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Sample records for photoperiodic songbird express

  1. Estradiol differentially affects auditory recognition and learning according to photoperiodic state in the adult male songbird, European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Knudsen, Daniel P.; Krause, Jesse S.; Wingfield, John C.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in hormones can affect many types of learning in vertebrates. Adults experience fluctuations in a multitude of hormones over a temporal scale, from local, rapid action to more long-term, seasonal changes. Endocrine changes during development can affect behavioral outcomes in adulthood, but how learning is affected in adults by hormone fluctuations experienced during adulthood is less understood. Previous reports have implicated the sex steroid hormone estradiol (E2) in both male and female vertebrate cognitive functioning. Here, we examined the effects of E2 on auditory recognition and learning in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). European starlings are photoperiodic, seasonally breeding songbirds that undergo different periods of reproductive activity according to annual changes in day length. We simulated these reproductive periods, specifically 1. photosensitivity, 2. photostimulation, and 3. photorefractoriness in captive birds by altering day length. During each period, we manipulated circulating E2 and examined multiple measures of learning. To manipulate circulating E2, we used subcutaneous implants containing either 17-β E2 and/or fadrozole (FAD), a highly specific aromatase inhibitor that suppresses E2 production in the body and the brain, and measured the latency for birds to learn and respond to short, male conspecific song segments (motifs). We report that photostimulated birds given E2 had higher response rates and responded with better accuracy than those given saline controls or FAD. Conversely, photosensitive, animals treated with E2 responded with less accuracy than those given FAD. These results demonstrate how circulating E2 and photoperiod can interact to shape auditory recognition and learning in adults, driving it in opposite directions in different states. PMID:24058881

  2. Dawn-song onset coincides with increased HVC androgen receptor expression but is decoupled from high circulating testosterone in an equatorial songbird.

    PubMed

    Quispe, René; Sèbe, Frédéric; da Silva, Maria Luisa; Gahr, Manfred

    2016-03-15

    The song of songbirds is a testosterone-sensitive behavior that is controlled by brain regions expressing androgen receptors. At higher latitudes, seasonal singing is stimulated by increasing day-length and elevated circulating testosterone. However, a large number of songbird species inhabit equatorial regions under a nearly constant photoperiod, and the neuroendocrine mechanisms of seasonal song in these species have rarely been investigated. We studied males from an equatorial population of the silver-beaked tanager (Ramphocelus carbo), an Amazonian songbird. We found seasonality in dawn-song behavior, which was displayed continuously for more than half a year throughout an extended breeding territoriality stage. The seasonal activation of dawn-song was correlated with an increased area of androgen receptor expression in HVC, a major brain area of song control. However, testosterone levels remained low for several weeks after activation of dawn-song. Circulating levels of testosterone were elevated only later in the breeding season, coinciding with a higher dawn-song output and with the mating period. Our results suggest that the seasonal activation of dawn-song and territoriality involves an increase of androgen target cells in HVC. This mechanism could potentially function to circumvent adverse effects of high testosterone levels in a species with an extended breeding season. PMID:26752610

  3. Impact of experience-dependent and -independent factors on gene expression in songbird brain.

    PubMed

    Drnevich, Jenny; Replogle, Kirstin L; Lovell, Peter; Hahn, Thomas P; Johnson, Frank; Mast, Thomas G; Nordeen, Ernest; Nordeen, Kathy; Strand, Christy; London, Sarah E; Mukai, Motoko; Wingfield, John C; Arnold, Arthur P; Ball, Gregory F; Brenowitz, Eliot A; Wade, Juli; Mello, Claudio V; Clayton, David F

    2012-10-16

    Songbirds provide rich natural models for studying the relationships between brain anatomy, behavior, environmental signals, and gene expression. Under the Songbird Neurogenomics Initiative, investigators from 11 laboratories collected brain samples from six species of songbird under a range of experimental conditions, and 488 of these samples were analyzed systematically for gene expression by microarray. ANOVA was used to test 32 planned contrasts in the data, revealing the relative impact of different factors. The brain region from which tissue was taken had the greatest influence on gene expression profile, affecting the majority of signals measured by 18,848 cDNA spots on the microarray. Social and environmental manipulations had a highly variable impact, interpreted here as a manifestation of paradoxical "constitutive plasticity" (fewer inducible genes) during periods of enhanced behavioral responsiveness. Several specific genes were identified that may be important in the evolution of linkages between environmental signals and behavior. The data were also analyzed using weighted gene coexpression network analysis, followed by gene ontology analysis. This revealed modules of coexpressed genes that are also enriched for specific functional annotations, such as "ribosome" (expressed more highly in juvenile brain) and "dopamine metabolic process" (expressed more highly in striatal song control nucleus area X). These results underscore the complexity of influences on neural gene expression and provide a resource for studying how these influences are integrated during natural experience. PMID:23045667

  4. Photoperiod Influences Growth and mll (Mixed-Lineage Leukaemia) Expression in Atlantic Cod

    PubMed Central

    Nagasawa, Kazue; Giannetto, Alessia; Fernandes, Jorge M. O.

    2012-01-01

    Photoperiod is associated to phenotypic plasticity of somatic growth in several teleost species. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are currently unknown but it is likely that epigenetic regulation by methyltransferases is involved. The MLL (mixed-lineage leukaemia) family comprises histone methyltransferases that play a critical role in regulating gene expression during early development in mammals. So far, these genes have received scant attention in teleost fish. In the present study, the mean weight of Atlantic cod juveniles reared under continuous illumination was found to be 13% greater than those kept under natural photoperiod conditions for 120 days. We newly determined cDNA sequences of five mll (mll1, mll2, mll3a, mll4b and mll5) and two setd1 (setd1a and setd1ba) paralogues from Atlantic cod. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the cod genes clustered within the appropriate mll clade and comparative mapping of mll paralogues showed that these genes lie within a region of conserved synteny among teleosts. All mll and setd1 genes were highly expressed in gonads and fast muscle of adult cod, albeit at different levels, and they were differentially regulated with photoperiod in muscle of juvenile fish. Following only one day of exposure to constant light, mll1, mll4b and setd1a were up to 57% lower in these fish compared to the natural photoperiod group. In addition, mRNA expression of myogenic regulatory factors (myog and myf-5) and pax7 in fast muscle was also affected by different photoperiod conditions. Notably, myog was significantly elevated in the continuous illumination group throughout the time course of the experiment. The absence of a day/night cycle is associated with a generalised decrease in mll expression concomitant with an increase in myog transcript levels in fast muscle of Atlantic cod, which may be involved in the observed epigenetic regulation of growth by photoperiod in this species. PMID:22590633

