• Factors affecting the anthropometric and physical characteristics of elite academy rugby league players: a multi-club study.

      Dobbin, Nick; Moss, Samantha; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 2018-12)
      Purpose: To investigate the factors affecting the anthropometric and physical characteristics of elite academy rugby league players. Methods: One hundred and ninety-seven elite academy rugby league players (age = 17.3 ± 1.0 years) from five Super League clubs completed measures of anthropometric and physical characteristics during a competitive season. The interaction between, and influence of contextual factors on characteristics was assessed using linear mixed modelling. Results: Associations were observed between several anthropometric and physical characteristics. All physical characteristics improved during preseason and continued to improve until mid-season where thereafter 10 m sprint (η2 = 0.20 cf. 0.25), CMJ (η2 = 0.28 cf. 0.30) and prone Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (Yo-Yo IR) (η2 = 0.22 cf. 0.54) performance declined. Second (η2 = 0.17) and third (η2 = 0.16) years were heavier than first years, whilst third years had slower 10 m sprint times (η2 = 0.22). Large positional variability was observed for body mass, 20 m sprint time, medicine ball throw, countermovement jump, and prone Yo-Yo IR1. Compared to bottom-ranked teams, top demonstrated superior 20 m (η2 = -0.22) and prone Yo-Yo IR1 (η2 = 0.26) performance whilst middle-ranked teams reported higher CMJ height (η2 = 0.26) and prone Yo-Yo IR1 distance (η2 = 0.20), but slower 20 m sprint times (η2 = 0.20). Conclusion: These findings offer practitioners designing training programmes for academy rugby league players insight into the relationships between anthropometric and physical characteristics and how they are influenced by playing year, league ranking, position and season phase.
    • Factors affecting the quality of Acacia senegal gums

      Al-Assaf, Saphwan; Hamouda, Yasir (University of Chester, 2017-04)
      Gum arabic is a natural gummy exudate from acacia trees and exhibits natural built-in variations commonly associated with hydrocolloids. This study is concerned with the determination of factors which could influence its properties and functionality. These factors include origin (location, soil type, rainfall), different collections, age of the trees and storage condition. Previous studies acknowledged the influence of some of these factors but somehow lack providing definitive answers to questions being asked by the end user and required for the development of Gum arabic industry in Sudan. Local knowledge as well as the various stages of gum collection and processing were reviewed in order to provide a clear background and the justification for the experimental design. In this study samples were collected from six plantations located in the west and east regions in Sudan. Samples were collected from trees of different age (5, 10, 15 and 20 years old) and also from different picking interval (1-4). Each sample was divided into three portions (UK, Khartoum and Port Sudan) and stored for 5 years in order to determine the effect of the respective location. Various analytical parameters (% loss on drying, Optical rotation, % protein, intrinsic viscosity, molecular weight and molecular weight distribution) were measured to fully characterise the gum samples and to determine their functionality (emulsification). The results obtained for all samples were consistent with those previously reported in the literature (see Chapter 4). The only exception, identified in a number of samples from the western region, is the high proportion (~30%) of high molecular weight fraction termed arabinogalactan-protein complex (AGP). The results clearly demonstrated significant variations between plantations located in western region compared with the eastern region. However, the variations between the plantations within the same region are statistically not significant. High values of % protein, viscosity, Mw and % AGP were obtained from the 1st pick, from both regions, and then significantly decreased thereafter to the fourth pick. Samples from west region in Sudan, from 1st and 2nd pick and from tree age (15) years gave the highest viscosity, molecular weight, % AGP and superior emulsification performance compared to other samples from different tree ages. The regression statistical analysis for the physiochemical properties correlation with emulsification performance demonstrated the role of % AGP to be the most influential factor followed by viscosity. The major finding of this study is the effect of storage condition on the properties and functionality of Acacia senegal. An increase in the molecular weight for all stored samples (for 5 years) irrespective of region was evident and statically significant. However, this increase was more prominent for samples from the western region compared to the eastern region. The AGP fraction was increased by the storage treatment up to 40% in Port-Sudan, 20% in Khartoum-Sudan and 15% in UK. The result clearly demonstrated that the temperature and humidity are the crucial factors to induce the natural maturation process in acacia gums. Statistical analysis (linear regression) suggested statistically significant models and equations to predict and explain the variations in the physiochemical and functional properties based on the environmental factors, picking set and age of the tree.
    • Factors modifying welfare in captive lioned-tailed mazaques (Macaca silenus)

