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    01 December 2020, Volume 40 Issue 6
    Research progress of bat biology and conservation strategies in China
    JIANG Tinglei, ZHAO Huabin, HE Biao, ZHANG Libiao, LUO Jinhong, LIU Ying, SUN Keping, YU Wenhua, WU Yi, FENG Jiang
    2020, 40(6):  539-559.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150430
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    Since the end of 2019, the global pandemic of COVID-19 has attracted much attention on bats (Chiroptera), and even people are frequently frowned upon when talking about bats. Bats are extremely diverse in ecology and taxonomy, accounting for ~20% of mammalian diversity worldwide. Bats play an important role in pest control, seed transmission, plant pollination, offering a great economic benefit to human society. Moreover, bats bear important scientific research value in health and longevity, biomimetic, language evolution, and more. There are more than 140 species of bats in China, ranking China one of the top countries in terms of bat species diversity of the world. In recent decades, Chinese researchers have made great progresses in diverse fields such as bat taxonomy, ecology, ethology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, and viral pathogens in China. However, researches focusing on ecosystem services and conservation of bats were very scarce. Due to logging and plants harvesting, over-hunting, habitat destruction, urbanization, agricultural activities, climate change, and so forth, bats in China are largely threatened: 51% of bat species have been listed as Near Threatened or above (Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable). We argue that successful bat conservation in China must first strengthen basic research, particularly in assessing the population status and trends of bat species and establishing a monitoring network for bat diversity. Additionally, a combination of conservation efforts, including the protection of bat habitats,
    construction of artificial bat habitats, improvement of relevant laws and regulations, and enhancement of public education on bats, are vital to ensuring sustainable bat populations in China.
    Research progress on antiviral innate immunity in bats
    ZENG Jiaming, ZHAO Huabin
    2020, 40(6):  560-570.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150428
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    In recent years, many viruses that are associated with human infectious diseases have been detected in healthy bats, including the Rabies virus, Ebola virus (EBoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Unlike other mammals, bats do not appear to show overt clinical signs of infection. Therefore, people can learn new knowledge to fight against the viruses by studying the immune system in bats. Here we review recent studies on innate immune system in bats, and highlight the unique charateristics of their innate immunity. Among all mammalian groups, bats are the only group capable of flight, which may have led to a suite of unique antiviral response mechanisms in bats. Meanwhile, bats have evolved novel mechanisms to limit virus-induced inflammatory responses. Notably, bats have a rich species diversity with more than 1400 species across the globe, which accounts for more than 20% of all mammal species. We call for in-depth studies on the diversity of immune genes in bats, which would facilitate a deep understanding of the unique immune functions in bats. Together, learning from bats about their immune systems would be fundamentally important for humans to control infectious diseases and develop animal husbandry.
    Seasonal dynamic of population survival and its mechanism in Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) in the Inner Mongolia agro-pastoral ecotone
    LIU Wei, ZHONG Wenqin, WANG Dehua
    2020, 40(6):  571-584.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150431
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    Understanding differential and integral effects of climate and population density on vital rates e.g. survival, helps elucidate the ecological and demographic mechanisms underlying animal population dynamics.  The Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) is one of dominate rodents widely distributed in semi-arid, typical steppes, and desert grasslands in north of China.  We studied population dynamics of gerbils under semi-natural conditions using monthly capture–mark-recapture methods from October 2000 to 2004 in agro-pastoral ecotone of south-central Inner Mongolia, China. We used Cormack–Jolly–Seber (CJS) models to estimate apparent survival probability, and analyzed the difference of survival between males and females, or the survival seasonal variations.  Additionally, we used multistate (MS)models to test the difference of survival between adults with reproducing or reproduced strata and the sexually immature young.  Our results showed that the best approximating CJS model included the significant effect of full time(t)or season (month)- dependence on survival but not the effect of sex. These demonstrated that apparent survival probabilities displayed seasonal fluctuations of a lower apparent survival in summer compared to the rest of the year, and undistinguished survival between females( 0.788±0.013) and males (0.781±0.013)in the absence of limitation of environmental factors.  Our results also showed that the best and competition approximating MS model included age state (or stratum)-specific effect on apparent survival of
    gerbils with a monthly (or seasonal) patterns. It may reflect the important life-history strategies adapting to the semi-arid or desert environment in Mongolian gerbils, Furthermore, there was evidence that population density negatively influenced survival with a time lag of 1 month in M. unguiculatus.  Considering the extrinsic environmental factors, increases in monthly total precipitation reduced the apparent survival of gerbils.  Moreover, these effects of population density-dependent and precipitation on the survival of female and male gerbils are different.  Therefore, we suggested that weather conditions may mainly mediate the change of habitable environment, supporting the optimum habitat hypothesis, and integrate density-dependent feedback to shape the different response of survival models between female and male gerbils.  These processes might construct an adaptive sexual-structure of population, and then affect the change of the other population parameters, consequently population growth rates. Pronounced a primary mechanism to regulate the small mammal’s population dynamic in northern high latitudes.
