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Julie Hamaide, Geert De Groof, Lisbeth Van Ruijssevelt, Kristina Lukacova, Johan Van Audekerke, Marleen Verhoye, Annemie Van der Linden
The first months of life are characterized by massive neuroplastic processes that parallel the acquisition of skills and abilities vital for proper functioning in later life. Likewise, juvenile songbirds learn the song sung by their tutor during the first months after hatching. To date, most studies targeting brain development in songbirds exclusively focus on the song control and auditory pathways. To gain a comprehensive insight into structural developmental plasticity of the entire zebra finch brain throughout the different subphases of song learning, we designed a longitudinal study in a group of male (16) and female (19) zebra finches...
August 11, 2018: NeuroImage
Gagan Narula, Joshua A Herbst, Joerg Rychen, Richard H R Hahnloser
Social learning enables complex societies. However, it is largely unknown how insights obtained from observation compare with insights gained from trial-and-error, in particular in terms of their robustness. Here, we use aversive reinforcement to train "experimenter" zebra finches to discriminate between auditory stimuli in the presence of an "observer" finch. We show that experimenters are slow to successfully discriminate the stimuli, but immediately generalize their ability to a new set of similar stimuli...
August 13, 2018: Nature Communications
Neeltje J Boogert, Robert F Lachlan, Karen A Spencer, Christopher N Templeton, Damien R Farine
The use of information provided by others is a common short-cut adopted to inform decision-making. However, instead of indiscriminately copying others, animals are often selective in what, when and whom they copy. How do they decide which 'social learning strategy' to use? Previous research indicates that stress hormone exposure in early life may be important: while juvenile zebra finches copied their parents' behaviour when solving novel foraging tasks, those exposed to elevated levels of corticosterone (CORT) during development copied only unrelated adults...
September 26, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Amy Scalera, Michelle L Tomaszycki
Stress impacts social relationships. In turn, social relationships buffer the stress response in some species. Studies that have investigated the role of corticosterone (CORT) on courtship, mate choice, mating, and pairing have found mixed results. We therefore tested the role of CORT in these steps of the pairing process in the monogamous zebra finch. Male and female zebra finches received either one of 2 doses of corticosterone (CORT, 10 μg and 20 μg, referred to as low and high dose) or a vehicle control (peanut oil)...
August 10, 2018: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Bain Gurley, John W Finger, Haruka Wada
In oviparous species, the embryonic environment-particularly temperature-can alter phenotype and survival of an individual by affecting its size as well as its metabolic rate. Previous studies have shown that incubation temperatures can affect sex ratio in birds; specifically, low incubation temperatures were shown to produce a male-biased sex ratio in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) possibly because of a higher pre- or postnatal mortality rate in females. We hypothesized that sexes respond differently to suboptimal incubation temperature, leading to a male-biased sex ratio...
September 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Shoichi Emura
We examined the dorsal lingual surfaces of an adult Chapman's zebra by scanning electron microscopy. The filiform papillae of the lingual apex consisted of a main papilla and smaller secondary papillae. The fungiform papillae were round in shape. The filiform papillae of central region of the lingual body were needle-like in shape. The filiform papillae of posterior region of the lingual body were hair-like in shape. Many grooves were observed on posterolateral regions and the fungiform papillae were observed on the inside of some grooves...
2018: Okajimas Folia Anatomica Japonica
Sandra Sirrs, Larry Lynd
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 13, 2018: Reviews in Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders
Lin-Tian Yu, Ying-Ping Xiao, Jing-Jing Li, Jin-Shan Ran, Ling-Qian Yin, Yi-Ping Liu, Long Zhang
Host defense peptides (HDPs) represent a large group of diverse small peptides that play important roles in host defense and disease resistance. In vertebrates, one of the main types of HDPs belong to defensins, which are less than 100 amino acid residues and characterized by a highly conserved motif of cysteine residues. Recently, a subfamily of defensins, namely ovodefensins (OvoDs), has been identified in birds and reptiles. However, both their family members and evolutionary relationships remain unclear...