      Smith, Tessa E.; Skyner, Lindsay J. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2006-07)
      The lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) is endangered due to habitat destruction with less than 3500 individuals remaining in isolated fragments of South-West India. Lion-tailed macaques do not reproduce readily in captivity and captive breeding may be relied upon for future conservation. Poor welfare can have negative effects on reproduction so it is important that lion-tailed macaque welfare is examined in captive groups. The aims of this thesis were to understand certain aspects of lion-tailed macaque welfare (behaviour and HPA physiology) in captive populations, with the view to making suggestions for management to promote the species' welfare and reproduction. Behaviour (188 hours), urine (n=133) and faecal samples (n=294) were collected from 38 lion-tailed macaques housed in four groups at the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo), Bristol Zoological Gardens, Assiniboine Park Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park. The study successfully developed and validated assays to detect cortisol in lion-tailed macaque urine and faeces. The assays were then subsequently used to explore behaviour and HPA activity in these endangered primates. The institution in which the individuals were housed and basic life history parameters (age and sex) were explored to further understand the interplay between behaviour and physiology. Social relationships were assessed by measuring proximity (inter-individual distances and time spent in "arms-reach"). Finally the effect of visitors on behaviour, HPA activity and enclosure use was explored. There was significant variation between institutions in behaviour and HPA activity but not proximity. The age of lion-tailed macaques modified their behaviour, but not their HPA activity or proximity. The sex of lion-tailed macaques did not modify behaviour, HPA activity or proximity. The effect of visitors on lion-tailed macaques in the current study is not clear and confirms previous research on the visitor effect on captive primates. It can be concluded from this research that lion-tailed macaques are sensitive to the environment in which they are housed, indicating factors which may have negative effects on their captive breeding rates and ability to cope with habitat fragmentation for population's in-situ. The study has highlighted the need for each captive and wild group of lion-tailed macaques to be considered and monitored separately with regard to welfare and breeding.
    • Farmers’ Interest in Agricultural Technology and Organic Farming: Implications for AD Adoption and Sustainable Agriculture in the UK

      Duruiheoma, Franklin I.; Burek, Cynthia V.; Bonwick, Graham A.; Alexander, Roy; University of Chester (Macrothink Institute, 2015)
      We identify the factors that attract UK farmers towards a given technology, their interest in agricultural technology and their practice of organic farming. The implications of this on the adoption of anaerobic digestion (AD) in the UK and sustainable agriculture are also discussed. Farmers were contacted by means of online survey, aided by yellow pages directory, Natural England directory, Twitter and electronic mail. A total of 283 farmers participated in the survey. The Chi square test was used to check for relationships between the variables measured at 95% confidence level (p<.05). Relationship strength was measured by means of Cramer’s V and Phi values. The results showed several significant relationships among variables, including relationship between interests in agricultural technology and gender, level of education, and farm size; between knowledge of what AD is and gender, level of education and farm size; between interest in AD and age; between willingness to invest in AD if it improved soil properties and farm ownership; and between organic farming practice and age, farm type and farm size. Results also showed a significant presence of female farmers, young farmers (< 30 years old), high level of education among UK farmers, and low level of organic farming practice. Areas for future research and recommendations based on the results are presented in the conclusion.
    • Farmers’ perception of soil: Implications for soil conservation and sustainable agriculture in the UK

