Project description:Pachyrhinuslethierryi (Desbrochers des Loges, 1875) is a Mediterranean weevil species that has become remarkably well known as a result of a series of recent introductions across Western and Central Europe. This species has recently reached Asia Minor and the Crimean Peninsula, as confirmed by several new records. The vectors of invasion in Crimea and possible further expansion are suggested.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The incidence and area of arbovirus infections is increasing around the world. It is largely linked to the spread of the main arbovirus vectors, invasive mosquito of the genus <i>Aedes.</i> Previously, it has been reported that <i>Aedes aegypti</i> reemerged in Russia after a 50-year absence. Moreover, in 2011, <i>Ae. albopictus</i> was registered in the city of Sochi (South Russia, Black Sea coast) for the first time. In 2013, Asian <i>Ae. koreicus</i> was found in Sochi for the first time.<h4>Methods</h4>Mosquitoes were collected using the following methods: larvae with a dip net, imago on volunteers and using bait traps. The mosquitoes were identified using both morphology and sequencing of the second internal transcribed spacer of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene cluster.<h4>Results</h4>In August 2016, <i>Ae. koreicus</i> larvae and imago and a single male of <i>Ae. aegypti</i> were found on the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula, where they were not registered before. Newly obtained DNA sequences were registered in GenBank with the accession numbers MF072936 and MF072937.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Detection of invasive mosquito species (<i>Ae. aegypti</i> and <i>Ae. koreicus</i>) implies the possibility of their area expansion. Intensive surveillance is required at the Crimean Peninsula to evaluate the potential for the introduction of vector-borne diseases.
Project description:Karst springs in the Main Range of the Crimean Mountains and the Crimean Piedmont show a restricted range of values (δ18O = -10.5 to -8.0 ‰, δ2H = -72 to -58 ‰), somewhat more negative than the weighted mean of meteoric precipitation. This suggests preferential recharge at higher elevations during winter months. Groundwater tapped by boreholes splits in three groups. A first group has isotopic properties similar to those of the springs. The second group shows significantly lower values (δ18O = -13.3 to -12.0 ‰, δ2H = -95 to -82 ‰), suggesting recharge during colder Pleistocene times. The third group has high isotope values (δ18O = -2.5 to +1.0 ‰, δ2H = -24 to -22 ‰); the data points are shifted to the right of the Local Meteoric Water Line, suggesting water-rock exchange processes in the aquifer. These boreholes are located in the Crimean Plains and discharge mineralized (ca. 25 g L-1) thermal (65°C) water from a depth of 1600-1800 m. Groundwater associated with mud volcanoes on the Kerch peninsula have distinct isotope characteristics (δ18O = -1.6 to +9.4 ‰, δ2H = -30 to -18 ‰). Restricted δ2H variability along with variable and high δ18O values suggest water-rock interactions at temperatures exceeding 95 °C.
Project description:The occurrence of Mediterranean fever with periods of increase and decrease has been recorded in the Crimean peninsula. The city of Sevastopol and its vicinity are known endemic areas for this disease. Some of the most active agents in the spread of this rickettsiosis are feral and abandoned dogs. The aim of this study was to test ticks parasitizing dogs in Sevastopol for the presence of Rickettsia using molecular methods. The testing of ticks was carried out using real-time PCR and the 'Real Best DNA Rickettsia species' kit (AO 'Vector-Best') followed by sequence identification of the rickettsial DNA detected. The DNA marker for Rickettsia species (a conservative area of citrate synthase gene, gltA) was detected in 16 of 84 (19.1%) samples of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks tested. Larger fragments of gltA, ompA and sca4 were amplified and sequenced for 10 of 16 PCR-positive samples. Rickettsia DNA amplified from eight of the samples matched the sequence of Rickettsia conorii conorii Malish, the causative agent of Mediterranean fever. The sequences of Rickettsia DNA from two other ticks had the closest match to homologous fragments of Rickettsia massiliae, a pathogenic spotted fever rickettsia that was identified in the Crimean Peninsula for the first time as part of this study. The detection of two pathogenic species of Rickettsia in the studied ticks suggests the potential for two rickettsial diseases in the region and warrants further epidemiological and clinical studies.
