Special Issue "A Themed Issue in Honor of Prof. Dr. Michael Wink on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday: Medicinal Plants, Ornithology and Evolution"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Luc Legal
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement, UMR 5245 (CNRS-UPS-INPT) Batiment IVR1 / Université Paul Sabatier, 118 Route de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse CEDEX 9, France
Interests: molecular evolution; dynamic of communities and populations; plant–insect interactions, ecology; tools: mitochondrial DNA; ISSR; cuticular hydrocarbons; field ecology; model organisms: lepidoptera; diptera; spiders
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to Prof. Dr. Michael Wink, Professor at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Germany, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, and in honor of his achievements in the fields of medicinal plants, ornithology, chemical ecology and evolution.

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From 1971 to 1977 he studied biology and chemistry at the University of Bonn. In 1980, Michael Wink became a Dr. rerum naturalium at the Technical University of Braunschweig. He then continued to work there as a postdoc and habilitated in 1984/85 for "Pharmaceutical Biology".

From 1986, he worked as a Heisenberg scholarship holder of the DFG at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, and at the Gene Center of the LMU in Munich, until, in 1988, he accepted a call from the University of Mainz to become a C3 professor of Pharmaceutical Biology. In 1989, he moved to Heidelberg University as Professor of Pharmaceutical Biology (C4). Michael Wink was a director of the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Dept. of Biology, until 2019. From 1990 to 2002, he was dean or vice dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy; from 1999 to 2005 and from 2012 to September 2018, he was the founder and dean of studies in Molecular Biotechnology (BSc, MSc); from 2005 to 2007, Wink worked as vice dean for Research, Faculty of Biosciences. Since October 2019, Michael Wink has been a Senior Professor at Heidelberg University. He is a guest professor at Northeast Forestry University (Harbin, China) and IPN/CEPROBI (Yautepec, Morelos, Mexico).

Michael’s over 32 years of professorship have not only been very successful and productive (over 1200 original papers, many book chapters and more than 20 books, 125 PhD students, and innumerable MSc and undergraduate students), but also, and this we know from our own experience, has at all times been governed by modesty, by humanness, and friendliness towards all his students, coworkers, and colleagues. One of Michael's main strengths is his openness, providing students and colleagues from all over the world with opportunities to work in his lab. It was not uncommon to find more than 15 different nationalities in his institute, many of them from emerging countries on all continents. The scientific wealth associated with the cultural diversity of his co-workers partly explains the international success story of the institute.

We, therefore, gladly dedicate this Special Issue to Prof. Dr. Michael Wink, and we really hope you will enjoy it. 

Dr. Luc Legal
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • pharmacy
  • chemical ecology
  • molecular ecology
  • birds
  • plant–insect relationships

