Leonor Gusmão

University of Porto, Oporto, Porto, Portugal

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Publications (275)530.85 Total impact

  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The European and African contribution to the pre-existing Native American background has influenced the complex genetic pool of Colombia. Because colonisation was not homogeneous in this country, current populations are, therefore, expected to have different proportions of Native American, European and African ancestral contributions. The aim of this work was to examine 11 urban admixed populations and a Native American group, called Pastos, for 32 X chromosome indel markers to expand the current knowledge concerning the genetic background of Colombia. The results revealed a highly diverse genetic background comprising all admixed populations, harbouring important X chromosome contributions from all continental source populations. In addition, Colombia is genetically sub-structured, with different proportions of European and African influxes depending on the regions. The samples from the North Pacific and Caribbean coasts have a high African ancestry, showing the highest levels of diversity. The sample from the South Andean region showed the lowest diversity and significantly higher proportion of Native American ancestry than the other samples from the North Pacific and Caribbean coasts, Central-West and Central-East Andean regions, and the Orinoquian region. The results of admixture analysis using X-chromosomal markers suggest that the high proportion of African ancestry in the North Pacific coast was primarily male driven. These men have joined to females with higher Native American and European ancestry (likely resulting from a classic colonial asymmetric mating type: European male x Amerindian female). This high proportion of male-mediated African contributions is atypical of colonial settings, suggesting that the admixture occurred during a period when African people were no longer enslaved. In the remaining regions, the African contribution was primarily female-mediated, whereas the European counterpart was primarily male driven and the Native American ancestry contribution was not gender biased.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e87202. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Nádia Pinto, Leonor Gusmão, António Amorim
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    ABSTRACT: Mutation is a topic of intense research and raises important problems in forensics. Since the markers of choice in current forensic genetics analyses are microsatellites or Short Tandem Repeat Polymorphisms (STRs), mutation is sufficiently common to cause difficulties in evaluating DNA evidence in a significant proportion of cases but at the same time rare enough to turn the estimation of the corresponding probability of occurrence into a hard task. We address these issues using the simplest model of transmission: the Y chromosome specific STRs. Within this model, and under an explicit set of definitions and involved assumptions, we developed the theoretical framework required for the study of allelic transitions in gametogenesis, identifying the required parameters and associated probabilities and finally we discuss the estimation of these parameters and their application in forensics. We conclude that (i) for forensic casework the relevant parameter for incorporation in a likelihood ratio is biallelic specific (i.e. the mutation rate estimate corresponds to the probability of the specific allelic transition observed) and (ii) for these estimates as well as in order to provide data for testing mutation models the absolute frequency of mutated and non-mutated transmissions per allele, along with the description of the observed mutations should be reported.
    Forensic science international. Genetics 01/2014; 9:20–24. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives: To determine the African, European and Native-American paternal contributions in genetic samples from the Department of Bolivar (Colombia) with the aims of establishing (1) possible population substructures, and (2) the proportion of biological African heritage in admixed populations of European, Amerindian, and African descent. Methods: Y-SNPs were typed in samples from six communities, including Palenque (renowned for its African linguistic and cultural heritage). Results: Findings reveal a high diversity of Y-haplogroups. With the exception of Palenque, the sum of European male lineages uniformly exceeded 57%. In Palenque, African lineages accounted for 57.7% of its chromosomes, with European male lineages constituting a mere 38.5%. In Pinillos, a significant proportion (23.8%) of the chromosomes belongs to the Native American haplogroup Q1a3a*-M3. Genetic differentiation analyses reveal significant divergences in most pairwise comparisons among the Bolivar municipalities, and the same holds between Bolivar and other South American populations. Conclusions: Heterogeneous patterns of admixture reveal a genetic substructure within the Department of Bolivar. On the paternal side, five out of the six communities studied exhibit a predominantly European gene pool. The exception is Palenque, where European input (38%) is more significant than we had expected.
