Dispersal ability and its consequences for population genetic differentiation and diversification

Dispersal ability is known to influence geographical structuring of genetic variation within species, with a direct relationship between low vagility and population genetic structure, which can potentially give rise to allopatric speciation. However, our general understanding of the relationship between dispersal ability, population differentiation and lineage diversification is limited. To address this issue, we sampled mitochondrial DNA variation within lineages of beetles and spiders across the Canary Islands to explore the relationships between dispersal ability, differentiation within lineages and diversification. We found positive relationships between population genetic structure and diversification for both beetles and spiders. Comparisons between dispersive and non-dispersive lineages revealed significant differences for both lineage differentiation and diversification. For both taxa, non-dispersive lineages had stronger population genetic structure. Genus-level endemic species richness and proxies for diversification rate within genera were higher in non-dispersive taxa for both beetles and spiders. Comparisons of average and maximum node divergences within genera suggest that species turnover may be higher in non-dispersive genera. Our results reveal a model where dispersal limitation may shape the diversity of lineages across evolutionary timescales by positively influencing intraspecific and species diversity, moderated by higher extinction rates compared to more dispersive lineages.

Suárez, Daniel; Arribas, Paula; Jiménez-García, Eduardo; Emerson, Brent C. 

Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 289(1975): 1-10 (2022)

Nitration of Flavonoids and Tocopherols as Potential Modulators of Nitrosative Stress—A Study Based on Their Conformational Structures and Energy Content

Vitamin E and dietary flavonoids are natural substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, showing little or no side effects. Fruit and vegetable diets based on flavonoids and vitamin E provide a benefit to hypertensive subjects by regulating blood pressure. However, the exact mechanism of their anti-inflammatory properties has not been chemically explained. It has been proposed that their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be related to their ability to scavenge free radicals. We here describe the chemical considerations that flavonoids and tocopherols required to act as potential scavengers of the •NO2 radical, a key radical in the cellular oxidative process. Moreover, we provide a theoretical study of the energy content of the nitrated compounds in the different possible positions. With this analysis, it was predicted that five flavonoids from different families (quercetin (flavanol), naringenin (flavanone), luteolin (flavone), catechin (flavanol) and aurantinidin (anthocyanin)) and three tocopherols (β-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol, but not α-tocopherol) could act as potential scavengers of the harmful •NO2 radical. These results may help to explain their beneficial effect on cardiovascular health through its antioxidant role. To validate our theoretical considerations, we also examined uric acid, a well-known •NO2-scavenger. We hope this study could help to elucidate the potential scavenging activity of other dietary antioxidants.

Pérez de Lastra, José Manuel; Andrés Juan, Celia; Plou Gasca, Francisco José; Pérez-Lebeña, Eduardo.

Stresses 2(2): 213-230 (2022)

Isobenzofuran-1(3H)-one derivatives: Amoebicidal activity and program cell death in Acanthamoeba castellanii Neff

The genus Acanthamoeba is characterized by being a group of ubiquitous and free-living amoebae that inhabit a variety of environments. Generally, human infections by this parasite are associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, especially in contact lens wearers, and with chronic but fatal granulomatous amoebic meningoencephalitis. Current treatments used for eradication of amoeba from infection sites represent a challenge for pharmacotherapy, due to the lack of effective treatment and the amoebae highly resistant to anti-amoebic drugs. In this study, we describe the results of the assessment of the IC50 of 10 isobenzofuran-1(3H)-one derivatives (QOET) against four Acanthamoeba strains. The compounds QOET-3 and QOET-9 were the selected derivatives with the lowest IC50 in A. castellanii Neff trophozoites (73.71 ± 0.25 and 69.99 ± 15.32 μM, respectively). Interestingly, analysis of the compound effects on the cell apoptosis-like features showed that both active molecules triggered programmed cell death (PCD) in A. castellanii Neff. The results obtained in this study highlights that isobenzofuranone derivatives could represent an interesting source for developing novel antiamoebic drugs.

Rodríguez-Expósito, Rubén L.; Reyes-Batlle, María; Sifaoui, Inés; Tejedor, David; García-Tellado, Fernando; Piñero, José E.; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob.

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 150: 1-10 (2022) 113062

Emerging laws must not protect stray cats and their impacts

Our moral circles—that is, the entities believed as worthy of moral concern and thus deserving moral considerations—have historically expanded beyond humans to include also nonhuman beings (Crimston et al., 2018). As a result, various emerging legal instruments around the world have been granting rights to animals. However, the inclusion of animals within moral circles is subjected to important biases, with a preference for charismatic, familiar, and beautiful vertebrates (Klebl et al., 2021). We argue that legal instruments embracing such biases may jeopardize biodiversity conservation.

Carrete, Martina; Clavero, Miguel; Arrondo, Eneko; Traveset, Anna; Bernardo-Madrid, Rubén; Vilà, Montserrat; Blas, Julio; Nogales, Manuel; Delibes, Miguel; García-Rodríguez, Alberto; Hernández-Brito, Dailos; Romero-Vidal, Pedro; Tella, José L.

Conservation Science and Practice : 1-3, e12706 (2022)

Combating water stress in Macaronesia

Decreasing water resources is a pressing climate change issue, with crop productivity and food security highly dependent on irrigation. At IPNA-CSIC, Dr Andrés A Borges and his colleagues have launched AHIDAGRO, a project committed to achieving agricultural sustainability in Macaronesia. AHIDAGRO addresses challenges associated with water stress in plants by developing natural products and solutions that protect crops during water-deficit periods. To date, they have developed new methods for evaluating biostimulants and tested new biostimulants in field conditions. The findings offer a resource for communities struggling with water shortages worldwide.

Borges, Andrés A.

Research Features : 1-2 (2022)

Betelvine (Piper betle L.): A comprehensive insight into its ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, and pharmacological, biomedical and therapeutic attributes

Piper betle L. (synonym: Piper betel Blanco), or betel vine, an economically and medicinally important cash crop, belongs to the family Piperaceae, often known as the green gold. The plant can be found all over the world and is cultivatedprimarily in South East Asian countries for its beautiful glossy heart-shaped leaves, which are chewed or consumed as betelquidand widely used in Chinese and Indian folk medicine, as carminative, stimulant,astringent, against parasitic worms, conjunctivitis, rheumatism, wound, etc., andis also used for religious purposes. Hydroxychavicol is the most important bioactive compound among the wide range of phytoconstituents found in essential oil and extracts. The pharmacological attributes of P. betle are antiproliferation, anticancer, neuropharmacological, analgesic, antioxidant, antiulcerogenic, hepatoprotective, antifertility, antibacterial, antifungal and many more. Immense attention has been paid to nanoformulations and their applications. The application of P. betle did not show cytotoxicity in preclinical experiments, suggesting that it could serve as a promising therapeutic candidate for different diseases. The present review comprehensively summarizes the botanical description, geographical distribution, economic value and cultivation, ethnobotanical uses, preclinical pharmacological properties with insights of toxicological, clinical efficacy, and safety of P. betle. The findings suggest that P. betle represents an orally active and safe natural agent that exhibits great therapeutic potential for managing various human medical conditions. However, further research is needed to elucidate its underlying molecular mechanisms of action, clinical aspects, structure–activity relationships, bioavailability and synergistic interactions with other drugs.

Biswas, Protha; Anand, Uttpal; Chatterjee, Suchismita (Saha); Kant, Nishi; Mishra, Tulika; Masih, Harison; Bar, Ananya; Kumar Pandey, Devendra; Kumar Jha, Niraj; Majumder, Madhumita; Das, Neela; Gadekar, Vijaykumar Shivaji; Shekhawat, Mahipal S.; Kumar, Manoj; Radha; Proćków, Jarosław; Pérez de la Lastra, José M.; Dey, Abhijit

Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine : 1-37 (2022)

DNA barcoding reveals new records of invasive terrestrial flatworms (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Geoplanidae) in the Macaronesian region

Oceanic islands harbour a limited richness of native land planarians, likely explained in large part by their inability to survive long periods of immersion in salt water (Winsor et al. 2004). Instead, most land planarians on islands are the result of introductions (e.g. Justine et al. 2018a; b; Lago-Barcia et al. 2020; Suárez et al. 2018; Winsor et al. 2004), likely due to the global trade of plants, as planarians can be inadvertently transported in the humid soil of pots (Álvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Winsor et al. 2004). Planarians are generalist predators (Sluys 1999) and a potential threat for native invertebrate fauna. Thus, the group has become of interest with regard to understanding the expansions of species distributions into non-native areas. We report here the presence of three invasive land planarian species within oceanic islands of the Macaronesian region: Obama nungara Carbayo, (Carbayo et al. 2016) (new for the Canary Islands), Caenoplana coerulea (Moseley 1877) (new for Madeira) and Endeavouria septemlineata (Hyman 1939) (new for the Canary Islands and Madeira).

