Flores-de la Rosa F. R., E. De Luna, J. Adame-García, L. G. Iglesias-Abreu y M. Luna-Rodriguez. 2018

Phylogenetic position and nucleotide diversity of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vanillae worldwide based on translation elongation factor 1a sequences.  Plant Pathology (2018) 67, 1278–1285.
Doi: 10.1111/ppa.12847. 

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vanillae is considered the most important fungus affecting vanilla crops around the world, causing rot on vanilla roots and stems. Previous studies showed that the ability to infect vanilla plants is a polyphyletic trait among strains of the Fusarium oxysporum species complex (FOSC). The same studies proposed a single origin for F. oxysporum f. sp. vanillae isolates sampled from Mexico, the centre of origin and distribution of vanilla. The aim of this work was to test the hypothesis of the monophyletic origin of a wider sample of isolates of F. oxysporum f. sp. vanillae infecting Mexican vanilla and estimate nucleotide diversity of pathogen isolates from the main vanilla-produ- cing countries. Sequence data for the TEF1a gene from 106 isolates was assembled. The phylogenetic analyses suggest that some Mexican isolates of F. oxysporum f. sp. vanillae belong in two well-supported clades, mixed with isolates from Madagascar, Indonesia, R eunion and Comoros. The phylogenetic position of other Indonesian and Mexican iso- lates is unresolved. Estimations of nucleotide diversity showed that the population from Mexico is genetically more diverse than the other three populations from Madagascar, Indonesia and R eunion. The results support a polyphyletic origin of vanilla-infecting isolates of F. oxysporum worldwide, and also reject the proposition that Mexican isolates have a single origin. The phylogenetic optimizations over the strict consensus tree of the ability to infect vanilla plants suggest that pathogenic strains around the world are the product of multiple shifts of pathogenesis and dispersion events.

Medina R.G., R.J. Paxton, E. De Luna, F.A. Fleites, L.A. Medina y J.J.G. Quezada-Euán. 2018

Developmental stability, age at onset of foraging and longevity of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) under heat stress (Hymenoptera: Apidae). JOURNAL OF THERMAL BIOLOGY 74: 214-225.


 Abstract. Beekeeping with the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) is important in tropical regions but scant information is available on the possible consequences of global warming for tropical beekeeping. We evaluated the effect of heat stress on developmental stability, the age at onset of foraging (AOF) and longevity in Africanized honey bees (AHBs) in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, one of the main honey producing areas in the Neotropics, where high temperatures occur in spring and summer. To do so, we reared worker AHB pupae under a fluctuating temperature regime, simulating current tropical heatwaves, with a high temperature peak of 40.0 °C for 1 h daily across six days, and compared them to control pupae reared at stable temperatures of 34.0–35.5 °C. Heat stress did not markedly affect overall body size, though the forewing of heat-stressed bees was slightly shorter than controls. However, bees reared under heat stress showed significantly greater fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in forewing shape. Heat stress also decreased AOF and reduced longevity. Our results show that changes occur in the phenotype and behavior of honey bees under heat stress, with potential consequences for colony fitness.

Heat wave; Developmental stability; Apis mellifera; Global warming; Longevity; Precocious foraging

Martínez-Melo A., E. De Luna y B. E. Buitrón-Sánchez. 2017

Morfometría de los equinodeos de la Familia Cassidulidae (Echinoidea: Cassiduloida).
Revista de Biologia Tropical 65 (suplemento): s233-s243.

Abstract: Morphometrics of echinoids in the Family Cassidulidae (Echinoidea: Cassiduloida). Cassidulidae is the type family of the order Cassiduloida, and contains five genera whose morphology has complicated their taxonomic study: Australanthus, Cassidulus, Eurhodia, Paralampas, and Rhyncholampas. Many authors have applied traditional morphometric analysis (mainly length, width, and height) with varying success. We present the first approach with geometric morphometrics (three outlines: aboral, left, and posterior). Principal component analyses on aligned semi-landmarks detect shape deformations among the five genera. For future studies, we recommend larger samples, and the inclusion of size and other characters such as the ambulacra and peristome. Rev. Biol. Trop. 65(Suppl. 1): S233-S243.

Key words: Geometric Morphometrics; Taxonomy; semi-landmarks; Principal Component Analysis.