    Annals of Human Biology 11/2013; · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Various strategies for analysing SNP markers and genotyping have been published with the goal of obtaining informative profiles from biological samples that contain only small amounts of template and/or degraded DNA. In this study, a multiplex assay of 52 autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was used to analyse 438 individuals from urban populations from different regions of Colombia, as well as a sample of 50 Native American individuals of the Pastos ethnic group from Nariño. To determine if significant differences in these 52 SNPs exist between the distinct regions of Colombia, genetic distance and admixture analyses were performed based on the available data for 17 different Colombian population groups and for population groups from Africa, Europe and America. The results demonstrate significant differences between the populations from the Southwest Andean, Central-West Andean, Central-East Andean, Orinoquian and northern Colombian Pacific Coast regions. Most of the regions exhibited a European and Native American admixture. One exception is the population from the region of Chocó (on the northern Pacific Coast), which exhibits a high proportion of African admixture (54 %). From the observed genetic backgrounds, it is possible to conclude that a single reference database for the entire country would not be suitable for forensic purposes. The allele frequencies and the forensically relevant parameters were calculated for all of the markers in each Colombian region with significant values for the combined matching probability (power of discrimination ≥0.99999999999999990) and the combined probability of exclusion (≥0.9990) in trios that were obtained from all of the population groups.
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 05/2013; · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous studies of human populations in Europe and Asia have revealed a concordance between their extant genetic structure and the prevailing regional pattern of geography and language. For native South Americans, however, such evidence has been lacking so far. Therefore, we examined the relationship between Y-chromosomal genotype on the one hand, and male geographic origin and linguistic affiliation on the other, in the largest study of South American natives to date in terms of sampled individuals and populations. A total of 1,011 individuals, representing 50 tribal populations from 81 settlements, were genotyped for up to 17 short tandem repeat (STR) markers and 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs), the latter resolving phylogenetic lineages Q and C. Virtually no structure became apparent for the extant Y-chromosomal genetic variation of South American males that could sensibly be related to their inter-tribal geographic and linguistic relationships. This continent-wide decoupling is consistent with a rapid peopling of the continent followed by long periods of isolation in small groups. Furthermore, for the first time, we identified a distinct geographical cluster of Y-SNP lineages C-M217 (C3*) in South America. Such haplotypes are virtually absent from North and Central America, but occur at high frequency in Asia. Together with the locally confined Y-STR autocorrelation observed in our study as a whole, the available data therefore suggest a late introduction of C3* into South America no more than 6,000 years ago, perhaps via coastal or trans-Pacific routes. Extensive simulations revealed that the observed lack of haplogroup C3* among extant North and Central American natives is only compatible with low levels of migration between the ancestor populations of C3* carriers and non-carriers. In summary, our data highlight the fact that a pronounced correlation between genetic and geographic/cultural structure can only be expected under very specific conditions, most of which are likely not to have been met by the ancestors of native South Americans.
    PLoS Genetics 04/2013; 9(4):e1003460. · 8.52 Impact Factor
  • Forensic science international. Genetics 01/2013; · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In paternity testing the informativeness of genetic markers is traditionally measured through the probability of finding, in randomly chosen individuals, inconsistencies with parent to child Mendelian rules of transmission. This statistic, called power of exclusion (PE), paternal exclusion chance or probability, can be defined for duos (mother not typed) or trios (random false fathers are matched against mother/child pairs) and performed both for autosomal and X-chromosomal markers (restricted to paternity testing involving daughters). PE is an a priori statistic, in the sense of not depending on the individual's genetic data of a case, being dependent however on the estimates of genetic markers allele (or haplotype) frequencies. We have studied the behaviour of this statistic in situations where the randomness assumption is not met, because either (a) the alleged - and false - father is related to the true one, or (b) there is a non-negligible level of background relatedness in the population. For the first case, we derived general (autosomal and X-chromosomal) PE formulas for duos and trios for any genealogy linking alleged father and child, highlighting that the PE of each marker only depends on a single kinship parameter associated with their pedigree. In this case we also estimate a lower bound for the number of extra markers needed to be analysed to achieve the same global power as for unrelated individuals. In the second situation, we demonstrate that for realistic values of the coancestry coefficient the decrease in PE due to population inbreeding is very moderate even when duos are analysed. In this work, beyond the aforementioned issues, we also discuss the suitability of assuming the pedigree father-daughter for calculating the X-PE, since X-markers are not the tool of choice in laboratorial routine when the alleged father is available for testing. Indeed, X-markers are particularly useful in situations where the alleged father is not available for testing but experts are able to type the mother or a daughter of his. Such increase of power is due to the paternal genealogies: half- and full-sisters, and grandmother-granddaughter, having a non-null X-PE even when only duos are analysed in contrast to what happens for autosomes. Algebraic expressions for these cases are also presented.
