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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27897971/transformation-of-temporal-sequences-in-the-zebra-finch-auditory-system
#1
Yoonseob Lim, Ryan Lagoy, Barbara G Shinn-Cunningham, Timothy J Gardner
This study examines how temporally patterned stimuli are transformed as they propagate from primary to secondary zones in the thalamo-recipient auditory pallium in zebra finches. Using a new class of synthetic click stimuli, we find a robust mapping from temporal sequences in the primary zone to distinct population vectors in secondary auditory areas. We tested whether songbirds could discriminate synthetic click sequences in an operant setup and found that a robust behavioral discrimination is present for click sequences composed of intervals ranging from 11-40ms, but breaks down for stimuli composed of longer inter-click intervals...
November 29, 2016: ELife
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27881897/elevated-reproduction-does-not-affect-telomere-dynamics-and-oxidative-stress
#2
Joanna Sudyka, Giulia Casasole, Joanna Rutkowska, Mariusz Cichoń
ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress and telomere dynamics are considered to be powerful biomarkers quantifying a potential trade-off between current reproduction and self-maintenance. Recent studies confirmed the negative impact of elevated reproduction on telomeres, but the evidence for the cost of reproduction in terms of oxidative stress remains equivocal. In order to induce reproductive costs, we experimentally manipulated reproductive effort by increasing brood size in captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and additionally challenged all birds by a low ambient temperature to facilitate detection of these costs...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27872371/statistical-learning-in-songbirds-from-self-tutoring-to-song-culture
#3
Olga Fehér, Iva Ljubičić, Kenta Suzuki, Kazuo Okanoya, Ofer Tchernichovski
At the onset of vocal development, both songbirds and humans produce variable vocal babbling with broadly distributed acoustic features. Over development, these vocalizations differentiate into the well-defined, categorical signals that characterize adult vocal behaviour. A broadly distributed signal is ideal for vocal exploration, that is, for matching vocal production to the statistics of the sensory input. The developmental transition to categorical signals is a gradual process during which the vocal output becomes differentiated and stable...
January 5, 2017: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27852738/contributions-of-rapid-neuromuscular-transmission-to-the-fine-control-of-acoustic-parameters-of-birdsong
#4
Caitlin Mencio, Balagurunathan Kuberan, Franz Goller
Neural control of complex vocal behaviors, such as birdsong and speech, requires integration of biomechanical nonlinearities through muscular output. Although control of airflow and tension of vibrating tissues are known functions of vocal muscles, it remains unclear how specific muscle characteristics contribute to specific acoustic parameters. To address this gap, we removed heparan sulfate chains using heparitinases to subtly perturb neuromuscular transmission in the syrinx of adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)...
November 16, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27827412/the-avian-specific-small-heat-shock-protein-hsp25-is-a-constitutive-protector-against-environmental-stresses-during-blastoderm-dormancy
#5
Young Sun Hwang, Mee Hyun Ko, Young Min Kim, Young Hyun Park, Tamao Ono, Jae Yong Han
Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) range in size from 12 to 42 kDa and contain an α-crystalline domain. They have been proposed to play roles in the first line of defence against various stresses in an ATP-independent manner. In birds, a newly oviposited blastoderm can survive several weeks in a dormant state in low-temperature storage suggesting that blastoderm cells are basically tolerant of environmental stress. However, sHSPs in the stress-tolerant blastoderm have yet to be investigated. Thus, we characterised the expression and function of sHSPs in the chicken blastoderm...
November 9, 2016: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27827334/cryptosporidium-testudinis-sp-n-cryptosporidium-ducismarci-traversa-2010-and-cryptosporidium-tortoise-genotype-iii-apicomplexa-cryptosporidiidae-in-tortoises
#6
Jana Jezkova, Michaela Horcickova, Lenka Hlaskova, Bohumil Sak, Dana Kvetonova, Jan Novak, Lada Hofmannova, John McEvoy, Martin Kvac
Understanding of the diversity of species of Cryptosporidium Tyzzer, 1910 in tortoises remains incomplete due to the limited number of studies on these hosts. The aim of the present study was to characterise the genetic diversity and biology of cryptosporidia in tortoises of the family Testudinidae Batsch. Faecal samples were individually collected immediately after defecation and were screened for presence of cryptosporidia by microscopy using aniline-carbol-methyl violet staining, and by PCR amplification and sequence analysis targeting the small subunit rRNA (SSU), Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein (COWP) and actin genes...
October 14, 2016: Folia Parasitologica
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27826038/title-expression-of-glial-cbp-in-steroid-mediated-neuroprotection-in-male-and-female-zebra-finches
#7
Molly Klores, John T Moon, Kelli A Duncan
Under neurodegenerative conditions, reactive astrocytes upregulate both aromatase (estrogen synthase) as well as estrogen and androgen receptors. This increased steroidogenic signal promotes neuroprotection and repair by promoting neurogenesis and decreasing cell death, but also by modulating the release of inflammatory molecules. Thus, endocrine - immune cross-talk is an essential component of estrogen mediated neuroprotection following brain injury. However, the exact mechanisms underlying this cross-talk remains unknown...
