Molecular association and morphological characterisation of Himalopsyche larval types (Trichoptera, Rhyacophilidae).
ABSTRACT: Himalopsyche Banks, 1940 (Trichoptera, Rhyacophilidae) is a genus of caddisflies inhabiting mountain and alpine environments in Central and East Asia and the Nearctic. Of 53 known species, only five species have been described previously in the aquatic larval stage. We perform life stage association using three strategies (GMYC, PTP, and reciprocal monophyly) based on fragments of two molecular markers: the nuclear CAD, and the mitochondrial COI gene. A total of 525 individuals from across the range of Himalopsyche (Himalayas, Hengduan Shan, Tian Shan, South East Asia, Japan, and western North America) was analysed and 32 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in our dataset delimited. Four distinct larval types of Himalopsyche are uncovered, and these are defined as the phryganea type, japonica type, tibetana type, and gigantea type and a comparative morphological characterisation of the larval types is presented. The larval types differ in a number of traits, most prominently in their gill configuration, as well as in other features such as setal configuration of the pronotum and presence/absence of accessory hooks of the anal prolegs.
Project description:Caddisflies (Trichoptera) are small, cosmopolitan insects closely related to the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). Most caddisflies construct protective cases during their larval development. Although the earliest recognisable caddisflies date back to the early Mesozoic (Early and Middle Triassic), being particularly numerous and diverse during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, the first records of their larval case constructions are known exclusively from much younger, Early to Middle Jurassic non-marine deposits in the northern hemisphere. Here we present fossils from the Early Permian (Asselian-Sakmarian) marine deposits of Brazil which have strong morphological and compositional similarity to larval cases of caddisflies. If they are, which is very probable, these finds not only push back the fossil record of true caddisflies, but also indicate that their larvae constructed cases at the very beginning of their evolution in marine environments. Since modern caddisflies that construct larval cases in marine environments are only known from eastern Australia and New Zealand, we suggest that this marine ecology may have first evolved in western Gondwana during the Early Permian and later spread across southern Pangea.
Project description:In a phylogenetic network analysis of 160 complete human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) genomes, we find three central variants distinguished by amino acid changes, which we have named A, B, and C, with A being the ancestral type according to the bat outgroup coronavirus. The A and C types are found in significant proportions outside East Asia, that is, in Europeans and Americans. In contrast, the B type is the most common type in East Asia, and its ancestral genome appears not to have spread outside East Asia without first mutating into derived B types, pointing to founder effects or immunological or environmental resistance against this type outside Asia. The network faithfully traces routes of infections for documented coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, indicating that phylogenetic networks can likewise be successfully used to help trace undocumented COVID-19 infection sources, which can then be quarantined to prevent recurrent spread of the disease worldwide.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The North American Trichoptera larvae are poorly known at the species level, despite their importance in the understanding of freshwater fauna and critical use in biomonitoring. This study focused on morphological diagnoses for larvae occurring in the Churchill, Manitoba area, representing the largest larval association effort for the caddisflies at any given locality thus far. The current DNA barcode reference library of Trichoptera (available on the Barcode of Life Data Systems) was utilized to provide larval-adult associations. RESULTS:The present study collected an additional 23 new species records for the Churchill area, increasing the total Trichoptera richness to 91 species. We were able to associate 62 larval taxa, comprising 68.1% of the Churchill area Trichoptera taxa. This endeavor to identify immature life stage for the caddisflies enabled the development of morphological diagnoses, production of photographs and an appropriate taxonomic key to facilitate larval species analyses in the area. CONCLUSIONS:The use of DNA for associations of unknown larvae with known adults proved rapid and successful. This method should accelerate the state-of-knowledge for North American Trichoptera larvae as well as other taxonomic lineages. The morphological analysis should be useful for determination of material from the Churchill area.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The extant roe deer (Capreolus Gray, 1821) includes two species: the European roe deer (C. capreolus) and the Siberian roe deer (C. pygargus) that are distinguished by morphological and karyotypical differences. The Siberian roe deer occupies a vast area of Asia and is considerably less studied than the European roe deer. Modern systematics of the Siberian roe deer remain controversial with 4 morphological subspecies. Roe deer fossilized bones are quite abundant in Denisova cave (Altai Mountains, South Siberia), where dozens of both extant and extinct mammalian species from modern Holocene to Middle Pleistocene have been retrieved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed a 629 bp fragment of the mitochondrial control region from ancient bones of 10 Holocene and four Pleistocene Siberian roe deer from Denisova cave as well as 37 modern specimen belonging to populations from Altai, Tian Shan (Kyrgyzstan), Yakutia, Novosibirsk region and the Russian Far East. Genealogical reconstructions indicated that most Holocene haplotypes were probably ancestral for modern roe deer populations of Western Siberia and Tian Shan. One of the Pleistocene haplotypes was possibly ancestral for modern Yakutian populations, and two extinct Pleistocene haplotypes were close to modern roe deer from Tian Shan and Yakutia. Most modern geographical populations (except for West Siberian Plains) are heterogeneous and there is some tentative evidence for structure. However, we did not find any distinct phylogenetic signal characterizing particular subspecies in either modern or ancient samples. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Analysis of mitochondrial DNA from both ancient and modern samples of Siberian roe deer shed new light on understanding the evolutionary history of roe deer. Our data indicate that during the last 50,000 years multiple replacements of populations of the Siberian roe deer took place in the Altai Mountains correlating with climatic changes. The Siberian roe deer represent a complex and heterogeneous species with high migration rates and without evident subspecies structure. Low genetic diversity of the West Siberian Plain population indicates a recent bottleneck or founder effect.
