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Santo Domingo, Costa Rica

Cao S.,Harvard University | McMillin D.W.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Tamayo G.,Instituto Nacional Of Biodiversidad Inbio | Delmore J.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Natural Products | Year: 2012

CR1642D, an endophytic isolate of Penicillium sp. collected from a Costa Rican rainforest, was identified through a high-throughput approach to identify natural products with enhanced antitumor activity in the context of tumor-stromal interactions. Bioassay-guided separation led to the identification of five xanthones (1-5) from CR1642D. The structures of the xanthone dimer penexanthone A (1) and monomer penexanthone B (2) were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic analyses, including 2D NMR experiments. All of the compounds were tested against a panel of tumor cell lines in the presence and absence of bone marrow stromal cells. Compound 3 was the most active, with IC50 values of 1-17 μM, and its activity was enhanced 2-fold against tumor cell line RPMI8226 in the presence of stromal cells (IC50 1.2 μM, but 2.4 μM without stromal cells). © 2012 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy.

Tripathi A.,University of Michigan | Schofield M.M.,University of Michigan | Chlipala G.E.,University of Michigan | Schultz P.J.,University of Michigan | And 8 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2014

Siderophores are high-affinity iron chelators produced by microorganisms and frequently contribute to the virulence of human pathogens. Targeted inhibition of the biosynthesis of siderophores staphyloferrin B of Staphylococcus aureus and petrobactin of Bacillus anthracis hold considerable potential as a single or combined treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and anthrax infection, respectively. The biosynthetic pathways for both siderophores involve a nonribosomal peptide synthetase independent siderophore (NIS) synthetase, including SbnE in staphyloferrin B and AsbA in petrobactin. In this study, we developed a biochemical assay specific for NIS synthetases to screen for inhibitors of SbnE and AsbA against a library of marine microbial-derived natural product extracts (NPEs). Analysis of the NPE derived from Streptomyces tempisquensis led to the isolation of the novel antibiotics baulamycins A (BmcA, 6) and B (BmcB, 7). BmcA and BmcB displayed in vitro activity with IC50 values of 4.8 μM and 19 μM against SbnE and 180 μM and 200 μM against AsbA, respectively. Kinetic analysis showed that the compounds function as reversible competitive enzyme inhibitors. Liquid culture studies with S. aureus, B. anthracis, E. coli, and several other bacterial pathogens demonstrated the capacity of these natural products to penetrate bacterial barriers and inhibit growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative species. These studies provide proof-of-concept that natural product inhibitors targeting siderophore virulence factors can provide access to novel broad-spectrum antibiotics, which may serve as important leads for the development of potent anti-infective agents © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Wolfe J.D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Ralph C.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Elizondo P.,Instituto Nacional Of Biodiversidad Inbio
Oecologia | Year: 2015

The effects of habitat alteration and climatic instability have resulted in the loss of bird populations throughout the globe. Tropical birds in particular may be sensitive to climate and habitat change because of their niche specialization, often sedentary nature, and unique life-cycle phenologies. Despite the potential influence of habitat and climatic interactions on tropical birds, we lack comparisons of avian demographics from variably aged forests subject to different climatic phenomena. Here, we measured relationships between forest type and climatic perturbations on White-collared Manakin (Manacus candei), a frugivorous tropical bird, by using 12 years of capture data in young and mature forests in northeastern Costa Rica. We used Cormack–Jolly–Seber models and an analysis of deviance to contrast the influence of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on manakin survival. We found that ENSO had little effect on manakin survival in mature forests. Conversely, in young forests, ENSO explained 79 % of the variation where dry El Niño events negatively influenced manikin survival. We believe mature forest mitigated negative effects of dry El Niño periods and can serve as refugia for some species by buffering birds from climatic instability. Our results represent the first published documentation that ENSO influences the survival of a resident Neotropic landbird. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA).

Yanoviak S.P.,University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Silveri C.,University of Arkansas | Hamm C.A.,Michigan State University | Solis M.,Instituto Nacional Of Biodiversidad Inbio
Journal of Tropical Ecology | Year: 2012

Climbing plants provide efficient pathways for ants to access patchy arboreal resources. However, plant stems vary greatly in physical characteristics that are likely to influence ant locomotion. We collected, measured and identified ants foraging on 671 stems of climbing plants at the La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. We applied tuna baits to 70% of the observed stems to attract ants to a broad range of stem sizes. We used these data to examine relationships between relative stem roughness, growth form (herbaceous or woody), stem diameter and the body length of foraging ants representing 58 species. The size of the largest ants found on stems generally increased with stem size up to 3.2 mm diameter, whereas the size of the smallest ants present on stems did not vary with stem diameter. The largest ants in the forest (Paraponera clavata) used small stems (<2.7 mm diameter) only when attracted by baits. Average (± SE) ant body length was larger on woody (5.2 ± 0.32 mm) vs. herbaceous (3.3 ± 0.53 mm) stems, but did not differ between rough and smooth stems within these categories. Ant body-size distribution tended toward unimodality on smooth stems. We conclude that small stem diameter acts as a habitat filter based on ant body size, but only for the largest ants in the forest. The filter effect is reduced when ants are attracted to an artificially high quality resource. © Cambridge University Press 2012.

Devries P.J.,University of New Orleans | Alexander L.G.,University of New Orleans | Chacon I.A.,Instituto Nacional Of Biodiversidad Inbio | Fordyce J.A.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Journal of Animal Ecology | Year: 2012

Documenting species abundance distributions in natural environments is critical to ecology and conservation biology. Tropical forest insect faunas vary in space and time, and these partitions can differ in their contribution to overall species diversity. In the Neotropics, the Central American butterfly fauna is best known in terms of general natural history, but butterfly community diversity is best documented by studies on South American fruit-feeding butterflies. Here, we present the first long-term study of fruit-feeding nymphalid species diversity from Central America and provide a unique comparison between Central and South American butterfly communities. This study used 60months of sampling among multiple spatial and temporal partitions to assess species diversity in a Costa Rican rainforest butterfly community. Abundance distributions varied significantly at the species and higher taxonomic group levels, and canopy and understorey samples were found to be composed of distinct species assemblages. Strong similarities in patterns of species diversity were found between this study and one from Ecuador; yet, there was an important difference in how species richness was distributed in vertical space. In contrast to the Ecuadorian site, Costa Rica had significantly higher canopy richness and lower understorey richness. This study affirms that long-term sampling is vital to understanding tropical insect species abundance distributions and points to potential differences in vertical structure among Central and South American forest insect communities that need to be explored. © 2011 The Author. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2011 British Ecological Society.

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