09 October 2018

Gatzmann and colleagues, 2018

Gatzmann F, Falckenhayn C, Gutekunst J, Hanna K, Raddatz G, Carneiro VC, Lyko FJE. 2018. The methylome of the marbled crayfish links gene body methylation to stable expression of poorly accessible genes. Epigenetics & Chromatin 11(1): 57. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13072-018-0229-6


Background: The parthenogenetic marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a novel species that has rapidly invaded and colonized various different habitats. Adaptation to different environments appears to be independent of the selection of genetic variants, but epigenetic programming of the marbled crayfish genome remains to be understood.

Results: Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of DNA methylation in marbled crayfish. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of multiple replicates and different tissues revealed a methylation pattern that is characterized by gene body methylation of housekeeping genes. Interestingly, this pattern was largely tissue invariant, suggesting a function that is unrelated to cell fate specification. Indeed, integrative analysis of DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility and mRNA expression patterns revealed that gene body methylation correlated with limited chromatin accessibility and stable gene expression, while low-methylated genes often resided in chromatin with higher accessibility and showed increased expression variation. Interestingly, marbled crayfish also showed reduced gene body methylation and higher gene expression variability when compared with their noninvasive mother species, Procambarus fallax.

Conclusions Our results provide novel insights into invertebrate gene body methylation and its potential role in adaptive gene regulation.

Keywords: None provided.

05 October 2018

Anastácio and colleagues, 2019

Anastácio PM, Ribeiro F, Capinha C, Banha F, Gama M, Filipe AF, Rebelo R, Sousa R. 2019. Non-native freshwater fauna in Portugal: A review. Science of The Total Environment 650: 1923-1934. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.251


We present the most updated list of non-native freshwater fauna established in Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira archipelagos. This list includes 67 species at national level but corresponds to 84 species records, of which 53 are in the mainland, 23 in the Azores and 8 in Madeira archipelagos. We also discuss the progression of the cumulative number of introductions since 1800 and identify the most probable vectors of introduction, main taxonomic groups and their regions of origin. Furthermore, we review the existing knowledge about ecological and economic impacts, invasion risk and potential distribution of invaders, under present and future climatic conditions, and the applied management actions, including the production of legislation. Along the 20th century the number of successful introductions increased at an approximate rate of two new species per decade until the beginning of 1970s. Since then, this rate increased to about 14 new species per decade. These introductions were mainly a result of fisheries, as contaminants or for ornamental purposes. Fish and mollusks are the taxonomic groups with more established species, representing more than half of the total. Most species (>70%) are native from other regions of Europe and North America. Studies about ecological or socioeconomic impacts are more common for fish, crustaceans and mollusks. Impacts for most amphibians, reptiles and mammals are not thoroughly studied. A few studies on the impacts and management actions of health-threatening mosquitoes are also available. The potential distribution in the Portuguese territory was modelled for 26 species. Only a minority of these models provides projections of distributions under scenarios of future climate change. A comparison of the Portuguese and EU legislation shows large discrepancies in the invasive species lists. Using the EU list and a ranking procedure for the national context, we identify freshwater species of high national concern for which actions are urgently needed.

Keywords: invasions • exotic species • Iberian Peninsula • risk assessment • inland waters • aquatic systems