Science.gov

Sample records for affect carotenoid-based plumage

  1. Carotenoid-based plumage coloration predicts resistance to a novel parasite in the house finch.

    PubMed

    Hill, Geoffrey E; Farmer, Kristy L

    2005-01-01

    The Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis proposes that the bright colours displayed by many species of birds serve as signals of individual resistance to parasites. Despite the popularity of this hypothesis, only one previous study has tested whether plumage coloration predicts how individuals respond to a disease challenge. We inoculated 24 male house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) of variable plumage hue with a novel bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallicepticum (MG). We found no relationship between plumage hue and time to first symptoms following inoculation, but we found a significant negative relationship between plumage hue and clearance of disease: males with redder plumage cleared MG infection significantly better than did males with yellower plumage. The hue of carotenoid-based plumage coloration has been shown to be a primary criterion in female mate choice in the house finch. These observations suggest that one benefit to females for choosing redder males is obtaining mates with better resistance to parasites. PMID:15558224

  2. Carotenoid-based plumage coloration predicts resistance to a novel parasite in the house finch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Geoffrey E.; Farmer, Kristy L.

    2005-01-01

    The Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis proposes that the bright colours displayed by many species of birds serve as signals of individual resistance to parasites. Despite the popularity of this hypothesis, only one previous study has tested whether plumage coloration predicts how individuals respond to a disease challenge. We inoculated 24 male house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) of variable plumage hue with a novel bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallicepticum (MG). We found no relationship between plumage hue and time to first symptoms following inoculation, but we found a significant negative relationship between plumage hue and clearance of disease: males with redder plumage cleared MG infection significantly better than did males with yellower plumage. The hue of carotenoid-based plumage coloration has been shown to be a primary criterion in female mate choice in the house finch. These observations suggest that one benefit to females for choosing redder males is obtaining mates with better resistance to parasites.

  3. Structural (UV) and carotenoid-based plumage coloration - signals for parental investment?

    PubMed

    Lucass, Carsten; Iserbyt, Arne; Eens, Marcel; Müller, Wendt

    2016-05-01

    Parental care increases parental fitness through improved offspring condition and survival but comes at a cost for the caretaker(s). To increase life-time fitness, caring parents are, therefore, expected to adjust their reproductive investment to current environmental conditions and parental capacities. The latter is thought to be signaled via ornamental traits of the bearer. We here investigated whether pre- and/or posthatching investment of blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) parents was related to ornamental plumage traits (UV crown coloration and carotenoid-based plumage coloration) expressed by either the individual itself (i.e. "good parent hypothesis") or its partner (i.e. "differential allocation hypothesis"). Our results show that neither prehatching (that is clutch size and offspring begging intensity) nor posthatching parental investment (provisioning rate, offspring body condition at fledging) was related to an individual's UV crown coloration or to that of its partner. Similar observations were made for carotenoid-based plumage coloration, except for a consistent positive relationship between offspring begging intensity and maternal carotenoid-based plumage coloration. This sex-specific pattern likely reflects a maternal effect mediated via maternally derived egg substances, given that the relationship persisted when offspring were cross-fostered. This suggests that females adjust their offspring's phenotype toward own phenotype, which may facilitate in particular mother-offspring co-adaptation. Overall, our results contribute to the current state of evidence that structural or pigment-based plumage coloration of blue tits are inconsistently correlated with central life-history traits. PMID:27252832

  4. Blood parasite infection differentially relates to carotenoid-based plumage and bill color in the American goldfinch

    PubMed Central

    Lumpkin, David C; Murphy, Troy G; Tarvin, Keith A

    2014-01-01

    Male and female American goldfinches (Spinus tristis) express condition-dependent carotenoid-based plumage and bill coloration. Plumage color is relatively static, as pigments incorporated into feathers during the spring molt cannot be mobilized thereafter. In contrast, bill color is dynamic, reflecting changes in condition over short time periods. Previous studies have shown that male and female ornaments, though similar in expression, are differentially related to measures of immunocompetence, suggesting that the relationship between ornamentation and parasite infection may differ between the sexes. In this study, we evaluate the relationship between condition-dependent ornamentation (plumage and bill color) and blood parasite infection in male and female American goldfinches. We captured goldfinches after completion of the pre-alternate molt and prior to the onset of nesting and assessed prevalence of Trypanosoma parasites via blood smears. Plumage color strongly predicted trypanosome infection: Birds with more colorful plumage were less likely to present infections. In contrast, we detected no relationship between infection and bill color, which in other studies has been shown to dynamically reflect current condition. Sex did not affect the relationship between infection status and either ornament. Together, these results suggest that physiological pathways linking carotenoid ornamentation and infection may vary even within a single species. PMID:25473474

  5. Soil and preen waxes influence the expression of carotenoid-based plumage coloration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surmacki, Adrian; Nowakowski, Jarosław K.

    2007-10-01

    The signaling function of carotenoid-based plumage is mainly determined by the concentration of pigments in feathers. For this reason, most studies of the proximate control of coloration focus on processes during and preceding moult. In great tits Parus major, past research demonstrates that carotenoid-based plumage coloration honestly indicates male quality and, thus, may be a sexually selected signal. In this study, we investigate how dirt and preen oil influence the coloration of carotenoid-based feathers in the great tit. We collected six feathers from each individual bird; three feathers served as controls while the remaining three feathers were washed with a chloroform/methanol mixture to remove soil and preen waxes. We assessed plumage coloration using digital photography. This cleaning procedure slightly enhanced ornamentation; the experimentally cleaned feathers expressed hues shifted towards shorter wavelengths and expressed brighter overall coloration than control feathers. This is the first experimental study conducted on wild birds demonstrating that, in addition to pigment concentration, the presence of preen waxes and soils on feathers may contribute to variation in coloration.

  6. Do feather-degrading bacteria affect sexually selected plumage color?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shawkey, Matthew D.; Pillai, Shreekumar R.; Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2009-01-01

    Models of parasite-mediated sexual selection propose that males with more elaborate sexual traits will have fewer parasites. These models have generally been tested using metazoan or protozoan parasites of the blood, gut, or integument. Fewer studies have examined sexual ornaments in relation to bacterial infections. While most surface bacteria are harmless or beneficial, feather-degrading bacteria may have detrimental effects. In this study, we examined the relationships between overall bacterial load, feather-degrading bacterial load, and sexually selected carotenoid-based plumage color in a wild population of house finches ( Carpodacus mexicanus). We found that males with the redder plumage preferred by females had similar overall bacterial loads, but lower feather-degrading bacterial loads, than males with less red plumage. These data suggest that plumage color can signal abundance of feather-degrading bacteria to potential mates. It remains unclear whether feather-degrading bacteria directly or indirectly affect plumage color, but the observed correlations suggest that feather-degrading bacteria may play some role in sexual selection.

  7. Availability of non-carotenoid antioxidants affects the expression of a carotenoid-based sexual ornament.

    PubMed

    Pike, Thomas W; Blount, Jonathan D; Lindström, Jan; Metcalfe, Neil B

    2007-08-22

    Carotenoids are responsible for much of the yellow, orange and red pigmentation in the animal kingdom, and the importance of such coloration as an honest signal of individual quality has received widespread attention. In particular, owing to the multiple roles of carotenoids as pigments, antioxidants and immunostimulants, carotenoid-based coloration has been suggested to advertise an individual's antioxidant or immune defence capacity. However, it has recently been argued that carotenoid-based signals may in fact be advertising the availability of different antioxidants, many of which (including various vitamins, antioxidant enzymes and minerals) are colourless and so would be uninformative as components of a visual signal, yet often have greater biological activity than carotenoids. We tested this hypothesis by feeding male sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) a diet containing a fixed level of carotenoids and either low or high, but biologically realistic levels of the colourless antioxidant vitamins C and E. High-antioxidant diet males produced significantly more intensely coloured (but not larger) carotenoid-based regions of nuptial coloration and were preferred over size-matched males of the opposite diet treatment in mate-choice trials. Furthermore, there were positive correlations between an individual's somatic antioxidant activity and signal intensity. Our data suggest that carotenoid-based ornaments may honestly signal an individual's availability of non-carotenoid antioxidants, allowing females to make adaptive mate-choice decisions. PMID:17472903

  8. Viability selection affects black but not yellow plumage colour in greenfinches.

    PubMed

    Hõrak, Peeter; Männiste, Marju

    2016-01-01

    Much of the debate surrounding the selective forces responsible for the expression of conspicuous plumage colouration is centred on the question of precisely which individual qualities are signalled by carotenoid- and melanin-based pigments. To examine this and other related issues, we performed viability selection analyses in wild-caught captive male greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) in Estonia during winters between 2003 and 2014. Based on our measurements, birds with a darker black eumelanin-based colouration of tail feathers survived better than those whose tail feathers had a paler black colouration. The carotenoid-based yellow colouration of the same feathers was not associated with mortality in captivity and showed much less between-year variation in the field than the black colouration. Between year-variation in the black (but not yellow) colouration of feathers was parallel in wild-grown feathers (on birds in the wild) and laboratory-grown ones (on birds held temporarily in captivity). Taken together, these findings imply that eumelanotic colouration in greenfinches is currently under selection and suggest the presence of sufficient genetic variation for a rapid response to selection. In particular, tail feathers have become darker black since the emergence of avian trichomonosis, which is known to selectively kill paler individuals. PMID:26386701

  9. Metal exposure influences the melanin and carotenoid-based colorations in great tits.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, M; Mateos-Gonzalez, F; Cotín, J; Pagani-Nuñez, E; Torné-Noguera, A; Senar, J C

    2015-11-01

    Metals are naturally found in the environment but are also emitted through anthropogenic activities, raising some concerns about the potential deleterious effects of these elements on wildlife. The potential effects of metals on bird coloration have been the focus of several recent studies since animal colored-signals often reflect the physiology of their bearers and are thus used by animals to assess the quality of another individual as a mate or competitor. These studies have shown that the melanin pigmentation seems to be positively associated and the carotenoid-based coloration negatively associated with metal exposure in wild birds. Although these studies have been very useful to show the associations between metal exposure and coloration, only few of them have actually quantified the levels of metal exposure at the individual level; always focusing on one or two of them. Here, we measured the concentrations of eight metals in great tits' feathers and then assessed how these levels of metals were associated with the carotenoid and melanin-based colorations. We found that the melanin pigmentation was positively associated with the copper concentration and negatively correlated with the chromium concentration in feathers. In addition, we have shown that the carotenoid-based coloration was negatively associated with the feather's mercury concentration. This study is the first one to identify some metals that might affect positively and negatively the deposition of melanin and carotenoid into the plumage of wild birds. PMID:26100730

  10. Specific characteristics of the aviary housing system affect plumage condition, mortality and production in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Heerkens, Jasper L T; Delezie, Evelyne; Kempen, Ine; Zoons, Johan; Ampe, Bart; Rodenburg, T Bas; Tuyttens, Frank A M

    2015-09-01

    Feather pecking and high mortality levels are significant welfare problems in non-cage housing systems for laying hens. The aim of this study was to identify husbandry-related risk factors for feather damage, mortality, and egg laying performance in laying hens housed in the multi-tier non-cage housing systems known as aviaries. Factors tested included type of system flooring, degree of red mite infestation, and access to free-range areas. Information on housing characteristics, management, and performance in Belgian aviaries (N=47 flocks) were obtained from a questionnaire, farm records, and farm visits. Plumage condition and pecking wounds were scored in 50 randomly selected 60-week-old hens per flock. Associations between plumage condition, wounds, performance, mortality, and possible risk factors were investigated using a linear model with a stepwise model selection procedure. Many flocks exhibited a poor plumage condition and a high prevalence of wounds, with considerable variation between flocks. Better plumage condition was found in wire mesh aviaries (P<0.001), in aviaries with no red mite infestation (P=0.004), and in free-range systems (P=0.011) compared to plastic slatted aviaries, in houses with red mite infestations, and those without a free-range area. Furthermore, hens in aviaries with wire mesh flooring had fewer wounds on the back (P=0.006) and vent (P=0.009), reduced mortality (P=0.003), and a better laying performance (P=0.013) as compared to hens in aviaries with plastic slatted flooring. Flocks with better feather cover had lower levels of mortality (P<0.001). Red mite infestations were more common in plastic slatted aviaries (P=0.043). Other risk factors associated with plumage condition were genotype, number of diet changes, and the presence of nest perches. Wire mesh flooring in particular seems to have several health, welfare, and performance benefits in comparison to plastic slats, possibly related to decreased feather pecking, better

  11. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates. PMID:27040775

  12. Carotenoid-based bill coloration functions as a social, not sexual, signal in songbirds (Aves: Passeriformes).

    PubMed

    Dey, C J; Valcu, M; Kempenaers, B; Dale, J

    2015-01-01

    Many animals use coloration to communicate with other individuals. Although the signalling role of avian plumage colour is relatively well studied, there has been much less research on coloration in avian bare parts. However, bare parts could be highly informative signals as they can show rapid changes in coloration. We measured bill colour (a ubiquitous bare part) in over 1600 passerine species and tested whether interspecific variation in carotenoid-based coloration is consistent with signalling to potential mates or signalling to potential rivals in a competitive context. Our results suggest that carotenoid bill coloration primarily evolved as a signal of dominance, as this type of coloration is more common in species that live in social groups in the nonbreeding season, and species that nest in colonies; two socio-ecological conditions that promote frequent agonistic interactions with numerous and/or unfamiliar individuals. Additionally, our study suggests that carotenoid bill coloration is independent of the intensity of past sexual selection, as it is not related to either sexual dichromatism or sexual size dimorphism. These results pose a significant challenge to the conventional view that carotenoid-based avian coloration has evolved as a developmentally costly, condition-dependent sexual signal. We also suggest that bare part ornamentation may often signal different information than plumage ornaments. PMID:25430614

  13. Carotenoid-based coloration in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.; Brown, Alexandria C.; Clotfelter, Ethan D.

    2014-01-01

    Animal colors play important roles in communication, ecological interactions and speciation. Carotenoid pigments are responsible for many yellow, orange and red hues in animals. Whereas extensive knowledge on the proximate mechanisms underlying carotenoid coloration in birds has led to testable hypotheses on avian color evolution and signaling, much less is known about the expression of carotenoid coloration in fishes. Here, we promote cichlid fishes (Perciformes: Cichlidae) as a system in which to study the physiological and evolutionary significance of carotenoids. Cichlids include some of the best examples of adaptive radiation and color pattern diversification in vertebrates. In this paper, we examine fitness correlates of carotenoid pigmentation in cichlids and review hypotheses regarding the signal content of carotenoid-based ornaments. Carotenoid-based coloration is influenced by diet and body condition and is positively related to mating success and social dominance. Gaps in our knowledge are discussed in the last part of this review, particularly in the understanding of carotenoid metabolism pathways and the genetics of carotenoid coloration. We suggest that carotenoid metabolism and transport are important proximate mechanisms responsible for individual and population-differences in cichlid coloration that may ultimately contribute to diversification and speciation. PMID:24667558

  14. Inter-annual variation in American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) plumage colour is associated with rainfall and temperature during moult: an 11-year study.

    PubMed

    Reudink, Matthew W; McKellar, Ann E; Marini, Kristen L D; McArthur, Sarah L; Marra, Peter P; Ratcliffe, Laurene M

    2015-05-01

    Carotenoid-based colouration plays an important role in sexual signaling in animals as an honest indicator of individual quality during mate choice and competitive interactions. However, few studies have examined how natural variation in weather conditions influences inter-annual variation in the expression of ornamentation, potentially through affecting the dietary availability of carotenoids. In this study, we examine variation in the expression of carotenoid-based plumage colouration in relation to temperature and rainfall during the pre-moulting and moulting period over 11 years in a population of American redstarts, Setophaga ruticilla, breeding in eastern Canada. We used reflectance spectrometry of tail feathers collected from male and female redstarts to relate feather colour with weather conditions the previous breeding season during the months over which redstarts are likely to moult (June-September). At a population level, birds expressed feathers with higher red chroma and lower brightness in years following high July rainfall and low August temperature. The pattern was stronger in males, but was generally consistent across ages and sexes. Analyses of feathers from repeatedly captured birds indicated that the above patterns could be explained by individual change in feather colour. We suggest that higher rainfall during the moulting period may increase insect abundance and the availability of dietary carotenoids. This is among the first studies to show effects of weather conditions on a sexual signalling trait, which may have important consequences for sexual selection, mate choice, and the reliability of putative signals. PMID:25433695

  15. Carotenoid-Based Colours Reflect the Stress Response in the Common Lizard

    PubMed Central

    Fitze, Patrick S.; Cote, Julien; San-Jose, Luis Martin; Meylan, Sandrine; Isaksson, Caroline; Andersson, Staffan; Rossi, Jean-Marc; Clobert, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Under chronic stress, carotenoid-based colouration has often been shown to fade. However, the ecological and physiological mechanisms that govern colouration still remain largely unknown. Colour changes may be directly induced by the stressor (for example through reduced carotenoid intake) or due to the activation of the physiological stress response (PSR, e.g. due to increased blood corticosterone concentrations). Here, we tested whether blood corticosterone concentration affected carotenoid-based colouration, and whether a trade-off between colouration and PSR existed. Using the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara), we correlatively and experimentally showed that elevated blood corticosterone levels are associated with increased redness of the lizard's belly. In this study, the effects of corticosterone did not depend on carotenoid ingestion, indicating the absence of a trade-off between colouration and PSR for carotenoids. While carotenoid ingestion increased blood carotenoid concentration, colouration was not modified. This suggests that carotenoid-based colouration of common lizards is not severely limited by dietary carotenoid intake. Together with earlier studies, these findings suggest that the common lizard's carotenoid-based colouration may be a composite trait, consisting of fixed (e.g. genetic) and environmentally elements, the latter reflecting the lizard's PSR. PMID:19352507

  16. Novel chromatic and structural biomarkers of diet in carotenoid-bearing plumage.

    PubMed Central

    Bleiweiss, Robert

    2004-01-01

    Previous attempts to establish a link between carotenoid-based plumage reflectance and diet have focused on spectral features within the human visible range (400-700 nm), particularly on the longer wavelengths (550-700 nm) that make these plumages appear yellow, orange or red. However, carotenoid reflectance spectra are intrinsically bimodal, with a less prominent but highly variable secondary reflectance peak at near-ultraviolet (UV; 320-400 nm) wavelengths visible to most birds but not to normal humans. Analysis of physical reflectance spectra of carotenoid-bearing plumages among trophically diverse tanagers (Thraupini, Emberizinae, Passeriformes) indicated that both the absolute and relative (to long visible wavelengths) amounts of short waveband (including UV) reflectance were lower in more frugivorous species. Striking modifications to the branched structure of feathers increased with frugivory. These associations were independent of phylogenetic relatedness, or other physical (specimen age, number of carotenoid-bearing patches) or ecological (body size, elevation) variables. By comparison, reflectance at longer visible wavelengths ('redness') was not consistently associated with diet. The reflectance patterns that distinguished frugivores should be more apparent to UV-sensitive birds than to UV-blind humans, but humans can perceive the higher plumage gloss produced by modified gross feather structure. Basic aspects of carotenoid chemistry suggest that increases in pigment concentration and feather dimensions reduce short waveband reflectance by the plumages of frugivores. PMID:15556885

  17. Mate choice for a male carotenoid-based ornament is linked to female dietary carotenoid intake and accumulation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The coevolution of male traits and female mate preferences has led to the elaboration and diversification of sexually selected traits; however the mechanisms that mediate trait-preference coevolution are largely unknown. Carotenoid acquisition and accumulation are key determinants of the expression of male sexually selected carotenoid-based coloration and a primary mechanism maintaining the honest information content of these signals. Carotenoids also influence female health and reproduction in ways that may alter the costs and benefits of mate choice behaviours and thus provide a potential biochemical link between the expression of male traits and female preferences. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated the dietary carotenoid levels of captive female house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) and assessed their mate choice behavior in response to color-manipulated male finches. Results Females preferred to associate with red males, but carotenoid supplementation did not influence the direction or strength of this preference. Females receiving a low-carotenoid diet were less responsive to males in general, and discrimination among the colorful males was positively linked to female plasma carotenoid levels at the beginning of the study when the diet of all birds was carotenoid-limited. Conclusions Although female preference for red males was not influenced by carotenoid intake, changes in mating responsiveness and discrimination linked to female carotenoid status may alter how this preference is translated into choice. The reddest males, with the most carotenoid rich plumage, tend to pair early in the breeding season. If carotenoid-related variations in female choice behaviour shift the timing of pairing, then they have the potential to promote assortative mating by carotenoid status and drive the evolution of carotenoid-based male plumage coloration. PMID:22233462

  18. Maternal investment of female mallards is influenced by male carotenoid-based coloration.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, M; Duval, C; Czirják, G A; Bretagnolle, V; Eraud, C; McGraw, K J; Heeb, P

    2011-03-01

    The differential allocation hypothesis predicts that females modify their investment in a breeding attempt according to its reproductive value. One prediction of this hypothesis is that females will increase reproductive investment when mated to high-quality males. In birds, it was shown that females can modulate pre-hatch reproductive investment by manipulating egg and clutch sizes and/or the concentrations of egg internal compounds according to paternal attractiveness. However, the differential allocation of immune factors has seldom been considered, particularly with an experimental approach. The carotenoid-based ornaments can function as reliable signals of quality, indicating better immunity or ability to resist parasites. Thus, numerous studies show that females use the expression of carotenoid-based colour when choosing mates; but the influence of this paternal coloration on maternal investment decisions has seldom been considered and has only been experimentally studied with artificial manipulation of male coloration. Here, we used dietary carotenoid provisioning to manipulate male mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) bill coloration, a sexually selected trait, and followed female investment. We show that an increase of male bill coloration positively influenced egg mass and albumen lysozyme concentration. By contrast, yolk carotenoid concentration was not affected by paternal ornamentation. Maternal decisions highlighted in this study may influence chick survival and compel males to maintain carotenoid-based coloration from the mate-choice period until egg-laying has been finished. PMID:20843851

  19. Carotenoid-based bill colour as an indicator of immunocompetence and sperm performance in male mallards.

    PubMed

    Peters, A; Denk, A G; Delhey, K; Kempenaers, B

    2004-09-01

    Female mate choice is often based on exaggerated sexual traits, signals of male qualities that females cannot assess directly. Two such key qualities are male immune and/or sexual competence, whereby honesty in signalling could be maintained by physiological trade-offs. Carotenoid-based ornaments likely constitute such honest signals, as there is direct competition for (limited) carotenoids between ornament deposition and anti-oxidant support of immune or sperm functioning. Using spectrometry, we assessed the potential signalling function of the yellow, carotenoid-based colour of the bill of male mallards, a target of female mate choice. Here we demonstrate that bill reflectance varied with plasma carotenoid level, indicating antioxidant reserves. Moreover, lower relative UV reflectance during autumn pairing predicted immune responsiveness and correlated positively with sperm velocity during breeding, a trait that affects fertility. Our data provide support for current theories that females could use carotenoid-based sexual signals to detect immune vigour and fertilizing ability of prospective mates. PMID:15312083

  20. Environmental-induced acquisition of nuptial plumage expression: a role of denaturation of feather carotenoproteins?

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Frías, Oscar; Garrido-Fernández, Juan; Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso

    2005-09-22

    Several avian species show a bright carotenoid-based coloration during spring and following a period of duller coloration during the previous winter, despite carotenoids presumably being fully deposited in feathers during the autumn moult. Carotenoid-based breast feathers of male linnets (Carduelis cannabina) increased in hue (redness), saturation and brightness after exposing them to outdoor conditions from winter to spring. This represents the first experimental evidence showing that carotenoid-based plumage coloration may increase towards a colourful expression due to biotic or abiotic environmental factors acting directly on full-grown feathers when carotenoids may be fully functional. Sunlight ultraviolet (UV) irradiation was hypothesized to denature keratin and other proteins that might protect pigments from degradation by this and other environmental factors, suggesting that sunlight UV irradiation is a major factor in the colour increase from winter to spring. Feather proteins and other binding molecules, if existing in the follicles, may be linked to carotenoids since their deposition into feathers to protect colourful features of associated carotenoids during the non-breeding season when its main signalling function may be relaxed. Progress towards uncovering the significance of concealment and subsequent display of colour expression should consider the potential binding and protecting nature of feather proteins associated with carotenoids. PMID:16191594

  1. The ubiquity of avian ultraviolet plumage reflectance.

    PubMed Central

    Eaton, Muir D; Lanyon, Scott M

    2003-01-01

    Although several bird species have been shown to reflect ultraviolet (UV) light from their plumages, the incidence of UV reflectance, and therefore the potential for UV or UV-enhanced signals, across the avian tree of life is not known. In this study, we collected reflectance data from the plumages of 312 bird species representing 142 families. Our results demonstrate that all avian families possess plumages that reflect significant amounts of UV light. The ubiquity of UV reflectance indicates that all studies of avian behaviour, ecology and evolution involving plumage coloration would benefit from consideration of plumage reflectance in the UV portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Additionally, we demonstrate the existence of cryptic UV plumage patches and cryptic dimorphism among birds. PMID:12965000

  2. Aging small Canada geese by neck plumage

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.; Schoonover, L.J.

    1969-01-01

    The neck plumage method, a new technique for separating immature from adult Canada geese (Branta canadensis) in the hand, was evaluated by comparison with the notched tail feather and cloacal examination methods. Two (1.4 percent) of 141 geese examined were misaged, resulting in a 6 percent error in the immature-adult ratio obtained by the neck plumage method. The neck plumage method is a rapid aging method and reasonable accuracy (94 percent) can be obtained. It can also be used to differentiate immatures from adults on the ground at distances up to 175 yards, but was almost impossible to use when geese were in flight. As yet, the neck plumage method has only been tested on the subspecies (B. c. hutchinsii-parvipes complex) in the Tall-Grass Prairie population of small Canada geese.

  3. Genome-wide Association Study of Chicken Plumage Pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Park, Mi Na; Choi, Jin Ae; Lee, Kyung-Tai; Lee, Hyun-Jeong; Choi, Bong-Hwan; Kim, Heebal; Kim, Tae-Hun; Cho, Seoae; Lee, Taeheon

    2013-11-01

    To increase plumage color uniformity and understand the genetic background of Korean chickens, we performed a genome-wide association study of different plumage color in Korean native chickens. We analyzed 60K SNP chips on 279 chickens with GEMMA methods for GWAS and estimated the genetic heritability for plumage color. The estimated heritability suggests that plumage coloration is a polygenic trait. We found new loci associated with feather pigmentation at the genome-wide level and from the results infer that there are additional genetic effect for plumage color. The results will be used for selecting and breeding chicken for plumage color uniformity. PMID:25049737

  4. Expression levels of GSTA2 and APOD genes might be associated with carotenoid coloration in golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) plumage

    PubMed Central

    GAO, Guang-Qi; SONG, Li-Shuang; TONG, Bin; LI, Guang-Peng

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoids, which generate yellow, orange, and red colors, are crucial pigments in avian plumage. Investigations into genes associated with carotenoid-based coloration in avian species are important; however, such research is difficult because carotenoids cannot be synthetized in vertebrates as they are only derived from dietary sources. Here, the golden pheasant(Chrysolophus pictus)was used as a model in analysis of candidate gene expression profiles implicated in carotenoid binding and deposition. Using mass and Raman spectrometry to confirm the presence of carotenoids in golden pheasant feathers, we found C40H54O and C40H56O2 in feathers with yellow to red colors, and in the rachis of iridescent feathers. The global gene expression profiles in golden pheasant skins were analyzed by RNA-seq and all six carotenoid binding candidate genes sequenced were studied by real-time PCR. StAR4, GSTA2, Scarb1, and APOD in feather follicles showed different expressions in red breast and orange nape feathers compared with that of iridescent mantle feathers. Further comparison of golden pheasant yellow rump and Lady Amherst's pheasant(Chrysolophus amherstiae)white napefeathers suggested that GSTA2 and APOD played a potential role in carotenoid-based coloration in golden pheasant. PMID:27265652

  5. Condition-dependent effects of corticosterone on a carotenoid-based begging signal in house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Claire; Fellous, Simon; Haussy, Claudy; Chastel, Olivier; Sorci, Gabriele

    2008-01-01

    Begging is a complex display involving a variety of different visual and auditory signals. Parents are thought to use these signals to adjust their investment in food provisioning. The mechanisms that ensure the honesty of begging displays as indicators of need have been recently investigated. It has been shown that levels of corticosterone (Cort), the hormone released during the stress response, increase during food shortage and are associated with an increased begging rate. In a recent study in house sparrows, although exogenous Cort increased begging rate, parents did not accordingly adjust their provisioning rate. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Cort might affect the expression of other components of begging displays, such as flange color (a carotenoid-based trait). We experimentally increased levels of circulating Cort and investigated the effects of the treatment on (1) the flange coloration of the nestlings, (2) the behavioral response and (3) the parental allocation of food and (4) nestling condition and cell-mediated immune response. We found that Cort affected flange coloration in a condition-dependent way. Cort-injected nestlings had less yellow flanges than controls only when in poor body condition. Parental feeding rate was also affected by the Cort treatment in interaction with flange color. Feeding rate of Cort-injected nestlings was negatively and significantly correlated with flange color (nestlings with yellower flanges receiving more food), whereas feeding rate and flange color were not correlated in control chicks. We also found that nestlings injected with Cort showed a weaker immune response than controls. These results suggest that, indeed, Cort has the potential to affect multiple components of the begging display. As Cort levels naturally raise during fasting, parents have to take into account these multiple components to take a decision as to optimally share their investment among competing nestlings. PMID:18029282

  6. Absorbance of retinal oil droplets of the budgerigar: sex, spatial and plumage morph-related variation.

    PubMed

    Knott, Ben; Bowmaker, James K; Berg, Mathew L; Bennett, Andrew T D

    2012-01-01

    Intraspecific variation in photoreceptor physiology is known in several vertebrate taxa, but is currently unknown in birds, despite many avian traits varying intraspecifically, and avian visual ecology encompassing a wide range of environments and visual stimuli, which might influence spectral sensitivity. Avian retinal photoreceptors contain light absorbing carotenoid-rich oil droplets that affect vision. Carotenoids are also important plumage components. However, our understanding of the regulation of carotenoids in oil droplets remains rudimentary. Among birds, Melopsittacus undulatus has probably the best-studied colour vision, shows profound intraspecific variation in plumage colour, and increased plasma carotenoids during moult. We used microspectrophotometry to determine whether a relationship exists between oil droplet carotenoid concentration and plumage pigmentation, and tested for sex and spatial variation in droplet absorbance across the retina. Absorbance of one variety of P-type droplets was higher in males. No relationship was found between droplet absorbance and plumage colour. We found a spatial pattern of droplets absorbance across the retina that matched a pattern found in another parrot, and other avian species. Our work provides insights into the development and maintenance of retinal oil droplets and suggests a common mechanism and function for carotenoid deposition in the retina across bird species. PMID:21979102

  7. Carotenoid intake does not affect immune-stimulated oxidative burst in greenfinches.

    PubMed

    Sild, Elin; Sepp, Tuul; Männiste, Marju; Hõrak, Peeter

    2011-10-15

    Carotenoid-based integument colouration is extremely widespread in the animal kingdom. It has been hypothesized that carotenoid colouration is used for communicating the health status of the bearers because carotenoids are efficient immunomodulators or antioxidants. However, the latter argument has been recently debated and the mechanisms by which carotenoids modulate immunity or oxidative balance are poorly known. We performed an experiment on wild-caught captive greenfinches, passerine birds with carotenoid-based plumage colouration, in order to test whether dietary carotenoid supplementation affects immune-stimulated oxidative burst of phagocytes in the whole blood and humoral immune response to a novel antigen, Brucella abortus (BA). Additionally, we tested whether immune stimulation with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) affects blood carotenoid levels. We thus tested the effects of carotenoids on the oxidative burst of phagocytes under neutral conditions and during in vivo immune challenge. LPS injection depleted plasma carotenoids, indicating involvement of these phytochemicals in the immune response. However, we did not find any evidence that manipulation of carotenoid intake had modulated anti-BA antibody production, LPS-stimulated oxidative burst of phagocytes, or basal levels of circulating reactive oxygen species. This indicates that carotenoid intake does not affect endogenous production of reactive oxygen species by immune cells. This finding is consistent with the view that carotenoids are unlikely to provide a direct link between oxidative stress and colouration. However, it remains to be tested whether the oxidative burst of phagocytes induced in our experiment actually inflicts oxidative damage and whether carotenoids play a role in the attenuation of such potential damages. PMID:21957110

  8. Candidate genes for carotenoid coloration in vertebrates and their expression profiles in the carotenoid-containing plumage and bill of a wild bird

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, N.; Dale, J.; McGraw, K. J.; Pointer, M. A.; Mundy, N. I.

