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Oliver J S Tallowin, Karin Tamar, Shai Meiri, Allen Allison, Fred Kraus, Stephen J Richards, Paul M Oliver
Regions with complex geological histories present a major challenge for scientists studying the processes that have shaped their biotas. The history of the vast and biologically rich tropical island of New Guinea is particularly complex and poorly resolved. Competing geological models propose New Guinea emerged as a substantial landmass either during the Mid-Miocene or as recently as the Pliocene. Likewise, the estimated timing for the uplift of the high Central Cordillera, spanning the length of the island, differs across models...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Frank Portillo, William R Branch, Werner Conradie, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Johannes Penner, Michael F Barej, Chifundera Kusamba, Wandege M Muninga, Mwenebatu M Aristote, Aaron M Bauer, Jean-François Trape, Zoltán T Nagy, Piero Carlino, Olivier S G Pauwels, Michele Menegon, Marius Burger, Tomáš Mazuch, Kate Jackson, Daniel F Hughes, Mathias Behangana, Eli Greenbaum
Members of the snake subfamily Aparallactinae occur in various habitats throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The monophyly of aparallactine snakes is well established, but relationships within the subfamily are poorly known. We sampled 158 individuals from six of eight aparallactine genera in sub-Saharan Africa. We employed concatenated gene-tree analyses, divergence dating approaches, and ancestral-area reconstructions to infer phylogenies and biogeographic patterns with a multi-locus data set consisting of three mitochondrial (16S, cyt b, and ND4) and two nuclear genes (c-mos and RAG1)...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Brian Tilston Smith, Robert W Bryson, William M Mauck, Jaime Chaves, Mark B Robbins, Alexandre Aleixo, John Klicka
The New World avian family Polioptilidae (gnatcatchers and gnatwrens) is distributed from Argentina to Canada and includes 15 species and more than 60 subspecies. No study to date has evaluated phylogenetic relationships within this family and the historical pattern of diversification within the group remains unknown. Moreover, species limits, particularly in widespread taxa that show geographic variation, remain unclear. In this study, we delimited species and estimated phylogenetic relationships using multilocus data for the entire family...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Svetlana A Semerikova, Yuliya Y Khrunyk, Martin Lascoux, Vladimir L Semerikov
The origin of conifer genera, the main components of mountain temperate and boreal forests, was deemed to arise in the Mesozoic, although paleontological records and molecular data point to a recent diversification, presumably related to Neogene cooling. The geographical area(s) where the modern lines of conifers emerged remains uncertain, as is the sequence of events leading to their present distribution. To gain further insights into the biogeography of firs (Abies), we conducted phylogenetic analyses of chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear markers...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Bing Liu, Chi Toan Le, Russell L Barrett, Daniel L Nickrent, Zhiduan Chen, Limin Lu, Romina Vidal-Russell
Coadaptation between mistletoes and birds captured the attention of Charles Darwin over 150 years ago, stimulating considerable scientific research. Here we used Loranthaceae, a speciose and ecologically important mistletoe family, to obtain new insights into the interrelationships among its hosts and dispersers. Phylogenetic analyses of Loranthaceae were based on a dataset of nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequences. Divergence time estimation, ancestral area reconstruction, and diversification rate analyses were employed to examine historical biogeography...
March 14, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Tatiana Korshunova, Kennet Lundin, Klas Malmberg, Bernard Picton, Alexander Martynov
A unique example of brackish water fjord-related diversification of a new nudibranch genus and species Bohuslania matsmichaeli gen. n., sp. n. is presented. There are only few previously known brackish-water opisthobranchs and B. matsmichaeli gen. n., sp. n. is the first ever described brackish-water nudibranch with such an extremely limited known geographical range and apparently strict adherence to salinity levels lower than 20 per mille. Up to date the new taxon has been found only in a very restricted area in the Idefjord, bordering Sweden and Norway, but not in any other apparently suitable localities along the Swedish and Norwegian coasts...
2018: PloS One
Frank T Burbrink, Marcelo Gehara
Most phylogenies are typically represented as purely bifurcating. However, as genomic data has become more common in phylogenetic studies, it is not unusual to find reticulation among terminal lineages or among internal nodes (deep time reticulation; DTR). In these situations, gene flow must have happened in the same or adjacent geographic areas for these DTRs to have occurred and therefore biogeographic reconstruction should provide similar area estimates for parental nodes, provided extinction or dispersal has not eroded these patterns...