  5. Photoperiodic effects on diapause-associated gene expression trajectories in European Leptinotarsa decemlineata populations.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, P; Piiroinen, S; Kankare, M; Lyytinen, A; Paljakka, M; Lindström, L

    2014-10-01

    Behavioural and physiological changes during diapause, an important strategy of insects for surviving harsh seasonal conditions, have been intensively studied. The genetic and molecular mechanisms underpinning diapause development are less well known. We took a candidate gene approach to study prediapause gene expression patterns in the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), an invasive insect that has rapidly spread northwards to high seasonality environments. Newly eclosed beetles originating from southern (Italy) and northern (Russia) Europe were reared under short- [12 h light (L):12 h dark (D)] and long-day (18L:6D) photoperiods for 10 days. This time period includes the sensitive period for the photoperiodic induction and initiation of diapause. Gene expression trajectories of 12 diapause-related genes (regulatory, metabolic and stress-resistance) were analysed from 0-, 5- and 10-day-old beetles. Gene expression differences increased with age, deviating significantly between populations and photoperiods in 10-day-old beetles. The gene expression profiles, particularly those related to energy metabolism and stress-resistance, indicate that beetles originating from Russia also prepare for diapause under the long-day photoperiod and show qualitative differences in the diapausing phenotype. Our study shows that population-dependent differences seen in behavioural and physiological traits connected with diapause in L. decemlineata are also evident in the expression trajectories of diapause-related genes. PMID:24924142

  6. Expression of vasopressin receptors in hamster hypothalamus is sexually dimorphic and dependent upon photoperiod.

    PubMed Central

    Dubois-Dauphin, M; Theler, J M; Zaganidis, N; Dominik, W; Tribollet, E; Pévet, P; Charpak, G; Dreifuss, J J

    1991-01-01

    The distribution of vasopressin receptors was studied in the brain of a photoperiodic animal, the Siberian hamster. Attention was focused on [3H]vasopressin binding sites located in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus, medial tuberal nucleus, and ventral premammillary nucleus in males or females kept in long or short photoperiod conditions. Displacement experiments with structural analogs suggested that vasopressin receptors in the hamster hypothalamus are of the vasopressor (V1) type. Quantitative data obtained with a gaseous detector of beta-particles indicated that in the ventromedial nucleus and in the ventral premammillary nucleus of animals in long photoperiod, the number of beta-particles emitted per unit area was significantly greater in males than in females. In the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, in both males and females, the number of beta-particles emitted was significantly lower in short than in long photoperiod conditions. In the ventral premammillary nucleus, shortening of the photoperiod had a significant effect in reducing the amount of [3H]vasopressin bound in females, but not in males. These data suggest that, in the hamster, the control of the expression of vasopressin receptors differs among various hypothalamic nuclei and may depend on the sex and/or on the level of circulating gonadal steroids. Images PMID:1837144

  7. Orchestration of gene expression across the seasons: Hypothalamic gene expression in natural photoperiod throughout the year in the Siberian hamster

    PubMed Central

    Petri, Ines; Diedrich, Victoria; Wilson, Dana; Fernández-Calleja, José; Herwig, Annika; Steinlechner, Stephan; Barrett, Perry

    2016-01-01

    In nature Siberian hamsters utilize the decrement in day length following the summer solstice to implement physiological adaptations in anticipation of the forthcoming winter, but also exploit an intrinsic interval timer to initiate physiological recrudescence following the winter solstice. However, information is lacking on the temporal dynamics in natural photoperiod of photoperiodically regulated genes and their relationship to physiological adaptations. To address this, male Siberian hamsters born and maintained outdoors were sampled every month over the course of one year. As key elements of the response to photoperiod, thyroid hormone signalling components were assessed in the hypothalamus. From maximum around the summer solstice (late-June), Dio2 expression rapidly declined in advance of physiological adaptations. This was followed by a rapid increase in Mct8 expression (T3/T4 transport), peaking early-September before gradually declining to minimum expression by the following June. Dio3 showed a transient peak of expression beginning late-August. A recrudescence of testes and body mass occurred from mid-February, but Dio2 expression remained low until late-April of the following year, converging with the time of year when responsiveness to short-day length is re-established. Other photoperiodically regulated genes show temporal regulation, but of note is a transient peak in Gpr50 around late-July. PMID:27406810

  8. Orchestration of gene expression across the seasons: Hypothalamic gene expression in natural photoperiod throughout the year in the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Petri, Ines; Diedrich, Victoria; Wilson, Dana; Fernández-Calleja, José; Herwig, Annika; Steinlechner, Stephan; Barrett, Perry

    2016-01-01

    In nature Siberian hamsters utilize the decrement in day length following the summer solstice to implement physiological adaptations in anticipation of the forthcoming winter, but also exploit an intrinsic interval timer to initiate physiological recrudescence following the winter solstice. However, information is lacking on the temporal dynamics in natural photoperiod of photoperiodically regulated genes and their relationship to physiological adaptations. To address this, male Siberian hamsters born and maintained outdoors were sampled every month over the course of one year. As key elements of the response to photoperiod, thyroid hormone signalling components were assessed in the hypothalamus. From maximum around the summer solstice (late-June), Dio2 expression rapidly declined in advance of physiological adaptations. This was followed by a rapid increase in Mct8 expression (T3/T4 transport), peaking early-September before gradually declining to minimum expression by the following June. Dio3 showed a transient peak of expression beginning late-August. A recrudescence of testes and body mass occurred from mid-February, but Dio2 expression remained low until late-April of the following year, converging with the time of year when responsiveness to short-day length is re-established. Other photoperiodically regulated genes show temporal regulation, but of note is a transient peak in Gpr50 around late-July. PMID:27406810