    2012-01-01

    Carotenoid-based coloration has attracted much attention in evolutionary biology owing to its role in honest, condition-dependent signalling. Knowledge of the genetic pathways that regulate carotenoid coloration is crucial for an understanding of any trade-offs involved. We identified genes with potential roles in carotenoid coloration in vertebrates via (i) carotenoid uptake (SR-BI, CD36), (ii) binding and deposition (StAR1, MLN64, StAR4, StAR5, APOD, PLIN, GSTA2), and (iii) breakdown (BCO2, BCMO1). We examined the expression of these candidate loci in carotenoid-coloured tissues and several control tissues of the red-billed quelea (Quelea quelea), a species that exhibits a male breeding plumage colour polymorphism and sexually dimorphic variation in bill colour. All of the candidate genes except StAR1 were expressed in both the plumage and bill of queleas, indicating a potential role in carotenoid coloration in the quelea. However, no differences in the relative expression of any of the genes were found among the quelea carotenoid phenotypes, suggesting that other genes control the polymorphic and sexually dimorphic variation in carotenoid coloration observed in this species. Our identification of a number of potential carotenoid genes in different functional categories provides a critical starting point for future work on carotenoid colour regulation in vertebrate taxa. PMID:21593031

  9. Candidate genes for carotenoid coloration in vertebrates and their expression profiles in the carotenoid-containing plumage and bill of a wild bird.

    PubMed

    Walsh, N; Dale, J; McGraw, K J; Pointer, M A; Mundy, N I

    2012-01-01

    Carotenoid-based coloration has attracted much attention in evolutionary biology owing to its role in honest, condition-dependent signalling. Knowledge of the genetic pathways that regulate carotenoid coloration is crucial for an understanding of any trade-offs involved. We identified genes with potential roles in carotenoid coloration in vertebrates via (i) carotenoid uptake (SR-BI, CD36), (ii) binding and deposition (StAR1, MLN64, StAR4, StAR5, APOD, PLIN, GSTA2), and (iii) breakdown (BCO2, BCMO1). We examined the expression of these candidate loci in carotenoid-coloured tissues and several control tissues of the red-billed quelea (Quelea quelea), a species that exhibits a male breeding plumage colour polymorphism and sexually dimorphic variation in bill colour. All of the candidate genes except StAR1 were expressed in both the plumage and bill of queleas, indicating a potential role in carotenoid coloration in the quelea. However, no differences in the relative expression of any of the genes were found among the quelea carotenoid phenotypes, suggesting that other genes control the polymorphic and sexually dimorphic variation in carotenoid coloration observed in this species. Our identification of a number of potential carotenoid genes in different functional categories provides a critical starting point for future work on carotenoid colour regulation in vertebrate taxa. PMID:21593031

  10. California condor plumage and molt as field study aids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilbur, S.R.

    1975-01-01

    An analysis is made of the reliability of plumage and molt characteristics of the California condor for estimating age and identifying individual birds. Neither character seems sufficiently reliable to use in more than a general way.

  11. Chimeric plumage coloration produced by ovarian transplantation in chickens.

    PubMed

    Liu, J; Robertson, M C; Cheng, K M; Silversides, F G

    2013-04-01

    Ovaries from Rhode Island Red donors were transplanted orthotopically into White Leghorn recipients. At maturation, recipients were mated with Rhode Island Red roosters to test the origin of their ovaries, using plumage coloration as a marker. A chick with chimeric plumage coloration was produced, indicating mechanisms that produce follicles with both donor and recipient ovarian contents. This study suggests that ovarian transplantation could be useful for in vivo studies of cytological and molecular mechanisms involved in avian folliculogenesis. PMID:23472030

  12. Carotenoid maintenance handicap and the physiology of carotenoid-based signalisation of health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinkler, Michal; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2010-01-01

    Despite a reasonable scientific interest in sexual selection, the general principles of health signalisation via ornamental traits remain still unresolved in many aspects. This is also true for the mechanism preserving honesty of carotenoid-based signals. Although it is widely accepted that this type of ornamentation reflects an allocation trade-off between the physiological utilisation of carotenoids (mainly in antioxidative processes) and their deposition in ornaments, some recent evidence suggests more complex interactions. Here, we further develop the models currently proposed to explain the honesty of carotenoid-based signalisation of heath status by adding the handicap principle concept regulated by testosterone. We propose that under certain circumstances carotenoids may be dangerous for the organism because they easily transform into toxic cleavage products. When reserves of other protective antioxidants are insufficient, physiological trade-offs may exist between maintenance of carotenoids for ornament expression and their removal from the body. Furthermore, we suggest that testosterone which enhances ornamentation by increasing carotenoid bioavailability may also promote oxidative stress and hence lower antioxidant reserves. The presence of high levels of carotenoids required for high-quality ornament expression may therefore represent a handicap and only individuals in prime health could afford to produce elaborate colourful ornaments. Although further testing is needed, this ‘carotenoid maintenance handicap’ hypothesis may offer a new insight into the physiological aspects of the relationship between carotenoid function, immunity and ornamentation.

  13. Carotenoid maintenance handicap and the physiology of carotenoid-based signalisation of health.

    PubMed

    Vinkler, Michal; Albrecht, Tomás

    2010-01-01

    Despite a reasonable scientific interest in sexual selection, the general principles of health signalisation via ornamental traits remain still unresolved in many aspects. This is also true for the mechanism preserving honesty of carotenoid-based signals. Although it is widely accepted that this type of ornamentation reflects an allocation trade-off between the physiological utilisation of carotenoids (mainly in antioxidative processes) and their deposition in ornaments, some recent evidence suggests more complex interactions. Here, we further develop the models currently proposed to explain the honesty of carotenoid-based signalisation of heath status by adding the handicap principle concept regulated by testosterone. We propose that under certain circumstances carotenoids may be dangerous for the organism because they easily transform into toxic cleavage products. When reserves of other protective antioxidants are insufficient, physiological trade-offs may exist between maintenance of carotenoids for ornament expression and their removal from the body. Furthermore, we suggest that testosterone which enhances ornamentation by increasing carotenoid bioavailability may also promote oxidative stress and hence lower antioxidant reserves. The presence of high levels of carotenoids required for high-quality ornament expression may therefore represent a handicap and only individuals in prime health could afford to produce elaborate colourful ornaments. Although further testing is needed, this 'carotenoid maintenance handicap' hypothesis may offer a new insight into the physiological aspects of the relationship between carotenoid function, immunity and ornamentation. PMID:19680618

  14. A window on the past: male ornamental plumage reveals the quality of their early-life environment

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Leila K.; Stevens, Martin; Karadaş, Filiz; Kilner, Rebecca M.; Ewen, John G.

    2013-01-01

    It is well established that the expression of many ornamental traits is dependent on the current condition of the bearer. However, conditions experienced in early life are also known to be important for an individual's subsequent fitness and therefore, directly or indirectly, for the fitness of their mate. Specifically, a recent hypothesis suggests that sexually selected traits might be sensitive to conditions experienced during early-life development and thereby function as honest indicators of developmental history. Whether this applies to colourful male plumage, however, is largely unknown. We tested this idea with a field experiment by manipulating neonatal nutrition in a sexually dichromatic passerine, the hihi (Notymystis cincta). We found that carotenoid supplementation increased nestling plasma carotenoid concentration, which was in turn correlated with increased yellow saturation in male breeding plumage after moulting. We also found that the post-moult luminance (lightness) of the white ear-tufts tended to be reduced in males that had received an all-round nutritional supplement as nestlings. Black breeding plumage was not affected by neonatal nutritional treatment. Although the mechanisms that generate colourful plumage are evidently diverse, our results show that at least some parts of this display are accurate indicators of environmental conditions during development. PMID:23407833

  15. A window on the past: male ornamental plumage reveals the quality of their early-life environment.

    PubMed

    Walker, Leila K; Stevens, Martin; Karadaş, Filiz; Kilner, Rebecca M; Ewen, John G

    2013-04-01

    It is well established that the expression of many ornamental traits is dependent on the current condition of the bearer. However, conditions experienced in early life are also known to be important for an individual's subsequent fitness and therefore, directly or indirectly, for the fitness of their mate. Specifically, a recent hypothesis suggests that sexually selected traits might be sensitive to conditions experienced during early-life development and thereby function as honest indicators of developmental history. Whether this applies to colourful male plumage, however, is largely unknown. We tested this idea with a field experiment by manipulating neonatal nutrition in a sexually dichromatic passerine, the hihi (Notymystis cincta). We found that carotenoid supplementation increased nestling plasma carotenoid concentration, which was in turn correlated with increased yellow saturation in male breeding plumage after moulting. We also found that the post-moult luminance (lightness) of the white ear-tufts tended to be reduced in males that had received an all-round nutritional supplement as nestlings. Black breeding plumage was not affected by neonatal nutritional treatment. Although the mechanisms that generate colourful plumage are evidently diverse, our results show that at least some parts of this display are accurate indicators of environmental conditions during development. PMID:23407833

  16. Expression levels of GSTA2 and APOD genes might be associated with carotenoid coloration in golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) plumage.

    PubMed

    Gao, Guang-Qi; Song, Li-Shuang; Tong, Bin; Li, Guang-Peng

    2016-05-18

    Carotenoids, which generate yellow, orange, and red colors, are crucial pigments in avian plumage. Investigations into genes associated with carotenoidbased coloration in avian species are important; however, such research is difficult because carotenoids cannot be synthetized in vertebrates as they are only derived from dietary sources. Here, the golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) was used as a model in analysis of candidate gene expression profiles implicated in carotenoid binding and deposition. Using mass and Raman spectrometry to confirm the presence of carotenoids in golden pheasant feathers, we found C40H54O and C40H56O2 in feathers with yellow to red colors, and in the rachis of iridescent feathers. The global gene expression profiles in golden pheasant skins were analyzed by RNA-seq and all six carotenoid binding candidate genes sequenced were studied by realtime PCR. StAR4, GSTA2, Scarb1, and APOD in feather follicles showed different expressions in red breast and orange nape feathers compared with that of iridescent mantle feathers. Further comparison of golden pheasant yellow rump and Lady Amherst's pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) white nape feathers suggested that GSTA2 and APOD played a potential role in carotenoid-based coloration in golden pheasant. PMID:27265652

  17. Genetics and evolution of plumage color in Crested Ibis: Analysis of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R).

    PubMed

    Yang, J; Liu, X; Zhang, J; Qing, B; Lu, B

    2015-01-01

    The melanocortin-1-recepter gene (MC1R), an important regulator in melanin synthesis, may cause different plumage color patterns in birds: gain-of-function mutations lead to the synthesis of eumelanin, whereas loss-of-function mutations help to generate pheomelanin synthesis. We had chosen MC1R as a candidate gene for the depigmentation of crested ibis, cloned and sequenced the crested ibis MC1R gene the first time. The crested ibis MC1R sequence, highly conserved with other birds during evolution, had seven transmembrane domains which played an indispensable function through evolution. We did not found any substitution on this sequence among all the sample individuals. The phylogenetic tree showed that crested ibis separated early in the evolution of birds. TYR, TYRP1, TYRP2 and MC1R were expressed in blood and the expression of the four genes showed no significant difference (p>0.05) between normal and albinism individuals, and this result demonstrated that melanic pigments are not involved in the production of red pigmentation in birds. Further study of the crested ibis albinism should focus on analyzing carotenoid-based genes. PMID:26314199

  18. Individual quality explains association between plumage colouration, arrival dates and mate acquisition in yellow warblers (Setophaga petechia)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In many bird species colour traits influence social dominance and breeding success. In our study we first evaluated whether the colour of the basic plumage (tail feathers grown at the end of the breeding season), that provides an index of individual quality, influenced winter habitat use by yellow warblers. We then evaluated whether winter habitat use (inferred using δ13C and δ15N signatures of winter grown greater-coverts) influenced alternate plumage colouration, after controlling for individual quality using basic plumage colouration. Finally, we investigated whether basic and alternate plumage colouration influenced arrival dates, mate acquisition, breeding phenology and reproductive success of yellow warblers breeding in southern (Revelstoke, B.C.) and arctic (Inuvik, N.W.T.) Canada. Results The colour (chroma and hue) of tail feathers, grown on the breeding grounds, was not related to subsequent winter habitat use. Greater covert and tail feather colour (chroma and hue) were correlated, suggesting genetics and/or individual quality played a role in pigment deposition. After controlling for individual difference in tail colour, δ13C values did not explain any variation in greater covert colour, but birds with high δ15N signatures had greater coverts with higher chroma. Male arrival dates varied with tail chroma in Revelstoke and tail hue in Inuvik. Males that arrived early paired with older and/or more colourful mates that initiated clutches earlier, and at one site (Revelstoke) were more likely to fledge young. In addition, in Revelstoke (but not Inuvik) males with high tail hue also acquired more colourful mates. In contrast, after controlling for individual differences in tail colour, greater covert colour did not affect male arrival date, the quality of the mate obtained or reproductive success in either population. Conclusions Our results suggest that plumage colour effects on breeding phenology and mate acquisition result from differences

  19. Silver spoon effects on plumage quality in a passerine bird.

    PubMed

    Minias, Piotr; Włodarczyk, Radosław; Surmacki, Adrian; Iciek, Tomasz

    2015-06-01

    A silver spoon effect means that individuals who develop under favourable circumstances enjoy a fitness or performance advantage later in life. While there is large empirical support for silver spoon effects acting on different life-history traits in birds, such as survival and reproduction, the evidence for the carry-over effects of rearing conditions on the quality of future plumage generations is lacking. Here, we examined whether abilities of individuals to undergo extensive post-juvenile moult may depend on the quality of juvenile plumage developed during the nestling phase in a small passerine showing large individual variation in the extent of post-juvenile moult, the greenfinch (Carduelis chloris). We found that high structural quality and carotenoid chroma of juvenile feathers were positively linked to the extent of post-juvenile moult in this species, thus allowing young birds to attain more adult-like plumage. Silver spoon effects mediated by the juvenile plumage quality were also found to have other fitness-related consequences, as individuals with high-quality juvenile feathers were in better condition during their first winter. As far as we are aware, the results provide the first correlative evidence for a silver spoon effect acting on general plumage quality in birds. PMID:26543571

  20. Silver spoon effects on plumage quality in a passerine bird

    PubMed Central

    Minias, Piotr; Włodarczyk, Radosław; Surmacki, Adrian; Iciek, Tomasz

    2015-01-01

    A silver spoon effect means that individuals who develop under favourable circumstances enjoy a fitness or performance advantage later in life. While there is large empirical support for silver spoon effects acting on different life-history traits in birds, such as survival and reproduction, the evidence for the carry-over effects of rearing conditions on the quality of future plumage generations is lacking. Here, we examined whether abilities of individuals to undergo extensive post-juvenile moult may depend on the quality of juvenile plumage developed during the nestling phase in a small passerine showing large individual variation in the extent of post-juvenile moult, the greenfinch (Carduelis chloris). We found that high structural quality and carotenoid chroma of juvenile feathers were positively linked to the extent of post-juvenile moult in this species, thus allowing young birds to attain more adult-like plumage. Silver spoon effects mediated by the juvenile plumage quality were also found to have other fitness-related consequences, as individuals with high-quality juvenile feathers were in better condition during their first winter. As far as we are aware, the results provide the first correlative evidence for a silver spoon effect acting on general plumage quality in birds. PMID:26543571

  1. Diversity, physiology, and evolution of avian plumage carotenoids and the role of carotenoid-protein interactions in plumage color appearance.

    PubMed

    LaFountain, Amy M; Prum, Richard O; Frank, Harry A

    2015-04-15

    The diversity of vibrant plumage colors in birds has evolved as a direct result of social and environmental pressures. To fully understand these underlying pressures it is necessary to elucidate the mechanisms for the creation of novel plumage colors which include the metabolic transformations of dietary carotenoids and spectral tuning of the molecules within the feather protein environment. Recent advances in this field have greatly expanded the number and breadth of avian species for which plumage pigmentation has been characterized, making it possible to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of carotenoid usage in plumage. Resonance Raman and classical Raman spectroscopic techniques have been employed with great effect in the study of carotenoids in situ. The application of these methods have two benefits: to identify carotenoids in feathers that are unavailable for destructive sampling; and to study the spectral tuning resulting from the interaction between the carotenoids and the proteins to which they are bound. This review presents a summary of recent advances in the understanding of the molecular factors controlling the coloration of avian carotenoid plumage obtained through the application of both bioanalytical and spectroscopic methodologies. PMID:25637658

  2. Lead exposure reduces carotenoid-based coloration and constitutive immunity in wild mallards.

    PubMed

    Vallverdú-Coll, Núria; Mougeot, François; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Rodriguez-Estival, Jaime; López-Antia, Ana; Mateo, Rafael

    2016-06-01

    The ingestion of spent lead (Pb) from ammunition is a known cause of mortality in waterfowl, but little is known about sublethal effects produced by Pb poisoning on birds, especially in wild populations. The authors studied potential sublethal effects associated with Pb exposure in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) from the Ebro delta (northeastern Spain) after a ban on Pb ammunition. They analyzed the relationships between blood Pb levels and oxidative stress, immune response, and carotenoid-based coloration, which are known to be influenced by oxidative stress. Levels of Pb were reduced by half from 6 yr to 9 yr after the ban. Lipid peroxidation was positively related to Pb levels in females. The δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity was suppressed by Pb exposure and negatively associated with the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Carotenoid levels were positively associated with blood Pb concentration in both sexes, and males with higher Pb levels presented a less intense coloration in legs and beak. Levels of Pb were positively related to hemolytic activity of circulating immune system components and negatively related to lysozyme levels. In summary, Pb exposure was associated in a gender-specific way with increased oxidative stress, consequences on color expression, and impaired constitutive immunity. In females, antioxidants seemed to be allocated mostly in reproduction rather than in self-maintenance, whereas males seemed to better maintain oxidative balance to the detriment of coloration. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1516-1525. © 2015 SETAC. PMID:26551027

  3. Carotenoid-based bill colour is an integrative signal of multiple parasite infection in blackbird

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biard, Clotilde; Saulnier, Nicolas; Gaillard, Maria; Moreau, Jérôme

    2010-11-01

    In the study of parasite-mediated sexual selection, there has been controversial evidence for the prediction that brighter males should have fewer parasites. Most of these studies have focused on one parasite species. Our aim was to investigate the expression of carotenoid-based coloured signals in relation to patterns of multiple parasite infections, to determine whether colour reflects parasite load of all parasite species, or whether different relationships might be found when looking at each parasite species independently. We investigated the relationship between bill colour, body mass and plasma carotenoids and parasite load (feather chewing lice, blood parasite Plasmodium sp., intestinal parasites cestodes and coccidia) in the blackbird ( Turdus merula). Bill colour on its own appeared to be a poor predictor of parasite load when investigating its relationships with individual parasite species. Variation in parasite intensities at the community level was summarised using principal component analysis to derive synthetic indexes of relative parasite species abundance and absolute parasite load. The relative abundance of parasite species was strongly related to bill colour, plasma carotenoid levels and body mass: birds with relatively more cestodes and chewing lice and relatively less Plasmodium and coccidia had a more colourful bill, circulated more carotenoids and were heavier. These results suggest that bill colour more accurately reflects the relative intensities of parasite infection, rather than one-by-one relationships with parasites or absolute parasite burden. Investigating patterns of multiple parasite infection would thus improve our understanding of the information conveyed by coloured signals on parasite load.

  4. Brood size modifications affect plumage bacterial assemblages of European starlings.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Françoise S; Moureau, Benoit; Jourdie, Violaine; Heeb, Philipp

    2005-02-01

    During reproduction, birds face trade-offs between time and energy devoted to parental effort and traits associated with self-maintenance. We manipulated brood sizes to investigate the effects of such trade-offs on feather bacterial densities and the structure of bacterial assemblages on feathers in adult European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, and in vitro feather degradation. As predicted by a trade-off between parental effort and self-maintenance, we found that birds with enlarged broods had more free-living bacteria on their feathers than birds with reduced broods. Furthermore, we found a significant interaction between brood manipulation and original brood size on free-living bacterial densities suggesting that the trade-off is mediated by the adults' initial reproductive investment. In contrast, brood size manipulations had no significant effect on densities of attached bacteria. Using ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA), we demonstrated that brood manipulations significantly modified the structure (band pattern) of feather-degrading bacterial assemblages, but had no significant effect on their richness (number of bands) or the in vitro feather degradation. In vitro feather degradation varied in relation to the premanipulation brood size and positively with the richness of the feather degrading bacterial community. Besides brood manipulation effect, we found that ecological factors and individual traits, such as the age, the nest location or the capture date, shaped bacterial assemblages and feather degradation capacities. PMID:15660952

  5. Iridophores and not carotenoids account for chromatic variation of carotenoid-based coloration in common lizards (Lacerta vivipara).

    PubMed

    San-Jose, Luis M; Granado-Lorencio, Fernando; Sinervo, Barry; Fitze, Patrick S

    2013-03-01

    Abstract Carotenoids typically need reflective background components to shine. Such components, iridophores, leucophores, and keratin- and collagen-derived structures, are generally assumed to show no or little environmental variability. Here, we investigate the origin of environmentally induced variation in the carotenoid-based ventral coloration of male common lizards (Lacerta vivipara) by investigating the effects of dietary carotenoids and corticosterone on both carotenoid- and background-related reflectance. We observed a general negative chromatic change that was prevented by β-carotene supplementation. However, chromatic changes did not result from changes in carotenoid-related reflectance or skin carotenoid content but from changes in background-related reflectance that may have been mediated by vitamin A1. An in vitro experiment showed that the encountered chromatic changes most likely resulted from changes in iridophore reflectance. Our findings demonstrate that chromatic variation in carotenoid-based ornaments may not exclusively reflect differences in integumentary carotenoid content and, hence, in qualities linked to carotenoid deposition (e.g., foraging ability, immune response, or antioxidant capacity). Moreover, skin carotenoid content and carotenoid-related reflectance were related to male color polymorphism, suggesting that carotenoid-based coloration of male common lizards is a multicomponent signal, with iridophores reflecting environmental conditions and carotenoids reflecting genetically based color morphs. PMID:23448888

  6. Signalling with a cryptic trait: the regularity of barred plumage in common waxbills

    PubMed Central

    Marques, Cristiana I. J.; Batalha, Helena R.; Cardoso, Gonçalo C.

    2016-01-01

    Sexual signals often compromise camouflage because of their conspicuousness. Pigmentation patterns, on the contrary, aid in camouflage. It was hypothesized that a particular type of pattern—barred plumage in birds, whereby pigmented bars extend across feathers—could simultaneously signal individual quality, because disruptions of these patterns should be perceptually salient at close range and help assess plumage condition. Here we show that common waxbills (Estrilda astrild), which have extensive barred plumage, have more regular patterns as adults than as juveniles, and that adult males have more regular patterns than females. Both these differences are indicative of sexual signalling in species with conventional sex roles. More regular barred plumage was related to better body condition in adult males. Colour ornamentation traits were also related to aspects of quality, either the same as barred plumage (body condition) or a different one (good feather development), supporting both the ‘redundant message’ and the ‘multiple message’ hypotheses for the coexistence of multiple sexual signals. Although receiver responses to the regularity of barred plumage were not studied here, research on other species has shown that barred plumage can mediate social interactions. We conclude that using barred plumage as a signal of quality helps circumvent the functional compromise between camouflage and communication. PMID:27293800

  7. Ornamental plumage does not signal male quality in red-billed queleas.

    PubMed

    Dale, J

    2000-11-01

    Sexually selected ornaments often function as condition-dependent signals of quality (or 'indicators'). When ornamentation is costly, only high-quality individuals can afford to produce the most elaborate signals. The plumage ornamentation of male red-billed queleas, Quelea quelea, is an ideal candidate for an indicator because it is continuously variable, conspicuous, sexually dimorphic, is displayed only during breeding and is partially based on carotenoid pigmentation. However, I show here that quelea plumage is not an indicator because first, plumage colour is not correlated with physical condition or age; second, plumage colour is a genetically determined phenotype that is unresponsive to environmental variation; third, different plumage characters have bimodal distributions; fourth, plumage characters vary independently of one another; and finally, plumage colour is not correlated with reproductive success. To my knowledge, this is the first demonstration of non-condition dependence in colourful and sexually dimorphic breeding ornamentation. Instead, plumage variation may function as a sexually selected signal of individual identity among territorial males that nest in huge, densely packed and highly synchronized colonies. PMID:11413625

  8. Ornamental plumage does not signal male quality in red-billed queleas.

    PubMed Central

    Dale, J

    2000-01-01

    Sexually selected ornaments often function as condition-dependent signals of quality (or 'indicators'). When ornamentation is costly, only high-quality individuals can afford to produce the most elaborate signals. The plumage ornamentation of male red-billed queleas, Quelea quelea, is an ideal candidate for an indicator because it is continuously variable, conspicuous, sexually dimorphic, is displayed only during breeding and is partially based on carotenoid pigmentation. However, I show here that quelea plumage is not an indicator because first, plumage colour is not correlated with physical condition or age; second, plumage colour is a genetically determined phenotype that is unresponsive to environmental variation; third, different plumage characters have bimodal distributions; fourth, plumage characters vary independently of one another; and finally, plumage colour is not correlated with reproductive success. To my knowledge, this is the first demonstration of non-condition dependence in colourful and sexually dimorphic breeding ornamentation. Instead, plumage variation may function as a sexually selected signal of individual identity among territorial males that nest in huge, densely packed and highly synchronized colonies. PMID:11413625

  9. Signalling with a cryptic trait: the regularity of barred plumage in common waxbills.

    PubMed

    Marques, Cristiana I J; Batalha, Helena R; Cardoso, Gonçalo C

    2016-05-01

    Sexual signals often compromise camouflage because of their conspicuousness. Pigmentation patterns, on the contrary, aid in camouflage. It was hypothesized that a particular type of pattern-barred plumage in birds, whereby pigmented bars extend across feathers-could simultaneously signal individual quality, because disruptions of these patterns should be perceptually salient at close range and help assess plumage condition. Here we show that common waxbills (Estrilda astrild), which have extensive barred plumage, have more regular patterns as adults than as juveniles, and that adult males have more regular patterns than females. Both these differences are indicative of sexual signalling in species with conventional sex roles. More regular barred plumage was related to better body condition in adult males. Colour ornamentation traits were also related to aspects of quality, either the same as barred plumage (body condition) or a different one (good feather development), supporting both the 'redundant message' and the 'multiple message' hypotheses for the coexistence of multiple sexual signals. Although receiver responses to the regularity of barred plumage were not studied here, research on other species has shown that barred plumage can mediate social interactions. We conclude that using barred plumage as a signal of quality helps circumvent the functional compromise between camouflage and communication. PMID:27293800

  10. Conspicuous carotenoid-based pelvic spine ornament in three-spined stickleback populations—occurrence and inheritance

    PubMed Central

    Amundsen, CR; Gjøen, HM; Larsen, B; Egeland, ES

    2015-01-01

    Reports on reddish carotenoid-based ornaments in female three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) are few, despite the large interest in the species’ behaviour, ornamentation, morphology and evolution. We sampled sticklebacks from 17 sites in north-western Europe in this first extensive study on the occurrence of carotenoid-based female pelvic spines and throat ornaments. The field results showed that females, and males, with reddish spines were found in all 17 populations. Specimens of both sexes with conspicuous red spines were found in several of the sites. The pelvic spines of males were more intensely red compared to the females’ spines, and large specimens were more red than small ones. Fish infected with the tapeworm (Schistocephalus solidus) had drabber spines than uninfected fish. Both sexes had red spines both during and after the spawning period, but the intensity of the red colour was more exaggerated during the spawning period. As opposed to pelvic spines, no sign of red colour at the throat was observed in any female from any of the 17 populations. A rearing experiment was carried out to estimate a potential genetic component of the pelvic spine ornament by artificial crossing and rearing of 15 family groups during a 12 months period. The results indicated that the genetic component of the red colour at the spines was low or close to zero. Although reddish pelvic spines seem common in populations of stickleback, the potential adaptive function of the reddish pelvic spines remains largely unexplained. PMID:25861558

  11. The mottling gene, the basis of six plumage color patterns in the domestic fowl.

    PubMed

    Somes, R G

    1980-07-01

    The tricolored plumage patterns known as speckled, mille fleur, porcelain, and spangled (Old English Game type) were studied along with the black and white mottled plumage pattern. Crosses between birds carrying these phenotypes showed the mo gene to be common to all of these plumage color patterns. Crosses between Speckled Sussex and Black-tailed White Japanese Bantams resulted in a new plumage color pattern in which silver replaced gold to change a tricolored to a bicolored pattern. The recessiveness of the mo gene was verified by crossing birds of the wild-type plumage coloration which differed only at the mo locus. Also, a hypothesis for the gene action of mo is offered to account for the many different phenotypes produced by it. PMID:7393852

  12. Plumage development and molt in Long-tailed Manakins (Chiroxiphia linearis): Variation according to sex and age

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doucet, S.M.; McDonald, D.B.; Foster, M.S.; Clay, R.P.

    2007-01-01

    Lek-mating Long-tailed Manakins (Chiroxiphia linearis) exhibit an unusual pattern of delayed plumage maturation. Each year, males progress through a series of predefinitive plumages before attaining definitive plumage in their fifth calendar year. Females also exhibit variation in plumage coloration, with some females displaying male-like plumage characteristics. Using data from mist-net captures in northwest Costa Rica (n = 1,315) and museum specimens from throughout the range of Long-tailed Manakins (n = 585), we documented the plumage sequence progression of males, explored variation in female plumage, and described the timing of molt in this species. Males progressed through a series of age-specific predefinitive plumages, which enabled the accurate aging of predefinitive-plumaged males in the field; this preclefinitive plumage sequence is the basis for age-related status- signaling in these males. Females tended to acquire red coloration in the crown as they aged. However, colorful plumage in females may be a byproduct of selection on bright male plumage. Females exhibited an early peak of molt activity from February to April, little molt from May through July, and a second, more pronounced peak of molt activity in October. By contrast, males in older predefinitive-plumage stages and males in definitive plumage exhibited comparable unimodal distributions in molt activity beginning in June and peaking between July and October. Our data are consistent with selective pressure to avoid the costs of molt-breeding overlap in females and older males. Our findings have important implications for social organization and signaling in Longtailed Manakins, and for the evolution of delayed plumage maturation in birds.

  13. Effect of preen oil on plumage bacteria: an experimental test with the mallard.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, M; Czirják, G Á; Duval, C; Bretagnolle, V; Gutierrez, C; Guillon, N; Heeb, P

    2013-01-01

    Feathers are essential for avian thermoregulation, communication or flight and a reduction of plumage condition may alter these functions and reduce individual fitness. Recently, descriptive studies provided evidence that birds carry feather-degrading bacteria on their plumage that have the ability to degrade feathers rapidly under laboratory conditions. If such bacteria reduce avian fitness, natural selection should favour the evolution of anti-bacterial defences to limit the effects of these detrimental microorganisms. Preening behaviour and associated preen gland secretions have been proposed as the main factor used by birds to limit feather-degrading bacterial growth and some recent in vitro studies provided evidence that uropygial oil inhibited the growth of some keratinolytic strains in passerines. However, preen oil antimicrobial properties remained to be experimentally tested in vivo. We conducted an experiment with mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) onto which we fixed a removable mechanism that blocked access to the uropygial gland in a first group of mallards, whilst birds in a second group had the same removable mechanism but access to their gland and a third group of birds had normal access to their gland. We found no significant effect of our treatment on total and feather-degrading bacterial loads. Three hypotheses may explain the discrepancy between our results and previous in vitro studies. First, in vitro studies may have over-estimated the bactericidal properties of the preen oil. Second, preen gland deprivation may have affected only a small portion of the feather-degrading bacterial community. Third, ducks and passerine oils might have different bactericidal properties. PMID:22940115

  14. Clinal variation in the juvenal plumage of American kestrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smallwood, J.A.; Natale, C.; Steenhof, K.; Meetz, M.; Marti, C.D.; Melvin, R.J.; Bortolotti, G.R.; Robertson, R.; Robertson, S.; Shuford, W.R.; Lindemann, S.A.; Tornwall, B.

    1999-01-01

    The American Kestrel(Falco sparverius) is a sexually dichromatic falcon that exhibits considerable individual plumage variability. For example, the anterior extent of the black dorsal barring in juvenile males has been used throughout North America as one of several aging criteria, but recent data demonstrate that the variability among individual Southeastern American Kestrels(E S. paulus)exceeds that accounted for by age. The objective of this study was to search for geographic patterns in the variability of juvenal plumage, particularly those characteristics considered indicative of age. Nestling kestrels (n = 610) were examined prior to fledging during the 1997 breeding season at nest box programs across a large portion of the North American breeding range. From south to north (1) the crown patches of both males and females become more completely rufous, and (2) shaft streaks on forehead and crown feathers become more pronounced, especially in males. Male Southeastern American Kestrels differed from other males (E s. sparverius) in that the anterior extent of dorsal barring averaged less but was more variable. The variability observed in North America appears to be part of a cline extending across the species range in the Western Hemisphere, where tropical subspecies are small and have reduced dorsal barring. Both body size and, especially in males, dorsal barring increases with increasing north and south latitude. We suggest that this geographic pattern is adaptive in terms of thermoregulation, and that differences in the sex roles may explain why males become less barred with maturity while females do not.

