Defining intraspecific conservation units in the endemic Cuban Rock Iguanas (Cyclura nubila nubila).
ABSTRACT: Defining conservation units is an important step in species management and requires interpretation of the genetic diversity and ecological function of the taxon being considered. We used the endemic Cuban Rock Iguanas (Cyclura nubila nubila) as a model to highlight this challenge and examined patterns of its intraspecific genetic diversity across Cuba. We evaluated nuclear (microsatellite loci) and mitochondrial diversity across eight populations from the island and its off-shore cays, and applied the population genetics results for assignment of Management Unit (MU) status and Evolutionary Significant Units (ESUs) based on phylogeographic and time of divergence information. We identified at least six distinct Cuban Rock Iguana MUs, encompassing demographically isolated and genetically differentiated populations across Cuba, most with low effective population size, declining populations, and with high risk of inbreeding and genetic drift. Hence, each MU should be considered of urgent conservation priority. Given the key ecological seed dispersal role of C. n. nubila, the disappearance of any MU could trigger the loss of local ecological functional diversity and major negative impacts on their ecosystems. Two divergent ESUs were also identified, exhibiting an historical east-west geographic separation on Cuba. Based on a Caribbean phylogeographic assessment, our findings strengthen the conclusion that all geographically and evolutionarily differentiated Cyclura species and subspecies across the archipelago warrant ESU distinction.
Project description:The emergence of new infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) genotypes or serotypes along with the poor cross-protection observed among IBV serotypes have complicated the avian infectious bronchitis (IB) control programs in different geographic regions. In Cuba, the lack of genetic information regarding IBV and the increasing epidemiological importance of this virus in Cuban chicken flocks demand further characterization of IBV isolates. In the present work, studies of genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among recent IBV isolates from Cuban chicken flocks showing respiratory disorders were performed. Two putative genotypes genetically different to the Massachusetts genotype H120 strain used in the Cuban vaccination program were found in the flocks assessed. In addition, a potential nephropathogenic IBV isolate was found by first time in Cuba.
Project description:The genus Apodrosus Marshall is newly recorded for, and revised for Cuba. Nine new species are recognized as follows: Apodrosus alberti (type locality, Granma, Parque Nacional Pico Turquino), A. alternatus (type locality, Guantánamo, El Yunque), A. franklyni (type locality, Cienfuegos, Parque Nacional Pico San Juan), A. griseus (type locality, Santiago de Cuba, Siboney-Jutici Ecological Reserve), A. mensurensis (type locality, Holguin, Parque Nacional La Mensura-Piloto), A. pseudoalternatus (type locality, Matanzas, Varahicacos), A. beckeli (type locality, Guantánamo, 8 km W. Imias), A. sandersoni (type locality, Guantánamo, Loma Lafarola), and A. zayasi (type locality, Cienfuegos, Parque Nacional Pico San Juan). A key for their identification, descriptions, summaries of natural history information and data on distributions are presented. A molecular phylogeny based on 11 species of Apodrosus from Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico is reconstructed. A sister group relationship between Polydrusus and Apodrosus is recovered with a limited sampling of the former genus. The monophyly of Apodrosus is recovered with strong support. Cuban Apodrosus are not monophyletic. Five of the six sampled Cuban species form a clade, sister to an undescribed Apodrosus species from the Dominican Republic; and, Apodrosus alternatus is sister to A. quisqueyanus Girón & Franz, 2010, a species from the Dominican Republic. Biogeographic implications for Cuban species are discussed in light of the phylogeny.
Project description:To mitigate the movement of non-native organisms with trade, phytosanitary systems have been implemented within and between countries. In some countries such as Cuba, little is known about the within-state plant health system. To facilitate the development of future trade partnership between Cuba and the United States, agencies need to understand the organizational structure and diagnostic capacity of the Cuban Plant Protection System, identify potential synergies between the United States and Cuban systems, and identify steps towards cooperation. This paper fills this critical void by presenting a descriptive analysis of the plant health system in Cuba. Information was integrated from available literature, informal interviews with Cuban experts, and workshops focused on Cuban policies, risk, and potential collaboration attended by Cuban and American experts. We identify the next practical steps in improving cooperation, including building trust and capacity. Mutual understanding of phytosanitary systems will be crucial for the regional economic and environmental stability of a post-embargo United States-Cuban relationship.