RESUMEN: Cassidulidae es la familia tipo del orden Cassiduloida y contiene cinco géneros cuya morfología ha complicado su estudio taxonómico: Australanthus, Cassidulus, Eurhodia, Paralampas, y Rhyncholampas. Varios autores han aplicado análisis morfométricos tradicionales (principalmente largo, ancho y alto) con éxito variable. Nosotros presentamos el primer enfoque con morfometría geométrica (tres contornos: aboral, izquierdo, y posterior). Los análisis de componentes principales de las coordenadas alineadas de semimarcas detectan deformaciones entre los cinco géneros. Para estudios futuros, nosotros recomendamos muestras más grandes, y la inclusión de la talla y caracteres cualitativos como el ambulacro y el peristomo.

Palabras clave: Morfometría geométrica; Taxonomía; semimarcas; Análisis de Componentes Principales.

Bowman, JL y 110 autores [70º E. De Luna]. 2017

Insights into land plant evolution garnered from the Marchantia polymorpha genome. CELL 171 (2): 287-304.


Abstract. The evolution of land flora transformed the terrestrial environment. Land plants evolved from an ancestral charophycean alga from which they inherited developmental, biochemical, and cell biological attributes. Additional biochemical and physiological adaptations to land, and a life cycle with an alternation between multicellular haploid and diploid generations that facilitated efficient dispersal of desiccation tolerant spores, evolved in the ancestral land plant. We analyzed the genome of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, a member of a basal land plant lineage. Relative to charophycean algae, land plant genomes are characterized by genes encoding novel biochemical pathways, new phytohormone signaling pathways (notably auxin), expanded repertoires of signaling pathways, and increased diversity in some transcription factor families. Compared with other sequenced land plants, M. polymorpha exhibits low genetic redundancy in most regulatory pathways, with this portion of its genome resembling that predicted for the ancestral land plant.

Key words: Marchantia polymorpha, land plant evolution, auxin, sex chromosome, charophycean algae.

Ramirez-Ortega JM, A. Estrada-Torres y E. De Luna. 2017

A comparative SEM study of morphological characters in Cribraria. MYCOTAXON 132 (2): 391-419.

Abstract—Cribraria spp. were examined by SEM to determine detailed morphological features of the spore, nodes, and calyculus and to identify and describe the characters and character states for each microstructure examined. The character states defined include six for spore ornamentation (warted, crested, spiny, subreticulate, banded-reticulate, grooved-reticulate), three for node types (rounded, enlarged, irregular), and four for the upper calyculus margin (ribbed, irregular, toothed, entire). Our SEM studies show that interpretations of spore ornamentation character states based solely on LM may be incorrect and that SEM observations are crucial for discovering new characters and interpreting taxonomic morphological features.

Key words—Cribrariaceae, morphology, myxomycetes, plasmodial granules, slime molds.

Plate 8. Cribraria purpurea. a. Peridial net; b. Nodes flattened without free ends; c. Spores with
surface ornamentation composed of crests; d. Spores and plasmodic granules. Cribraria rubiginosa.
e. Flattened node with spores and plasmodic granules; f. Inner surface details of calyculus; g. Spore
details of surface ornamentation showing warts and a reticulum groove crossing the spore; h. Spore
seen in angular view. Scale bars: a =100 μm; b = 20 μm; c, d = 2 μm; e, f = 10 μm; g, h = 1 μm.

Ospina S. y E. De Luna. 2017

Phylogenetic analysis of landmark data and the evolution of cranial shape and diets in species of Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). ZOOMORPHOLOGY 136(2): 251-265.


Species in genus Myotis exhibit a pattern of cranial variation associated with insectivorous, facultative piscivorous, and truly piscivorous diets, which has not been studied in a phylogenetic context. Variation in landmark configurations of five cranial structures in 22 Myotis species was analyzed with phylogenetic methods to infer evolution of shape. Our goals were to detect changes in cranial morphology and to correlate these with concerted changes among diets. A reference phylogeny was estimated using a combined data matrix with previously available Cyt-b and RAG2 sequences and our five configurations of landmarks. We included the insectivorous Kerivoula papillosa Temminck, 1840, Noctilio leporinus Linnaeus, 1758 (piscivorous), and N. albiventris Desmarest, 1818 (insectivorous) as out-groups. The optimization of five landmark configurations on the combined phylogeny shows no evidence of convergent shape changes among species with similar piscivorous diets. Our findings document that facultative piscivory does not imply the same particular morphotype. In four cranial features, there is small shape change between estimated ancestral shapes and seven observed descendant shapes for the piscivorous species. Only the mandible shows major changes from insectivorous ancestors to facultative piscivorous or piscivorous Myotis.