    Forensic science international. Genetics 01/2013; · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acre was the last state of Brazil to be inhabited by non-indigenous individuals. The aim of this study was to calculate the allele frequencies of 15 STR loci in 503 unrelated individuals living in Acre, as well as to estimate statistical parameters of forensic interest. The Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium test performed in the overall sample, as well as population comparisons between sub-samples from the five regions in Acre did not reveal the presence of population substructure. This is the first report of STR data in this population and the results showed that a single database is suitable for all the regions analyzed.
    Forensic Science International Genetics Supplement Series 01/2013; 4(1):e11–e12.
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    ABSTRACT: Early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis is essential for positive patient outcome. Likewise genotyping of fungal isolates is desirable for outbreak control in clinical setting. We designed a molecular assay that combines detection, identification, and genotyping of Aspergillus fumigatus in a single reaction. To this aim we combined 20 markers in a multiplex reaction and the results were seen following mini-sequencing readings. Pure culture extracts were firstly tested. Thereafter, Aspergillus-DNA samples obtained from clinical specimens of patients with possible, probable, or proven aspergillosis according to European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycoses Study Group (EORTC/MSG) criteria. A new set of designed primers allowed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) gene amplification in a single multiplex reaction. The newly proposed SNaPAfu assay had a specificity of 100%, a sensitivity of 89% and detection limit of 1 ITS copy/mL (∼0.5 fg genomic Aspergillus-DNA/mL). The marker A49_F was detected in 89% of clinical samples. The SNaPAfu assay was accurately performed on clinical specimens using only 1% of DNA extract (total volume 50 µL) from 1 mL of used bronchoalveolar lavage. The first highly sensitive and specific, time- and cost-economic multiplex assay was implemented that allows detection, identification, and genotyping of A. fumigatus strains in a single amplification followed by mini-sequencing reaction. The new test is suitable to clinical routine and will improve patient management.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e75968. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In order to increase the information about Indels, we report allele frequencies and statistical parameters of forensic efficiency obtained typing a sample of 114 unrelated healthy individuals living in San Basilio de Palenque – Colombia using a panel of 38 autosomal InDels. No significant deviations from Hardy–Weinberg expectations were found except in the marker rs10629077 (p = 0.0002). The present database will be useful for forensic and paternity purposes for the region studied. Moreover, these additional markers can help forensic laboratories to solve parentage testing as well as to improve the analysis of degraded DNA samples.
    Forensic Science International Genetics Supplement Series 01/2013; 4(1):e73–e74.
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    ABSTRACT: In complex kinship investigation, miniSTRs and SNPs have been frequently used in order to increase the likelihood ratio (LR), when the results obtained for the most commonly used STR multiplexes were not informative enough. In this work, we describe the results obtained when using a battery of 23 STRs, 3 miniSTRs and 52 SNPs to investigate three complex paternity cases where the father was not available, and one paternity case with bone samples, from which no results could be obtained for STRs (including the 3 miniSTRs, D10S1248, D14S1434 and D22S1045). In all cases, the additional information provided by the SNPforID 52plex identification panel was enough to achieve conclusive results.
    Forensic Science International Genetics Supplement Series 01/2013; 4(1):e91–e92.
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    ABSTRACT: Haploblocks are segments of the genome with little recombination that may be of interest in forensic and population genetics. Criteria to select autosomal haploblocks have been previously described, leading to the identification of candidate regions that, a priori, met the conditions to be used as forensic genetic markers. Still, the potential of X-chromosomal haploblocks remains unexplored. The present work aimed to provide basis for designing strategies for selection of X-haploblocks defined by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using next generation sequencing approach. The potential application in population genetics and forensic studies was addressed. One of the conditions considered in the haploblock selection was the simultaneous inclusion of short tandem repeats (STRs) currently used in forensic casework to allow the distinction between SNP-defined haplotypes and increase the resolution for fine-scale studies. Given the size of the X chromosome (∼150 Mbps), only four haploblocks could be selected in order to guarantee their independence.
    Forensic Science International Genetics Supplement Series 01/2013; 4(1):e9–e10.
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    ABSTRACT: Two different insertion/deletion (indel) multiplexes have been used to analyse a subset of the CEPH Human Genome Diversity Panel as well as several additional populations collected locally in order to compare the effectiveness of the marker sets in differentiating the populations on a continental level. We show that both marker sets by themselves are able to achieve full continental population differentiation and combining all 67 markers leads to considerably higher accuracy of classification. While differentiation of the European and Middle Eastern population groups remains impossible, surprisingly high accuracy is achieved in assigning Central South Asian samples.