    Activity rhythm and influencing factors of two dominant rodents species in desert region
    LI Xin, YUAN Shuai, FU Heping, WU Xiaodong, YANG Suwen, JI Yu, LIU Jianwen, XU Hua, Narisu, Yuan Wei, Zhang Zhuoran
    2020, 40(6):  585-594.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150417
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    Midday gerbil (Meriones meridianus) and Northern three toed Jerboa (Dipus sagitta) are two dominant sympatric species in Alashan desert. Studying their activity rhythms is important for understanding the coexistence mechanism of desert rodents. This study was conducted in the Alashan desert of Inner Mongolian, on April (spring), July (summer), September (autumn) and October(pre-winter), 2017. We monitored M. meridianus and D. sagitta using camera-traps in order to understand the active rhythms in different seasons and explore coexistence strategies of two species. The results showed that: (1) The population of M. meridianus was restrained by the D. sagitta population density. An obviously staggered phenomenon was found between the two species peak activity. Affected by the light intensity, the activity time of two species was positively correlated with night length. The activities start time of the two species was positively correlated with the sunset and ambient temperature. (2) There was no significant season difference in activity intensity of M. meridianus. However, the D. sagitta showed the opposite strategy (F =3.202;P =0.032); (3) These result indicated that coexisting desert rodents adjusted their night time utilization patterns to reduce competition and achieve coexistence.
    The adaptive regulations of energy metabolism and fat accumulation during post-lactation in striped hamster
    YU Jingxin, DENG Guangmin, BAO Yufan, ZHAO Zhijun
    2020, 40(6):  595-605.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150427
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    Physiological variations of energy metabolism and body fat accumulation are the main energy budgets in small mammals to cope with natural environmental changes. However, the energy mechanisms underpinning the adaptive regulations in different stages of lifespan remain unclear. The present study was aimed to examine the changes in energy metabolism, fat accumulation and the endocrine mechanisms in striped hamsters (Cricetulus barabensis) during lactation and post-lactation. The food intake, fat depots mass, serum leptin levels and the gene expression of leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) and neuropeptides related to food intake regulation in hypothalamus were measured. The results showed that the fat depots were almost decreased to zero at peak lactation, and then were increased significantly during post-lactation. The masses of subcutaneous fat, perirenal fat and abdominal fat were 1.5, 37.1 and 1.9 fold higher in post-lactating females than that in non-reproductive controls. Food intake and serum leptin level of post-lactating females were significantly higher than that of non-reproductive controls, while the gene expression of Ob-Rb was significantly down-regulated in post-lactating females. The gene expression of orexigenic and anorexigenic neuropeptides did not differ between the two groups. The litter size raised during lactation had no significant effects on food intake, resting metabolic rate and body components in post-lactating females. These findings suggest that body fat accumulation is adaptively regulated in the different stages of reproduction.
    Leptin resistance may be one of the most important endocrine mechanisms underpinning the fat accumulation during post-lactation. This is of significance for the mothers to restore fat accumulation and to cope with the periods of high energy demands and food shortage, increasing the fitness.
