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Behavioral traits and biology

Paolo Gabrieli, Francesca Scolari
The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is a pest species with extremely high agricultural relevance. This is due to its reproductive behavior: females damage the external surface of fruits and vegetables when they lay eggs and the hatched larvae feed on their pulp. Wild C. capitata populations are traditionally controlled through insecticide spraying and/or eco-friendly approaches, the most successful being the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). The SIT relies on mass-rearing, radiation-based sterilization and field release of males that retain their capacity to mate but are not able to generate fertile progeny...
October 1, 2016: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Simone Vincenzi, Alain J Crivelli, Stephan Munch, Hans J Skaug, Marc Mangel
Better understanding of variation in growth will always be an important problem in ecology. Individual variation in growth can arise from a variety of processes; for example, individuals within a population vary in their intrinsic metabolic rates and behavioral traits, which may influence their foraging dynamics and access to resources. However, when adopting a growth model, we face trade-offs between model complexity, biological interpretability of parameters, and goodness of fit. We explore how different formulations of the von Bertalanffy growth function (vBGF) with individual random effects and environmental predictors affect these trade-offs...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Qian Wang, Renato Polimanti, Henry R Kranzler, Lindsay A Farrer, Hongyu Zhao, Joel Gelernter
Schizophrenia (SZ) and HIV infection are serious disorders with a complex phenotypic relationship. Observational studies have described their comorbidity; their genetic correlation is not well studied. We performed extensive analysis in search of common genetic factors for SZ and HIV, and their relationship with risky sexual behavior (RSB). Summary statistics from genome-wide association studies of HIV infection and schizophrenia were obtained and 2379 European Americans were genotyped and assessed for RSB score...
October 17, 2016: Human Genetics
L Guillod, S Habersaat, M Suter, T Jeanneret, C Bertoni, P Stéphan, S Urben
BACKGROUND: Adolescence is a stressful period where important biological, psychological and social changes occur. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable during this developmental period and can use various strategies to deal with daily stress, such as substance use or externalizing behaviors. In previous studies, stress in adolescents with externalizing behaviors was often linked to ineffective cognitive coping strategies (i.e., constructive thinking) and overlooking the biological aspects involved in stress management such as neuroendocrine regulation...
October 10, 2016: L'Encéphale
Sheila E Crowell, Erin A Kaufman
Self-inflicted injury (SII) is a continuum of intentionally self-destructive behaviors, including nonsuicidal self-injuries, suicide attempts, and death by suicide. These behaviors are among the most pressing yet perplexing clinical problems, affecting males and females of every race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, and nearly every age. The complexity of these behaviors has spurred an immense literature documenting risk and vulnerability factors ranging from individual to societal levels of analysis...
November 2016: Development and Psychopathology
Alexander J Shackman, Do P M Tromp, Melissa D Stockbridge, Claire M Kaplan, Rachael M Tillman, Andrew S Fox
Dispositional negativity-the propensity to experience and express more frequent, intense, or enduring negative affect-is a fundamental dimension of childhood temperament and adult personality. Elevated levels of dispositional negativity can have profound consequences for health, wealth, and happiness, drawing the attention of clinicians, researchers, and policymakers. Here, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the psychological and neurobiological processes linking stable individual differences in dispositional negativity to momentary emotional states...
October 10, 2016: Psychological Bulletin
Jennifer M Buchman-Schmitt, Sarah J Brislin, Noah C Venables, Thomas E Joiner, Christopher J Patrick
BACKGROUND: The RDoC matrix framework calls for investigation of mental health problems through analysis of core biobehavioral processes quantified and studied across multiple domains of measurement. Critics have raised concerns about RDoC, including overemphasis on biological concepts/measures and disregard for the principle of multifinality, which holds that identical biological predispositions can give rise to differing behavioral outcomes. The current work illustrates an ontogenetic process approach to addressing these concerns, focusing on biobehavioral traits corresponding to RDoC constructs as predictors, and suicidal behavior as the outcome variable...