Piscivory Geometric morphometrics Myotis Phylogenetic morphometrics 

Fig. 3 Concerted change in shape, diet, and trawling in the combined phylogeny of Myotis (as in Fig. 2). Colors of branches and taxon names indicate similar diets; facultatively, piscivorous bats are marked in grey, piscivorous species in black dotted line and bold, insectivorous species in black. The foraging strategy is indicated with a label after taxon name, A aerial-hawking, T trawling, and OG overgleaning. At nodes 47, 40, 28, 48, and 35, the landmark configuration is the estimated ancestral shape of the process area (character 3). Double headed arrows show tendency of change. Arrows point to landmark displacements in character 3 interpreted as homoplasy in facultatively piscivorous species. Concerted changes between shape and diet are marked with five half filled circles on branches. In all landmark configurations, deformation vectors at each point indicate displacements from the ancestral configurations to each of the descendant configurations, as optimized with spatial parsimony with TNT.

Rochmann, D y E. De Luna. 2017

Prototyping the complex biological form of the beetle Deltochilum lobipes via 2D geometric morphometrics landmarks and descriptive geometry for 3D printing. Computer-Aided Design and Applications 14: 107-116.

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we present research carried out in the Morphometric Laboratory, Institute of Ecology, in Xalapa, Veracruz, México, which consisted of creating a new method that links geometric morphometrics techniques and descriptive geometry. In our new method a collection of five photographs was used to tag each morphological point called “Landmarks” that defines the numerical values of the coordinates “x” and “y” in a Cartesian space to generate through the coordinates “x,” “y” and “z” the geometry of the biological form of a beetle, across surfaces, meshes and solids. In this research we worked with the beetle Deltochilum Lobipes that belong to the Scarabaeidae family. We made two prototypes in 3D printed, from the 2D coordinates of morphological points which were obtained through the tpsDig2 program. This research documents evidence that supports the hypothesis of our project: “the quantitative descriptor of shape and size in 2D, contribute in the modeling of complex geometric structures in 3D”.

De Luna, E. 2016.

Typification, taxonomy, and worldwide distribution of Braunia secunda (Hook.) Bruch & Schimp. (Hedwigiaceae). Journal of Bryology 38: 286-294.

Diagnosis and illustrations are given for Braunia secunda (Hook.) Bruch & Schimp., and a Humboldt and Bonpland specimen (BM) is selected as the lectotype. Also a collection by Arséne (BM) is designated as the lectotype for B. secunda var. crassiretis Thér. This variety is retained as synonym of B. secunda. The species concept of B. secunda is revised and a provisional key is provided to help in the identification of 23 species of Braunia, based on examination of herbarium specimens worldwide. About half of specimens from Mexico actually represent another species, B. andrieuxii Lorentz. All material examined from India, previously identified as B. secunda belongs to B. macropelma (Müll.Hal.) A.Jaeger, whereas collections from Africa are actually B. rupestris (Mitt.) A.Jaeger, B. entodonticarpa Müll.Hal., or B. diaphana (Müll.Hal.) A.Jaeger. These and other species should no longer be considered synonyms of B. secunda. The worldwide distribution of the species is documented for the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela, and Bolivia.

Keywords: Hedwigiales, keys, lectotypification, moss, nomenclature, systematics.

Becerra-Hernández C, D. González, E. De Luna y J. Mena-Portales. 2016

First Report of Pleoanamorphy in Gyrothrix verticiclada with an Idriella-Like Synanamorph. Cryptogamie, Mycologie 37(2): 241-252.


