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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28547179/telomere-length-measurement-by-qpcr-in-birds-is-affected-by-storage-method-of-blood-samples
#1
Sophie Reichert, Hannah Froy, Winnie Boner, Theresa M Burg, Francis Daunt, Robert Gillespie, Kate Griffiths, Sue Lewis, Richard A Phillips, Dan H Nussey, Pat Monaghan
Given the potential role of telomeres as biomarkers of individual health and ageing, there is an increasing interest in studying telomere dynamics in a wider range of taxa in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Measuring telomere length across the lifespan in wild animal systems is essential for testing these hypotheses, and may be aided by archived blood samples collected as part of longitudinal field studies. However, sample collection, storage, and DNA extraction methods may influence telomere length measurement, and it may, therefore, be difficult to balance consistency in sampling protocol with making the most of available samples...
May 25, 2017: Oecologia
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28544577/hatching-asynchrony-impacts-cognition-in-male-zebra-finches
#2
Simone A Campbell, Michelle L Beck, Kendra B Sewall
Conditions experienced early in life can shape brain development and later cognition. Altricial songbirds are particularly vulnerable to early environmental perturbations. Research on "Developmental Stress" in songbirds has addressed how early-life conditions may impair song learning and has been extended to consider other components of adult phenotype. Early-life challenges ranging from ectoparasites to competition with siblings have been shown to compromise song learning and other measures of cognition, as well as behavioral strategy...
May 23, 2017: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological Genetics and Physiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28543449/the-ascending-projections-of-the-nuclei-of-the-descending-trigeminal-tract-nttd-in-the-zebra-finch-taeniopygia-guttata
#3
Macarena Faunes, J Martin Wild
In our traditional view of the avian somatosensory system, input from the beak and head reaches the telencephalon via a disynaptic pathway, involving projections from the principal sensory nucleus (PrV) directly to nucleus basorostralis (previously called nucleus basalis), whereas input from the rest of the body follows a trisynatic pathway similar to that in mammals, involving projections from the dorsal column nuclei to the thalamus, and thence to somatosensory cortex. However, the role of the nuclei of the descending trigeminal tract (nTTD) in this scenario is unclear, partly because their ascending projections have been examined in only one species, the mallard duck (Arends & Dubbeldam, 1984, Neuroscience 13(3):797-817)...
May 23, 2017: Journal of Comparative Neurology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28542900/the-sensory-trigeminal-complex-and-the-organisation-of-its-primary-afferents-in-the-zebra-finch-taeniopygia-guttata
#4
Macarena Faunes, J Martin Wild, Thomas Finger
Our knowledge of the avian sensory trigeminal system has been largely restricted to the principal trigeminal nucleus (PrV) and its ascending projections to the forebrain. Studies addressing the cytoarchitecture and organisation of afferent input to the sensory trigeminal complex, which includes both the PrV and the nuclei of the descending trigeminal tract (nTTD), have only been performed in pigeons and ducks. Here we extend such an analysis to a songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We describe the cytoarchitecture of the sensory trigeminal complex, the patterns of calbindin-like and substance P-like immunoreactivity, and the organisation of afferents from the three branches of the trigeminal nerve and from the lingual branch of the hypoglossal nerve...
May 24, 2017: Journal of Comparative Neurology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28539523/courtship-song-preferences-in-female-zebra-finches-are-shaped-by-developmental-auditory-experience
#5
Yining Chen, Oliver Clark, Sarah C Woolley
The performance of courtship signals provides information about the behavioural state and quality of the signaller, and females can use such information for social decision-making (e.g. mate choice). However, relatively little is known about the degree to which the perception of and preference for differences in motor performance are shaped by developmental experiences. Furthermore, the neural substrates that development could act upon to influence the processing of performance features remains largely unknown...
May 31, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28514229/an-open-source-wireless-capable-miniature-microscope-system
#6
William A Liberti, L Nathan Perkins, Daniel P Leman, Timothy J Gardner
OBJECTIVE: Fluorescence imaging through head-mounted microscopes in freely behaving animals is becoming a standard method to study neural circuit function. Flexible, open-source designs are needed to spur evolution of the method. APPROACH: We describe a miniature microscope for single-photon fluorescence imaging in freely behaving animals. The device is made from 3D printed parts and off-the-shelf components. These microscopes weigh less than 1.8 g, can be configured to image a variety of fluorophores, and can be used wirelessly or in conjunction with active commutators...
