• Darwin’s Fancy Revised: An Updated Understanding of the Genomic Constitution of Pigeon Breeds

      Pacheco, G; van Grouw, Hein; Shapiro, MD; Gilbert, MTP; Vieira, FG (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020-02-13)
      Through its long history of artificial selection, the rock pigeon (Columba livia Gmelin, 1789) was forged into a large number of domestic breeds. The incredible amount of phenotypic diversity exhibited in these breeds has long held the fascination of scholars, particularly those interested in biological inheritance and evolution. However, exploiting them as a model system is challenging, as unlike with many other domestic species, few reliable records exist about the origins of, and relationships between, each of the breeds. Therefore, in order to broaden our understanding of the complex evolutionary relationships among pigeon breeds, we generated genome-wide data by performing the Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS) method on close to 200 domestic individuals representing over 60 breeds. We analyzed this GBS data alongside previously published Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) data, and this combined analysis allowed us to conduct the most extensive phylogenetic analysis of the group, including two feral pigeons and one outgroup. We improve previous phylogenies, find considerable population structure across the different breeds, and identify unreported interbreed admixture events. Despite the reduced number of loci relative to WGS, we demonstrate that GBS data provide sufficient analytical power to investigate intertwined evolutionary relationships, such as those that are characteristic of animal domestic breeds. Thus, we argue that future studies should consider sequencing methods akin to the GBS approach as an optimal cost-effective approach for addressing complex phylogenies.
    • The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project

      Hudson, L; Newbold, T; Contu, S; Hill, SLL; Lysenko, I; De Palma, A; Phillips, HRP; Alhusseini, T; Bedford, FE; Bennett, DJ; et al. (2017-01)
    • Deep-sea anthropogenic macrodebris harbours rich and diverse communities of bacteria and archaea

      Woodall, LC; Jungblut, AD; Hopkins, K; Hall, A; Robinson, LF; Gwinnett, C; Paterson, GLJ (PLOS, 2018-11-28)
      The deep sea is the largest biome on earth, and microbes dominate in biomass and abundance. Anthropogenic litter is now almost ubiquitous in this biome, and its deposition creates new habitats and environments, including for microbial assemblages. With the ever increasing accumulation of this debris, it is timely to identify and describe the bacterial and archaeal communities that are able to form biofilms on macrodebris in the deep sea. Using 16S rRNA gene high throughput sequencing, we show for the first time the composition of bacteria and archaea on macrodebris collected from the deep sea. Our data suggest differences in the microbial assemblage composition across litter of different materials including metal, rubber, glass, fabric and plastic. These results imply that anthropogenic macrodebris provide diverse habitats for bacterial and archaeal biofilms and each may harbour distinct microbial communities.
    • Defining principles for mobile apps and platforms development in citizen science

      Sturm, U; Gold, M; Luna, S; Schade, S; Ceccaroni, L; Kyba, CCM; Claramunt, B; Haklay, M; Kasperowski, D; Albert, A; et al. (2018-01-04)
    • Delegating sex: differential gene expression in stolonizing syllids uncovers the hormonal control of reproduction in Annelida

      Alvarez-Campos, P; Kenny, NJ; Verdes, A; Fernandez, RM; Novo, M; Giribet, G; Riesgo, A (Oxford Academic, 2018-12-11)
      Stolonization in syllid annelids is a unique mode of reproduction among animals. During the breeding season, a structure resembling the adult but containing only gametes, called stolon, is formed generally at the posterior end of the animal. When stolons mature, they detach from the adult and gametes are released into the water column. The process is synchronized within each species, and it has been reported to be under environmental and endogenous control, probably via endocrine regulation. To further understand reproduction in syllids and to elucidate the molecular toolkit underlying stolonization, we generated Illumina RNA-seq data from different tissues of reproductive and nonreproductive individuals of Syllis magdalena and characterized gene expression during the stolonization process. Several genes involved in gametogenesis (ovochymase, vitellogenin, testis-specific serine/threonine-kinase), immune response (complement receptor 2), neuronal development (tyrosine-protein kinase Src42A), cell proliferation (alpha-1D adrenergic receptor), and steroid metabolism (hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2) were found differentially expressed in the different tissues and conditions analyzed. In addition, our findings suggest that several neurohormones, such as methyl farnesoate, dopamine, and serotonin, might trigger stolon formation, the correct maturation of gametes and the detachment of stolons when gametogenesis ends. The process seems to be under circadian control, as indicated by the expression patterns of r-opsins. Overall, our results shed light into the genes that orchestrate the onset of gamete formation and improve our understanding of how some hormones, previously reported to be involved in reproduction and metamorphosis processes in other invertebrates, seem to also regulate reproduction via stolonization.
    • The ‘Demange drawings’: known and unknown malacological contribu- tions of Victor Demange (1870-1940)

