibility was decreased by supplemental yeast cell wall in pigs fed DON-contaminated diets. Based on the present work, the use of a mixed product consisting of enzymes, microorganisms, minerals, and plant extracts is suggested, and the reduction of Ca digestibility by yeast cell wall needs to be considered in diet formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition)
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29 pages, 8614 KiB  
Article
The Endangered Sardinian Grass Snake: Distribution Update, Bioclimatic Niche Modelling, Dorsal Pattern Characterisation, and Literature Review
by Matteo Riccardo Di Nicola, Andrea Vittorio Pozzi, Sergio Mezzadri, Francesco Paolo Faraone, Giorgio Russo, Jean Lou M. C. Dorne and Gianmarco Minuti
Life 2023, 13(9), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13091867 - 4 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1412
Abstract
The Sardinian grass snake, Natrix helvetica cetti, is an endangered endemic snake subspecies with a restricted and highly fragmented geographic distribution. Information on its ecology and detailed geographic distribution are scarce and may negatively impact on its conservation status. Therefore, a literature [...] Read more.
The Sardinian grass snake, Natrix helvetica cetti, is an endangered endemic snake subspecies with a restricted and highly fragmented geographic distribution. Information on its ecology and detailed geographic distribution are scarce and may negatively impact on its conservation status. Therefore, a literature review on its taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and conservation is presented here. Moreover, field records from the authors, citizen science and the existing literature provide an updated geographic distribution highlighting its presence within 13 new and 7 historic 10 × 10 km cells. Bioclimatic niche modelling was then applied to explore patterns of habitat suitability and phenotypic variation within N. h. cetti. The geographic distribution of the species was found to be positively correlated with altitude and precipitation values, whereas temperature showed a negative correlation. Taken together, these outcomes may explain the snake’s presence, particularly in eastern Sardinia. In addition, analysis of distribution overlap with the competing viperine snake (N. maura) and the urodeles as possible overlooked trophic resources (Speleomantes spp. and Euproctus platycephalus) showed overlaps of 66% and 79%, respectively. Finally, geographical or bioclimatic correlations did not explain phenotypic variation patterns observed in this highly polymorphic taxon. Perspectives on future research to investigate N. h. cetti’s decline and support effective conservation measures are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition)
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9 pages, 2023 KiB  
Communication
Dementia Is Induced via the AGEs/Iba1/iNOS Pathway in Aged KK-Ay/Tajcl Mice
by Keiichi Hiramoto, Masashi Imai, Shota Tanaka and Kazuya Ooi
Life 2023, 13(7), 1540; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13071540 - 11 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1014
Abstract
The onset and exacerbation of dementia have been observed in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of aging on the cognitive function in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes. [...] Read more.
The onset and exacerbation of dementia have been observed in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of aging on the cognitive function in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes. Pathogen-free KK-Ay/TaJcl mice were used in this study. The cognitive abilities and memory declined in the mice and worsened in the 50-week-olds. The levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), receptor for AGE (RAGE), and Iba1 in the hippocampus were increased in the mice compared to those in the control mice. Hippocampal levels of CC-chemokine receptor 7 and inducible nitric oxide synthase, which are from M1-type macrophages that shift from microglia, were higher in KK-Ay/TaJcl mice than in control mice. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and nitric oxide (NO) levels secreted by M1-type macrophages were similarly elevated in the mice and were even higher at the age of 50 weeks. NO levels were markedly elevated in the 50-week-old mice. In contrast, differentiation of CD163 and arginase-1 did not change in both mouse types. Memory and learning declined with age in diabetic mice, and the AGEs/RAGE/M1-type macrophage/NO and TNF-α pathways played an important role in exacerbating memory and learning in those mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition)
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Review

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22 pages, 378 KiB  
Review
DNA Methylation Machinery in Gastropod Mollusks
by Laura Haidar, Marius Georgescu, George Andrei Drăghici, Ioan Bănățean-Dunea, Dragoș Vasile Nica and Alina-Florina Șerb
Life 2024, 14(4), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14040537 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 737
Abstract
The role of DNA methylation in mollusks is just beginning to be understood. This review synthesizes current knowledge on this potent molecular hallmark of epigenetic control in gastropods—the largest class of mollusks and ubiquitous inhabitants of diverse habitats. Their DNA methylation machinery shows [...] Read more.
The role of DNA methylation in mollusks is just beginning to be understood. This review synthesizes current knowledge on this potent molecular hallmark of epigenetic control in gastropods—the largest class of mollusks and ubiquitous inhabitants of diverse habitats. Their DNA methylation machinery shows a high degree of conservation in CG maintenance methylation mechanisms, driven mainly by DNMT1 homologues, and the presence of MBD2 and MBD2/3 proteins as DNA methylation readers. The mosaic-like DNA methylation landscape occurs mainly in a CG context and is primarily confined to gene bodies and housekeeping genes. DNA methylation emerges as a critical regulator of reproduction, development, and adaptation, with tissue-specific patterns being observed in gonadal structures. Its dynamics also serve as an important regulatory mechanism underlying learning and memory processes. DNA methylation can be affected by various environmental stimuli, including as pathogens and abiotic stresses, potentially impacting phenotypic variation and population diversity. Overall, the features of DNA methylation in gastropods are complex, being an essential part of their epigenome. However, comprehensive studies integrating developmental stages, tissues, and environmental conditions, functional annotation of methylated regions, and integrated genomic-epigenomic analyses are lacking. Addressing these knowledge gaps will advance our understanding of gastropod biology, ecology, and evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Animal Science: 2nd Edition)
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