Bartonelloses are emerging infectious diseases that are common in humans and animals worldwide. Several Bartonella species associated with companion animals such as Bartonella henselae and Bartonella rochalimae are species with zoonotic implications and have become a global concern. Other Bartonella species associated with wild animals, however, remain underappreciated particularly in the developing regions of the world. To explore further on this neglected bacterial agent, Leptocyclopodia ferrari (Nycteribiidae) bat flies collected from Cynopterus brachyotis (Pteropodidae), an endemic fruit bat species in Southeast Asia, were molecularly examined for the presence of Bartonella. Both 16 S-23 S ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer region and citrate synthase gene sequences exhibited less than 95 % similarity to all previously reported Bartonella spp. Further phylogenetic analysis revealed a novel clade of this Bartonella sp. with high bootstrap support. The vectorial capacity of bat flies in transmitting this novel pathogen merits further investigation.
The taxonomic position of the rare Selangor Mud Snake (Raclitia indica) Gray to other species of homalopsids has remained uncertain due to the scarcity of specimens in collections and the lack of genetic material for comparison. Here we report the first molecular phylogenetic examination of this species based on recently acquired material. The study recovered R. indica nested within the clade of advanced, fanged homalopsids and the sister species to Erpeton tentaculatus Lácèpede. We also present notes on variation observed in the new specimens as well as range extensions for the species.
The cribellate, Asian endemic, spider genus, Taira is further studied, and six new species are recognized and described from China and Eastern Malaysia (Borneo): Taira borneoensis sp. nov. (♀), Taira gyaisiensis sp. nov. (♀), Taira nyagqukaensis sp. nov. (♀), Taira wanzhouensis sp. nov. (♂♀), Taira xuanenensis sp. nov. (♂) and Taira yangi sp. nov. (♂♀). Males of Taira latilabiata Zhang, Zhu Song, 2008 and Taira obtusa Zhang, Zhu Song, 2008 are also described for the first time. Drawings of the copulatory organs of the six new species, and comparative photos of the habitus and copulatory organs of all described species are provided, except for the male palp of the type species, T. flavidorsalis (Yaginuma, 1964). New records of known species and distribution maps are presented.
A recently published study analyzed the phylogenetic relationship between the genera Centrodinium and Alexandrium, confirming an earlier publication showing the genus Alexandrium as paraphyletic. This most recent manuscript retained the genus Alexandrium, introduced a new genus Episemicolon, resurrected two genera, Gessnerium and Protogonyaulax, and stated that: "The polyphyly [sic] of Alexandrium is solved with the split into four genera". However, these reintroduced taxa were not based on monophyletic groups. Therefore this work, if accepted, would result in replacing a single paraphyletic taxon with several non-monophyletic ones. The morphological data presented for genus characterization also do not convincingly support taxa delimitations. The combination of weak molecular phylogenetics and the lack of diagnostic traits (i.e., autapomorphies) render the applicability of the concept of limited use. The proposal to split the genus Alexandrium on the basis of our current knowledge is rejected herein. The aim here is not to present an alternative analysis and revision, but to maintain Alexandrium. A better constructed and more phylogenetically accurate revision can and should wait until more complete evidence becomes available and there is a strong reason to revise the genus Alexandrium. The reasons are explained in detail by a review of the available molecular and morphological data for species of the genera Alexandrium and Centrodinium. In addition, cyst morphology and chemotaxonomy are discussed, and the need for integrative taxonomy is highlighted.
Three new species of Rhinophoridae (Aporeomyia elaphocerasp. nov., Baniassa pennatasp. nov. from the Oriental Region, and Phyto mambillasp. nov. from the Afrotropical Region) are described, illustrated and compared with congeners. Genus-level affiliation of the new species is based on a morphology-based phylogeny, preliminarily accepting a paraphyletic Phyto Robineau-Desvoidy awaiting incorporation of molecular data. Keys to the species of the genus Aporeomyia Pape & Shima as well as to the Afrotropical species of the genus Phyto Robineau-Desvoidy are given.
Rafflesia tuanku-halimii, a new species from Peninsular Malaysia, is herewith described and illustrated. It is related to
R. azlanii and R. sharifah-hapsahiae by coalesced warts on it lobes. Rafflesia tuanku-halimii is different from them in
having window covered by almost united rings and these rings almost wholly covering the window.