May 17, 2017: Journal of Neural Engineering
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28507505/protein-protein-interaction-among-the-foxp-family-members-and-their-regulation-of-two-target-genes-vldlr-and-cntnap2-in-the-zebra-finch-song-system
#7
Ezequiel Mendoza, Constance Scharff
The Forkhead transcription factor FOXP2 is implicated in speech perception and production. The avian homolog, FoxP2 contributes to song learning and production in birds. In human cell lines, transcriptional activity of FOXP2 requires homo-dimerization or dimerization with paralogs FOXP1 or FOXP4. Whether FoxP dimerization occurs in the brain is unknown. We recently showed that FoxP1, FoxP2 and FoxP4 (FoxP1/2/4) proteins are co-expressed in neurons of Area X, a song control region in zebra finches. We now report on dimer- and oligomerization of zebra finch FoxPs and how this affects transcription...
2017: Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28506621/zenk-expression-following-conspecific-and-heterospecific-playback-in-the-zebra-finch-auditory-forebrain
#8
Erin N Scully, Allison H Hahn, Kimberley A Campbell, Neil McMillan, Jenna V Congdon, Christopher B Sturdy
Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are sexually dimorphic songbirds, not only in appearance but also in vocal production: while males produce both calls and songs, females only produce calls. This dimorphism provides a means to contrast the auditory perception of vocalizations produced by songbird species of varying degrees of relatedness in a dimorphic species to that of a monomorphic species, species in which both males and females produce calls and songs (e.g., black-capped chickadees, Poecile atricapillus)...
May 12, 2017: Behavioural Brain Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28497383/form-of-dietary-methylmercury-does-not-affect-total-mercury-accumulation-in-the-tissues-of-zebra-finch
#9
Claire W Varian-Ramos, Margaret Whitney, Gary W Rice, Daniel A Cristol
Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury...
May 11, 2017: Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28488276/cntnap2-is-a-direct-foxp2-target-in-vitro-and-in-vivo-in-zebra-finches-complex-regulation-by-age-and-activity
#10
Iris Adam, Ezequiel Mendoza, Ursula Kobalz, Sandra Wohlgemuth, Constance Scharff
Mutations of FOXP2 are associated with altered brain structure, including the striatal part of the basal ganglia, and cause a severe speech and language disorder. Songbirds serve as a tractable neurobiological model for speech and language research. Experimental downregulation of FoxP2 in zebra finch Area X, a nucleus of the striatal song control circuitry, affects synaptic transmission and spine densities. It also renders song learning and production inaccurate and imprecise, similar to the speech impairment of patients carrying FOXP2 mutations...
May 10, 2017: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28487181/environmental-conditions-can-modulate-the-links-among-oxidative-stress-age-and-longevity
#11
Valeria Marasco, Antoine Stier, Winnie Boner, Kate Griffiths, Britt Heidinger, Pat Monaghan
Understanding the links between environmental conditions and longevity remains a major focus in biological research. We examined within-individual changes between early- and mid-adulthood in the circulating levels of four oxidative stress markers linked to ageing, using zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): a DNA damage product (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine; 8-OHdG), protein carbonyls (PC), non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity (OXY), and superoxide dismutase activity (SOD). We further examined whether such within-individual changes differed among birds living under control (ad lib food) or more challenging environmental conditions (unpredictable food availability), having previously found that the latter increased corticosterone levels when food was absent but improved survival over a three year period...
May 6, 2017: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28480980/exogenous-progesterone-is-neuroprotective-following-injury-to-the-male-zebra-finch-brain
#12
Katherine Katie Blackshear, Stephanie Giessner, John P Hayden, Kelli A Duncan
The use of progesterone following brain injury has a controversial history. On one hand, some lab-based models have showed progesterone as being neuroprotective, but on the other, clinical trials have showed quite the opposite. One of many complaints that arose from this discrepancy was the lack of a diverse pool of animal models and paradigms employed during the preclinical phase. However, over the past decade, the zebra finch has emerged as an optimal organism for the study of steroid-mediated neuroprotection...
May 8, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28472866/innervation-of-the-syrinx-of-the-zebra-finch-taeniopygia-guttata
#13
Macarena Faunes, João F Botelho, J Martin Wild
In songbirds the learning and maintenance of song is dependent on auditory feedback, but little is known about the presence or role of other forms of sensory feedback. Here we studied the innervation of the avian vocal organ, the syrinx, in the zebra finch. Using a combination of immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and neural tracing with subunit B of cholera toxin (CTB), we analysed the peripheral and central endings of the branch of the hypoglossal nerve that supplies the syrinx, the tracheosyringeal nerve...
