Defining anural malformations in the context of a developmental problem

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
By: , and 


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This paper summarizes terminology and general concepts involved in animal development for the purpose of providing background for the study and understanding of frog malformations. The results of our radiographic investigation of rear limb malformations in Rana pipiens provide evidence that frog malformations are the product of early developmental errors. Although bacteria, parasites and viruses were identified in these metamorphosed frogs, the relevant window to look for the teratogenic effect of these agents is in the early tadpole stage during limb development. As a result, our microbiological findings must be regarded as inconclusive relative to determining their contribution to malformations because we conducted our examinations on metamorphosed frogs not tadpoles. Future studies need to look at teratogenic agents (chemical, microbial, physical or mechanical) that are present in the embryo, tadpole, and their environments at the stages of development that are relevant for the malformation type. The impact of these teratogenic agents then needs to be assessed in appropriate animal models using studies that are designed to mimic field conditions. The results of these laboratory tests should then be analyzed in such a way that will allow comparison with the findings in the wild-caught tadpoles and frogs.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Defining anural malformations in the context of a developmental problem
Series title Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
Volume 107
Issue 3
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher Iowa Academy of Science
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 7 p.
First page 72
Last page 78