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Emily K Elderbrock, Thomas W Small, Stephan J Schoech
Altricial young are dependent on adults for protection and food, and they display nutritional need by begging to elicit feeding from parents. Begging at high levels can be energetically expensive and attract predators; thus, an individual must balance its nutritional needs with these potential costs. Further, because a parent is limited in the amount of food it can provide, begging can contribute to both parent-offspring conflict and sibling-sibling competition. Many extrinsic and intrinsic factors may contribute to begging behavior...
December 4, 2017: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Sandra Steiger, Johannes Stökl
Effective parental care requires recognition and communication processes. Whereas chemical communication has been studied intensively in eusocial organisms, in which the workers (siblings) predominantly provide brood care, insect groups in which parents engage in care have been largely neglected. However, the study of communication in insect families might complement and enhance our understanding not only of the evolution of signaling process involved in social insects, but also of those involved in vertebrate families...
December 2017: Current Opinion in Insect Science
B Feldmeyer, D Elsner, A Alleman, S Foitzik
BACKGROUND: The transition to a parasitic lifestyle entails comprehensive changes to the selective regime. In parasites, genes encoding for traits that facilitate host detection, exploitation and transmission should be under selection. Slavemaking ants are social parasites that exploit the altruistic behaviour of their hosts by stealing heterospecific host brood during raids, which afterwards serve as slaves in slavemaker nests. Here we search for evidence of selection in the transcriptomes of three slavemaker species and three closely related hosts...
December 4, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
L M Stadig, T B Rodenburg, B Reubens, B Ampe, F A M Tuyttens
Broiler chickens often make limited use of the free-range area. Range use is influenced by type of shelter available. Range use may possibly be improved by a more gradual transition from the house to the range and by using dark brooders (secluded warm, dark areas in the home pen) that mimic aspects of a broody hen and possibly reduce fearfulness. The aim of this study was to assess effects of dark brooders on fearfulness, free-range use and behaviour later in life. Another aim was to test the chickens' preference for shelter type and the effects of overhangs outside of the pop holes to provide a gradual transition to the range...
December 4, 2017: Animal: An International Journal of Animal Bioscience
Neide Vieira, Carlos Bessa, Ana J Rodrigues, Paulo Marques, Fung-Yi Chan, Ana Xavier de Carvalho, Margarida Correia-Neves, Nuno Sousa
The sorting nexins family of proteins (SNXs) plays pleiotropic functions in protein trafficking and intracellular signaling and has been associated with several disorders, namely Alzheimer's disease and Down's syndrome. Despite the growing association of SNXs with neurodegeneration, not much is known about their function in the nervous system. The aim of this work was to use the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that encodes in its genome eight SNXs orthologs, to dissect the role of distinct SNXs, particularly in the nervous system...
December 1, 2017: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS
Charles R Brown, Mary Bomberger Brown
A challenge of life-history theory is to explain why animal body size does not continue to increase, given various advantages of larger size. In birds, body size of nestlings and the number of nestlings produced (brood size) have occasionally been shown to be constrained by higher predation on larger nestlings and those from larger broods. Parasites also are known to have strong effects on life-history traits in birds, but whether parasitism can be a driver for stabilizing selection on nestling body size or brood size is unknown...
November 30, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
K Fletcher, D Baines
Ixodes ricinus (Ixodida: Ixodidae) ticks are of economic and pathogenic importance across Europe. Within the uplands of the U.K., management to reduce ticks is undertaken to benefit red grouse Lagopus lagopus scotica (Galliformes: Phasianidae). Management strategies focus on the acaricide treatment of domestic sheep Ovis aries (Artiodactyla: Bovidae), but the effectiveness of this is less certain in the presence of wild hosts, particularly red deer Cervus elaphus (Artiodactyla: Cervidae) and mountain hare Lepus timidus (Lagomorpha: Leporidae)...
