19,543 research outputs found

    Behavioural ecology at the spatial‚Äďsocial interface

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    Spatial and social behaviour are fundamental aspects of an animal's biology, and their social and spatial environments are indelibly linked through mutual causes and shared consequences. We define the 'spatial-social interface' as intersection of social and spatial aspects of individuals' phenotypes and environments. Behavioural variation at the spatial-social interface has implications for ecological and evolutionary processes including pathogen transmission, population dynamics, and the evolution of social systems. We link spatial and social processes through a foundation of shared theory, vocabulary, and methods. We provide examples and future directions for the integration of spatial and social behaviour and environments. We introduce key concepts and approaches that either implicitly or explicitly integrate social and spatial processes, for example, graph theory, density-dependent habitat selection, and niche specialization. Finally, we discuss how movement ecology helps link the spatial-social interface. Our review integrates social and spatial behavioural ecology and identifies testable hypotheses at the spatial-social interface

    Genomic and vaccine preclinical studies reveal a novel mouse-adapted Helicobacter pylori model for the hpEastAsia genotype in Southeast Asia

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    \ua9 2024 Crown Copyright.Introduction. Helicobacter pylori infection is a major global health concern, linked to the development of various gastrointestinal diseases, including gastric cancer. To study the pathogenesis of H. pylori and develop effective intervention strategies, appropriate animal pathogen models that closely mimic human infection are essential. Gap statement. This study focuses on the understudied hpEastAsia genotype in Southeast Asia, a region marked by a high H. pylori infection rate. No mouse-adapted model strains has been reported previously. Moreover, it recognizes the urgent requirement for vaccines in developing countries, where overuse of antimicrobials is fuelling the emergence of resistance. Aim. This study aims to establish a novel mouse-adapted H. pylori model specific to the hpEastAsia genotype prevalent in Southeast Asia, focusing on comparative genomic and histopathological analysis of pathogens coupled with vaccine preclinical studies. Methodology. We collected and sequenced the whole genome of clinical strains of H. pylori from infected patients in Vietnam and performed comparative genomic analyses of H. pylori strains in Southeast Asia. In parallel, we conducted preclinical studies to assess the pathogenicity of the mouse-adapted H. pylori strain and the protective effect of a new spore-vectored vaccine candidate on male Mlac:ICR mice and the host immune response in a female C57BL/6 mouse model. Results. Genome sequencing and comparison revealed unique and common genetic signatures, antimicrobial resistance genes and virulence factors in strains HP22 and HP34; and supported clarithromycin-resistant HP34 as a representation of the hpEastAsia genotype in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. HP34-infected mice exhibited gastric inflammation, epithelial erosion and dysplastic changes that closely resembled the pathology observed in human H. pylori infection. Furthermore, comprehensive immunological characterization demonstrated a robust host immune response, including both mucosal and systemic immune responses. Oral vaccination with candidate vaccine formulations elicited a significant reduction in bacterial colonization in the model. Conclusion. Our findings demonstrate the successful development of a novel mouse-adapted H. pylori model for the hpEastAsia genotype in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Our research highlights the distinctive genotype and pathogenicity of clinical H. pylori strains in the region, laying the foundation for targeted interventions to address this global health burden

    In search of animal normativity : a framework for studying social norms in non-human animals

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    Funding: K. A. and E. W. were supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation through the Diverse Intelligence initiative. K. A. was supported by SSHRC 435-2022-0749. S. F. B. was supported by NSF 2127375, NSF SES 1919305, and TWCF0471. T. G. was supported by Swiss National Science Foundation PCEFP1_186832. C. H. was supported by European Union's 8th Framework Programme, Horizon 2020 802719. L. M. H. was supported by NIH U42 OD013117-15A. C. K. was supported by TWCF-20647 and the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program. L. V. L. was supported by the Max Planck Society. J. T. was supported by NIH R21 MH129902 and NIH R01 AG071173.Social norms ‚Äď rules governing which behaviours are deemed appropriate or inappropriate within a given community ‚Äď are typically taken to be uniquely human. Recently, this position has been challenged by a number of philosophers, cognitive scientists, and ethologists, who have suggested that social norms may also be found in certain non-human animal communities. Such claims have elicited considerable scepticism from norm cognition researchers, who doubt that any non-human animals possess the psychological capacities necessary for normative cognition. However, there is little agreement among these researchers about what these psychological prerequisites are. This makes empirical study of animal social norms difficult, since it is not clear what we are looking for and thus what should count as behavioural evidence for the presence (or absence) of social norms in animals. To break this impasse, we offer an approach that moves beyond contested psychological criteria for social norms. This approach is inspired by the animal culture research program, which has made a similar shift away from heavily psychological definitions of ‚Äėculture‚Äô to become organised around a cluster of more empirically tractable concepts of culture. Here, we propose an analogous set of constructs built around the core notion of a normative regularity, which we define as a socially maintained pattern of behavioural conformity within a community. We suggest methods for studying potential normative regularities in wild and captive primates. We also discuss the broader scientific and philosophical implications of this research program with respect to questions of human uniqueness, animal welfare and conservation.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Comparison of force variables and dynamic strength index between age groups in elite young Brazilian football goalkeepers