Pleoanamorphy with two types of conidia is reported for the first time in Gyrothrix verticiclada. The first conidial type has the normal morphology already known for G. verticiclada, but the second conidial type is identified here as an Idriella-like synanamorph. Both conidial types were isolated, then cultivated separately, photographed, and deposited in the Mycothèque de l'Université Catholique de Louvain (BCCM™/MUCL). The morphological similarities of both types of conidia were examined in comparison with conidia in other species of Idriella and Gyrothrix guided by a phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences from three gene regions and morphological data. Phylogenetic analyses were performed with maximum parsimony as the optimality criterion using the program TNT. Results indicated that one individual of Gyrothrix verticiclada is associated with Idriella cubensis and seven with species of both genera. Both types of conidia, Gyrothrix verticiclada (MUCL54065) and the Idriella-like synanamorph (MUCL54064) were recovered as homologous. In addition to knowledge about pleomorphism of G. verticiclada, a BLAST search was made using ITS and LSU sequences in order to find the teleomorphic relationship of G. verticiclada. The teleomorphic connection suggests a correspondence with named genera belonging to the order Xylariales.

Ramírez-Sánchez MM, E. De Luna y C. Cramer. 2016

Geometric and traditional morphometrics for the assessment of character state identity: multivariate statistical analyses of character variation in the water mite genus Arrenurus (Acari, Hydrachnidia, Arrenuridae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 177: 720–749.

Geometric and traditional morphometric approaches are tested to describe and reveal taxonomic characters and character states in variation of shape and size of idiosoma morphology in the Arrenuridae. Patterns of variation of idiosoma and glandularia features of males from 11 Mexican species of Arrenurus (Megaluracarus) and two species of subgenus Dadayella were explored with five landmark configurations and three sets of interlandmark distances. Separate principal component analyses (PCA) and canonical variate analyses (CVA) were performed for each data set. The eight multivariate analyses of variance among 13 a priori groups (species) detected significantly different morphometric variants, which were interpreted as different taxonomic character states. Patterns of character state similarity among species were examined with unweighted-pair grouping method using averages (UPGMA) cluster analyses on Mahalanobis distances. Analyses of five landmark configurations revealed important taxonomical variation in the anterior idiosoma outline (10 character states), the outline of the posterior region or cauda (13 states), the distribution of postocularia, and the second and third pairs of dorsoglandularia (nine states), the fourth pair of dorsoglandularia (three states), and ventroglandularia on the posterior side of idiosoma (nine character states). Multivariate analyses of three sets of distance measurements also resulted in the detection of potential taxonomic characters related to idiosoma size (12 character states), postocularia and dorsoglandularia (13 states), and ventroglandularia (nine character states). Morphometric analyses of distances and shapes provide a formal basis for the interpretation of taxonomic characters, and for the discovery of character states. These characters should be investigated further in a wider sample of species for the phylogenetic systematics of these water mites. In the meantime, idiosoma regions and structures were tested for congruence in a phylogenetic analysis, and were proposed as homologous among the species sampled.

 Additional keywords: cauda shape – character homology – glandularia – idiosoma shape – idiosoma size – Megaluracarus – taxonomic characters.
Figure 7. Shape variation in the dorsal view of the cauda outline (Data set 2). Scatterplot of
canonical variates scores (Root 1 versus Root 2), deformation grids of shape changes
relative to the mean shape are shown for both axes (A). Overall pattern of shape similarity
among 11 Megaluracarus species and two Dadayella species based on Mahalanobis
distances computed from the canonical variates analysis (B). All species resulted
significantly different from each other and therefore 13 character states were discovered in
the cauda outline. Branches in the UPGMA phenogram are labeled according to
discrimination order defined by the CVs. Symbols in the plot and in the phenogram are as
in Figure 6.
Figure. 14. Single most parsimonious tree selected in our phylogenetic analysis of the
combined morphometric data with TNT (score 95.8119). The character matrix included
continuous values of three distance sets and five landmark configurations. Only one shape
character, the cauda outline (Data set 2), is optimised in this tree. Landmark configurations
of the cauda shape at terminal nodes are those as observed in each species. The numbers on
each configuration indicate shapes that are significantly different, as evaluated by the CVA
and MANOVA for landmark Data set 2, as illustrated and labelled in Fig. 7B. In all
hypothetical landmark configurations of the cauda shape at internal nodes, deformation
vectors at each point indicate displacements relative to the ancestral shape as optimised
with TNT.