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Optimization of protocols for DNA extraction from fecal samples

High-throughput sequencing offers new possibilities in molecular ecology and conservation studies. However, its potential has not yet become fully exploited for noninvasive studies of free–ranging animals, such as those based on feces. High–throughput sequencing allows sequencing of short DNA fragments and could allow simultaneous genotyping of a very large number of samples and markers at a low cost. The application of high throughput genotyping to fecal samples from wildlife has been hindered by several labor intensive steps. Alternative protocols which could allow higher throughput were evaluated for two of these steps: sample collection and DNA extraction. Two different field sampling and seven different DNA extraction methods were tested on grey wolf (Canis lupus) feces. There was high variation in genotyping success rates. The field sampling method based on surface swabbing performed much worse than the extraction from a fecal fragment. In addition, there is a lot of room for improvement in the DNA extraction step. Optimization of protocols can lead to very much more efficient, cheaper and higher throughput noninvasive monitoring. Selection of appropriate markers is still of paramount importance to increase genotyping success. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Sarabia et al (2020) Towards high-throughput analyses of fecal samples from wildlife. Animal Biodiver Conserv 43.2: 271–283 Doi 10.32800/abc.2020.43.0271


http://abc.museucienciesjournals.cat/volum-43-2-2020/towards-high-throughput-analyses-of-fecal-samples-from-wildlife/?lang=en
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Vitamin E supplementation—but not induced oxidative stress—influences telomere dynamics during early development in wild passerines

Vitamin E supplementation—but not induced oxidative stress—influences telomere dynamics during early development in wild passerines

Telomere length is a marker of cellular senescence that relates to different components of individual fitness. Oxidative stress is often claimed as a main proximate factor contributing to telomere attrition, although the importance of this factor in vivo has recently been challenged. Early development represents an ideal scenario to address this hypothesis because it is characterized by the highest rates of telomere attrition of the life and by an arguably high susceptibility to oxidative stress. The effect of oxidative stress on telomere dynamics during early development was tested by exposing pied flycatcher nestlings Ficedula hypoleuca to either an oxidative challenge (diquat injections), an antioxidant (vitamin E) or control treatments (PBS injections and supplementation with vehicle substance). No effects of treatments were found on average telomere change during the nestling period. However, vitamin E supplementation, which increased growth, removed the association between initial telomere length and telomere attrition. Diquat-treated nestlings, by contrast, showed no differences in growth or telomere dynamics with respect to controls. These results do not support the hypothesis that oxidative stress is the main direct mechanism explaining telomere attrition in vivo, and highlight the importance of micronutrient intake during early development on telomere dynamics. Studies addressing alternative action pathways of vitamins on growth and telomere dynamics, perhaps via restoration mechanisms, would provide important insights on the proximate factors affecting telomere attrition during this critical phase of life. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Pérez-Rodríguez et al. (2019) Vitamin E supplementation—but not induced oxidative stress—influences telomere dynamics during early development in wild passerines. Front Ecol Evol https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00173


https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2019.00173/full