      Breure, ASH; Ablett, J (Cernuelle, 2016-09-01)
      In the Bavay archives a collection of drawings of Vietnamese land and freshwater snails is present, which have never been published. They originate from Victor Demange who had them made by a local raftsman. The drawings are here reproduced and some biographical data on Demange, and his contributions to malacology, are presented.
    • Descriptions of two new Australian genera of Anthicidae (Insecta: Coleoptera)

      Telnov, Dmitry (Baltijas Koleopterologijas Instituts/Baltic Institute of Coleopterology, 2018-12-23)
      Two new Australian Anthicidae genera, Australosteropes gen. nov. (Steropinae) and Sahulanthicus gen. nov. (Anthicinae: Anthicini) are described, diagnosed, and illustrated. Some critical morphological characters of these new groups and the subfamilies to which they belong are discussed. New combinations are made for the following 18 taxa: Australosteropes davidsonae (Armstrong, 1948) comb. nov. (from Macratria Newman, 1838), Sahulanthicus abundans (Lea, 1922) comb. nov., S. apicalis (King, 1869) comb. nov., S. baudinensis (Champion, 1895) comb. nov., S. brevicollis (King, 1869) comb. nov., S. cavifrons (Champion, 1895) comb. nov., S. crassipes (LaFerté-Sénectère, 1849) comb. nov., S. crassus (King, 1869) comb. nov., S. discoideus (Champion, 1895) comb. nov., S. immaculatus (King, 1869) comb. nov., S. inglorius (Lea, 1896) comb. nov., S. laticollis (MacLeay, 1872) comb. nov., S. luridus (King, 1869) comb. nov., S. monostigma (Champion, 1895) comb. nov., S. obliquefasciatus (King, 1869) comb. nov., S. permutatus (Pic, 1897) comb. nov., S. scutellatus (Lea, 1896) comb. nov. (all from Microhoria Chevrolat, 1877), and S. dilatipennis (Pic, 1900) comb. nov. (from Anthicus Paykull, 1798). Lectotype is designated for Sahulanthicus dilatipennis (Pic, 1900).
    • Designation of a new family group name, Tonzidae fam. nov., for the genus Tonza (Lepidoptera, Yponomeutoidea), based on immature stages of Tonza citrorrhoa

      Kobayashi, S; Matsuoka, H; Kimura, M; Sohn, J-C; Yoshiyasu, Y; Lees, David (European Journal of Taxonomy, 2018-06-12)
      The systematic position of Tonza Walker, 1864 is re-evaluated, based on the characteristics of immature stages and DNA barcodes. Larvae and pupae of Tonza citrorrhoa Meyrick, 1905 are described and illustrated for the first time. Larvae of this species form a loose web among the leaves and branches of the host plant, Putranjiva matsumurae Koidz. (Putranjivaceae Endl.). The immature stages of Tonza exhibit four unique apomorphies including: in the larva, the prolegs on A5 and A6 absent, and the seta L2 on the A1–A8 very small; in the pupa, four minute knobs are positioned in the middle portion on abdominal segments V and VI; while its caudal processes possess a W-shaped spine with numerous minute spines. These characteristics clearly distinguish Tonza from other yponomeutoid families and hence, we propose a new family group name, Tonzidae Kobayashi & Sohn fam. nov., for the genus Tonza. Existing DNA barcode data suggest a relationship with Glyphipterigidae Stainton, 1854. The family level status of Tonzidae fam. nov. provides a hypothesis that needs to be tested with larger molecular data.
    • Detection of ascaridoid nematode parasites in the important marine food-fish Conger myriaster (Brevoort) (Anguilliformes: Congridae) from the Zhoushan Fishery, China