May 4, 2017: Journal of Comparative Neurology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28432288/overexpression-of-human-nr2b-receptor-subunit-in-lman-causes-stuttering-and-song-sequence-changes-in-adult-zebra-finches
#14
Mukta Chakraborty, Liang-Fu Chen, Emma E Fridel, Marguerita E Klein, Rebecca A Senft, Abhra Sarkar, Erich D Jarvis
Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) learn to produce songs in a manner reminiscent of spoken language development in humans. One candidate gene implicated in influencing learning is the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype 2B glutamate receptor (NR2B). Consistent with this idea, NR2B levels are high in the song learning nucleus LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium) during juvenile vocal learning, and decreases to low levels in adults after learning is complete and the song becomes more stereotyped...
April 21, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28420788/reconstructing-the-spectrotemporal-modulations-of-real-life-sounds-from-fmri-response-patterns
#15
Roberta Santoro, Michelle Moerel, Federico De Martino, Giancarlo Valente, Kamil Ugurbil, Essa Yacoub, Elia Formisano
Ethological views of brain functioning suggest that sound representations and computations in the auditory neural system are optimized finely to process and discriminate behaviorally relevant acoustic features and sounds (e.g., spectrotemporal modulations in the songs of zebra finches). Here, we show that modeling of neural sound representations in terms of frequency-specific spectrotemporal modulations enables accurate and specific reconstruction of real-life sounds from high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) response patterns in the human auditory cortex...
May 2, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28420031/the-ventromedial-hypothalamic-nucleus-in-the-zebra-finch-taeniopygia-guttata-afferent-and-efferent-projections-in-relation-to-the-control-of-reproductive-behaviour
#16
J Martin Wild
Sex-specific mating behaviors occur in a variety of mammals, with the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) and the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) mediating control of male and female sexual behaviour, respectively. In birds, likewise, POM is predominantly involved in the control of male reproductive behaviour, but the degree to which VMH is involved in female reproductive behaviour is unclear. Here, in male and female zebra finches, a combination of aromatase immunohistochemistry and conventional tract tracing facilitated the definition of two separate but adjacent nuclei in the basal hypothalamus: an oblique band of aromatase-positive (AR+) neurons, and ventromedial to this, an ovoid, aromatase-negative (AR-) nucleus...
April 18, 2017: Journal of Comparative Neurology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28405295/flight-performance-in-the-altricial-zebra-finch-developmental-effects-and-reproductive-consequences
#17
Ondi L Crino, Brett Klaassen van Oorschot, Kristen E Crandell, Creagh W Breuner, Bret W Tobalske
The environmental conditions animals experience during development can have sustained effects on morphology, physiology, and behavior. Exposure to elevated levels of stress hormones (glucocorticoids, GCs) during development is one such condition that can have long-term effects on animal phenotype. Many of the phenotypic effects of GC exposure during development (developmental stress) appear negative. However, there is increasing evidence that developmental stress can induce adaptive phenotypic changes. This hypothesis can be tested by examining the effect of developmental stress on fitness-related traits...
April 2017: Ecology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28403146/three-igh-isotypes-igm-iga-and-igy-are-expressed-in-gentoo-penguin-and-zebra-finch
#18
Binyue Han, Yan Li, Haitang Han, Yaofeng Zhao, Qingjie Pan, Liming Ren
Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order...
2017: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28391488/selective-auditory-grouping-by-zebra-finches-testing-the-iambic-trochaic-law
#19
Michelle Spierings, Jeroen Hubert, Carel Ten Cate
Humans have a strong tendency to spontaneously group visual or auditory stimuli together in larger patterns. One of these perceptual grouping biases is formulated as the iambic/trochaic law, where humans group successive tones alternating in pitch and intensity as trochees (high-low and loud-soft) and alternating in duration as iambs (short-long). The grouping of alternations in pitch and intensity into trochees is a human universal and is also present in one non-human animal species, rats. The perceptual grouping of sounds alternating in duration seems to be affected by native language in humans and has so far not been found among animals...
April 8, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28384428/stress-responses-to-heat-exposure-in-three-species-of-australian-desert-birds
#20
Shangzhe Xie, L Michael Romero, Zaw Win Htut, Todd J McWhorter
Birds need to respond to weather changes quickly and appropriately for their own well-being and survival. The inability to respond appropriately to heat waves can be fatal to individual birds and can translate into large-scale mortality events. We investigated corticosterone (CORT) and heterophil∶lymphocyte (H∶L) ratio responses of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), and diamond doves (Geopelia cuneata) to heat exposures. The birds were exposed to a temperature similar to what they experience during a typical summer day (35°C) and a higher temperature (45°C) similar to that experienced during a heat wave...
May 2017: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
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