March 9, 2018: Systematic Biology
Jin-Min Chen, Nikolay A Poyarkov, Chatmongkon Suwannapoom, Amy Lathrop, Yun-He Wu, Wei-Wei Zhou, Zhi-Yong Yuan, Jie-Qiong Jin, Hong-Man Chen, He-Qun Liu, Truong Quang Nguyen, Sang Ngoc Nguyen, Tang Van Duong, Koshiro Eto, Kanto Nishikawa, Masafumi Matsui, Nikolai L Orlov, Bryan L Stuart, Rafe M Brown, Jodi J L Rowley, Robert W Murphy, Ying-Yong Wang, Jing Che
Southeast Asia and southern China (SEA-SC) harbor a highly diverse and endemic flora and fauna that is under increasing threat. An understanding of the biogeographical history and drivers of this diversity is lacking, especially in some of the most diverse and threatened groups. The Asian leaf-litter frog genus Leptolalax Dubois 1980 is a forest-dependent genus distributed throughout SEA-SC, making it an ideal study group to examine specific biogeographic hypotheses. In addition, the diversity of this genus remains poorly understood, and the phylogenetic relationships among species of Leptolalax and closely related Leptobrachella Smith 1928 remain unclear...
March 9, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Fernando Araujo Monteiro, Christiane Weirauch, Márcio Felix, Cristiano Lazoski, Fernando Abad-Franch
In this chapter, we review and update current knowledge about the evolution, systematics, and biogeography of the Triatominae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)-true bugs that feed primarily on vertebrate blood. In the Americas, triatomines are the vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. Despite declining incidence and prevalence, Chagas disease is still a major public health concern in Latin America. Triatomines occur also in the Old World, where vector-borne T. cruzi transmission has not been recorded...
2018: Advances in Parasitology
Paola Caruso, Elena G Biosca, Edson Bertolini, Ester Marco-Noales, María Teresa Gorris, Concetta Licciardello, María M López
The characterization and intraspecific diversity of a collection of 45 Ralstonia solanacearum strains isolated in Spain from different sources and geographical origins is reported. To test the influence of the site and the host on strain diversity, phenotypic and genotypic analysis were performed by a polyphasic approach. Biochemical and metabolic profiles were compared. Serological relationship was evaluated by Indirect-ELISA using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. For genotypic analysis, hrpB and egl DNA sequence analysis, repetitive sequences (rep-PCR), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) profiles and macrorestriction with XbaI followed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were performed...
December 2017: International Microbiology: the Official Journal of the Spanish Society for Microbiology
Fernanda Pozzan Paim, Kim Valenta, Colin A Chapman, Adriano Pereira Paglia, Helder Lima de Queiroz
Integration between ecology and biogeography provides insights into how niche specialization affects the geographical distribution of species. Given that rivers are not effective barriers to dispersal in three parapatric species of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri vanzolinii, S. cassiquiarensis and S. macrodon) inhabiting floodplain forests of Central Amazonia, we tested whether forest structure and tree diversity may explain species differences in niche specialization and spatial segregation. We sampled 6617 trees of 326 species in three habitats (high várzea, low várzea and chavascal) used by three Saimiri species, and estimated tree species richness in each of them...
March 10, 2018: Primates; Journal of Primatology
Patrick K Malonza, David M Mulwa, Joash O Nyamache, Georgina Jones
The Shimba Hills ecosystem along the south coast of Kenya is a key East African biodiversity hotspot. Historically, it is biogeographically assignable to the East African coastal biome. We examined the current Shimba Hills herpetofauna and their zoogeographical affinities to the coastal forests and nearby Eastern Arc Mountains biodiversity hotspots. The key studied sites included the Shimba Hills National Reserve, forest reserves, Kaya forests, and adjacent private land. Data on herpetofaunal richness were obtained from recent field surveys, literature, and specimens held at the National Museums of Kenya, Herpetology Section Collection, Nairobi...
March 18, 2018: Zoological Research
Christina A Cuomo, Johanna Rhodes, Christopher A Desjardins
Cryptococcus species are the causative agents of cryptococcal meningitis, a significant source of mortality in immunocompromised individuals. Initial work on the molecular epidemiology of this fungal pathogen utilized genotyping approaches to describe the genetic diversity and biogeography of two species, Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Whole genome sequencing of representatives of both species resulted in reference assemblies enabling a wide array of downstream studies and genomic resources...
