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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]ebd.csic.es: 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


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jav.02275
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Importance of highly-mobile pollinators to safeguard tree population recruitment

Importance of highly-mobile pollinators to safeguard tree population recruitment

Restricted seed dispersal frequently leads to fine-scale spatial genetic structure within plant populations. Depending on its spatial extent and the mobility of pollinators, this inflated kinship at the immediate neighbourhood can critically impoverish pollen quality. Despite the common occurrence of positive fine-scale spatial genetic structure within plant populations, our knowledge regarding the role of long-distance pollination preventing reproductive failure is still limited. Using microsatellite markers, the existence of positive fine-scale spatial genetic structure was examined in two low-density populations of the tree Pyrus bourgaeana. Controlled crosses among trees differing in their kinship were designed to investigate the effects of increased local kinship on plant reproduction. Six pollination treatments were used and fruit production, fruit and seed weight, proportion of mature seeds per fruit, and seed germination were fully monitored. Results revealed positive fine-scale spatial genetic structure in both study populations and lower fruit initiation in flowers pollinated with pollen from highly-genetically related individuals within the neighbourhood, with this trend intensifying as the fruit development progressed. Besides, open-pollinated flowers exhibited lower performance compared to those pollinated by distant pollen donors, suggesting intense qualitative pollen limitation in natural populations. Positive fine-scale spatial genetic structure is translated into impoverished pollen quality from nearby pollen donors which negatively impacts the reproductive success of trees in low-density populations. Under this scenario of intrapopulation genetic rescue by distant pollen donors, the relevance of highly-mobile pollinators for connecting spatially and genetically distant patches of trees may be crucial to safeguarding population recruitment. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Castilla et al (2019) Genetic rescue by distant trees mitigates qualitative pollen limitation imposed by fine-scale spatial genetic structure. Mol Ecol 28 DOI 10.1111/mec.15233


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mec.15233