      Duruiheoma, Franklin I.; Burek, Cynthia V.; Bonwick, Graham A.; Alexander, Roy; University of Chester (European Centre for Research, Training and Development (ECRTD), UK., 2015-09-01)
      We identify UK farmers' perception of soil, awareness of soil in terms of how they describe it, their awareness of its benefits other than for crop production,their familiarity with soil conservation and their opinions on soil protection and the value of organic fertilizers. Data were collected with the aid of social media using both Twitter and electronic mail to deistribute a survey link to farmers,UK yellow pages, Natural England directory and Twitter were used to search for farms. Data were analysed using SPSS and Wordle. Results showed that farmers' describe soils in abstract, scientific, physical attribute and functional terms. Awareness of soil benefits other than crop production was significantly related to age, and farm ownership. Educational level was significantly related to familiarity with soil conservation and opinion on whether soil should be protected like other natural resources. The implications of these results for soil conservation and sustainable agriculture are discussed and used as the basis for policy recommendations.
    • Female clustering in cockroach aggregations – a case of social niche construction?

      Stanley, Christina; Preziosi, Richard F.; Liddiard Williams, H.; University of Chester, University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University (Wiley, 2018)
      Individuals in groups can suffer costs through interactions with adversarial or unknown conspecifics. Social niche construction allows individuals to buffer such potential costs by only engaging in preferred associations. This may be particularly beneficial in insect aggregations, which are often large and highly fluid. However, little is known regarding the structuring of such aggregations. Here we use social network analyses to test for fine-scale social structure in resting aggregations of the sub-social cockroach Diploptera punctata and to explore the social pressures that contribute towards such structure. We showed that females were significantly more gregarious than males and formed the core of the proximity network, thus demonstrating a higher level of social integration. This fine-scale structure is likely to result from females displacing males; females initiated most displacements whilst males received the majority. We explain this behaviour in terms of social niche construction by showing that females received significantly fewer approaches and investigations at more female-biased local sex ratios. We therefore suggest that female social clustering occurs in this, and presumably other, species to reduce potential costs associated with male harassment. This demonstrates how social niche construction can lead to higher level social structure; we suggest this approach could be used across a range of species in order to improve our understanding of the evolution of sociality.
    • The first female Fellows and the status of women in the Geological Society

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Geological Society, 2009)
    • The first lady geologist, or collector par excellence?

      Burek, Cynthia V. (Blackwell Science, 2001-09)
      This article discusses the life and career of the British geologist Etheldred Benett (1776-1845), one of the first female geologists and and expert on the early history of Wiltshire geology.
    • Fitness Monitoring in Elite Soccer Players: Group vs. Individual Analyses.

      Rabbani, Alireza; Kargarfard, Mehdi; Twist, Craig (2018-06-14)
      Rabbani, A, Kargarfard, M, and Twist, C. Fitness monitoring in elite soccer players; group vs. individual analyses. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2018-The aims of this study were to (a) examine changes in group and individual HR measures during a submaximal warm-up test, and (b) investigate the relationship between accumulated internal training loads and HR changes during an in-season phase among elite soccer players (n = 14). Before and after an in-season phase (24 days), exercise HR (HRex) and HR recovery (HRR) expressed either as the number of beats recovered (HRR60s) or as the mean HR (HRpost1) during 1 minute of recovery were analyzed. Heart rate measures were expressed as the % of maximal HR. Session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) was computed for all training/match sessions. Group and individual HR changes were analyzed using magnitude-based inferences. Pearson correlation coefficients were also used to examine the relationships. Group analyses of HR changes revealed there were possibly to likely trivial changes in all HR measures. When analyzing individual data, no substantial change was observed for HRR60s%. However, substantial changes in HRex% and HRpost1% were observed for 4/14 and 5/14 players, respectively. The relationships between HRex% and HRpost1% were nearly perfect (r = 0.90, confidence limits [0.82-0.95]). The associations between changes in HRex% and HRpost1% were also nearly perfect (r = 0.92, 0.80-0.97). A very large inverse correlation was observed between HRex% and accumulated sRPE (r = -0.75, -0.44 to -0.90). This study highlights the value of conducting individual vs. group aerobic fitness monitoring. This study also showed the importance of how HRR is reported when aerobic fitness monitoring of elite soccer players.
    • Folate supplementation reduces serum Hsp70 levels in patients with type 2 diabetes