August 8, 2018: Gene
M C Sánchez, C Alvarez Sedó, G R Chaufan, M Romanato, R Da Cuña, F Lo Nostro, J C Calvo, V Fontana
Endosulfan is an organochloride insecticide extensively used in several countries to protect crops from pests. As several studies indicate that endosulfan can affect human and animal development, the aim of this study was to analyse whether sperm parameters and the process of chromatin decondensation could be altered by endosulfan in mice sperm. Spermatozoa from cauda epididymis were obtained from mature male mice and incubated in the presence of two commercial formulations (CFs) of endosulfan (Master® and Zebra Ciagro®) or the active ingredient (AI) alone...
January 1, 2018: Toxicology Research
Helena J Barr, Sarah C Woolley
Developmental sensory experience is critical to the tuning of sensory systems and can shape perceptual abilities and their neural substrates. Neuromodulators, including catecholamines, contribute to sensory plasticity in both older and younger individuals and provide a mechanism for translating sensory experience into changes in brain and behavior. Less well known, however, is whether developmental sensory experience has lasting effects on the neuromodulatory neurons themselves. Here, we used female zebra finches to investigate the degree to which developmental auditory experience can have lasting effects on the density and sensory responsiveness of catecholamine-synthesizing neuron populations...
August 6, 2018: Scientific Reports
Tania Mendonca, Tim R Birkhead, Ashley J Cadby, Wolfgang Forstmeier, Nicola Hemmings
The sperm mid-piece has traditionally been considered to be the engine that powers sperm. Larger mid-pieces have therefore been assumed to provide greater energetic capacity. However, in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata , a recent study showed a surprising negative relationship between mid-piece length and sperm energy content. Using a multi-dimensional approach to study mid-piece structure, we tested whether this unexpected relationship can be explained by a trade-off between mid-piece length and mid-piece thickness and/or cristae density inside the mitochondrial helix...
July 25, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Gilles Cornez, Elisabeth Jonckers, Sita M Ter Haar, Annemie Van der Linden, Charlotte A Cornil, Jacques Balthazart
The appearance of perineuronal nets (PNNs) represents one of the mechanisms that contribute to the closing of sensitive periods for neural plasticity. This relationship has mostly been studied in the ocular dominance model in rodents. Previous studies also indicated that PNN might control neural plasticity in the song control system of songbirds. To further elucidate this relationship, we quantified PNN expression and their localization around parvalbumin interneurons at key time-points during ontogeny in both male and female zebra finches, and correlated these data with the well-described development of song in this species...
July 18, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Tatyana Pozner, Yulia Vistoropsky, Stan Moaraf, Rachel Heiblum, Anat Barnea
To date, studies that reported seasonal patterns of adult neurogenesis and neuronal recruitment have correlated them to seasonal behaviors as the cause or as a consequence of neuronal changes. The aim of our study was to test this correlation, and to investigate whether there is a seasonal pattern of new neuronal recruitment that is not correlated to behavior. To do this, we used adult female zebra finches (songbirds that are not seasonal breeders), kept them under constant social, behavioral, and spatial environments, and compared neuronal recruitment in their brains during two seasons, under natural and laboratory conditions...
July 26, 2018: Scientific Reports
Ludivine Pidoux, Pascale Le Blanc, Carole Levenes, Arthur Leblois
Speech is a complex sensorimotor skill, and vocal learning involves both the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. These subcortical structures interact indirectly through their respective loops with thalamo-cortical and brainstem networks, and directly via subcortical pathways, but the role of their interaction during sensorimotor learning remains undetermined. While songbirds and their song-dedicated basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuitry offer an unique opportunity to study subcortical circuits involved in vocal learning, the cerebellar contribution to avian song learning remains unknown...
July 25, 2018: ELife
Marcela Baer Pucci, Viviane Nogaroto, Orlando Moreira-Filho, Marcelo Ricardo Vicari
Eukaryotic genomes consist of several repetitive DNAs, including dispersed DNA sequences that move between chromosome sites, tandem repeats of DNA sequences, and multigene families. In this study, repeated sequences isolated from the genome of Characidium gomesi were analyzed and mapped to chromosomes in Characidium zebra and specimens from two populations of C. gomesi. The sequences were transposable elements (TEs) named retroelement of Xiphophorus (Rex); multigene families of U2 small nuclear RNA (U2 snRNA); and histones H1, H3, and H4...
