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Estevez J.A.,Institute Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos | Estevez J.A.,University of Castilla - La Mancha | Estevez J.A.,Institute Desarrollo Regional | Landete-Castillejos T.,Institute Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos | And 13 more authors.
Acta Theriologica | Year: 2011

Climate variability greatly affects animals through direct and indirect effects. Animals with slow reproductive adaptation to ecological changes such as large mammals are likely to have evolved mechanisms to anticipate early such impacts of climate variability on the environment. One of the adaptive mechanisms between reproductive costs and benefits in mammals affects parental investment through biases in sex ratio. Deer might be likely to show an early detection of climate variability because conception takes place in early autumn, but the main raising cost in deer concerns lactation, which takes place at the end of the following spring. The aim of this paper is to assess whether there is a relationship between global indices of climate variability such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and sex ratio of a captive population of deer. Results showed that there was a negative correlation (r=-0. 65) between sex ratio and ENSO indices between 1996 and 2008. El Niño enhances drier conditions during the summer in the Iberia Peninsula, which in turn favours a female bias. Results also suggest that the mechanism of early detection of climate variability exerts a strong effect on female reproductive physiology because the long-term stability of food resources in our setting has not markedly reduced it. © 2011 Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland.

Landete-Castillejos T.,University of Castilla - La Mancha | Landete-Castillejos T.,Institute Desarrollo Regional | Estevez J.A.,Institute Desarrollo Regional | Ceacero F.,Institute Desarrollo Regional | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Bioscience - Elite | Year: 2012

Antlers constitute the only mammal model for limb regeneration. A number of factors affect antler regeneration. In this review, we examine such factors and the potential consequences for organ regeneration. As body mineral stores are depleted to grow antlers, physiological exhaustion is shown in the mineral composition, mechanical performance and, according to preliminary studies, porosity of the antler bone material. Nutrition plays an important role in antler characteristics. Thus, antler composition can be used as a diagnostic tool to assess mineral deficiencies in deer. Studies on ecological effects of exceptional weather in plants suggest that minor minerals, particularly Mn, may disproportionately play roles in mechanical performance of bone material. This suggests that Mn (and perhaps other minerals) is essential to incorporate Ca and P from resorbed skeleton material into antlers. Apart from implications for game management, some effects may have applications for medicine.

Kalivas A.,Institute of Agrobiotechnology | Argiriou A.,Institute of Agrobiotechnology | Pasentsis K.,Institute of Agrobiotechnology | Ahrazem O.,Institute Desarrollo Regional | Tsaftaris A.S.,Institute of Agrobiotechnology
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2010

Flowering and flower formation is a major developmental switch in plants where different genes are expressed in a coordinate manner for reproductive success. Among these genes MADS domain transcription factors and FLOWER LOCUS T like genes play important roles in various developmental processes in flowering plants, from transition to flowering to the specification of floral organ identity. For uncovering and understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling flowering, flower development and flower formation in cultivated Crocus sativus L., we present here the isolation and characterization of a series of flowering genes. Furthermore, based on the isolated genomic sequences of these genes, we have developed and used three SSR molecular markers located at the 5'-UTR of isolated MADS box genes in order to analyze 11 Crocus accessions from different countries.

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