  15. The elaborate plumage in peacocks is not such a drag.

    PubMed

    Askew, Graham N

    2014-09-15

    One of the classic examples of an exaggerated sexually selected trait is the elaborate plumage that forms the train in male peafowl Pavo cristatus (peacock). Such ornaments are thought to reduce locomotor performance as a result of their weight and aerodynamic drag, but this cost is unknown. Here, the effect that the train has on take-off flight in peacocks was quantified as the sum of the rates of change of the potential and kinetic energies of the body (P(CoM)) in birds with trains and following the train's removal. There was no significant difference between P(CoM) in birds with and without a train. The train incurs drag during take-off; however, while this produces a twofold increase in parasite drag, parasite power only accounts for 0.1% of the total aerodynamic power. The train represented 6.9% of body weight and is expected to increase induced power. The absence of a detectable effect on take-off performance does not necessarily mean that there is no cost associated with possessing such ornate plumage; rather, it suggests that given the variation in take-off performance per se, the magnitude of any effect of the train has little meaningful functional relevance. PMID:25232196

  16. Effects of carotenoid and vitamin E supplementation on oxidative stress and plumage coloration in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus).

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, Mathieu; Sweazea, Karen; Butler, Michael W; McGraw, Kevin J

    2013-11-01

    There has been much recent interest from both applied and basic scientists in the broad series of benefits that animals reap from acquiring high concentrations of dietary antioxidants, such as carotenoids and vitamins (e.g., vitamin E, or tocopherol). Most attention has been paid to separate effects of these compounds on, for example, coloration, health state, development, and vision, but because of possible interactions between these lipid-soluble molecules, we are in need of more studies that co-manipulate these substances and examine their possible synergistic impacts on animal physiology and phenotype. We capitalized on a model avian system (the house finch, Haemorhous mexicanus), where extensive information is available on the fitness roles of carotenoids, to test how variation in carotenoid and/or vitamin E concentrations in the diet impacts body accumulation of these compounds, factors related to oxidative damage (e.g., breast muscle and plasma oxidative-stress susceptibility, plasma nitric-oxide levels), and plumage color development. As in a previous study of ours on carotenoids and health in finches, we employed a 2×2 factorial experimental design on birds in both molting and non-molting conditions, to understand how seasonal shifts in carotenoid use (i.e., pigment incorporation into plumage) might alter the accumulation and roles of carotenoids and vitamins. As expected, lutein supplementation increased the level of circulating carotenoids in both experiments and the color of newly molted plumage. By contrast, vitamin E provisioning did not significantly affect plasma carotenoid levels or plumage coloration in either experiment. Interestingly, carotenoid provisioning decreased circulating vitamin E levels during molt, which suggests either molecular competition between carotenoids and tocopherol at the absorption/transport stages or that vitamin E serves as an antioxidant to offset harmful actions that carotenoids may have at very high concentrations

  17. Plumage condition in laying hens: genetic parameters for direct and indirect effects in two purebred layer lines

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Feather pecking is a major welfare issue in laying hen industry that leads to mortality. Due to a ban on conventional cages in the EU and on beak trimming in some countries of the EU, feather pecking will become an even bigger problem. Its severity depends both on the victim receiving pecking and on its group mates inflicting pecking (indirect effects), which together determine plumage condition of the victim. Plumage condition may depend, therefore, on both the direct genetic effect of an individual itself and on the indirect genetic effects of its group mates. Here, we present estimated genetic parameters for direct and indirect effects on plumage condition of different body regions in two purebred layer lines, and estimates of genetic correlations between body regions. Methods Feather condition scores (FCS) were recorded at 40 weeks of age for neck, back, rump and belly and these four scores were added-up into a total FCS. A classical animal model and a direct–indirect effects model were used to estimate genetic parameters for FCS. In addition, a bivariate model with mortality (0/1) was used to account for mortality before recording FCS. Due to mortality during the first 23 weeks of laying, 5363 (for W1) and 5089 (for WB) FCS records were available. Results Total heritable variance for FCS ranged from 1.5% to 9.8% and from 9.8% to 53.6% when estimated respectively with the classical animal and the direct–indirect effects model. The direct–indirect effects model had a significantly higher likelihood. In both lines, 70% to 94% of the estimated total heritable variation in FCS was due to indirect effects. Using bivariate analysis of FCS and mortality did not affect estimates of genetic parameters. Genetic correlations were high between adjacent regions for FCS on neck, back, and rump but moderate to low for belly with other regions. Conclusion Our results show that 70% to 94% of the heritable variation in FCS relates to indirect effects

  18. 19 CFR 12.29 - Plumage and eggs of wild birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... CFR 16.3). The eggs of certain game or migratory birds imported for hatching, such as ducks, geese... THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.29 Plumage and...

  19. 19 CFR 12.29 - Plumage and eggs of wild birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... CFR 16.3). The eggs of certain game or migratory birds imported for hatching, such as ducks, geese... THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.29 Plumage and...

  20. 19 CFR 12.29 - Plumage and eggs of wild birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... CFR 16.3). The eggs of certain game or migratory birds imported for hatching, such as ducks, geese... THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.29 Plumage and...

  1. 19 CFR 12.29 - Plumage and eggs of wild birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... CFR 16.3). The eggs of certain game or migratory birds imported for hatching, such as ducks, geese... THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.29 Plumage and...

  2. 19 CFR 12.29 - Plumage and eggs of wild birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... CFR 16.3). The eggs of certain game or migratory birds imported for hatching, such as ducks, geese... THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.29 Plumage and...

  3. The Genetics of Seasonal Migration and Plumage Color.

    PubMed

    Delmore, Kira E; Toews, David P L; Germain, Ryan R; Owens, Gregory L; Irwin, Darren E

    2016-08-22

    Details on the genetics of behavioral and quantitative phenotypes remain limited to a few organisms. Such information is central to understanding both adaptation and speciation, as many of these phenotypes reduce gene flow between taxa [1-3]. Hybrid zones provide an ideal arena for studying this topic, as they consist of recombinant genotypes that allow genetic mapping of traits distinguishing natural populations [4]. We examined the genetic basis of migratory orientation and plumage color, both of which may contribute to speciation, in a hybrid zone between two groups of Swainson's thrushes that differ in these traits. We identified a cluster of SNPs on chromosome 4 strongly associated with migratory orientation. Genes involved with the circadian clock, nervous system, and cell signaling were located here and included candidates implicated in smaller-scale studies of migration in different animal groups, supporting previous suggestions that there is a common gene package for migration [5]. Plumage color was more polygenic than migratory orientation but showed strong associations on the Z chromosome that included SNPs linked to TYRP1, a gene involved in the production of eumelanin. We integrated these results with genomic data from pure populations and found that regions associated with both phenotypes co-localized with regions of elevated relative differentiation between the groups. This finding relates to the literature on islands of differentiation [6-8] by implicating divergent selection in generating these peaks. Together, our results identify specific genomic regions involved in both the regulation of complex phenotypes across animal groups and speciation [9]. PMID:27476599

  4. Living with the Past: Nutritional Stress in Juvenile Males Has Immediate Effects on their Plumage Ornaments and on Adult Attractiveness in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Naguib, Marc; Nemitz, Andrea

    2007-01-01

    The environmental conditions individuals experience during early development are well known to have fundamental effects on a variety of fitness-relevant traits. Although it is evident that the earliest developmental stages have large effects on fitness, other developmental stages, such as the period when secondary sexual characters develop, might also exert a profound effect on fitness components. Here we show experimentally in male zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, that nutritional conditions during this later period have immediate effects on male plumage ornaments and on their attractiveness as adults. Males that had received high quality food during the second month of life, a period when secondary sexual characteristics develop, were significantly more attractive as adults in mate choice tests than siblings supplied with standard food during this period. Preferred males that had experienced better nutritional conditions had larger orange cheek patches when nutritional treatments ended than did unpreferred males. Sexual plumage ornaments of young males thus are honest indicators of nutritional conditions during this period. The mate choice tests with adult birds indicate that nutritional conditions during the period of song learning, brain and gonad development, and moult into adult plumage have persisting effects on male attractiveness. This suggests that the developmental period following nutritional dependence from the parents is just as important in affecting adult attractiveness as are much earlier developmental periods. These findings thus contribute to understanding the origin and consequences of environmentally determined fitness components. PMID:17878936

  5. Vibrational and electronic spectroscopy of the retro-carotenoid rhodoxanthin in avian plumage, solid-state films, and solution.

    PubMed

    Berg, Christopher J; LaFountain, Amy M; Prum, Richard O; Frank, Harry A; Tauber, Michael J

    2013-11-15

    Rhodoxanthin is one of few retro-carotenoids in nature. These chromophores are defined by a pattern of single and double bond alternation that is reversed relative to most carotenoids. Rhodoxanthin is found in the plumage of several families of birds, including fruit doves (Ptilinopus, Columbidae) and the red cotingas (Phoenicircus, Cotingidae). The coloration associated with the rhodoxanthin-containing plumage of these fruit dove and cotinga species ranges from brilliant red to magenta or purple. In the present study, rhodoxanthin is characterized in situ by UV-Vis reflectance and resonance Raman spectroscopy to gain insights into the mechanisms of color-tuning. The spectra are compared with those of the isolated pigment in solution and in thin solid films. Key vibrational signatures are identified for three isomers of rhodoxanthin, primarily in the fingerprint region. Electronic structure (DFT) calculations are employed to describe the normal modes of vibration, and determine characteristic modes of retro-carotenoids. These results are discussed in the context of various mechanisms that change the electronic absorption, including structural distortion of the chromophore or enhanced delocalization of π-electrons in the ground-state. From the spectroscopic evidence, we suggest that the shift in absorption is likely a consequence of perturbations that primarily affect the excited state of the chromophore. PMID:24055537

  6. Sexing a sex-role-reversed species based on plumage: potential challenges in the red phalarope

    PubMed Central

    Ditlecadet, Delphine; Martin, Luc J.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Sex-role reversal, in which males care for offspring, can occur when mate competition is stronger between females than males. Secondary sex traits and mate attracting displays in sex-role-reversed species are usually more pronounced in females than in males. The red phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) is a textbook example of a sex-role-reversed species. It is generally agreed that males are responsible for all incubation and parental care duties, whereas females typically desert males after having completed a clutch and may pair with new males to lay additional clutches. The breeding plumage of female red phalaropes is usually more brightly colored than male plumage, a reversed sexual dichromatism usually associated with sex-role reversal. Here, we confirm with PCR-based sexing that male red phalaropes can exhibit both the red body plumage typical of a female and the incubation behavior typical of a male. Our result, combined with previous observations of brightly colored red phalaropes incubating nests at the same arctic location (Igloolik Island, Nunavut, Canada), suggests that plumage dichromatism alone may not be sufficient to distinguish males from females in this breeding population of red phalaropes. This stresses the need for more systematic genetic sexing combined with standardized description of intersexual differences in red phalarope plumages. Determining whether such female-like plumage on males is a result of phenotypic plasticity or genetic variation could contribute to further understanding sex-role reversal strategies in the short Arctic summer. PMID:27168992

  7. Sexing a sex-role-reversed species based on plumage: potential challenges in the red phalarope.

    PubMed

    Giroux, Marie-Andrée; Ditlecadet, Delphine; Martin, Luc J; Lanctot, Richard B; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Sex-role reversal, in which males care for offspring, can occur when mate competition is stronger between females than males. Secondary sex traits and mate attracting displays in sex-role-reversed species are usually more pronounced in females than in males. The red phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) is a textbook example of a sex-role-reversed species. It is generally agreed that males are responsible for all incubation and parental care duties, whereas females typically desert males after having completed a clutch and may pair with new males to lay additional clutches. The breeding plumage of female red phalaropes is usually more brightly colored than male plumage, a reversed sexual dichromatism usually associated with sex-role reversal. Here, we confirm with PCR-based sexing that male red phalaropes can exhibit both the red body plumage typical of a female and the incubation behavior typical of a male. Our result, combined with previous observations of brightly colored red phalaropes incubating nests at the same arctic location (Igloolik Island, Nunavut, Canada), suggests that plumage dichromatism alone may not be sufficient to distinguish males from females in this breeding population of red phalaropes. This stresses the need for more systematic genetic sexing combined with standardized description of intersexual differences in red phalarope plumages. Determining whether such female-like plumage on males is a result of phenotypic plasticity or genetic variation could contribute to further understanding sex-role reversal strategies in the short Arctic summer. PMID:27168992

  8. Occurrence of viable, red-pigmented haloarchaea in the plumage of captive flamingoes

    PubMed Central

    Yim, Kyung June; Kwon, Joseph; Cha, In-Tae; Oh, Kyung-Seo; Song, Hye Seon; Lee, Hae-Won; Rhee, Jin-Kyu; Song, Eun-Ji; Rho, Jeong Rae; Seo, Mi Lyu; Choi, Jong-Soon; Choi, Hak-Jong; Lee, Sung-Jae; Nam, Young-Do; Roh, Seong Woon

    2015-01-01

    Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus spp.) whose plumage displays elegant colors, inhabit warm regions close to the ocean throughout the world. The pink or reddish color of their plumage originates from carotenoids ingested from carotenoid-abundant food sources, since flamingoes are unable to synthesize these compounds de novo. In this study, viable red-colored archaeal strains classified as extremely halophilic archaea (i.e., haloarchaea) and belonging to the genera Halococcus and Halogeometricum were isolated from the plumage of flamingoes in captivity. Detailed analysis for haloarchaeal community structure in flamingo feathers based on metagenomic data identified several haloarchaeal genera and unclassified sequences of the class Halobacteria at the genus level. Carotenoid pigment analyses showed that a bacterioruberin precursor carotenoid in haloarchaea was identical to one of the pigments found in flamingo plumage. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of viable extremophilic archaea in avian plumage, thus contributing to our understanding of the ecology of haloarchaea. The potential influence of haloarchaea as an environmental factor determining avian plumage coloration should be investigated in further studies. PMID:26553382

  9. Investigation of MC1R SNPs and Their Relationships with Plumage Colors in Korean Native Chicken.

    PubMed

    Hoque, M R; Jin, S; Heo, K N; Kang, B S; Jo, C; Lee, J H

    2013-05-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene is related to the plumage color variations in chicken. Initially, the MC1R gene from 30 individuals was sequenced and nine polymorphisms were obtained. Of these, three and six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were confirmed as synonymous and nonsynonymous mutations, respectively. Among these, three selected SNPs were genotyped using the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method in 150 individuals from five chicken breeds, which identified the plumage color responding alleles. The neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree using MC1R gene sequences indicated three well-differentiated different plumage pigmentations (eumelanin, pheomelanin and albino). Also, the genotype analyses indicated that the TT, AA and GG genotypes corresponded to the eumelanin, pheomelanin and albino plumage pigmentations at nucleotide positions 69, 376 and 427, respectively. In contrast, high allele frequencies with T, A and G alleles corresponded to black, red/yellow and white plumage color in 69, 376 and 427 nucleotide positions, respectively. Also, amino acids changes at position Asn23Asn, Val126Ile and Thr143Ala were observed in melanin synthesis with identified possible alleles, respectively. In addition, high haplotype frequencies in TGA, CGG and CAA haplotypes were well discriminated based on the plumage pigmentation in chicken breeds. The results obtained in this study can be used for designing proper breeding and conservation strategies for the Korean native chicken breeds, as well as for the developing breed identification markers in chicken. PMID:25049831

  10. Occurrence of viable, red-pigmented haloarchaea in the plumage of captive flamingoes.

    PubMed

    Yim, Kyung June; Kwon, Joseph; Cha, In-Tae; Oh, Kyung-Seo; Song, Hye Seon; Lee, Hae-Won; Rhee, Jin-Kyu; Song, Eun-Ji; Rho, Jeong Rae; Seo, Mi Lyu; Choi, Jong-Soon; Choi, Hak-Jong; Lee, Sung-Jae; Nam, Young-Do; Roh, Seong Woon

    2015-01-01

    Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus spp.) whose plumage displays elegant colors, inhabit warm regions close to the ocean throughout the world. The pink or reddish color of their plumage originates from carotenoids ingested from carotenoid-abundant food sources, since flamingoes are unable to synthesize these compounds de novo. In this study, viable red-colored archaeal strains classified as extremely halophilic archaea (i.e., haloarchaea) and belonging to the genera Halococcus and Halogeometricum were isolated from the plumage of flamingoes in captivity. Detailed analysis for haloarchaeal community structure in flamingo feathers based on metagenomic data identified several haloarchaeal genera and unclassified sequences of the class Halobacteria at the genus level. Carotenoid pigment analyses showed that a bacterioruberin precursor carotenoid in haloarchaea was identical to one of the pigments found in flamingo plumage. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of viable extremophilic archaea in avian plumage, thus contributing to our understanding of the ecology of haloarchaea. The potential influence of haloarchaea as an environmental factor determining avian plumage coloration should be investigated in further studies. PMID:26553382

  11. Carotenoid-based coloration, condition, and immune responsiveness in the nestlings of a sexually dimorphic bird of prey.

    PubMed

    Sternalski, Audrey; Mougeot, François; Pérez-Rodríguez, Lorenzo; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    In many birds, nestlings exhibit brightly colored traits that are pigmented by carotenoids. Carotenoids are diet limited and also serve important health-related physiological functions. The proximate mechanisms behind the expression of these carotenoid-pigmented traits are still poorly known, especially in nestlings with sexual size dimorphism. In these nestlings, intrabrood competition levels and growth strategies likely differ between sexes, and this may in turn influence carotenoid allocation rules. We used dietary carotenoid supplementation to test whether wild marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) nestlings were carotenoid limited and whether carotenoid allocation strategies varied between sexes, which differ in their size and growth strategies. When supplemented, nestlings used the supplemental carotenoids to increase their coloration independently of their sex. We showed that the condition dependence of the carotenoid level and the response to an immune challenge (phytohemagglutinin test) differed between sexes, possibly because sexual size dimorphism influences growth strategies and/or intrabrood competition levels and access to different types of food. In this species, which often feeds on mammals, a trade-off likely exists between food quantity (energy) and quality (carotenoid content). Finally, carotenoid-based coloration expressed in marsh harrier nestlings appeared to be indicative of immune responsiveness rather than condition, therefore potentially advertising to parents nestling quality or value rather than nutritional need. PMID:22705486

  12. Preen gland removal increases plumage bacterial load but not that of feather-degrading bacteria.

    PubMed

    Czirják, Gábor Arpád; Pap, Péter László; Vágási, Csongor István; Giraudeau, Mathieu; Mureşan, Cosmin; Mirleau, Pascal; Heeb, Philipp

    2013-02-01

    The preen gland is a holocrine sebaceous gland of the avian integument which produces an oily secretion that is spread on the plumage during preening. It has been suggested that birds may defend themselves against feather-degrading bacteria (FDB) and other potential pathogens using preen gland secretions. However, besides some in vitro studies, the in vivo bacterial inhibitory effects of the preen oil on the abundance of feather-associated bacterial species has not yet been studied in passerines. Here we tested the effect of gland removal on the abundance of FDB and other-cultivable bacterial loads (OCB) of male house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Our results did not support earlier results on in vitro antibacterial activity of preen oil against FDB since the absence of the preen gland did not significantly affect their loads related to the control birds. In contrast, we found that preen gland removal led to higher loads of OCB. This result suggests that the antimicrobial spectrum of the preen oil is broader than previously thought and that, by reducing the overall feather bacterial loads, the preen gland could help birds to protect themselves against a variety of potentially harmful bacteria. PMID:23288399

  13. The association between plumage damage and feather-eating in free-range laying hens.

    PubMed

    Hartcher, K M; Hemsworth, P H; Wilkinson, S J; Thomson, P C; Cronin, G M

    2016-05-01

    Severe feather-pecking (SFP) persists as a highly prevalent and detrimental behavioural problem in laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) worldwide. The present experiment investigated the association between feather-eating and plumage damage, a consequence of SFP, in groups of free-range, ISA Brown laying hens. Single feathers were placed on the floor of the home pens. Feathers were sourced from seven different birds. A total of 50 birds in six pens with extensive plumage damage were compared with birds in six control pens with little plumage damage at 41 to 43 weeks of age (n=12 pens, 600 hens). Birds in pens with extensive plumage damage ingested more feathers (F=8.1, DF=1, 8, P=0.02), and also showed shorter latencies to peck at (χ 2=54.5, DF=1, P<0.001), and ingest feathers (χ 2=55.6, DF=1, P<0.001). Birds ingested feathers from a bird in the free-range facility, in which the testing took place, more quickly than from a bird housed in a separate cage facility (χ 2 = 39.0, DF=6, P<0.001). A second experiment investigated the predictive relationship between feather-eating and plumage damage. Feathers were presented to 16 pens of 50 pullets prior to the development of plumage damage, at 15 weeks of age, and then to the same hens after plumage damage had become prominent, at 40 weeks of age. Birds had a higher probability of ingesting feathers (F=142.0, DF=1, 231, P<0.001), pecked feathers more times (F=11.24, DF=1, 239, P<0.001), and also pecked (χ 2 = 127.3, DF=1, P<0.001) and ingested (χ 2=189.3, DF=1, P<0.001) the feathers more quickly at 40 than 15 weeks of age. There was a trend for an interaction, where birds pecked feathers from the rump more times than feathers from the back at 40 weeks of age (F=3.46, DF=1, 237, P=0.06). However, a lack of variability in plumage damage between pens in this experiment precluded investigation of the predictive relationship. The results from the present study confirm the association between feather-eating and plumage

  14. Genetic variation of chicken MC1R gene in different plumage colour populations.

    PubMed

    Guo, X L; Li, X L; Li, Y; Gu, Z L; Zheng, C S; Wei, Z H; Wang, J S; Zhou, R Y; Li, L H; Zheng, H Q

    2010-12-01

    1. Genetic variation in the chicken MC1R gene was analysed through bioinformatic methods after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of the coding region of MC1R gene from 5 different populations with 4 plumage colours (black, grey plumage with black spots, yellow plumage with black spots, red). 2. A total of 11 novel variations were detected in Hebei chickens, of which 8 were non-synonymous. Allele distribution analysis showed that the wild-type e(+) (Brown Leghorn) allele was mainly found in Hy-Line Brown and Lohmann Brown, the dominant Extended black E(AY220304) allele was mainly found in Hebei chicken with black plumage, whereas the Buttercup (e(bc)) allele was rare. 3. Nucleotide diversity (π) within each colour strain of Hebei chickens (0·0047-0·0052) was significantly greater than that of Hy-Line Brown (0·0024) or Lohmann Brown (0·0043). 4. The results indicate that there is abundant polymorphism in the MC1R gene, especially in Hebei chicken, which was associated with its rich plumage colour diversity. PMID:21161779

  15. Plumage brightness as an indicator of parental care in northern cardinals

    PubMed

    Linville; Breitwisch; Schilling

    1998-01-01

    Good parent and differential allocation models predict relationships between degree of sexual ornamentation and parental care, but relatively few studies have tested these models. The northern cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, is a sexually dichromatic species in which both sexes are ornamented. Males have red plumage, and females have tan plumage with limited areas of red feathering. Cardinals were used to address the two models and determine whether plumage brightness signals level of parental care by both sexes. Absolute effort in feeding nestlings by males was not correlated with male breast plumage colour, but effort by females was positively correlated with female underwing plumage colour. Absolute feeding effort by females was also inversely related to brightness of the mate's breast colour. As a consequence, the proportion of a pair's total feedings provided by the male was positively correlated with male breast colour. Proportion of total feedings provided by the female was positively correlated with female wing colour. Feeding efforts (both per nest and per nestling) were correlated between mates, but birds did not mate assortatively in relation to colour. These results support the good parent hypothesis, suggesting colour brightness is a signal of parental care. The results also indicate that ornamentation of both members of the pair may be important determinants of relative efforts in provisioning nestlings by parent birds. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9480678

  16. Mutations of TYR and MITF Genes are Associated with Plumage Colour Phenotypes in Geese

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ye; Li, Si-Ming; Huang, Jing; Chen, Shi-Yi; Liu, Yi-Ping

    2014-01-01

    The polymorphism of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase (TYR) genes have been proposed to play a vital role in coat colour genesis in mammals, but their role remains ambiguous in geese at best. Here, we cloned and sequenced 1,397 bp coding region of MITF gene and a 588 bp fragment of TYR exon 1 for polymorphism analysis among 157 domestic geese showing three types of plumage colour. We detected a total of three SNPs (c.280T>C, c.345G>A, and c.369G>A) in TYR and six haplotypes (H1–H6). Among them, haplotypes H1, H2, H3, and H5 were significantly associated with white plumage trait of Zhedong White Geese. However, only diplotype H1H1 and H3H5 were significantly associated with white plumage trait of Zhedong White Geese (p<0.01). We only detected one SNP (c.1109C>T) for MITF gene and found that genotype CT and TT were significantly associated with white plumage trait of Zhedong White Geese. Briefly, our study suggested an association between polymorphisms of TYR and MITF genes and the plumage colour trait in domestic geese. PMID:25050014

  17. Better red than dead: carotenoid-based mouth coloration reveals infection in barn swallow nestlings.

    PubMed Central

    Saino, N; Ninni, P; Calza, S; Martinelli, R; De Bernardi, F; Møller, A P

    2000-01-01

    Nestling birds solicit food from their parents by displaying their open brightly coloured gapes. Carotenoids affect gape colour, but also play a central role in immunostimulation. Therefore, we hypothesize that, by differentially allocating resources to nestlings with more brightly coloured gapes, parents favour healthy offspring which are able to allocate carotenoids to gape coloration without compromising their immune defence. We demonstrated that, in the barn swallow Hirundo rustica, (i) parents differentially allocate food to nestlings with an experimentally brighter red gape, (ii) nestlings challenged with a novel antigen (sheep red blood cells, SRBCs) have less bright gape colour than their control siblings, (iii) nestlings challenged with SRBCs but also provided with the principal circulating carotenoid (lutein) have more brightly coloured red gapes than their challenged but unsupplemented siblings and (iv) the gape colour of nestlings challenged with SRBCs and provisioned with lutein exceeds that of siblings that were unchallenged. This suggests that parents may favour nestlings with superior health by preferentially feeding offspring with the brightest gapes. PMID:10670953

  18. Testing homology of loci for two plumage colors, "lavender" and "recessive white," with chicken and Japanese quail hybrids.

    PubMed

    Minvielle, F; Gourichon, D; Monvoisin, J L

    2002-01-01

    Homology for two plumage color loci was studied by hybridization between chickens and Japanese quail. First, chicken-quail hybrids were produced from homozygous "lavender" chicken cocks and "bleu" Japanese quail, and all 30 hybrids had the same parental slate blue plumage color. On the other hand, no hybrids with this plumage were obtained out of 18 progeny from the same cocks and wild-type quail. These results show that the slate blue plumage color is determined by homologous loci in Japanese quail and chickens. Second, all (n = 25) chicken-quail hybrids hatched from homozygous "recessive white" cocks and "recessive white" (n = 8) or "wild-type" (n = 17) quail had the same pattern of plumage color, with white feathers on the ventral face and colored feathers elsewhere. These results indicate that the recessive white mutations are not homologous in Japanese quail and chickens. PMID:12011184

  19. Female plumage colour influences seasonal oxidative damage and testosterone profiles in a songbird

    PubMed Central

    Vitousek, Maren N.; Stewart, Rosemary A.; Safran, Rebecca J.

    2013-01-01

    Across diverse taxa, morphological traits mediate social interactions and mate selection. Physiological constraints on signal elaboration have been widely documented, but the potential for trait display to influence physiological state remains poorly understood. We tested for the presence of causal links between ventral plumage colour—a trait known to covary with reproductive performance—and physiological measures in female North American barn swallows, Hirundo rustica erythrogaster. Naturally darker swallows have lower levels of plasma oxidative damage. Females manipulated to display darker ventral plumage during reproduction rapidly decreased oxidative damage, adopting the physiological state of naturally darker individuals. These results support the presence of a social mechanism that links static plumage traits with the physiological state of their bearer during trait advertisement, long after the completion of signal development. PMID:23966597

  20. Plumage colour and feather pecking in laying hens, a chicken perspective?

    PubMed

    Bright, A

    2007-06-01

    1. This study investigated whether feather damage due to feather pecking and bird behaviour were influenced by plumage colour in Oakham Blue laying hens (black, white, grey colour variants). The reflectance properties of feathers and spectral composition of light environments experienced by the hens were also examined. 2. Nine hundred and seventy-nine birds were inspected and scored for feather damage; 10.5 h of video recordings were examined to record feather pecking and bird behaviour. Feathers and light environments were measured using a USB-2000 spectrometer and DH-2000-CAL-DTH lamp. 3. Oakham Blue birds with white plumage had less feather damage due to feather pecking than black or grey birds. There was more severe feather pecking in the mornings than in the afternoon. White birds feather pecked severely more than black or grey birds, although there were no other behavioural differences between plumage colours. 4. White feathers reflected at a higher intensity than black or grey feathers. However, black and grey feather spectra were relatively flat and the contribution of UV wavelengths to plumage reflection was proportionally greater than that for white feathers. 5. Light intensity inside a poultry house was 100 x (UW/cm2/nm) less than on the range and there was low or no UV reflectance. Under the dim, artificial lights inside a poultry house, Oakham Blue hens with black and grey feathers may be less visible to conspecifics than white birds because their plumage reflects at a lower intensity. Furthermore, the lack of available UV light inside vs. outside and the higher contribution of UV reflectance to black and grey plumage may make black and grey birds appear more different inside the house than white birds. It is possible that this novel/unusual appearance may make black or grey Oakham Blue hens more susceptible to feather pecking. PMID:17578687

  1. Integrated plumage colour variation in relation to body condition, reproductive investment and laying date in the collared flycatcher

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laczi, Miklós; Hegyi, Gergely; Herényi, Márton; Kiss, Dorottya; Markó, Gábor; Nagy, Gergely; Rosivall, Balázs; Szöllősi, Eszter; Török, János

    2013-10-01

    The possible integration of different sexual ornaments into a composite system, and especially the information content of such ornament complexes, is poorly investigated. Many bird species display complex plumage coloration, but whether this represents one integrated or several independent sexual traits can be unclear. Collared flycatchers ( Ficedula albicollis) display melanised and depigmented plumage areas, and the spectral features (brightness and UV chroma) of these are correlated with each other across the plumage. In a 5-year dataset of male and female plumage reflectance, we examined some of the potential information content of integrated, plumage-level colour attributes by estimating their relationships to previous and current year body condition, laying date and clutch size. Females were in better condition the year before they became darker pigmented, and males in better current year condition were also darker pigmented. Female pigment-based brightness was positively, while male structurally based brightness was negatively related to current laying date. Finally, the overall UV chroma of white plumage areas in males was positively associated with current clutch size. Our results show that higher degree of pigmentation is related to better condition, while the structural colour component is associated with some aspects of reproductive investment. These results highlight the possibility that correlated aspects of a multiple plumage ornamentation system may reflect together some aspects of individual quality, thereby functioning as a composite signal.

  2. Humid microclimates within the plumage of mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) can potentially facilitate long distance dispersal of propagules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coughlan, Neil E.; Kelly, Tom C.; Davenport, John; Jansen, Marcel A. K.

    2015-05-01

    Birds as carriers of propagules are major agents in the dispersal of plants, animals, fungi and microbes. However, there is a lack of empirical data in relation to bird-mediated, epizoochorous dispersal. The microclimate found within the plumage likely plays a pivotal role in survival during flight conditions. To investigate the potential of epizoochory, we have analysed the microclimatic conditions within the plumage of mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos). Under similar ambient conditions of humidity and temperature, a sample of mallards showed a consistent microclimatic regime with variation across the body surface. The highest (mean) temperature and specific humidity occurred between feathers of the postpatagium. The lowest humidity was found between feathers of the centre back and the lowest temperature in the crissum. Observed differences in plumage depth and density, and distance from the skin, are all likely to be determining factors of microclimate condition. Specific humidity found within the plumage was on average 1.8-3.5 times greater than ambient specific humidity. Thus, the plumage can supply a microclimate buffered from that of the exterior environment. Extrapolating survival data for Lemna minor desiccation at various temperature and humidity levels to the measured plumage microclimatic conditions of living birds, survival for up to 6 h can be anticipated, especially in crissum, crural and breast plumage. The results are discussed in the context of potential long distance epizoochorous dispersal by A. platyrhynchos and similar species.

  3. Feather mites, pectoral muscle condition, wing length and plumage coloration of passerines.

    PubMed

    Harper

    1999-09-01

    I compared the feather mite (Acari, Proctophyllodidae) loads of moulting birds with features of the new plumage that they were growing. I examined 21 samples, each sample containing individuals of the same species, sex and age class (juvenile, yearling or adult). I used nine species: wren, Troglodytes troglodytes; dunnock, Prunella modularis; robin, Erithacus rubecula; blue tit, Parus caeruleus; great tit, P. major; chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs; greenfinch, Carduelis chloris; linnet, C. cannabina; and yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella. As previously reported for the house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus, birds with more feather mites grew duller plumage and relatively shorter wings than less infested individuals of the same sex and age class. They also had lower protein reserves judged by the shape of their pectoral muscle. Mite load was usually a better predictor of coloration than pectoral muscle score, but the opposite was true for changes in wing length. In contrast to house finches, birds whose plumage was dull before moult had higher mite loads while moulting. Even if feather mites do not cause dull plumage or short wings, they appear to be a good indicator of birds in poor physiological condition. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10479371

  4. Geographic variation in the plumage coloration of willow flycatchers Empidonax traillii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paxton, Eben H.; Sogge, Mark K.; Koronkiewicz, Thomas J.; McLeod, Mary Anne; Theimer, Tad C.

