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Diversity, Volume 1, Issue 1 (September 2009), Pages 1-88

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Towards a Better Understanding of Diversity
Diversity 2009, 1(1), 1-4; doi:10.3390/d1010001
Received: 17 April 2009 / Accepted: 5 June 2009 / Published: 5 June 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (77 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When we look at Planet Earth, its material and organisms, a prominent feature is the diversity of these components and the mechanisms underlying their functions. Biodiversity, which includes the diversity of the living organisms, their genes and the biomes, is a fascinating [...] Read more.
When we look at Planet Earth, its material and organisms, a prominent feature is the diversity of these components and the mechanisms underlying their functions. Biodiversity, which includes the diversity of the living organisms, their genes and the biomes, is a fascinating product of millions of years of evolution. Biodiversity is not static but in continuous change. In addition to the intrinsic natural causes, the biodiversity on Earth is increasingly challenged by human interference. Among the critical factors are the destruction of habitats (by agriculture or technical development, especially loss of rain forests and coral reefs), climate change, direct persecution and extermination of species (for traditional pharmaceutical use, game hunting or in fishery), as well as the introduction of invasive species and environmental pollution (some of them apparently influencing our climate) [1]. Global changes (land-use and climate) and human population growth (with a world population of more than 6.7 billion in 2009 and an annual increase of almost 80 million) are ultimately responsible for affecting biodiversity worldwide. The exact impact of human interference on the Earth’s diversity may not be realised until it is too late to save critical species. [...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial Diversity – An International and Interdisciplinary Journal
Diversity 2009, 1(1), 5-6; doi:10.3390/d1010005
Received: 6 June 2009 / Published: 8 June 2009
PDF Full-text (125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
After many years of careful planning, we are pleased to launch Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818), a new international and interdisciplinary Open Access journal. Among diversity topics, biodiversity has always been a key topic. In 1996, when I was establishing Molecular Diversity Preservation International [...] Read more.
After many years of careful planning, we are pleased to launch Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818), a new international and interdisciplinary Open Access journal. Among diversity topics, biodiversity has always been a key topic. In 1996, when I was establishing Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), an organization dedicated to the collection and distribution of rare molecular samples, I read several books on biodiversity. To promote the MDPI project, in 1996 the journal Molecules was launched, where authors are encouraged to deposit authentic samples of chemicals reported in the published articles. One of the topics covered by the journal Molecules was molecular diversity, and my own paper on diversity assessment published in volume 1 of Molecules cited some of the biodiversity books I had read [1] and Molecules still has a section called “Molecular Diversity” [2]. Our founding Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Dr. Michael Wink [3], also cites biological diversity as one of his main research interests. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Polymorphisms within the Toll-Like Receptor (TLR)-2, -4, and -6 Genes in Cattle
Diversity 2009, 1(1), 7-18; doi:10.3390/d1010007
Received: 4 May 2009 / Accepted: 17 July 2009 / Published: 30 July 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In mammals, members of the TLR gene family play a primary role in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns from bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Recently, cattle TLR genes have been mapped to chromosomes using a radiation hybrid panel. Nucleotide sequences of [...] Read more.
In mammals, members of the TLR gene family play a primary role in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns from bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Recently, cattle TLR genes have been mapped to chromosomes using a radiation hybrid panel. Nucleotide sequences of bovine TLR2, TLR4 and TLR6 genes were screened to identify novel SNPs that can be used in studies of cattle resistance to diseases. In total, 8 SNPs were identified and were submitted to the NCBI dbSNP database. The frequencies of the SNPs were assessed in 16 different bovine European cattle breeds and a phylogenetic analysis carried out to describe the relationships between the breeds. Even if from our analysis the SNPs do not appear located in loci under selection, a deviation of three SNPs from Hardy Weinberg equilibrium was observed, and we hypothesize that some of the polymorphisms may be fixated since many generations. The described variations in immune function related genes will contribute to research on disease response in cattle. In fact, the SNPs can be used in association studies between polymorphisms and cattle resistance to diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Ad-Hoc vs. Standardized and Optimized Arthropod Diversity Sampling
Diversity 2009, 1(1), 36-51; doi:10.3390/d1010036
Received: 6 August 2009 / Accepted: 25 August 2009 / Published: 1 September 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of standardized and optimized protocols has been recently advocated for different arthropod taxa instead of ad-hoc sampling or sampling with protocols defined on a case-by-case basis. We present a comparison of both sampling approaches applied for spiders in a natural [...] Read more.
The use of standardized and optimized protocols has been recently advocated for different arthropod taxa instead of ad-hoc sampling or sampling with protocols defined on a case-by-case basis. We present a comparison of both sampling approaches applied for spiders in a natural area of Portugal. Tests were made to their efficiency, over-collection of common species, singletons proportions, species abundance distributions, average specimen size, average taxonomic distinctness and behavior of richness estimators. The standardized protocol revealed three main advantages: (1) higher efficiency; (2) more reliable estimations of true richness; and (3) meaningful comparisons between undersampled areas. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus
Diversity 2009, 1(1), 52-66; doi:10.3390/d1010052
Received: 30 July 2009 / Accepted: 7 September 2009 / Published: 11 September 2009
Cited by 67 | PDF Full-text (301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction [...] Read more.
Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history variables with the pathogen's predicted distribution. We apply our rule set to the known global diversity of amphibians in order to prioritize pecies that are most at risk of loss from disease emergence. This risk assessment shows where limited conservation funds are best deployed in order to prevent further loss of species by enabling ex situ amphibian salvage operations and focusing any potential disease mitigation projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Conservation)