The taxonomic status of the Southeast Asian spotted barb, Barbodes binotatus (Teleostei: Cyprinidae), has puzzled researchers because of large but inconsistent geographic variation of its body melanin marking pattern. In this study, the authors appraise the differentiation of B. binotatus and two closely related species, Barbodes rhombeus and saddle barb, Barbodes banksi, in Peninsular Malaysia using mitochondrial and nuclear markers. The results of this study reveal that the Peninsular Malaysia populations of each of the three species form largely reciprocal monophyletic lineages that differ from each other by a minimum of 2.3% p-genetic distance using COI gene. Nonetheless, specimens of B. binotatus in Peninsular Malaysia are only distantly related to specimens of B. binotatus in Java (type locality). The monophyly of B. banksi is not refuted although specimens of Peninsular Malaysia are genetically distinct from those of Sarawak (type locality). The authors discuss alternative hypotheses whether each of these three valid species is a single species or each of the main five genetic lineages revealed in this study represents a distinct species. Preliminary investigations reveal a mito-nuclear discordance at one locality in Peninsular Malaysia where B. binotatus and B. banksi co-occur. Further studies should inform on the extent of reproductive porousness between these two lineages and others.
Background: A large number of undiscovered fungal species still exist on earth, which can be useful for bioprospecting, particularly for single cell oil (SCO) production. Mortierella is one of the significant genera in this field and contains about hundred species. Moreover, M. alpina is the main single cell oil producer at commercial scale under this genus. Methods: Soil samples from four unique locations of North-East Libya were collected for the isolation of oleaginous Mortierella alpina strains by a serial dilution method. Morphological identification was carried out using light microscopy (Olympus, Japan) and genetic diversity of the isolated Mortierella alpina strains was assessed using conserved internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene sequences available on the NCBI GenBank database for the confirmation of novelty. The nucleotide sequences reported in this study have been deposited at GenBank (accession no. MZ298831:MZ298835). The MultAlin program was used to align the sequences of closely related strains. The DNA sequences were analyzed for phylogenetic relationships by molecular evolutionary genetic analysis using MEGA X software consisting of Clustal_X v.2.1 for multiple sequence alignment. The neighbour-joining tree was constructed using the Kimura 2-parameter substitution model. Results: The present research study confirms four oleaginous fungal isolates from Libyan soil. These isolates (barcoded as MSU-101, MSU-201, MSU-401 and MSU-501) were discovered and reported for the first time from diverse soil samples of district Aljabal Al-Akhdar in North-East Libya and fall in the class: Zygomycetes; order: Mortierellales. Conclusions: Four oleaginous fungal isolates barcoded as MSU-101, MSU-201, MSU-401 and MSU-501 were identified and confirmed by morphological and molecular analysis. These fungal isolates showed highest similarity with Mortierella alpina species and can be potentialistic single cell oil producers. Thus, the present research study provides insight to the unseen fungal diversity and contributes to more comprehensive Mortierella alpina reference collections worldwide.
Scientific communication is facilitated by a data-driven, scientifically sound taxonomy that considers the end-user's needs and established successful practice. In 2013, the Fusarium community voiced near unanimous support for a concept of Fusarium that represented a clade comprising all agriculturally and clinically important Fusarium species, including the F. solani species complex (FSSC). Subsequently, this concept was challenged in 2015 by one research group who proposed dividing the genus Fusarium into seven genera, including the FSSC described as members of the genus Neocosmospora, with subsequent justification in 2018 based on claims that the 2013 concept of Fusarium is polyphyletic. Here, we test this claim and provide a phylogeny based on exonic nucleotide sequences of 19 orthologous protein-coding genes that strongly support the monophyly of Fusarium including the FSSC. We reassert the practical and scientific argument in support of a genus Fusarium that includes the FSSC and several other basal lineages, consistent with the longstanding use of this name among plant pathologists, medical mycologists, quarantine officials, regulatory agencies, students, and researchers with a stake in its taxonomy. In recognition of this monophyly, 40 species described as genus Neocosmospora were recombined in genus Fusarium, and nine others were renamed Fusarium. Here the global Fusarium community voices strong support for the inclusion of the FSSC in Fusarium, as it remains the best scientific, nomenclatural, and practical taxonomic option available.
A new species of Argiope Audouin 1826, A. hoiseni new species is described from Perak and Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia based on morphology and DNA information of the mitochondrial (16S rRNA, COI and COII) and nuclear-encoded (H3A, 18S rRNA) molecular markers. Epigynal structure suggested Argiope hoiseni to be similar to A. jinghongensis Yin, Peng Wang 1994, A. luzona (Walckenaer 1841), A. pulchella Thorell 1881 and A. taprobanica Thorell 1887. Molecular sequence data including the new species inferred that it is monophyletic with an intraspecific variation of 0.87-3.59 % based on the 16S+COI+COII+H3A dataset. Phylogenetic analyses also revealed insights into the evolutionary lineages of Argiope species in Southeast Asia as well as corroborated recent taxonomic changes and species synonymies associated with Argiope. Two new distribution records were also reported for A. chloreis Thorell,1877 and A. doleschalli Thorell, 1873 in Peninsular Malaysia.