    2010-01-01

    The ability to identify distinct taxonomic groups of birds (species, subspecies, geographic races) can advance ecological research efforts by determining connectivity between the non-breeding and breeding grounds for migrant species, identifying the origin of migrants, and helping to refine boundaries between subspecies or geographic races. Multiple methods are available to identify taxonomic groups (e.g., morphology, genetics), and one that has played an important role for avian taxonomists over the years is plumage coloration. With the advent of electronic devices that can quickly and accurately quantify plumage coloration, the potential of using coloration as an identifier for distinct taxonomic groups, even when differences are subtle, becomes possible. In this study, we evaluated the degree to which plumage coloration differs among the four subspecies of the willow flycatcher Empidonax traillii, evaluated sources of variation, and considered the utility of plumage coloration to assign subspecies membership for individuals of unknown origin. We used a colorimeter to measure plumage coloration of 374 adult willow flycatchers from 29 locations across their breeding range in 2004 and 2005. We found strong statistical differences among the mean plumage coloration values of the four subspecies; however, while individuals tended to group around their respective subspecies' mean color value, the dispersion of individuals around such means overlapped. Mean color values for each breeding site of the three western subspecies clustered together, but the eastern subspecies' color values were dispersed among the other subspecies, rather than distinctly clustered. Additionally, sites along boundaries showed evidence of intergradation and intermediate coloration patterns. We evaluated the predictive power of colorimeter measurements on flycatchers by constructing a canonical discriminant model to predict subspecies origin of migrants passing through the southwestern U

  5. Dietary antioxidants, lipid peroxidation and plumage colouration in nestling blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larcombe, Stephen D.; Mullen, William; Alexander, Lucille; Arnold, Kathryn E.

    2010-10-01

    Carotenoid pigments are responsible for many of the red, yellow and orange plumage and integument traits seen in birds. One idea suggests that since carotenoids can act as antioxidants, carotenoid-mediated colouration may reveal an individual's ability to resist oxidative damage. In fact, there is currently very little information on the effects of most dietary-acquired antioxidants on oxidative stress in wild birds. Here, we assessed the impacts on oxidative damage, plasma antioxidants, growth and plumage colouration after supplementing nestling blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus with one of three diets; control, carotenoid treatment or α-tocopherol treatment. Oxidative damage was assessed by HPLC analysis of plasma levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a by-product of lipid peroxidation. Contrary to predictions, we found no differences in oxidative damage, plumage colouration or growth rate between treatment groups. Although plasma lutein concentrations were significantly raised in carotenoid-fed chicks, α-tocopherol treatment had no effect on concentrations of plasma α-tocopherol compared with controls. Interestingly, we found that faster growing chicks had higher levels of oxidative damage than slower growing birds, independent of treatment, body mass and condition at fledging. Moreover, the chromatic signal of the chest plumage of birds was positively correlated with levels of MDA but not plasma antioxidant concentrations: more colourful nestlings had higher oxidative damage than less colourful individuals. Thus, increased carotenoid-mediated plumage does not reveal resistance to oxidative damage for nestling blue tits, but may indicate costs paid, in terms of oxidative damage. Our results indicate that the trade-offs between competing physiological systems for dietary antioxidants are likely to be complex in rapidly developing birds. Moreover, interpreting the biological relevance of different biomarkers of antioxidant status represents a challenge for evolutionary

  6. A natural experiment on the condition-dependence of achromatic plumage reflectance in black-capped chickadees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Alba, L.; Van Hemert, C.; Handel, C.M.; Shawkey, M.D.

    2011-01-01

    Honest advertisement models posit that only individuals in good health can produce and/or maintain ornamental traits. Even though disease has profound effects on condition, few studies have experimentally tested its effects on trait expression and even fewer have identified a mechanistic basis for these effects. Recent evidence suggests that black and white, but not grey, plumage colors of black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) are sexually selected. We therefore hypothesized that birds afflicted with avian keratin disorder, a condition that affects the beak and other keratinized tissues, would show reduced expression of black and white, but not grey, color. UV-vis spectrometry of black-capped chickadees affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder revealed spectral differences between them consistent with this hypothesis. To elucidate the mechanistic bases of these differences, we used scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and a feather cleaning experiment. SEM showed extreme feather soiling in affected birds, and EDX revealed that this was most likely from external sources. Experimentally cleaning the feathers increased color expression of ornamental feathers of affected, but not unaffected, birds. These data provide strong evidence that black and white color is an honest indicator in chickadees, and that variation in feather dirtiness, likely due to differences in preening behavior is a mechanism for this association.

  7. Specific carotenoid pigments in the diet and a bit of oxidative stress in the recipe for producing red carotenoid-based signals

    PubMed Central

    García-de Blas, Esther; Mateo, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Colorful ornaments have been the focus of sexual selection studies since the work of Darwin. Yellow to red coloration is often produced by carotenoid pigments. Different hypotheses have been formulated to explain the evolution of these traits as signals of individual quality. Many of these hypotheses involve the existence of a signal production cost. The carotenoids necessary for signaling can only be obtained from food. In this line, carotenoid-based signals could reveal an individual’s capacity to find sufficient dietary pigments. However, the ingested carotenoids are often yellow and became transformed by the organism to produce pigments of more intense color (red ketocarotenoids). Biotransformation should involve oxidation reactions, although the exact mechanism is poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that carotenoid biotransformation could be costly because a certain level of oxidative stress is required to correctly perform the conversion. The carotenoid-based signals could thus reveal the efficiency of the owner in successfully managing this challenge. In a bird with ketocarotenoid-based ornaments (the red-legged partridge; Alectoris rufa), the availability of different carotenoids in the diet (i.e. astaxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein) and oxidative stress were manipulated. The carotenoid composition was analyzed and quantified in the ornaments, blood, liver and fat. A number of oxidative stress biomarkers were also measured in the same tissues. First, we found that color and pigment levels in the ornaments depended on food levels of those carotenoids used as substrates in biotransformation. Second, we found that birds exposed to mild levels of a free radical generator (diquat) developed redder bills and deposited higher amounts of ketocarotenoids (astaxanthin) in ornaments. Moreover, the same diquat-exposed birds also showed a weaker resistance to hemolysis when their erythrocytes were exposed to free radicals, with females also enduring higher oxidative

  8. [Genetic linkage of blood group, egg and serum protein and plumage color loci in chickens].

    PubMed

    Gintovt, V E; Novik, I E; Moiseeva, I G; Tolokoniikova, E V

    1976-01-01

    Genetic relationship of six blood group (A, B, C, D, E, x5), three egg (G2, G3, Ov) and one serum (Alb) protein loci and two plumage colour (I-dominant white, E-extended black) loci were investigated. 3250 gametes have been analysed for 21 loci combinations, 11 from them have never been studied on linkage. Blood group loci A, B, C, D, E, x5 segregated independently on egg protein loci G2, G3, and Ov, serum protein locus Alb and plumage colour locus E. No linkage was observed between blood group locus B and dominant white locus I. Close linkage for two egg protein loci G3 and Ov is confirmed. Independent segregation of investigated blood group, egg and serum protein loci suggests their localization on different autosomes in the chicken genome. The recent literature and the authors' data on genetic relationship between blood group, polymorphic protein loci and morphological traits are reviewed. PMID:1010323

  9. Feather pecking in groups of growing bantams in relation to floor litter substrate and plumage colour.

    PubMed

    Savory, C J; Mann, J S

    1999-12-01

    1. As part of a programme investigating the causation of pecking damage in fowls, this experiment tested a proposal that birds may receive more feather pecks when their plumage colour contrasts with floor litter colour, because litter particles on plumage (as a consequence of dustbathing) may then have greater stimulus value. 2. Groups consisting of 7 light- and 7 dark-coloured bantams were reared from 1 to 11 weeks of age in pens with either wood shavings (light coloured, n=6) or peat (dark coloured, n=6) floor litter. 3. Feather loss from pecking commenced in the 3rd week of life and increased thereafter, but observed pecking damage scores were not consistent with the hypothesis being tested. 4. Despite many more pecks at birds being seen (over 10 weeks) in the wood shavings groups' (661 at particles on plumage, 1795 not at particles) than in peat groups (205, 787), there was no effect of litter substrate on pecking damage. The only evidence supporting the proposal was the finding that, in groups on wood shavings, significantly more pecks at particles on plumage were directed from light coloured birds towards dark ones, than from light to light, dark to light, or dark to dark. 5. Feather eating was confirmed from the presence of feather material in 2% to 15% of faecal droppings collected from each group at 11 weeks, but these proportions were not correlated with pecking damage scores. 6. The results imply that only some feather pecks/pulls were damaging and only some eaten feathers were pulled from other birds. PMID:10670665

  10. Major Breeding Plumage Color Differences of Male Ruffs (Philomachus pugnax) Are Not Associated With Coding Sequence Variation in the MC1R Gene

    PubMed Central

    Küpper, Clemens; Burke, Terry; Lank, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Sequence variation in the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene explains color morph variation in several species of birds and mammals. Ruffs (Philomachus pugnax) exhibit major dark/light color differences in melanin-based male breeding plumage which is closely associated with alternative reproductive behavior. A previous study identified a microsatellite marker (Ppu020) near the MC1R locus associated with the presence/absence of ornamental plumage. We investigated whether coding sequence variation in the MC1R gene explains major dark/light plumage color variation and/or the presence/absence of ornamental plumage in ruffs. Among 821bp of the MC1R coding region from 44 male ruffs we found 3 single nucleotide polymorphisms, representing 1 nonsynonymous and 2 synonymous amino acid substitutions. None were associated with major dark/light color differences or the presence/absence of ornamental plumage. At all amino acid sites known to be functionally important in other avian species with dark/light plumage color variation, ruffs were either monomorphic or the shared polymorphism did not coincide with color morph. Neither ornamental plumage color differences nor the presence/absence of ornamental plumage in ruffs are likely to be caused entirely by amino acid variation within the coding regions of the MC1R locus. Regulatory elements and structural variation at other loci may be involved in melanin expression and contribute to the extreme plumage polymorphism observed in this species. PMID:25534935

  11. Respiratory and plumage gas volumes in unrestrained diving ducks (Aythya affinis).

    PubMed

    Stephenson, R

    1995-05-01

    Closed-circuit plethysmography and inert gas equilibration analysis were used to measure the volumes of gas in the respiratory system and plumage at the end of voluntary dives in unrestrained lesser scaup (Aythya affinis). Total (respiratory plus plumage) gas volumes were measured by helium dilution and estimated from body mass, body tissue density and buoyant force. These two techniques yielded results that differed by only 2.1 +/- 1.5%. Buoyancy decreased from a maximum of 3.46 +/- 0.16 N at immersion to a minimum of 2.65 +/- 0.16 N at 1.5 m depth at the end of the feeding phase of voluntary dives. At 0.193 +/- 0.013 L BTPS, the respiratory system contributed 52% of the initial buoyancy and 65% of the minimum value. The increasing relative influence of the respiratory system on buoyancy was due to the loss of 47 +/- 5% of the air in the plumage layer during the dive. These data differ significantly from estimates based on restrained ducks, and this has implications for modelling of mechanical costs of diving, oxygen storage capacity and thermal insulation in foraging ducks. PMID:7624614

  12. Quantitative genetics of plumage color: lifetime effects of early nest environment on a colorful sexual signal.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Joanna K; Jenkins, Brittany R; Safran, Rebecca J

    2015-08-01

    Phenotypic differences among individuals are often linked to differential survival and mating success. Quantifying the relative influence of genetic and environmental variation on phenotype allows evolutionary biologists to make predictions about the potential for a given trait to respond to selection and various aspects of environmental variation. In particular, the environment individuals experience during early development can have lasting effects on phenotype later in life. Here, we used a natural full-sib/half-sib design as well as within-individual longitudinal analyses to examine genetic and various environmental influences on plumage color. We find that variation in melanin-based plumage color - a trait known to influence mating success in adult North American barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) - is influenced by both genetics and aspects of the developmental environment, including variation due to the maternal phenotype and the nest environment. Within individuals, nestling color is predictive of adult color. Accordingly, these early environmental influences are relevant to the sexually selected plumage color variation in adults. Early environmental conditions appear to have important lifelong implications for individual reproductive performance through sexual signal development in barn swallows. Our results indicate that feather color variation conveys information about developmental conditions and maternal care alleles to potential mates in North American barn swallows. Melanin-based colors are used for sexual signaling in many organisms, and our study suggests that these signals may be more sensitive to environmental variation than previously thought. PMID:26380676

  13. Quantitative genetics of plumage color: lifetime effects of early nest environment on a colorful sexual signal

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Joanna K; Jenkins, Brittany R; Safran, Rebecca J

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic differences among individuals are often linked to differential survival and mating success. Quantifying the relative influence of genetic and environmental variation on phenotype allows evolutionary biologists to make predictions about the potential for a given trait to respond to selection and various aspects of environmental variation. In particular, the environment individuals experience during early development can have lasting effects on phenotype later in life. Here, we used a natural full-sib/half-sib design as well as within-individual longitudinal analyses to examine genetic and various environmental influences on plumage color. We find that variation in melanin-based plumage color – a trait known to influence mating success in adult North American barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) – is influenced by both genetics and aspects of the developmental environment, including variation due to the maternal phenotype and the nest environment. Within individuals, nestling color is predictive of adult color. Accordingly, these early environmental influences are relevant to the sexually selected plumage color variation in adults. Early environmental conditions appear to have important lifelong implications for individual reproductive performance through sexual signal development in barn swallows. Our results indicate that feather color variation conveys information about developmental conditions and maternal care alleles to potential mates in North American barn swallows. Melanin-based colors are used for sexual signaling in many organisms, and our study suggests that these signals may be more sensitive to environmental variation than previously thought. PMID:26380676

  14. Plumage color and feather pecking--behavioral differences associated with PMEL17 genotypes in chicken (Gallus gallus).

    PubMed

    Nätt, Daniel; Kerje, Susanne; Andersson, Leif; Jensen, Per

    2007-03-01

    An F (5) generation of an advanced inter-cross between red junglefowl (wild-type) and White Leghorn (domesticated) was used to investigate earlier findings suggesting that a mutation in the plumage color gene PMEL17 protects against victimization to feather pecking (FP). F (4) parents were selected according to genotype to produce PMEL17 homozygous offspring (i/i and I/I respectively). Birds were raised and their behavior recorded in groups of either two wild-type i/i (dark colored) and one white I/I, or two I/I and one i/i. In addition each bird was tested for feather preference, reaction to novelty, open-field activity, fear for humans, and tonic-immobility. In the home-pens, i/i birds were more feather pecked and had poorer feather condition than I/I birds. No pecking preference for immobile dark colored feathers was observed. In the open-field test i/i birds vocalized more and earlier than I/I birds, and in the fear-for-human test I/I birds had higher activity at 21 weeks of age. No other behavior differences were observed, but clearly, genotypes of PMEL17 affected some aspects of behavior. Such behavioral differences might be important aspects of the mechanism which predispose i/i individuals for being victims of FP. PMID:17106652

  15. Selection and crossbreeding in relation to plumage color inheritance in three chinese egg type duck breeds (anas platyrhynchos).

    PubMed

    Lin, R L; Chen, H P; Rouvier, R; Poivey, J P

    2014-08-01

    In China and South East Asia, the duck (common duck) is important in egg production for human consumption. Plumage color is a breed characteristic and of economic importance, together with egg production. Our aim in this study was to investigate the inheritance of plumage color in three Chinese indigenous egg-type duck breeds, Shan Ma (S), Putian White (F) and Putian black (P), and some of their crossbreds. These three breeds have different plumage color and are used in crossbreeding. The crossbred laying ducks F×(P×S) and F×(S×P) showed highly improved laying ability but heterogeneous plumage color. Genotypes at four relevant loci were investigated by studying down color and pattern in ducklings after crossbreeding. F1 ducklings from the matings F×S and S×F, P×S, and S×P were classified into four classes of plumage color (the Shan Ma plumage color, black, white, or multicolored) over three generations. Parents were selected for the Shan Ma plumage color of their progeny. In the fourth generation, P male and P female ducks were selected according to the frequency of the desired class of plumage color (Shan Ma) of their F1 progeny to obtain the so-called "Brown Putian Ma duck". The Shan Ma duck genotype was identified as having the restricted mallard color pattern (M(R)M(R)), full expression of any of the patterns or colors (CC), no extended black (ee) and no brown dilution D (D). The Putian White genotype was recessive white (cc), no extended black (ee) and no brown dilution D (D). The Putian Black genotype exhibited full expression of extended black (E gene) and no brown dilution (CCEE D [D]). It was shown that F×S and S×F tests should be implemented to eliminate the recessive white c allele in the S line and the dominant extended black E allele in the F line. It was also shown that the Brown Putian Ma obtained from Putian Black, with no extended black genotype (ee), could be used to get rid of the black plumage (E gene) in the crossbred ducks. This

  16. The effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (Aroclor 1242) on thyroxine, estradiol, molt, and plumage characteristics in the American kestrel (Falco sparverius)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quinn, M.J.; French, J.B.; McNabb, F.M.A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effects of Aroclor 1242, a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), on plumage characteristics and molt in the American kestrel, Falco sparverills. Several characteristics of plumage. including color and molt schedule, are modulated by hormonal signals and hence may be modified by endocrine-active contaminants. If so, the functions of plumage (e.g. communication for mating or territorial defense) may be compromised by exposure to such compounds. Captive American kestrels were fed Aroclor 1242 at 0. 6.0. and 60.0 ppm (n = 6 males and 6 females per treatment) mixed in their normal diet. Concentrations of plasma estradiol and thyroxine were measured weekly from the beginning of treatment. Measured plumage characteristics included width of the black subterminal band on the tail, color (a composite index of hue and saturation), reflectance from 230 to 800 min. pattern of feather loss and regrowth on the tail and wing. and timing of onset and duration of molt. Aroclor 1242 depressed plasma thyroxine. Plasma estradiol levels remained low due to the phase of the breeding cycle. Treatments did not disrupt the measured plumage characteristics. This may be due to timing or dose of exposure or to genetic factors.

  17. Evolutionary significance of geographic variation in a plumage-based foraging adaptation: an experimental test in the slate-throated redstart (Myioborus miniatus).

    PubMed

    Mumme, Ronald L; Galatowitsch, Mark L; Jabłoński, Piotr G; Stawarczyk, Tadeusz M; Cygan, Jakub P

    2006-05-01

    Geographic variation in the plumage pattern of birds is widespread but poorly understood, and in very few cases has its evolutionary significance been investigated experimentally. Neotropical warblers of the genus Myioborus use their contrasting black-and-white plumage to flush insect prey during animated foraging displays. Although previous experimental work has demonstrated that white plumage patches are critical to flush-pursuit foraging success, the amount of white in the plumage shows considerable interspecific and intraspecific geographic variation. We investigated the evolutionary significance of this geographic variation by experimentally decreasing or increasing the amount of white in the tail of slate-throated redstarts (Myioborus miniatus comptus) from Monteverde, Costa Rica, to mimic the natural extremes of tail pattern variation in this species. In addition to measuring the effects of plumage manipulation on foraging performance, we performed field experiments measuring the escape response of a common insect prey species (an asilid fly) using model redstarts representing four different Myioborus plumage patterns. Our experiments were designed to test four hypotheses that could explain geographic variation in plumage pattern. Compared to controls, experimental birds with reduced-white tails that mimic the plumage pattern of M. miniatus hellmayri of Guatemala showed significant reductions in flush-pursuit foraging performance. In contrast, the addition of white to the tail to mimic the plumage pattern of M. miniatus verticalis of Bolivia had no significant effect on foraging performance of Costa Rican redstarts. In field experiments with asilid flies, model redstarts simulating the plumage of M. miniatus comptus of Costa Rica and M. miniatus verticalis of Bolivia elicited greater responses than did models of other Myioborus taxa with either less or more white in the plumage. The results of our experiments with both birds and insects allow us to reject

  18. Developmental phenotypic-genotypic associations of tyrosinase and melanocortin 1 receptor genes with changing profiles in chicken plumage pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Liu, W B; Chen, S R; Zheng, J X; Qu, L J; Xu, G Y; Yang, N

    2010-06-01

    The tyrosinase (TYR) and melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) genes have been accepted as major genes involved in the plumage pigmentation of chickens. The co-segregation of plumage coloration and sequence polymorphism in TYR and MC1R genes were investigated using an intercross between black and white plumage color types of the Dongxiang blue-shelled chicken. Profiles of plumage color changing and genes expression levels of TYR and MC1R were observed from hatch to 112 d of age using quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR. Intercrossed offspring were classified by phenotypes of plumage colors. The phenotypes of black and amber chicks with genotypes of E_C_ exhibited a black feather pattern, whereas white, gray, and buff chicks with genotypes of E_cc and eecc belonged to the white feather pattern. Although TYR in cooperation with MC1R determined the coloration feather patterns, the different phenotypes did not correspond completely with the genotypes. During the period studied, plumage phenotype changed dramatically, and the buff and gray down were gradually replaced by whiteness feathers. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR studies showed that 1) expression levels of TYR declined dramatically with age, and expression at hatch was highest (P<0.01) during the ages studied; 2) expression level of MC1R was higher at 28 d than at younger and older ages; and 3) expression of TYR in chickens carrying E/E and E/e alleles on MC1R loci were higher than those carrying e/e alleles from hatch to 28 d. PMID:20460655

  19. Copper, nickel, and iron in plumage of three upland gamebird species from non-contaminated environments

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, G.H.

    1985-12-01

    High levels of atmospheric contamination and particulate fallout characterizing the Industrial Basin of the copper-nickel smelting operations at Sudbury, Ontario, were shown to be reflected in the feather chemistry of resident ruffed grouse populations. Of considerable concern, however, is the paucity of information on background concentrations of elemental metals that could be considered normal for non-contaminated environments. The present report examines concentrations of copper, nickel and iron in the plumage of three tetraonid species collected from remote and undisturbed areas in Northern Ontario and Quebec.

  20. Sublethal Pb exposure produces season-dependent effects on immune response, oxidative balance and investment in carotenoid-based coloration in red-legged partridges.

    PubMed

    Vallverdú-Coll, Núria; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Mougeot, François; Vidal, Dolors; Mateo, Rafael

    2015-03-17

    Ingestion of lead (Pb) shot pellets constitutes the main cause of Pb poisoning in avifauna. We studied the effects of sublethal Pb exposure on immunity, carotenoid-based coloration, oxidative stress and trade-offs among these types of responses during spring and autumn in red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa). We evaluated constitutive immunity testing lysozyme and natural antibody levels, and blood bactericidal and phagocytic activities. We studied induced immunity by testing PHA and humoral responses. We analyzed fecal parasite and bacterial abundance and oxidative stress biomarkers. Pb exposure in spring reduced natural antibody levels, whereas in autumn, it reduced lysozyme levels and increased phagocytic activity. Pb exposure increased PHA response in both seasons, and decreased T-independent humoral response in autumn. Pb exposure also increased noncoliform and decreased coliform Gram-negative gut bacteria. In spring, Pb exposure decreased antioxidant levels and increased coloration in males, whereas in autumn, it increased retinol levels but reduced coloration in both genders. Our results suggest that in spring, Pb-exposed females used antioxidants to cope with oxidative stress at the expense of coloration, whereas Pb-exposed males increased coloration, which may reflect an increased breeding investment. In autumn, both genders prioritized oxidative balance maintenance at the expense of coloration. PMID:25674808

  1. Genetics of the black-tailed red plumage pattern in Villafranquina chickens.

    PubMed

    Campo, J L; Alvarez, C

    1988-03-01

    Data are presented on the genetics of the plumage color of the Villafranquina, a breed of Spanish chicken representing a black-tailed red type of the columbian restriction pattern. Crosses between Villafranquina females, which show a large amount of secondary pattern, and Brown and Buttercup tester males suggested that this breed carries the brown allele (eb) at the E-locus. This allele is modified by the dark-brown columbian-like gene (Db), resulting in the plumage pattern characteristic of the breed. The degree of expression of Db varies markedly depending on other key genes present. This gene acted as an incomplete dominant when crossed to brown (eb) and buttercup (ebc) tester lines. However, in the presence of the birchen (ER) gene, Db was recessive in females but dominant in males, suggesting sex-influenced inheritance. Silver (S) does not alter the brown down of Db-modified ER, although it does express itself readily on a brown (eb) background. Variability in the expression of Db in both F1 and F2 populations suggests that it sometimes interacts with not yet identified modifying genes. PMID:3405912

  2. Further study on the plumage pattern of the Blue Andalusian breed.

    PubMed

    Campo, J L; Alvarez, C

    1991-01-01

    The genetic basis for plumage color of the Blue Andalusian breed was studied. Results of crosses between Blue Andalusian females and Brown (eb/eb) tester males showed that this genetic stock was E/E and did not carry a columbian-type gene. This fact was further verified by the cross between Blue Andalusian males and Melanotic Prat (eWh/eWh Co/Co Ml/Ml) females. It is suggested that the Bl/bl+ genotype is effective in changing black to blue pigment when only one eumelanizing gene is present in the genetic background, but it is ineffective in the presence of two different genes producing eumelanin simultaneously. With an E/E genotype, Bl/bl+ does not change black pigment to blue in the areas where the melanotic (Ml) or lacing (Lg) genes produce black pigment, resulting in the laced plumage pattern of the Blue Andalusian (E/E Bl/bl+ Ml-Lg/Ml-Lg). On a non-E/E genetic background, a single dosage of Bl changes the black pigment to blue in the presence of the melanotic or lacing genes. Double-laced phenotypes were not found in either cross, thereby causing the authors to question the role of Co in double and single-laced patterns. Linkage between Ml and Lg was estimated to be 12.2% +/- 2.1 (SE). PMID:2017404

  3. Melanocortin 1-receptor (MC1R) mutations are associated with plumage colour in chicken.

    PubMed

    Kerje, S; Lind, J; Schütz, K; Jensen, P; Andersson, L

    2003-08-01

    The co-segregation of plumage colour and sequence polymorphism in the melanocortin 1-receptor gene (MC1R) was investigated using an intercross between the red junglefowl and White Leghorn chickens. The results provided compelling evidence that the Extended black (E) locus controlling plumage colour is equivalent to MC1R. E/MC1R was assigned to chromosome 11 with overwhelming statistical support. Sequence analysis indicated that the E92K substitution, causing a constitutively active receptor in the sombre mouse, is the most likely causative mutation for the Extended black allele carried by the White Leghorn founders in this intercross. The MC1R sequence associated with the recessive buttercup (ebc) allele indicated that this allele evolved from a dominant Extended black allele as it shared the E92K and M71T substitutions with some E alleles. It also carried a third missense mutation H215P which thus may interfere with the constitutive activation of the receptor caused by E92K (and possibly M71T). PMID:12873211

  4. Habitat-specific sensory-exploitative signals in birds: propensity of dipteran prey to cause evolution of plumage variation in flush-pursuit insectivores.

    PubMed

    Jabłoński, Piotr G; Lasater, Kelly; Mumme, Ronald L; Borowiec, Marta; Cygan, Jakub P; Pereira, Janice; Sergiej, Ewa

    2006-12-01

    Sensory exploitation occurs when signals trigger behavioral reactions that diminish the receiver's fitness. Research in this area focuses on the match between the signal's form and the receiver's sensitivity, but the effect of habitat on interspecific sensory exploitation is rarely addressed. Myioborus redstarts use conspicuous wing and tail displays of contrasting black-and-white plumage patches to flush dipteran insects, which are then pursued and captured in flight. Previous studies have shown that by increasing the distance at which insects perform an escape response, conspicuous visual displays improve the birds' foraging performance. We tested the hypothesis that selection for a visual signal that maximizes prey escape distance under local habitat conditions can lead to the evolution of geographic variation in plumage pattern among Myioborus redstarts. Using models of foraging birds, we recorded the escape responses of Dipterous insects to a range of plumage patterns and background tones (from light to dark) to determine whether the plumage pattern that maximizes prey flushing is dependent upon that habitat (background) against which birds are viewed by their prey. Our results indicate that the effectiveness of a particular plumage pattern in flushing dipteran prey depends strongly on the background against which that plumage pattern is displayed, and darker habitat (background) conditions generally favor plumages with more extensive patches of white in the tail. However, the addition of white wing patches that imitate the plumage of the painted redstart (Myioborus pictus) generally increases insect escape responses but reduces the effect that tail pattern variation and background tone have on escape behavior. These experiments support the hypothesis that habitat-specific natural selection to enhance sensory exploitation of prey escape responses could produce geographic variation in plumage patterns of flush-pursuers. PMID:17263122

  5. Plumage coloration and nutritional condition in the great tit Parus major: the roles of carotenoids and melanins differ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senar, Juan Carlos; Figuerola, Jordi; Domènech, Jordi

    2003-05-01

    The size and coloration of some body characters seem to influence mate choice in many species. Most animal colours are either structural or based on melanin or carotenoid pigments. It has recently been suggested that carotenoid-based or structural coloration may be a condition-dependent trait, whereas melanin-based coloration is not; a difference that may be highly relevant when studying the evolution of multiple mating preferences. We tested this hypothesis in the great tit ( Parus major). The size of the melanin breast band was not correlated to nutritional condition as estimated by the rate of tail growth (ptilochronology), controlling for locality, age, sex, year and season effects. However, the correlation was significant for the hue of yellow breast (carotenoid-based coloration), and the slopes of the regressions of the two pigments to growth bars differed significantly. These results suggest that the expression of the two traits may be regulated by different mechanisms.