  9. FLOWERING BHLH transcriptional activators control expression of the photoperiodic flowering regulator CONSTANS in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Shogo; Song, Young Hun; Josephson-Day, Anna R.; Miller, Ryan J.; Breton, Ghislain; Olmstead, Richard G.; Imaizumi, Takato

    2012-01-01

    Many plants monitor day-length changes throughout the year and use the information to precisely regulate the timing of seasonal flowering for maximum reproductive success. In Arabidopsis thaliana, transcriptional regulation of the CONSTANS (CO) gene and posttranslational regulation of CO protein are crucial mechanisms for proper day-length measurement in photoperiodic flowering. Currently, the CYCLING DOF FACTOR proteins are the only transcription factors known to directly regulate CO gene expression, and the mechanisms that directly activate CO transcription have remained unknown. Here we report the identification of four CO transcriptional activators, named FLOWERING BHLH 1 (FBH1), FBH2, FBH3, and FBH4. All FBH proteins are related basic helix–loop–helix-type transcription factors that preferentially bind to the E-box cis-elements in the CO promoter. Overexpression of all FBH genes drastically elevated CO levels and caused early flowering regardless of photoperiod, whereas CO levels were reduced in the fbh quadruple mutants. In addition, FBH1 is expressed in the vascular tissue and bound near the transcription start site of the CO promoter in vivo. Furthermore, FBH homologs in poplar and rice induced CO expression in Arabidopsis. These results indicate that FBH proteins positively regulate CO transcription for photoperiodic flowering and that this mechanism may be conserved in diverse plant species. Our results suggest that the diurnal CO expression pattern is generated by a concert of redundant functions of positive and negative transcriptional regulators. PMID:22334645

  10. Effects of Photoperiod Extension on Clock Gene and Neuropeptide RNA Expression in the SCN of the Soay Sheep

    PubMed Central

    Dardente, Hugues; Wyse, Cathy A.; Lincoln, Gerald A.; Wagner, Gabriela C.; Hazlerigg, David G.

    2016-01-01

    In mammals, changing daylength (photoperiod) is the main synchronizer of seasonal functions. The photoperiodic information is transmitted through the retino-hypothalamic tract to the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), site of the master circadian clock. To investigate effects of day length change on the sheep SCN, we used in-situ hybridization to assess the daily temporal organization of expression of circadian clock genes (Per1, Per2, Bmal1 and Fbxl21) and neuropeptides (Vip, Grp and Avp) in animals acclimated to a short photoperiod (SP; 8h of light) and at 3 or 15 days following transfer to a long photoperiod (LP3, LP15, respectively; 16h of light), achieved by an acute 8-h delay of lights off. We found that waveforms of SCN gene expression conformed to those previously seen in LP acclimated animals within 3 days of transfer to LP. Mean levels of expression for Per1-2 and Fbxl21 were nearly 2-fold higher in the LP15 than in the SP group. The expression of Vip was arrhythmic and unaffected by photoperiod, while, in contrast to rodents, Grp expression was not detectable within the sheep SCN. Expression of the circadian output gene Avp cycled robustly in all photoperiod groups with no detectable change in phasing. Overall these data suggest that synchronizing effects of light on SCN circadian organisation proceed similarly in ungulates and in rodents, despite differences in neuropeptide gene expression. PMID:27458725

  11. Sample Preparation of Arabidopsis thaliana Shoot Apices for Expression Studies of Photoperiod-Induced Genes.

    PubMed

    Andrés, Fernando; Torti, Stefano; Vincent, Coral; Coupland, George

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce new organs from a population of pluripotent cells which are located in specific tissues called meristems. One of these meristems, the shoot apical meristem (SAM), gives rise to leaves during the vegetative phase and flowers during the reproductive phase. The transition from vegetative SAM to an inflorescence meristem (IM) is a dramatic developmental switch, which has been particularly well studied in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana. This developmental switch is controlled by multiple environmental signals such as day length (or photoperiod), and it is accompanied by changes in expression of hundreds of genes. A major interest in plant biology is to identify and characterize those genes which are regulated in the stem cells of the SAM in response to the photoperiodic signals. In this sense, techniques such as RNA in situ hybridization (RNA ISH) have been very successfully employed to detect the temporal and spatial expression patterns of genes in the SAM. This method can be specifically optimized for photoperiodic-flowering studies. In this chapter, we describe improved methods to generate plant material and histological samples to be combined with RNA ISH in flowering-related studies. PMID:26867617

  12. Existence of a photoinducible phase for ovarian development and photoperiod-related alteration of clock gene expression in a damselfish.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Yuki; Hada, Noriko; Imamura, Satoshi; Hur, Sung-Pyo; Bouchekioua, Selma; Takemura, Akihiro

    2015-10-01

    The sapphire devil, Chrysiptera cyanea, is a reef-associated damselfish and their ovarian development can be induced by a long photoperiod. In this study, we demonstrated the existence of a photoinducible phase for the photoperiodic ovarian development in the sapphire devil. Induction of ovarian development under night-interruption light schedules and Nanda-Hamner cycles revealed that the photoinducible phase appeared in a circadian manner between ZT12 and ZT13. To characterize the effect of photoperiod on clock gene expression in the brain of this species, we determined the expression levels of the sdPer1, sdPer2, sdCry1, and sdCry2 clock genes under constant light and dark conditions (LL and DD) and photoperiodic (short and long photoperiods). The expression of sdPer1 exhibited clear circadian oscillation under both LL and DD conditions, while sdPer2 and sdCry1 expression levels were lower under DD than under LL conditions and sdCry2 expression was lower under LL than under DD conditions. These results suggest a key role for sdPer1 in circadian clock cycling and that sdPer2, sdCry1, and sdCry2 are light-responsive clock genes in the sapphire devil. After 1 week under a long photoperiod, we observed photoperiod-related changes in sdPer1, sdPer2, and sdCry2 expression, but not in sdCry1 expression. These results suggest that the expression patterns of some clock genes exhibit seasonal variation according to seasonal changes in day length and that such seasonal alteration of clock gene expression may contribute to seasonal recognition by the sapphire devil. PMID:26093172

  13. Photoperiodic effects on seasonal physiology, reproductive status and hypothalamic gene expression in young male F344 rats.