Project description:The Cuban fauna of the genus Berosus Leach, 1817 is reviewed based on newly collected material as well as historical and type specimens. Nine species are recognized, including three recorded from Cuba for the first time: Berosus infuscatus LeConte, 1855, Berosus interstitialis Knisch, 1924 (= Berosus stribalus Orchymont, 1946 syn. n.) and Berosus metalliceps Sharp, 1882. Only one of the nine Cuban species, Berosus chevrolati, remains endemic to Cuba, as two other species previously considered as endemic to Cuba are recorded from elsewhere: Berosus quadridens from Mexico and Central America and Berosus trilobus from the Dominican Republic. Notes on biology and Cuban distribution are provided for all nine species. Berosus quadridens Chevrolat, 1863, stat. restit. is removed from synonym with Berosus truncatipennis and considered a valid species.
Project description:This study identifies and describes the changes introduced in Cuba's constitutional and legal framework, and the country's economic and social policy between 2015 and 2020, in terms of the effects on access to health. The conceptual map of public health and intellectual property in Cuba was also updated. A document search for the time period of the study was conducted in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba and on the webpages of the Cuban Office of Industrial Property, Cuban government agencies, and the Cuban Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries group (BioCubaFarma). The updated conceptual map reflects amendments to the new Constitution of the Republic of Cuba adopted in 2019, updated guidelines on economic and social policy for the quinquennium 2016-2021, and laws, decrees, and legal provisions adopted in the period 2015-2020 in relation to intellectual property. The approved policy on the industrial property system was strengthened with specific legislation to protect industrial property, especially for the protection of the results obtained by the Cuban biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. The changes reflected in the updated conceptual map favor interactions and synergy among the various actors that affect the Cuban population's access to health in the broadest sense.
Project description:Cuba has been largely absent in academic and policy discourse on global health security, yet Cuba's history of medical internationalism and its domestic health system have much to offer contemporary global health security debates. In this paper, we examine what we identify as key traits of Cuban health security, as they play out on both international and domestic fronts. We argue that Cuba demonstrates a strong health security capacity, both in terms of its health systems support and crisis response activities internationally, and its domestic disease control activities rooted in an integrated health system with a focus on universal healthcare. Health security in Cuba, however, also faces challenges. These concern Cuba's visibility and participation in the broader global health security architecture, the social controls exercised by the state in managing disease threats in Cuban territory, and the resource constraints facing the island-in particular, the effects of the US embargo. While Cuba does not frame its disease control activities within the discourse of health security, we argue that the Cuban case demonstrates that it is possible to make strides to improve capacity for health security in resource-constrained settings. The successes and challenges facing health security in Cuba, moreover, provide points of reflection relevant to the pursuit of health security globally and are thus worth further consideration in broader health security discussions.
Project description:Cuba is the most populated country in the Caribbean and has a rich and heterogeneous genetic heritage. Here, we take advantage of dense genomic data from 860 Cuban individuals to reconstruct the genetic structure and ancestral origins of this population. We found distinct admixture patterns between and within the Cuban provinces. Eastern provinces have higher African and Native American ancestry contributions (average 26% and 10%, respectively) than the rest of the Cuban provinces (average 17% and 5%, respectively). Furthermore, in the Eastern Cuban region, we identified more intense sex-specific admixture patterns, strongly biased towards European male and African/Native American female ancestries. Our subcontinental ancestry analyses in Cuba highlight the Iberian population as the best proxy European source population, South American and Mesoamerican populations as the closest Native American ancestral component, and populations from West Central and Central Africa as the best proxy sources of the African ancestral component. Finally, we found complex admixture processes involving two migration pulses from both Native American and African sources. Most of the inferred Native American admixture events happened early during the Cuban colonial period, whereas the African admixture took place during the slave trade and more recently as a probable result of large-scale migrations from Haiti.