  6. Feather eating and its associations with plumage damage and feathers on the floor in commercial farms of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Riber, A B; Hinrichsen, L K

    2016-07-01

    Feather eating has been associated with feather pecking, which continues to pose economic and welfare problems in egg production. Knowledge on feather eating is limited and studies of feather eating in commercial flocks of laying hens have not been performed previously. Therefore, the main objective was to investigate feather eating and its association with plumage damage and floor feather characteristics in commercial flocks of layers in barn and organic production systems. The study was performed in 13 flocks of barn layers and 17 flocks of organic layers. Each flock was visited at around 32 and 62 weeks of age. During both visits, the plumage condition was assessed and the density of floor feathers recorded. In week 62, droppings and floor feathers were collected. Droppings were examined for presence of feather content, whereas length, downiness and pecking damage were recorded for each floor feather. In week 62, a higher prevalence of hens with poor plumage condition was found in barn (22.2%) compared with organic production systems (7.4%; P<0.001), but the prevalence of droppings with feather content did not differ between the two production systems (8.5% in barn v. 4.3% in organic; P=0.99). Our hypothesis about a positive correlation between feather eating and plumage damage was not supported as no correlation was found between the prevalence of poor plumage condition and the prevalence of droppings with feather content. However, the prevalence of pecking damaged floor feathers was positively correlated both with prevalence of droppings with feather content (P<0.05) and poor plumage condition (P<0.01), indicating a possible association between feather eating and feather pecking. In conclusion, it was confirmed that feather eating occurs on-farm, but feather eating was only found to be positively correlated to the number of floor feathers with pecking damage and not as expected to the prevalence of plumage damage. More research is needed into the sources from

  7. Reduced plumage and flight ability of a new Jurassic paravian theropod from China.

    PubMed

    Godefroit, Pascal; Demuynck, Helena; Dyke, Gareth; Hu, Dongyu; Escuillié, François; Claeys, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    Feathered theropods were diverse in the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of western Liaoning Province, China. Recently, anatomically distinct feathered taxa have been discovered in the older Middle-Late Jurassic Tiaojishan Formation in the same region. Phylogenetic hypotheses including these specimens have challenged the pivotal position of Archaeopteryx in bird phylogeny. Here we report a basal troodontid from the Tiaojishan Formation that resembles Anchiornis, also from Jianchang County (regarded as sister-taxa). The feathers of Eosinopteryx are less extensive on the limbs and tail than Anchiornis and other deinonychosaurians. With reduced plumage and short uncurved pedal claws, Eosinopteryx would have been able to run unimpeded (with large foot remiges cursorial locomotion was likely problematic for Anchiornis). Eosinopteryx increases the known diversity of small-bodied dinosaurs in the Jurassic, shows that taxa with similar body plans could occupy different niches in the same ecosystem and suggests a more complex picture for the origin of flight. PMID:23340434

  8. Dominant white plumage-color somatic mosaic in the domestic fowl.

    PubMed

    Somes, R G

    1984-01-01

    An unusual feather-color mosaic of the variegated type is described in the fowl. The bird, a female, has the e+/e+ wild-type plumage pattern with light tan or buffish colored feathers intermingled over her sides and dorsal surface. This condition is bilateral and symmetrical with whole feathers being diluted in some areas and parts of feathers in others. Breeding tests with e+/e+ males showed that the bird was heterozygous for dominant white (l/i+) and homozygous for e+. All her e+/e+, l/i+ offspring were of the red-pyle pattern as would be expected from that genotype. The possible cause of this mosaic condition may be due either to the loss of the l-bearing locus or to a reverse mutation to i+ in neural crest cells destined to become the primordial melanoblasts. PMID:6707445

  9. Unique caudal plumage of Jeholornis and complex tail evolution in early birds

    PubMed Central

    O’Connor, Jingmai; Wang, Xiaoli; Sullivan, Corwin; Zheng, Xiaoting; Tubaro, Pablo; Zhang, Xiaomei; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2013-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous bird Jeholornis was previously only known to have a distally restricted ornamental frond of tail feathers. We describe a previously unrecognized fan-shaped tract of feathers situated dorsal to the proximal caudal vertebrae. The position and morphology of these feathers is reminiscent of the specialized upper tail coverts observed in males of some sexually dimorphic neornithines. As in the neornithine tail, the unique “two-tail” plumage in Jeholornis probably evolved as the result of complex interactions between natural and sexual selective pressures and served both aerodynamic and ornamental functions. We suggest that the proximal fan would have helped to streamline the body and reduce drag whereas the distal frond was primarily ornamental. Jeholornis reveals that tail evolution was complex and not a simple progression from frond to fan. PMID:24101506

  10. Population structure and plumage polymorphism: The intraspecific evolutionary relationships of a polymorphic raptor, Buteo jamaicensis harlani

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Phenotypic and molecular genetic data often provide conflicting patterns of intraspecific relationships confounding phylogenetic inference, particularly among birds where a variety of environmental factors may influence plumage characters. Among diurnal raptors, the taxonomic relationship of Buteo jamaicensis harlani to other B. jamaicensis subspecies has been long debated because of the polytypic nature of the plumage characteristics used in subspecies or species designations. Results To address the evolutionary relationships within this group, we used data from 17 nuclear microsatellite loci, 430 base pairs of the mitochondrial control region, and 829 base pairs of the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r) to investigate molecular genetic differentiation among three B. jamaicensis subspecies (B. j. borealis, B. j. calurus, B. j. harlani). Bayesian clustering analyses of nuclear microsatellite loci showed no significant differences between B. j. harlani and B. j. borealis. Differences observed between B. j. harlani and B. j. borealis in mitochondrial and microsatellite data were equivalent to those found between morphologically similar subspecies, B. j. borealis and B. j. calurus, and estimates of migration rates among all three subspecies were high. No consistent differences were observed in Mc1r data between B. j. harlani and other B. jamaicensis subspecies or between light and dark color morphs within B. j. calurus, suggesting that Mc1r does not play a significant role in B. jamaicensis melanism. Conclusions These data suggest recent interbreeding and gene flow between B. j. harlani and the other B. jamaicensis subspecies examined, providing no support for the historical designation of B. j. harlani as a distinct species. PMID:20650000

  11. Multiple plumage traits convey information about age and within-age-class qualities of a canopy-dwelling songbird, the Cerulean Warbler

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boves, Than J.; Buehler, David A.; Wood, Petra Bohall; Rodewald, Amanda D.; Larkin, Jeffrey L.; Keyser, Patrick D.; Wigley, T. Ben

    2014-01-01

    Colorful plumage traits in birds may convey multiple, redundant, or unreliable messages about an individual. Plumage may reliably convey information about disparate qualities such as age, condition, and parental ability because discrete tracts of feathers may cause individuals to incur different intrinsic or extrinsic costs. Few studies have examined the information content of plumage in a species that inhabits forest canopies, a habitat with unique light environments and selective pressures. We investigated the information content of four plumage patches (blue-green crown and rump, tail white, and black breast band) in a canopy-dwelling species, the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea), in relation to age, condition, provisioning, and reproduction. We found that older males displayed wider breast bands, greater tail white, and crown and rump feathers with greater blue-green (435–534 nm) chroma and hue than males in their first potential breeding season. In turn, older birds were in better condition (short and long term) and were reproductively superior to younger birds. We propose that these age-related plumage differences (i.e. delayed plumage maturation) were not a consequence of a life history strategy but instead resulted from constraints during early feather molts. Within age classes, we found evidence to support the multiple messages hypothesis. Birds with greater tail white molted tails in faster, those with more exaggerated rump plumage (lower hue, greater blue-green chroma) provisioned more, and those with lower rump blue-green chroma were in better condition. Despite evidence of reliable signaling in this species, we found no strong relationships between plumage and reproductive performance, potentially because factors other than individual differences more strongly influenced fecundity.

  12. Do feather-degrading bacteria actually degrade feather colour? No significant effects of plumage microbiome modifications on feather colouration in wild great tits.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Staffan; Colmas, Léa; Parthuisot, Nathalie; Heeb, Philipp

    2014-11-01

    Parasites are known to exert selective pressures on host life history traits since the energy and nutrients needed to mount an immune response are no longer available to invest in other functions. Bird feathers harbour numerous microorganisms, some of which are able to degrade feather keratin (keratinolytic microorganisms) and affect feather integrity and colouration in vitro. Although named "feather-degrading" microorganisms, experimental evidence for their effects on feathers of free-living birds is still lacking. Here, we tested whether (i) keratinolytic microorganisms can degrade feathers in vivo and thus modify the colour of feathers during the nesting period and (ii) whether feather microorganisms have a long-term effect on the investment in colouration of newly moulted feathers. We designed treatments to either favour or inhibit bacterial growth, thus experimentally modifying plumage bacterial communities, in a wild breeding population of great tits (Parus major). Our analyses revealed no significant effects of the treatments on feather colours. Moreover, we found that differences in bacterial exposure during nesting did not significantly affect the colouration of newly moulted feathers. Our results suggest that significant feather degradation obtained during in vitro studies could have led to an overestimation of the potential of keratinolytic microorganisms to shape feather colouration in free-living birds. PMID:25228345

  13. DNA content and distribution in ancient feathers and potential to reconstruct the plumage of extinct avian taxa

    PubMed Central

    Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Wood, Jamie R.; Armstrong, Kyle N.; Cooper, Alan

    2009-01-01

    Feathers are known to contain amplifiable DNA at their base (calamus) and have provided an important genetic source from museum specimens. However, feathers in subfossil deposits generally only preserve the upper shaft and feather ‘vane’ which are thought to be unsuitable for DNA analysis. We analyse subfossil moa feathers from Holocene New Zealand rockshelter sites and demonstrate that both ancient DNA and plumage information can be recovered from their upper portion, allowing species identification and a means to reconstruct the appearance of extinct taxa. These ancient DNA sequences indicate that the distal portions of feathers are an untapped resource for studies of museum, palaeontological and modern specimens. We investigate the potential to reconstruct the plumage of pre-historically extinct avian taxa using subfossil remains, rather than assuming morphological uniformity with closely related extant taxa. To test the notion of colour persistence in subfossil feathers, we perform digital comparisons of feathers of the red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae) excavated from the same horizons as the moa feathers, with modern samples. The results suggest that the coloration of the moa feathers is authentic, and computer software is used to perform plumage reconstructions of moa based on subfossil remains. PMID:19570784

  14. Plumage color and reproductive output of eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) nesting near a mercury-contaminated river.

    PubMed

    McCullagh, Elizabeth A; Cristol, Daniel A; Phillips, John B

    2015-01-01

    Despite the growing evidence of mercury's impact on ecosystems, few studies have looked at the environmental impact of mercury pollution on terrestrial songbirds and the complex ways through which mercury might influence their fitness. In 2007-2008 eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) were monitored on mercury contaminated and reference sites for blood and feather mercury, reproductive success and plumage coloration. Higher tissue mercury accumulation was associated with plumage that was overall brighter and shifted towards the UV portion of the spectrum. In females, long-term mercury exposure, as indicated by feather mercury, was associated with smaller clutches of eggs. In males, recent mercury exposure, as indicated by blood mercury, was associated with a reduction in the proportion of hatchlings that fledged, potentially through reduced male provisioning of offspring. Reproductive success and plumage color are closely linked in bluebirds through mate choice, and our findings indicate that mercury contamination is associated with reproductive success directly and possibly indirectly, through coloration of bluebirds. PMID:26121017

  15. Mapping of plumage colour and blood protein loci on the microsatellite linkage map of the Japanese quail.

    PubMed

    Miwa, M; Inoue-Murayama, M; Kayang, B B; Vignal, A; Minvielle, F; Monvoisin, J L; Takahashi, H; Ito, S

    2005-10-01

    The objective of this work was to map classical markers (plumage colours and blood proteins) on the microsatellite linkage map of the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). The segregation data on two plumage colours and three blood proteins were obtained from 25 three-generation families (193 F2 birds). Linkage analysis was carried out for these five classical markers and 80 microsatellite markers. A total of 15 linkage groups that included the five classical loci and 69 of the 80 microsatellite markers were constructed. Using the BLAST homology search against the chicken genome sequence, three quail linkage groups, QL8, QL10 and QL13, were suggested to be homologous to chicken chromosomes GGA9, GGA20 and GGA24, respectively. Two plumage colour loci, black at hatch (Bh) and yellow (Y), and the three blood protein loci, transferrin (Tf), haemoglobin (Hb-1) and prealbumin-1 (Pa-1), were assigned to CJA01, QL10, QL8, CJA14 and QL13, respectively. PMID:16167982

  16. The relationship of several genes suppressing plumage colour with body weight, food intake and feather loss of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Merat, P; Bordas, A; Coquerelle, G

    1979-11-01

    1. Growth rate, egg number, egg and adult body weight, plumage condition, food intake and efficiency of laying hens were compared in birds differing in plumage colour genotype at five loci (C, I, S, Ig, B). 2. Laying rates of the different genotypes were not different. 3. Growth rate and adult body weight of females were significantly less in loci C and I white females as compared with the corresponding coloured females; there was a similar tendency in adult weight for the other loci, and in egg weight. Differences in body weight were more marked in birds kept in cages than in those kept on the floor. 4. For all loci the genotype suppressing colour was associated with less plumage deterioration, this being highly significant for loci C and S. 5. Food intake, adjusted for body weight and egg production, was less in locus I white hens, in agreement with previous data concerning the C locus. 6. Pleiotropic effects associated with colour were suggested and their consequences on efficiency of egg production are discussed. PMID:543974

  17. A Spectrophotometric Study of Plumage Color in the Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata), the Most Abundant South American Columbiforme.

    PubMed

    Valdez, Diego Javier; Benitez-Vieyra, Santiago Miguel

    2016-01-01

    For birds, plumage color perception is critical in social interactions such as courtship, in both monochromatic and dichromatic species. In the Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata), perhaps the most abundant South American Columbiforme, the plumage of males and females looks alike and both sexes share the same melanistic coloration with gray and pink tones. The aim of this study was therefore to determine whether evident sexual dichromatism exists in the plumage of the Eared Dove using a spectrophotometry technique in the avian-visible range (300-700 nm). The results of the classic colorimetric variables analysis (hue, chroma and brightness) show that males are in general brighter and have higher UV chroma values than females. The avian visual model points to differences in achromatic and chromatic levels between males and females in body regions possibly involved in sexual selection (e.g. the crown). The model also indicates chromatic or achromatic differences in body regions not subject to sexual selection such as the black spots on the wing coverts and white tail bands, both of which may be involved in intra- or inter-gender-specific communication. PMID:27213273

  18. A Spectrophotometric Study of Plumage Color in the Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata), the Most Abundant South American Columbiforme

    PubMed Central

    Benitez-Vieyra, Santiago Miguel

    2016-01-01

    For birds, plumage color perception is critical in social interactions such as courtship, in both monochromatic and dichromatic species. In the Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata), perhaps the most abundant South American Columbiforme, the plumage of males and females looks alike and both sexes share the same melanistic coloration with gray and pink tones. The aim of this study was therefore to determine whether evident sexual dichromatism exists in the plumage of the Eared Dove using a spectrophotometry technique in the avian-visible range (300–700 nm). The results of the classic colorimetric variables analysis (hue, chroma and brightness) show that males are in general brighter and have higher UV chroma values than females. The avian visual model points to differences in achromatic and chromatic levels between males and females in body regions possibly involved in sexual selection (e.g. the crown). The model also indicates chromatic or achromatic differences in body regions not subject to sexual selection such as the black spots on the wing coverts and white tail bands, both of which may be involved in intra- or inter-gender-specific communication. PMID:27213273

  19. Visual modelling suggests a weak relationship between the evolution of ultraviolet vision and plumage coloration in birds.

    PubMed

    Lind, O; Delhey, K

    2015-03-01

    Birds have sophisticated colour vision mediated by four cone types that cover a wide visual spectrum including ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Many birds have modest UV sensitivity provided by violet-sensitive (VS) cones with sensitivity maxima between 400 and 425 nm. However, some birds have evolved higher UV sensitivity and a larger visual spectrum given by UV-sensitive (UVS) cones maximally sensitive at 360-370 nm. The reasons for VS-UVS transitions and their relationship to visual ecology remain unclear. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of UVS-cone vision is linked to plumage colours so that visual sensitivity and feather coloration are 'matched'. This leads to the specific prediction that UVS-cone vision enhances the discrimination of plumage colours of UVS birds while such an advantage is absent or less pronounced for VS-bird coloration. We test this hypothesis using knowledge of the complex distribution of UVS cones among birds combined with mathematical modelling of colour discrimination during different viewing conditions. We find no support for the hypothesis, which, combined with previous studies, suggests only a weak relationship between UVS-cone vision and plumage colour evolution. Instead, we suggest that UVS-cone vision generally favours colour discrimination, which creates a nonspecific selection pressure for the evolution of UVS cones. PMID:25664902

  20. Evolution of carotenoid pigmentation in caciques and meadowlarks (Icteridae): repeated gains of red plumage coloration by carotenoid C4-oxygenation.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Nicholas R; McGraw, Kevin J; Omland, Kevin E

    2014-03-01

    Many animals use carotenoid pigments to produce yellow, orange, and red coloration. In birds, at least 10 carotenoid compounds have been documented in red feathers; most of these are produced through metabolic modification of dietary precursor compounds. However, it is poorly understood how lineages have evolved the biochemical mechanisms for producing red coloration. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to identify the carotenoid compounds present in feathers from 15 species across two clades of blackbirds (the meadowlarks and allies, and the caciques and oropendolas; Icteridae), and mapped their presence or absence on a phylogeny. We found that the red plumage found in meadowlarks includes different carotenoid compounds than the red plumage found in caciques, indicating that these gains of red color are convergent. In contrast, we found that red coloration in two closely related lineages of caciques evolved twice by what appear to be similar biochemical mechanisms. The C4-oxygenation of dietary carotenoids was responsible for each observed transition from yellow to red plumage coloration, and has been commonly reported by other researchers. This suggests that the C4-oxygenation pathway may be a readily evolvable means to gain red coloration using carotenoids. PMID:24164419

  1. Endothelin receptor B2 (EDNRB2) is responsible for the tyrosinase-independent recessive white (mo(w) ) and mottled (mo) plumage phenotypes in the chicken.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Keiji; Akiyama, Toyoko; Mizutani, Makoto; Shinomiya, Ai; Ishikawa, Akira; Younis, Hassan Hassan; Tsudzuki, Masaoki; Namikawa, Takao; Matsuda, Yoichi

    2014-01-01

    A mutation that confers white plumage with black eyes was identified in the Minohiki breed of Japanese native chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). The white plumage, with a few partially pigmented feathers, was not associated with the tyrosinase gene, and displayed an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance against the pigmented phenotype. All F1 offspring derived from crosses with mottled chickens (mo/mo), which show characteristic pigmented feathers with white tips, had plumage with a mottled-like pattern. This result indicates that the white plumage mutation is a novel allele at the mo locus; we propose the gene symbol mo(w) for this mutant allele. Furthermore, the F1 hybrid between the mo(w) /mo(w) chicken and the panda (s/s) mutant of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), whose causative gene is the endothelin receptor B2 (EDNRB2) gene, showed a mo(w)/mo(w) chicken-like plumage, suggesting the possibility that the mutations in parental species are alleles of the same gene, EDNRB2. Nucleotide sequencing of the entire coding region of EDNRB2 revealed a non-synonymous G1008T substitution, which causes Cys244Phe amino acid substitution in exon 5 (which is part of the extracellular loop between the putative fourth and fifth transmembrane domains of EDNRB2) in the mutant chicken. This Cys244Phe mutation was also present in individuals of four Japanese breeds with white plumage. We also identified a non-synonymous substitution leading to Arg332His substitution that was responsible for the mottled (mo/mo) plumage phenotype. These results suggest that the EDN3 (endothelin 3)-EDNRB2 signaling is essential for normal pigmentation in birds, and that the mutations of EDNRB2 may cause defective binding of the protein with endothelins, which interferes with melanocyte differentiation, proliferation, and migration. PMID:24466053

  2. The adaptive function of melanin-based plumage coloration to trace metals

    PubMed Central

    Chatelain, M.; Gasparini, J.; Jacquin, L.; Frantz, A.

    2014-01-01

    Trace metals produced by anthropogenic activities are of major importance in urban areas and might constitute a new evolutionary force selecting for the ability to cope with their deleterious effects. Interestingly, melanin pigments are known to bind metal ions, thereby potentially sequestering them in inert body parts such as coat and feathers, and facilitating body detoxification. Thus, a more melanic plumage or coat coloration could bring a selective advantage for animals living in polluted areas. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the link between melanin-based coloration and zinc and lead concentrations in feathers of urban feral pigeons, both at capture time and after one year of captivity in standardized conditions. Results show that differently coloured pigeons had similar metal concentrations at capture time. Metal concentrations strongly decreased after one year in standardized conditions, and more melanic pigeons had higher concentrations of zinc (but not lead) in their feathers. This suggests that more melanic pigeons have a higher ability to store some metals in their feathers compared with their paler counterparts, which could explain their higher success in urbanized areas. Overall, this work suggests that trace metal pollution may exert new selective forces favouring more melanic phenotypes in polluted environments. PMID:24671830

  3. Differentially expressed genes match bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a Holarctic songbird.

    PubMed

    Mason, Nicholas A; Taylor, Scott A

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the patterns and processes that contribute to phenotypic diversity and speciation is a central goal of evolutionary biology. Recently, high-throughput sequencing has provided unprecedented phylogenetic resolution in many lineages that have experienced rapid diversification. The Holarctic redpoll finches (Genus: Acanthis) provide an intriguing example of a recent, phenotypically diverse lineage; traditional sequencing and genotyping methods have failed to detect any genetic differences between currently recognized species, despite marked variation in plumage and morphology within the genus. We examined variation among 20 712 anonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed throughout the redpoll genome in combination with 215 825 SNPs within the redpoll transcriptome, gene expression data and ecological niche modelling to evaluate genetic and ecological differentiation among currently recognized species. Expanding upon previous findings, we present evidence of (i) largely undifferentiated genomes among currently recognized species; (ii) substantial niche overlap across the North American Acanthis range; and (iii) a strong relationship between polygenic patterns of gene expression and continuous phenotypic variation within a sample of redpolls from North America. The patterns we report may be caused by high levels of ongoing gene flow between polymorphic populations, incomplete lineage sorting accompanying very recent or ongoing divergence, variation in cis-regulatory elements, or phenotypic plasticity, but do not support a scenario of prolonged isolation and subsequent secondary contact. Together, these findings highlight ongoing theoretical and computational challenges presented by recent, rapid bouts of phenotypic diversification and provide new insight into the evolutionary dynamics of an intriguing, understudied non-model system. PMID:25735539

  4. Within-male melanin-based plumage and bill elaboration in male house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Václav, Radovan

    2006-12-01

    If there is a cost to producing a dark color patch, the size of a patch may not correspond with its pigment concentration. The plumage of male house sparrows represents a case of dark, melanin-based ornamentation, but also a case of neglecting the composite nature of dark signals in birds. Here, I investigated what kind of associations exist between the brightness, chroma, and hue of dark integumentary patches and the size of a secondary sexual trait, the bib, in male house sparrows. I found that males with a larger bib also had a darker bib and bill, and a more saturated bib, bill, epaulets, head crown, and breast than small-bibbed males. Male bib coloration in terms of brightness and chroma was more strongly related to bib size than the coloration of other integumentary patches. However, with respect to hue, only the hue of the bill and cheeks was related to bib size. My results indicate that size, brightness, and chroma of the bib, but also chroma of other deeply colored patches, convey redundant information about the signaler's quality in male house sparrows. PMID:17261920

  5. First evidence of bryophyte diaspores in the plumage of transequatorial migrant birds

    PubMed Central

    Behling, Emily; Gousse, Hannah; Qian, Emily; Elphick, Chris S.; Lamarre, Jean-François; Bêty, Joël; Liebezeit, Joe; Rozzi, Ricardo; Goffinet, Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Correlations between transequatorial migratory bird routes and bipolar biogeographic disjunctions in bryophytes suggest that disjunctions between northern and southern high latitude regions may result from bird-mediated dispersal; supporting evidence is, however, exclusively circumstantial. Birds disperse plant units (diaspores) internally via ingestion (endozoochory) or externally by the attachment of diaspores to the body (ectozoochory). Endozoochory is known to be the primary means of bird-mediated dispersal for seeds and invertebrates at local, regional, and continental scales. Data supporting the role of bird-mediated endozoochory or ectozoochory in the long distance dispersal of bryophytes remain sparse, however, despite the large number of bryophytes displaying bipolar disjunctions. To determine if transequatorial migrant shorebirds may play a role in the ectozoochory of bryophyte diaspores, we developed a method for screening feathers of wild birds. We provide the first evidence of microscopic bryophyte diaspores, as well as those from non-bryophyte lineages, embedded in the plumage of long distance transequatorial migrant birds captured in their arctic breeding grounds. The number of diaspores recovered suggests that entire migratory populations may be departing their northern breeding grounds laden with potentially viable plant parts and that they could thereby play significant roles in bipolar range expansions of lineages previously ignored in the migrant bird dispersal literature. PMID:24949241

  6. Cuckoos combat socially transmitted defenses of reed warbler hosts with a plumage polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Thorogood, Rose; Davies, Nicholas B

    2012-08-01

    In predator-prey and host-parasite interactions, an individual's ability to combat an opponent often improves with experience--for example, by learning to identify enemy signals. Although learning occurs through individual experience, individuals can also assess threats from social information. Such recognition could promote the evolution of polymorphisms if socially transmitted defenses depend on enemy morph frequency. This would allow rare variants to evade detection. Female brood parasitic common cuckoos, Cuculus canorus, are either gray or rufous. The gray morph is a Batesian mimic whose hawk-like appearance deters host attack. Hosts reject this disguise through social learning, increasing their own defenses when they witness neighbors mobbing a cuckoo. Our experiments reveal that social learning is specific to the cuckoo morph that neighbors mob. Therefore, while neighbors alert hosts to local cuckoo activity, frequency-dependent social information selects for a cuckoo plumage polymorphism to thwart host detection. Our results suggest that selection for mimicry and polymorphisms comes not only from personal experience but also from social learning. PMID:22859487

  7. Variation in carotenoid-protein interaction in bird feathers produces novel plumage coloration.

    PubMed

    Mendes-Pinto, Maria M; LaFountain, Amy M; Stoddard, Mary Caswell; Prum, Richard O; Frank, Harry A; Robert, Bruno

    2012-12-01

    Light absorption by carotenoids is known to vary substantially with the shape or conformation of the pigment molecule induced by the molecular environment, but the role of interactions between carotenoid pigments and the proteins to which they are bound, and the resulting impact on organismal coloration, remain unclear. Here, we present a spectroscopic investigation of feathers from the brilliant red scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber, Threskiornithidae), the orange-red summer tanager (Piranga rubra, Cardinalidae) and the violet-purple feathers of the white-browed purpletuft (Iodopleura isabellae, Tityridae). Despite their striking differences in colour, all three of these feathers contain canthaxanthin (β,β-carotene-4,4'-dione) as their primary pigment. Reflectance and resonance Raman (rR) spectroscopy were used to investigate the induced molecular structural changes and carotenoid-protein interactions responsible for the different coloration in these plumage samples. The results demonstrate a significant variation between species in the peak frequency of the strong ethylenic vibration (ν(1)) peak in the rR spectra, the most significant of which is found in I. isabellae feathers and is correlated with a red-shift in canthaxanthin absorption that results in violet reflectance. Neither polarizability of the protein environment nor planarization of the molecule upon binding can entirely account for the full extent of the colour shift. Therefore, we suggest that head-to-tail molecular alignment (i.e. J-aggregation) of the protein-bound carotenoid molecules is an additional factor. PMID:22832362

  8. Decreased hydrophobicity of iridescent feathers: a potential cost of shiny plumage.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2011-07-01

    Honest advertisement models posit that sexually selected traits are costly to produce, maintain or otherwise bear. Brightly coloured feathers are thought to be classic examples of these models, but evidence for a cost in feathers not coloured by carotenoid pigments is scarce. Unlike pigment-based colours, iridescent feather colours are produced by light scattering in modified feather barbules that are characteristically flattened and twisted towards the feather surface. These modifications increase light reflectance, but also expose more surface area for water adhesion, suggesting a potential trade-off between colour and hydrophobicity. Using light microscopy, spectrometry, contact angle goniometry and self-cleaning experiments, we show that iridescent feathers of mallards, Anas platyrhynchos, are less hydrophobic than adjacent non-iridescent feathers, and that this is primarily caused by differences in barbule microstructure. Furthermore, as a result of this decreased hydrophobicity, iridescent feathers are less efficient at self-cleaning than non-iridescent feathers. Together, these results suggest a previously unforeseen cost of iridescent plumage traits that may help to explain the evolution and distribution of iridescence in birds. PMID:21653809

  9. Lack of genetic and plumage differentiation in the red-billed quelea Quelea quelea across a migratory divide in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Dallimer, M; Jones, P J; Pemberton, J M; Cheke, R A

    2003-02-01

    A migratory divide usually signals the presence of a geographical region over which other traits, such as morphology and genotypes, also undergo rapid change. A migratory divide has been hypothesized in central southern Africa for the abundant migratory weaver, the red-billed quelea Quelea quelea. The positioning of the divide in the region is based on the patterns of rainfall in the region that stimulate the annual migrations of queleas. Evidence indicates that premigratory queleas near the divide show two distinct preferred directions for migration. We used eight polymorphic microsatellite loci and a range of plumage characters to determine whether there was population structure among red-billed queleas in southern Africa, and specifically whether this structure coincided with the location of the migratory divide. There was no evidence of population genetic structure. An amova revealed no significant differences between samples taken either side of the migratory divide. Similarly, there was no geographical variation in plumage patterns across southern Africa. For both microsatellites and plumage characteristics, the variation that does exist occurs within each sampled site, with little differentiation between sites. We were therefore unable to find any evidence that either plumage or microsatellite genotypes varied in a similar way to migratory direction preference in red-billed queleas in southern Africa. This is perhaps because the migratory divide does not act to separate individuals into populations within which genetic and plumage differentiation can be maintained. PMID:12535086

  10. Trace Metals Affect Early Maternal Transfer of Immune Components in the Feral Pigeon.

    PubMed

    Chatelain, M; Gasparini, J; Haussy, C; Frantz, A

    2016-01-01

    Maternal early transfers of immune components influence eggs' hatching probability and nestlings' survival. They depend on females' own immunity and, because they are costly, on their physiological state. Therefore, trace metals, whether toxic and immunosuppressive (e.g., lead, cadmium, etc.) or necessary and immunostimulant (e.g., zinc, copper, iron, etc.), are likely to affect the amount of immune components transferred into the eggs. It may also vary with plumage eumelanin level, which is known to be linked to immunity, to transfer of antibodies, and to metal detoxification. In feral pigeons (Columba livia) injected with an antigen and experimentally exposed to lead and/or zinc (two highly abundant trace metals in urban areas), we measured specific antibody transfer and concentrations of two antimicrobial proteins (lysozyme and ovotransferrin) in eggs. As expected, lead had negative effects on specific antibody transfer, while zinc positively affected lysozyme egg concentrations. Moreover, eggs from lead-exposed females exhibited higher ovotransferrin concentrations; because it binds metal ions, ovotransferrin may enable egg detoxification and embryo protection. Finally, eggs' lysozyme concentrations increased with plumage darkness of females not exposed to zinc, while the relation was opposite among zinc-exposed females, suggesting that benefits and costs of plumage melanism depend on trace metal environmental levels. Overall, our study underlines the potential ecotoxicological effects of trace metals on maternal transfers of immune components and the role of plumage melanism in modulating these effects. PMID:27153130

  11. Concordant evolution of plumage colour, feather microstructure and a melanocortin receptor gene between mainland and island populations of a fairy-wren.

    PubMed

    Doucet, S M; Shawkey, M D; Rathburn, M K; Mays, H L; Montgomerie, R

    2004-08-22

    Studies of the patterns of diversification of birds on islands have contributed a great deal to the development of evolutionary theory. In white-winged fairy-wrens, Malurus leucopterus, mainland males develop a striking blue nuptial plumage whereas those on nearby islands develop black nuptial plumage. We explore the proximate basis for this divergence by combining microstructural feather analysis with an investigation of genetic variation at the melanocortin-1 receptor locus (MC1R). Fourier analysis revealed that the medullary keratin matrix (spongy layer) of the feather barbs of blue males was ordered at the appropriate nanoscale to produce the observed blue colour by coherent light scattering. Surprisingly, the feather barbs of black males also contained a spongy layer that could produce a similar blue colour. However, black males had more melanin in their barbs than blue males, and this melanin may effectively mask any structural colour produced by the spongy layer. Moreover, the presence of this spongy layer suggests that black island males evolved from a blue-plumaged ancestor. We also document concordant patterns of variation at the MC1R locus, as five amino acid substitutions were perfectly associated with the divergent blue and black plumage phenotypes. Thus, with the possible involvement of a melanocortin receptor locus, increased melanin density may mask the blue-producing microstructure in black island males, resulting in the divergence of plumage coloration between mainland and island white-winged fairy-wrens. Such mechanisms may also be responsible for plumage colour diversity across broader geographical and evolutionary scales. PMID:15306285

  12. Plumage Genes and Little Else Distinguish the Genomes of Hybridizing Warblers.

    PubMed

    Toews, David P L; Taylor, Scott A; Vallender, Rachel; Brelsford, Alan; Butcher, Bronwyn G; Messer, Philipp W; Lovette, Irby J

    2016-09-12

    When related taxa hybridize extensively, their genomes may become increasingly homogenized over time. This mixing via hybridization creates conservation challenges when it reduces genetic or phenotypic diversity and when it endangers previously distinct species via genetic swamping [1]. However, hybridization also facilitates admixture mapping of traits that distinguish each species and the associated genes that maintain distinctiveness despite ongoing gene flow [2]. We address these dual aspects of hybridization in the golden-winged/blue-winged warbler complex, two phenotypically divergent warblers that are indistinguishable using traditional molecular markers and that draw substantial conservation attention [3-5]. Whole-genome comparisons show that differentiation is extremely low: only six small genomic regions exhibit strong differences. Four of these divergence peaks occur in proximity to genes known to be involved in feather development or pigmentation: agouti signaling protein (ASIP), follistatin (FST), ecodysplasin (EDA), wingless-related integration site (Wnt), and beta-carotene oxygenase 2 (BCO2). Throat coloration-the most striking plumage difference between these warblers-is perfectly associated with the promoter region of agouti, and genotypes at this locus obey simple Mendelian recessive inheritance of the black-throated phenotype characteristic of golden-winged warblers. The more general pattern of genomic similarity between these warblers likely results from a protracted period of hybridization, contradicting the broadly accepted hypothesis that admixture results from solely anthropogenic habitat change in the past two centuries [4]. Considered in concert, these results are relevant to both the genetic architecture of avian feather pigmentation and the evolutionary history and conservation challenges associated with these declining songbirds. PMID:27546575

  13. The effects of life history and sexual selection on male and female plumage colouration.

    PubMed

    Dale, James; Dey, Cody J; Delhey, Kaspar; Kempenaers, Bart; Valcu, Mihai

    2015-11-19

    Classical sexual selection theory provides a well-supported conceptual framework for understanding the evolution and signalling function of male ornaments. It predicts that males obtain greater fitness benefits than females through multiple mating because sperm are cheaper to produce than eggs. Sexual selection should therefore lead to the evolution of male-biased secondary sexual characters. However, females of many species are also highly ornamented. The view that this is due to a correlated genetic response to selection on males was widely accepted as an explanation for female ornamentation for over 100 years and current theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that genetic constraints can limit sex-specific trait evolution. Alternatively, female ornamentation can be the outcome of direct selection for signalling needs. Since few studies have explored interspecific patterns of both male and female elaboration, our understanding of the evolution of animal ornamentation remains incomplete, especially over broad taxonomic scales. Here we use a new method to quantify plumage colour of all ~6,000 species of passerine birds to determine the main evolutionary drivers of ornamental colouration in both sexes. We found that conspecific male and female colour elaboration are strongly correlated, suggesting that evolutionary changes in one sex are constrained by changes in the other sex. Both sexes are more ornamented in larger species and in species living in tropical environments. Ornamentation in females (but not males) is increased in cooperative breeders--species in which female-female competition for reproductive opportunities and other resources related to breeding may be high. Finally, strong sexual selection on males has antagonistic effects, causing an increase in male colouration but a considerably more pronounced reduction in female ornamentation. Our results indicate that although there may be genetic constraints to sexually independent colour evolution

  14. Territory Quality and Plumage Morph Predict Offspring Sex Ratio Variation in a Raptor

    PubMed Central

    Chakarov, Nayden; Pauli, Martina; Mueller, Anna-Katharina; Potiek, Astrid; Grünkorn, Thomas; Dijkstra, Cor; Krüger, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Parents may adapt their offspring sex ratio in response to their own phenotype and environmental conditions. The most significant causes for adaptive sex-ratio variation might express themselves as different distributions of fitness components between sexes along a given variable. Several causes for differential sex allocation in raptors with reversed sexual size dimorphism have been suggested. We search for correlates of fledgling sex in an extensive dataset on common buzzards Buteo buteo, a long-lived bird of prey. Larger female offspring could be more resource-demanding and starvation-prone and thus the costly sex. Prominent factors such as brood size and laying date did not predict nestling sex. Nonetheless, lifetime sex ratio (LSR, potentially indicative of individual sex allocation constraints) and overall nestling sex were explained by territory quality with more females being produced in better territories. Additionally, parental plumage morphs and the interaction of morph and prey abundance tended to explain LSR and nestling sex, indicating local adaptation of sex allocation However, in a limited census of nestling mortality, not females but males tended to die more frequently in prey-rich years. Also, although females could have potentially longer reproductive careers, a subset of our data encompassing full individual life histories showed that longevity and lifetime reproductive success were similarly distributed between the sexes. Thus, a basis for adaptive sex allocation in this population remains elusive. Overall, in common buzzards most major determinants of reproductive success appeared to have no effect on sex ratio but sex allocation may be adapted to local conditions in morph-specific patterns. PMID:26445010

  15. Close linkage relationship of the Z-linked pop-eye and silver plumage color loci in the chicken.

    PubMed

    Bitgood, J J; Rozum, J J; Rozum, J J

    1996-09-01

    The Z-linked pop-eye and the silver plumage color loci in the chicken were tested for linkage using a back cross. The F1 males used were silver, with normal eyes and gold down, pop-eye in coupling (*S *N/*G *POP). The females were gold, pop-eye (*G *POP/W). In previous studies, it had been suggested that both loci were on the short arm of the Z chromosome. There were 13 recombinants among 187 individuals obtained from this mating, indicating that these loci are linked by about 7 cM. PMID:8878260

  16. Direct benefits of mate choice: a meta-analysis of plumage colour and offspring feeding rates in birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hegyi, Gergely; Kötél, Dóra; Laczi, Miklós

    2015-10-01

    Mate choice is generally costly to the choosy sex, so fitness benefits must counterbalance these costs. Genetic benefits of choice are widely examined and have received overall support. Direct benefits such as high quality parental care by highly ornamented individuals are widely assumed to be important but are less frequently tested, theoretically debated, and their support in the recent literature is unknown. Furthermore, in taxa where both sexes provide care, the preferential investment of the partner in relation to ornamentation may reduce own investment and modify apparent parental care quality. In a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis, we collated correlative results from birds concerning parental plumage coloration and the nestling feeding rates of the ornament bearer and its partner. Overall evidence was weak for signalling of parental care quality and somewhat stronger for preferential partner investment. Surprisingly, the sex of the signaller and the type of plumage colour seemed to exert weak effects on the signalling of parental care quality. Finally, there was a group of cases with opposite relationships of care and ornamentation in the two parties. We found that this group arose predominately from preferential partner investment in relation to ornamentation, with concomitant, but weaker, reduction of own investment. We conclude that the effect of partner investment on parental care indication seems system-specific and needs further study.

