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29 mai 2017

Adenine N6-methylation in diverse fungi [Nature Genetics]

Subject terms : epigenetics, genetic techniques

A DNA modification—methylation of cytosines and adenines—has important roles in diverse processes such as regulation of gene expression and genome stability, yet until recently adenine methylation had been considered to be only a hallmark of prokaryotes. A new study identifies abundant adenine methylation of transcriptionally active genes in early-diverging fungi that, together with recent other work, emphasizes the importance of adenine methylation in eukaryotes.

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29 mai 2017

Individual and non-additive effects of exotic sap-feeders on root functional and mycorrhizal traits of a shared conifer host [Functional Ecology]

Keywords : ectomycorrhizal fungi, elongate hemlock scal, hemlock woolly adelgid, herbivory, root functional traits, specific root length, Tsuga canadensis

1.Forest pests drive tree mortality through disruption of functional traits linked to nutrient acquisition, growth, and reproduction. The impacts of attack by individual or multiple aboveground herbivores on root functional traits critical to tree health have received little attention. This is especially true for exotic herbivores, organisms often found in disturbed forests.
2.We excavated whole-root systems from eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) individuals experimentally infested with hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA : Adelges tsugae) and elongate hemlock scale (EHS : Fiorina externa) individually, or in combination, for periods of two and four years. Belowground root biomass, functional traits, and storage nutrients were measured to assess impacts of herbivory. We also quantified ectomycorrhizal fungal (EMF) colonisation of fine roots and used culture-independent methods to examine EMF diversity.(...)

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29 mai 2017

Cutaneous bacteria, but not peptides, are associated with chytridiomycosis resistance in Peruvian marsupial frogs [Animal Conservation]

Keywords : Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, disease resistance, Hemiphractidae, symbiotic bacteria, antimicrobial peptides, amphibian conservation, chytridiomycosis, Bd

Amphibians are a highly threatened vertebrate group, and populations of these animals have declined drastically. An important global threat to amphibians is the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. However, not all species develop chytridiomycosis when exposed to Bd. We compared susceptibility to disease in two species of marsupial frogs and found that Gastrotheca nebulanastes is susceptible, whereas its congeneric G. excubitor is resistant.(...)

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29 mai 2017

Climate variability predicts thermal limits of aquatic insects across elevation and latitude [Functional Ecology]

Keywords : thermal breadth, CTMIN, CTMAX, Janzen’s hypothesis, aquatic insects, vulnerability, climate change

1. Janzen’s extension of the climate variability hypothesis posits that increased seasonal variation at high latitudes should result in greater temperature overlap across elevations, and favor wider thermal breadths in temperate organisms compared to their tropical counterparts.
2. We tested these predictions by measuring stream temperatures and thermal breadths (i.e. the difference between the critical thermal maximum and minimum) of 62 aquatic insect species from temperate (Colorado, USA) and tropical (Papallacta, Ecuador) streams spanning an elevation gradient of ca. 2000m.(...)

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26 mai 2017

Leaf bacterial diversity mediates plant diversity and ecosystem function relationships [Nature]

Research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has demonstrated links between plant diversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity1, 2. At other trophic levels, the plant microbiome has been shown to influence host plant fitness and function3, 4, and host-associated microbes have been proposed to influence ecosystem function through their role in defining the extended phenotype of host organisms5, 6 However, the importance of the plant microbiome for ecosystem function has not been quantified in the context of the known importance of plant diversity and traits. Here, using a tree biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiment, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that leaf bacterial diversity is positively linked to ecosystem productivity, even after accounting for the role of plant diversity. (...)

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