Project description:The global network of scientific collaboration created by researchers opens new opportunities for developing countries to engage in the process of knowledge creation historically lead by institutions in the developed world. The results discussed here explore how Cubans working in European science and technology might contribute to extending the scientific collaboration of the country through their ties with Cuban institutions mainly in the academic sector. A bibliometric method was used to explore the pattern of collaboration of Cuban researchers in Europe using the institutional affiliation of authors and collaborators. The records of scientific publications of the defined sample were obtained from Scopus database for the period between 1995 and 2014. The network of collaboration was generated using the affiliations of Cuban authors in Europe and co-authors with worldwide affiliations shown in the records of publications of each Cuban researcher of the study. The analysis of aggregate values of the output of Cuban researchers in Europe (1995-2014) reveals that their collaboration with Cuba correlates moderately with their performance in Europe. However, when taking into account their time publishing in Europe, the collaboration with Cuba decreases the longer they remain away from home. The network of collaborating Cuban researchers in Europe comprises 991 different affiliations from 58 countries: 698 from Europe, 118 from North America, 96 from Latin America and 79 from the rest of the world. K-core analysis of centrality shows two Cuban universities sharing the central position with another 24 institutions worldwide of which 18 belong to higher education.
Project description:Infectious bursal disease is a highly contagious and acute viral disease caused by the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV); it affects all major poultry producing areas of the world. The current study was designed to rigorously measure the global phylogeographic dynamics of IBDV strains to gain insight into viral population expansion as well as the emergence, spread and pattern of the geographical structure of very virulent IBDV (vvIBDV) strains.Sequences of the hyper-variable region of the VP2 (HVR-VP2) gene from IBDV strains isolated from diverse geographic locations were obtained from the GenBank database; Cuban sequences were obtained in the current work. All sequences were analysed by Bayesian phylogeographic analysis, implemented in the Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis Sampling Trees (BEAST), Bayesian Tip-association Significance testing (BaTS) and Spatial Phylogenetic Reconstruction of Evolutionary Dynamics (SPREAD) software packages. Selection pressure on the HVR-VP2 was also assessed. The phylogeographic association-trait analysis showed that viruses sampled from individual countries tend to cluster together, suggesting a geographic pattern for IBDV strains. Spatial analysis from this study revealed that strains carrying sequences that were linked to increased virulence of IBDV appeared in Iran in 1981 and spread to Western Europe (Belgium) in 1987, Africa (Egypt) around 1990, East Asia (China and Japan) in 1993, the Caribbean Region (Cuba) by 1995 and South America (Brazil) around 2000. Selection pressure analysis showed that several codons in the HVR-VP2 region were under purifying selection.To our knowledge, this work is the first study applying the Bayesian phylogeographic reconstruction approach to analyse the emergence and spread of vvIBDV strains worldwide.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that the HIV-1 epidemic in Cuba displayed a complex molecular epidemiologic profile with circulation of several subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRF); but the evolutionary and population history of those viral variants remains unknown. HIV-1 pol sequences of the most prevalent Cuban lineages (subtypes B, C and G, CRF18_cpx, CRF19_cpx, and CRFs20/23/24_BG) isolated between 1999 and 2011 were analyzed. Maximum-likelihood analyses revealed multiple introductions of subtype B (n?66), subtype C (n?10), subtype G (n?8) and CRF18_cpx (n?2) viruses in Cuba. The bulk of HIV-1 infections in this country, however, was caused by dissemination of a few founder strains probably introduced from North America/Europe (clades B(CU-I) and B(CU-II)), east Africa (clade C(CU-I)) and central Africa (clades G(CU), CRF18(CU) and CRF19(CU)), or locally generated (clades CRFs20/23/24_BG). Bayesian-coalescent analyses show that the major HIV-1 founder strains were introduced into Cuba during 1985-1995; whereas the CRFs_BG strains emerged in the second half of the 1990s. Most HIV-1 Cuban clades appear to have experienced an initial period of fast exponential spread during the 1990s and early 2000s, followed by a more recent decline in growth rate. The median initial growth rate of HIV-1 Cuban clades ranged from 0.4 year?¹ to 1.6 year?¹. Thus, the HIV-1 epidemic in Cuba has been a result of the successful introduction of a few viral strains that began to circulate at a rather late time of the AIDS pandemic, but then were rapidly disseminated through local transmission networks.