  17. Direct benefits of mate choice: a meta-analysis of plumage colour and offspring feeding rates in birds.

    PubMed

    Hegyi, Gergely; Kötél, Dóra; Laczi, Miklós

    2015-10-01

    Mate choice is generally costly to the choosy sex, so fitness benefits must counterbalance these costs. Genetic benefits of choice are widely examined and have received overall support. Direct benefits such as high quality parental care by highly ornamented individuals are widely assumed to be important but are less frequently tested, theoretically debated, and their support in the recent literature is unknown. Furthermore, in taxa where both sexes provide care, the preferential investment of the partner in relation to ornamentation may reduce own investment and modify apparent parental care quality. In a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis, we collated correlative results from birds concerning parental plumage coloration and the nestling feeding rates of the ornament bearer and its partner. Overall evidence was weak for signalling of parental care quality and somewhat stronger for preferential partner investment. Surprisingly, the sex of the signaller and the type of plumage colour seemed to exert weak effects on the signalling of parental care quality. Finally, there was a group of cases with opposite relationships of care and ornamentation in the two parties. We found that this group arose predominately from preferential partner investment in relation to ornamentation, with concomitant, but weaker, reduction of own investment. We conclude that the effect of partner investment on parental care indication seems system-specific and needs further study. PMID:26385007

  18. The Dark brown plumage color in chickens is caused by an 8.3-kb deletion upstream of SOX10.

    PubMed

    Gunnarsson, Ulrika; Kerje, Susanne; Bed'hom, Bertrand; Sahlqvist, Anna-Stina; Ekwall, Olov; Tixier-Boichard, Michele; Kämpe, Olle; Andersson, Leif

    2011-04-01

    The Dark brown (DB) mutation in chickens reduces expression of black eumelanin and enhances expression of red pheomelanin, but only in certain parts of the plumage. Here, we present genetic evidence that an 8.3-kb deletion upstream of the SOX10 transcription start site is the causal mutation underlying the DB phenotype. The SOX10 transcription factor has a well-established role in melanocyte biology and is essential for melanocyte migration and survival. Previous studies have demonstrated that the mouse homolog of a highly conserved element within the deleted region is a SOX10 enhancer. The mechanism of action of this mutation remains to be established, but one possible scenario is that the deletion leads to reduced SOX10 expression which in turn down-regulates expression of key enzymes in pigment synthesis such as tyrosinase. Lower tyrosinase activity leads to a shift toward a more pheomelanistic (reddish) plumage color, which is the characteristic feature of the DB phenotype. PMID:21210960

  19. Sex-associated differences in trace metals concentrations in and on the plumage of a common urban bird species.

    PubMed

    Frantz, Adrien; Federici, Pierre; Legoupi, Julie; Jacquin, Lisa; Gasparini, Julien

    2016-01-01

    Urban areas encompass both favorable and stressful conditions linked with human activities and pollution. Pollutants remain of major ecological importance for synanthropic organisms living in the city. Plumage of urban birds harbour trace metals, which can result from external deposition or from internal accumulation. External and internal plumage concentrations likely differ between specific trace metals, and may further differ between males and females because of potential sex-linked differential urban use, physiology or behaviour. Here, we measured the concentrations in four trace metals (cadmium, copper, lead and zinc) in both unwashed and washed feathers of 49 male and 38 female feral pigeons (Columba livia) from Parisian agglomeration. We found that these concentrations indeed differed between unwashed and washed feathers, between males and females, and for some metals depended on the interaction between these factors. We discuss these results in the light of physiological and behavioural differences between males and females and of spatial repartition of the four trace metals in the city. PMID:26458927

  20. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in warblers.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Natasha I; Morrow, James M; Chang, Belinda S W; Price, Trevor D

    2015-02-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors-historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20 Ma. During this process, the SWS2 gene accumulated six substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected. PMID:25496318

  1. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in Warblers

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Natasha I.; Morrow, James M.; Chang, Belinda S.W.; Price, Trevor D.

    2014-01-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors – historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20Ma. During this process the SWS2 gene accumulated 6 substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected. PMID:25496318

  2. Association between polymorphism in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene and E locus plumage color phenotype.

    PubMed

    Dávila, S G; Gil, M G; Resino-Talaván, P; Campo, J L

    2014-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene on plumage color in chickens. The gene was sequenced in 77 males and 77 females from 13 Spanish breeds, carrying 6 different alleles in the E locus (E*E, E*R, E*WH, E*N, E*B, E*BC), a recessive wheaten (yellowish-white) tester line (E*Y), and a White Leghorn population (heterozygous E*E). A total of 11 significant SNP were detected. Nine of them were nonsynonymous (T212C, G274A, G376A, T398AC, G409A, A427G, C637T, A644C, and G646A, corresponding to amino acid changes Met72Thr, Glu92Lys, Val126Ile, Leu133GlnPro, Ala137Thr, Thr143Ala, Arg213Cys, His215Pro, and Val216Ile), and 2 were synonymous (C69T and C834T). With respect to the significant SNP, 7 had an allelic frequency of 0.5 or greater for some of the alleles at the E locus. These results indicated a significant correlation between MC1R polymorphism and the presence of different alleles at the E locus. All the populations carrying the E*E or E*R alleles, except the Birchen Leonesa, had the G274A polymorphism. Eleven haplotypes were made with 7 of the significant SNP. The distribution of these haplotypes in the different alleles of the E locus showed that each haplotype was predominantly associated to one allele. The number of haplotypes was greatest for the Black Menorca, Birchen Leonesa, and Blue Andaluza breeds, whereas the Quail Castellana and Red-barred Vasca breeds were monomorphic. Our results suggested that the Glu92Lys mutation may be responsible of the activation of the receptor for eumelanin production, being necessary but not sufficient to express the extended black phenotype. They also suggested that the Arg213Cys mutation may be the cause of the loss or the decrease of function of the receptor to produce eumelanin, and the Ala137Thr mutation may be a candidate to attenuate the Glu92Lys effect. The observed co-segregation of the E locus alleles and polymorphisms in MC1R confirms that the E locus is

  3. The influence of the white-wing feather plumage gene Ww on various quantitative traits in chickens.

    PubMed

    Somes, R G

    1980-11-01

    The white-wing plumage color gene Ww which acts as an embryonic lethal in homozygotes was studied to determine its pleiotropic effects on various quantitative traits. Two groups of birds Ww/ww+ and ww+/ww+ were compared for mortality, body weight, age to sexual maturity, egg production, egg weight and shape, and egg shell thickness. During 0 to 8 weeks of age, the Ww/ww+ birds showed three times greater mortality than did the ww+/ww+ birds. From 8 to 71 weeks of age their mortality was similar, although during the 36 to 71 week period the Ww/ww+ birds did show a somewhat higher level of mortality. The cause of the mortality was not determined. Body weight was consistently depressed for the Ww/ww+ birds; however, it was not always significantly so. No significant differences were noted among the other traits measured. PMID:7465506

  4. Endothelin receptor B2 (EDNRB2) is associated with the panda plumage colour mutation in Japanese quail.

    PubMed

    Miwa, M; Inoue-Murayama, M; Aoki, H; Kunisada, T; Hiragaki, T; Mizutani, M; Ito, S

    2007-04-01

    The panda mutant in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) displays spots of wild-type plumage on a white background and is controlled by an autosomal recessive allele (s). The dotted white is controlled by a third allele (s(dw)) of the s locus with s(dw)/s(dw) quail having less pigmentation than s/s quail. We mapped the s locus to the Japanese quail chromosome 4 (CJA04) in a previous study. The orthologous region of the chicken (Gallus gallus) genome includes endothelin receptor B2 (EDNRB2), an avian-specific paralog of endothelin receptor B (EDNRB). EDNRB mutations in mammals retard the migration of neural crest cells (NCCs), which results in a spotted coat colour and an enteric nervous defect. In the present study, we investigated the association between the s locus and EDNRB2 in Japanese quail. Sequence comparison among transcripts from livers of wild-type, panda and dotted white quail revealed a nucleotide substitution (c.995G>A) leading to a p.R332H amino acid change that was specific to panda, whereas no amino acid substitution was found in dotted white birds. The amino acid position 332 is located in the sixth transmembrane domain and is highly conserved in both avian and mammalian endothelin receptors. The A allele at nucleotide position 995 was specific to panda (s/s) birds among 10 strains, and was mapped to the same chromosomal region as the s locus. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that EDNRB2 transcripts were reduced in both panda and dotted white mutants compared with wild-type. However, there was no difference between the early embryos of wild-type and panda with respect to the migration of NCCs. The genetic association of EDNRB2 with plumage colour in birds was found for the first time in this study. PMID:17313575

  5. Phylogeny of Laniarius: molecular data reveal L. liberatus synonymous with L. erlangeri and "plumage coloration" as unreliable morphological characters for defining species and species groups.

    PubMed

    Nguembock, Billy; Fjeldså, Jon; Couloux, Arnaud; Pasquet, Eric

    2008-08-01

    Laniarius is one of the larger genera within the avian bush-shrike radiation, the family Malaconotidae. Fairly homogenous by size and shape but highly variable by colours, these have been classified mainly on basis of plumage colours. In the present study, which is the first taxon-dense analysis of the genus Laniarius based on molecular sequence data (nuclear BRM15 intron-15, and mitochondrial ND2 and ATPase6 genes), we investigate interrelationships between 16 species and 34 subspecies of Laniarius. Altogether 2094bp were aligned and subjected to maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses. Results strongly support the monophyly of Laniarius, and place it close to Chlorophoneus, but without outlining a precise sister-group. In a generally well-resolved phylogeny of Laniarius, L. leucorhynchus and L. atrococcineus constitute deep branches and the remaining species form five clades which are not concordant with previously defined superspecies. The black and white boubous belong to two different clades. L. aethiopicus appears polyphyletic and our results support the resurrection of Laniarius major, Laniarius erlangeri and Laniarius sublacteus. We also find that L. liberatus, described in 1991 based on the only known live individual, is identified as an unusual colour morph from L. erlangeri. The black boubous are not monophyletic; L. funebris and L. leucorhynchus appear as isolated species whereas L. poensis and L. fuelleborni are sister-taxa. We recovered the polyphyly of crimson boubous and new hypotheses on their relationships have been generated. Overall, the variation in pigments and patterns does not follow phylogenetic lineages. The plumage coloration could be thoroughly subject to modification and it could not reflect exactly colour plumages of the parents. From then on, the plumage coloration appears as an unreliable morphological character for defining species and species groups. PMID:18514549

  6. Identification and profiling of microRNAs associated with white and black plumage pigmentation in the white and black feather bulbs of ducks by RNA sequencing.

    PubMed

    Apopo, S; Liu, H; Jing, L; Du, X; Xie, S; Gong, Y; Xu, R; Li, S

    2015-12-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in many biological processes by regulating gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. However, the mechanism by which specific miRNAs may regulate plumage pigmentation has remained largely elusive. In this study, we sequenced miRNAs using Solexa sequencing and then performed a detailed analysis of their expression profiles between the black and white feather bulbs of ducks from Cui Hei, Kaiya, Liancheng pure breeds and a Kaiya-Liancheng F2 population. mirdeep2 software identified 121 conserved and eight novel miRNAs. Five differentially expressed miRNAs between the two tissues types were also identified by degseq software. Notably, miR-204 was predominantly expressed in black feather bulbs. To further validate the sequencing data, we applied stem-loop quantitative PCR of ten known miRNAs based on the identified sequences. Furthermore, in exploring the temporal expression pattern of miR-204, we performed profiling in nine duck tissues. The targets of these miRNAs were predicted using a PITA algorithm and were later grouped based on Gene Ontology and KEGG pathway analysis using the DAVID website. The melanogenesis pathway was among the identified signalling pathways, implying key roles of these miRNAs in plumage pigmentation. Expression analysis of the target genes in the melanogenesis pathways was also performed. This study provides the foundation for subsequent studies on the prospective practical role for such miRNAs in post-transcriptional gene regulation linked to plumage pigmentation. PMID:26369256

  7. Relationships between range access as monitored by radio frequency identification technology, fearfulness, and plumage damage in free-range laying hens.

    PubMed

    Hartcher, K M; Hickey, K A; Hemsworth, P H; Cronin, G M; Wilkinson, S J; Singh, M

    2016-05-01

    Severe feather-pecking (SFP), a particularly injurious behaviour in laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus), is thought to be negatively correlated with range use in free-range systems. In turn, range use is thought to be inversely associated with fearfulness, where fearful birds may be less likely to venture outside. However, very few experiments have investigated the proposed association between range use and fearfulness. This experiment investigated associations between range use (time spent outside), fearfulness, plumage damage, and BW. Two pens of 50 ISA Brown laying hens (n=100) were fitted with radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders (contained within silicone leg rings) at 26 weeks of age. Data were then collected over 13 days. A total of 95% of birds accessed the outdoor run more than once per day. Birds spent an average duration of 6.1 h outside each day over 11 visits per bird per day (51.5 min per visit). The top 15 and bottom 15 range users (n=30), as determined by the total time spent on the range over 13 days, were selected for study. These birds were tonic immobility (TI) tested at the end of the trial and were feather-scored and weighed after TI testing. Birds with longer TI durations spent less time outside (P=0.01). Plumage damage was not associated with range use (P=0.68). The small group sizes used in this experiment may have been conducive to the high numbers of birds utilising the outdoor range area. The RFID technology collected a large amount of data on range access in the tagged birds, and provides a potential means for quantitatively assessing range access in laying hens. The present findings indicate a negative association between fearfulness and range use. However, the proposed negative association between plumage damage and range use was not supported. The relationships between range use, fearfulness, and SFP warrant further research. PMID:26593871

  8. Correlational selection leads to genetic integration of body size and an attractive plumage trait in dark-eyed juncos.

    PubMed

    McGlothlin, Joel W; Parker, Patricia G; Nolan, Val; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2005-03-01

    When a trait's effect on fitness depends on its interaction with other traits, the resultant selection is correlational and may lead to the integration of functionally related traits. In relation to sexual selection, when an ornamental trait interacts with phenotypic quality to determine mating success, correlational sexual selection should generate genetic correlations between the ornament and quality, leading to the evolution of honest signals. Despite its potential importance in the evolution of signal honesty, correlational sexual selection has rarely been measured in natural populations. In the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), males with experimentally elevated values of a plumage trait (whiteness in the tail or "tail white") are more attractive to females and dominant in aggressive encounters over resources. We used restricted maximum-likelihood analysis of a long-term dataset to measure the heritability of tail white and two components of body size (wing length and tail length), as well as genetic correlations between pairs of these traits. We then used multiple regression to assess directional, quadratic, and correlational selection as they acted on tail white and body size via four components of lifetime fitness (juvenile and adult survival, mating success, and fecundity). We found a positive genetic correlation between tail white and body size (as measured by wing length), which indicates past correlational selection. Correlational selection, which was largely due to sexual selection on males, was also found to be currently acting on the same pair of traits. Larger males with whiter tails sired young with more females, most likely due to a combination of female choice, which favors males with whiter tails, and male-male competition, which favors both tail white and larger body size. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show both genetic correlations between sexually selected traits and currently acting correlational sexual selection, and we

  9. Supplementary Feeding, Plumage Documentation and Early Season Prey of Peregrine Falcons at the New Mexico Alpha Eyrie

    SciTech Connect

    Ponton, David A.

    2015-03-20

    A review of what is known about avian physiology and the biological effects of DDE suggests that some benefit to peregrine falcon egg condition could be attained by artificially feeding DDE free prey to the female from the time of her arrival on the nesting grounds until completion of egg laying; the magnitude of potential benefit is unknown. Sporadic efforts in the past demonstrated the need for precision methods of prey delivery. Two methods were developed and tried; providing dead prey items by dropping them in a day perch, and delivery of live prey by remotely controlled release from compartments positioned at the top of the cliff occupied by the falcons. Maintaining quail in the day perch for 21 days resulted in at least one and probably two meals for the female peregrine. Of 16 live birds released (mostly pigeons) 13 were pursued and three caught. Blinding the pigeons with tape proved to be necessary to enable capture. Also, some reluctance of the male peregrine to attack pigeons was observed, and problems with equipment, visibility, and the proximity of the falcons to the release box were encountered. Manpower was the most significant resource requirement. Baiting of great-horned owls, possibly leading to owl attack on the falcons, is judged to be the largest detrimental effect of supplemental feeding. It is recommended that supplemental feeding be reserved for falcons or eyries where complete reproductive failure is expected. Plumage documentation photography was successfully conducted by a remotely controlled camera as an aid to identification of individual falcons. American robin, red-winged blackbird, starling, white-throated swift, bluebird, and mourning dove were among natural prey consumed by the peregrines before completion of egg laying. All activities in close proximity to the cliff were conducted at night to preclude direct disturbance of the falcons.

  10. Disruptive viability selection on a black plumage trait associated with dominance.

    PubMed

    Acker, P; Grégoire, A; Rat, M; Spottiswoode, C N; van Dijk, R E; Paquet, M; Kaden, J C; Pradel, R; Hatchwell, B J; Covas, R; Doutrelant, C

    2015-11-01

    Traits used in communication, such as colour signals, are expected to have positive consequences for reproductive success, but their associations with survival are little understood. Previous studies have mainly investigated linear relationships between signals and survival, but both hump-shaped and U-shaped relationships can also be predicted, depending on the main costs involved in trait expression. Furthermore, few studies have taken the plasticity of signals into account in viability selection analyses. The relationship between signal expression and survival is of particular interest in melanin-based traits, because their main costs are still debated. Here, we first determined the main factors explaining variability in a melanin-based trait linked to dominance: the bib size of a colonial bird, the sociable weaver Philetairus socius. We then used these analyses to obtain a measure representative of the individual mean expression of bib size. Finally, we used capture-recapture models to study how survival varied in relation to bib size. Variation in bib size was strongly affected by year and moderately affected by age, body condition and colony size. In addition, individuals bearing small and large bibs had higher survival than those with intermediate bibs, and this U-shaped relationship between survival and bib size appeared to be more pronounced in some years than others. These results constitute a rare example of disruptive viability selection, and point towards the potential importance of social costs incurred by the dominance signalling function of badges of status. PMID:26249359

  11. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spencer, Karen A.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P.; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M.; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if or how the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or color-imparting structural feather microstructure may be adversely affected by condition. Here we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, while in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account.

  12. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure.

    PubMed

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline; Spencer, Karen A; Heidinger, Britt J; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if, or how, the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or the role of the microstructure of feathers in imparting structural color to feathers may be adversely affected by condition. Here, we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, whereas in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases, we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account. PMID:24987010

  13. Physiological trade-offs in self-maintenance: plumage molt and stress physiology in birds.

    PubMed

    Cornelius, Jamie M; Perfito, Nicole; Zann, Richard; Breuner, Creagh W; Hahn, Thomas P

    2011-08-15

    Trade-offs between self-maintenance processes can affect life-history evolution. Integument replacement and the stress response both promote self-maintenance and affect survival in vertebrates. Relationships between the two processes have been studied most extensively in birds, where hormonal stress suppression is down regulated during molt in seasonal species, suggesting a resource-based trade-off between the two processes. The only species found to differ are the rock dove and Eurasian tree sparrow, at least one of which performs a very slow molt that may reduce resource demands during feather growth, permitting investment in the stress response. To test for the presence of a molt-stress response trade-off, we measured hormonal stress responsiveness during and outside molt in two additional species with extended molts, red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We found that both species maintain hormonal stress responsiveness during molt. Further, a comparative analysis of all available species revealed a strong relationship between molt duration and degree of hormonal suppression. Though our results support trade-off hypotheses, these data can also be explained by alternative hypotheses that have not been formally addressed in the literature. We found a strong relationship between stress suppression and seasonality of breeding and evidence suggesting that the degree of suppression may be either locally adaptable or plastic and responsive to local environmental conditions. We hypothesize that environmental unpredictability favors extended molt duration, which in turn allows for maintenance of the hormonal stress response, and discuss implications of a possible trade-off for the evolution of molt schedules. PMID:21795575

  14. Genetic structure and differentiation of the Japanese extremely long-tailed chicken breed (Onagadori), associated with plumage colour variation: suggestions for its management and conservation.

    PubMed

    Tadano, R; Nishibori, M; Tsudzuki, M

    2009-12-01

    The Onagadori is a distinguished chicken breed that is characterized by an extremely long tail in the male. In this breed, three different plumage colour varieties have been developed (black-breasted white, black-breasted red and white) in which the black-breasted white is believed to be the original colour of the Onagadori, based on historical records. To establish a conservation strategy, 176 birds were genotyped for autosomal microsatellites. Significant genetic distinctness was found between the original (black-breasted white) and two derivative varieties (F(ST) = 0.091 and 0.093). At the same time, a Bayesian model-based clustering revealed that the majority of individuals belonging to the black-breasted red and white varieties had an extremely low proportion of the genome shared with the original type (black-breasted white). This suggests that derivative varieties were created by crossing with other breeds, with low introgression of the original-type genome. We propose that the three plumage colour varieties should be treated as separate genetic units in a conservation programme. PMID:19799597

  15. The genetic basis of the plumage polymorphism in red-footed boobies (Sula sula): a melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) analysis.

    PubMed

    Baião, Patricia C; Schreiber, Ea; Parker, Patricia G

    2007-01-01

    The red-footed booby (Sula sula) is considered one of the most polymorphic seabirds, with 3 recognized major adult plumage types: 1) white, 2) white-tailed brown, and 3) brown and several degrees of intermediates. Here we show that the white/melanic polymorphism observed in this species is perfectly associated with 2 point substitutions, Val85Met and His207Arg, at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene. Among the melanic plumage variants, we also found a strong association between the degree of melanism and the number of copies of variant MC1R alleles. Furthermore, the Val85Met point substitution has been previously shown to be associated with melanic phenotypes in the lesser snow goose (Anser c. caerulescens), suggesting parallel evolution of the melanic allele, and hence, melanism, between these 2 distantly related species. We also compared the MC1R locus in red-footed boobies with a nonpolymorphic congener, the Nazca booby (Sula granti), in which all adults are white. We found that Nazca boobies present the same genotype at sites 85 and 207 as white morph red-footed boobies. PMID:17602182

  16. Endothelin Receptor B2 (EDNRB2) Gene Is Associated with Spot Plumage Pattern in Domestic Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos).

    PubMed

    Li, Ling; Li, Dan; Liu, Li; Li, Shijun; Feng, Yanping; Peng, Xiuli; Gong, Yanzhang

    2015-01-01

    Endothelin receptor B subtype 2 (EDNRB2) is a seven-transmembrane G-protein coupled receptor. In this study, we investigated EDNRB2 gene as a candidate gene for duck spot plumage pattern according to studies of chicken and Japanese quail. The entire coding region was cloned by the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Sequence analysis showed that duck EDNRB2 cDNA contained a 1311 bp open reading frame and encoded a putative protein of 436 amino acids residues. The transcript shared 89%-90% identity with the counterparts in other avian species. A phylogenetic tree based on amino acid sequences showed that duck EDNRB2 was evolutionary conserved in avian clade. The entire coding region of EDNRB2 were sequenced in 20 spot and 20 non-spot ducks, and 13 SNPs were identified. Two of them (c.940G>A and c.995G>A) were non-synonymous substitutions, and were genotyped in 647 ducks representing non-spot and spot phenotypes. The c.995G>A mutation, which results in the amino acid substitution of Arg332His, was completely associated with the spot phenotype: all 152 spot ducks were carriers of the AA genotype and the other 495 individuals with non-spot phenotype were carriers of GA or GG genotype, respectively. Segregation in 17 GA×GG and 22 GA×GA testing combinations confirmed this association since the segregation ratios and genotypes of the offspring were in agreement with the hypothesis. In order to investigate the underlying mechanism of the spot phenotype, MITF gene was used as cell type marker of melanocyte progenitor cells while TYR and TYRP1 gene were used as cell type markers of mature melanocytes. Transcripts of MITF, TYR and TYRP1 gene with expected size were identified in all pigmented skin tissues while PCR products were not obtained from non-pigmented skin tissues. It was inferred that melanocytes are absent in non-pigmented skin tissues of spot ducks. PMID:25955279

  17. Endothelin Receptor B2 (EDNRB2) Gene Is Associated with Spot Plumage Pattern in Domestic Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos)

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ling; Li, Dan; Liu, Li; Li, Shijun; Feng, Yanping; Peng, Xiuli; Gong, Yanzhang

    2015-01-01

    Endothelin receptor B subtype 2 (EDNRB2) is a seven-transmembrane G-protein coupled receptor. In this study, we investigated EDNRB2 gene as a candidate gene for duck spot plumage pattern according to studies of chicken and Japanese quail. The entire coding region was cloned by the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Sequence analysis showed that duck EDNRB2 cDNA contained a 1311bp open reading frame and encoded a putative protein of 436 amino acids residues. The transcript shared 89%-90% identity with the counterparts in other avian species. A phylogenetic tree based on amino acid sequences showed that duck EDNRB2 was evolutionary conserved in avian clade. The entire coding region of EDNRB2 were sequenced in 20 spot and 20 non-spot ducks, and 13 SNPs were identified. Two of them (c.940G>A and c.995G>A) were non-synonymous substitutions, and were genotyped in 647 ducks representing non-spot and spot phenotypes. The c.995G>A mutation, which results in the amino acid substitution of Arg332His, was completely associated with the spot phenotype: all 152 spot ducks were carriers of the AA genotype and the other 495 individuals with non-spot phenotype were carriers of GA or GG genotype, respectively. Segregation in 17 GA×GG and 22 GA×GA testing combinations confirmed this association since the segregation ratios and genotypes of the offspring were in agreement with the hypothesis. In order to investigate the underlying mechanism of the spot phenotype, MITF gene was used as cell type marker of melanocyte progenitor cells while TYR and TYRP1 gene were used as cell type markers of mature melanocytes. Transcripts of MITF, TYR and TYRP1 gene with expected size were identified in all pigmented skin tissues while PCR products were not obtained from non-pigmented skin tissues. It was inferred that melanocytes are absent in non-pigmented skin tissues of spot ducks. PMID:25955279

  18. Occurrence, morphometrics, and plumage variability among Leach’s Storm-Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa in the California Channel Islands, 1976–2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Josh; Carter, Harry R.; McChesney, Gerard; Whitworth, Darrell L.

    2016-01-01

    We mist-netted and examined Leach’s Storm-Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa (LESP) caught during 1991–2015 at three locations in the California Channel Islands (CCI): Prince Island, Santa Barbara-Sutil islands and Scorpion Rock. Although mist-netting methods and effort varied between two study periods (1991–1995, 2004–2007 and 2015), during 750 h effort we captured 41 LESP during April–August, with two of these recaptured after initial banding. The majority (78%) were classified as likely breeders based on a well-developed incubation patch. We summarize island-specific efforts, capture rates and morphological measurements made at these three CCI locations. Captured LESP displayed a multimodal distribution in the overall degree of white rump plumage, with 28% classified as mostly “dark-rumped.” The majority of LESP (72%) captured in the CCI have variable white rumps, similar to what has been reported for northern California and the Farallon Islands. However, the relative proportions of “dark-rumped” individuals captured in the northern CCI is intermediate, within the shift starting at the Farallon Islands and increasing in prevalence toward the San Benito Islands, Baja California. More remains to be learned about LESP in the CCI, for which additional mist-netting efforts are needed, using a standardized approach that targets LESP.

  19. The effect of perches in cages during pullet rearing and egg laying on hen performance, foot health, and plumage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our objective was to determine if perch availability during all or part of the life cycle of caged Hy-Line W-36 chickens affected egg traits, foot health, and feather condition. Using a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement, treatment 1 represented control chickens which never had access to perches during the...

  20. Significance of a basal melanin layer to production of non-iridescent structural plumage color: evidence from an amelanotic Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri).

    PubMed

    Shawkey, Matthew D; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2006-04-01

    Non-iridescent structural plumage color is typically produced by coherent scattering of light within a matrix of keratin and air (a ;spongy layer') in feather barbs. It remains unclear what role, if any, the basal melanin layer underlying this spongy layer plays in the production of coloration. Amelanism in birds with structural color is a ;natural experiment' in which melanin pigmentation is lost, allowing us to identify the effects of the loss of melanin on structural color production. Here we use full-spectrum spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy and Fourier analysis to compare the color and nanostructure of an amelanotic Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri Gmelin) feather with a normal blue Steller's jay feather. As a control, we also examined a white domestic chicken (Gallus gallus Linnaeus) feather. The pale amelanotic jay feather had a broad reflectance curve with a blue/green peak, while the typical blue feather had a typical distinct bell-shaped blue curve with a UV/violet peak. The white chicken feather had a typical white reflectance curve with no discrete peaks. Electron microscopy revealed that both the amelanotic and blue feather barbs contained well-formed spongy layers that were of the correct size and arrangement to produce their measured peak reflectance values, whereas the chicken feather had no spongy layer. The washed-out color of the amelanotic jay feather was thus most probably caused by the loss of the basal melanin layer, suggesting that melanin functions to absorb incoherently scattered white light from the feather barb thereby increasing the purity of the color produced by the spongy layer. PMID:16547296

  1. Carry-over effects of conditions at the wintering grounds on breeding plumage signals in a migratory bird: roles of phenotypic plasticity and selection.

