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Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ

Theodore Garland, Marcell D Cadney, Robert A Waterland
Locomotion is a defining characteristic of animal life and plays a crucial role in most behaviors. Locomotion involves physical activity, which can have far-reaching effects on physiology and neurobiology, both acutely and chronically. In human populations and in laboratory rodents, higher levels of physical activity are generally associated with positive health outcomes, although excessive exercise can have adverse consequences. Whether and how such relationships occur in wild animals is unknown. Behavioral variation among individuals arises from genetic and environmental factors and their interactions as well as from developmental programming (persistent effects of early-life environment)...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Simon P Lailvaux, Casper J Breuker, Raoul Van Damme
Most organisms are limited in the amount and type of resources they are able to extract from the environment. The juvenile environment is particularly important in this regard, as conditions over ontogeny can influence the adult phenotype. Whole-organism performance traits, such as locomotion, are susceptible to such environmental effects, yet the specific biotic and abiotic factors driving performance plasticity have received little attention. We tested whether speckled wood Pararge aegeria L. butterflies reared under conditions of water stress exhibited poorer flight morphology and performance than control individuals...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Jaime Muriel, Lorenzo Pérez-Rodríguez, Manuel E Ortiz-Santaliestra, Marisa Puerta, Diego Gil
Avian embryos are exposed to yolk androgens that are incorporated into the egg by the ovulating female. These steroids can affect several aspects of embryo development, often resulting in increases in overall size or the speed of growth of different traits. However, several studies suggest that they also entail immune costs to the offspring. In this study, we explored whether variation in yolk androgen concentration affected several measures of the constitutive and cell-mediated immune axes in the spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor)...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
N M Sopinka, P M Capelle, C A D Semeniuk, O P Love
Wild and captive vertebrates face multiple stressors that all have the potential to induce chronic maternal stress (i.e., sustained, elevated plasma glucocorticoids), resulting in embryo exposure to elevated maternally derived glucocorticoids. In oviparous taxa such as fish, maternally derived glucocorticoids in eggs are known for their capacity to shape offspring phenotype. Using a variety of methodologies, scientists have quantified maternally derived levels of egg cortisol, the primary glucocorticoid in fishes, and examined the cascading effects of egg cortisol on progeny phenotype...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Marshall D McCue, Audrey Albach, Giovanni Salazar
The risk of food limitation and, ultimately, starvation dates back to the dawn of heterotrophy in animals, yet starvation remains a major factor in the regulation of modern animal populations. Researchers studying starvation more than a century ago suggested that animals subjected to sublethal periods of food limitation are somehow more tolerant of subsequent starvation events. This possibility has received little attention over the past decades, yet it is highly relevant to modern science for two reasons. First, animals in natural populations are likely to be exposed to bouts of food limitation once or more before they face prolonged starvation, during which the risk of mortality becomes imminent...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Dirk A Algera, Lee F G Gutowsky, Aaron J Zolderdo, Steven J Cooke
Parental care is an advantageous reproductive behavior, as the fitness of the caregiver is increased through improving the chances of its offspring's survival. Parental care occurs in a variety of teleost fishes. The body size of parental fish and the size of their brood can affect nest abandonment decisions, where compared with smaller fish with smaller broods, larger fish with larger broods typically invest more energy into reproductive events because they have less future reproductive potential. Although essential for basal metabolism and body maintenance functions, when glucocorticoid hormones (e...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Jessica K McGlashan, Michael B Thompson, James U Van Dyke, Ricky-John Spencer
Metabolic processes are affected by both temperature and thyroid hormones in ectothermic vertebrates. Temperature is the major determinant of incubation length in oviparous vertebrates, but turtles can also alter developmental rate independent of temperature. Temperature gradients within natural nests cause different developmental rates of turtle embryos within nests. Despite temperature-induced reductions in developmental rate, cooler-incubated neonates often hatch synchronously with warmer siblings via metabolic compensation...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Xue-Ying Zhang, Mei-Fang Lou, Wei Shen, Rong-Shu Fu, De-Hua Wang
The maternal or paternal dietary composition can have important effects on various aspects of their offspring's physiology. Studies from animal models and humans showed that a maternal high-fiber diet protected offspring against fat accumulation. However, little is known about how a maternal low-fiber diet modifies the metabolism of offspring in herbivorous rodents. We hypothesized that a maternal low-fiber diet would confer long-lasting beneficial effects on offspring metabolic phenotypes in herbivorous Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii)...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Sharon E Lynn, Michael D Kern
In vertebrates, exposure to stressful stimuli early in development may alter the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, with the potential for fitness consequences later in life. For altricial species, whose young rely on their parents for food, warmth, and protection from predators, adult behavior can modify the impact of some stressors on their offspring after birth or hatching. We have shown that single bouts of cooling that normally occur when brooding females leave the nest elevate corticosterone secretion in very young free-living eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) chicks...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Nicole E Christie, Nicholas R Geist
Changes in temperature regimes are occurring globally due to climate change as well as habitat alterations. Temperatures are expected to continue to rise in the future, along with a greater degree of climatic instability. Such changes could have potentially serious consequences for oviparous ectotherms, especially those with temperature-dependent sex determination. To investigate the effects of temperature on a range of developmental phenomena in a population of western pond turtles (Emys marmorata), we placed temperature sensors on top of each layer of eggs within nests and recorded temperatures hourly through the first 2-3 mo of incubation...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Noah Ben-Ezra, Gary Burness
Incubation temperature can have profound effects on growth and development of embryos and young birds. However, few studies have examined the role that cycling incubation temperature may play in phenotypic variation and whether these effects persist to adulthood. We incubated Japanese quail eggs at control temperatures (37.5°C), at low temperatures (36.0°C), and under a cyclical treatment that maintained the same average temperature as the low treatment (36.0°C) with high temperatures that were the same as the control (37...
