We briefly complement Endrédi et al. (2019) forum paper from terrestrial animal ecological points of view. We discuss the origins of trait-based approach, challenges of trait classifications, and we provide an example of a commonly used trait, body size.
Authors:J. H. Pérez, E. Carneiro, F. G. Gaviria-Ortiz, M. M. Casagrande, and O. H. H. Mielke
Terrestrial ecosystems across the world experience large-scale and widespread urbanization, causing a sharp decline, fragmentation and segregation of natural landscapes. Nevertheless, fragments of natural habitats that are found within the largest cities may still be capable of preserving high species diversity that amount to a large portion of the regional biodiversity. Knowing which variables of the urban landscape promote the conservation of species' assemblages in large cities helps us to implement measures that support biodiversity conservation. We sampled the butterfly assemblages of eight urban forest fragments in Curitiba (Southern Brazil), from September 2015 to April 2016. At each site, richness, diversity and composition of butterflies were estimated and then correlated to nine landscape variables measured at two spatial scales (buffers of 250 and 750m). A total of 298 species were recorded in these fragments, representing 53.7% of all species known to occur in the city. Despite of great difference in the size of the fragments (between 27 and 56.3 ha), there were no significant differences in species richness among the fragments. On the other hand, some significant correlations were observed between landscape variables and butterfly composition other than the fragment itself, such as the paved area and total forested area present around the fragments. These results reinforce the idea that the conservation of natural fragments in urban areas requires public policies that enhance not only the habitat quality of the fragment itself, but also enrichment of the landscape around them.
Authors:N.V. Trubacheeva, E.D. Badaeva, T.S. Osadchaya, and L.A. Pershina
Wild barley, Hordeum marinum subsp. gussoneanum (2n = 28) is a valuable source of genes that determine resistance to abiotic stresses. These resistance traits might be transferred to wheat due to the crossability of wild barley with bread wheat. The availability of reliable and rapid methods for the identification of H. marinum subsp. gussoneanum chromatin in a wheat background would facilitate the development of introgression wheat genotypes. For this purpose, we evaluated the applicability of eighty-seven H. vulgare EST markers for studying bread wheat – H. marinum subsp. gussoneanum substitution and addition lines. Of all of the markers studied, forty-three (49%) were amplified in H. marinum ssp. gussoneanum and wheat introgression lines. The identification of wild barley chromosomes using EST markers confirmed the GISH and C-banding data. Thus, it was established that the H. vulgare EST markers can be successfully used to identify the chromosomes of the H. marinum subsp. gussoneanum in introgression lines of wheat.
Authors:P. Alfaya, J. G. Casanovas, J. Lobón-Rovira, B. Matallanas, A. Cruz, P. Arana, and G. Alonso
Iberian lynx distribution is currently restricted to the south of the Iberian Peninsula. Nevertheless, there is evidence of the presence of several small groups in the peninsular centre that have been forgotten by management and conservation actions. In this research, we gathered evidences of Iberian lynx presence along 21 transects located in the southwest of the Madrid province. In these transects lynx DNA was identified in 47 scats, which scientifically proves the presence of the species in that location. Using these locations (presence-only data) we built a maximum entropy model (MaxEnt) to estimate the suitability of the study area for the species. Our results show the existence of an almost continuous area that is approximately 744 km2 that is suitable for the Iberian lynx. Seventy-eight percent of this area is within the Natura 2000 network and, therefore, it falls under regulations to preserve and restore habitat types, flora and fauna. This study shows the suitability of this territory has for the Iberian lynx.
Shoots of ten day old seedlings of nineteen wheat genotypes were evaluated for proline metabolism, H2O2, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and 2,2 diphenyl-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity under water deficit, water withholding and salinity stress conditions. Principle component analysis demarcated four groups: i.e. drought tolerant (Excalibar, Krichauff, Babax, Drysdale, Gladius and C306), salt tolerant (Kharchia, Type11, Krl 1-4 and Krl 19), low stress tolerant (C273, C518 and C591) and susceptible (HD2967, PBW621, WH1105, HD3086, PBW660 and PBW175). Salt stress treatment affected the length, fresh weight and dry weight of seedlings of all studied genotypes in comparison to water deficit and water withholding condition which may be due to higher contents of TBARS. Shoots of salt and drought tolerant genotypes possessed higher proline content and DPPH radical scavenging activity alongwith reduced content of TBARS in parallel with decreased H2O2 content under water stress conditions. The activities of proline synthesizing enzymes i.e. pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS) and pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase (P5CR) were significantly higher than proline degrading enzyme viz. proline dehydrogenase (PDH) under water stress as compared to salinity stress conditions. Overall, results indicated that P5CS, P5CR and PDH activities led to higher build up of proline under water stress, which might play a significant role in improving membrane stability by increasing radical scavenging activity and finally imparting stress tolerance in specific wheat genotypes.
We present a novel analysis of fluctuating asymmetry (FA) for butterfly wings at the community-level, along an altitudinal gradient. FA is an important biomonitoring tool that detects deviations of perfect symmetry in bilateral characters, assuming that genetic and/or environmental factors can be a source of stress. This study evaluated the effects of increased altitude on the symmetry of butterfly wings, testing the hypothesis that FA should increase with increased elevation in a tropical mountain. Butterflies were sampled along an altitudinal gradient of 800 to 1.400 m and forewings were detached, scanned and evaluated for symmetry. Length, width and area of the right and left forewings were measured as surrogates for FA and then combined into an index taking into account the variability of wing sizes of the whole butterfly community. We observed true patterns of FA in the length, width and area of the wings, and wing FA area increased with increased altitude. This study pioneered the analysis of FA for a community of butterflies and FA was efficient to detect developmental instability indicated by imperfections in butterfly wings.
Authors:Bekim Gashi, Efigjeni Kongjika, Mirsade Osmani, and Valon Luma
Ramonda nathaliae and Ramonda serbica are resurrection plants belonging to homoiochlorophyllous desiccation-tolerant angiosperms. Chlorophyll biosynthesis is one of the most important metabolic pathways to tolerate desiccation in these plant species.
Materials and methods
To better understand the early pathway steps of chlorophyll biosynthesis, we have analyzed the enzyme δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALA-D) and contents of δ-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and total chlorophyll as a final product during dehydration and rehydration stages for these plant species.
Our results showed that the activity of ALA-D in R. nathaliae and R. serbica plants rapidly decreased during dehydration and in the final stage of desiccation the activity of this enzyme was decreased by 79% and 86%, respectively. After rehydration of plants, the ALA-D activity was fully restored. In contrast, the ALA content of both plant species significantly increased during desiccation and decreased after 48 hr of rewatering. In each stage of dehydration or rehydration, a significant negative correlation was established between ALA-D activity and ALA content in both plant species.
Total chlorophyll content was preserved more in R. nathaliae than in R. serbica during desiccation. Moreover, ALA-D activity was decreased to a minimal level but preserved its function during desiccation, and this suggests one possible mechanism of desiccation tolerance to retain the chlorophyll of these plant species.
Grain Protein Content (GPC) of wheat is significant for enhanced nutritional value and is one of the most important aspects effecting pasta and bread making quality as well. Seventy seven Pakistani wheat varieties and advance lines were analysed to access the allelic distribution at microsatellite Xuhw89 locus using functional SSR marker. Overall, 42% of tested wheat genotypes were found to carry 126 + 130-bp allele while a 126-bp allele was detected in 58% of genotypes. A target band of 126-bp was amplified in all tested genotypes, however, an additional band of 130-bp was also detected along with 126-bp band in 32 genotypes. Genotypes i.e. (Punjab-96) total soluble protein and (MEXI PAK) globulin with 126 + 130-bp allele while (Faisalabad-2008) salt soluble protein and (TC-4928) albumin with allele of 126-bp depicted highest grain protein content. The alleles identification associated with maximum grain protein content in Pakistani wheat germplasm will assist in accelerating the breeding program in future.
Authors:Enver Ahmet Demir, Atakan Ozturk, Okan Tutuk, Hatice Dogan, and Cemil Tumer
Seizures are the hallmarks of most types of epilepsies. Behavioral and cognitive impairments coincide with interictal periods even though it is not clear whether these impairments spring out of the seizure itself or accompanying sociopsychological burden of the disease.
Materials and methods
In this study, we investigated behavioral and cognitive consequences of a single GABA receptor-related seizure in mice, and examined the potential anticonvulsive and behavior-modulating properties of sophoretin (quercetin) and rutoside (rutin).
The study demonstrated that sophoretin and rutoside, common flavonoids of the human diet, delay the seizure onset and reduce the seizure stage. Moreover, they exerted an antidepressant-like effect, which was independent of the seizure. Neither treatments nor seizure altered recognition and spatial memory performances of the mice.
Behavioral or cognitive disturbances that are evident in epileptic patients did not appear following a single seizure. In addition, we suggest that both sophoretin and rutoside successfully alleviate the seizure severity without interfering in the behavioral stability and cognitive performance. Hence, these flavonoids may be of use as adjuncts to the current treatment options.
Authors:Ainoosh Golpour, Stefan Bereswill, and Markus M. Heimesaat
Antimicrobial multidrug-resistance (MDR) constitutes an emerging threat to global health and makes the effective prevention and treatment of many, particularly severe infections challenging, if not impossible. Many antibiotic classes have lost antimicrobial efficacy against a plethora of infectious agents including bacterial species due to microbial acquisition of distinct resistance genes. Hence, the development of novel anti-infectious intervention strategies including antibiotic-independent approaches is urgently needed. Vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin D derivates might be such promising molecular candidates to combat infections caused by bacteria including MDR strains. Using the Pubmed database, we therefore performed an in-depth literature survey, searching for publications on the antimicrobial effect of vitamin D directed against bacteria including MDR strains. In vitro and clinical studies between 2009 and 2019 revealed that vitamin D does, in fact, possess antimicrobial properties against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species, whereas conflicting results could be obtained from in vivo studies. Taken together, the potential anti-infectious effects for the antibiotic-independent application of vitamin D and/or an adjunct therapy in combination with antibiotic compounds directed against infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, H. pylori infections, or skin diseases, for instance, should be considered and further investigated in more detail.