    PubMed

    Tavolaro, F M; Thomson, L M; Ross, A W; Morgan, P J; Helfer, G

    2015-02-01

    Seasonal or photoperiodically sensitive animals respond to altered day length with changes in physiology (growth, food intake and reproductive status) and behaviour to adapt to predictable yearly changes in the climate. Typically, different species of hamsters, voles and sheep are the most studied animal models of photoperiodism. Although laboratory rats are generally considered nonphotoperiodic, one rat strain, the inbred Fischer 344 (F344) rat, has been shown to be sensitive to the length of daylight exposure by changing its physiological phenotype and reproductive status according to the season. The present study aimed to better understand the nature of the photoperiodic response in the F344 rat. We examined the effects of five different photoperiods on the physiological and neuroendocrine responses. Young male F344 rats were held under light schedules ranging from 8 h of light/day to 16 h of light/day, and then body weight, including fat and lean mass, food intake, testes weights and hypothalamic gene expression were compared. We found that rats held under photoperiods of ≥ 12 h of light/day showed increased growth and food intake relative to rats held under photoperiods of ≤ 10 h of light/day. Magnetic resonance imaging analysis confirmed that these changes were mainly the result of a change in lean body mass. The same pattern was evident for reproductive status, with higher paired testes weight in photoperiods of ≥ 12 h of light/day. Accompanying the changes in physiological status were major changes in hypothalamic thyroid hormone (Dio2 and Dio3), retinoic acid (Crabp1 and Stra6) and Wnt/β-Catenin signalling genes (sFrp2 and Mfrp). Our data demonstrate that a photoperiod schedule of 12 h of light/day is interpreted as a stimulatory photoperiod by the neuroendocrine system of young male F344 rats. PMID:25443173

  14. Variation in social relationships relates to song preferences and EGR1 expression in a female songbird.

    PubMed

    Schubloom, Hannah E; Woolley, Sarah C

    2016-09-01

    Social experiences can profoundly shape social behavior and the underlying neural circuits. Across species, the formation of enduring social relationships is associated with both neural and behavioral changes. However, it remains unclear how longer-term relationships between individuals influence brain and behavior. Here, we investigated how variation in social relationships relates to variation in female preferences for and neural responses to song in a pair-bonding songbird. We assessed variation in the interactions between individuals in male-female zebra finch pairs and found that female preferences for their mate's song were correlated with the degree of affiliation and amount of socially modulated singing, but not with the frequency of aggressive interactions. Moreover, variation in measures of pair quality and preference correlated with variation in the song-induced expression of EGR1, an immediate early gene related to neural activity and plasticity, in brain regions important for auditory processing and social behavior. For example, females with weaker preferences for their mate's song had greater EGR1 expression in the nucleus Taeniae, the avian homologue of the mammalian medial amygdala, in response to playback of their mate's courtship song. Our data indicate that the quality of social interactions within pairs relates to variation in song preferences and neural responses to ethologically relevant stimuli and lend insight into neural circuits sensitive to social information. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1029-1040, 2016. PMID:26713856

  15. Photoperiodic Modulation of Circadian Clock and Reproductive Axis Gene Expression in the Pre-Pubertal European Sea Bass Brain

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Rute S. T.; Gomez, Ana; Zanuy, Silvia; Carrillo, Manuel; Canário, Adelino V. M.

    2015-01-01

    The acquisition of reproductive competence requires the activation of the brain-pituitary-gonad (BPG) axis, which in most vertebrates, including fishes, is initiated by changes in photoperiod. In the European sea bass long-term exposure to continuous light (LL) alters the rhythm of reproductive hormones, delays spermatogenesis and reduces the incidence of precocious males. In contrast, an early shift from long to short photoperiod (AP) accelerates spermatogenesis. However, how photoperiod affects key genes in the brain to trigger the onset of puberty is still largely unknown. Here, we investigated if the integration of the light stimulus by clock proteins is sufficient to activate key genes that trigger the BPG axis in the European sea bass. We found that the clock genes clock, npas2, bmal1 and the BPG genes gnrh, kiss and kissr share conserved transcription factor frameworks in their promoters, suggesting co-regulation. Other gene promoters of the BGP axis were also predicted to be co-regulated by the same frameworks. Co-regulation was confirmed through gene expression analysis of brains from males exposed to LL or AP photoperiod compared to natural conditions: LL fish had suppressed gnrh1, kiss2, galr1b and esr1, while AP fish had stimulated npas2, gnrh1, gnrh2, kiss2, kiss1rb and galr1b compared to NP. It is concluded that fish exposed to different photoperiods present significant expression differences in some clock and reproductive axis related genes well before the first detectable endocrine and morphological responses of the BPG axis. PMID:26641263

  16. Language-related Cntnap2 gene is differentially expressed in sexually dimorphic song nuclei essential for vocal learning in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Panaitof, S. Carmen; Abrahams, Brett S.; Dong, Hongmei; Geschwind, Daniel H.; White, Stephanie A.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple studies, involving distinct clinical populations, implicate contactin associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2) in aspects of language development and performance. While CNTNAP2 is broadly distributed in developing rodent brain, it shows a striking gradient of frontal cortical enrichment in developing human brain, consistent with a role in patterning circuits that subserve higher cognition and language. To test the hypothesis that CNTNAP2 may be important for learned vocal communication in additional species, we employed in situ hybridization to characterize transcript distribution in the zebra finch, an experimentally tractable songbird for which the neural substrate of this behavior is well-established. Consistent with an important role in learned vocalization, Cntnap2 was enriched or diminished in key song control nuclei relative to adjacent brain tissue. Importantly, this punctuated expression was observed in males, but not females, in accord with the sexual dimorphism of neural circuitry and vocal learning in this species. Ongoing functional work will provide important insights into the relationship between Cntnap2 and vocal communication in songbirds and thereby clarify mechanisms at play in disorders of human cognition and language. PMID:20394055

  17. Photoperiod alters metabolic gene expression in bovine liver potentially through suppressors of cytokine signaling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous research has demonstrated effects of day length (photoperiod) on multiple physiological processes in cattle including reproduction, lactation, immune function, growth and carcass composition. Many of these effects are mediated by changes in prolactin (PRL) and PRL signaling. Recent research...