    PubMed

    Järvistö, P E; Calhim, S; Schuett, W; Sirkiä, P M; Velmala, W; Laaksonen, T

    2016-08-01

    To understand the consequences of ever-changing environment on the dynamics of phenotypic traits, distinguishing between selection processes and individual plasticity is crucial. We examined individual consistency/plasticity in several male secondary sexual traits expressed during the breeding season (white wing and forehead patch size, UV reflectance of white wing patch and dorsal melanin coloration) in a migratory pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) population over an 11-year period. Furthermore, we studied carry-over effects of three environmental variables (NAO, a climatic index; NDVI, a vegetation index; and rainfall) at the wintering grounds (during prebreeding moult) on the expression of these breeding plumage traits of pied flycatcher males at individual and population levels. Whereas NAO correlates negatively with moisture in West Africa, NDVI correlates positively with primary production. Forehead patch size and melanin coloration were highly consistent within individuals among years, whereas the consistency of the other two traits was moderate. Wing patch size decreased with higher NAO and increased with higher rainfall and NDVI at the individual level. Interestingly, small-patched males suffered lower survival during high NAO winters than large-patched males, and vice versa during low NAO winters. These counteracting processes meant that the individual-level change was masked at the population level where no relationship was found. Our results provide a good example of how variation in the phenotypic composition of a natural population can be a result of both environment-dependent individual plasticity and short-term microevolution. Moreover, when plasticity and viability selection operate simultaneously, their impacts on population composition may not be evident. PMID:27159261

  2. No correlation between multi-locus heterozygosity and fitness in the common buzzard despite heterozygote advantage for plumage colour.

    PubMed

    Boerner, M; Hoffman, J I; Amos, W; Chakarov, N; Kruger, O

    2013-10-01

    Correlations between heterozygosity and fitness are frequently found but rarely well understood. Fitness can be affected by single loci of large effect which correlate with neutral markers via linkage disequilibrium, or as a result of variation in genome-wide heterozygosity following inbreeding. We explored these alternatives in the common buzzard, a raptor species in which three colour morphs differ in their lifetime reproductive success. Using 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci, we evaluated potential genetic differences among the morphs which may lead to subpopulation structuring and tested for correlations between three fitness-related traits and heterozygosity, both genome wide and at each locus separately. Despite their assortative mating pattern, the buzzard morphs were found to be genetically undifferentiated. Multilocus heterozygosity was only found to be correlated with a single fitness-related trait, infection with the blood parasite, Leucocytozoon buteonis, and this was via interactions with vole abundance and age. One locus also showed a significant relationship with blood parasite infection and ectoparasite infestation. The vicinity of this locus contains two genes, one of which is potentially implicated in the immune system of birds. We conclude that genome-wide heterozygosity is unlikely to be a major determinant of parasite burden and body condition in the polymorphic common buzzard. PMID:23980596

  3. Personality and morphological traits affect pigeon survival from raptor attacks.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carlos D; Cramer, Julia F; Pârâu, Liviu G; Miranda, Ana C; Wikelski, Martin; Dechmann, Dina K N

    2015-01-01

    Personality traits have recently been shown to impact fitness in different animal species, potentially making them similarly relevant drivers as morphological and life history traits along the evolutionary pathways of organisms. Predation is a major force of natural selection through its deterministic effects on individual survival, but how predation pressure has helped to shape personality trait selection, especially in free-ranging animals, remains poorly understood. We used high-precision GPS tracking to follow whole flocks of homing pigeons (Columba livia) with known personalities and morphology during homing flights where they were severely predated by raptors. This allowed us to determine how the personality and morphology traits of pigeons may affect their risk of being predated by raptors. Our survival model showed that individual pigeons, which were more tolerant to human approach, slower to escape from a confined environment, more resistant to human handling, with larger tarsi, and with lighter plumage, were more likely to be predated by raptors. We provide rare empirical evidence that the personality of prey influences their risk of being predated under free-ranging circumstances. PMID:26489437

  4. How hollow melanosomes affect iridescent colour production in birds.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Bitton, Pierre-Paul; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2013-09-22

    Developmental constraints and trade-offs can limit diversity, but organisms have repeatedly evolved morphological innovations that overcome these limits by expanding the range and functionality of traits. Iridescent colours in birds are commonly produced by melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) organized into nanostructured arrays within feather barbules. Variation in array type (e.g. multilayers and photonic crystals, PCs) is known to have remarkable effects on plumage colour, but the optical consequences of variation in melanosome shape remain poorly understood. Here, we used a combination of spectrophotometric, experimental and theoretical methods to test how melanosome hollowness--a morphological innovation largely restricted to birds--affects feather colour. Optical analyses of hexagonal close-packed arrays of hollow melanosomes in two species, wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) and violet-backed starlings (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster), indicated that they function as two-dimensional PCs. Incorporation of a larger dataset and optical modelling showed that, compared with solid melanosomes, hollow melanosomes allow birds to produce distinct colours with the same energetically favourable, close-packed configurations. These data suggest that a morphological novelty has, at least in part, allowed birds to achieve their vast morphological and colour diversity. PMID:23902909

  5. Personality and morphological traits affect pigeon survival from raptor attacks

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Carlos D.; Cramer, Julia F.; Pârâu, Liviu G.; Miranda, Ana C.; Wikelski, Martin; Dechmann, Dina K. N.

    2015-01-01

    Personality traits have recently been shown to impact fitness in different animal species, potentially making them similarly relevant drivers as morphological and life history traits along the evolutionary pathways of organisms. Predation is a major force of natural selection through its deterministic effects on individual survival, but how predation pressure has helped to shape personality trait selection, especially in free-ranging animals, remains poorly understood. We used high-precision GPS tracking to follow whole flocks of homing pigeons (Columba livia) with known personalities and morphology during homing flights where they were severely predated by raptors. This allowed us to determine how the personality and morphology traits of pigeons may affect their risk of being predated by raptors. Our survival model showed that individual pigeons, which were more tolerant to human approach, slower to escape from a confined environment, more resistant to human handling, with larger tarsi, and with lighter plumage, were more likely to be predated by raptors. We provide rare empirical evidence that the personality of prey influences their risk of being predated under free-ranging circumstances. PMID:26489437

  6. Affective Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Charles T.

    This paper addresses itself to the question, "What does feeling have to do with knowing?" Two movements in affective education are discussed which have come into focus in recent years and which attempt to define the relationship between knowing and feeling. The first, a conscious application of the role of arousal in learning, emphasizes arousal…

  7. Ancient origins and multiple appearances of carotenoid-pigmented feathers in birds

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Daniel B.; McGraw, Kevin J.; Butler, Michael W.; Carrano, Matthew T.; Madden, Odile; James, Helen F.

    2014-01-01

    The broad palette of feather colours displayed by birds serves diverse biological functions, including communication and camouflage. Fossil feathers provide evidence that some avian colours, like black and brown melanins, have existed for at least 160 million years (Myr), but no traces of bright carotenoid pigments in ancient feathers have been reported. Insight into the evolutionary history of plumage carotenoids may instead be gained from living species. We visually surveyed modern birds for carotenoid-consistent plumage colours (present in 2956 of 9993 species). We then used high-performance liquid chromatography and Raman spectroscopy to chemically assess the family-level distribution of plumage carotenoids, confirming their presence in 95 of 236 extant bird families (only 36 family-level occurrences had been confirmed previously). Using our data for all modern birds, we modelled the evolutionary history of carotenoid-consistent plumage colours on recent supertrees. Results support multiple independent origins of carotenoid plumage pigmentation in 13 orders, including six orders without previous reports of plumage carotenoids. Based on time calibrations from the supertree, the number of avian families displaying plumage carotenoids increased throughout the Cenozoic, and most plumage carotenoid originations occurred after the Miocene Epoch (23 Myr). The earliest origination of plumage carotenoids was reconstructed within Passeriformes, during the Palaeocene Epoch (66–56 Myr), and not at the base of crown-lineage birds. PMID:24966316

  8. [Affective dependency].

    PubMed

    Scantamburlo, G; Pitchot, W; Ansseau, M

    2013-01-01

    Affective dependency is characterized by emotional distress (insecure attachment) and dependency to another person with a low self-esteem and reassurance need. The paper proposes a reflection on the definition of emotional dependency and the confusion caused by various denominations. Overprotective and authoritarian parenting, cultural and socio-environmental factors may contribute to the development of dependent personality. Psychological epigenetic factors, such as early socio-emotional trauma could on neuronal circuits in prefronto-limbic regions that are essential for emotional behaviour.We also focus on the interrelations between dependent personality, domestic violence and addictions. The objective for the clinician is to propose a restoration of self-esteem and therapeutic strategies focused on autonomy. PMID:23888587

  9. Genetics of the buttercup plumage pattern.

    PubMed

    Smyth, J R; Classen, H L; Malone, G W; Moore, J W

    1980-11-01

    Genetic analysis of the Buttercup breed of chickens indicates that they carry the buttercup allele (ebc) at the E locus, modified by the columbian-like primary pattern mutation Db and a secondary pattern gene resulting in autosomal barring. The interactions between ebc and the Db alleles are clarified by both F2 and testcross data. Homozygous ebc in the absence of Db results in a modified stripe pattern, whereas the light parallel back stripes are irregular and wider than those of wild type chicks. The dorsal head stripe is also broken and irregular, while the ground color is of a lighter shade of tan. Adult ebc/ebc db+/db+ males are typical black-breasted wild types as suggested previously by Brumbaugh and Hollander (1965). Adult females closely resemble the brown (eb/eb) phenotype. Further proof that the buttercup gene is an allele at the E locus is provided by F2 segregation data for crosses between Buttercup (ebc/cbc db+/db+) and Light Brown Leghorns (e+/e+ db+/db+) and Black Langshans (E/Edb+/db+). PMID:7465504

  10. An anhinga shows its iridescent plumage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    The greenish iridescence of a male Anhinga nearly blends into the green vegetation behind it on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center. The mostly black-bodied bird is also known as a 'snakebird' because, when swimming, only its head and long, slender neck are visible above water. The anhinga inhabits freshwater ponds and swamps with thick vegetation and ranges the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from North Carolina to Texas, the Mississippi Valley north to Arkansas and Tennessee, and south to southern South America. The Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  11. Affective processing requires awareness.

    PubMed

    Lähteenmäki, Mikko; Hyönä, Jukka; Koivisto, Mika; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2015-04-01

    Studies using backward masked emotional stimuli suggest that affective processing may occur outside visual awareness and imply primacy of affective over semantic processing, yet these experiments have not strictly controlled for the participants' awareness of the stimuli. Here we directly compared the primacy of affective versus semantic categorization of biologically relevant stimuli in 5 experiments (n = 178) using explicit (semantic and affective discrimination; Experiments 1-3) and implicit (semantic and affective priming; Experiments 4-5) measures. The same stimuli were used in semantic and affective tasks. Visual awareness was manipulated by varying exposure duration of the masked stimuli, and subjective level of stimulus awareness was measured after each trial using a 4-point perceptual awareness scale. When participants reported no awareness of the stimuli, semantic and affective categorization were at chance level and priming scores did not differ from zero. When participants were even partially aware of the stimuli, (a) both semantic and affective categorization could be performed above chance level with equal accuracy, (b) semantic categorization was faster than affective categorization, and (c) both semantic and affective priming were observed. Affective categorization speed was linearly dependent on semantic categorization speed, suggesting dependence of affective processing on semantic recognition. Manipulations of affective and semantic categorization tasks revealed a hierarchy of categorization operations beginning with basic-level semantic categorization and ending with superordinate level affective categorization. We conclude that both implicit and explicit affective and semantic categorization is dependent on visual awareness, and that affective recognition follows semantic categorization. PMID:25559654

  12. Affective Dynamics in Psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Trull, Timothy J.; Lane, Sean P.; Koval, Peter; Ebner-Priemer, Ulrich W.

    2016-01-01

    We discuss three varieties of affective dynamics (affective instability, emotional inertia, and emotional differentiation). In each case, we suggest how these affective dynamics should be operationalized and measured in daily life using time-intensive methods, like ecological momentary assessment or ambulatory assessment, and recommend time-sensitive analyses that take into account not only the variability but also the temporal dependency of reports. Studies that explore how these affective dynamics are associated with psychological disorders and symptoms are reviewed, and we emphasize that these affective processes are within a nexus of other components of emotion regulation.

  13. Affectional Patterns of Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Donnell, William J.

    1979-01-01

    This study sought to determine if there is a shift with age in affection (1) from parents to friends, (2) from one parent to the other, and (3) from same-sex to opposite-sex friends. Subjects, eighth graders and eleventh graders, completed the Measurement of Family Affective Structure. (Author)

  14. Assessing Student Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Popham, W. James

    2009-01-01

    Student affect--the attitudes, interests, and values that students exhibit and acquire in school--can play a profoundly important role in students' postschool lives, possibly an even more significant role than that played by students' cognitive achievements. If student affect is so crucial, then why don't teachers assess it? One deterrent is that…

  15. Affective Involvement Instrument.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemlech, Johanna K.

    1970-01-01

    The Affective Involvement Instrument (AII) describes and classifies affective involvement in the process of decision-making as it occurs during classroom activities such as role-playing or group discussions. The thirty-celled instrument behaviorizes the six processes involved in decision-making and combines them with the taxonomic levels of the…

  16. [Affect and mimetic behavior].

    PubMed

    Zepf, S; Ullrich, B; Hartmann, S

    1998-05-01

    The relationship between facial expression and experienced affect presents many problems. The two diametrically opposed positions proposing solutions to this problem are exemplified using the conceptions of Mandler u. Izard. The underlying premises of both conceptions still prevail in various forms. The authors reject the concepts according to which facial expression is merely correlated to the affects (see Mandler 1975) as well as the view that facial expression controls the affects (see Izard 1977). The relationship between affect and facial expression is reexamined, subjecting it to a semiotic, essentially semantic analysis similar to the Ogden and Richards' language and meaning approach. This analysis involves a critical discussion of Scherer's attempt of a purely communicational interpretation using Bühler's organon model. In the author's approach, facial expression is seen not simply as a system of signals, but as a system of representative signs which signify the affects and refer to the emotive meaning of things for the subject. The authors develop the thesis that human beings are not born simply with the ability to speak, but also with the abstract possibility of performing facial expressions. This ability develops by way of coordinating patterns of expressions, which are presumably phylogenetically determined, with affects that take on a socially determined individual form, similar to language acquisition during socialisation. The authors discuss the methodological implications arising for studies investigating the affective meaning of facial expressions. PMID:9632951

  17. Compounds affecting cholesterol absorption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hua, Duy H. (Inventor); Koo, Sung I. (Inventor); Noh, Sang K. (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A class of novel compounds is described for use in affecting lymphatic absorption of cholesterol. Compounds of particular interest are defined by Formula I: ##STR1## or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof.

  18. Affective responses to dance.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Julia F; Pollick, Frank E; Lambrechts, Anna; Gomila, Antoni

    2016-07-01

    The objective of the present work was the characterization of mechanisms by which affective experiences are elicited in observers when watching dance movements. A total of 203 dance stimuli from a normed stimuli library were used in a series of independent experiments. The following measures were obtained: (i) subjective measures of 97 dance-naïve participants' affective responses (Likert scale ratings, interviews); and (ii) objective measures of the physical parameters of the stimuli (motion energy, luminance), and of the movements represented in the stimuli (roundedness, impressiveness). Results showed that (i) participants' ratings of felt and perceived affect differed, (ii) felt and perceived valence but not arousal ratings correlated with physical parameters of the stimuli (motion energy and luminance), (iii) roundedness in posture shape was related to the experience of more positive emotion than edgy shapes (1 of 3 assessed rounded shapes showed a clear effect on positiveness ratings while a second reached trend level significance), (iv) more impressive movements resulted in more positive affective responses, (v) dance triggered affective experiences through the imagery and autobiographical memories it elicited in some people, and (vi) the physical parameters of the video stimuli correlated only weakly and negatively with the aesthetics ratings of beauty, liking and interest. The novelty of the present approach was twofold; (i) the assessment of multiple affect-inducing mechanisms, and (ii) the use of one single normed stimulus set. The results from this approach lend support to both previous and present findings. Results are discussed with regards to current literature in the field of empirical aesthetics and affective neuroscience. PMID:27235953

  19. Drugs affecting glycosaminoglycan metabolism.

    PubMed

    Ghiselli, Giancarlo; Maccarana, Marco

    2016-07-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are charged polysaccharides ubiquitously present at the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix. GAGs are crucial for cellular homeostasis, and their metabolism is altered during pathological processes. However, little consideration has been given to the regulation of the GAG milieu through pharmacological interventions. In this review, we provide a classification of small molecules affecting GAG metabolism based on their mechanism of action. Furthermore, we present evidence to show that clinically approved drugs affect GAG metabolism and that this could contribute to their therapeutic benefit. PMID:27217160

  20. How Technology Affects Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiske, Martha Stone; And Others

    This study presents composite profiles of teachers who were interviewed in order to assess how they are being affected by the challenges and opportunities presented by computer technology use. In-depth interviews were held with 76 teachers from 10 sites around the country, and the interview data were analyzed to identify themes and to construct…

  1. Factors affecting soil cohesion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil erodibility is a measure of a soil’s resistance against erosive forces and is affected by both intrinsic (or inherent) soil property and the extrinsic condition at the time erodibility measurement is made. Since soil erodibility is usually calculated from results obtained from erosion experimen...

  2. Affective Factors: Anxiety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tasnimi, Mahshad

    2009-01-01

    Affective factors seem to play a crucial role in success or failure in second language acquisition. Negative attitudes can reduce learners' motivation and harm language learning, while positive attitudes can do the reverse. Discovering students' attitudes about language will help both teacher and student in teaching learning process. Anxiety is…

  3. How Body Affects Brain.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Wendy A

    2016-08-01

    Studies show that physical exercise can affect a range of brain and cognitive functions. However, little is known about the peripheral signals that initiate these central changes. Moon et al. (2016) provide exciting new evidence that a novel myokine, cathepsin B (CTSB), released with exercise is associated with improved memory. PMID:27508865

  4. What Variables Affect Solubility?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Leyva, Kathryn

    2003-01-01

    Helps middle school students understand the concept of solubility through hands-on experience with a variety of liquids and solids. As they explore factors that affect solubility and saturation, students gain content mastery and an understanding of the inquiry process. Also enables teachers to authentically assess student performance on several…

  5. Food Affects Human Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolata, Gina

    1982-01-01

    A conference on whether food and nutrients affect human behavior was held on November 9, 1982 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Various research studies on this topic are reviewed, including the effects of food on brain biochemistry (particularly sleep) and effects of tryptophane as a pain reducer. (JN)

  6. Dynamic Synchronization of Teacher-Students Affection in Affective Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Wenhai; Lu, Jiamei

    2011-01-01

    Based on Bower's affective network theory, the article links the dynamic analysis of affective factors in affective instruction, and presents affective instruction strategic of dynamic synchronization between teacher and students to implement the best ideal mood that promotes students' cognition and affection together. In the process of teaching,…

  7. Foraging for carotenoids: do colorful male hihi target carotenoid-rich foods in the wild?

    PubMed Central

    Thorogood, Rose; Karadas, Filiz; Raubenheimer, David; Kilner, Rebecca M.; Ewen, John G.

    2014-01-01

    Dietary access to carotenoids is expected to determine the strength of carotenoid-based signal expression and potentially to maintain signal honesty. Species that display carotenoid-based yellow, orange, or red plumage are therefore expected to forage selectively for carotenoid-rich foods when they are depositing these pigments during molt, but whether they actually do so is unknown. We set out to address this in the hihi (Notiomystis cincta), a New Zealand passerine where males, but not females, display yellow carotenoid-based plumage. We measured circulating carotenoid concentrations in male and female hihi during breeding and molt, determined the nutritional content of common foods in the hihi diet, and conducted feeding observations of male and female hihi during molt. We found that although male and female hihi do not differ significantly in plasma carotenoid concentration, male hihi have a greater proportion of carotenoid-rich foods in their diet than do females. This is a consequence of a greater fruit and lower invertebrate intake than females and an avoidance of low-carotenoid content fruit. By combining behavioral observations with quantification of circulating carotenoids, we present evidence that colorful birds forage to maximize carotenoid intake, a conclusion we would not have drawn had we examined plasma carotenoids alone. PMID:25214753

  8. Elaborate visual and acoustic signals evolve independently in a large, phenotypically diverse radiation of songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Nicholas A.; Shultz, Allison J.; Burns, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    The concept of a macroevolutionary trade-off among sexual signals has a storied history in evolutionary biology. Theory predicts that if multiple sexual signals are costly for males to produce or maintain and females prefer a single, sexually selected trait, then an inverse correlation between sexual signal elaborations is expected among species. However, empirical evidence for what has been termed the ‘transfer hypothesis’ is mixed, which may reflect different selective pressures among lineages, evolutionary covariates or methodological differences among studies. Here, we examine interspecific correlations between song and plumage elaboration in a phenotypically diverse, widespread radiation of songbirds, the tanagers. The tanagers (Thraupidae) are the largest family of songbirds, representing nearly 10% of all songbirds. We assess variation in song and plumage elaboration across 301 species, representing the largest scale comparative study of multimodal sexual signalling to date. We consider whether evolutionary covariates, including habitat, structural and carotenoid-based coloration, and subfamily groupings influence the relationship between song and plumage elaboration. We find that song and plumage elaboration are uncorrelated when considering all tanagers, although the relationship between song and plumage complexity varies among subfamilies. Taken together, we find that elaborate visual and vocal sexual signals evolve independently among tanagers. PMID:24943371

  9. Elaborate visual and acoustic signals evolve independently in a large, phenotypically diverse radiation of songbirds.

    PubMed

    Mason, Nicholas A; Shultz, Allison J; Burns, Kevin J

    2014-08-01

    The concept of a macroevolutionary trade-off among sexual signals has a storied history in evolutionary biology. Theory predicts that if multiple sexual signals are costly for males to produce or maintain and females prefer a single, sexually selected trait, then an inverse correlation between sexual signal elaborations is expected among species. However, empirical evidence for what has been termed the 'transfer hypothesis' is mixed, which may reflect different selective pressures among lineages, evolutionary covariates or methodological differences among studies. Here, we examine interspecific correlations between song and plumage elaboration in a phenotypically diverse, widespread radiation of songbirds, the tanagers. The tanagers (Thraupidae) are the largest family of songbirds, representing nearly 10% of all songbirds. We assess variation in song and plumage elaboration across 301 species, representing the largest scale comparative study of multimodal sexual signalling to date. We consider whether evolutionary covariates, including habitat, structural and carotenoid-based coloration, and subfamily groupings influence the relationship between song and plumage elaboration. We find that song and plumage elaboration are uncorrelated when considering all tanagers, although the relationship between song and plumage complexity varies among subfamilies. Taken together, we find that elaborate visual and vocal sexual signals evolve independently among tanagers. PMID:24943371

  10. Affective Processes and Academic Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feshbach, Norma Deitch; Feshbach, Seymour

    1987-01-01

    Data indicate that for girls, affective dispositional factors (empathy, depressive affectivity, aggression, and self-concept) are intimately linked to cognitive development and academic achievement. (PCB)

  11. Does Commuting Affect Health?

    PubMed

    Künn-Nelen, Annemarie

    2016-08-01

    This paper analyzes the relation between commuting time and health in the UK. I focus on four different types of health outcomes: subjective health measures, objective health measures, health behavior, and healthcare utilization. Fixed effect models are estimated with British Household Panel Survey data. I find that whereas objective health and health behavior are barely affected by commuting time, subjective health measures are clearly lower for people who commute longer. A longer commuting time is, moreover, related to more visits to the general practitioner. Effects turn out to be more pronounced for women and for commuters driving a car. For women, commuting time is also negatively related to regular exercise and positively to calling in sick. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26010157

  12. Factors Affecting Wound Healing

    PubMed Central

    Guo, S.; DiPietro, L.A.

    2010-01-01

    Wound healing, as a normal biological process in the human body, is achieved through four precisely and highly programmed phases: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. For a wound to heal successfully, all four phases must occur in the proper sequence and time frame. Many factors can interfere with one or more phases of this process, thus causing improper or impaired wound healing. This article reviews the recent literature on the most significant factors that affect cutaneous wound healing and the potential cellular and/or molecular mechanisms involved. The factors discussed include oxygenation, infection, age and sex hormones, stress, diabetes, obesity, medications, alcoholism, smoking, and nutrition. A better understanding of the influence of these factors on repair may lead to therapeutics that improve wound healing and resolve impaired wounds. PMID:20139336

  13. How Obesity Affects Tendons?

    PubMed

    Abate, Michele; Salini, Vincenzo; Andia, Isabel

    2016-01-01

    Several epidemiological and clinical observations have definitely demonstrated that obesity has harmful effects on tendons. The pathogenesis of tendon damage is multi-factorial. In addition to overload, attributable to the increased body weight, which significantly affects load-bearing tendons, systemic factors play a relevant role. Several bioactive peptides (chemerin, leptin, adiponectin and others) are released by adipocytes, and influence tendon structure by means of negative activities on mesenchymal cells. The ensuing systemic state of chronic, sub-clinic, low-grade inflammation can damage tendon structure. Metabolic disorders (diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, and dislipidemia), frequently associated with visceral adiposity, are concurrent pathogenetic factors. Indeed, high glucose levels increase the formation of Advanced Glycation End-products, which in turn form stable covalent cross-links within collagen fibers, modifying their structure and functionality.Sport activities, so useful for preventing important cardiovascular complications, may be detrimental for tendons if they are submitted to intense acute or chronic overload. Therefore, two caution rules are mandatory: first, to engage in personalized soft training program, and secondly to follow regular check-up for tendon pathology. PMID:27535258

  14. Pteridines and affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Hoekstra, R; Fekkes, D

    2002-06-01

    The pteridine tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is an essential cofactor in the biosynthesis of dopamine, (nor)epinephrine, serotonin and nitric oxide (NO). Furthermore, BH4 has a direct influence on release mechanisms of these neurotransmitters and on serotonin receptor binding activity immunology. The synthesis of BH4 is stimulated by interferon-gamma and hence there is a close relationship with the immune system HPA-axis. In animal experiments it was also found that the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis influences the pteridine metabolism. In clinical studies, so far, no evidence has been found for this relationship diseases. A congenital biopterin deficiency results in atypical phenylketonuria with severe neuropsychiatric symptoms. In several neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, decreased levels of BH4 are found depression. Since 1984 there have been reports on decreased biopterin and increased neopterin levels in urine and plasma of depressed patients. Conflicting results have also been found, however, due probably to methodological problems therapy. Until now, oral administration of BH4 to depressed patients has been performed by two investigators, which resulted in mainly temporal clinical improvement discussion. Understanding of biochemical mechanisms in which pteridines are involved may contribute to our knowledge of the pathogenesis and treatment of affective disorders. This paper aims to provide an overview of the relevant literature and warrant for further research on this intriguing compound. PMID:26984153

  15. Affective Incoherence: When Affective Concepts and Embodied Reactions Clash

    PubMed Central

    Centerbar, David B.; Clore, Gerald L.; Schnall, Simone; Garvin, Erika

    2008-01-01

    In five studies, we examined the effects on cognitive performance of coherence and incoherence between conceptual and experiential sources of affective information. The studies crossed the priming of happy and sad concepts with affective experiences. In different experiments, these included: approach or avoidance actions, happy or sad feelings, and happy or sad expressive behaviors. In all studies, coherence between affective concepts and affective experiences led to better recall of a story than affective incoherence. We suggested that the experience of such experiential affective cues serves as evidence of the appropriateness of affective concepts that come to mind. The results suggest that affective coherence has epistemic benefits, and that incoherence is costly, for cognitive performance. PMID:18361672

  16. Identifying Occupationally Specific Affective Behaviors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pucel, David J.

    1993-01-01

    Data from two groups of cosmetology instructors (n=15) and two groups of machinist instructors (n=17) validated the Occupational Affective Behavior Analysis instrument as capable of identifying affective behaviors viewed as important to success in a given occupation. (SK)

  17. Drugs affecting the eye.

    PubMed

    Taylor, F

    1985-08-01

    This discussion reviews drugs that affect the eye, including antihyperglycemic agents; corticosteroids; antirheumatic drugs (quinolines, indomethacin, and allopurinol); psychiatric drugs (phenothiazine, thioridazine, and chlorpromazine); drugs used in cardiology (practolol, amiodarone, and digitalis gylcosides); drugs implicated in optic neuritis and atrophy, drugs with an anticholinergic action; oral contraceptives (OCs); and topical drugs and systemic effects. Refractive changes, either myopic or hypermetropic, can occur as a result of hyperglycemia, and variation in vision is sometimes a presenting symptom in diabetes mellitus. If it causes a change in the refraction, treatment of hyperglycemia almost always produces a temporary hypermetropia. A return to the original refractive state often takes weeks, sometimes months. There is some evidence that patients adequately treated with insulin improve more rapidly than those taking oral medication. Such patients always should be referred for opthalmological evaluation as other factors might be responsible, but it might not be possible to order the appropriate spectacle correction for some time. The most important ocular side effect of the systemic adiministration of corticosteroids is the formation of a posterior subcapsular cataract. Glaucoma also can result from corticosteroids, most often when they are applied topically. Corticosteroids have been implicated in the production of benign intracranial hypertension, which is paradoxical because they also are used in its treatment. The most important side effect of drugs such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine is an almost always irreversible maculopathy with resultant loss of central vision. Corneal and retinal changes similar to those caused by the quinolines have been reported with indomethacin, but there is some question about a cause and effect relationship. The National Registry of Drug Induced Ocular Side Effects in the US published 30 case histories of

  18. Individual Difference Variables, Affective Differentiation, and the Structures of Affect

    PubMed Central

    Terracciano, Antonio; McCrae, Robert R.; Hagemann, Dirk; Costa, Paul T.

    2008-01-01

    Methodological arguments are usually invoked to explain variations in the structure of affect. Using self-rated affect from Italian samples (N = 600), we show that individual difference variables related to affective differentiation can moderate the observed structure. Indices of circumplexity (Browne, 1992) and congruence coefficients to the hypothesized target were used to quantify the observed structures. Results did not support the circumplex model as a universal structure. A circular structure with axes of activation and valence was approximated only among more affectively differentiated groups: students and respondents with high scores on Openness to Feelings and measures of negative emotionality. A different structure, with unipolar Positive Affect and Negative Affect factors, was observed among adults and respondents with low Openness to Feelings and negative emotionality. The observed structure of affect will depend in part on the nature of the sample studied. PMID:12932207

  19. Individual difference variables, affective differentiation, and the structures of affect.

    PubMed

    Terracciano, Antonio; McCrae, Robert R; Hagemann, Dirk; Costa, Paul T

    2003-10-01

    Methodological arguments are usually invoked to explain variations in the structure of affect. Using self-rated affect from Italian samples (N=600), we show that individual difference variables related to affective differentiation can moderate the observed structure. Indices of circumplexity and congruence coefficients to the hypothesized target were used to quantify the observed structures. Results did not support the circumplex model as a universal structure. A circular structure with axes of activation and valence was approximated only among more affectively differentiated groups: students and respondents with high scores on Openness to Feelings and measures of negative emotionality. A different structure, with unipolar Positive Affect and Negative Affect factors, was observed among adults and respondents with low Openness to Feelings and negative emotionality. The observed structure of affect will depend in part on the nature of the sample studied. PMID:12932207

  20. Affective Productions of Mathematical Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walshaw, Margaret; Brown, Tony

    2012-01-01

    In underscoring the affective elements of mathematics experience, we work with contemporary readings of the work of Spinoza on the politics of affect, to understand what is included in the cognitive repertoire of the Subject. We draw on those resources to tell a pedagogical tale about the relation between cognition and affect in settings of…

  1. Explorations of Affection and Aggression.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shuntich, Richard J.; Shapiro, Richard

    Considerable effort has been devoted to investigating various aspects of love and affection, but there have been few studies about direct expressions of affection. Relationships between gender composition of a dyad and the affection/aggression expressed by the dyad were examined as was the possibility of increasing the amount of affectionate…

  2. Affective Induction and Creative Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernández-Abascal, Enrique G.; Díaz, María D. Martín

    2013-01-01

    Three studies explored the relation between affect and production of creative divergent thinking, assessed with the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (Figural TTCT). In the first study, general, positive, and negative affect, assessed with the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) were compared with creative production. In the second study,…

  3. Affect as a Psychological Primitive

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we discuss the hypothesis that affect is a fundamental, psychologically irreducible property of the human mind. We begin by presenting historical perspectives on the nature of affect. Next, we proceed with a more contemporary discussion of core affect as a basic property of the mind that is realized within a broadly distributed neuronal workspace. We then present the affective circumplex, a mathematical formalization for representing core affective states, and show that this model can be used to represent individual differences in core affective feelings that are linked to meaningful variation in emotional experience. Finally, we conclude by suggesting that core affect has psychological consequences that reach beyond the boundaries of emotion, to influence learning and consciousness. PMID:20552040

  4. Encountering science education's capacity to affect and be affected

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alsop, Steve

    2015-12-01

    What might science education learn from the recent affective turn in the humanities and social sciences? Framed as a response to Michalinos Zembylas's article, this essay draws from selected theorizing in affect theory, science education and science and technology studies, in pursuit of diverse and productive ways to talk of affect within science education. These discussions are framed by desires to transcend traditional epistemic boundaries and practices. The article concludes offering some associated ambiguities and tensions involved.