July 16, 2018: Genetics and Molecular Biology
Adrian Alberto Díaz-Sánchez, Marcus Sandes Pires, Carlos Yrurzun Estrada, Ernesto Vega Cañizares, Sergio Luis Del Castillo Domínguez, Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz, Evelyn Lobo Rivero, Adivaldo Henrique da Fonseca, Carlos Luiz Massard, Belkis Corona-González
Equine piroplasmosis is a disease of Equidae, including horses, donkeys, mules, and zebras, caused by either Theileria equi or Babesia caballi. This disease represents a serious problem for the horse industry and its control is critical for the international trade of horses. The objective of the present study was to detect B. caballi and T. equi infections in horses reared in western Cuba. Blood samples from 100 horses were tested for the presence of piroplasms by using Giemsa-stained blood smears and nested PCR (nPCR) assays targeting merozoite antigen genes of B...
July 23, 2018: Parasitology Research
Yaqian Li, Huilin Li, Na Su, Dejian Liu, Rui Luo, Hui Jin
DEAD (Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp) box polypeptide 41 (DDX41), a receptor belonging to DExD/H-box helicase family, acts as an intracellular DNA sensor and induces type I IFN production in mammals and fish. However, the function of avian DDX41 in innate immune response is still unknown. In this study, the full-length duck DDX41 (duDDX41) cDNA sequence was cloned for the first time and encoded a putative protein of 618 amino acid residues which showed the high sequence similarity with both zebra finch and chicken DDX41s...
July 17, 2018: Developmental and Comparative Immunology
Danielle E Lyons, Kuan-Ping Yu, Jason A Vander Heiden, Lee Heston, Dirk P Dittmer, Ayman El-Guindy, George Miller
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) ZEBRA protein activates the EBV lytic cycle. Cellular AP-1 proteins with alanine-to-serine substitutions homologous to ZEBRA(S186) assume some functions of EBV ZEBRA. These AP-1(A/S) mutants bind methylated EBV DNA and activate expression of some EBV genes. Here we compare expression of 67 viral genes induced by ZEBRA versus induced AP-1(A/S) proteins. AP-1(A/S) activated 24 genes to high levels and 15 genes to intermediate levels; activation of 28 genes by AP-1(A/S) was severely impaired...
July 18, 2018: Journal of Virology
Emmanuel Liénard, Adriana Nabuco, Sophie Vandenabeele, Bertrand Losson, Irène Tosi, Émilie Bouhsira, Françoise Prévot, Shukri Sharif, Michel Franc, Caroline Vanvinckenroye, Yannick Caron
BACKGROUND: Besnoitiosis is caused by different species of intracellular protozoan parasites belonging to the family Sarcocystidae and affecting multiple host species worldwide. Including B. besnoiti, ten species are described infecting animals. Among ungulates, Besnoitia bennetti infects horses, donkeys and zebras and was described in Africa and in the USA where donkey besnoitiosis is considered as an emerging disease. CASE PRESENTATION: A two-year-old male donkey was purchased in May 2016 in poor body condition (cachexia, alopetic areas and pruritus mainly on neck and head) by the present owner in Le Roeulx (Belgium) from a milk producing donkey farm in Frasnes-lez-Buissenal (Belgium)...
July 18, 2018: Parasites & Vectors
Fekede Workneh, Li Paetzold, Adrian Silva, Christopher Johnson, Arash Rashed, Ismael Badillo-Vargas, Neil C Gudmestad, Charlie M Rush
The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), had been known for nearly a century to cause psyllid yellows of solanaceous crops. However, it has only been a decade since the insect was discovered to transmit the bacterium 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' (Lso), which putatively causes potato zebra chip disease. This project was initiated to quantify temporal incidences of haplotypes of the psyllid (Central, Southwestern, and Western) and Lso (A, B) in potato fields and in native vegetation...
July 18, 2018: Environmental Entomology
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