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1.  Cover Cropping Alters the Diet of Arthropods in a Banana Plantation: A Metabarcoding Approach 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93740.
Plant diversification using cover crops may promote natural regulation of agricultural pests by supporting alternative prey that enable the increase of arthropod predator densities. However, the changes in the specific composition of predator diet induced by cover cropping are poorly understood. Here, we hypothesized that the cover crop can significantly alter the diet of predators in agroecosystems. The cover crop Brachiaria decumbens is increasingly used in banana plantations to control weeds and improve physical soil properties. In this paper, we used a DNA metabarcoding approach for the molecular analysis of the gut contents of predators (based on mini-COI) to identify 1) the DNA sequences of their prey, 2) the predators of Cosmopolites sordidus (a major pest of banana crops), and 3) the difference in the specific composition of predator diets between a bare soil plot (BSP) and a cover cropped plot (CCP) in a banana plantation. The earwig Euborellia caraibea, the carpenter ant Camponotus sexguttatus, and the fire ant Solenopsis geminata were found to contain C. sordidus DNA at frequencies ranging from 1 to 7%. While the frequencies of predators positive for C. sordidus DNA did not significantly differ between BSP and CCP, the frequency at which E. caraibea was positive for Diptera was 26% in BSP and 80% in CCP; the frequency at which C. sexguttatus was positive for Jalysus spinosus was 14% in BSP and 0% in CCP; and the frequency at which S. geminata was positive for Polytus mellerborgi was 21% in BSP and 3% in CCP. E. caraibea, C. sexguttatus and S. geminata were identified as possible biological agents for the regulation of C. sordidus. The detection of the diet changes of these predators when a cover crop is planted indicates the possible negative effects on pest regulation if predators switch to forage on alternative prey.
PMCID: PMC3973587  PMID: 24695585
2.  SESAME (SEquence Sorter & AMplicon Explorer): genotyping based on high-throughput multiplex amplicon sequencing 
Bioinformatics  2010;27(2):277-278.
Summary: Characterizing genetic diversity through genotyping short amplicons is central to evolutionary biology. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies changed the scale at which these type of data are acquired. SESAME is a web application package that assists genotyping of multiplexed individuals for several markers based on NGS amplicon sequencing. It automatically assigns reads to loci and individuals, corrects reads if standard samples are available and provides an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) for allele validation based on the sequences and associated decision-making tools. The aim of SESAME is to help allele identification among a large number of sequences.
Availability: SESAME and its documentation are freely available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence for Windows and Linux from or
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC3018808  PMID: 21084284
3.  Rise of oceanographic barriers in continuous populations of a cetacean: the genetic structure of harbour porpoises in Old World waters 
BMC Biology  2007;5:30.
Understanding the role of seascape in shaping genetic and demographic population structure is highly challenging for marine pelagic species such as cetaceans for which there is generally little evidence of what could effectively restrict their dispersal. In the present work, we applied a combination of recent individual-based landscape genetic approaches to investigate the population genetic structure of a highly mobile extensive range cetacean, the harbour porpoise in the eastern North Atlantic, with regards to oceanographic characteristics that could constrain its dispersal.
Analyses of 10 microsatellite loci for 752 individuals revealed that most of the sampled range in the eastern North Atlantic behaves as a 'continuous' population that widely extends over thousands of kilometres with significant isolation by distance (IBD). However, strong barriers to gene flow were detected in the south-eastern part of the range. These barriers coincided with profound changes in environmental characteristics and isolated, on a relatively small scale, porpoises from Iberian waters and on a larger scale porpoises from the Black Sea.
The presence of these barriers to gene flow that coincide with profound changes in oceanographic features, together with the spatial variation in IBD strength, provide for the first time strong evidence that physical processes have a major impact on the demographic and genetic structure of a cetacean. This genetic pattern further suggests habitat-related fragmentation of the porpoise range that is likely to intensify with predicted surface ocean warming.
PMCID: PMC1971045  PMID: 17651495

Results 1-3 (3)