Project description:A dataset comprising 6806 records is presented of 17 (of total 24) rodent and insectivore species from the Crimean Peninsula collected during a 35-year period. All records are stored in the Public Mammal Database (Mammals of Russia; http://rusmam.ru/). The density of occurrence points allows visual evaluation of species distribution, even on large-scale maps. Each record contains the species name, locality description, and geographic coordinates, coordinate accuracy, date and author of the record, data source, and the method of species identification.
Project description:Resident microbial communities living on amphibian skin can have significant effects on host health, yet the basic ecology of the host-microbiome relationship of many amphibian taxa is poorly understood. We characterized intraspecific variation in the skin microbiome of the salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica, a subspecies composed of four genetically distinct populations distributed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, USA. We found that salamanders from four geographically and genetically isolated populations harbor similar skin microbial communities, which are dominated by a common core set of bacterial taxa. Additionally, within a population, the skin microbiome does not appear to differ significantly between salamanders of different ages or sexes. In all cases, the salamander skin microbiomes were significantly different from those of the surrounding terrestrial environment. These results suggest that the relationship between E. e. xanthoptica salamanders and their resident skin microbiomes is conserved, possibly indicating a stable mutualism between the host and microbiome.
Project description:This investigation compared the microbiomes colonizing teeth during the initiation, progression, and resolution of periodontitis in nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta) at different ages. Subgingival plaque samples were collected at baseline; 0.5, 1, and 3?months following ligature-induced periodontitis; and following naturally occurring disease resolution at 5?months. Samples were analyzed using 16S amplicon sequencing to identify bacterial profiles across age groups: young (<3 years of age), adolescent (3 to 7 years), adult (12 to 15 years), and aged (17 to 23 years). ?-Diversity of the microbiomes was greater in the adult/aged samples than in the young/adolescent samples. ?-Diversity of the samples demonstrated clear age group differences, albeit individual variation in microbiomes between animals within the age categories was noted. Phylum distributions differed between the young/adolescent animals and the adult/aged animals at each of the time points, showing an enrichment of the phyla Spirochetes, Fusobacteria, and Bacteroidetes associated with periodontitis. Major differences in the top 50 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were noted in the young and adolescent microbiomes during initiation and progression postligation compared to the adult and aged animals. The proportions of a large number of species in the top 50 OTUs were lower at baseline and in resolved disease microbiomes in the young samples, while profiles in adolescent animals were more consistent with the disease microbiomes. Microbiome profiles for resolution for adults and aged animals appeared more resilient and generally maintained a pattern similar to that of disease. Use of the model can expand our understanding of the crucial interactions of the oral microbiome and host responses in periodontitis.
Project description:The effects of ice ages on speciation have been well documented for many European and North American taxa. In contrast, very few studies have addressed the consequences of such environmental and topographical changes in North East Asian species. More precisely, the Korean Peninsula offers a unique model to assess patterns and processes of speciation as it hosts the northern- and eastern-most distribution limit of some widespread Asian taxa. Despite this, studies addressing phylogeographic patterns and population genetics in the peninsula and surrounding countries are few and studies for most families are lacking. Here we inferred the phylogenetic relationships of the common toad (Bufo gargarizans) from South Korea and their North East Asian counterpart populations, based on mitochondrial data. Korean B. gargarizans GenBank BLASTs matched few individuals from nearby China, but the presence of a Korean clade suggests isolation on the Korean Peninsula, previous to the last glacial maximum, linked to sea level resurgence. Molecular clock calibrations within this group were used to date the divergence between clades and their relationship to paleo-climatic events in the area. Lack of genetic structure among South Korean populations and strong homogeneity between the Korean and some Chinese localities suggest weak isolation and recent expansion. Geographical projection of continuous coalescent maximum-clade-credibility trees shows an original Chinese expansion towards the Korean Peninsula through the Yellow Sea circa two million years ago with colonisation events dating circa 800 thousand years ago (K. y. a.). Following this colonisation, the data point to outgoing Korean Peninsula dispersal events throughout different periods, towards the North through land, and West through land bridge formations over the Yellow Sea during sea level falls. In accordance, demographic analyses revealed a population expansion in the Koran Peninsula circa 300 K. y. a., likely attributed to glacial cycle fluctuations.