      Hunter-Lavin, Claire; Hudson, Peter R.; Mukhergee, Sagarika; Davies, Gareth K.; Williams, Clive P.; Harvey, John N.; Child, David F.; Williams, John H. H.; University College Chester ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North East Wales NHS Trust ; University College Chester (Cell Stress Society International, 2004-10)
      Type 2 diabetes patients are subject to oxidative stress as a result of hyperglycemia. The aim of this study was to determine whether administration of the antioxidant folic acid, previously shown to reduce homocysteine levels, would reduce circulating levels of Hsp70 while improving the condition of type 2 diabetes patients with microalbuminuria. Plasma homocysteine fell from pretreatment values of 12.9 to 10.3 μM (P < 0.0001). The urine albumin-creatinine ratio fell from 12.4 to 10.4 mg/mM (P = 0.38). Pretreatment Hsp70 levels were higher in patients not taking insulin (5.32 ng/mL) compared with those on insulin (2.44 ng/mL) (P = 0.012). Folic acid supplementation resulted in a significant fall in Hsp70 (5.32 to 2.05 ng/mL) (P = 0.004). There was no change in Hsp70 in those receiving insulin. Folic acid supplementation in non–insulin-treated type 2 diabetes patients, therefore, resulted in a fall in Hsp70, reflecting an improvement in oxidative stress. The data shows that improvement in homocysteine status can lead to a reduction in Hsp70, indicating the possibility of its use as a marker for severity of disease.
    • Food transfers in immature wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

      Nowell, Angela A.; Fletcher, Alison W.; University of Chester (Springer Verlag, 2006-10)
      This article discusses how the transfer of food items between primates serves an informative purpose in addition to supplementing the diet of immature individuals. Food transfers amongst immature western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), at Mbeli Bai, Republic of Congo weew observed.
    • Forgotten women in an extinct Saurian (man's) world

      Turner, Susan; Burek, Cynthia V.; Moody, Richard T. J.; Monash University ; University of Chester ; Kingston University (Geological Society, 2010)
      This book chapter discusses some forty women who made major contributions to the study of fossil vertebrates, especially reptilian taxonomy, by specializing in the dinosaurs and related ‘saurians’. Most who were involved over the first 150 years were not professional palaeontologists but instead wives, daughters and pure (and usually unpaid) amateurs.
    • A FRAP Assay at pH 7 unveils Extra Antioxidant Activity from Green, Black, White and Rooibos Tea but not Apple Tea