    The temporal distribution of the long call and its influencing factors in male plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae)
    HUA Xianze, ZHOU Rui,YE Guohui, HUA Rui, Baodaerhan, HUA Limin
    2020, 40(6):  606-614.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150402
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    Long call is a common type of sound uttered by plateau pika( Ochotona curzoniae). It is important to study the temporal distribution of plateau pikas’ long call for a whole year and its influencing factors for better understanding the survival strategies of plateau pika. In this study, we used a digital recorder and video camera to record the duration of the long call by plateau pika and investigated the potential influence factors related to long call, involving temperature, wind speed, testosterone and progesterone between February 2018 and February 2019 in Maqu County, located in the eastern Tibet Plateau. The results show: (1) The long call was uttered by male plateau pika and mainly occurred in the breeding period from March to May, which was significantly higher than in other months. The duration of long call ranges in each individual male was 130-180 seconds per day and mainly uttered 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset throughout the year. (2) The occurrence of long call uttered by male plateau pika throughout the year is closely related to pikas’ testosterone levels. When the testosterone level was about 40 pg/mL, the duration of long call was 1000 seconds, and when the testosterone level was below 36 pg/mL, the duration of long call was around 150 seconds. The long call in plateau pikas during the non-breeding period was negatively correlated with air temperature and wind speed. In conclusion, the long call uttered by male plateau pika has a typical seasonal pattern and the occurrence of long call was closely related to the testosterone levels increasing of male plateau pika during the breeding season.
    The first transcriptomic analysis of Uropsilus gracilis and Euroscaptor kuznetsovi
    WANG Linlin, QIU Yinbin, WAN Tao, WANG Xia, ZHOU Hongyan, JIANG Xuelong, PAN Xinghua, HE Kai
    2020, 40(6):  615-622.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150404
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    Talpidae includes 54 recognized species distributed in Eurasia and North America. Talpids are characterized by diverse ecomorphologies, and are promising taxa to examine adaptive evolution. Surprisingly, no transcriptome data has been collected ever for any species of this family. In this study, we sequenced the transcriptomes of the heart and lung of Uropsilus gracilis and spleen and lung of Euroscaptor kuznetsovi. U. gracilis is a terrestrial species representing a relict group endemic in southwestern China and adjacent Northern Myanmar, and E. kuznetsovi is a fully fossorial species of the tribe Talpini. The distribution of E. kuznetsovi in China is also reported here for the first time. By de novo assembling, we obtained 197 092 and 225 956 transcripts of U. gracilis and E. kuznetsovi, respectively, and 12 5427 and 94 023 unigene correspondingly. By comparison with data from genome annotation data from GenBank, we revealed 8 376 orthologous genes among three talpid species and 8 114 orthologs among talpid and shrew species. We found more than 10 tissue-specific genes in the highly expressed genes for each tissue. On the other hand, BUSCO analysis suggested that single-copy genes were 43.0% and 56.6% complete in U. gracilis and E. kuznetsovi, respectively, suggesting that the mRNA rapidly degraded after the death of the animals, and hindered the assembly of the transcriptomes. We revealed that 335 genes were highly expressed in the lung of E. kuznetsovi, including HMGB1, HSPD1, SF3B1, COL3A1, SUMO1 and JUNB by comparing the expression differences of lung genes between the two species, These genes were reported to be related with hypoxia or high-altitude adaptation.
    Role of urine odors in recognition of social class among Anourosorex squamipes
    ZONG Hao, CHEN Deng, DU Rong, HU Tao, LEI Ziyong, WANG Qian, ZHAO Tianmeng, FAN Hailing, FU Changkun
    2020, 40(6):  623-633.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150424
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    This article identifies the social hierarchy of same-sex Anourosorex squamipes (Chinese mole shrews) using a one-to-one interaction method in a neutral arena, and on that basis further studies the methods and capabilities used by the subjects to recognize themselves and others, their behavior response mechanisms to urine odors, and their means of recognizing social hierarchy of fellow squamipes through their urine. Results: (1) Dominant squamipes exhibit aggressive behaviors more frequently, subordinate squamipes exhibit defensive behaviors more frequently, and the marking behaviors of dominant squamipes are significantly more intense than the submissive individuals. Male subjects show higher frequency of aggressive behavior than female subjects within the same social class, and the female squamipes demonstrate this aggressive behavior less intensely than males. (2) Subordinate squamipes show clear preference for their own urine odors and dominant squamipes for the odor of others’ urine. Squamipes of different sexes and from different hierarchy show only minor differences in their behavioral modes of self-recognition, and little difference was exhibited in terms of either self-recognition mode or behavioral response mode to non-self urine among both sexes and differing social hierarchy. Squamipes’ self-recognition capabilities vary on the basis of different social classes. (3)
    This species can recognize social classes of fellow sqamipes through their urine odors. Female individuals show more interest in the urine of male individuals, and the urine of dominant males is avoided by other male squamipes. Length of time spent visiting other individuals, sniffing frequency, and licking frequency were all significantly higher in males than females, and males and females showed sexual dimorphism in terms of recognition of urine odors from different social hierarchy.
