Abstract Amazon parrots are long-lived birds with highly developed cognitive skills, including vocal learning. Several parrot mitogenomes have been sequenced, but important aspects of their organization and evolution are not fully understood or have limited experimental support. The main aim of the present study was to describe the mitogenome of the blue-fronted Amazon, Amazona aestiva, and compare it to other mitogenomes from the genus Amazona and the order Psittaciformes. We observed that mitogenomes are highly conserved among Amazon parrots, and a detailed analysis of their duplicated control regions revealed conserved blocks. Population level analyses indicated that the specimen analyzed here seems to be close to A. aestiva individuals from Bahia state. Evolutionary relationships of 41 Psittaciformes species and three outgroups were inferred by BEAST. All relationships were retrieved with high support.
Bioguided fractionation of a hydroethanolic extract from the stem bark of Croton echioides Baill. led to isolation of the new indole alkaloid N-trans-feruloyl-3,5-dihydroxyindolin-2-one as a stereoisomeric mixture and the known alkaloids N-trans-p-coumaroyl-tryptamine, N-trans-p-coumaroyl-5-hydroxytryptamine, N-trans-4-methoxy-cinnamoyl-5-hydroxytryptamine, N-trans-feruloyl-5-hydroxytryptamine (moschamine), from the ethyl acetate fraction. The flavonoids 3-o-methyl kaempferol, 3-o-methyl quercetin, 3,7-di-o-methyl quercetin and 3,3'-di-o-methyl quercetin, together with the benzoic acid derivatives 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid and 4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxybenzoic acid were also isolated. Alkaloids and the flavonoids showed strong antioxidant properties in vitro radical scavenging assay (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, DPPH), with IC50 values ranging from 9.2 to 17.5 µmol L-1, lower than those of the positive control Trolox (IC50 = 17.9 µmol L-1). Alkaloids showed cytotoxic activity against the HCT-116 human cancer cell line, with IC50 values ranging from 86.8 to 210.7 µmol L-1. Compound N-trans-4-methoxy-cinnamoyl-5-hydroxytryptamine was the most active, with an IC50 value of 86.8 µmol L-1.
The memorization and production of song in songbirds share important parallels with the process of speech acquisition in humans. In songbirds, these processes are dependent on a group of specialized telencephalic nuclei known as the song system: HVC (used as a proper name), RA (robust nucleus of arcopallium), LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium) and striatal Area X. A recent study suggested that the arcopallium of the Sayornis phoebe, a non vocal learner suboscine species, contains a nucleus with some properties similar to those of songbird RA, suggesting that the song system may have been present in the last common ancestor of these groups. Here we report morphological and gene expression evidence that a region with some properties similar to RA is present in another suboscine, the Amazonian endemic Willisornis poecilinotus. Specifically, a discrete domain with a distinct Nissl staining pattern and that expresses the RA marker RGS4 was found in the arcopallium where the oscine RA is localized. Our findings, combined with the previous report on the S. phoebe, suggest that an arcopallial region with some RA-like properties was present in the ancestor of both Suboscines infraorders Tyranni and Furnarii, and is possibly an ancestral feature of Passeriformes.
Abstract An updated inventory of Brazilian seed plants is presented and offers important insights into the country's biodiversity. This work started in 2010, with the publication of the Plants and Fungi Catalogue, and has been updated since by more than 430 specialists working online. Brazil is home to 32,086 native Angiosperms and 23 native Gymnosperms, showing an increase of 3% in its species richness in relation to 2010. The Amazon Rainforest is the richest Brazilian biome for Gymnosperms, while the Atlantic Rainforest is the richest one for Angiosperms. There was a considerable increment in the number of species and endemism rates for biomes, except for the Amazon that showed a decrease of 2.5% of recorded endemics. However, well over half of Brazillian seed plant species (57.4%) is endemic to this territory. The proportion of life-forms varies among different biomes: trees are more expressive in the Amazon and Atlantic Rainforest biomes while herbs predominate in the Pampa, and lianas are more expressive in the Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest, and Pantanal. This compilation serves not only to quantify Brazilian biodiversity, but also to highlight areas where there information is lacking and to provide a framework for the challenge faced in conserving Brazil's unique and diverse flora.
Resumo Um levantamento atualizado das plantas com sementes e análises relevantes acerca desta biodiversidade são apresentados. Este trabalho se iniciou em 2010 com a publicação do Catálogo de Plantas e Fungos e, desde então vem sendo atualizado por mais de 430 especialistas trabalhando online. O Brasil abriga atualmente 32.086 espécies nativas de Angiospermas e 23 espécies nativas de Gimnospermas e estes novos dados mostram um aumento de 3% da riqueza em relação a 2010. A Amazônia é o Domínio Fitogeográfico com o maior número de espécies de Gimnospermas, enquanto que a Floresta Atlântica possui a maior riqueza de Angiospermas. Houve um crescimento considerável no número de espécies e nas taxas de endemismo para a maioria dos Domínios (Caatinga, Cerrado, Floresta Atlântica, Pampa e Pantanal), com exceção da Amazônia que apresentou uma diminuição de 2,5% de endemicidade. Entretanto, a maior parte das plantas com sementes que ocorrem no Brasil (57,4%) é endêmica deste território. A proporção de formas de vida varia de acordo com os diferentes Domínios: árvores são mais expressivas na Amazônia e Floresta Atlântica do que nos outros biomas, ervas são dominantes no Pampa e as lianas apresentam riqueza expressiva na Amazônia, Floresta Atlântica e Pantanal. Este trabalho não só quantifica a biodiversidade brasileira, mas também indica as lacunas de conhecimento e o desafio a ser enfrentado para a conservação desta flora.
The immediate-early gene zenk is an activity-dependent gene highly induced in auditory processing or vocal motor control brain areas when birds engage in hearing or producing song, respectively. Studies of the expression of zenk in songbirds and other avian groups will be reviewed here briefly, with a focus on how this analysis has generated new insights on the brain pathways and mechanisms involved in perceptual and motor aspects of vocal communication and vocal learning.
O gene imediato zenk é um gene dependente de atividade que é marcadamente induzido em áreas cerebrais de processamento auditivo ou de controle vocal motor quando pássaros ouvem ou produzem canto, respectivamente. Estudos da expressão de zenk em pássaros canoros e outros grupos de aves será revisto neste artigo, enfocando como esta análise tem gerado novas perspectivas no entendimento das vias e mecanismos envolvidos em aspectos perceptuais e motores da comunicação e do aprendizado vocais.