  18. Diurnal variation in hepatic expression of the rat S14 gene is synchronized by the photoperiod

    SciTech Connect

    Kinlaw, W.B.; Fish, L.H.; Schwartz, H.L.; Oppenheimer, J.H.

    1987-04-01

    We have analyzed the factors responsible for the circadian variation in rat hepatic mRNA-S14. Regulation of this sequence, which is found in lipogenic tissues and encodes a protein (S14) believed to be associated with fatty acid synthesis, is an excellent model of the interaction of thyroid hormone and dietary factors at the hepatocellular level. The mRNA exhibits a 3-fold diurnal variation (peak, approximately 2000 h; nadir, 0800 h) in ad libitum feeding rats on a 12-h light, 12-h dark photoschedule. We studied the effects of the photoschedule, periodic food intake, hypophysectomy, and induction by thyroid hormone (T3) on the mRNA-S14 rhythm. Adaptation to feeding restricted to either light or dark periods for 15 days did not greatly affect the diurnal rhythm. Photoreversal resulted in a 180 degrees phase shift, whereas the rhythm persisted in the presence of constant light. Oscillation continued around a higher baseline after a receptor-saturating dose of T3 in both normal and hypophysectomized rats. Our results indicate primary entrainment of the mRNA-S14 diurnal rhythm to the photoperiod, rather than to periodic food intake. Moreover, the circadian regulatory signal, which probably originates in the central nervous system, appears capable of antagonizing a maximal T3-inductive stimulus and does not originate in the pituitary gland. Persistence of the oscillation in constant light rules out circulating melatonin as the mediator. Synchronization of the rhythm by the photoschedule suggests that neuroendocrine factors are important determinants of rhythmic changes in hepatic gene expression.

  19. Expression analysis of the speech-related genes FoxP1 and FoxP2 and their relation to singing behavior in two songbird species

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Qianqian; Heston, Jonathan B.; Burkett, Zachary D.; White, Stephanie A.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Humans and songbirds are among the rare animal groups that exhibit socially learned vocalizations: speech and song, respectively. These vocal-learning capacities share a reliance on audition and cortico-basal ganglia circuitry, as well as neurogenetic mechanisms. Notably, the transcription factors Forkhead box proteins 1 and 2 (FoxP1, FoxP2) exhibit similar expression patterns in the cortex and basal ganglia of humans and the zebra finch species of songbird, among other brain regions. Mutations in either gene are associated with language disorders in humans. Experimental knock-down of FoxP2 in the basal ganglia song control region Area X during song development leads to imprecise copying of tutor songs. Moreover, FoxP2 levels decrease naturally within Area X when zebra finches sing. Here, we examined neural expression patterns of FoxP1 and FoxP2 mRNA in adult Bengalese finches, a songbird species whose songs exhibit greater sequence complexity and increased reliance on audition for maintaining their quality. We found that FoxP1 and FoxP2 expression in Bengalese finches is similar to that in zebra finches, including strong mRNA signals for both factors in multiple song control nuclei and enhancement of FoxP1 in these regions relative to surrounding brain tissue. As with zebra finches, when Bengalese finches sing, FoxP2 is behaviorally downregulated within basal ganglia Area X over a similar time course, and expression negatively correlates with the amount of singing. This study confirms that in multiple songbird species, FoxP1 expression highlights song control regions, and regulation of FoxP2 is associated with motor control of song. PMID:24006346

  20. Focal expression of mutant huntingtin in the songbird basal ganglia disrupts cortico-basal ganglia networks and vocal sequences

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Masashi; Singh Alvarado, Jonnathan; Murugan, Malavika; Mooney, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The basal ganglia (BG) promote complex sequential movements by helping to select elementary motor gestures appropriate to a given behavioral context. Indeed, Huntington’s disease (HD), which causes striatal atrophy in the BG, is characterized by hyperkinesia and chorea. How striatal cell loss alters activity in the BG and downstream motor cortical regions to cause these disorganized movements remains unknown. Here, we show that expressing the genetic mutation that causes HD in a song-related region of the songbird BG destabilizes syllable sequences and increases overall vocal activity, but leave the structure of individual syllables intact. These behavioral changes are paralleled by the selective loss of striatal neurons and reduction of inhibitory synapses on pallidal neurons that serve as the BG output. Chronic recordings in singing birds revealed disrupted temporal patterns of activity in pallidal neurons and downstream cortical neurons. Moreover, reversible inactivation of the cortical neurons rescued the disorganized vocal sequences in transfected birds. These findings shed light on a key role of temporal patterns of cortico-BG activity in the regulation of complex motor sequences and show how a genetic mutation alters cortico-BG networks to cause disorganized movements. PMID:26951661

  1. Focal expression of mutant huntingtin in the songbird basal ganglia disrupts cortico-basal ganglia networks and vocal sequences.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Masashi; Singh Alvarado, Jonnathan; Murugan, Malavika; Mooney, Richard

    2016-03-22

    The basal ganglia (BG) promote complex sequential movements by helping to select elementary motor gestures appropriate to a given behavioral context. Indeed, Huntington's disease (HD), which causes striatal atrophy in the BG, is characterized by hyperkinesia and chorea. How striatal cell loss alters activity in the BG and downstream motor cortical regions to cause these disorganized movements remains unknown. Here, we show that expressing the genetic mutation that causes HD in a song-related region of the songbird BG destabilizes syllable sequences and increases overall vocal activity, but leave the structure of individual syllables intact. These behavioral changes are paralleled by the selective loss of striatal neurons and reduction of inhibitory synapses on pallidal neurons that serve as the BG output. Chronic recordings in singing birds revealed disrupted temporal patterns of activity in pallidal neurons and downstream cortical neurons. Moreover, reversible inactivation of the cortical neurons rescued the disorganized vocal sequences in transfected birds. These findings shed light on a key role of temporal patterns of cortico-BG activity in the regulation of complex motor sequences and show how a genetic mutation alters cortico-BG networks to cause disorganized movements. PMID:26951661

  2. POSITIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PHOTOPERIOD RESPONSE QTL AND PHOTORECEPTOR AND VERNALIAZATION GENES IN BARLEY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Barley winterhardiness consists of the regulatory input traits of photoperiod (day length) sensitivity and vernalization response and the physical trait of low temperature tolerance. Photoperiod and vernalization are adaptive and economically significant traits and photoperiod regulates expression o...

