• S K Saidapur

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Effect of photoperiod and temperature on ovarian cycle of the frogRana tigrina (Daud.)

      S K Saidapur B Hoque

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      The effect of varying photoperiod regimes (LD: 20,4; 4,20; 6,18; 18,6 and 12,12) on ovarian follicular development was analysed in the frogRana tigrina maintained at ambient and constant 30° ± l°C for 3 months. The experiments were conducted in early recrudescent and quiescent phases. The frogs were fed guppiesad libitum on alternate day. None of the photoperiod regimes had any effect on the ovaries or the fat bodies, whereas exposure to constant high temperature (regardless of photoperiod) during recrudescent phase induced production of greater number of eggs (∼ 18000 vs 13000 in controls) of ovulatory sizes (> 1400 μm) compared to the corresponding controls maintained at ambient temperature. Hence, ovarian mass also increased in these frogs. In the quiescent phase, high temperature merely enhanced growth of previtellogenic oocytes. In both the phases high temperature caused a reduction in the fat bodies over the respective controls, possibly due to increased metabolic activity.

      The above findings indicate that temperature plays a key role in the regulation of ovarian cycle ofRana tigrina and that the photoperiodic mechanisms may not govern the annual recrudescence of ovaries in the frog. The study also shows that the frog exhibits the phenomenon of “phenotypic plasticity” in its reproductive behaviour by producing significantly greater number of eggs in response to elevated temperature.

    • Induction of ovarian follicular development in the subadult frogRana tigrina using luteinizing hormone releasing hormone-acetate

      B Hoque S K Saidapur D R Naik

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      In the subadultRana tigrina administration of 2 μg luteinizing hormone releasing hormone-acetate/frog six days a week for 4 weeks in April resulted in the formation of medium (in all 8 frogs) and large sized (in 4 out of 8 frogs) yolky oocytes and, concomitant increases in the oviductal mass. The ovarian and oviductal masses showed a 10-fold increase over the control frogs. In untreated frogs the ovaries were transparent and contained first growth phase oocytes only. The oviducts were also infantile.

      The pituitary sections were stained using antisera raised in rabbit against the β-subunit of human luteinizing hormone and human follicle stimulating hormone. Immunoreactivity, staining intensity, cytoplasmic granulation and, cell, nuclear and cytoplasmic areas of gonadotrophs (B2 cells) increased significantly in luteinizing hormone releasing hormone treated frogs.

      The above findings suggest that pituitary-ovarian axis in the subadultRana tigrina is responsive to luteinizing hormone releasing hormone and that long-term treatment with the hormone induces cytomorphological changes in the gonadotrophs which result in the conversion of inactive cells into secretory cells. This is accompanied by precocious vitellogenic growth of oocytes in the subadult frogs.

    • The ontogeny of kin recognition in tadpoles of the toadBufo melanostictus (Anura; Bufonidae)

      S K Saidapur S Girish

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      The ontogeny of kin recognition and influence of social environment on the development of kin recognition behaviour was experimentally investigated in tadpoles of Bufo melanostictus that lived in aggregations and showed low larval dispersion. Embryos and tadpoles of the toad were reared as (i) kin only, (ii) with kin and non-kin (separated by a mesh screen), and (iii) in isolation. They were tested for the ability to discriminate between (i) familiar siblings and unfamiliar non-siblings, (ii) familiar siblings and familiar non-siblings and, (iii) unfamiliar siblings and unfamiliar non-siblings. All tadpoles were fed on boiled spinach before conducting trials. Preference of test tadpoles to associate near the end compartments whether empty or containing members of specific stimulus groups was assessed using a rectangular choice tank. When tested in tanks with empty end compartments, the test tadpoles showed random distribution and thus no bias for the apparatus or the procedure. In the presence of kin/non-kin in the end compartments a significantly greater number of test tadpoles spent the majority of the time near familiar or unfamiliar kin rather than near familiar or unfamiliar non-kin. Kin discrimination ability persisted throughout larval development. Familiarity with siblings is not required for discriminating kin from non-kin, and kin discrimination ability is not modified following exposure to non-kin. Also, involvement of dietary cues is unlikely to be the prime mechanism of kin recognition inB. melanostictus unlike in some other anurans.

    • Members of opposite sex mutually regulate gonadal recrudescence in the lizardCalotes versicolor (Agamidae)

      B A Shanbhag R S Radder S K Saidapur

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      Adult males and females of the seasonally breeding lizardCalotes versicolor were subjected to various social situations under semi-natural conditions to explain the role of socio-sexual factors in gonadal recrudescence. They were grouped as: (i) males and females, (ii) males and females separated by a wire mesh, (iii) same sex groups of males or females, (iv) castrated males with intact females and (v) ovariectomized (OvX) females with intact males from postbreeding to breeding phase. Specimens collected from the wild during breeding season served as the control group. Plasma sex steroid levels (testosterone in male and 17β-estradiol in female), spermatogenetic activity and vitellogenesis were the criteria to judge gonadal recrudescence. In intact males and females that were kept together, gonadal recrudescence and plasma sex steroids levels were comparable to those in wild-caught individuals. Gonadal recrudescence was at its least in all male and all female groups, and plasma sex steroids were at basal levels. Association with OvX females initiated testicular recrudescence but spermatogenetic activity progressed only up to the spermatid stage while males separated from females by wire mesh showed spermatogenetic activity for a shorter period. Females grouped with castrated males and those separated from males by wire mesh produced vitellogenic follicles. However, the total number and diameter of vitellogenic follicles, and plasma estradiol levels were lower than in the females grouped with intact males. The findings indicate that association with members of the opposite sex with progressively rising titers of sex steroids is crucial in both initiating and sustaining gonadal recrudescence in the lizard. Thus, members of the opposite sex mutually regulate gonadal recrudescence in theC. versicolor.

    • Density-dependent growth and metamorphosis in the larval bronze frogRana temporalis is influenced by genetic relatedness of the cohort

      S Girish S K Saidapur

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      Effects of density and kinship on growth and metamorphosis in tadpoles ofRana temporalis were studied in a 2×4 factorial experiment. Fifteen egg masses were collected from streams in the Western Ghat region of south India. The tadpoles were raised as siblings or in groups of non-siblings at increasing density levels, viz. 15, 30, 60 and 120/5 l water. With an increase in density level from 15 to 120 tadpoles/5 l water, duration of the larval stage increased and fewer individuals metamorphosed irrespective of whether they belonged to sibling or non-sibling groups by day 100 when the experiments were terminated. The size of individuals at metamorphosis declined significantly with increase in the density of rearing. However, at higher densities (60 and 120 tadpoles/5 l water) sibling group tadpoles performed better compared to mixed groups and took significantly less time to metamorphose. Also, more individuals of sibling groups metamorphosed compared to non-sibling groups at a given density. Mixed rearing retarded growth rates, prolonged larval duration resulting in a wider spectrum of size classes, and lowered the number of individuals recruited to terrestrial life. The study shows that interference competition occurred more strongly in cohorts of mixed relatedness than in sibling groups.

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