Up to three nominal species of the cyprinid fish genus Poropuntius (i.e. P. deauratus [Valenciennes in Cuvier Valenciennes 1842], P. normani [Smith 1931], and P. smedleyi [de Beaufort 1933]) have been reported to occur in Peninsular Malaysian freshwater ecosystems. However, low morphological differentiation among species of Poropuntius causes confusion and it is still unknown how many valid species of Poropuntius occur in this region. The goal of this study is to review the taxonomic status of Poropuntius in Peninsular Malaysia by using morphological and molecular characters. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on a morphometric dataset including 281 specimens of Poropuntius from Peninsular Malaysia and P. normani from Thailand (type locality) failed to identify non-overlapping clusters within sampled specimens. A phylogenetic tree based on cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) showed intraspecific levels of genetic differentiation within Poropuntius of Peninsular Malaysia and the specimens of P. normani from Thailand form a monophyletic group. Our results strongly support the presence of only one species of Poropuntius in Peninsular Malaysia, P. normani. We demonstrate that P. smedleyi described from Johor, southern Peninsular Malaysia, is a junior synonym of P. normani. The previous reports of the presence of P. deauratus in Peninsular Malaysia are doubtful because this species was described from Vietnam where, in all evidence, it is endemic.
Background: Dadih (fermented buffalo milk) is a traditional Indonesian food originating from West Sumatra province. The fermentation process is carried out by lactic acid bacteria (LAB), which are naturally present in buffalo milk. Lactic acid bacteria have been reported as one of potential producers of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA acts as a neurotransmitter inhibitor of the central nervous system. Methods: In this study, molecular identification and phylogenetic analysis of GABA producing LAB isolated from indigenous dadih of West Sumatera were determined. Identification of the GABA-producing LAB DS15 was based on conventional polymerase chain reaction. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis was used to identify LAB DS15. Results: PCR of the 16S rRNA gene sequence of LAB DS15 gave an approximately 1400 bp amplicon. Phylogenetic analysis showed that LAB DS15 was Pediococcusacidilactici, with high similarity of 99% at 100% query coverage to Pediococcusacidilactici strain DSM 20284. Conclusions: It can be concluded that GABA producing LAB isolated from indigenous dadih was Pediococcus acidilactici.
Morphotaxonomy based on phenotypic traits of immature hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) is a skill challenge and has prompted many inexperienced acarologists to adopt DNA-based methods for identifying and discriminating the species. The aim of this study is therefore to utilize COI gene for verifying the morphological status of Haemaphysalis ticks in Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 19 on-host ticks collected from four localities were first identified using specific illustrated taxonomic keys that lead to the genus of Haemaphysalis. Genotypic traits of tick species were then verified molecularly based on cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene using polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing. Clustering analysis was carried out by constructing a phylogenetic tree to determine the genetic variation and diversity of local Haemaphysalis ticks. Based on external morphological characterizations, all immature ticks were successfully identified down to the genus level only. Molecular analysis of the genotypic using COI gene revealed 16 individuals (84%) as Haemaphysalis hystricis, and three individuals as H. humerosa with sequence homology of 97-99 and 86-87%, respectively. Haemaphysalis hystricis were clustered in their respective monophyletic group in the phylogeny trees with a bootstrap of 100%. Furthermore, a low intraspecific variation (<0.3%) was observed among Malaysian H. hystricis but high interspecific value (>15%) recorded. This study morphologically and molecularly confirms the presence of H. hystricis in Malaysia and the findings will add value to the existing knowledge in identification of ticks in this country.
Whole-genome duplications (WGDs) are widespread and prevalent in vascular plants and frequently coincide with major episodes of global and climatic upheaval, including the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (c. 65 Ma) and during more recent periods of global aridification in the Miocene (c. 10-5 Ma). Here, we explore WGDs in the diverse flowering plant clade Malpighiales. Using transcriptomes and complete genomes from 42 species, we applied a multipronged phylogenomic pipeline to identify, locate, and determine the age of WGDs in Malpighiales using three means of inference: distributions of synonymous substitutions per synonymous site (Ks ) among paralogs, phylogenomic (gene tree) reconciliation, and a likelihood-based gene-count method. We conservatively identify 22 ancient WGDs, widely distributed across Malpighiales subclades. Importantly, these events are clustered around the Eocene-Paleocene transition (c. 54 Ma), during which time the planet was warmer and wetter than any period in the Cenozoic. These results establish that the Eocene Climatic Optimum likely represents a previously unrecognized period of prolific WGDs in plants, and lends further support to the hypothesis that polyploidization promotes adaptation and enhances plant survival during episodes of global change, especially for tropical organisms like Malpighiales, which have tight thermal tolerances.
