Featured research (4)
Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine and metabolic disease with high prevalence worldwide. Moreover, sugar intake has increased in the last decades leading to a higher risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, new compounds have been prospected for the food industry to produce very low-calorie and intense sweeteners from natural sources. Besides, medicinal plants with anti-diabetic activities have become popular as an alternative to drug treatments. This study aimed to perform a systematic review of plants that combine these two properties: sweeteners and anti-diabetic activity. Four plant species were identified following these features, one widely known as a sweetener (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) and three less common high-potency sweeteners (Cyclocarya paliurus (Batal.) Iljinsk, Glycyrrhiza glabra L., and Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle) C. Jeffrey ex A. M. Lu and Zhi Y. Zhang). First, the bioactive compounds and the pathways involved in their biosynthesis are summarized. Afterwards, we describe the anti-diabetic action and other medicinal effects of these species. Moreover, we reviewed the principal in vitro propagation studies and biotechnological strategies reported so far on these species. Finally, the most promising biotechnological approaches and future perspectives for the industrial exploitation of these species are discussed.
In Cuba the Phymatynae was represented before this article by five described species all in the genera Phymata. The authors propose a new taxon; Phymata isabelae n. sp. de Cuba.
The hypothesis that proposes the evolution of lateralization and directional symmetry as features of cooperative social species, can be tested with insects models. The main objective of this study was to verify the existence of population-level lateralization in Dysdercus andreae L. (Heteroptera: Pyrrhocoridae). This species forms groups of several hundred individuals, indicating some coordination, but it is not strictly a social species. We constructed two behavioral T-mazes to respond to the stated objective, one to evaluate response with neural integration and another to evaluate escape reflex. The results show that there are lateralized population behavior and directional symmetry in Dysdercus andreae. In addition, the escape response and decisions without stress are behaviors that evolve separately in the species; individuals prefer the left to react with neural integration. On the other hand, the insects react to aversive stimuli escaping indistinctly to the right or left. Besides, there is a relationship between the direction of response without stress and the direction of escape. It can be seen, as an indicator that the population lateralization, existing at the beginning for more complex responses, progressively influences the intuitive escape behavior, leading to the population level lateralization of this behavior.
50100 __________ RESUMEN. El macizo Guamuhaya es la mayor cordillera del centro del país, con su punto máximo por encima de los 1 000 msnm. En relación con otras áreas de montaña de Cuba sus insectos han sido los menos estudiados. Históricamente la gran mayoría de los taxónomos cubanos vivieron y trabajaron en las provincias orientales y occidentales lo que hizo que colectaran en el territorio central en relativamente pocas ocasiones y a su paso hacia un extremo u otro de la Isla. En el presente trabajo se realizan inventarios de especies y estudios ecológicos de insectos en la región Jibacoa-Hanabanilla, sección villaclareña del macizo Guamuhaya. Se presenta una lista de las especies de insectos encontradas e identificadas para 19 localidades de esta región. Palabras clave: Insectos, diversidad, Guamuhaya. ABSTRACT. Guamuhaya is the biggest mountain in the central region of Cuba. Its highest point is above 1000 m over the sea level. Compared to other mountain areas of Cuba its insects have been the less studied. Historically most of the Cuban taxonomists came and worked in the eastern and western provinces, that is why they collected insects in this territory in relatively few occasions when they travelled from coast to coast of the Island. In the present paper there are species inventories and ecological studies on insects in the Jibacoa -Hanabanilla region, located in the Guamuhaya mountain. A list of the found and identified species of insects for 19 localities of this region is presented.