  3. POSITIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PHOTOPERIOD RESPONSE QTL AND PHOTORECEPTOR AND VERNALIZATION GENES IN BARLEY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Barley winterhardiness consists of the regulatory input traits of photoperiod (day length) sensitivity and vernalization response and the physical trait of low temperature tolerance. Photoperiod and vernalization are adaptive and economically significant traits and photoperiod regulates expression o...

  4. Development of photoperiod- and thermo-sensitive male sterility rice expressing transgene Bacillus thuringiensis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin; Zhang, Jiwen; Zhang, Cuicui; Wang, Liangchao; Chen, Hao; Zhu, Zengrong; Tu, Jumin

    2015-01-01

    Stem borers and leaffolders are the main pests that cause severe damage in rice (Oryza sativa L.) production worldwide. We developed the first photoperiod- and thermo-sensitive male sterility (PTSMS) rice 208S with the cry1Ab/1Ac Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) gene, through sexual crossing with Huahui 1 (elite line with the cry1Ab/1Ac gene). The novel 208S and its hybrids presented high and stable resistance to stem borers and leaffolders, and the content of Cry1Ab/1Ac protein in chlorophyllous tissues achieved the identical level as donor and showed little accumulation in non-chlorophyllous tissue. No dominant dosage effect in the Bt gene was observed in 208S and its derived hybrids. An analysis of fertility transition traits indicated that 208S was completely sterile under long day length/high temperature, but partially fertile under short day length/low temperature. With fine grain quality and favorable combining ability, 208S had no observed negative effects on fertility and agronomic traits from Bt (cry1Ab/1Ac). Additionally, 208S as a male sterile line showed no fertility decrease caused by Bt transgenic process, as it is the case in Huahui 1. Thus, 208S has great application value in two-line hybrid production for insect resistance, and can also be used as a bridge material in rice Bt transgenic breeding. PMID:26366116

  5. Dormancy-associated MADS genes from the EVG locus of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] have distinct seasonal and photoperiodic expression patterns

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhigang; Reighard, Gregory Lynn; Abbott, Albert Glenn; Bielenberg, Douglas Gary

    2009-01-01

    Mapping and sequencing of the non-dormant evg mutant in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] identified six tandem-arrayed DAM (dormancy-associated MADS-box) genes as candidates for regulating growth cessation and terminal bud formation. To narrow the list of candidate genes, an attempt was made to associate bud phenology with the seasonal and environmental patterns of expression of the candidates in wild-type trees. The expression of the six peach DAM genes at the EVG locus of peach was characterized throughout an annual growing cycle in the field, and under controlled conditions in response to a long day–short day photoperiod transition. DAM1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 were responsive to a reduction in photoperiod in controlled conditions and the direction of response correlated with the seasonal timing of expression in field-grown trees. DAM3 did not respond to photoperiod and may be regulated by chilling temperatures. The DAM genes in peach appear to have at least four distinct patterns of expression. DAM1, 2, and 4 are temporally associated with seasonal elongation cessation and bud formation and are the most likely candidates for control of the evg phenotype. PMID:19553369

  6. 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

  7. Bird eyes distinguish summer from winter: Retinal response to acute photoperiod change in the night-migratory redheaded bunting.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, Gaurav; Yadav, Garima; Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2015-10-01

    Eyes are the part of the circadian timekeeping system but not involved in the photoperiod regulated seasonal physiology in songbirds. Here, two experiments tested whether eyes detect and respond to seasonal change in the photoperiod environment, by examining gene and protein expressions in the retinas of redheaded buntings exposed to a single long day (LD, 16L:8D), with controls on short days (SD, 8L:16D). In the first experiment, mRNA expression of genes implicated in the light perception (opsins, rhodopsin, neuropsin, melanopsin, peropsin) and photoperiod induction (eya3, tsh-β, dio2, dio3) was measured at hours 15 and 19 (hour 0 = light on) on the first long day. There was a significant increase in the eya3, tsh-β and dio2 mRNA expression, albeit with a temporal difference, and decrease in the neuropsin mRNA expression in buntings on the first long day. There was no change in the dio3, rhodopsin, melanopsin and peropsin mRNA expressions on exposure to long days. The second experiment immunohistochemically examined the eya3, tsh-β and rhodopsin peptide expressions. eya3 was expressed in both light conditions, but with a significant higher levels in the retinal photoreceptor layer (PRL) under LD, as compared to SD. Similarly, tsh-β was expressed in the PRL of LD retinas only. Rhodopsin levels were not significantly different between SD and LD conditions, however. These results for the first time show photoperiod-dependent molecular switches in the bunting retina, similar to the well documented thyroid hormone response genes based molecular cascades in the avian hypothalamus. PMID:26219493

  8. PHOTON FLUX DENSITY INFLUENCES GRASS RESPONSES TO EXTENDED PHOTOPERIOD

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant sensitivity to extended photoperiod has been well documented, with little attention to the possibility that quantum flux density used to extend photoperiod has an influence on the expression of photoperiod response. This study was undertaken with 4 grass species under field conditions to exami...