November 5, 2016: Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27825451/evolution-sex-diet-and-red-ketocarotenoids
#8
Gregory Barsh
In many birds, bright red plumage in males helps to attract females, a classic example of sexual selection. Studies in zebra finches and canaries have now identified the gene responsible for red coloration.
November 7, 2016: Current Biology: CB
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27807250/maternal-corticosterone-exposure-has-transgenerational-effects-on-grand-offspring
#9
Nicola Khan, Richard A Peters, Emily Richardson, Kylie A Robert
The hormone fluctuations that an animal experiences during ovulation can have lifelong effects on developing offspring. These hormones may act as an adaptive mechanism, allowing offspring to be 'pre-programmed' to survive in an unstable environment. Here, we used a transgenerational approach to examine the effects of elevated maternal corticosterone (CORT) on the future reproductive success of female offspring. We show that female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) exposed to embryonic CORT produce daughters that have equal reproductive success (clutch sizes, fertility, hatching success) compared with the daughters produced from untreated mothers, but their offspring had accelerated post-hatching growth rates and were significantly heavier by nutritional independence...
November 2016: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27804967/meiotic-recombination-shapes-precision-of-pedigree-and-marker-based-estimates-of-inbreeding
#10
U Knief, B Kempenaers, W Forstmeier
The proportion of an individual's genome that is identical by descent (GWIBD) can be estimated from pedigrees (inbreeding coefficient 'Pedigree F') or molecular markers ('Marker F'), but both estimators come with error. Assuming unrelated pedigree founders, Pedigree F is the expected proportion of GWIBD given a specific inbreeding constellation. Meiotic recombination introduces variation around that expectation (Mendelian noise) and related pedigree founders systematically bias Pedigree F downward. Marker F is an estimate of the actual proportion of GWIBD but it suffers from the sampling error of markers plus the error that occurs when a marker is homozygous without reflecting common ancestry (identical by state)...
November 2, 2016: Heredity
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27801957/a-new-marker-based-on-the-avian-spindlin-gene-that-is-able-to-sex-most-birds-including-species-problematic-to-sex-with-chd-markers
#11
Deborah A Dawson, Natalie Dos Remedios, Gavin J Horsburgh
We have developed a new marker (Z43B) that can be successfully used to identify the sex of most birds (69%), including species difficult or impossible to sex with other markers. We utilized the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata EST microsatellite sequence (CK309496) which displays sequence homology to the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the avian spindlin gene. This gene is known to be present on the Z and W chromosomes. To maximize cross-species utility, the primer set was designed from a consensus sequence created from homologs of CK309496 that were isolated from multiple distantly related species...
November 2016: Zoo Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27787229/imaging-of-striatal-injury-in-a-songbird-brain
#12
Kristina Lukacova, Ladislav Baciak, Eva Pavukova, Katarina Pichova, Svatava Kasparova, Lubica Kubikova
Neurological insults affect both, brain structure and behavior. The injury-induced brain plasticity and associated changes in behavior are difficult to study using classical histological methods. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), however, enables repeated inspection of the brain in the same individual. Here we took advantage of the songbird model with discrete brain circuitry controlling song learning and production and assessed if a conventional MRI is suitable to detect even relatively small brain changes...
October 27, 2016: General Physiology and Biophysics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27761321/positive-effect-of-dietary-lutein-and-cholesterol-on-the-undirected-song-activity-of-an-opportunistic-breeder
#13
Stefania Casagrande, Rianne Pinxten, Erika Zaid, Marcel Eens
Song is a sexually selected trait that is thought to be an honest signal of the health condition of an individual in many bird species. For species that breed opportunistically, the quantity of food may be a determinant of singing activity. However, it is not yet known whether the quality of food plays an important role in this respect. The aim of the present study was to experimentally investigate the role of two calorie-free nutrients (lutein and cholesterol) in determining the expression of a sexually selected behavior (song rate) and other behaviors (locomotor activity, self-maintenance activity, eating and resting) in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)...
2016: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27723764/a-neural-code-that-is-isometric-to-vocal-output-and-correlates-with-its-sensory-consequences
#14
Alexei L Vyssotski, Anna E Stepien, Georg B Keller, Richard H R Hahnloser
What cortical inputs are provided to motor control areas while they drive complex learned behaviors? We study this question in the nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf), which is required for normal birdsong production and provides the main source of auditory input to HVC, the driver of adult song. In juvenile and adult zebra finches, we find that spikes in NIf projection neurons precede vocalizations by several tens of milliseconds and are insensitive to distortions of auditory feedback. We identify a local isometry between NIf output and vocalizations: quasi-identical notes produced in different syllables are preceded by highly similar NIf spike patterns...