January 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Layla Hiramatsu, Theodore Garland
Understanding evolution is a necessary component of undergraduate education in biology, and evolution is difficult to explain without studying the heritability of traits. However, in most classes, heritability is presented with only a handful of graphs showing typical morphological traits, for example, beak size in finches and height in humans. The active-inquiry exercise outlined in the following pages allows instructors to engage students in this formerly dry subject by bringing their own data as the basis for estimates of heritability...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Karine Salin, Sonya K Auer, Agata M Rudolf, Graeme J Anderson, Colin Selman, Neil B Metcalfe
Standard metabolic rate (SMR) and maximum metabolic rate (MMR) typically vary two- or threefold among conspecifics, with both traits assumed to significantly impact fitness. However, the underlying mechanisms that determine such intraspecific variation are not well understood. We examined the influence of mitochondrial properties on intraspecific variation in SMR and MMR and hypothesized that if SMR supports the cost of maintaining the metabolic machinery required for MMR, then the mitochondrial properties underlying these traits should be shared...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Pauline Vuarin, Pierre-Yves Henry, Martine Perret, Fabien Pifferi
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are involved in a variety of physiological mechanisms, including heterothermy preparation and expression. However, the effects of the two major classes of PUFAs, n-6 and n-3, can differ substantially. While n-6 PUFAs enhance torpor expression, n-3 PUFAs reduce the ability to decrease body temperature. This negative impact of n-3 PUFAs has been revealed in temperate hibernators only. Yet because tropical heterotherms generally experience higher ambient temperature and exhibit higher minimum body temperature during heterothermy, they may not be affected as much by PUFAs as their temperate counterparts...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Andrea Novelletto, Letizia Testa, Federico Iacovelli, Paola Blasi, Luisa Garofalo, Toni Mingozzi, Mattia Falconi
We sequenced coding portions (1.6 kb) of the mtDNA in 170 loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtles sampled in the central Mediterranean. The sequences spanned the entire ND1 and ND3 genes, the tRNAGly and tRNAArg, plus the 3' and 5' termini of COXIII and ND4L genes, respectively. Based on our sequencing results and published complete mitogenomes, we constructed a maximum parsimony phylogeny of C. caretta matrilines that sheds new light on the evolutionary relationships within the collection of lineages found in the Mediterranean and so far recognized by D-loop haplotypes only...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Jesús M Avilés, Deseada Parejo
In altricial birds, sex differentiation can start early in the ontogeny in the form of color, physiology, and/or growth and may potentially result in sex-specific condition dependence of traits mediating parent-offspring communication. Carotenoids have long been hypothesized to modulate the expression of gape coloration, but their sex-specific role enforcing honesty of gape coloration remains poorly studied. In a within-nest design, we provided carotenoid supplementation to nestlings of the Eurasian roller (Coracias garrulus) and measured the response in circulating carotenoids, coloration of the gape, cutaneous immune responsiveness to phytohemagglutinin, and growth while accounting for the sex of nestlings...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Neal Ingraham Callaghan, Louise Tunnah, Suzanne Currie, Tyson James MacCormack
In rainbow trout, warmer temperatures increase metabolic rate, which can be energetically stressful. Diel fluctuations in water temperatures are common in rivers, raising the question of whether fish experience metabolic preconditioning with repeated heat stress. In this study, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum, 1792) were subjected to three temperature treatments consisting of either a constant exposure to 16°C, a single exposure to 24°C, or three cycles between 16° and 24°C. Metabolic responses were investigated, including patterns of regulation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase and its substrates, key metabolic enzymes, and several relevant metabolites...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Pablo Burraco, Ivan Gomez-Mestre
Natural and anthropogenic disturbances cause profound alterations in organisms, inducing physiological adjustments to avoid, reduce, or remedy the impact of disturbances. In vertebrates, the stress response is regulated via neuroendocrine pathways, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal axis that regulates the secretion of glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids have cascading effects on multiple physiological pathways, affecting the metabolic rate, reactive oxygen species production, or immune system. Determining the extent to which natural and anthropogenic environmental factors induce stress responses in vertebrates is of great importance in ecology and conservation biology...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Jeffrey M Goessling, Craig Guyer, Mary T Mendonça
Studies have suggested a role for natural seasonal change to drive patterns of disease, especially within ectothermic vertebrates. In light of recent climate change, it is important to understand baseline disease resistance in a seasonal context to further understand the role that changes in seasonal weather patterns may have in increasing disease frequency. Herein we found support for the seasonal acclimation hypothesis in Gopherus polyphemus (gopher tortoise), which indicated that natural seasonal variation causes differences in baseline immune function across seasonal acclimation states...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Jessica L Malisch, Karen deWolski, Thomas H Meek, Wendy Acosta, Kevin M Middleton, Ondi L Crino, Theodore Garland
In vertebrates, acute stressors-although short in duration-can influence physiology and behavior over a longer time course, which might have important ramifications under natural conditions. In laboratory rats, for example, acute stress has been shown to increase anxiogenic behaviors for days after a stressor. In this study, we quantified voluntary wheel-running behavior for 22 h following a restraint stress and glucocorticoid levels 24 h postrestraint. We utilized mice from four replicate lines that have been selectively bred for high voluntary wheel-running activity (HR mice) for 60 generations and their nonselected control (C) lines to examine potential interactions between exercise propensity and sensitivity to stress...
November 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
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