      Chen, H-X; Zhang, L-P; Gibson, David I.; Lü, L; Xu, Z; Li, H-T; Ju, H-D; Li, L (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2018-05-02)
      Background The whitespotted conger Conger myriaster (Brevoort) (Anguilliformes: Congridae) is an extremely marketable food fish, commonly consumed as sashimi or sushi in some Asian countries (i.e. Japan, Korea and China). Conger myriaster is also suspected as being an extremely important source of human anisakidosis. However, there is currently very little information on the levels of infection with ascaridoid nematode parasites in this economically important marine fish. The aims of the present study are to determine the species composition, prevalence and mean intensity of ascaridoid parasites of C. myriaster caught in the Zhoushan Fishery. Results A total of 1142 third-stage ascaridoid larvae were isolated from 204 C. myriaster. The overall prevalence of infection was 100% (mean intensity 5.6). Nine species of such larvae were accurately identified using integrative taxonomic techniques involving both morphological and genetic data; these included Anisakis pegreffii, A. typica and A. simplex (sensu stricto) × A. pegreffii, Hysterothylacium fabri, H. aduncum, H. sinense, H. amoyense, H. zhoushanense and Raphidascaris lophii. Although high levels of infection and species richness were revealed in C. myriaster, most of the ascaridoid parasites (1135 individuals) were collected from the body cavity and visceral organs of the fish and only seven individuals of A. pegreffii were found in the musculature. Conclusions This study represents the first report C. myriaster from the Zhoushan Fishery being heavily infected with third-stage ascaridoid larvae. Among the ascaridoid larvae parasitic in this fish, an important etiological agent of human anisakidosis, A. pegreffii (L3), represents the predominant species. The genus Hysterothylacium has the highest species richness, with H. fabri (L3) being the most prevalent species. This high level of infection of A. pegreffii (L3) in C. myriaster suggests a high risk of anisakidosis or associated allergies for people consuming raw or poorly cooked fish originating from this marine area. These findings provide important basic information on the occurrence and infection parameters of ascaridoid nematodes in this economically important marine fish. They also have significant implications for the prevention and control of human anisakidosis when conger eels from the Zhoushan Fishery are consumed.
    • Detection of ultrafine plastics ingested by seabirds using tissue digestion.

      Lavers, JL; Stivaktakis, G; Hutton, I; Bond, AL (Elsevier, 2019-04-06)
      Plastic debris is a major global threat to marine ecosystems and species. However, our knowledge of this issue may be incomplete due to a lack of a standardized method for quantifying ingested ultrafine particles (1 μm - 1 mm) in wildlife. This study provides the first quantification of ultrafine plastic in seabirds using chemical and biological digestion treatments to extract plastic items from seabird gizzards. The alkaline agent, potassium hydroxide, outperformed the enzyme corolase, based on cost and efficiency (e.g., digestion time). Ultrafine plastics were observed in 7.0% of Flesh-footed Shearwater (Ardenna carneipes) gizzards collected from Lord Howe Island, Australia and accounted for 3.6% of all plastic items recovered (13 out of 359 items). Existing methods for extracting ingested plastic from seabirds do not account for ultrafine particles, therefore our results indicate current seabird plastic loads, and the associated physical and biological impacts, are underestimated.
    • Development of novel multiplex microsatellite polymerase chain reactions to enable high-throughput population genetic studies of Schistosoma haematobium

      Webster, BL; Rabone, M; Pennance, T; Emery, AM; Allan, F; Gouvras, A; Knopp, S; Garba, A; Hamidou, AA; Mohammed, KA; et al. (2015-12)
    • DeWorm 3: Charting a path towards STH elimination.

      DWorm3 (Natural History Museum, 2020-01-30)
    • Dichotomous keys to the species of Solanum L. (Solanaceae) in continental Africa, Madagascar (incl. the Indian Ocean islands), Macaronesia and the Cape Verde Islands

      Knapp, S; Vorontsova, Maria; Särkinen, T (Pensoft Publishers, 2019-07-19)
      Solanum L. (Solanaceae) is one of the largest genera of angiosperms and presents difficulties in identification due to lack of regional keys to all groups. Here we provide keys to all 135 species of Solanum native and naturalised in Africa (as defined by World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions): continental Africa, Madagascar (incl. the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius, La Réunion, the Comoros and the Seychelles), Macaronesia and the Cape Verde Islands. Some of these have previously been published in the context of monographic works, but here we include all taxa. The paper is designed to be used in conjunction with the web resource Solanaceae Source (www.solanaceaesource.org) and hyperlinks provide access to online descriptions, synonymy and images (where available) of each species. All taxa treated and specimens seen are included in searchable Suppl. material 1, 2.
    • Digest: Shape-shifting in Solanaceae flowers: The influence of pollinators*

      Dodsworth, S; Orejuela, A; Peréz-Escobar, O; Särkinen, T; Knapp, S (2018-01-30)