November 30, 2017: Medical and Veterinary Entomology
Robert L Gabrys, Kaylyn Dixon, Matthew R Holahan, Hymie Anisman
OBJECTIVE: Mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) have frequently been associated with the emergence and persistence of depressive symptoms. However, the factors which contribute to the increased risk for depression after these head injuries remain unclear. Accordingly, we examined the relationship between frequency of self-reported mTBIs and current symptoms of depression and the mediating role of rumination and cognitive flexibility. We also examined whether these relations were moderated by sex differences and the presence of the Val66Met polymorphism in a gene coding for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)...
November 21, 2017: Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: Official Journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine
H Pieter J van Veelen, Joana Falcao Salles, B Irene Tieleman
BACKGROUND: Working toward a general framework to understand the role of microbiota in animal biology requires the characterisation of animal-associated microbial communities and identification of the evolutionary and ecological factors shaping their variation. In this study, we described the microbiota in the cloaca, brood patch skin and feathers of two species of birds and the microbial communities in their nest environment. We compared patterns of resemblance between these microbial communities at different levels of biological organisation (species, individual, body part) and investigated the phylogenetic structure to deduce potential microbial community assembly processes...
December 1, 2017: Microbiome
Joana Teixeira Sousa, Standish Allen, Brittany M Wolfe, Jessica Moss Small
For commercial oyster aquaculture, triploidy has significant advantages. To produce triploids, the principal technology uses diploid x tetraploid crosses. The development of tetraploid brood stock for this purpose has been successful, but as more is understood about tetraploids, it seems clear that chromosome instability is a principal feature in oysters. This paper is a continuation of work to investigate chromosome instability in polyploid Crassostrea virginica. We established families between tetraploids - apparently stable (non-mosaic) and unstable (mosaic) - and normal reference diploids, creating triploid groups, as well as tetraploids between mosaic and non-mosaic tetraploids...
November 30, 2017: Genome Génome / Conseil National de Recherches Canada
Julie M Butler, Sarah M Whitlow, Anwei P Gwan, Prosanta Chakrabarty, Karen P Maruska
Mouth brooding is an extreme form of parental care in which the brooding parent carries the developing young in their buccal cavity for the duration of development. Brooding fish need to compensate for the brood weight on the anterior portion of their body. For fishes with a compartmentalized swim bladder, gas distribution between the chambers may aid in regulating buoyancy during brooding. To test this hypothesis, we took radiographs of Astatotilapia burtoni to compare the swim bladder morphology of gravid, mouth-brooding and recovering females...
December 1, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
Jenny E York, Nicholas B Davies
Prey are sensitive to even subtle cues of predation risk, which provides the evolutionary potential for parasites to exploit host risk perception. Brood parasitic common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) lay their eggs in the nests of host species and their secretive laying behaviour enables them to evade host defences. Therefore, it seems paradoxical that female cuckoos often give a conspicuous 'chuckle' call after parasitizing a host's clutch. Here, we show that this hawk-like chuckle call increases the success of parasitism by diverting host parents' attention away from the clutch and towards their own safety...
October 2017: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Walter R Tschinkel, Nicholas Hanley
In the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, foragers occur only in the top 15 cm of the nest, whereas brood and brood-care workers reside mostly in the deepest regions, yet the food and seeds foragers collect must be transported downward 30 to 80 cm to seed chambers and up to 2 m to brood chambers. Using mark-recapture techniques with fluorescent printer's ink, we identified a class of workers that ranges widely within the vertical structure of the nest, rapidly moving materials dropped by foragers in the upper regions downward, and excavated soil from deeper upward...