      Owusu-Apenten, Richard K.; Wong, C. W.; Cheung, W. S. M.; Lau, Y. Y.; Bolanos de la Torre, A. A. S.; University of Chester, University of Ulster (Verizona publisher, 2015-06-26)
      Abstract Aim: Realization of a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay at neutral pH and re-evaluation of tea antioxidant activity for comparisons with the standard FRAP assay. Method: A FRAP assay at neutral pH utilized ferrozine (7.3-(2-Pyridyl)-5, 6-diphenyl-1, 2, 4-triazine-4’, 4’’-disulfonic acid;ferrozine) dye in conjunction with Tris-HCl buffer (0.1M. pH 7.0) with 280 µl of regent addition to 20 µl of tea infusions and absorbance measurements at 562 nm with a microplate reader. Results: The microplate ferrozine FRAP assay (mFzFRAP) gave linear calibrations for ascorbic acid, gallic acid, ammonium ferrous sulphate, (AFS), trolox, cysteine and glutathione (R2 = 0.998 -1.000) with molar absorptivity (measures of sensitivity) similar to literature values. The analytical precision was 5-7% and the minimum detectable concentrations (MDC) were 1.4- 2.8 µM (0.4-0.8 nanomoles). Discussion: Values for FRAP were higher at pH 7.0 compared to pH 4.0 for gallic acid, ascorbic acid, glutathione, and cysteine possibly due to their ionization at high pH. The assay sensitivity for AFS and trolox were unchanged at pH 4.0 and pH 7.0. When assayed at pH 7 the water infusions from green tea, black tea, white tea, and rooibos tea had 200-360% antioxidant activity normally observable at low pH. Conclusion: A FRAP assay at pH 7 unveils extra antioxidant activity for green, black, white and Rooibos teas compared to values from the standard TptzFRAP (pH 3.6) method. As a recommendation, the antioxidant activity of teas and other herbal preparations should be re-evaluated over a wide pH range.
    • 'Friends as enemies': A sociological analysis of the relationship among touring professional golfers

      Fry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester (SAGE, 2015-08-06)
      This paper examines the relationship among male touring professional golfers from a figurational sociological standpoint. The paper is based on 20 interviews from players with experience playing at various levels on the EPGA professional tours and a level ‘above’ that. The results indicate a workplace culture where many begin to adopt the attitudes and behaviors that encourage the development of networks of temporary ‘we-group’ alliances. The ‘touring’ aspects of professional golf means many players strive to forge these alliances to help reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation, and homesickness while away for long periods of time. Such stresses are intensified given the globalization of sport generally and the associated increases in labor market migration that has become commonplace. The urge to develop friendship networks constrains players to behave in a manner expected of them rather than in a way that reflects their actual emotions, such as maintaining a positive attitude during difficult times like spells of poor performances and time away from their families. The relationships among players on tour is, however, non-permanent and/or partially changeable. Players are ‘friends’, characterized by togetherness and camaraderie, while, at the same, showing evidence of tensions and conflict as they are ultimately in direct competition with each other for a share of the overall prize money. Key words: professional golf, workplace relations, sport labor migration, figurational sociology, friendship networks
    • From Kama Sutra to dot.com: The history, myths and management of premature ejaculation

      Astbury-Ward, Edna; Deeside Community Hospital (Taylor & Francis, 2010-08)
      As long as man has breathed, his quest for the perfect sexual experience seems to have eluded him. Often the experience has been brought to an abrupt end by the misery of premature ejaculation. This paper will look at the history of premature ejaculation, charting the importance of this event throughout the years and across cultures. It will look at all modern day therapies and will discuss the implications of introducing pharmocotherapy to a problem that has been traditionally treated by sex therapy.
    • From Surveillance to Intervention: Overview and Baseline Findings for the Active City of Liverpool Active Schools and SportsLinx (A-CLASS) Project.

      McWhannell, Nicola; email: n.mcwhannell@chester.ac.uk; Foweather, Lawrence; orcid: 0000-0001-9851-5421; email: L.Foweather@ljmu.ac.uk; Graves, Lee E F; orcid: 0000-0002-3323-313X; email: L.E.Graves@ljmu.ac.uk; Henaghan, Jayne L; email: jaynehenaghan@googlemail.com; Ridgers, Nicola D; orcid: 0000-0001-5713-3515; email: nicky.ridgers@deakin.edu.au; Stratton, Gareth; orcid: 0000-0001-5618-0803; email: G.Stratton@swansea.ac.uk (2018-03-23)
      This paper outlines the implementation of a programme of work that started with the development of a population-level children's health, fitness and lifestyle study in 1996 (SportsLinx) leading to selected interventions one of which is described in detail: the Active City of Liverpool, Active Schools and SportsLinx (A-CLASS) Project. The A-CLASS Project aimed to quantify the effectiveness of structured and unstructured physical activity (PA) programmes on children's PA, fitness, body composition, bone health, cardiac and vascular structures, fundamental movement skills, physical self-perception and self-esteem. The study was a four-arm parallel-group school-based cluster randomised controlled trial (clinical trials no. NCT02963805), and compared different exposure groups: a high intensity PA (HIPA) group, a fundamental movement skill (FMS) group, a PA signposting (PASS) group and a control group, in a two-schools-per-condition design. Baseline findings indicate that children's fundamental movement skill competence levels are low-to-moderate, yet these skills are inversely associated with percentage body fat. Outcomes of this project will make an important contribution to the design and implementation of children's PA promotion initiatives.
    • Further notes on a statistical method for use when investigating differences in sexual dimorphism: A discussion paper

