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2.  Iberian red deer: paraphyletic nature at mtDNA but nuclear markers support its genetic identity 
Ecology and Evolution  2016;6(4):905-922.
Abstract
Red deer populations in the Iberian glacial refugium were the main source for postglacial recolonization and subspecific radiation in north‐western Europe. However, the phylogenetic history of Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) and its relationships with northern European populations remain uncertain. Here, we study DNA sequences at the mitochondrial control region along with STR markers for over 680 specimens from all the main red deer populations in Spain and other west European areas. Our results from mitochondrial and genomic DNA show contrasting patterns, likely related to the nature of these types of DNA markers and their specific processes of change over time. The results, taken together, bring support to two distinct, cryptic maternal lineages for Iberian red deer that predated the last glacial maximum and that have maintained geographically well differentiated until present. Haplotype relationships show that only one of them contributed to the northern postglacial recolonization. However, allele frequencies of nuclear markers evidenced one main differentiation between Iberian and northern European subspecies although also supported the structure of both matrilines within Iberia. Thus, our findings reveal a paraphyletic nature for Iberian red deer but also its genetic identity and differentiation with respect to northern subspecies. Finally, we suggest that maintaining the singularity of Iberian red deer requires preventing not only restocking practices with red deer specimens belonging to other European populations but also translocations between both Iberian lineages.
doi:10.1002/ece3.1836
PMCID: PMC4729781  PMID: 26843924
Cervus elaphus hispanicus; conservation genetics; Iberian glacial refugia; paraphyletic taxa; phylogeny; phylogeography
3.  Iberian red deer: paraphyletic nature at mtDNA but nuclear markers support its genetic identity 
Ecology and Evolution  2016;10.1002/ece3.1836.
Abstract
Red deer populations in the Iberian glacial refugium were the main source for postglacial recolonization and subspecific radiation in north‐western Europe. However, the phylogenetic history of Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) and its relationships with northern European populations remain uncertain. Here, we study DNA sequences at the mitochondrial control region along with STR markers for over 680 specimens from all the main red deer populations in Spain and other west European areas. Our results from mitochondrial and genomic DNA show contrasting patterns, likely related to the nature of these types of DNA markers and their specific processes of change over time. The results, taken together, bring support to two distinct, cryptic maternal lineages for Iberian red deer that predated the last glacial maximum and that have maintained geographically well differentiated until present. Haplotype relationships show that only one of them contributed to the northern postglacial recolonization. However, allele frequencies of nuclear markers evidenced one main differentiation between Iberian and northern European subspecies although also supported the structure of both matrilines within Iberia. Thus, our findings reveal a paraphyletic nature for Iberian red deer but also its genetic identity and differentiation with respect to northern subspecies. Finally, we suggest that maintaining the singularity of Iberian red deer requires preventing not only restocking practices with red deer specimens belonging to other European populations but also translocations between both Iberian lineages.
doi:10.1002/ece3.1836
PMCID: PMC4729781  PMID: 26843924
Cervus elaphus hispanicus; conservation genetics; Iberian glacial refugia; paraphyletic taxa; phylogeny; phylogeography
4.  Better Fitness in Captive Cuvier’s Gazelle despite Inbreeding Increase: Evidence of Purging? 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(12):e0145111.
Captive breeding of endangered species often aims at preserving genetic diversity and to avoid the harmful effects of inbreeding. However, deleterious alleles causing inbreeding depression can be purged when inbreeding persists over several generations. Despite its great importance both for evolutionary biology and for captive breeding programmes, few studies have addressed whether and to which extent purging may occur. Here we undertake a longitudinal study with the largest captive population of Cuvier's gazelle managed under a European Endangered Species Programme since 1975. Previous results in this population have shown that highly inbred mothers tend to produce more daughters, and this fact was used in 2006 to reach a more appropriate sex-ratio in this polygynous species by changing the pairing strategy (i.e., pairing some inbred females instead of keeping them as surplus individuals in the population). Here, by using studbook data we explore whether purging has occurred in the population by investigating whether after the change in pairing strategy a) inbreeding and homozygosity increased at the population level, b) fitness (survival) increased, and c) the relationship between inbreeding and juvenile survival, was positive. Consistent with the existence of purging, we found an increase in inbreeding coefficients, homozygosity and juvenile survival. In addition, we showed that in the course of the breeding programme the relationship between inbreeding and juvenile survival was not uniform but rather changed over time: it was negative in the early years, flat in the middle years and positive after the change in pairing strategy. We highlight that by allowing inbred individuals to mate in captive stocks we may favour sex-ratio bias towards females, a desirable managing strategy to reduce the surplus of males that force most zoos to use ethical culling and euthanizing management tools. We discuss these possibilities but also acknowledge that many other effects should be considered before implementing inbreeding and purging as elements in management decisions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145111
PMCID: PMC4682998  PMID: 26679703
5.  Sexual reproduction with variable mating systems can resist asexuality in a rock–paper–scissors dynamics 
Royal Society Open Science  2015;2(7):140383.