  9. The genome of a songbird

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Wesley C.; Clayton, David F.; Ellegren, Hans; Arnold, Arthur P.; Hillier, LaDeana W.; Künstner, Axel; Searle, Steve; White, Simon; Vilella, Albert J.; Fairley, Susan; Heger, Andreas; Kong, Lesheng; Ponting, Chris P.; Jarvis, Erich D.; Mello, Claudio V.; Minx, Pat; Lovell, Peter; Velho, Tarciso A. F.; Ferris, Margaret; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Sinha, Saurabh; Blatti, Charles; London, Sarah E.; Li, Yun; Lin, Ya-Chi; George, Julia; Sweedler, Jonathan; Southey, Bruce; Gunaratne, Preethi; Watson, Michael; Nam, Kiwoong; Backström, Niclas; Smeds, Linnea; Nabholz, Benoit; Itoh, Yuichiro; Whitney, Osceola; Pfenning, Andreas R.; Howard, Jason; Völker, Martin; Skinner, Bejamin M.; Griffin, Darren K.; Ye, Liang; McLaren, William M.; Flicek, Paul; Quesada, Victor; Velasco, Gloria; Lopez-Otin, Carlos; Puente, Xose S.; Olender, Tsviya; Lancet, Doron; Smit, Arian F. A.; Hubley, Robert; Konkel, Miriam K.; Walker, Jerilyn A.; Batzer, Mark A.; Gu, Wanjun; Pollock, David D.; Chen, Lin; Cheng, Ze; Eichler, Evan E.; Stapley, Jessica; Slate, Jon; Ekblom, Robert; Birkhead, Tim; Burke, Terry; Burt, David; Scharff, Constance; Adam, Iris; Richard, Hugues; Sultan, Marc; Soldatov, Alexey; Lehrach, Hans; Edwards, Scott V.; Yang, Shiaw-Pyng; Li, XiaoChing; Graves, Tina; Fulton, Lucinda; Nelson, Joanne; Chinwalla, Asif; Hou, Shunfeng; Mardis, Elaine R.; Wilson, Richard K.

    2010-01-01

    The zebra finch is an important model organism in several fields1,2 with unique relevance to human neuroscience3,4. Like other songbirds, the zebra finch communicates through learned vocalizations, an ability otherwise documented only in humans and a few other animals and lacking in the chicken5—the only bird with a sequenced genome until now6. Here we present a structural, functional and comparative analysis of the genome sequence of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), which is a songbird belonging to the large avian order Passeriformes7. We find that the overall structures of the genomes are similar in zebra finch and chicken, but they differ in many intrachromosomal rearrangements, lineage-specific gene family expansions, the number of long-terminal-repeat-based retrotransposons, and mechanisms of sex chromosome dosage compensation. We show that song behaviour engages gene regulatory networks in the zebra finch brain, altering the expression of long non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, transcription factors and their targets. We also show evidence for rapid molecular evolution in the songbird lineage of genes that are regulated during song experience. These results indicate an active involvement of the genome in neural processes underlying vocal communication and identify potential genetic substrates for the evolution and regulation of this behaviour. PMID:20360741

  10. Photoperiodic Suppression of Drug Reinstatement

    PubMed Central

    Sorg, Barbara A.; Stark, Gemaine; Sergeeva, Anna; Jansen, Heiko T.

    2011-01-01

    The rewarding influence of drugs of abuse varies with time of day and appears to involve interactions between the circadian and the mesocorticolimbic dopamine systems. The circadian system is also intimately involved in measuring daylength. Thus, the present study examined the impact of changing daylength (photoperiod) on cocaine-seeking behaviors. Male Sprague Dawley rats were trained and tested on a 12L:12D light:dark schedule for cocaine-induced reinstatement of conditioned place preference (CPP) at three times of day (Zeitgeber time (ZT): 4, 12, and 20) to determine a preference score. Rats were then shifted to either shorter (6L:18D) or longer (18L:6D) photoperiods and then to constant conditions, re-tested for cocaine-induced reinstatement under each different condition, and then returned to their original photoperiod (12L:12D) and tested once more. Rats exhibited a circadian profile of preference score in constant darkness with a peak at 12h after lights-off. At both ZT4 and ZT20, but not at ZT12, shorter photoperiods profoundly suppressed cocaine reinstatement, which did not recover even after switching back to 12L:12D. In contrast, longer photoperiods did not alter reinstatement. Separate studies showed that the suppression of cocaine reinstatement was not due to repeated testing. In an additional experiment, we examined the photoperiodic regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter (DAT) proteins in drug-naive rats. These results revealed photoperiodic modulation of proteins in the prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum, but not in the nucleus accumbens or ventral tegmental area. Together, these findings add further support to the circadian genesis of cocaine-seeking behaviors and demonstrate that drug-induced reinstatement is modulated by photoperiod. Furthermore, the results suggest that photoperiod partly contributes to the seasonal expression of certain drug-related behaviors in humans living at different latitudes and thus our

  11. Auditory–vocal mirroring in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory–vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory–vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory–vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain. PMID:24778375

  12. Photoperiodic Flowering: Time Measurement Mechanisms in Leaves

    PubMed Central

    Song, Young Hun; Shim, Jae Sung; Kinmonth-Schultz, Hannah A.; Imaizumi, Takato

    2015-01-01

    Many plants use information about changing day length (photoperiod) to align their flowering time with seasonal changes to increase reproductive success. A mechanism for photoperiodic time measurement is present in leaves, and the day-length-specific induction of the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene, which encodes florigen, is a major final output of the pathway. Here, we summarize the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which photoperiodic information is perceived in order to trigger FT expression in Arabidopsis as well as in the primary cereals wheat, barley, and rice. In these plants, the differences in photoperiod are measured by interactions between circadian-clock-regulated components, such as CONSTANS (CO), and light signaling. The interactions happen under certain day length conditions, as previously predicted by the external coincidence model. In these plants, the coincidence mechanisms are governed by multilayered regulation with numerous conserved as well as unique regulatory components, highlighting the breadth of photoperiodic regulation across plant species. PMID:25534513

  13. Diurnal Expression Pattern, Allelic Variation, and Association Analysis Reveal Functional Features of the E1 Gene in Control of Photoperiodic Flowering in Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Hongyan; Zhang, Yupeng; Zhang, Xingzheng; Yang, Jiayin; Wang, Yaying; Yang, Guang; Qiu, Hongmei; Cui, Tingting; Xia, Zhengjun

    2015-01-01

    Although four maturity genes, E1 to E4, in soybean have been successfully cloned, their functional mechanisms and the regulatory network of photoperiodic flowering remain to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated how the diurnal expression pattern of the E1 gene is related to photoperiodic length; and to what extent allelic variation in the B3-like domain of the E1 gene is associated with flowering time phenotype. The bimodal expression of the E1 gene peaked first at around 2 hours after dawn in long-day condition. The basal expression level of E1 was enhanced by the long light phase, and decreased by duration of dark. We identified a 5bp (3 SNP and 2-bp deletion) mutation, referred to an e1-b3a, which occurs in the middle of B3 domain of the E1 gene in the early flowering cultivar Yanhuang 3. Subcellular localization analysis showed that the putative truncated e1-b3a protein was predominately distributed in nuclei, indicating the distribution pattern of e1-b3a was similar to that of E1, but not to that of e1-as. Furthermore, genetic analysis demonstrated allelic variations at the E1 locus significantly underlay flowering time in three F2 populations. Taken together, we can conclude the legume specific E1 gene confers some special features in photoperiodic control of flowering in soybean. Further characterization of the E1 gene will extend our understanding of the soybean flowering pathway in soybean. PMID:26275311