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (Oxbow Books (for the Osteoarchaeological Research Group), 1997-06-07)
      A statistical method for use when investigating sexual dimorphism is described which is a development of that proposed by Lewis (1995). This development is new and remains to be fully tested. It is presented here by way of seeking constructive criticism.
    • GAS5 lncRNA Modulates the Action of mTOR Inhibitors in Prostate Cancer Cells

      Yacqub-Usman, Kiren; Pickard, Mark R.; Williams, Gwyn T.; Keele University, United Kingdom (NCRI Cancer Conference 2014 Abstracts, 2014)
      Background There is a need to develop new therapies for castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and growth arrest-specific 5 (GAS5) long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), which riborepresses androgen receptor action, may offer novel opportunities in this regard. GAS5 lncRNA expression declines as prostate cancer cells acquire castrate-resistance, and decreased GAS5 expression attenuates the responses of prostate cancer cells to apoptotic stimuli. Enhancing GAS5 lncRNA expression may therefore offer a strategy to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents. GAS5 is a member of the 5' terminal oligopyrimidine gene family, and we have therefore examined if mTOR inhibition can enhance cellular GAS5 levels in prostate cancer cells. In addition, we have determined if GAS5 lncRNA itself is required for mTOR inhibitor action in prostate cancer cells, as recently demonstrated in lymphoid cells. Method The effects of mTOR inhibitors on GAS5 lncRNA expression and cell proliferation were determined in a range of prostate cancer cell lines. Transfection of cells with GAS5 siRNA and plasmid constructs was performed to determine the involvement of GAS5 lncRNA in mTOR inhibitor action. Results Treatment with rapamycin and rapalogues increased cellular GAS5 levels and inhibited culture growth in both androgen-dependent (LNCaP) and androgen-sensitive (22Rv1) cell lines, but not in androgen-independent (PC-3 and DU145) cells. GAS5 silencing in both LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells decreased their sensitivity to growth inhibition by mTOR inhibitors. Moreover, transfection of GAS5 lncRNA sensitized PC-3 and DU145 cells to mTOR inhibitors, resulting in inhibition of culture growth. Conclusion mTOR inhibition enhances GAS5 transcript levels in some, but not all, prostate cancer cell lines. This may in part be related to endogenous levels of GAS5 expression, which tend to be lower in prostate cancer cells representative of advanced disease, particularly since current findings demonstrate a role for GAS5 lncRNA in mTOR inhibitor action in prostate cancer cells.
    • Genetic analysis of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping guan (Pipile pipile): Implications for phylogenetic placement and conservation strategies