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Unraveling the Biosynthesis of Quinolizidine Alkaloids Using the Genetic and Chemical Diversity of Mexican Lupins
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080375 - 14 Aug 2021
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs) are synthesized by the genus Lupinus as a defense against herbivores. Synthesis of QAs in lupins is species- and organ-specific. Knowledge about their biosynthesis and their corresponding pathways are still fragmentary, in part because lupins of commercial importance were mainly [...] Read more.
Quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs) are synthesized by the genus Lupinus as a defense against herbivores. Synthesis of QAs in lupins is species- and organ-specific. Knowledge about their biosynthesis and their corresponding pathways are still fragmentary, in part because lupins of commercial importance were mainly investigated, representing a small sample of the chemodiversity of the genus. Here, we explore the use of three Mexican lupins: Lupinus aschenbornii, Lupinus montanus, and Lupinus bilineatus as a model to study the physiology of QA biosynthesis. The corresponding QA patterns cover widely and narrowly distributed tetracyclic QAs. Quinolizidine alkaloid patterns of seeds and plantlets at different developmental stages were determined by GLC–MS and compared to identify the onset of de novo QA synthesis and to gain insight into specific and common biosynthesis trends. Onset of de novo QA biosynthesis occurred after the metabolization of seed QA during germination and was species-specific, as expected. A common QA pattern, from which the diversity of QA observed in these species is generated, was not found; however, lupanine and 3β-lupanine were found in the three specieswhile sparteine was not found in Lupinus bilineatus, suggesting that this simplest tetracyclic QA is not the precursor of more complex QAs. Similar patterns of metabolization and biosynthesis of structurally related QAs were observed, suggesting a common regulation. Full article
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Article
Molecular and Chemical Markers to Illustrate the Complex Diversity of the Genus Lupinus (Fabaceae)
Diversity 2021, 13(6), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13060263 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
The potential of secondary metabolites as systematic markers to get new insights in an intricate phylogeny of a recent evolutionary radiation is explored. A chemosystematic study of the genus Lupinus (Fabaceae) was performed, using quinolizidine (QA) and piperidine alkaloids (ammodendrine) as diagnostic characters. [...] Read more.
The potential of secondary metabolites as systematic markers to get new insights in an intricate phylogeny of a recent evolutionary radiation is explored. A chemosystematic study of the genus Lupinus (Fabaceae) was performed, using quinolizidine (QA) and piperidine alkaloids (ammodendrine) as diagnostic characters. Seven major QA and the piperidine alkaloid ammodendrine were found to be the most frequent compounds. Two groups were supported according to their geographic origin: an Old World/Atlantic American group and a West New World group and this pattern is concordant with molecular data (here, based on an original barcode approach using the nuclear marker ITS). However, QA profiles are less informative at the species level. Despite a lack of resolution within the two groups, the alkaloid profiles agree with well supported clades based on DNA molecular characters. The combined use of chemical and barcode genetic markers represents a viable alternative for separating recent evolutionary lineages to a first approximation without having to resort to an expensive and sophisticated molecular arsenal such as next generation sequencing. Full article
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Article
The Phylogenetics and Biogeography of the Central Asian Hawkmoths, Hyles hippophaes and H. chamyla: Can Mitogenomics and Machine Learning Bring Clarity?
Diversity 2021, 13(5), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050213 - 17 May 2021
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Abstract
The western Palaearctic species of the hawkmoth genus Hyles (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) have long been the subject of molecular phylogenetic research. However, much less attention has been paid to the taxa inhabiting the central and eastern Palaearctic, particularly Central Asia, where almost 50% of [...] Read more.
The western Palaearctic species of the hawkmoth genus Hyles (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) have long been the subject of molecular phylogenetic research. However, much less attention has been paid to the taxa inhabiting the central and eastern Palaearctic, particularly Central Asia, where almost 50% of the species diversity of the genus occurs. Yet, many taxonomic conundrums hinder a proper assessment of the true diversity in these moths. One still unresolved group of species includes Hyles hippophaes and Hyles chamyla. Despite a largely overlapping morphology and ecology, a plethora of infraspecific taxa display some unique divergent characters over a wide geographical area. In this study, we undertook a taxonomic assessment of each population and resolved this species complex using an integrative approach. A combination of new computational techniques (DAISY-II) in comparative morphology and recent advances in DNA extraction methods and sequencing of museum specimens (WISC) alongside more traditional genetic approaches allowed testing of the three main phenotypes—bienerti, chamyla and apocyni—in terms of their morphological, mitochondrial and biogeographical integrity, and to elucidate their evolutionary relationships. Our results support the existence of two closely related species, Hyles chamyla and H. hippophaes, but the former species H. apocyni (here discussed as the ecological form apocyni of H. chamyla) is best regarded as a hybrid between H. chamyla and H. h. bienerti. The results indicate that the evolutionary relationship between H. chamyla and H. hippophaes is one of admixture in the context of ongoing ecological differentiation, which has led to shared morphological characters and a blurring of the species boundaries. These results clarify the evolutionary relationships of this species complex and open future research lines, including the analysis of nuclear markers and denser sampling, particularly of H. hippophaes and H. vespertilio in western Europe. Full article
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Article
Super Cooling Point Phenotypes and Cold Resistance in Hyles euphorbiae Hawk Moths from Different Climate Zones
Diversity 2021, 13(5), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050207 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
The spurge hawkmoth Hyles euphorbiae L. (Sphingidae) comprises a remarkable species complex with still not fully resolved taxonomy. Its extensive natural distribution range covers diverse climatic zones. This predestinates particular populations to cope with different local seasonally unfavorable environmental conditions. The ability of [...] Read more.
The spurge hawkmoth Hyles euphorbiae L. (Sphingidae) comprises a remarkable species complex with still not fully resolved taxonomy. Its extensive natural distribution range covers diverse climatic zones. This predestinates particular populations to cope with different local seasonally unfavorable environmental conditions. The ability of the pupae to overcome outer frosty conditions is well known. However, the differences between two main ecotypes (‘euphorbiae’ and ‘tithymali’) in terms of the inherent degree of frost tolerance, its corresponding survival strategy, and underlying mechanism have not been studied in detail so far. The main aim of our study was to test the phenotypic exhibition of pupae (as the relevant life cycle stadia to outlast unfavorable conditions) in response to combined effects of exogenous stimuli, such as daylight length and cooling regime. Namely, we tested the turnout of subitan (with fast development, unadapted to unfavorable conditions) or diapause (paused development, adapted to unfavorable external influences and increased resistance) pupae under different conditions, as well as their mortality, and we measured the super cooling point (SCP) of whole pupae (in vivo) and pupal hemolymph (in vitro) as phenotypic indicators of cold acclimation. Our results show higher cold sensitivity in ‘tithymali’ populations, exhibiting rather opportunistic and short-termed cold hardiness, while ‘euphorbiae’ produces a phenotype of seasonal cold-hardy diapause pupae under a combined effect of short daylight length and continuous cold treatment. Further differences include the variability in duration and mortality of diapause pupae. This suggests different pre-adaptations to seasonal environmental conditions in each ecotype and may indicate a state of incipient speciation within the H. euphorbiae complex. Full article
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