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Assessing Plant Genetic Diversity by Molecular Tools
Diversity 2009, 1(1), 19-35; doi:10.3390/d1010019
Received: 5 May 2009 / Accepted: 4 August 2009 / Published: 6 August 2009
Cited by 59 | PDF Full-text (178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper is an overview of the diverse, predominantly molecular techniques, used in assessing plant genetic diversity. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the application of molecular genetic methods for assessing the conservation and use of plant genetic [...] Read more.
This paper is an overview of the diverse, predominantly molecular techniques, used in assessing plant genetic diversity. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the application of molecular genetic methods for assessing the conservation and use of plant genetic resources. Molecular techniques have been applied in the analysis of specific genes, as well as to increase understanding of gene action, generate genetic maps and assist in the development of gene transfer technologies. Molecular techniques have also had critical roles in studies of phylogeny and species evolution, and have been applied to increase our understanding of the distribution and extent of genetic variation within and between species. These techniques are well established and their advantages as well as limitations have been realized and described in this work. Recently, a new class of advanced techniques has emerged, primarily derived from a combination of earlier, more basic techniques. Advanced marker techniques tend to amalgamate advantageous features of several basic techniques, in order to increase the sensitivity and resolution to detect genetic discontinuity and distinctiveness. Some of the advanced marker techniques utilize newer classes of DNA elements, such as retrotransposons, mitochondrial and chloroplast based microsatellites, thereby revealing genetic variation through increased genome coverage. Techniques such as RAPD and AFLP are also being applied to cDNA-based templates to study patterns of gene expression and uncover the genetic basis of biological responses. The most important and recent advances made in molecular marker techniques are discussed in this review, along with their applications, advantages and limitations applied to plant sciences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Plant Genetic Diversity)
Open AccessReview Amphibian Declines Are Not Uniquely High amongst the Vertebrates: Trend Determination and the British Perspective
Diversity 2009, 1(1), 67-88; doi:10.3390/d1010067
Received: 12 August 2009 / Accepted: 21 September 2009 / Published: 24 September 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although amphibians have experienced major global declines and an increasing extinction rate, recent results indicate that they are not as uniquely disadvantaged as previously supposed. Acquisition of robust data is evidently crucial to the determination of both absolute and relative rates of [...] Read more.
Although amphibians have experienced major global declines and an increasing extinction rate, recent results indicate that they are not as uniquely disadvantaged as previously supposed. Acquisition of robust data is evidently crucial to the determination of both absolute and relative rates of biodiversity declines, and thus in prioritising conservation actions. In Britain there is arguably a longer history of recording, and attempting to conserve, a wide range of species groups than anywhere else in the world. This stems from the early activities of Victorian naturalists in the nineteenth century, the establishment of natural history societies and, since the mid-twentieth century, a range of national recording schemes and organisations actively involved in conservation. In this review we summarise comparative evidence for British amphibians and reptiles concerning historical abundance, population trends and their causes, and outline how they relate to the situation elsewhere in Europe (and possibly the World). We discuss possible reasons why the plight of ectothermic vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles) seems generally worse than that of endotherms (birds and mammals), as well as research priorities and factors likely to impact amphibians and reptile conservation in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Conservation)

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