Project description:East Asia has experienced strong warming since the 1960s accompanied by an increased frequency of heat waves and shrinking glaciers over the Tibetan Plateau and the Tien Shan. Here, we place the recent warmth in a long-term perspective by presenting a new spatially resolved warm-season (May-September) temperature reconstruction for the period 1-2000 CE using 59 multiproxy records from a wide range of East Asian regions. Our Bayesian Hierarchical Model (BHM) based reconstructions generally agree with earlier shorter regional temperature reconstructions but are more stable due to additional temperature sensitive proxies. We find a rather warm period during the first two centuries CE, followed by a multi-century long cooling period and again a warm interval covering the 900-1200 CE period (Medieval Climate Anomaly, MCA). The interval from 1450 to 1850 CE (Little Ice Age, LIA) was characterized by cooler conditions and the last 150 years are characterized by a continuous warming until recent times. Our results also suggest that the 1990s were likely the warmest decade in at least 1200 years. The comparison between an ensemble of climate model simulations and our summer reconstructions since 850 CE shows good agreement and an important role of internal variability and external forcing on multi-decadal time-scales.
Project description:The Tian Shan mountain system is one of the large mountain ranges located in Central Asia. This region is globally recognized as mountain ranges, offering inestimable wealth in fauna and flora with significant biodiversity values. We surveyed macrofungal diversity of Tian Shan in Kyrgyzstan from 2016 to 2018. A collection of macrofungi was made, and these were subjected to sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analysis to ensure the identity of the collected macrofungi. Of those collected, 95 out of 100 specimens were successfully sequenced and compared with those of other related species retrieved from GenBank. The sequenced specimens were classified into 2 phyla, 8 orders, 24 families, 47 genera, and 57 species, based on current taxonomic concepts (combining morphology and phylogeny). To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first well-documented checklist and phylogenetic analysis of macrofungi recovered from the Tian Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan.
Project description:Based on examination of herbarium specimens (including types) and living plants, as well as analysis of protologues and distributions, Parnassia tibetana, P. nubicola subsp. occidentalis, and P. nubicola var. nana are reduced to synonyms of P. nubicola.
Project description:Snow meltwaters account for most of the yearly water budgets of many catchments in High Mountain Asia (HMA). We examine trends in snow water equivalent (SWE) using passive microwave data (1987 to 2009). We find an overall decrease in SWE in HMA, despite regions of increased SWE in the Pamir, Kunlun Shan, Eastern Himalaya, and Eastern Tien Shan. Although the average decline in annual SWE across HMA (contributing area, 2641 × 103 km2) is low (average, -0.3%), annual SWE losses conceal distinct seasonal and spatial heterogeneities across the study region. For example, the Tien Shan has seen both strong increases in winter SWE and sharp declines in spring and summer SWE. In the majority of catchments, the most negative SWE trends are found in mid-elevation zones, which often correspond to the regions of highest snow-water storage and are somewhat distinct from glaciated areas. Negative changes in SWE storage in these mid-elevation zones have strong implications for downstream water availability.
Project description:To determine the origin and time of arrival to Australia of the dingo, 582 bp of the mtDNA control region were analyzed in 211 Australian dingoes sampled in all states of Australia, 676 dogs from all continents, and 38 Eurasian wolves, and 263 bp were analyzed in 19 pre-European archaeological dog samples from Polynesia. We found that all mtDNA sequences among dingoes were either identical to or differing by a single substitution from a single mtDNA type, A29. This mtDNA type, which was present in >50% of the dingoes, was found also among domestic dogs, but only in dogs from East Asia and Arctic America, whereas 18 of the 19 other types were unique to dingoes. The mean genetic distance to A29 among the dingo mtDNA sequences indicates an origin approximately 5,000 years ago. From these results a detailed scenario of the origin and history of the dingo can be derived: dingoes have an origin from domesticated dogs coming from East Asia, possibly in connection with the Austronesian expansion into Island Southeast Asia. They were introduced from a small population of dogs, possibly at a single occasion, and have since lived isolated from other dog populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rhinolophusaffinis sensu lato isdistributed throughout Southeast Asia. The taxonomic status of forms attributed to the species is unclear due to the limited sample size with incomplete datasets and the taxa have high variation in morphology and echolocation call frequency. The aim of the study was to evaluate the distribution and taxonomic status of the subspecific forms of R. affinis in mainland Southeast Asia using large sample size with multiple datasets, including morphological, acoustic, and genetic data, both to elucidate taxonomic relationships and to test for congruence between these datasets. RESULTS:Three morphological forms were confirmed within the region; two concur with previously recognized taxa, namely R.affinis macrurus andR.affinis superans,and are strongly supported by morphological and genetic data. The third form is morphologically distinct, but its taxonomic status remains unclear. It is probable that this third form represents a distinct taxonomic entity; however, more data are required to confirm this. R. a. macrurus is known from the north of peninsular Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam (Indochinese subregion); R. a. superans is found throughout the Thai-Malay Peninsula (Sundaic subregion); whilst the third form is presently known from east central Myanmar (Shan state) and lower northern Vietnam (Nghe An Province). CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that at least three morphological forms occur in mainland Southeast Asia including one form which appears to be new to science. Echolocation call data for R. affinis are not a robust taxonomic tool as it shows a significant degree of variation which is not explained or supported by genetic and morphological findings. This study highlights significant levels of morphological variation in mainland Southeast Asia and provides an essential basis for further studies aiming to understand the population genetics, phylogeography, and taxonomy of the species.