[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herbivore-parasitoid interactions must be studied using a multitrophic and multispecies approach. The strength and direction of multiple effects through trophic levels may change across spatial scales. In this work, we use the herbaceous plant Ruellia nudiflora, its moth herbivore Tripudia quadrifera, and several parasitoid morphospecies that feed on the herbivore to answer the following questions: Do herbivore and parasitoid attack levels vary depending on the spatial scale considered? With which plant characteristics are the parasitoid and the herbivore associated? Do parasitoid morphospecies vary in the magnitude of their positive indirect effect on plant reproduction? We evaluated three approximations of herbivore and parasitoid abundance (raw numbers, ratios, and attack rates) at four spatial scales: regional (three different regions which differ in terms of abiotic and biotic characteristics); population (i.e. four populations within each region); patch (four 1 m2 plots in each population); and plant level (using a number of plant characteristics). Finally, we determined whether parasitoids have a positive indirect effect on plant reproductive success (seed number). Herbivore and parasitoid numbers differed at three of the spatial scales considered. However, herbivore/fruit ratio and attack rates did not differ at the population level. Parasitoid/host ratio and attack rates did not differ at any scale, although there was a tendency of a higher attack in one region. At the plant level, herbivore and parasitoid abundances were related to different plant traits, varying the importance and the direction (positive or negative) of those traits. In addition, only one parasitoid species (Bracon sp.) had a positive effect on plant fitness saving up to 20% of the seeds in a fruit. These results underline the importance of knowing the scales that are relevant to organisms at different trophic levels and distinguish between the specific effects of species.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In influenza A H1 virus, amino acids at position 190 and 225 of HA affect replication and transmission. In this study, we show that the mutation D190Y in the HA of influenza AH1N1pdm09 virus reduces the affinity of the virus for sialic acid receptors expressed at the surface of red blood cells from different species without affecting virus replication in MDCK cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Yucatan deer mouse, Peromyscus yucatanicus (order Rodentia), is the principal reservoir of Leishmania (Leishmania) mexicana in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Experimental infection results in clinical and histopathological features similar to those observed in humans with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) as well as peritoneal macrophage production of nitric oxide. These results support the possible use of P. yucatanicus as a novel experimental model to study CL caused by L. (L.) mexicana. However, immunological studies in these rodents have been limited by the lack of specific reagents. To address this issue, we cloned and analyzed cytokine sequences of P. yucatanicus as part of an effort to develop this species as a CL model. We cloned P. yucatanicus interleukin 4 (IL-4), IL-10, IL-12p35, gamma interferon, transforming growth factor beta and tumor necrosis factor partial cDNAs. Most of the P. yucatanicus sequences were highly conserved with orthologs of other mammalian species and the identity of all sequences were confirmed by the presence of conserved amino acids with possible biological functions in each putative polypeptide. The availability of these sequences is a first step which will allow us to carry out studies characterizing the immune response during pathogenic and nonpathogenic L. (L.) mexicana infections in P. yucatanicus.
Edificio Inalámbrica. Calle 96 s/n x Av.Jacinto Canek y calle 47 Paseo de Las Fuentes., 97225, Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico