Non‐apoptotic caspase activation preserves Drosophila intestinal progenitor cells in quiescence

Caspase malfunction in stem cells often precedes the appearance and progression of multiple types of cancer, including human colorectal cancer. However, the caspase‐dependent regulation of intestinal stem cell properties remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that Dronc, the Drosophila ortholog of caspase‐9/2 in mammals, limits the number of intestinal progenitor cells and their entry into the enterocyte differentiation programme. Strikingly, these unexpected roles for Dronc are non‐apoptotic and have been uncovered under experimental conditions without epithelial replenishment. Supporting the non‐apoptotic nature of these functions, we show that they require the enzymatic activity of Dronc, but are largely independent of the apoptotic pathway. Alternatively, our genetic and functional data suggest that they are linked to the caspase‐mediated regulation of Notch signalling. Our findings provide novel insights into the non‐apoptotic, caspase‐dependent modulation of stem cell properties that could improve our understanding of the origin of intestinal malignancies.

Arthurton, Lewis; Nahotko, Dominik A.; Alonso, Jana; Wendler, Franz; Baena-López, Luis A.

EMBO Reports, e48892: 1-17 (2020)

Saharan Dust Events in the Dust Belt -Canary Islandsand the Observed Association with in-Hospital Mortality of Patients with Heart Failure

Recent studies have found increases in the cardiovascular mortality rates during poor air quality events due to outbreaks of desert dust. In Tenerife, we collected (2014–2017) data in 829 patients admitted with a heart failure diagnosis in the Emergency Department of the University Hospital of the Canaries. In this region, concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 are usually low (~20 and 10 g/m3), but they increase to 360 and 115 g/m3, respectively, during Saharan dust events. By using statistical tools (including multivariable logistic regressions), we compared in-hospital mortality of patients with heart failure and exposure to PM10 and PM2.5 during dust and no-dust events. We found that 86% of in-hospital heart failure mortality cases occurred during Saharan dust episodes that resulted in PM10 > 50 g/m3 (interquartile range: 71–96 g/m3). A multivariate analysis showed that, after adjusting for other covariates, exposure to Saharan dust events associated with PM10 > 50 g/m3 was an independent predictor of heart failure in-hospital mortality (OR = 2.79, 95% CI (1.066–7.332), p = 0.03). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that exposure to high Saharan dust concentrations is independently associated with in-hospital mortality in patients with heart failure.

Dominguez-Rodriguez, Alberto; Baez-Ferrer, Néstor; Rodríguez, Sergio; Avanzas, Pablo; Abreu-Gonzalez, Pedro; Terradellas, Enric; Cuevas, Emilio; Basart, Sara

Journal of Clinical Medicine 9(2): 376 (2020)

O Antipatrimónio: Fetichismo do Passado e Dominação do Presente

O património é hoje uma palavra na boca de todos. Foi criado por nações e instituições, estudado por intelectuais e cientistas, criticado pela sua capacidade de gerar conflitos em relação à identidade e à memória. Tem sido mercantilizado globalmente com base em critérios semelhantes, da Tailândia à Bolívia. Mas essas investigações partiram principalmente do pressuposto de que o património é algo dado, bom e valioso em si mesmo e que sempre existiu. Por isso, o conceito de património não tem sido questionado como categoria, ou seja, como forma de relação própria das sociedades fetichistas e, portanto, historicamente determinada e com raízes histórico-culturais intrinsecamente ligadas ao surgimento e expansão do capitalismo e à epistemologia do iluminismo, moderna e ocidental. Este livro propõe uma crítica à categoria «património» a partir de uma etnografia da região de Maragatería, Espanha. A etnografia analisa empiricamente as transformações e processos que levam, ou não, o património a existir entre os maragatos.

Alonso-González, Pablo.

Impresa de Ciências Sociais (2020)

Long‐term cloud forest response to climate warming revealed by insect speciation history

Montane cloud forests are areas of high endemism, and are one of the more vulnerable terrestrial ecosystems to climate change. Thus, understanding how they both contribute to the generation of biodiversity, and will respond to ongoing climate change, are important and related challenges. The widely accepted model for montane cloud forest dynamics involves upslope forcing of their range limits with global climate warming. However, limited climate data provides some support for an alternative model, where range limits are forced downslope with climate warming. Testing between these two models is challenging, due to the inherent limitations of climate and pollen records. We overcome this with an alternative source of historical information, testing between competing model predictions using genomic data and demographic analyses for a species of beetle tightly associated to an oceanic island cloud forest. Results unequivocally support the alternative model: populations that were isolated at higher elevation peaks during the Last Glacial Maximum are now in contact and hybridizing at lower elevations. Our results suggest that genomic data are a rich source of information to further understand how montane cloud forest biodiversity originates, and how it is likely to be impacted by ongoing climate change.

Salces-Castellano, Antonia; Stankowski, Sean; Arribas, Paula; Patiño, Jairo; Karger Dirk N.; Butlin, Roger; Emerson, Brent C.

Evolution (2020)

Tandem Radical Fragmentation/Cyclization of Guanidinylated Monosaccharides Grants Access to Medium-Sized Polyhydroxylated Heterocycles

The fragmentation of anomeric alkoxyl radicals (ARF) and the subsequent cyclization promoted by hypervalent iodine provide an excellent method for the synthesis of guanidino-sugars. The methodology described herein is one of the few existing general methodologies for the formation of medium-sized exo- and endoguanidine-containing heterocycles presenting a high degree of oxygenation in their structure.

Santana, Andrés G.; González Martín, Concepción C.