2017: PloS One
Emma N I Weeks, Daniel R Schmehl, Julie Baniszewski, Hudson V V Tomé, James P Cuda, James D Ellis, Bruce R Stevens
Methionine is an essential/indispensible amino acid nutrient required by adult and larval honey bees (Apis mellifera L. [Hymenoptera: Apidae]). Bees are unable to rear broods on pollen deficient in methionine, and reportedly behaviorally avoid collecting pollen or nectar from florets deficient in methioinine. In contrast, it has been demonstrated that methionine is toxic to certain pest insects; thus it has been proposed as an effective biopesticide. As an ecofriendly integrated pest management agent, methionine boasts a novel mode of action differentiating it from conventional pesticides, while providing non-target safety...
November 23, 2017: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Mary K Lear, Stephanie E Stacy, Carolyn M Pepper
The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide proposes that thwarted belongingness (TB) and perceived burdensomeness (PB) predict psychological pain and desire for suicide. Brooding may be a mechanism in explaining how TB and PB predict pain. The conceptual similarity between rejection sensitivity (RS) and TB suggests that individuals with high RS may be likely to experience psychological pain in the context of TB. To test this model, 155 college students completed measures of psychological pain, TB, PB, brooding, and RS...
November 27, 2017: Death Studies
Jan-Åke Nilsson, Andreas Nord
Abstract: At temperate latitudes, altricial birds and their nestlings need to handle night temperatures well below thermoneutrality during the breeding season. Thus, energy costs of thermoregulation might constrain nestling growth, and low nocturnal temperatures might require resources that parents could otherwise have invested into nestlings during the day. To manipulate parental work rate, we performed brood size manipulations in breeding marsh tits (Poecile palustris). Nest box temperatures were always well above ambient temperature and increased with increasing brood size...
2017: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Yan Huang, Xiuping Zheng, Hongli Zhang, Haojie Ding, Xiaolu Guo, Yi Yang, Xueqiu Chen, Qianjin Zhou, Aifang Du
Haemonchus contortus (H. contortus) is one of the most important parasites of small ruminants, especially goats and sheep. The complex life cycle of this nematode is a main obstacle for the control and prevention of haemonchosis. So far, a special form of arrested development called diapause different from the dauer stage in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has been found in many parasitic nematodes. In our previous study, we have characterized a novel gene Hc-daf-22 from H. contortus sharing high homology with Ce-daf-22 and functional analysis showed this gene has similar biological function with Ce-daf-22...
2017: Frontiers in Microbiology
Lucyna Halupka, Konrad Halupka
Many bird species are advancing the timing of their egg-laying in response to a warming climate. Little is known, however, of whether this advancement affects the respective length of the breeding seasons. A meta-analysis of 65 long-term studies of 54 species from the Northern Hemisphere has revealed that within the last 45 years an average population has lengthened the season by 1.4 days per decade, which was independent from changes in mean laying dates. Multi-brooded birds have prolonged their seasons by 4 days per decade, while single-brooded have shortened by 2 days...
November 29, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
DeWayne P Williams, Nicole R Feeling, LaBarron K Hill, Derek P Spangler, Julian Koenig, Julian F Thayer
The perseverative cognition hypothesis (PCH) posits that perseveration, defined as the repetitive or sustained activation of cognitive representations of a real or imagined stressor, is a primary mechanism linking psychological (or stress) vulnerability with poor health and disease. Resting vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV) is an important indicator of self-regulatory abilities, stress vulnerability and overall health. Those with lower resting vmHRV are more vulnerable to stress, and thus more likely to engage in perseverative cognition and experience subsequent negative mental health outcomes such as anxiety...
2017: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Thomas Schmickl, Istvan Karsai
We propose a new regulation mechanism based on the idea of the "common stomach" to explain several aspects of the resilience and homeostatic regulation of honeybee colonies. This mechanism exploits shared pools of substances (pollen, nectar, workers, brood) that modulate recruitment, abandonment and allocation patterns at the colony-level and enable bees to perform several survival strategies to cope with difficult circumstances: Lack of proteins leads to reduced feeding of young brood, to early capping of old brood and to regaining of already spent proteins through brood cannibalism...
2017: PloS One
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