Project description:Milk is inhabited by a community of bacteria and is one of the first postnatal sources of microbial exposure for mammalian young. Bacteria in breast milk may enhance immune development, improve intestinal health, and stimulate the gut-brain axis for infants. Variation in milk microbiome structure (e.g., operational taxonomic unit [OTU] diversity, community composition) may lead to different infant developmental outcomes. Milk microbiome structure may depend on evolutionary processes acting at the host species level and ecological processes occurring over lactation time, among others. We quantified milk microbiomes using 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing for nine primate species and for six primate mothers sampled over lactation. Our data set included humans (Homo sapiens, Philippines and USA) and eight nonhuman primate species living in captivity (bonobo [Pan paniscus], chimpanzee [Pan troglodytes], western lowland gorilla [Gorilla gorilla gorilla], Bornean orangutan [Pongo pygmaeus], Sumatran orangutan [Pongo abelii], rhesus macaque [Macaca mulatta], owl monkey [Aotus nancymaae]) and in the wild (mantled howler monkey [Alouatta palliata]). For a subset of the data, we paired microbiome data with nutrient and hormone assay results to quantify the effect of milk chemistry on milk microbiomes. We detected a core primate milk microbiome of seven bacterial OTUs indicating a robust relationship between these bacteria and primate species. Milk microbiomes differed among primate species with rhesus macaques, humans and mantled howler monkeys having notably distinct milk microbiomes. Gross energy in milk from protein and fat explained some of the variations in microbiome composition among species. Microbiome composition changed in a predictable manner for three primate mothers over lactation time, suggesting that different bacterial communities may be selected for as the infant ages. Our results contribute to understanding ecological and evolutionary relationships between bacteria and primate hosts, which can have applied benefits for humans and endangered primates in our care.
Project description:Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a zoonosis mainly transmitted by ticks that causes severe hemorrhagic fever and has a mortality rate of 5-60%. The first outbreak of CCHF occurred in the Crimean peninsula in 1944-45 and it has recently emerged in the Balkans and eastern Mediterranean. In order to reconstruct the origin and pathway of the worldwide dispersion of the virus at global and regional (eastern European) level, we investigated the phylogeography of the infection by analysing 121 publicly available CCHFV S gene sequences including two recently characterised Albanian isolates. The spatial and temporal phylogeny was reconstructed using a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo approach, which estimated a mean evolutionary rate of 2.96 x 10(-4) (95%HPD=1.6 and 4.7 x 10(-4)) substitutions/site/year for the analysed fragment. All of the isolates segregated into seven highly significant clades that correspond to the known geographical clades: in particular the two new isolates from northern Albania clustered significantly within the Europe 1 clade. Our phylogeographical reconstruction suggests that the global CCHFV clades originated about one thousand years ago from a common ancestor probably located in Africa. The virus then spread to Asia in the XV century and entered Europe on at least two occasions: the first in the early 1800s, when a still circulating but less or non-pathogenic virus emerged in Greece and Turkey, and the second in the early 1900s, when a pathogenic CCHFV strain began to spread in eastern Europe. The most probable location for the origin of this European clade 1 was Russia, but Turkey played a central role in spreading the virus throughout Europe. Given the close proximity of the infected areas, our data suggest that the movement of wild and domestic ungulates from endemic areas was probably the main cause of the dissemination of the virus in eastern Europe.