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Molecular ecology

A Sangion, P Gramatica
Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) became a class of contaminants of emerging concern because are ubiquitously detected in surface water and soil, where they can affect wildlife. Ecotoxicological data are only available for a few PPCPs, thus modelling approaches are essential tools to maximize the information contained in the existing data. In silico methods may be helpful in filling data gaps for the toxicity of PPCPs towards various ecological indicator organisms. The good correlation between toxicity toward Daphnia magna and those on two fish species (Pimephales promelas and Oncorhynchus mykiss), improved by the addition of one theoretical molecular descriptor, allowed us to develop predictive models to investigate the relationship between toxicities in different species...
October 2016: SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research
S Des Roches, R Sollmann, K Calhoun, A Rothstein, E B Rosenblum
Measuring links among genotype, phenotype, and survival in the wild has long been a focus of studies of adaptation. We conducted a four-year capture-recapture study to measure survival by genotype and phenotype in the Southwestern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus cowlesi) at the White Sands ecotone (transition area between white sands and dark soil habitats). We report several unanticipated findings. First, in contrast with previous work showing that cryptic blanched colouration in S. cowlesi from the heart of the dunes is associated with mutations in the melanocortin-1 receptor gene (Mc1r), ecotonal S...
October 24, 2016: Molecular Ecology
R Esteban, P Verborgh, P Gauffier, D Alarcón, J M Salazar-Sierra, J Giménez, A D Foote, R de Stephanis
Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Mediterranean Sea are currently restricted to the Strait of Gibraltar and surrounding waters. Thirty-nine individuals were present in 2011, with a well-differentiated social structure, organized into five pods. Killer whale occurrence in the Strait is apparently related to the migration of their main prey, Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). In spring, whale distribution was restricted to shallow waters off the western coast of the Strait where all pods were observed actively hunting tuna...
2016: Advances in Marine Biology
Hans-Uwe Dahms, Eun-Ji Won, Hui-Su Kim, Jeonghoon Han, Heum Gi Park, Sami Souissi, Sheikh Raisuddin, Jae-Seong Lee
Aquatic invertebrates contribute significantly to environmental impact assessment of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. Much effort has been made to identify viable and ecologically relevant invertebrate test organisms to meet rigorous regulatory requirements. Copepods, which are ecologically important and widely distributed in aquatic organisms, offer a huge opportunity as test organisms for aquatic toxicity testing. They have a major role not only in the transfer of energy in aquatic food chains, but also as a medium of transfer of aquatic pollutants across the tropic levels...
October 14, 2016: Aquatic Toxicology
Pengfei Fan, Yang Liu, Zhechun Zhang, Chao Zhao, Cheng Li, Wulin Liu, Zhijin Liu, Ming Li
The white-cheeked macaque Macaca leucogenys is a recently described species that was only diagnosed based on photos, without any specimen measurements or molecular genetic diagnosis. Using extracted DNA from four newly collected skin specimens, we studied the genetic diversity and phylogenetic position of M. leucogenys using multilocus sequence data, including mitochondrial and Y chromosomal genes. Skin measurements of four individuals showed that the white-cheeked macaque is robust and larger than M. assamensis but is similar in body size to M...
October 18, 2016: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Anne-Sophie Dumas, Ludivine Taconnat, Evangelos Barbas, Guillem Rigaill, Olivier Catrice, Delphine Bernard, Abdelilah Benamar, David Macherel, Abdelhak El Amrani, Richard Berthomé
BACKGROUND: Higher plants have to cope with increasing concentrations of pollutants of both natural and anthropogenic origin. Given their capacity to concentrate and metabolize various compounds including pollutants, plants can be used to treat environmental problems - a process called phytoremediation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the stabilization, the extraction, the accumulation and partial or complete degradation of pollutants by plants remain poorly understood. RESULTS: Here, we determined the molecular events involved in the early plant response to phenanthrene, used as a model of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons...
October 21, 2016: BMC Genomics
Brent C Emerson, Juliane Casquet, Heriberto López, Pedro Cardoso, Paulo A V Borges, Noémy Mollaret, Pedro Oromí, Dominique Strasberg, Christophe Thébaud
Obtaining fundamental biodiversity metrics such as alpha, beta and gamma diversity for arthropods is often complicated by a lack of prior taxonomic information and/or taxonomic expertise, which can result in unreliable morphologically based estimates. We provide a set of standardized ecological and molecular sampling protocols that can be employed by researchers whose taxonomic skills may be limited, and where there may be a lack of robust a priori information regarding the regional pool of species. These protocols combine mass sampling of arthropods, classification of samples into parataxonomic units (PUs), and selective sampling of individuals for mtDNA sequencing to infer biological species...