While sex can be advantageous for a lineage in the long term, we still lack an explanation for its maintenance with the twofold cost per generation. Here we model an infinite diploid population where two autosomal loci determine, respectively, the reproductive mode, sexual versus asexual and the mating system, polygynous (costly sex) versus monogamous (assuming equal contribution of parents to offspring, i.e. non-costly sex). We show that alleles for costly sex can spread when non-costly sexual modes buffer the interaction between asexual and costly sexual strategies, even without twofold benefit of recombination with respect to asexuality. The three interacting strategies have intransitive fitness relationships leading to a rock–paper–scissors dynamics, so that alleles for costly sex cannot be eliminated by asexuals in most situations throughout the parameter space. Our results indicate that sexual lineages with variable mating systems can resist the invasion of asexuals and allow for long-term effects to accumulate, thus providing a solution to the persisting theoretical question of why sex was not displaced by asexuality along evolution.
doi:10.1098/rsos.140383
PMCID: PMC4632567  PMID: 26587254
sex evolution; maintenance of sex; sexual selection; mating systems; twofold cost of sex; rock–paper–scissors
6.  Males and Females Contribute Unequally to Offspring Genetic Diversity in the Polygynandrous Mating System of Wild Boar 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115394.
The maintenance of genetic diversity across generations depends on both the number of reproducing males and females. Variance in reproductive success, multiple paternity and litter size can all affect the relative contributions of male and female parents to genetic variation of progeny. The mating system of the wild boar (Sus scrofa) has been described as polygynous, although evidence of multiple paternity in litters has been found. Using 14 microsatellite markers, we evaluated the contribution of males and females to genetic variation in the next generation in independent wild boar populations from the Iberian Peninsula and Hungary. Genetic contributions of males and females were obtained by distinguishing the paternal and maternal genetic component inherited by the progeny. We found that the paternally inherited genetic component of progeny was more diverse than the maternally inherited component. Simulations showed that this finding might be due to a sampling bias. However, after controlling for the bias by fitting both the genetic diversity in the adult population and the number of reproductive individuals in the models, paternally inherited genotypes remained more diverse than those inherited maternally. Our results suggest new insights into how promiscuous mating systems can help maintain genetic variation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115394
PMCID: PMC4277350  PMID: 25541986
7.  Roaring High and Low: Composition and Possible Functions of the Iberian Stag's Vocal Repertoire 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63841.
We provide a detailed description of the rutting vocalisations of free-ranging male Iberian deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus, Hilzheimer 1909), a geographically isolated and morphologically differentiated subspecies of red deer Cervus elaphus. We combine spectrographic examinations, spectral analyses and automated classifications to identify different call types, and compare the composition of the vocal repertoire with that of other red deer subspecies.
Iberian stags give bouts of roars (and more rarely, short series of barks) that are typically composed of two different types of calls. Long Common Roars are mostly given at the beginning or at the end of the bout, and are characterised by a high fundamental frequency (F0) resulting in poorly defined formant frequencies but a relatively high amplitude. In contrast, Short Common Roars are typically given in the middle or at the end of the bout, and are characterised by a lower F0 resulting in relatively well defined vocal tract resonances, but low amplitude. While we did not identify entirely Harsh Roars (as described in the Scottish red deer subspecies (Cervus elaphus scoticus)), a small percentage of Long Common Roars contained segments of deterministic chaos.
We suggest that the evolution of two clearly distinct types of Common Roars may reflect divergent selection pressures favouring either vocal efficiency in high pitched roars or the communication of body size in low-pitched, high spectral density roars highlighting vocal tract resonances. The clear divergence of the Iberian red deer vocal repertoire from those of other documented European red deer populations reinforces the status of this geographical variant as a distinct subspecies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063841
PMCID: PMC3648515  PMID: 23667678
8.  Microsatellite markers for identification and parentage analysis in the European wild boar (Sus scrofa) 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:479.
Background
The wild boar (Sus scrofa) is among the most widespread mammal species throughout the old world. Presently, studies concerning microsatellites in domestic pigs and wild boars have been carried out in order to investigate domestication, social behavior and general diversity patterns among either populations or breeds. The purpose of the current study is to develop a robust set of microsatellites markers for parentage analyses and individual identification.
Findings
A set of 14 previously reported microsatellites markers have been optimized and tested in three populations from Hungary, Portugal and Spain, in a total of 167 samples. The results indicate high probabilities of exclusion (0.99999), low probability of identity (2.0E-13 – 2.5E-9) and a parentage assignment of 100%.
Conclusions
Our results demonstrate that this set of markers is a useful and efficient tool for the individual identification and parentage assignment in wild boars.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-479
PMCID: PMC3475110  PMID: 22943565
Sus scrofa; Parentage assignment; Individual identification; Microsatellite markers; Wild boar
9.  Preexposure Chemoprophylaxis for HIV Prevention in Men Who Have Sex with Men 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(27):2587-2599.
BACKGROUND
Antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis before exposure is a promising approach for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition.
METHODS
We randomly assigned 2499 HIV-seronegative men or transgender women who have sex with men to receive a combination of two oral antiretroviral drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC–TDF), or placebo once daily. All subjects received HIV testing, risk-reduction counseling, condoms, and management of sexually transmitted infections.
RESULTS
The study subjects were followed for 3324 person-years (median, 1.2 years; maximum, 2.8 years). Of these subjects, 10 were found to have been infected with HIV at enrollment, and 100 became infected during follow-up (36 in the FTC–TDF group and 64 in the placebo group), indicating a 44% reduction in the incidence of HIV (95% confidence interval, 15 to 63; P = 0.005). In the FTC–TDF group, the study drug was detected in 22 of 43 of seronegative subjects (51%) and in 3 of 34 HIV-infected subjects (9%) (P<0.001). Nausea was reported more frequently during the first 4 weeks in the FTC–TDF group than in the placebo group (P<0.001). The two groups had similar rates of serious adverse events (P = 0.57).
CONCLUSIONS
Oral FTC–TDF provided protection against the acquisition of HIV infection among the subjects. Detectable blood levels strongly correlated with the prophylactic effect. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00458393.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1011205
PMCID: PMC3079639  PMID: 21091279

Results 1-9 (9)