      McDowall, Ian; Hosie, Charlotte A.; Robinson, Louise A. (University of Chester, 2011-11)
      Classified as critically endangered since 1994, the Trinidad Piping guan (Pipile pipile) is an endemic species estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Known to locals of Trinidad as the ‘Pawi’ this bird has been the subject of substantial hunting pressures and much of the species habitat has been destroyed through deforestation. Although officially protected since 1958, occasional recreational hunting of this elusive species still occurs. Due to difficulties locating and capturing the species, no genetic research has previously been performed using samples obtained from Trinidad. All previous research studies have been conducted using biological materials obtained from captive birds outside Trinidad and island data has never been obtained or compared. The genetic diversity of the remaining population was therefore examined through the investigation of mitochondrial haplotypes, pairwise comparison and SNP analysis. With the intention of assisting the protection of this endangered species by the location of remaining areas of habitation, methods of genetic identification were established for the Trinidad Piping guan utilising non-invasive feather samples. Species specific primers were created in the regions of the ND2 and cyt b genes of the mitochondrial genome to identify Pipile pipile. Species detection was further verified with the use of PCR-RFLP of the same gene regions digested with BsaXI, EcoRV and BsrDI. This combined approach allowed the separation of closely related taxa based on single inter-species SNPs. Confirmation of species identification was subsequently performed through the use of forensically informative nucleotide sequencing. The established methodologies were used in the current study to correct the classification of a UK breeding population of Piping guans thought to be Pipile pipile and to identify Trinidad field samples. These detection methods have implications for ecological studies through the location of populations from trace evidence collected in the field. In addition this method could be used to assist Trinidadian police forces in the identification of bushmeats or simply act as a deterrent to hunters. The sequence data obtained in the present study were also used to re-assess the phylogeny of Piping guans. As genetic sequence from a true island bird was previously unstudied, differences between phylogenies created using non-island and island bird data sets were examined. Combined analysis was performed on 1884bp of the ND2 and cyt b genes and placement of Trinidad Piping guan was found to differ from that which has been previously published.
    • The genetics and evolution of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping Guan Pipile pipile, synonym Aburria pipile.

      McDowall, Ian; Hosie, Charlotte A.; Grass, Amelia (University of Chester, 2018-02)
      The Trinidad Piping Guan, Pipile pipile synonym Aburria pipile (Jaquin, 1784) is the only endemic Cracid on the island of Trinidad. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered and is considered to be in ‘on-going decline’ by the IUCN, BirdLife International and Cracid Specialist Group. This study aims to examine aspects of genetic variation and the evolution of the mitochondrial genome in the Trinidad Piping Guan utilising, for the first time, samples collected from individuals in the wild and reference specimens of the genus Pipile sourced from museum collections. In this study the complete mitochondrial genome of the Trinidad Piping Guan was sequenced for the first time. Analysis of intra-specific variation of wild Trinidad Piping Guan individuals using single nucleotide polymorphisms demonstrates extremely limited variation within the genes of the mitochondrial genome and nuclear gene intron sequences. Limited variation within this population is consistent with both historical and contemporary contractions of populations within a restricted island system, which may have serious implications for the future of this species in terms of both genetic diversity and conservation management. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Trinidad Piping Guan enabled placement of the genus Pipile within the Galliforme evolutionary tree for the first time, and subsequently places the genus within the broader context of the Aves class. Mito-genomic analysis confirms that the Cracids are one of the basal Galliforme clades, and sister taxa to the Megapodidae. Phylogenetic placement of the Pipile genus is basal to that of the Crax species within the Cracidae family, indicative of an earlier evolutionary origin of the Piping Guans. The inclusion of the Trinidad Piping Guan, in the avian evolutionary tree using the whole mitochondrial genomes expands the current genetic phylogeny of the Cracid family, yielding a better understanding of evolutionary relationships among the Galliforme order and the diversification of modern avian lineages. This study has established novel molecular techniques for the analysis of mitochondrial DNA in historical specimens of the genus Pipile from museum reference collections. The analysis of inter-specific relationships within the genus Pipile has clarified the evolutionary and biogeographic relationships between the Piping Guan species. Additionally, the Trinidad Piping Guan is genetically defined for the first time as an evolutionarily significant unit, which represents a unique evolutionary pathway within this important genus in a closed island system on the island of Trinidad.