    Forensic Science International Genetics Supplement Series 01/2013; 4(1):e21–e22.
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    ABSTRACT: Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) represents the gold standard genotyping method in studies concerning microbial population structure, being particularly helpful in the detection of clonal relatedness. However, its applicability on large-scale genotyping is limited due to the high cost and time spent on the task. The selection of the most informative nucleotide positions simplifies genomic characterization of bacteria. A simple and informative multiplex, SNaPaer assay, was developed and genotyping of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was obtained after a single reaction of multiplex PCR amplification and mini-sequencing. This cost-effective technique allowed the analysis of a Portuguese set of isolates (n = 111) collected from three distinct hospitals and the genotyping data could be obtained in less than six hours. Point mutations were shown to be the most frequent event responsible for diversification of the Portuguese population sample. The Portuguese isolates corroborated the epidemic hypothesis for P. aeruginosa population. SNaPaer genotyping assay provided a discriminatory power of 0.9993 for P. aeruginosa, by testing in silico several hundreds of MLST profiles available online. The newly proposed assay targets less than 0.01% of the total MLST length and guarantees reproducibility, unambiguous analysis and the possibility of comparing and transferring data between different laboratories. The plasticity of the method still supports the addition of extra molecular markers targeting specific purposes/populations. SNaPaer can be of great value to clinical laboratories by facilitating routine genotyping of P. aeruginosa.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e66083. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are many different studies that contribute to the global picture of the ethnic heterogeneity in Brazilian populations. These studies use different types of genetic markers and are focused on the comparison of populations at different levels. In some of them, each geographical region is treated as a single homogeneous population, whereas other studies create different subdivisions: political (e.g., pooling populations by State), demographic (e.g., urban and rural), or ethnic (e.g., culture, self-declaration, or skin colour). In this study, we performed an enhanced reassessment of the genetic ancestry of ~ 1,300 Brazilians characterised for 46 autosomal Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs). In addition, 798 individuals from twelve Brazilian populations representing the five geographical macro-regions of Brazil were newly genotyped, including a Native American community and a rural Amazonian community. Following an increasing North to South gradient, European ancestry was the most prevalent in all urban populations (with values up to 74%). The populations in the North consisted of a significant proportion of Native American ancestry that was about two times higher than the African contribution. Conversely, in the Northeast, Center-West and Southeast, African ancestry was the second most prevalent. At an intrapopulation level, all urban populations were highly admixed, and most of the variation in ancestry proportions was observed between individuals within each population rather than among population. Nevertheless, individuals with a high proportion of Native American ancestry are only found in the samples from Terena and Santa Isabel. Our results allowed us to further refine the genetic landscape of Brazilians while establishing the basis for the effective application of an autosomal AIM panel in forensic casework and clinical association studies within the highly admixed Brazilian populations.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e75145. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of next-generation sequencing technologies allowed access to the vast amounts of information that are contained in the human genome. This information has contributed to the understanding of individual and population-based variability and improved the understanding of the evolutionary history of different human groups. However, the genome of a representative of the Amerindian populations had not been previously sequenced. Thus, the genome of an individual from a South American tribe was completely sequenced to further the understanding of the genetic variability of Amerindians. A total of 36.8 giga base pairs (Gbp) were sequenced and aligned with the human genome. These Gbp corresponded to 95.92% of the human genome with an estimated miscall rate of 0.0035 per sequenced bp. The data obtained from the alignment were used for SNP (single-nucleotide) and INDEL (insertion-deletion) calling, which resulted in the identification of 502,017 polymorphisms, of which 32,275 were potentially new high-confidence SNPs and 33,795 new INDELs, specific of South Native American populations. The authenticity of the sample as a member of the South Native American populations was confirmed through the analysis of the uniparental (maternal and paternal) lineages. The autosomal comparison distinguished the investigated sample from others continental populations and revealed a close relation to the Eastern Asian populations and Aboriginal Australian. Although, the findings did not discard the classical model of America settlement; it brought new insides to the understanding of the human population history. The present study indicates a remarkable genetic variability in human populations that must still be identified and contributes to the understanding of the genetic variability of South Native American populations and of the human populations history.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e83340. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Romani, the largest European minority group with approximately 11 million people [1], constitute a mosaic of languages, religions, and lifestyles while sharing a distinct social heritage. Linguistic [2] and genetic [3-8] studies have located the Romani origins in the Indian subcontinent. However, a genome-wide perspective on Romani origins and population substructure, as well as a detailed reconstruction of their demographic history, has yet to be provided. Our analyses based on genome-wide data from 13 Romani groups collected across Europe suggest that the Romani diaspora constitutes a single initial founder population that originated in north/northwestern India ∼1.5 thousand years ago (kya). Our results further indicate that after a rapid migration with moderate gene flow from the Near or Middle East, the European spread of the Romani people was via the Balkans starting ∼0.9 kya. The strong population substructure and high levels of homozygosity we found in the European Romani are in line with genetic isolation as well as differential gene flow in time and space with non-Romani Europeans. Overall, our genome-wide study sheds new light on the origins and demographic history of European Romani.
