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A validated workflow for rapid taxonomic assignment and monitoring of a national fauna of bees

A validated workflow for rapid taxonomic assignment and monitoring of a national fauna of bees (Apiformes) using high throughput DNA barcoding

Improved taxonomic methods are needed to quantify declining populations of insect pollinators. This study devises a high-throughput DNA barcoding protocol for a regional fauna (United Kingdom) of bees (Apiformes), consisting of reference library construction, a proof-of-concept monitoring scheme, and the deep barcoding of individuals to assess potential artefacts and organismal associations. A reference database of cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (cox1) sequences including 92.4% of 278 bee species known from the UK showed high congruence with morphological taxon concepts, but molecular species delimitations resulted in numerous split and (fewer) lumped entities within the Linnaean species. Double tagging permitted deep Illumina sequencing of 762 separate individuals of bees from a UK-wide survey. Extracting the target barcode from the amplicon mix required a new protocol employing read abundance and phylogenetic position, which revealed 180 molecular entities of Apiformes identifiable to species. An additional 72 entities were ascribed to nuclear pseudogenes based on patterns of read abundance and phylogenetic relatedness to the reference set. Clustering of reads revealed a range of secondary operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in almost all samples, resulting from traces of insect species caught in the same traps, organisms associated with the insects including a known mite parasite of bees, and the common detection of human DNA, besides evidence for low-level cross-contamination in pan traps and laboratory procedures. Custom scripts were generated to conduct critical steps of the bioinformatics protocol. The resources built here will greatly aid DNA-based monitoring to inform management and conservation policies for the protection of pollinators.

Creedy, Thomas J.; Norman, Hannah; Tang, Cuong Q.; Qing Chin, Kai; Andujar, Carmelo; Arribas, Paula; O'Connor, Rory S.; Carvell, Claire; Notton, David G.; Vogler, Alfred P.

Molecular Ecology Resources 20(1): 40-53 (2020)
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Niosomes encapsulated in biohydrogels

Niosomes encapsulated in biohydrogels for tunable delivery of phytoalexin resveratrol

A series of biohydrogels based on mixtures of kappa-carrageenan (κ-carrageenan, κ-C) and gelatin were evaluated as potential soft delivery vehicles for the encapsulation and subsequent release of non-ionic surfactant vesicles (niosomes) loaded with resveratrol (RSV). The niosomes were prepared using a mixture of amphiphilic lipids Tween 80 and Span 80 in water. The results showed that RSV-niosomes did not significantly affect the hydrogelation properties of the biopolymer mixture. Moreover, in vitro drug release experiments from biohydrogels containing RSV-niosomes were successfully carried out under simulated gastrointestinal conditions. The RSV-niosomal liberation profiles from hydrogels were fitted using first order kinetics, Higuchi, Korsmeyer-Peppas and Weibull drug release models, showing the prevalence of diffusion mechanisms in each case. In addition, the RSV release was easily tuned by adjusting the total concentration of κ-C : gelatin. Interestingly, the niosomal-hydrogel system was also found to prevent the trans-to-cis photoisomerization of RSV.

Machado, Noelia D.; Fernández, Mariana A.; Häring, Marleen; Saldías, César; Díaz Díaz, David

RSC Advances 9: 7601-7609 (2019)
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Lewinskya affinis

Do mosses really exhibit so large distribution ranges? Insights from the integrative taxonomic study of the Lewinskya affinis complex (Orthotrichaceae, Bryopsida)

The strikingly lower number of bryophyte species, and in particular of endemic species, and their larger distribution ranges in comparison with angiosperms, have traditionally been interpreted in terms of their low diversification rates associated with a high long-distance dispersal capacity. This hypothesis is tested here with Lewinskya affinis (≡ Orthotrichum affine), a moss species widely spread across Europe, North and East Africa, southwestern Asia, and western North America. We tested competing taxonomic hypotheses derived from separate and combined analyses of multilocus sequence data, morphological characters, and geographical distributions. The best hypothesis, selected by a Bayes factor molecular delimitation analysis, established that L. affinis is a complex of no less than seven distinct species, including L. affinis s.str., L. fastigiata and L. leptocarpa, which were previously reduced into synonymy with L. affinis, and four new species. Discriminant analyses indicated that each of the seven species within L. affinis s.l. can be morphologically identified with a minimal error rate. None of these species exhibit a trans-oceanic range, suggesting that the broad distributions typically exhibited by moss species largely result from a taxonomic artefact. The presence of three sibling western North American species on the one hand, and four Old World sibling species on the other, suggests that there is a tendency for within-continent diversification rather than recurrent dispersal following speciation. The faster rate of diversification as compared to intercontinental migration reported here is in sharp contrast with earlier views of bryophyte species with wide ranges and low speciation rates.

Vigalondo, B.; Garilleti, R.; Vanderpoorten, A.; Patiño, Jairo; Draper, I.; Calleja, J.A.; Mazimpaka, V.; Lara, F.

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 140: 106598 (2019)

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