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Influencia diferencial de la expresión de Slc7a11 y la condición corporal sobre la pigmentación producida por feomelanina en dos poblaciones de trepador azul Sitta europea con diferente riesgo de depredación

The expression of the gene Slc7a11 promotes the antioxidant capacity of cells by providing them with cysteine that can be used for the synthesis of glutathione (GSH), the most important intracellular antioxidant. In melanocytes, intracellular cysteine can also enter melanosomes and get incorporated in the pigment pheomelanin synthesis pathway, thus decreasing cysteine availability for GSH synthesis and potentially creating chronic oxidative stress. Therefore, this study hypothesized that a mechanism limiting the use of intramelanocytic cysteine for pheomelanin synthesis in environmental conditions generating oxidative stress may be physiologically advantageous and favored by natural selection. Evidence we searched of such a mechanism by comparing the influence of melanocytic Slc7a11 expression on pheomelanin?based pigmentation in developing Eurasian nuthatch Sitta europaea nestlings from two populations differing in predation risk, a natural source of oxidative stress. Pheomelanin synthesis and pigmentation tended to increase with Slc7a11 expression in the low?risk population as expected from the activity of this gene, but decreased with Slc7a11 expression in the high?risk population. The same was not observed in the expression of five other genes influencing pheomelanin synthesis without affecting cysteine availability in melanocytes. The influence of body condition on the intensity of pheomelanin?based pigmentation also differed between populations, being positive in the low?risk population and negative in the high?risk population. The resulting pigmentation of birds was more intense in the high?risk population. These findings suggest that birds perceiving high predation risk may limit the use of cysteine for pheomelanin synthesis, which becomes independent of Slc7a11 expression. Some birds may have thus evolved the ability to adjust their pigmentation phenotype to environmental stress. informacion[at] Galván & Sanz (2020) Differential influence of Slc7a11 expression and body condition on pheomelanin-based pigmentation in two Eurasian nuthatch Sitta europaea populations with different predation risk. J Avian Biol DOI 10.1111/jav.02275
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BMS Spain: Annual Report 2017

BMS Spain: Annual Report 2017

BMS Spain is a butterfly monitoring program created in 2014 with the aim of creating a tool for studying the butterfly populations and their habitats of in Spain. Through monitoring, among others, population trends, phenological changes and the conservation status of species can be known. The large scale infrastructure of EBD-CSIC (ICTS-RBD) supports this initiative through its data platform. In 2017 the participants of this program, mostly volunteers, have been recording the presence of butterflies in a total of 76 transects during 12 visits to each one, on average. In total, 55,927 butterflies belonging to 176 species were counted in 12,506 sightings. The most abundant species was Melanargia lachesis with 2,697 individuals, while the highest number of individuals was registered in Garganta la Olla (Cáceres), being 4,238. Castelfrío (Teruel) was, as in 2016, most diverse area with 79 species. The average abundance, species richness, visits and average diversity were higher in 2017. informacion[at] Cancela et al (2018) Butterfly Monitoring Scheme España. Informe anual de 2017