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    Introduction: The application of muscle force is a determinant of football success as it is inherent to the motor control and sport. The aims of this study are: (1) to describe force variables Isometric Maximal Force (IMF), Concentric Peak Force (CPPF), and Dynamic Strength Index (DSI) in football goalkeepers from different age groups; (2) to compare these variables‚Äô behavior between those groups. Methods: The sample was formed by 19 youth players (15.97‚ÄȬĪ‚ÄČ1.55 years old) from a first-division Brazilian football team. The CPPF and IMF variables were obtained through the Countermovement jump and isometric squat tests, respectively. For data collection, a force plate (Cefise, Brazil) was used with an acquisition frequency of 600‚ÄÖHz and mono-axial. The DSI was calculated using the ratio between CPPF and IMF. For data analysis, the sample was separated into clusters by age. After the grouping, a descriptive analysis of the data and a comparison between the groups with p‚ÄČ<‚ÄČ0.05. Results: The sample was grouped into three groups (GA, GB, and GC) and one of the individuals did not enter the group, totaling 18 individuals in the analyzed sample. The comparison between the ages of the groups showed a significant difference and small and moderate effect size (ES), validating the cluster strategy. The CPPF and IMF variables showed increased values according to chronological age. CPPF showed a significant difference between GA-GB, (ES‚ÄČ=‚ÄČvery large) GA-GC (ES‚ÄČ=‚ÄČvery large), and GB-GC (ES‚ÄČ=‚ÄČmoderate). The IMF variable had significant differences between GA-GB (ES‚ÄČ=‚ÄČmoderate) and GA-GC (ES‚ÄČ=‚ÄČvery large). However, DSI showed significant differences only between GA GB (ES‚ÄČ=‚ÄČsmall) and GB-GC (ES‚ÄČ=‚ÄČvery large). Conclusions: The CPPF and IMF variables had constant increases and distinct values with an increase according to age, and this did not occur for DSI. The difference between CPPF and IMF compared to DSI bring to light the variability in dynamics and proportionality between muscular force in the concentric phase and maximal force in the isometric regime during the developmental process over chronological age in soccer goalkeepers.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Advanced sequencing technologies applied to human cytomegalovirus

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    The betaherpesvirus human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous viral pathogen. It is the most common cause of congenital infection in infants and of opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients worldwide. The large double-stranded DNA genome of HCMV (236 kb) contains several genes that exhibit a high degree of variation among strains within an otherwise highly conserved sequence. These hypervariable genes encode immune escape, tropism or regulatory factors that may affect virulence. Variation arising from these genes and from an evolutionary history of recombination between strains has been hypothesised to be linked to disease severity. To investigate this, the HCMV genome has been scrutinised in detail over the years using a variety of molecular techniques, most looking only at one or a few of these genes at a time. The advent of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technology 20 years ago then started to enable more in-depth whole-genome analyses. My study extends this field by using both HTS and the more recently developed long-read nanopore technology to determine HCMV genome sequences directly from clinical samples. Firstly, I used an Illumina HTS pipeline to sequence HCMV strains directly from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. FFPE samples are a valuable repository for the study of relatively rare diseases, such as congenital HCMV (cCMV). However, formalin fixation induces DNA fragmentation and cross-linking, making this a challenging sample type for DNA sequencing. I successfully sequenced five whole HCMV genomes from FFPE tissues. Next, I developed a pipeline utilising the single-molecule, long-read sequencer from Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) to sequence HCMV initially from high-titre cellcultured laboratory strains and then from clinical samples with high HCMV loads. Finally, I utilised a direct RNA sequencing protocol with the ONT sequencer to characterise novel HCMV transcripts produced during infection in cell culture, demonstrating the existence of transcript isoforms with multiple splice sites. Overall, my findings demonstrate how advanced sequencing technologies can be used to characterise the genome and transcriptome of a large DNA virus, and will facilitate future studies on HCMV prognostic factors, novel antiviral targets and vaccine development

    An amplicon-based nanopore sequencing workflow for rapid tracking of avian influenza outbreaks, France, 2020-2022

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    During the recent avian influenza epizootics that occurred in France in 2020/21 and 2021/22, the virus was so contagiousness that it was impossible to control its spread between farms. The preventive slaughter of millions of birds consequently was the only solution available. In an effort to better understand the spread of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in a rapid and innovative manner, we established an amplicon-based MinION sequencing workflow for the rapid genetic typing of circulating AIV strains. An amplicon-based MinION sequencing workflow based on a set of PCR primers targeting primarily the hemagglutinin gene but also the entire influenza virus genome was developed. Thirty field samples from H5 HPAIV outbreaks in France, including environmental samples, were sequenced using the MinION MK1C. A real-time alignment of the sequences with MinKNOW software allowed the sequencing run to be stopped as soon as enough data were generated. The consensus sequences were then generated and a phylogenetic analysis was conducted to establish links between the outbreaks. The whole sequence of the hemagglutinin gene was obtained for the 30 clinical samples of H5Nx HPAIV belonging to clade The consensus sequences comparison and the phylogenetic analysis demonstrated links between some outbreaks. While several studies have shown the advantages of MinION for avian influenza virus sequencing, this workflow has been applied exclusively to clinical field samples, without any amplification step on cell cultures or embryonated eggs. As this type of testing pipeline requires only a short amount of time to link outbreaks or demonstrate a new introduction, it could be applied to the real-time management of viral epizootics