October 2016: PLoS Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27723744/unstable-neurons-underlie-a-stable-learned-behavior
#15
William A Liberti, Jeffrey E Markowitz, L Nathan Perkins, Derek C Liberti, Daniel P Leman, Grigori Guitchounts, Tarciso Velho, Darrell N Kotton, Carlos Lois, Timothy J Gardner
Motor skills can be maintained for decades, but the biological basis of this memory persistence remains largely unknown. The zebra finch, for example, sings a highly stereotyped song that is stable for years, but it is not known whether the precise neural patterns underlying song are stable or shift from day to day. Here we demonstrate that the population of projection neurons coding for song in the premotor nucleus, HVC, change from day to day. The most dramatic shifts occur over intervals of sleep. In contrast to the transient participation of excitatory neurons, ensemble measurements dominated by inhibition persist unchanged even after damage to downstream motor nerves...
December 2016: Nature Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27703702/colour-vision-and-background-adaptation-in-a-passerine-bird-the-zebra-finch-taeniopygia-guttata
#16
Olle Lind
Today, there is good knowledge of the physiological basis of bird colour vision and how mathematical models can be used to predict visual thresholds. However, we still know only little about how colour vision changes between different viewing conditions. This limits the understanding of how colour signalling is configured in habitats where the light of the illumination and the background may shift dramatically. I examined how colour discrimination in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is affected by adaptation to different backgrounds...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27697612/exploring-sex-differences-in-the-adult-zebra-finch-brain-in-vivo-diffusion-tensor-imaging-and-ex-vivo-super-resolution-track-density-imaging
#17
Julie Hamaide, Geert De Groof, Gwendolyn Van Steenkiste, Ben Jeurissen, Johan Van Audekerke, Maarten Naeyaert, Lisbeth Van Ruijssevelt, Charlotte Cornil, Jan Sijbers, Marleen Verhoye, Annemie Van der Linden
Zebra finches are an excellent model to study the process of vocal learning, a complex socially-learned tool of communication that forms the basis of spoken human language. So far, structural investigation of the zebra finch brain has been performed ex vivo using invasive methods such as histology. These methods are highly specific, however, they strongly interfere with performing whole-brain analyses and exclude longitudinal studies aimed at establishing causal correlations between neuroplastic events and specific behavioral performances...
September 30, 2016: NeuroImage
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27693816/a-dynamic-sex-specific-expression-pattern-of-genes-regulating-thyroid-hormone-action-in-the-developing-zebra-finch-song-control-system
#18
Sander R Raymaekers, Wout Verbeure, Sita M Ter Haar, Charlotte A Cornil, Jacques Balthazart, Veerle M Darras
The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song control system consists of several series of interconnected brain nuclei that undergo marked changes during ontogeny and sexual development, making it an excellent model to study developmental neuroplasticity. Despite the demonstrated influence of hormones such as sex steroids on this phenomenon, thyroid hormones (THs) - an important factor in neural development and maturation - have not been studied in this regard. We used in situ hybridization to compare the expression of TH transporters, deiodinases and receptors between both sexes during all phases of song development in male zebra finch...
January 1, 2017: General and Comparative Endocrinology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27687629/fitness-consequences-of-polymorphic-inversions-in-the-zebra-finch-genome
#19
Ulrich Knief, Georg Hemmrich-Stanisak, Michael Wittig, Andre Franke, Simon C Griffith, Bart Kempenaers, Wolfgang Forstmeier
BACKGROUND: Inversion polymorphisms constitute an evolutionary puzzle: they should increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic individuals but still they are widespread in some taxa. Some insect species have evolved mechanisms to reduce the cost of embryo mortality but humans have not. In birds, a detailed analysis is missing although intraspecific inversion polymorphisms are regarded as common. In Australian zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), two polymorphic inversions are known cytogenetically and we set out to detect these two and potentially additional inversions using genomic tools and study their effects on embryo mortality and other fitness-related and morphological traits...
September 29, 2016: Genome Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27668745/blood-mercury-levels-of-zebra-finches-are-heritable-implications-for-the-evolution-of-mercury-resistance
#20
Kenton A Buck, Claire W Varian-Ramos, Daniel A Cristol, John P Swaddle
Mercury is a ubiquitous metal contaminant that negatively impacts reproduction of wildlife and has many other sub-lethal effects. Songbirds are sensitive bioindicators of mercury toxicity and may suffer population declines as a result of mercury pollution. Current predictions of mercury accumulation and biomagnification often overlook possible genetic variation in mercury uptake and elimination within species and the potential for evolution in affected populations. We conducted a study of dietary mercury exposure in a model songbird species, maintaining a breeding population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) on standardized diets ranging from 0...
2016: PloS One
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