October 21, 2016: Molecular Ecology Resources
Saroj Rajvanshi, Kirti Choudhary, Nirupama Agrawal
The protein encoding zone of Mitochondrial DNA region (inherited from single lineage) seems most suitable and effective for taxonomic, systematic, ecological, evolutionary, DNA barcoding, cryptic species and population studies, exploiting nucleotide/amino acid datasets (1D/2D/3D conformational level). Nowadays, expeditious computerized methods are in trend for analyzing genetic material to demonstrate variations at various levels of protein structures. Structural proteomics have implemented here for genetic identification, differentiation and relationship of species from information rich data of mt COI gene of the family Diplostomidae with inclusion of molecular tools...
October 17, 2016: Experimental Parasitology
Martin Carr, Daniel J Richter, Parinaz Fozouni, Timothy J Smith, Alexandra Jeuck, Barry S C Leadbeater, Frank Nitsche
Recent studies have shown that molecular phylogenies of the choanoflagellates (Class Choanoflagellatea) are in disagreement with their traditional taxonomy, based on morphology, and that Choanoflagellatea requires considerable taxonomic revision. Furthermore, phylogenies suggest that the morphological and ecological evolution of the group is more complex than has previously been recognized. Here we address the taxonomy of the major choanoflagellate order Craspedida, by erecting four new genera. The new genera are shown to be morphologically, ecologically and phylogenetically distinct from other choanoflagellate taxa...
October 17, 2016: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Maria Stefania Latrofa, Alessio Giannelli, Maria Flaminia Persichetti, Maria Grazia Pennisi, Laia Solano-Gallego, Emanuele Brianti, Antonio Parisi, Richard Wall, Filipe Dantas-Torres, Domenico Otranto
Despite their medical and veterinary importance, some tick species are so poorly studied, that their role within pathogen vector transmission cycles is difficult to assess. The tick Ixodes ventalloi is one such species, and its biology and phylogenetic status remain an issue of debate. In the present study, specimens of adult I. ventalloi (n = 65 females; n = 31 males) infesting cats in the Lipari Island (Aeolian archipelago, Sicily, southern Italy) were characterized morphologically and molecularly, the latter based on mitochondrial 16S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) genes...
October 20, 2016: Parasitology Research
Asad Mohammadzadeh, Adel Spotin, Mahmoud Mahami-Oskouei, Ali Haghighi, Nozhat Zebardast, Kobra Kohansal
In the microevolutionary scales of Entamoeba isolates, the gene migration shows how Entamoeba spp. has epidemiologically drifted among border countries. Five hundred fecal samples were taken from patients suffering gastrointestinal disorders, abdominal pain, and diarrhea at Saggez, northwest Iran located within the border Iraq country. Following parasitological techniques, DNA samples were extracted and amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of 18S rRNA region to identify Entamoeba infections. To distinguish the Entamoeba spp...
October 20, 2016: Parasitology Research
Xingxing Dong, Xiaohong Wang, Xingchun Chen, Zhiyun Yan, Jing Cheng, Liangliang Gao, Yuan Liu, Jinquan Li
Staphylococcus aureus, a commensal and a pathogenic bacterium, causes a wide variety of diseases in humans and animals with a high impact on public health and the livestock industry. The risk of zoonotic transmission to humans highlights the need to understand the molecular ecology of S. aureus in foods. In this study, we obtained 25 S. aureus isolates from 39 crayfish samples in Hubei, China. PCR was applied for detection of presence of virulence and methicillin resistance genes in the pathogen genome. The result revealed that all of the 25 S...
October 19, 2016: Current Microbiology
Azam Moshtaghi, Md Lifat Rahi, Viet Tuan Nguyen, Peter B Mather, David A Hurwood
BACKGROUND: Understanding the genomic basis of osmoregulation (candidate genes and/or molecular mechanisms controlling the phenotype) addresses one of the fundamental questions in evolutionary ecology. Species distributions and adaptive radiations are thought to be controlled by environmental salinity levels, and efficient osmoregulatory (ionic balance) ability is the main mechanism to overcome the problems related to environmental salinity gradients. METHODS: To better understand how osmoregulatory performance in freshwater (FW) crustaceans allow individuals to acclimate and adapt to raised salinity conditions, here we (i), reviewed the literature on genes that have been identified to be associated with osmoregulation in FW crustaceans, and (ii), performed a transcriptomic analysis using cDNA libraries developed from mRNA isolated from three important osmoregulatory tissues (gill, antennal gland, hepatopancreas) and total mRNA from post larvae taken from the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium australiense using Illumina deep sequencing technology...
2016: PeerJ
Nhu Nguyen, Else C Vellinga, Thomas D Bruns, Peter Kennedy
The genus Suillus represents one of the most recognizable groups of mushrooms in conifer forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Although for decades the genus has been relatively well defined morphologically, previous molecular phylogenetic assessments have provided important yet preliminary insights into its evolutionary history. Here we present the first large-scale phylogenetic study of the boundaries of each species in the genus Suillus based on the most current internal transcribed spacer (ITS) barcode sequences available in public databases, as well as sequencing of 224 vouchered specimens and cultures, 15 of which were type specimens from North America...