2018: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Jean-David Grattepanche, Laura M Walker, Brittany M Ott, Daniela L Paim Pinto, Charles F Delwiche, Christopher E Lane, Laura A Katz
Despite their diversity and ecological importance, many areas of the SAR-Stramenopila, Alveolata, and Rhizaria-clade are poorly understood as the majority (90%) of SAR species lack molecular data and only 5% of species are from well-sampled families. Here, we review and summarize the state of knowledge about the three major clades of SAR, describing the diversity within each clade and identifying synapomorphies when possible. We also assess the "dark area" of SAR: the morphologically described species that are missing molecular data...
March 7, 2018: BioEssays: News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Mike McWilliam, Mia O Hoogenboom, Andrew H Baird, Chao-Yang Kuo, Joshua S Madin, Terry P Hughes
Corals are major contributors to a range of key ecosystem functions on tropical reefs, including calcification, photosynthesis, nutrient cycling, and the provision of habitat structure. The abundance of corals is declining at multiple scales, and the species composition of assemblages is responding to escalating human pressures, including anthropogenic global warming. An urgent challenge is to understand the functional consequences of these shifts in abundance and composition in different biogeographical contexts...
March 5, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Jack C H Ip, Huawei Mu, Qian Chen, Jin Sun, Santiago Ituarte, Horacio Heras, Bert Van Bocxlaer, Monthon Ganmanee, Xin Huang, Jian-Wen Qiu
BACKGROUND: Gastropoda, with approximately 80,000 living species, is the largest class of Mollusca. Among gastropods, apple snails (family Ampullariidae) are globally distributed in tropical and subtropical freshwater ecosystems and many species are ecologically and economically important. Ampullariids exhibit various morphological and physiological adaptations to their respective habitats, which make them ideal candidates for studying adaptation, population divergence, speciation, and larger-scale patterns of diversity, including the biogeography of native and invasive populations...
March 5, 2018: BMC Genomics
Nathan A M Chrismas, Alexandre M Anesio, Patricia Sánchez-Baracaldo
In recent years, genomic analyses have arisen as an exciting way of investigating the functional capacity and environmental adaptations of numerous micro-organisms of global relevance, including cyanobacteria. In the extreme cold of Arctic, Antarctic and alpine environments, cyanobacteria are of fundamental ecological importance as primary producers and ecosystem engineers. While their role in biogeochemical cycles is well appreciated, little is known about the genomic makeup of polar and alpine cyanobacteria...
April 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Yang Li, Jing Chen, Liyun Jiang, Gexia Qiao
Patterns of biodiversity and endemism are important and form the foundation for biogeography and conservation studies. Hormaphidinae is an aphid group mainly distributed in the Sino-Japanese, Oriental, and Nearctic zoogeographic realms. To infer the areas of endemism of Hormaphidinae aphids in the Sino-Japanese and Oriental realms, we employed a geographical distribution dataset covering all 225 species in subfamily Hormaphidinae. In total, 1,245 distribution occurrence records for all species were analyzed in addition to the number of species in a certain grid cell to calculate species richness...
December 2017: Current Zoology
Marcio B DaSilva, Ricardo Pinto-da-Rocha, Juan J Morrone
Based on a cladistic biogeographic analysis of 6 species-level phylogenies of harvestman taxa, we searched for congruence in the historical relationships of 12 areas of endemism of the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest. We constructed general area cladograms using Primary Brooks Parsimony Analysis (BPA), BPA of nodes, and paralogy-free subtree analysis. These analyses resulted in 6 general area cladograms, that allow to infer a general pattern of the relationships among areas of endemism from the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest...
October 2017: Current Zoology
Analía L Giménez, Norberto P Giannini
Vespertilionidae is the most diverse chiropteran family, and its diversity is concentrated in warm regions of the World; however, due to physiological and behavioral adaptations, these bats also dominate bat faunas in temperate regions. Here we performed a comparative study of vespertilionid assemblages from two broad regions of the New World, the cold and harsh Patagonia, versus the remaining temperate-to-subtropical, extra-Patagonian eco-regions of the South American Southern Cone. We took an ecomorphological approach and analyzed the craniodental morphological structure of these assemblages within a phylogenetic framework...
October 2017: Current Zoology
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