Publications (3)4.46 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: Delimitation of species is an important and controversial area within evolutionary biology. Many species boundaries have been defined using morphological data. New genetic approaches now offer more objective evaluation and assessment of the reliability of morphological variation as an indicator that speciation has occurred. We examined geographic variation in morphology of the continuously distributed skink Chalcides mionecton from Morocco and used Bayesian analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) loci to examine: (i) their concordance with morphological patterns, (ii) support for species delimitation, (iii) timing of speciation, and (iv) levels of gene flow between species. Four digit individuals were found at sites between Cap Rhir (in the south) and the northern extreme of the range, whereas five-digit individuals were found in two disjunct areas: (i) south of Cap Rhir and (ii) the north of the range where they were often syntopic with four-digit individuals. The pattern of variation in generalized body dimensions was largely concordant with that in digit number, suggesting two general morphotypes. Bayesian analyses of population structure showed that individuals from sites south of Cap Rhir formed one genetic cluster, but that northern four- and five-digit individuals clustered together. Statistical support for delimitation of these genetic clusters into two species was provided by a recent Bayesian method. Phylogenetic-coalescent dating with external time calibrations indicates that speciation was relatively recent, with a 95% posterior interval of 0.46-2.66 mya. This postdates equivalent phylogenetic dating estimates of sequence divergence by approximately 1 Ma. Statistical analyses of a small number of independent loci provide important insights into the history of the speciation process in C. mionecton and support delimitation of populations into two species with distributions that are spatially discordant with patterns of morphological variation.Ecology and evolution. 12/2012; 2(12):2962-73.
Article: Effects of yoga on the autonomic nervous system, gamma-aminobutyric-acid, and allostasis in epilepsy, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A theory is proposed to explain the benefits of yoga practices in diverse, frequently comorbid medical conditions based on the concept that yoga practices reduce allostatic load in stress response systems such that optimal homeostasis is restored. It is hypothesized that stress induces (1) imbalance of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) with decreased parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and increased sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, (2) underactivity of the gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) system, the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter system, and (3) increased allostatic load. It is further hypothesized that yoga-based practices (4) correct underactivity of the PNS and GABA systems in part through stimulation of the vagus nerves, the main peripheral pathway of the PNS, and (5) reduce allostatic load. Depression, epilepsy, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain exemplify medical conditions that are exacerbated by stress, have low heart rate variability (HRV) and low GABAergic activity, respond to pharmacologic agents that increase activity of the GABA system, and show symptom improvement in response to yoga-based interventions. The observation that treatment resistant cases of epilepsy and depression respond to vagal nerve stimulation corroborates the need to correct PNS underactivity as part of a successful treatment plan in some cases. According to the proposed theory, the decreased PNS and GABAergic activity that underlies stress-related disorders can be corrected by yoga practices resulting in amelioration of disease symptoms. This has far-reaching implications for the integration of yoga-based practices in the treatment of a broad array of disorders exacerbated by stress.Medical Hypotheses 02/2012; 78(5):571-9. · 1.39 Impact Factor
Article: Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 April 2010 - 31 May 2010.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This article documents the addition of 396 microsatellite marker loci to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Anthocidaris crassispina, Aphis glycines, Argyrosomus regius, Astrocaryum sciophilum, Dasypus novemcinctus, Delomys sublineatus, Dermatemys mawii, Fundulus heteroclitus, Homalaspis plana, Jumellea rossii, Khaya senegalensis, Mugil cephalus, Neoceratitis cyanescens, Phalacrocorax aristotelis, Phytophthora infestans, Piper cordulatum, Pterocarpus indicus, Rana dalmatina, Rosa pulverulenta, Saxifraga oppositifolia, Scomber colias, Semecarpus kathalekanensis, Stichopus monotuberculatus, Striga hermonthica, Tarentola boettgeri and Thermophis baileyi. These loci were cross-tested on the following species: Aphis gossypii, Sooretamys angouya, Euryoryzomys russatus, Fundulus notatus, Fundulus olivaceus, Fundulus catenatus, Fundulus majalis, Jumellea fragrans, Jumellea triquetra Jumellea recta, Jumellea stenophylla, Liza richardsonii, Piper marginatum, Piper aequale, Piper darienensis, Piper dilatatum, Rana temporaria, Rana iberica, Rana pyrenaica, Semecarpus anacardium, Semecarpus auriculata, Semecarpus travancorica, Spondias acuminata, Holigarna grahamii, Holigarna beddomii, Mangifera indica, Anacardium occidentale, Tarentola delalandii, Tarentola caboverdianus and Thermophis zhaoermii.Molecular Ecology Resources 11/2010; 10(6):1098-1105. · 3.06 Impact Factor