Organic Letters 22(21): 8492–8495 (2020)

Coumarins and other constituents from Deverra battandieri

Three undescribed coumarin derivatives, pituranthosin A–C (1-3), along with nineteen known compounds were isolated and identified from the chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions of the hydroalcoholic extract of Deverra battandieri (Apiaceae). The structures of the compounds were established by interpretation of their spectral data using 1D-NMR (1H, 13C, DEPT experiments), 2D-NMR (COSY, NOESY, HSQC and HMBC), HRESIMS, and by comparison with the literature data.

Esseid, Chahrazed; León, Francisco; Mosset, Paul; Benayache, Samir; Marchioni, Eric; Brouard, Ignacio; Benayache, Fadila

Phytochemistry Letters (2020)

Big sales, no carrots: Assessment of pesticide policy in Spain

This paper explores Spanish pesticide policy with a focus on developments during the last decade. Spain is one of the greatest global consumers of conventional pesticides and leader in various related rankings among European Union countries. However, reviews of pesticide policies examining the key plans, facts, strategies and stakeholders are largely lacking. In providing an overview of Spanish responses to the European Directive 2009/128/EC on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, this article contributes to filling this research gap. Spanish National Action Plans lack measurable quantitative objectives for reduction in the use of conventional pesticides and further implementation of Integrated Pest Management. Spanish National Action Plans also lack strategies for informing citizens about pesticide residues, and efficient means of keeping up to date with the authorisation of new active substances and delivery of pesticide use and sales data, in time and form. Moreover, there are no clear trends in conventional pesticide use reduction and sales, despite a significant reduction in the use of the more toxic active substances. Overall, this paper reveals various important shortcomings and incongruences in Spanish pesticide policy, which deserve further scholarly exploration and should be a matter of concern for public bodies.

Alonso-González, Pablo; Parga-Dans, Eva; Pérez Luzardo, Octavio

Crop Protection (2020)

Trophic ecology of an introduced top predator (Felis catus) on a small African oceanic islet (Santa Luzia, Cabo Verde Islands)

Studies on feral cat diet offer important ecological information and are the first step towards determining their impact upon endangered species. However, in comparing seasonal changes in diet with seasonal prey availability, the scarce amount of research into oceanic islands worldwide must be considered when deciding if a specific population is actually affected by cat predation. Cat diet was analysed on Santa Luzia (Cabo Verde Islands) since this invasive predator is considered one of the main threats to native endangered species that require conservation measures. These previous studies were carried out in different seasons, providing contrasting results, skinks being more preyed upon in the rainy season and mice in the driest periods. To check these different results, we focussed on how cat diet varied seasonally in response to changes in prey abundance. Saurians were the most important prey group, followed by mice, invertebrates and birds. No seasonal differences were, however, observed in the different prey groups consumed, saurians being the main prey in both seasons. All cases reflected their respective abundances. Results corroborate the generalist and opportunistic trophic ecology of feral cats, providing important information to assess their impact on prey populations and design future eradication programmes.

Medina, Félix M.; Melo, Tommy; Oliveira, Paulo; Nogales, Manuel; Geraldes, Pedro

African Journal of Ecology (2020)

Self-compatibility in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]: patterns of diversity surrounding the S-locus and analysis of SFB alleles

Self-incompatibility (SI) to self-compatibility (SC) transition is one of the most frequent and prevalent evolutionary shifts in flowering plants. Prunus L. (Rosaceae) is a genus of over 200 species most of which exhibit a Gametophytic SI system. Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch; 2n = 16] is one of the few exceptions in the genus known to be a fully selfcompatible species. However, the evolutionary process of the complete and irreversible loss of SI in peach is not well understood and, in order to fill that gap, in this study 24 peach accessions were analyzed. Pollen tube growth was controlled in self-pollinated flowers to verify their self-compatible phenotypes. The linkage disequilibrium association between alleles at the S-locus and linked markers at the end of the sixth linkage group was not significant (P > 0.05), except with the closest markers suggesting the absence of a signature of negative frequency dependent selection at the S-locus. Analysis of SFB1 and SFB2 protein sequences allowed identifying the absence of some variable and hypervariable domains and the presence of additional α-helices at the C-termini. Molecular and evolutionary analysis of SFB nucleotide sequences showed a signature of purifying selection in SFB2, while the SFB1 seemed to evolve neutrally. Thus, our results show that the SFB2 allele diversified after P. persica and P. dulcis (almond) divergence, a period which is characterized by an important bottleneck, while SFB1 diversified at a transition time between the bottleneck and population expansion.

Abdallah, Donia; Baraket, Ghada; Pérez Méndez, Verónica: Hannachi, Amel Salhi; Hormaza, José I.

Horticulture Research 7, 170: 1-15 (2020)

First record of intertidal oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida) from the Canaries – a new species and its complete ontogeny

A new species of intertidal oribatid mites from Tenerife is described and its full ontogenetic development is given in detail. Thalassozetes canariensis sp. nov. can easily be distinguished from its congeners by its characteristic notogastral cuticular pattern showing loosely distributed irregular elevations, and its rectangular median sternal cavity. Based on morphology, Thalassozetes canariensis sp. nov. is most closely related to the Mediterranean T. riparius; both species share a small transversal band-like notogastral light spot and the longitudinal orientation of lyrifissure iad. The juvenile morphology of T. canariensis sp. nov. conforms basically to those of known Thalassozetes juveniles but there are discrepancies in certain aspects that require further research into all known species. This report of T. canariensis sp. nov. from Tenerife is the first record of an intertidal mite for the Canaries, and also for the Eastern Atlantic area. Further records of this species within the area may be expected.

Pfindstl, Tobias; De la Paz, Juan Carlos; Hernández-Teixidor, David

Systematic and Applied Acarology 25(10): 1901-1914 (2020)