October 19, 2016: Mycologia
David Hibbett, Kessy Abarenkov, Urmas Koljalg, Maarja Opik, Benli Chai, James R Cole, Qiong Wang, Pedro W Crous, Vincent A R G Robert, Thorunn Helgason, Josh Herr, Paul Kirk, Shiloh Lueschow, Kerry O'Donnell, Henrik Nilsson, Ryoko Oono, Conrad L Schoch, Christopher Smyth, Donny Walker, Andrea Porras-Alfaro, John W Taylor, David M Geiser
Fungal taxonomy and ecology have been revolutionized by the application of molecular methods and both have increasing connections to genomics and functional biology. However, data streams from traditional specimen- and culture-based systematics are not yet fully integrated with those from metagenomic and metatranscriptomic studies, which limits understanding of the taxonomic diversity and metabolic properties of fungal communities. This article reviews current resources, needs, and opportunities for sequence-based classification and identification (SBCI) in fungi as well as related efforts in prokaryotes...
October 19, 2016: Mycologia
Cristina M Crava, Sukania Ramasamy, Lino Ometto, Gianfranco Anfora, Omar Rota-Stabelli
Chemosensory perception allows insects to interact with the environment by perceiving odorant or tastant molecules; genes encoding chemoreceptors are the molecular interface between the environment and the insect, and play a central role in mediating its chemosensory behavior. Here we explore how the evolution of these genes in the emerging pest Drosophila suzukii correlates with the peculiar ecology of this species. We annotated approximately 130 genes coding for gustatory receptors (GRs) and divergent ionotropic receptors (dIRs) in D...
October 19, 2016: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Runhua Lei, Cynthia L Frasier, Melissa T R Hawkins, Shannon E Engberg, Carolyn A Bailey, Steig E Johnson, Adam T McLain, Colin P Groves, George H Perry, Stephen D Nash, Russell A Mittermeier, Edward E Louis
The family Lepilemuridae includes 26 species of sportive lemurs, most of which were recently described. The cryptic morphological differences confounded taxonomy until recent molecular studies; however, some species' boundaries remain uncertain. To better understand the genus Lepilemur, we analyzed 35 complete mitochondrial genomes representing all recognized 26 sportive lemur taxa and estimated divergence dates. With our dataset we recovered 25 reciprocally monophyletic lineages, as well as an admixed clade containing Lepilemur mittermeieri and Lepilemur dorsalis Using modern distribution data, an ancestral area reconstruction and an ecological vicariance analysis were performed to trace the history of diversification and to test biogeographic hypotheses...
October 3, 2016: Journal of Heredity
R Rebecca Love, Aaron M Steele, Mamadou B Coulibaly, Sékou F Traore, Scott J Emrich, Michael C Fontaine, Nora J Besansky
The molecular mechanisms and genetic architecture that facilitate adaptive radiation of lineages remain elusive. Polymorphic chromosomal inversions, due to their recombination-reducing effect, are proposed instruments of ecotypic differentiation. Here we study an ecologically diversifying lineage of An. gambiae, known as the Bamako chromosomal form based on its unique complement of three chromosomal inversions, to explore the impact of these inversions on ecotypic differentiation. We used pooled and individual genome sequencing of Bamako, typical (non-Bamako) An...
October 19, 2016: Molecular Ecology
Jonathan Sandoval-Castillo, Catherine R M Attard, Shashikanth Marri, Chris J Brauer, Luciana M Möller, Luciano B Beheregaray
Captive breeding programs are often a necessity for the continued persistence of a population or species. They typically have the goal of maintaining genetic diversity and minimizing inbreeding. However, most captive breeding programs have been based on the assumption that the founding breeders are unrelated and outbred, even though in situ anthropogenic impacts often mean these founders may have high relatedness and substantial inbreeding. In addition, polygamous group-breeding species in captivity often have uncertain pedigrees, making it difficult to select the group composition for subsequent breeding...
October 18, 2016: Molecular Ecology Resources
Habteab Habtom, Sandrine Demanèche, Lorna Dawson, Chen Azulay, Ofra Matan, Patrick Robe, Ron Gafny, Pascal Simonet, Edouard Jurkevitch, Zohar Pasternak
The ubiquity and transferability of soil makes it a resource for the forensic investigator, as it can provide a link between agents and scenes. However, the information contained in soils, such as chemical compounds, physical particles or biological entities, is seldom used in forensic investigations; due mainly to the associated costs, lack of available expertise, and the lack of soil databases. The microbial DNA in soil is relatively easy to access and analyse, having thus the potential to provide a powerful means for discriminating soil samples or linking them to a common origin...
October 6, 2016: Forensic Science International. Genetics
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