An integrative taxonomic analysis of the Ptychozoon lionotum group across its range in Indochina and Sundaland recovers P. lionotum sensu lato Annandale, 1905 as paraphyletic with respect to P. popaense Grismer, Wood, Thura, Grismer, Brown, Stuart, 2018a and composed of four allopatric, genetically divergent, ND2 mitochondrial lineages. Multivariate and univariate analyses of continuous and discrete morphological and color pattern characters statistically and discretely diagnose each lineage from one another and together, with maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses, provide the foundation for the recognition of each lineage as a new species-hypotheses corroborated with a Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent species delimitation analysis. Ptychozoon cicakterbang sp. nov. ranges throughout Peninsular Malaysia to Pulau Natuna Besar, Indonesia; P. kabkaebin sp. nov. is endemic to northern and central Laos; and P. tokehos sp. nov. ranges from southern Thailand south of the Isthmus of Kra northward to Chiang Mai, fringing the Chao Phraya Basin and ranging southward through Cambodia to southern Vietnam. Ptychozoon lionotum sensu stricto ranges from northwestern Laos through southern Myanmar to eastern India. The phylogeographic structure within each species varies considerably with P. lionotum s.s. showing no genetic divergence across its 1,100 km range compared to P. cicakterbang sp. nov. showing upwards of 8.2% sequence divergence between syntopic individuals. Significant phylogeographic structure exists within P. tokehos sp. nov. and increased sampling throughout Thailand may require additional taxonomic changes within this species.
Leaf venation networks evolved along several functional axes, including resource transport, damage resistance, mechanical strength, and construction cost. Because functions may depend on architectural features at different scales, network architecture may vary across spatial scales to satisfy functional tradeoffs. We develop a framework for quantifying network architecture with multiscale statistics describing elongation ratios, circularity ratios, vein density, and minimum spanning tree ratios. We quantify vein networks for leaves of 260 southeast Asian tree species in samples of up to 2 cm2 , pairing multiscale statistics with traits representing axes of resource transport, damage resistance, mechanical strength, and cost. We show that these multiscale statistics clearly differentiate species' architecture and delineate a phenotype space that shifts at larger scales; functional linkages vary with scale and are weak, with vein density, minimum spanning tree ratio, and circularity ratio linked to mechanical strength (measured by force to punch) and elongation ratio and circularity ratio linked to damage resistance (measured by tannins); and phylogenetic conservatism of network architecture is low but scale-dependent. This work provides tools to quantify the function and evolution of venation networks. Future studies including primary and secondary veins may uncover additional insights.
The pteridophyte flora of Langkawi Archipelago consists of 130 species, 1 subspecies and 12 varieties in 68 genera and 27 families. This value represents 22.1% of the 647 taxa at the species level and below reported for Peninsular Malaysia. Of the 143 recorded taxa of pteridophytes at the species level and below, 8 species in 2 genera and 2 families are lycophytes and the other 135 taxa in 66 genera and 25 families are monilophytes or ferns.
While the importance of local-scale habitat niches in shaping tree species turnover along environmental gradients in tropical forests is well appreciated, relatively little is known about the influence of phylogenetic signal in species' habitat niches in shaping local community structure. We used detailed maps of the soil resource and topographic variation within eight 24-50 ha tropical forest plots combined with species phylogenies created from the APG III phylogeny to examine how phylogenetic beta diversity (indicating the degree of phylogenetic similarity of two communities) was related to environmental gradients within tropical tree communities. Using distance-based redundancy analysis we found that phylogenetic beta diversity, expressed as either nearest neighbor distance or mean pairwise distance, was significantly related to both soil and topographic variation in all study sites. In general, more phylogenetic beta diversity within a forest plot was explained by environmental variables this was expressed as nearest neighbor distance versus mean pairwise distance (3.0-10.3 % and 0.4-8.8 % of variation explained among plots, respectively), and more variation was explained by soil resource variables than topographic variables using either phylogenetic beta diversity metric. We also found that patterns of phylogenetic beta diversity expressed as nearest neighbor distance were consistent with previously observed patterns of niche similarity among congeneric species pairs in these plots. These results indicate the importance of phylogenetic signal in local habitat niches in shaping the phylogenetic structure of tropical tree communities, especially at the level of close phylogenetic neighbors, where similarity in habitat niches is most strongly preserved.