    Current biology: CB 12/2012; · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Brazilian population is highly heterogeneous as a result of five centuries of inter-ethnic mating between native Amerindians, European colonizers and Africans arrived during slavery. This study aimed to assess the proportions of inter-ethnic admixture in the Brazilian population of Rio de Janeiro using autosomal Ancestry-Informative Markers (AIMs). The autosomal data were also compared to the results expected from uniparental genetic markers. A total of 413 individuals were genotyped for 46 AIM-Indels and ancestry estimates were then assessed using HGDP-CEPH samples as ancestral reference. Individuals from Rio de Janeiro presented highly diverse admixture patterns. The global admixture estimates showed a predominantly European ancestry, above 55%, followed by African and Amerindian contributions. A separate self-declared Afro-descendant group also included in this study revealed an increased African ancestry, from ∼30% to ∼50%. The inter-ethnic admixture landscape of Rio de Janeiro captured by autosomal AIM-Indels is in agreement with historical records and similar to that expected from uniparental mtDNA and Y-chromosome information. The AIM-Indel panel proved to be a rapid strategy to estimate autosomal genetic ancestry at individual and population levels in Rio de Janeiro, which is useful in population genetics and in case-control association studies.
    Annals of Human Biology 11/2012; · 1.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
530.85 Total Impact Points


  • 1996–2014
    • University of Porto
      • • Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology (IPATIMUP)
      • • Faculdade de Ciências
      Oporto, Porto, Portugal
  • 2013
    • Federal University of Pará
      Pará, Pará, Brazil
    • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
      Μπογκοτά, Bogota D.C., Colombia
    • University of Antioquia
      Santa Fe de Antioquia, Antioquia, Colombia
  • 2005–2013
    • Rio de Janeiro State University
      • Departamento de Ensino em Ciências e Biologia (DECB)
      Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    • Instituto Nacional de Toxicología y Ciencias Forenses
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
    • Complutense University of Madrid
      • Departamento de Toxicología y Legislación Sanitaria
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2012
    • University of Tunis El Manar
      Tunis-Ville, Tūnis, Tunisia
  • 2008–2012
    • Industrial University of Santander
      • Faculty of Health
      Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia
    • University of Valencia
      Valenza, Valencia, Spain
  • 2011
    • University of Oxford
      • Department of Zoology
      Oxford, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Institute of Evolutionary Biology
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2008–2011
    • Fundación Favaloro
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
    • Instituto Português de Oncologia
      • Department of Pathology
      Oporto, Porto, Portugal
  • 2005–2010
    • National Institute of Legal Medicine
      Coímbra, Coimbra, Portugal
  • 2009
    • Università di Pisa
      • Department of Biology
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
    • Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
      • Institute for Forensic Medicine
      Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
  • 2007–2009
    • Universidad de Cartagena
      • Institute for Immunological Research
      Cartagena, Departamento de Bolivar, Colombia
    • Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC)
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2001–2009
    • University of Coimbra
      • Departamento de Neurologia
      Coimbra, Distrito de Coimbra, Portugal
  • 1999–2008
    • University of Santiago de Compostela
      • Instituto de Medicina Legal
      Santiago, Galicia, Spain
  • 2003–2005
    • University of Minho
      • Department of Biology
      Braga, Distrito de Braga, Portugal
    • Universidad de Cantabria
      • Faculty of Medicine
      Santander, Cantabria, Spain
    • University of Leipzig
      • Institut für Rechtsmedizin
      Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
  • 2001–2002
    • Universidade da Madeira
      • Centro de Estudos da Macaronésia
      Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
  • 2000
    • University of the Balearic Islands
      • Departamento de Biología
      Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain