Tracing the colonization history of the Indian Ocean scops-owls (Strigiformes: Otus) with further insight into the spatio-temporal origin of the Malagasy avifauna.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The island of Madagascar and surrounding volcanic and coralline islands are considered to form a biodiversity hotspot with large numbers of unique taxa. The origin of this endemic fauna can be explained by two different factors: vicariance or over-water-dispersal. Deciphering which factor explains the current distributional pattern of a given taxonomic group requires robust phylogenies as well as estimates of divergence times. The lineage of Indian Ocean scops-owls (Otus: Strigidae) includes six or seven species that are endemic to Madagascar and portions of the Comoros and Seychelles archipelagos; little is known about the species limits, biogeographic affinities and relationships to each other. In the present study, using DNA sequence data gathered from six loci, we examine the biogeographic history of the Indian Ocean scops-owls. We also compare the pattern and timing of colonization of the Indian Ocean islands by scops-owls with divergence times already proposed for other bird taxa. RESULTS:Our analyses revealed that Indian Ocean islands scops-owls do not form a monophyletic assemblage: the Seychelles Otus insularis is genetically closer to the South-East Asian endemic O. sunia than to species from the Comoros and Madagascar. The Pemba Scops-owls O. pembaensis, often considered closely related to, if not conspecific with O. rutilus of Madagascar, is instead closely related to the African mainland O. senegalensis. Relationships among the Indian Ocean taxa from the Comoros and Madagascar are unresolved, despite the analysis of over 4000 bp, suggesting a diversification burst after the initial colonization event. We also highlight one case of putative back-colonization to the Asian mainland from an island ancestor (O. sunia). Our divergence date estimates, using a Bayesian relaxed clock method, suggest that all these events occurred during the last 3.6 myr; albeit colonization of the Indian Ocean islands were not synchronous, O. pembaensis diverged from O. senegalensis about 1.7 mya while species from Madagascar and the Comoro diverged from their continental sister-group about 3.6 mya. We highlight that our estimates coincide with estimates of diversification from other bird lineages. CONCLUSION:Our analyses revealed the occurrence of multiple synchronous colonization events of the Indian Ocean islands by scops-owls, at a time when faunistic exchanges involving Madagascar was common as a result of lowered sea-level that would have allowed the formation of stepping-stone islands. Patterns of diversification that emerged from the scops-owls data are: 1) a star-like pattern concerning the order of colonization of the Indian Ocean islands and 2) the high genetic distinctiveness among all Indian Ocean taxa, reinforcing their recognition as distinct species.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The origin and diversification patterns of lineages across the Indian Ocean islands are varied due to the interplay of the complex geographic and geologic island histories, the varying dispersal abilities of biotas, and the proximity to major continental landmasses. Our aim was to reconstruct phylogeographic history of the giant orbweaving spider (Nephila) on western Indian Ocean islands (Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues), to test its origin and route of dispersal, and to examine the consequences of good dispersal abilities for colonization and diversification, in comparison with related spiders (Nephilengys) inhabiting the same islands, and with other organisms known for over water dispersal. We used mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (ITS2) markers to examine phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in Nephila populations and species. We employed Bayesian and parsimony methods to reconstruct phylogenies and haplotype networks, respectively, and calculated genetic distances, fixation indices, and estimated clade ages under a relaxed clock model. RESULTS: Our results suggest an African origin of Madagascar Nephila inaurata populations via Cenozoic dispersal, and the colonization of the Mascarene islands from Madagascar. We find evidence of gene flow across Madagascar and Comoros. The Mascarene islands share a common 'ancestral' COI haplotype closely related to those found on Madagascar, but itself absent, or as yet unsampled, from Madagascar. Each island has one or more unique haplotypes related to the ancestral Mascarene haplotype. The Indian Ocean N. inaurata are genetically distinct from the African populations. CONCLUSIONS: Nephila spiders colonized Madagascar from Africa about 2.5 (0.6-5.3) Ma. Our results are consistent with subsequent, recent and rapid, colonization of all three Mascarene islands. On each island, however, we detected unique haplotypes, consistent with a limited gene flow among the islands subsequent to colonization, a scenario that might be referred to as speciation in progress. However, due to relatively small sample sizes, we cannot rule out that we simply failed to collect Mascarene haplotypes on Madagascar, a scenario that might imply human mediated dispersal. Nonetheless, the former interpretation better fits the available data and results in a pattern similar to the related Nephilengys. Nephilengys, however, shows higher genetic divergences with diversification on more remote islands. That the better disperser of the two lineages, Nephila, has colonized more islands but failed to diversify, demonstrates how dispersal ability can shape both the patterns of colonization and formation of species across archipelagos.
Project description:Data collected by the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network for 1,415 ill travelers returning from Indian Ocean islands during 1997-2010 were analyzed. Malaria (from Comoros and Madagascar), acute nonparasitic diarrhea, and parasitoses were the most frequently diagnosed infectious diseases. An increase in arboviral diseases reflected the 2005 outbreak of chikungunya fever.
Project description: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.
Project description:Thirteen drosophilid species belonging to seven genera and two subfamilies are reported from three coral islands (namely Europa, Juan de Nova and Glorioso) that belong to the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean. Five species are cosmopolitan and five are African. Three are endemic to the insular Western Indian Ocean, including a presumably new Scaptodrosophila species. On the island of Juan de Nova, most captured flies had pollinia attached to the bases of their proboscis. DNA analysis using the rbcl gene revealed that these pollinia belong to the genus Leptadenia (Apocynaceae), of which a single species L. madagascariensis, endemic in Madagascar and Comoros, is present in this island. This is the first reported association between this plant and drosophilids.
Project description:The Comoros Islands are situated off the coast of East Africa, at the northern entrance of the channel of Mozambique. Contemporary Comoros society displays linguistic, cultural and religious features that are indicators of interactions between African, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian (SEA) populations. Influences came from the north, brought by the Arab and Persian traders whose maritime routes extended to Madagascar by 700-900 AD. Influences also came from the Far East, with the long-distance colonisation by Austronesian seafarers that reached Madagascar 1500 years ago. Indeed, strong genetic evidence for a SEA, but not a Middle Eastern, contribution has been found on Madagascar, but no genetic trace of either migration has been shown to exist in mainland Africa. Studying genetic diversity on the Comoros Islands could therefore provide new insights into human movement in the Indian Ocean. Here, we describe Y chromosomal and mitochondrial genetic variation in 577 Comorian islanders. We have defined 28 Y chromosomal and 9 mitochondrial lineages. We show the Comoros population to be a genetic mosaic, the result of tripartite gene flow from Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. A distinctive profile of African haplogroups, shared with Madagascar, may be characteristic of coastal sub-Saharan East Africa. Finally, the absence of any maternal contribution from Western Eurasia strongly implicates male-dominated trade and religion as the drivers of gene flow from the North. The Comoros provides a first view of the genetic makeup of coastal East Africa.
Project description:This work presents a critical nomenclatural review of the Acalypha species of the Western Indian Ocean Region (Madagascar, the Comoros Archipelago, the Mascarene Islands and the Seychelles Archipelago). This is the first treatment of Acalypha of Madagascar since Leandri's monograph in 1942. A total of 151 scientific names related to Acalypha from this region are treated. We recognise 35 species (28 native and seven introduced), treat 93 names as synonyms (28 of them for the first time) and identify three as doubtful or excluded names. We designate lectotypes for 41 names, make two new combinations and propose one new name.
Project description:Background In 2015, antimicrobial resistance was identified as a public health priority for the South-Western Indian Ocean (SWIO) (i.e. Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte (France), Reunion Island (France), and Seychelles). However, in 2020, colonization rates of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria (ARB) in human populations on most islands in SWIO were still not known and neither hospital nor community colonization rates had been estimated. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of colonization of six ARB groups in hospitalized patients residing in the SWIO territories. The six groups comprise extended-spectrum betalactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and both ceftazidime and/or imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp. (ACB), and ceftazidime and/or imipenem-resistant Pseudomonas spp. (PSA)). Methods Based on comprehensive hospital laboratory ARB screening data, we provide the first estimation of ARB colonization rates in hospitalized patients residing in SWIO (2015–2017). Using ARB colonization rates in Reunion Island (France) as the reference for estimating odds ratio, we identified at risk patients based on their territory of residence. Results The survey pointed to significantly higher overall ARB colonization rates in patients from Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, and Seychelles compared to Reunion Island as the reference. Extended-spectrum betalactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae was found to be the most common ARB group colonizing patients from SWIO territories. The highest MRSA colonization rates were observed in patients from Mayotte and Seychelles. Colonization by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) was highest in patients from Mauritius. Conclusion These results identify high ARB colonization rates in hospitalized patients from SWIO territories that require further investigation, particularly CRE in Mauritius and MRSA in Seychelles and Mayotte. This study is the first step toward the implementation of a broader regional ARB surveillance system.
Project description:With globalization the Western honey bee has become a nearly cosmopolitan species, but it was originally restricted to the Old World. This renowned model of biodiversity has diverged into five evolutionary lineages and several geographic "subspecies." If Apis mellifera unicolor is indubitably an African subspecies endemic to Madagascar, its relationship with honey bees from three archipelagos in the southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) hotspot of biodiversity is misunderstood. We compared recent mtDNA diversity data to an original characterization of the nuclear diversity from honey bees in the Mascarenes and Comoros archipelagos, using 14 microsatellites, but also additional mtDNA tRNALeu-cox2 analysis. Our sampling offers the most comprehensive dataset for the SWIO populations with a total of 3,270 colonies from 10 islands compared with 855 samples from Madagascar, 113 from Africa, and 138 from Europe. Comprehensive mitochondrial screening confirmed that honey bees from La Réunion, Mauritius, and Comoros archipelagos are mainly of African origin (88.1% out of 2,746 colonies) and that coexistence with European lineages occurs only in the Mascarenes. PCA, Bayesian, and genetic differentiation analysis showed that African colonies are not significantly distinct on each island, but have diversified among islands and archipelagos. FST levels progressively decreased in significance from European and African continental populations, to SWIO insular and continental populations, and finally among islands from the same archipelago. Among African populations, Madagascar shared a nuclear background with and was most closely related to SWIO island populations (except Rodrigues). Only Mauritius Island presented clear cytoplasmic disequilibrium and genetic structure characteristic of an admixed population undergoing hybridization, in this case, between A. m. unicolor and A. m. ligustica, A. m. carnica and A. m. mellifera-like individuals. Finally, global genetic clustering analysis helped to better depict the colonization and introduction pattern of honey bee populations in these archipelagos.
Project description:Bats and their parasites are increasingly investigated for their role in maintenance and transmission of potentially emerging pathogens. The islands of the western Indian Ocean hold nearly 50 bat species, mostly endemic and taxonomically well studied. However, investigation of associated viral, bacterial, and external parasites has lagged behind. In the case of their ectoparasites, more detailed information should provide insights into the evolutionary history of their hosts, as well as pathogen cycles in these wild animals. Here we investigate species of Nycteribiidae, a family of obligate hematophagous wingless flies parasitizing bats. Using morphological and molecular approaches, we describe fly species diversity sampled on Madagascar and the Comoros for two cave-roosting bat genera with contrasting ecologies: Miniopterus and Rousettus. Within the sampling area, 11 endemic species of insect-feeding Miniopterus occur, two of which are common to Madagascar and Comoros, while fruit-consuming Rousettus are represented by one species endemic to each of these zones. Morphological and molecular characterization of flies reveals that nycteribiids associated with Miniopterus bats comprise three species largely shared by most host species. Flies of M. griveaudi, one of the two bats found on Madagascar and certain islands in the Comoros, belong to the same taxon, which accords with continued over-water population exchange of this bat species and the lack of inter-island genetic structuring. Flies parasitizing Rousettus belong to two distinct species, each associated with a single host species, again in accordance with the distribution of each endemic bat species.
Project description:The South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) archipelagos and Madagascar constitute a hotspot of biodiversity with a high rate of endemism. In this area, the endemic subspecies A. m. unicolor has been described in Madagascar. It belongs to the African lineage, one of the four described evolutionary lineages in honey bees. Despite a long beekeeping tradition and several recorded European introductions, few studies have been carried out on the diversity and proportion of honey bee subspecies. In order to identify and define which evolutionary lineages and potential sub-lineages are present in the SWIO, the COI-COII intergenic region and the ND2 gene of the mtDNA were sequenced in honey bee colonies from three archipelagos. An extensive sampling (n = 1184 colonies) was done in the Mascarene (La Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues), Seychelles (Mahé, Praslin, La Digue) and Comoros (Grande Comore, Mohéli, Anjouan, Mayotte) archipelagos. Islands genetic diversity was compared to newly sampled populations from Madagascar, continental African and European populations.African lineage haplotypes were found in all islands (except for Rodrigues). Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles had 100% of A lineage, 95.5% in La Réunion and 56.1% in Mauritius. Among all African colonies detected in the SWIO, 98.1% (n = 633) of COI-COII haplotypes described the presence of the subspecies A. M. unicolor. Both genetic markers revealed i) a new private AI mitochondrial group shared by the SWIO archipelagos and Madagascar distant from continental populations; ii) the private African haplotypes for each island suggested diversity radiation in the archipelagos; iii) the detection of the Comoros archipelago as a possible contact area between insular and continental African populations. The exotic European C and M lineages were only detected in the Mascarene archipelago, but striking differences of proportion were observed among islands. Merely 4.6% of European colonies were found in La Réunion whereas Mauritius cumulated 44%. Here, among the 84 observed COI-COII haplotypes, 50 were newly described including 13 which were private to the SWIO archipelagos and Madagascar. Similarly, 24 of the 34 found ND2 haplotypes were novel which included six haplotypes particular to the SWIO populations.A new African subgroup was described in the SWIO region with mitochondrial genetic evidence that A. m. unicolor is the indigenous subspecies of the archipelagos surrounding Madagascar.