Suárez, Daniel; Pedrianes, Juan Ramón; Andújar, Carmelo.

Zootaxa: 1-4 (2022)

Certification of Natural Wine: Policy Controversies and Future Prospects

Natural wine is made from grapes produced under organic or biodynamic management without using additives in the cellar. Natural wine represents a movement of winegrowers that see agriculture as an ethical act against wine industrialization and as a way to make food systems more sustainable. The movement has gained fast-growing global fame and connects rural producers with urban consumers. The recent French recognition of a natural wine certification has spurred discontent among other European countries and wine business associations. A debate about the policy implications of natural wine certification is necessary in order to shed light on the matter. This article calls for transparency in the labeling of wine ingredients, in line with recent consumer demands, which would make the creation of new certifications redundant.

Alonso-González, Pablo; Parga-Dans, Eva; Fuentes Fernández, Rosana.

Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 6 : 1-5 (2022)

Structural diversity using amino acid “Customizable Units”: conversion of hydroxyproline (Hyp) into nitrogen heterocycles

The ability of amino acid “customizable units” to generate structural diversity is illustrated by the conversion of 4-hydroxyproline (Hyp) units into a variety of nitrogen heterocycles. After a frst common step, where the unit underwent a one-pot decarboxylation–alkylation reaction to aford 2-alkylpyrrolidines with high stereoselectivity, a divergent step was carried out. Thus, the deprotected 4-hydroxy group was used either to initiate a radical scission that aforded aliphatic β-amino aldehydes, or to carry out an elimination reaction, to give 2-alkyl-2,5-dihydro-1H-pyrroles. In the frst case, the amines underwent a tandem reductive amination–cyclization to aford β-amino-δ-lactams, an efcient rigidifying unit in peptides. Diferent lactam N-substituents, such as alkylamines, peptides, and alkenyl chains suitable for olefn metathesis were introduced this way. In the second case, the pyrrole derivatives were efciently converted into alkaloid and iminosugar derivatives in good global yields and with excellent stereoselectivity.

Hernández, Dácil; Porras, Marina; Boto, Alicia.

Amino Acids: 1-12 (2022)

Subduction earthquakes controlled by incoming plate geometry: The 2020 M > 7.5 Shumagin, Alaska, earthquake doublet

In 2020, an earthquake doublet, a M7.8 on July 22nd and a M7.6 on October 19th, struck the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone beneath the Shumagin Islands. This is the first documented earthquake doublet involving a megathrust event and a strike-slip event. The first event partially ruptured a seismic gap, which has not hosted large earthquakes since 1917, and the second event was unusual as it broke a trench-perpendicular fault within the incoming oceanic slab. We used an improved Bayesian geodetic inversion method to estimate the fault slip distributions of the major earthquakes using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) wrapped phase and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) offsets data. The geodetic inversions reveal that the Shumagin seismic gap is multi-segmented, and the M7.8 earthquake ruptured the eastern segment from 14 km down to 44 km depth. The coseismic slip occurred along a more steeply, 26◦ dipping segment, and was bounded up-dip by a bend of the megathrust interface to a shallower 8◦ dip angle connecting to the trench. The model for the M7.6 event tightly constrained the rupture depth extent to 19-39 km, within the depth range of the M7.8 coseismic rupture area. We find that the M7.6 event ruptured the incoming slab across its full seismogenic thickness, potentially reactivating subducted Kula-Resurrection seafloor-spreading ridge structures. Coulomb stress transfer models suggest that coseismic and/or postseismic slip of the M7.8 event could have triggered the M7.6 event. We conclude that the segmented megathrust structure and the location of intraslab fault structures limited the rupture dimensions of the M7.8 event and are responsible for the segmentation of the Shumagin seismic gap. Our study suggests that the western and shallower up-dip segments of the seismic gap did not fail and remain potential seismic and tsunami hazard sources. The unusual earthquake doublet provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the role of the subducting lithosphere structure in the segmentation of subduction zones.

Yu, Jiang; González Méndez, Pablo José; Bürgmann, Roland.

Earth and Planetary Science Letters 584, 117447: 1-13 (2022)