  5. Testing the Grandchildren's Received Affection Scale using Affection Exchange Theory.

    PubMed

    Mansson, Daniel H

    2013-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to test the Grandchildren's Received Affection Scale (GRAS) using Affection Exchange Theory (Floyd, 2006). In accordance with Affection Exchange Theory, it was hypothesized that grandchildren's scores on the Trait Affection Received Scale (i.e., the extent to which individuals by nature receive affection) would be related significantly and positively to their reports of received affection from their grandparents (i.e., their scores on the GRAS). Additionally, a research question was asked to explore if grandchildren's received affection from their grandparents is dependent on their grandparent's biological sex or lineage (i.e., maternal vs paternal). Thus, young adult grandchildren (N = 422) completed the GRAS and the Trait Affection Received Scale. The results of zero-order Pearson correlational analyses provided support for the hypothesis, whereas the results of MANOVAs tests only partially support extant grandparent-grandchild theory and research. These findings broaden the scope of Affection Exchange Theory and also bolster the GRAS's utility in future grandparent-grandchild affectionate communication research. PMID:23833883

  6. Positive affect and psychobiological processes

    PubMed Central

    Dockray, Samantha; Steptoe, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Positive affect has been associated with favourable health outcomes, and it is likely that several biological processes mediate the effects of positive mood on physical health. There is converging evidence that positive affect activates the neuroendocrine, autonomic and immune systems in distinct and functionally meaningful ways. Cortisol, both total output and the awakening response, has consistently been shown to be lower among individuals with higher levels of positive affect. The beneficial effects of positive mood on cardiovascular function, including heart rate and blood pressure, and the immune system have also been described. The influence of positive affect on these psychobiological processes are independent of negative affect, suggesting that positive affect may have characteristic biological correlates. The duration and conceptualisation of positive affect may be important considerations in understanding how different biological systems are activated in association with positive affect. The association of positive affect and psychobiological processes has been established, and these biological correlates may be partly responsible for the protective effects of positive affect on health outcomes. PMID:20097225

  7. [Development of the affect system].

    PubMed

    Moser, U; Von Zeppelin, I

    1996-01-01

    The authors show that the development of the affect system commences with affects of an exclusively communicative nature. These regulate the relationship between subject and object. On a different plane they also provide information on the feeling of self deriving from the interaction. Affect is seen throughout as a special kind of information. One section of the article is given over to intensity regulation and early affect defenses. The development of cognitive processes leads to the integration of affect systems and cognitive structures. In the pre-conceptual concretistic phase, fantasies change the object relation in such a way as to make unpleasant affects disappear. Only at a later stage do fantasies acquire the capacity to deal with affects. Ultimately, the affect system is grounded on an invariant relationship feeling. On a variety of different levels it displays the features typical of situation theory and the theory of the representational world, thus making it possible to entertain complex object relations. In this process the various planes of the affect system are retained and practised. Finally, the authors discuss the consequences of their remarks for the understanding of psychic disturbances and the therapies brought to bear on them. PMID:8584745

  8. Oxidative stress does not influence carotenoid mobilization and plumage pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Isaksson, Caroline; Andersson, Staffan

    2007-01-01

    Summary Oxidative stress has been suggested to create a link between ‘good genes’ and carotenoid coloration via an allocation conflict between external pigmentation and internal antioxidant functions. However, although carotenoid displays have been extensively investigated, there are no experimental tests of the antioxidant efficiency of carotenoids in vivo. We induced oxidative stress in a small passerine (the great tit, Parus major) under both carotenoid deprivation and supplementation, and investigated the effect on carotenoid mobilization (i.e. plasma) and allocation (i.e. deposition in feather incorporation and liver storage). We found no effects of the stressor on either mobilization or allocation of carotenoids. These results reject the previously suggested superior role of carotenoid's function as antioxidant in vivo with important implications for signal content and honesty. PMID:18029305

  9. Evolution of long-term coloration trends with biochemically unstable ingredients.

    PubMed

    Higginson, Dawn M; Belloni, Virginia; Davis, Sarah N; Morrison, Erin S; Andrews, John E; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2016-05-25

    The evolutionarily persistent and widespread use of carotenoid pigments in animal coloration contrasts with their biochemical instability. Consequently, evolution of carotenoid-based displays should include mechanisms to accommodate or limit pigment degradation. In birds, this could involve two strategies: (i) evolution of a moult immediately prior to the mating season, enabling the use of particularly fast-degrading carotenoids and (ii) evolution of the ability to stabilize dietary carotenoids through metabolic modification or association with feather keratins. Here, we examine evolutionary lability and transitions between the two strategies across 126 species of birds. We report that species that express mostly unmodified, fast-degrading, carotenoids have pre-breeding moults, and a particularly short time between carotenoid deposition and the subsequent breeding season. Species that expressed mostly slow-degrading carotenoids in their plumage accomplished this through increased metabolic modification of dietary carotenoids, and the selective expression of these slow-degrading compounds. In these species, the timing of moult was not associated with carotenoid composition of plumage displays. Using repeated samples from individuals of one species, we found that metabolic modification of dietary carotenoids significantly slowed their degradation between moult and breeding season. Thus, the most complex and colourful ornamentation is likely the most biochemically stable in birds, and depends less on ecological factors, such as moult timing and migration tendency. We suggest that coevolution of metabolic modification, selective expression and biochemical stability of plumage carotenoids enables the use of unstable pigments in long-term evolutionary trends in plumage coloration. PMID:27194697

  10. Affect and Self-Regulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malmivuori, Marja-Liisa

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents affect as an essential aspect of students' self-reflection and self-regulation. The introduced concepts of self-system and self-system process stress the importance of self-appraisals of personal competence and agency in affective responses and self-regulation in problem solving. Students are viewed as agents who constantly…

  11. Infant Affect and Home Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luster, Tom; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Examined data from National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to investigate relationship between infant affect and quality of home environment. Found that infant irritability was negatively correlated with quality of home environment in both low-risk and high-risk families. Infant positive affect was more strongly related to quality of care in…

  12. Current Research in Affective Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strayer, Janet

    1985-01-01

    Current research concerning affective development in infants and children is selectively reviewed. The focus of findings and discussion is on three general and related topics: (1) expression of emotion and affective interaction in infancy; (2) socialization and regulation of emotion; (3) comprehension of emotions and empathy with others by…

  13. Affect and Graphing Calculator Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCulloch, Allison W.

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on a qualitative study of six high school calculus students designed to build an understanding about the affect associated with graphing calculator use in independent situations. DeBellis and Goldin's (2006) framework for affect as a representational system was used as a lens through which to understand the ways in which…

  14. Do You Measure Affective Behavior?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Gene H.

    1978-01-01

    The affective domain, central to the learning process, cannot be ignored, regardless of difficulties involved in behavioral objective preparation and evaluation. A chart (available by mail) has been prepared to assist in the preparation and measurement of student behavior at levels of the affective doman defined by Krathwohl, et al. (DTT)

  15. Affect intensity and cardiac arousal.

    PubMed

    Blascovich, J; Brennan, K; Tomaka, J; Kelsey, R M; Hughes, P; Coad, M L; Adlin, R

    1992-07-01

    Relationships between affect intensity and basal, evoked, and perceived cardiac arousal were investigated in 3 experiments. Affect intensity was assessed using Larsen and Diener's (1987) Affect Intensity Measure (AIM). Cardiac arousal was evoked with exercise in the 1st study and with mental arithmetic in the 2nd and 3rd. Perceived cardiac arousal was measured under optimal conditions using a standard heartbeat discrimination procedure. Women as a group scored higher on the AIM. Affect intensity was unrelated to basal or evoked cardiac arousal and was negatively related to perceived cardiac arousal in all 3 studies. Data suggest that affect intensity, although unrelated to actual physiological arousal, is negatively related to the accuracy with which individuals perceive their own arousal. Results are discussed within the context of an expanded arousal-regulation model (Blascovich, 1990). PMID:1494983

  16. Intuition, Affect, and Peculiar Beliefs

    PubMed Central

    Boden, Matthew Tyler; Berenbaum, Howard; Topper, Maurice

    2012-01-01

    Research with college students has found that intuitive thinking (e.g., using hunches to ascribe meaning to experiences) and positive affect interactively predict ideas of reference and odd/magical beliefs. We investigated whether these results would generalize to a diverse community sample of adults that included individuals with elevated levels of peculiar perceptions and beliefs. We measured positive and negative affect and intuitive thinking through questionnaires, and peculiar beliefs (i.e., ideas of reference and odd/magical beliefs) through structured clinical interviews. We found that peculiar beliefs were associated with intuitive thinking and negative affect, but not positive affect. Furthermore, in no instance did the interaction of affect and intuitive thinking predict peculiar beliefs. These results suggest that there are important differences in the factors that contribute to peculiar beliefs between college students and clinically meaningful samples. PMID:22707815

  17. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin: The basic and clinical science underlying carotenoid-based nutritional interventions against ocular disease.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Paul S; Li, Binxing; Vachali, Preejith P; Gorusupudi, Aruna; Shyam, Rajalekshmy; Henriksen, Bradley S; Nolan, John M

    2016-01-01

    The human macula uniquely concentrates three carotenoids: lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin must be obtained from dietary sources such as green leafy vegetables and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, while meso-zeaxanthin is rarely found in diet and is believed to be formed at the macula by metabolic transformations of ingested carotenoids. Epidemiological studies and large-scale clinical trials such as AREDS2 have brought attention to the potential ocular health and functional benefits of these three xanthophyll carotenoids consumed through the diet or supplements, but the basic science and clinical research underlying recommendations for nutritional interventions against age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases are underappreciated by clinicians and vision researchers alike. In this review article, we first examine the chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, and physiology of these yellow pigments that are specifically concentrated in the macula lutea through the means of high-affinity binding proteins and specialized transport and metabolic proteins where they play important roles as short-wavelength (blue) light-absorbers and localized, efficient antioxidants in a region at high risk for light-induced oxidative stress. Next, we turn to clinical evidence supporting functional benefits of these carotenoids in normal eyes and for their potential protective actions against ocular disease from infancy to old age. PMID:26541886

  18. Testing the interactive effects of testosterone and parasites on carotenoid-based ornamentation in a wild bird.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Padilla, J; Mougeot, F; Webster, L M I; Pérez-Rodríguez, L; Piertney, S B

    2010-05-01

    Testosterone underlies the expression of most secondary sexual traits, playing a key role in sexual selection. However, high levels might be associated with physiological costs, such as immunosuppression. Immunostimulant carotenoids underpin the expression of many red-yellow ornaments, but are regulated by testosterone and constrained by parasites. We manipulated testosterone and nematode burdens in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) in two populations to tease apart their effects on carotenoid levels, ornament size and colouration in three time-step periods. We found no evidence for interactive effects of testosterone and parasites on ornament size and colouration. We showed that ornament colouration was testosterone-driven. However, parasites decreased comb size with a time delay and testosterone increased carotenoid levels in one of the populations. This suggests that environmental context plays a key role in determining how individuals resolve the trade-off between allocating carotenoids for ornamental coloration or for self-maintenance needs. Our study advocates that adequately testing the mechanisms behind the production or maintenance of secondary sexual characters has to take into account the dynamics of sexual trait expression and their environmental context. PMID:20536879

  19. Startle modulation by affective faces

    PubMed Central

    Anokhin, Andrey P.; Golosheykin, Simon

    2009-01-01

    Startle reflex modulation by affective pictures is a well-established effect in human emotion research. However, much less is known about startle modulation by affective faces, despite the growing evidence that facial expressions robustly activate emotion-related brain circuits. In this study, acoustic startle probes were administered to 33 young adult participants (16 women) during the viewing of slides from the Pictures of Facial Affect set including neutral, happy, angry, and fearful faces. The effect of expression valence (happy, neutral, negative) on startle magnitude was highly significant (p<.001). Startle reflex was strongly potentiated by negative expressions (fearful and angry), however, no attenuation by happy faces was observed. A significant valence by gender interaction suggests stronger startle potentiation effects in females. These results demonstrate that affective facial expressions can produce significant modulation of the startle reflex. PMID:19833169

  20. On Patterns in Affective Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ADAMATZKY, ANDREW

    In computational experiments with cellular automaton models of affective solutions, where chemical species represent happiness, anger, fear, confusion and sadness, we study phenomena of space time dynamic of emotions. We demonstrate feasibility of the affective solution paradigm in example of emotional abuse therapy. Results outlined in the present paper offer unconventional but promising technique to design, analyze and interpret spatio-temporal dynamic of mass moods in crowds.

  1. Family Intimacy and Affection: A Sociology of Positive Affect.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinson, Floyd M.

    This paper deals with aspects of positive family affect in intimate family relationships such as: (1) the nuclear family of orientation, including the child-parent subgroup and the sibling subgroup; (2) the nuclear family of procreation, including the marital subgroup and parent-child subgroup; and (3) the dating relationship. Interpersonal…

  2. Behavioral Management: An Affective Approach. (Affective Education Trainers Manual).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heilman, John; Cole, Bob

    This manual provides a framework for training teachers who want to become more skilled in affective education. It is divided into three parts: teacher self-awareness, teacher-student interaction, and teacher-directed group activities. It is designed for use in a two-day workshop. Guidelines for discussions on expectations, responsibility,…

  3. [Poststroke-bipolar affective disorder].

    PubMed

    Bengesser, S A; Wurm, W E; Lackner, N; Birner, A; Reininghaus, B; Kapfhammer, H-P; Reininghaus, E

    2013-08-01

    A few weeks after suffering from a basal ganglia infarction (globus pallidus) with left-sided hemiplegia, a 23-year-old woman exhibited for the first time a pronounced mania with self-endangerment. The use of oral contraceptives was the only determinable risk factor. During the further course, the mother also developed a depressive disorder. Thus a certain genetic predisposition for affective disorders may be relevant, although this would not explain the outbreak by itself. An association between the right-sided basal ganglia infarction and the occurrence of a bipolar affective disorder has been described in the literature. Vascular or, respectively, inflammatory risk factors in synopsis with the aetiopathogenesis of bipolar affective disorders are also discussed in depth in this case report. PMID:23939559

  4. Depression Affects the Whole Family.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hojnar, Laura; Thomas, Dawn V.; Stillwell, Margaret; Bennett, Tess; Allison, Anita

    1997-01-01

    Discusses how expanding one's knowledge of depression can help in supporting Head Start families. Defines depression and lists symptoms of depression for adults and children of various ages, describes how parent's depression can affect child development and the family, and considers how Head Start and support agencies can support children and…

  5. On the Primacy of Affect.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zajonc, R. B.

    1984-01-01

    Reasserts view that there can be emotional or affective arousal without prior cognitive appraisal. Criticizes Lazarus's rejection of this view on the grounds that it presents no empirical evidence, is based on an arbitrary definition of emotion, and obliterates all distinctions between cognition, sensation, and perception. (CMG)

  6. Governmental Policies Affecting Community Colleges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Arthur M.

    This document traces the influence of governmental policies on American community colleges, focusing on how different levels of government have affected the colleges at various stages of their development with respect to college organization and governance, finance, enrollment, and curriculum. The community college's main contribution has been to…

  7. Factors Affecting the Tutoring Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, Hope J.

    1990-01-01

    Analyzes factors internal to the tutor and tutee (i.e., cognition, metacognition, and affect) and external to them (e.g., teacher/tutor background knowledge, educational environment, content to be learned, socioeconomic status, family background, and cultural forces) that influence the tutoring process. Suggests a theoretical framework for…

  8. Motor Execution Affects Action Prediction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Springer, Anne; Brandstadter, Simone; Liepelt, Roman; Birngruber, Teresa; Giese, Martin; Mechsner, Franz; Prinz, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies provided evidence of the claim that the prediction of occluded action involves real-time simulation. We report two experiments that aimed to study how real-time simulation is affected by simultaneous action execution under conditions of full, partial or no overlap between observed and executed actions. This overlap was analysed by…

  9. Unconscious Affective Responses to Food.

    PubMed

    Sato, Wataru; Sawada, Reiko; Kubota, Yasutaka; Toichi, Motomi; Fushiki, Tohru

    2016-01-01

    Affective or hedonic responses to food are crucial for humans, both advantageously (e.g., enhancing survival) and disadvantageously (e.g., promoting overeating and lifestyle-related disease). Although previous psychological studies have reported evidence of unconscious cognitive and behavioral processing related to food, it remains unknown whether affective reactions to food can be triggered unconsciously and its relationship with daily eating behaviors. We investigated these issues by using the subliminal affective priming paradigm. Photographs of food or corresponding mosaic images were presented in the peripheral visual field for 33 ms. Target photos of faces with emotionally neutral expressions were then presented, and participants rated their preferences for the faces. Eating behaviors were also assessed using questionnaires. The food images, relative to the mosaics, increased participants' preference for subsequent target faces. Furthermore, the difference in the preference induced by food versus mosaic images was positively correlated with the tendency to engage in external eating. These results suggest that unconscious affective reactions are elicited by the sight of food and that these responses contribute to daily eating behaviors related to overeating. PMID:27501443

  10. Aesthetics, Affect, and Educational Politics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Means, Alex

    2011-01-01

    This essay explores aesthetics, affect, and educational politics through the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Ranciere. It contextualizes and contrasts the theoretical valences of their ethical and democratic projects through their shared critique of Kant. It then puts Ranciere's notion of dissensus to work by exploring it in relation to a…

  11. Affective Development in University Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grootenboer, Peter

    2010-01-01

    There seems to be an increasing requirement for university courses and programs to develop students' affective qualities (beliefs, values, dispositions and attitudes). This study explored the ways academics determined what the desirable qualities were for their particular disciplines and the pedagogical strategies and approaches they used to…

  12. Supersonic Wave Interference Affecting Stability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Love, Eugene S.

    1958-01-01

    Some of the significant interference fields that may affect stability of aircraft at supersonic speeds are briefly summarized. Illustrations and calculations are presented to indicate the importance of interference fields created by wings, bodies, wing-body combinations, jets, and nacelles.

  13. Affective Experience in a Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Ariel; And Others

    This study introduces a novel methodology for examining affective experiences in the classroom. The general procedure is to make auditory and visual recordings of a particular child during a normal classroom period. That child is then immediately taken from the class and placed in a private room where the recordings are replayed. The student is…

  14. Does Positive Affect Influence Health?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pressman, Sarah D.; Cohen, Sheldon

    2005-01-01

    This review highlights consistent patterns in the literature associating positive affect (PA) and physical health. However, it also raises serious conceptual and methodological reservations. Evidence suggests an association of trait PA and lower morbidity and of state and trait PA and decreased symptoms and pain. Trait PA is also associated with…

  15. Affective temperament and personal identity.

    PubMed

    Stanghellini, Giovanni; Rosfort, René

    2010-10-01

    The complex relationship between temperament and personal identity, and between these and mental disorders, is of critical interest to both philosophy and psychopathology. More than other living creatures, human beings are constituted and characterized by the interplay of their genotype and phenotype. There appears to be an explanatory gap between the almost perfect genetic identity and the individual differences among humans. One reason for this gap is that a human being is a person besides a physiological organism. We propose an outline of a theoretical model that might somewhat mitigate the explanatory discrepancies between physiological mechanisms and individual human emotional experience and behaviour. Arguing for the pervasive nature of human affectivity, i.e., for the assumption that human consciousness and behaviour is characterised by being permeated by affectivity; to envisage the dynamics of emotional experience, we make use of a three-levelled model of human personal identity that differentiates between factors that are simultaneously at work in the constitution of the individual human person: 1) core emotions, 2) affective temperament types/affective character traits, and 3) personhood. These levels are investigated separately in order to respect the methodological diversity among them (neuroscience, psychopathology, and philosophy), but they are eventually brought together in a hermeneutical account of human personhood. PMID:20236706

  16. Unconscious Affective Responses to Food

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Wataru; Sawada, Reiko; Kubota, Yasutaka; Toichi, Motomi; Fushiki, Tohru

    2016-01-01

    Affective or hedonic responses to food are crucial for humans, both advantageously (e.g., enhancing survival) and disadvantageously (e.g., promoting overeating and lifestyle-related disease). Although previous psychological studies have reported evidence of unconscious cognitive and behavioral processing related to food, it remains unknown whether affective reactions to food can be triggered unconsciously and its relationship with daily eating behaviors. We investigated these issues by using the subliminal affective priming paradigm. Photographs of food or corresponding mosaic images were presented in the peripheral visual field for 33 ms. Target photos of faces with emotionally neutral expressions were then presented, and participants rated their preferences for the faces. Eating behaviors were also assessed using questionnaires. The food images, relative to the mosaics, increased participants’ preference for subsequent target faces. Furthermore, the difference in the preference induced by food versus mosaic images was positively correlated with the tendency to engage in external eating. These results suggest that unconscious affective reactions are elicited by the sight of food and that these responses contribute to daily eating behaviors related to overeating. PMID:27501443

  17. Affective Simon effects using facial expressions as affective stimuli.

    PubMed

    De Houwer, J; Hermans, D; Eelen, P

    1998-01-01

    Two experiments are reported in which facial expressions were presented and participants were asked to respond with the word POSITIVE or NEGATIVE on the basis of a relevant feature of the facial stimuli while ignoring the valence of the expression. Results showed that reaction times were influenced by the match between the valence of the facial expression and the valence of the correct response when the identity of the presented person had to be determined in order to select the correct response, but not when the gender of the presented person was relevant. The present experiments illustrate the flexibility of the affective Simon paradigm and provide a further demonstration of the generalizability of the affective Simon effect. PMID:9677856

  18. Bodily action penetrates affective perception

    PubMed Central

    Rigutti, Sara; Gerbino, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Fantoni & Gerbino (2014) showed that subtle postural shifts associated with reaching can have a strong hedonic impact and affect how actors experience facial expressions of emotion. Using a novel Motor Action Mood Induction Procedure (MAMIP), they found consistent congruency effects in participants who performed a facial emotion identification task after a sequence of visually-guided reaches: a face perceived as neutral in a baseline condition appeared slightly happy after comfortable actions and slightly angry after uncomfortable actions. However, skeptics about the penetrability of perception (Zeimbekis & Raftopoulos, 2015) would consider such evidence insufficient to demonstrate that observer’s internal states induced by action comfort/discomfort affect perception in a top-down fashion. The action-modulated mood might have produced a back-end memory effect capable of affecting post-perceptual and decision processing, but not front-end perception. Here, we present evidence that performing a facial emotion detection (not identification) task after MAMIP exhibits systematic mood-congruent sensitivity changes, rather than response bias changes attributable to cognitive set shifts; i.e., we show that observer’s internal states induced by bodily action can modulate affective perception. The detection threshold for happiness was lower after fifty comfortable than uncomfortable reaches; while the detection threshold for anger was lower after fifty uncomfortable than comfortable reaches. Action valence induced an overall sensitivity improvement in detecting subtle variations of congruent facial expressions (happiness after positive comfortable actions, anger after negative uncomfortable actions), in the absence of significant response bias shifts. Notably, both comfortable and uncomfortable reaches impact sensitivity in an approximately symmetric way relative to a baseline inaction condition. All of these constitute compelling evidence of a genuine top-down effect on

  19. Environmental issues affecting CCT development

    SciTech Connect

    Reidy, M.

    1997-12-31

    While no final legislative schedule has been set for the new Congress, two issues with strong environmental ramifications which are likely to affect the coal industry seem to top the list of closely watched debates in Washington -- the Environmental Protection Agency`s proposed new ozone and particulate matter standards and utility restructuring. The paper discusses the background of the proposed standards, public comment, the Congressional review of regulations, other legislative options, and utility restructuring.

  20. Factors affecting maximal acid secretion

    PubMed Central

    Desai, H. G.

    1969-01-01

    The mechanisms by which different factors affect the maximal acid secretion of the stomach are discussed with particular reference to nationality, sex, age, body weight or lean body mass, procedural details, mode of calculation, the nature, dose and route of administration of a stimulus, the synergistic action of another stimulus, drugs, hormones, electrolyte levels, anaemia or deficiency of the iron-dependent enzyme system, vagal continuity and parietal cell mass. PMID:4898322

  1. Affective cycling in thyroid disease

    SciTech Connect

    Tapp, A.

    1988-05-01

    Depression in an elderly man with primary recurrent unipolar depression responded to radioactive iodine treatment of a thyrotoxic nodule, without the addition of psychotropic medications. Two months later, manic symptoms developed concomitant with the termination of the hyperthyroid state secondary to the radioactive iodine treatment. Clinical implications of these findings in relation to the possible mechanism of action of thyroid hormones on affective cycling are discussed.

  2. Musical affect regulation in infancy.

    PubMed

    Trehub, Sandra E; Ghazban, Niusha; Corbeil, Mariève

    2015-03-01

    Adolescents and adults commonly use music for various forms of affect regulation, including relaxation, revitalization, distraction, and elicitation of pleasant memories. Mothers throughout the world also sing to their infants, with affect regulation as the principal goal. To date, the study of maternal singing has focused largely on its acoustic features and its consequences for infant attention. We describe recent laboratory research that explores the consequences of singing for infant affect regulation. Such work reveals that listening to recordings of play songs can maintain 6- to 9-month-old infants in a relatively contented or neutral state considerably longer than recordings of infant-directed or adult-directed speech. When 10-month-old infants fuss or cry and are highly aroused, mothers' multimodal singing is more effective than maternal speech at inducing recovery from such distress. Moreover, play songs are more effective than lullabies at reducing arousal in Western infants. We explore the implications of these findings along with possible practical applications. PMID:25773634

  3. Anticipation in bipolar affective disorder

    SciTech Connect

    McInnis, M.G.; McMahon, F.J.; Chase, G.A.; Simpson, S.G.; Ross, C.A.; DePaulo, J.R. Jr. )

    1993-08-01

    Anticipation refers to the increase in disease severity or decrease in age at onset in succeeding generations. This phenomenon, formerly ascribed to observation biases, correlates with the expansion of trinucleotide repeat sequences (TNRs) in some disorders. If present in bipolar affective disorder (BPAD), anticipation could provide clues to its genetic etiology. The authors compared age at onset and disease severity between two generations of 34 unilineal families ascertained for a genetic linkage study of BPAD. Life-table analyses showed a significant decrease in survival to first mania or depression from the first to the second generation (P <.001). Intergenerational pairwise comparisons showed both a significantly earlier age at onset (P < .001) and a significantly increased disease severity (P < .001) in the second generation. This difference was significant under each of four data-sampling schemes which excluded probands in the second generation. The second generation experienced onset 8.9-13.5 years earlier and illness 1.8-3.4 times more severe than did the first generation. In additional analyses, drug abuse, deaths of affected individuals prior to interview, decreased fertility, censoring of age at onset, and the cohort effect did not affect our results. The authors conclude that genetic anticipation occurs in this sample of unilineal BPAD families. These findings may implicate genes with expanding TNRs in the genetic etiology of BPAD. 24 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  4. Cortical Control of Affective Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sunil; Black, Sherilynn J.; Hultman, Rainbo; Szabo, Steven T.; DeMaio, Kristine D.; Du, Jeanette; Katz, Brittany M.; Feng, Guoping; Covington, Herbert E.; Dzirasa, Kafui

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation have emerged as therapeutic modalities for treatment refractory depression; however, little remains known regarding the circuitry that mediates the therapeutic effect of these approaches. Here we show that direct optogenetic stimulation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) descending projection neurons in mice engineered to express Chr2 in layer V pyramidal neurons (Thy1–Chr2 mice) models an antidepressant-like effect in mice subjected to a forced-swim test. Furthermore, we show that this PFC stimulation induces a long-lasting suppression of anxiety-like behavior (but not conditioned social avoidance) in socially stressed Thy1–Chr2 mice: an effect that is observed >10 d after the last stimulation. Finally, we use optogenetic stimulation and multicircuit recording techniques concurrently in Thy1–Chr2 mice to demonstrate that activation of cortical projection neurons entrains neural oscillatory activity and drives synchrony across limbic brain areas that regulate affect. Importantly, these neural oscillatory changes directly correlate with the temporally precise activation and suppression of limbic unit activity. Together, our findings show that the direct activation of cortical projection systems is sufficient to modulate activity across networks underlying affective regulation. They also suggest that optogenetic stimulation of cortical projection systems may serve as a viable therapeutic strategy for treating affective disorders. PMID:23325249

  5. Anticipation in bipolar affective disorder.

    PubMed

    McInnis, M G; McMahon, F J; Chase, G A; Simpson, S G; Ross, C A; DePaulo, J R

    1993-08-01

    Anticipation refers to the increase in disease severity or decrease in age at onset in succeeding generations. This phenomenon, formerly ascribed to observation biases, correlates with the expansion of trinucleotide repeat sequences (TNRs) in some disorders. If present in bipolar affective disorder (BPAD), anticipation could provide clues to its genetic etiology. We compared age at onset and disease severity between two generations of 34 unilineal families ascertained for a genetic linkage study of BPAD. Life-table analyses showed a significant decrease in survival to first mania or depression from the first to the second generation (P < .001). Intergenerational pairwise comparisons showed both a significantly earlier age at onset (P < .001) and a significantly increased disease severity (P < .001) in the second generation. This difference was significant under each of four data-sampling schemes which excluded probands in the second generation. The second generation experienced onset 8.9-13.5 years earlier and illness 1.8-3.4 times more severe than did the first generation. In additional analyses, drug abuse, deaths of affected individuals prior to interview, decreased fertility, censoring of age at onset, and the cohort effect did not affect our results. We conclude that genetic anticipation occurs in this sample of unilineal BPAD families. These findings may implicate genes with expanding TNRs in the genetic etiology of BPAD. PMID:8328456

  6. The Affective Regulation of Cognitive Priming

    PubMed Central

    Storbeck, Justin; Clore, Gerald L.

    2008-01-01

    Semantic and affective priming are classic effects observed in cognitive and social psychology, respectively. We discovered that affect regulates such priming effects. In Experiment 1, positive and negative moods were induced prior to one of three priming tasks; evaluation, categorization, or lexical decision. As predicted, positive affect led to both affective priming (evaluation task) and semantic priming (category and lexical decision tasks). However, negative affect inhibited such effects. In Experiment 2, participants in their natural affective state completed the same priming tasks as in Experiment 1. As expected, affective priming (evaluation task) and category priming (categorization and lexical decision tasks) were observed in such resting affective states. Hence, we conclude that negative affect inhibits semantic and affective priming. These results support recent theoretical models, which suggest that positive affect promotes associations among strong and weak concepts, and that negative affect impairs such associations (Kuhl, 2000; Clore & Storbeck, 2006). PMID:18410195

  7. How commissioning affects community nursing.

    PubMed

    Cook, Jane; Horrocks, Susan; Gibbard, Emma; Harland, Lizanne; Wye, Lesley

    Community nurses have direct experience of how changes in the local health economy affect the quality of care patients receive, so it is important that they engage with commissioning to influence decisions made about the quality and direction of their service. This article seeks to demystify commissioning priorities by drawing on findings from a survey of Commissioning for Quality and Innovation indicators for community nursing conducted in England, 2014-15. The article focuses specifically on organisational goals, highlighting the impact of the Francis report and other NHS priorities on quality assessment in community nursing. PMID:26721091

  8. Does trade affect child health?

    PubMed

    Levine, David I; Rothman, Dov

    2006-05-01

    Frankel and Romer [Frankel, J., Romer, D., 1999. Does trade cause growth? American Economic Review 89 (3), 379-399] documented positive effects of geographically determined trade openness on economic growth. At the same time, critics fear that openness can lead to a "race to the bottom" that increases pollution and reduces government resources for investments in health and education. We use Frankel and Romer's gravity model of trade to examine how openness to trade affects children. Overall, we find little harm from trade, and potential benefits largely through slightly faster GDP growth. PMID:16303196

  9. Mood Swings: An Affective Interactive Art System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialoskorski, Leticia S. S.; Westerink, Joyce H. D. M.; van den Broek, Egon L.

    The progress in the field of affective computing enables the realization of affective consumer products, affective games, and affective art. This paper describes the affective interactive art system Mood Swings, which interprets and visualizes affect expressed by a person. Mood Swings is founded on the integration of a framework for affective movements and a color model. This enables Mood Swings to recognize affective movement characteristics as expressed by a person and display a color that matches the expressed emotion. With that, a unique interactive system is introduced, which can be considered as art, a game, or a combination of both.

  10. How decision reversibility affects motivation.

    PubMed

    Bullens, Lottie; van Harreveld, Frenk; Förster, Jens; Higgins, Tory E

    2014-04-01

    The present research examined how decision reversibility can affect motivation. On the basis of extant findings, it was suggested that 1 way it could affect motivation would be to strengthen different regulatory foci, with reversible decision making, compared to irreversible decision making, strengthening prevention-related motivation relatively more than promotion-related motivation. If so, then decision reversibility should have effects associated with the relative differences between prevention and promotion motivation. In 5 studies, we manipulated the reversibility of a decision and used different indicators of regulatory focus motivation to test these predictions. Specifically, Study 1 tested for differences in participants' preference for approach versus avoidance strategies toward a desired end state. In Study 2, we used speed and accuracy performance as indicators of participants' regulatory motivation, and in Study 3, we measured global versus local reaction time performance. In Study 4, we approached the research question in a different way, making use of the value-from-fit hypothesis (Higgins, 2000, 2002). We tested whether a fit between chronic regulatory focus and focus induced by the reversibility of the decision increased participants' subjective positive feelings about the decision outcome. Finally, in Study 5, we tested whether regulatory motivation, induced by decision reversibility, also influenced participants' preference in specific product features. The results generally support our hypothesis showing that, compared to irreversible decisions, reversible decisions strengthen a prevention focus more than a promotion focus. Implications for research on decision making are discussed. PMID:23815456