October 1, 2016: Journal of Affective Disorders
Lucas Giner, Hilario Blasco-Fontecilla, Diego De La Vega, Philippe Courtet
Suicide is one of the leading causes of violent death in many countries and its prevention is included in worldwide health objectives. Currently, the DSM-5 considers suicidal behavior as an entity that requires further study. Among the three validators required for considering a psychiatric disorder, there is one based on psychological correlates, biological markers, and patterns of comorbidity. This review includes the most important and recent studies on psychological factors: cognitive, emotional, temperament, and personality correlates (unrelated to diagnostic criteria)...
November 2016: Current Psychiatry Reports
Anna-Sara Liman, Peter Dalin, Christer Björkman
Plant traits can mediate the strength of interactions between omnivorous predators and their prey through density effects and changes in the omnivores' trophic behavior. In this study, we explored the established assumption that enhanced nutrient status in host plants strengthens the buffering effect of plant feeding for omnivorous predators, i.e., prevents rapid negative population growth during prey density decline and thereby increases and stabilizes omnivore population density. We analyzed 13 years of field data on population densities of a heteropteran omnivore on Salix cinerea stands, arranged along a measured leaf nitrogen gradient and found a 195 % increase in omnivore population density and a 63 % decrease in population variability with an increase in leaf nitrogen status from 26 to 40 mgN × g(-1)...
October 7, 2016: Oecologia
Ditza A Zachor, Esther Ben-Itzchak
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous group of disorders which occurs with numerous medical conditions. In previous research, subtyping in ASD has been based mostly on cognitive ability and ASD symptom severity. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether specific medical conditions in ASD are associated with unique behavioral profiles. The medical conditions included in the study were macrocephaly, microcephaly, developmental regression, food selectivity, and sleep problems. The behavioral profile was composed of cognitive ability, adaptive skills, and autism severity, and was examined in each of the aforementioned medical conditions...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Samuel L Díaz-Muñoz, Amy Boddy, Gautam Dantas, Christopher M Waters, Judith L Bronstein
Biologists have taken the concept of organism largely for granted. However, advances in the study of chimerism, symbiosis, bacterial-eukaryote associations, and microbial behavior have prompted a redefinition of organisms as biological entities exhibiting low conflict and high cooperation among their parts. This expanded view identifies organisms in evolutionary time. However, the ecological processes, mechanisms, and traits that drive the formation of organisms remain poorly understood. Recognizing that organismality can be context-dependent, we advocate elucidating the ecological contexts under which entities do or do not act as organisms...
October 5, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Sergio Díaz Infante, Carlos Lara, María Del Coro Arizmendi, Luis E Eguiarte, Juan Francisco Ornelas
BACKGROUND: Relationships between floral biology and pollinator behavior are important to understanding species diversity of hemiparasitic Psittacanthus mistletoes (c. 120 species). We aimed to investigate trait divergence linked to pollinator attraction and reproductive isolation (RI) in two hummingbird-pollinated and bird-dispersed Psittacanthus species with range overlap. METHODS: We investigated the phylogenetic relationships, floral biology, pollinator assemblages, seed dispersers and host usage, and the breeding system and female reproductive success of two sympatric populations of P...
2016: PeerJ
Matthew C Hale, Garrett J McKinney, Frank P Thrower, Krista M Nichols
Many migratory traits are heritable, but there is a paucity of evidence identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying differentiation in alternative migratory tactics, or in linking variation in gene expression to migratory behaviors. To that end, we examined differential gene expression in the brain transcriptome between young steelhead trout that had undergone the smoltification process, and resident rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) from Sashin Creek, Alaska. Samples were sequenced from two time points: immediately before (at 20months of age) and during (2years of age) the presumed peak of smoltification...