    Minimal impacts of invasive Scaevola taccada on Scaevola plumieri via pollinator competition in Puerto Rico

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    IntroductionScaevola taccada and Scaevola plumieri co-occur on shorelines of the Caribbean. Scaevola taccada is introduced in this habitat and directly competes with native dune vegetation, including S. plumieri, a species listed as locally endangered and threatened in Caribbean locations. This study addresses whether the invasive S. taccada also impacts the native S. plumieri indirectly by competing for pollinators and represents the first comparative study of insect visitation between these species.MethodsInsect visitation rates were measured at sites where species co-occur and where only the native occurs. Where species cooccur, insect visitors were captured, identified and analyzed for the pollen they carry. Pollen found on open-pollinated flowers was analyzed to assess pollen movement between the two species. We also compared floral nectar from each species by measuring volume, sugar content, and presence and proportions of amine group containing constituents (AGCCs).ResultsOur results demonstrate that both species share insect visitors providing the context for possible pollinator competition, yet significant differences in visitation frequency were not found. We found evidence of asymmetrical heterospecific pollen deposition in the native species, suggesting a possible reproductive impact. Insect visitation rates for the native were not significantly different between invaded and uninvaded sites, suggesting that the invasive S. taccada does not limit pollinator visits to S. plumieri. Comparisons of nectar rewards from the invasive and the native reveal similar volumes and sugar concentrations, but significant differences in some amine group containing constituents that may enhance pollinator attraction.ConclusionOur analysis finds no evidence for pollination competition and therefore S. taccada’s main impacts on S. plumieri are through competitive displacement and possibly through reproductive impacts as a consequence of heterospecific pollen deposition

    Intraspecific variation in invertebrate cognition: a review

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    A well-established field of research in vertebrates focuses on the variability of cognitive abilities within species. From mammals to fish, numerous studies have revealed remarkable differences in the cognitive phenotype among individuals, particularly in terms of sex or personality. However, many aspects of the mechanisms, genetics, and selective pressures that underlie individual cognitive variation remain unclear. Surprisingly, intraspecific variability in cognition has received much less attention in invertebrates, despite the increasing evidence of remarkable cognitive abilities in this group and the insights that could be gained from examining simultaneously two distinct taxa, namely vertebrates and invertebrates. In this review, we provide evidence that certain invertebrate species exhibit all the key features of cognitive variation observed in vertebrates, including differences related to sex and personality. In many cases, invertebrate studies have provided insights into the genetic basis, evolvability and response to selection of cognitive variability. Moreover, we highlight evidence for caste differences in eusocial insects, which are linked to task specialisation within the colony. This makes insect eusociality a valuable system for understanding how selection influences cognitive variation. We propose that cognitive variation in invertebrates may be more widespread than currently thought, and that selection may operate in a similar manner on two distantly related cognitive systems (vertebrates and invertebrates). Finally, we suggest that invertebrates hold the potential to serve both as alternative and complementary models to vertebrates, contributing to a deeper understanding of cognitive evolution

    Comprehensive phenomic and genomic studies of the species, Pectobacterium cacticida and proposal for reclassification as Alcorniella cacticida comb. nov

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    IntroductionPectobacterium cacticida was identified as the causative agent of soft rot disease in cacti. Due to a high potential of spread in the face of global warming, the species poses a significant threat to horticultural and crop industry. The aim of this study was to revise the genomic, physiology and virulence characteristics of P. cacticida and update its phylogenetic position within the Pectobacterium genus.MethodsWhole genome sequences of five P. cacticida strains were obtained and subjected to comprehensive genomic and phylogenomic data analyses. We assessed the presence of virulence determinants and genes associated with host and environmental adaptation. Lipidomic analysis, as well as biochemical and phenotypic assays were performed to correlate genomic findings.ResultsPhylogenomic analysis revealed that P. cacticida forms a distinct lineage within the Pectobacterium genus. Genomic evaluation uncovered 516 unique proteins, most of which were involved in cellular metabolism. They included genes of carbohydrate metabolism and transport and ABC transporters. The main differing characteristics from other Pectobacterium species were the lack of a myo-inositol degradation pathway and the presence of the malonate decarboxylase gene. All tested strains were pathogenic towards Opuntia spp., chicory, Chinese cabbage, and potato, but exhibited only mild pathogenicity towards carrot.DiscussionThis study sheds light into the genomic characteristics of P. cacticida and highlights the pathogenic potential of the species. Unique genes found in P. cacticida genomes possibly enhance the species’ survival and virulence. Based on phylogenomic analyses, we propose the reclassification of P. cacticida to a new genus, Alcorniella comb. nov
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