    Preliminary report of camera trapping survey for mammals and birds in Miyaluo Provincial Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province
    CHEN Xing, HU Xixi, LIU Mingxing, LI Jiaqi, PENG Yonghong, Lü Xu, WANG Xiaofang, LI Sheng, GUAN Tianpei
    2020, 40(6):  634-645.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150415
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    Biodiversity monitoring on mammals and birds are of great importance to the regional biodiversity assessment. From May 2018 to June 2019, we deployed 60 camera traps in 60 1km × 1km in Miyaluo Provincial Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, to investigate its terrestrial mammals and birds. With an extensive survey effort of 19 252 camera-days from 58 camera stations with valid data, we identified 45 wild mammal and bird species belonging to 8 orders and 20 families. There were 6 and 11 species that are listed as Class Ⅰ and Class II of national protected wildlife species, respectively. Four species were categorized as Endangered and three as Vulnerable by IUCN Red List. For mammals, Carnivora was the order with the highest species richness (10 from 6 families), followed by Artiodactyla (7 from 4 families). According to the relative abundance index (RAI), the three most abundant mammal species were Chinese serow (Capricornis milneedwardsii, RAI = 19.58), hog badger (Arctonyx collaris, RAI = 11.58) and yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula, RAI = 5.56). For birds, the three most abundant birds were blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus, RAI = 9.18), chestnut thrush (Turdus rubrocanus, RAI = 3.27) and Chinese monal
    (Lophophorus lhuysii, RAI = 2.91). Comparing with historical records of Miyaluo, our results added 2 mammal species and 4 avian species, including Siberian weasel (Mustela sibirica), Altai weasel (M. altaica), plain-backed thrush (Zoothera mollissima), scaly thrush (Z. dauma), white-browed bush robin (Tarsiger indicus) and grey-headed woodpecker (Picus canus). Our data constructed the base of local biodiversity information for both community structure and relative abundance. The results will provide key basic information and support for the regional biodiversity assessment and conservation planning of the nature reserve network in central Qionglai Mountains.
    A new record of insectivorous species in Henan Province, China—Chodsigoa hypsibia de Winton, 1899
    ZHOU Yanyan, KE Jinzhao, SU Longfei, LU Jiqi, TIAN Jundong
    2020, 40(6):  646-650.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150405
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    Insectivorous animal is the third mammalian group with greater species richness. However, the study of this group was very limited in Henan Province, China. In the current study, we identified 2 male shrews collected from Longyuwan area (33° 42' N, 111° 45' E) of Luanchuan, Henan Province, China using morphological characters and the results from molecular experiments. The trapped shrews were classified as Chodsigoa hypsibia de Winton, 1899, which was a new genus and species record of insectivorous animals in Henan Province, China. The specimens (ID: IBE2019082101, IBE20190822) were stored at the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology, Zhengzhou University.
    The first case of testicular seminoma pathologic diagnosis in giant panda
    CHEN Mengzhu, LIU Songrui, YUE Chanjuan, GENG Yi, SU Xiaoyan, CHEN Yaoyan, CHENG Zixuan
    2020, 40(6):  651-654.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150388
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    In China, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is an endangered and rare national first-class protected animal with important research and ecological value. Tumor poses a serious threat to animal health. In this paper, a giant panda testicular tumor was diagnosed by macro and histopathologic examination, which aims to supplement the relevant data of giant panda tumor research, and also provides a reference for the diagnosis of giant panda tumor. Macro examination found that the testis was swollen about twice and the sheath was intact. The parenchyma was uniform in texture, grayish white with gray yellow caseous necrosis in the center. Histopathologically, the normal tissue structure of testis was lost and eroded by tumor cells. The tumor cells were similar to spermatogonia, round or polygonal, but with larger size, hyperchromatic cytoplasm and increased nuclear chromatin. Pathologic mitotic phases were found in tumor cells, and necrosis lesions with different sizes are distributed in tumor tissues. On the basis of macro and histopathologic examination results, the tumor was diagnosed as seminoma (also known as germ cell carcinoma), which is the first report of testicular seminoma in the giant panda.