September 4, 2016: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part D, Genomics & Proteomics
M Mele, N P P Macciotta, A Cecchinato, G Conte, S Schiavon, G Bittante
We investigated the potential of using multivariate factor analysis to extract metabolic information from data on the quantity and quality of milk produced under different management systems. We collected data from individual milk samples taken from 1,158 Brown Swiss cows farmed in 85 traditional or modern herds in Trento Province (Italy). Factor analysis was carried out on 47 individual fatty acids, milk yield, and 5 compositional milk traits (fat, protein, casein, and lactose contents, somatic cell score)...
September 21, 2016: Journal of Dairy Science
Jacob Engelmann, Tim Walther, Kirsty Grant, Elisabetta Chicca, Leonel Gómez-Sena
Understanding the coding of sensory information under the temporal constraints of natural behavior is not yet well resolved. There is a growing consensus that spike timing or latency coding can maximally exploit the timing of neural events to make fast computing elements and that such mechanisms are essential to information processing functions in the brain. The electric sense of mormyrid fish provides a convenient biological model where this coding scheme can be studied. The sensory input is a physically ordered spatial pattern of current densities, which is coded in the precise timing of primary afferent spikes...
2016: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
M Emília Santos, Laura Baldo, Langyu Gu, Nicolas Boileau, Zuzana Musilova, Walter Salzburger
BACKGROUND: Understanding the genetic basis of novel traits is a central topic in evolutionary biology. Two novel pigmentation phenotypes, egg-spots and blotches, emerged during the rapid diversification of East African cichlid fishes. Egg-spots are circular pigmentation markings on the anal fins of hundreds of derived haplochromine cichlids species, whereas blotches are patches of conspicuous anal fin pigmentation with ill-defined boundaries that occur in few species that belong to basal cichlid lineages...
2016: BMC Genomics
Felix T Kurz, Jackelyn M Kembro, Ana G Flesia, Antonis A Armoundas, Sonia Cortassa, Miguel A Aon, David Lloyd
Advancing from two core traits of biological systems: multilevel network organization and nonlinearity, we review a host of novel and readily available techniques to explore and analyze their complex dynamic behavior within the framework of experimental-computational synergy. In the context of concrete biological examples, analytical methods such as wavelet, power spectra, and metabolomics-fluxomics analyses, are presented, discussed, and their strengths and limitations highlighted. Further shown is how time series from stationary and nonstationary biological variables and signals, such as membrane potential, high-throughput metabolomics, O2 and CO2 levels, bird locomotion, at the molecular, (sub)cellular, tissue, and whole organ and animal levels, can reveal important information on the properties of the underlying biological networks...
September 7, 2016: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Ruth A Hackett, Andrew Steptoe
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that is increasing in prevalence globally. Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in diabetes, and lifestyle and clinical risk factors do not fully account for the link between the conditions. This article provides an overview of the evidence concerning the role of psychosocial stress factors in diabetes risk, as well as in cardiovascular complications in people with existing diabetes. Several types of psychosocial factors are discussed including depression, other types of emotional distress, exposure to stressful conditions, and personality traits...
October 2016: Current Cardiology Reports
Eric L Bruger, Christopher M Waters
: Communication has been suggested as a mechanism to stabilize cooperation. In bacteria, chemical communication termed quorum sensing (QS) has been hypothesized to fulfill this role, and extracellular public goods are often induced by QS at high cell density. Here we show with the bacterium Vibrio harveyi that QS provides strong resistance against invasion of a QS-defector strain by maximizing growth rate at low cell densities while achieving maximum productivity through protease upregulation at high cell density...
August 26, 2016: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Øyvind Øverli, Christina Sørensen
Individual variation in how animals react to stress and environmental change has become a central topic in a wide range of biological disciplines, from evolutionary ecology to biomedicine. Such variation manifests phenotypically as correlated trait-clusters (referred to as coping styles, behavioral syndromes, shyness-boldness, or personality traits). Thresholds for switching from active coping (fight-flight) to inhibition and passive behavior when exposed to stress depend on experience and genetic factors. Comparative research has revealed a range of neuroendocrine-behavioral associations which are conserved throughout the vertebrate subphylum, including factors affecting perception, learning, and memory of stimuli and events...
August 24, 2016: Brain, Behavior and Evolution
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