  14. Endocrine and social regulation of adult neurogenesis in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Balthazart, Jacques; Ball, Gregory F

    2016-04-01

    The identification of pronounced seasonal changes in the volume of avian song control nuclei stimulated the discovery of adult neurogenesis in songbirds as well as renewed studies in mammals including humans. Neurogenesis in songbirds is modulated by testosterone and other factors such as photoperiod, singing activity and social environment. Adult neurogenesis has been widely studied by labeling, with tritiated thymidine or its analog BrdU, cells duplicating their DNA in anticipation of their last mitotic division and following their fate as new neurons. New methods based on endogenous markers of cell cycling or of various stages of neuronal life have allowed for additional progress. In particular immunocytochemical visualization of the microtubule-associated protein doublecortin has provided an integrated view of neuronal replacement in the song control nucleus HVC. Multiple questions remain however concerning the specific steps in the neuronal life cycle that are modulated by various factors and the underlying cellular mechanisms. PMID:26996818

  15. Photoperiodic Condition Is Associated with Region-Specific Expression of GNRH1 mRNA in the Preoptic Area of the Male Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)1

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Tyler J.; Bernard, Daniel J.; Ball, Gregory F.

    2009-01-01

    Many seasonally breeding avian species exhibit marked changes in hypothalamic content of gonadotropin-releasing vhormone 1 (GNRH1) protein that are reflective of breeding condition. We recently cloned the GNRH1 cDNA in European starlings and demonstrated that changes in GNRH1 mRNA levels occur with a time course similar to what has been observed with GNRH1 protein. However, we did not previously resolve whether these differences were attributable to changes in the number of cells expressing the gene. Herein, we investigated photoperiod-induced changes in the number and distribution of GNRH1 mRNA-expressing cells in the preoptic area of male starlings. GNRH1 mRNA-expressing cell number was significantly greater in breeding birds than in nonbreeding birds. Starlings maintained in short nonstimulatory day length (i.e., prebreeding) showed intermediate cell numbers. Detailed analysis of the rostrocaudal and mediolateral distribution revealed that breeding birds had greater numbers of cells expressing GNRH1 mRNA in the medial intermediate, mediocaudal, and lateral intermediate preoptic area compared with prebreeding and nonbreeding birds. These data demonstrate that photoperiodic changes in reproductive state in starlings are associated with region-specific alterations in the number of cells expressing the GNRH1 gene. It remains to be determined whether these changes reflect quantitative differences in gene expression among an otherwise stable population of cells or a phenotypic switch in which cells gain or lose the ability to make GNRH1 mRNA in response to environmental cues. PMID:19516022

  16. Photoperiod effects on performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Photoperiod is known to affect growth rate, BW, feed consumption, incidence of metabolic disease, and immune response of broilers. Previous studies have reported significantly lower BW in broilers receiving 18h photoperiod throughout grow-out compared to broilers receiving >20h. This study evaluat...

  17. Mate Preference of Female Blue Tits Varies with Experimental Photoperiod

    PubMed Central

    Reparaz, Laura B.; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc; Doutrelant, Claire; Visser, Marcel E.; Caro, Samuel P.

    2014-01-01

    Organisms use environmental cues to time their life-cycles and among these cues, photoperiod is the main trigger of reproductive behaviours such as territory defence or song activity. Whether photoperiod is also important for another behaviour closely associated with reproduction, mate choice, is unknown. In many bird species, mate choice occurs at two different times during the annual cycle that strongly differ in daylength: in late winter when photoperiod is short and social mates are chosen, and again around egg-laying when photoperiod is longer and extra-pair mates are chosen. This duality makes the role that photoperiod plays on mate choice behaviours intriguing. We investigated the effect of photoperiod on mate choice using three experimental photoperiodic treatments (9 L:15 D, 14 L:10 D, 18 L:6 D), using blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) as a biological model. We show that female choice was stronger under long photoperiods. In addition, female blue tits spent significantly more time near males with long tarsi and long wings. This latter preference was only expressed under long photoperiods, suggesting that some indices of male quality only become significant to females when they are strongly photostimulated, and therefore that females could select their social and extra-pair mates based on different phenotypic traits. These results shed light on the roles that photoperiod may play in stimulating pair-bonding and in refining female selectivity for male traits. PMID:24671133

  18. Daily expression of six clock genes in central and peripheral tissues of a night-migratory songbird: evidence for tissue-specific circadian timing.

    PubMed

    Singh, Devraj; Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2013-12-01

    In birds, independent circadian clocks reside in the retina, pineal, and hypothalamus, which interact with each other and produce circadian time at the functional level. However, less is known of the molecular clockwork, and of the integration between central and peripheral clocks in birds. The present study investigated this, by monitoring the timed expression of five core clock genes (Per2. Cry1. Cry2. Bmal1, and Clock) and one clock-controlled gene (E4bp4) in a night-migratory songbird, the redheaded bunting (rb; Emberiza bruniceps). The authors first partially cloned these six genes, and then measured their 24-h profiles in central (retina, hypothalamus) and peripheral (liver, heart, stomach, gut, testes) tissues, collected at six times (zeitgeber time 2 [ZT2], ZT6, ZT11, ZT13, ZT18, and ZT23; ZT0 = lights on) from birds (n = 5 per ZT) on 12 h:12 h light-dark cycle. rbPer2. rbCry1. rbBmal1, and rbClock were expressed with a significant rhythm in all the tissues, except in the retina (only rbClock) and testes. rbCry2, however, had tissue-specific expression pattern: a significant rhythm in the hypothalamus, heart, and gut, but not in the retina, liver, stomach, and testes. rbE4bp4 had a significant mRNA rhythm in all the tissues, except retina. Further, rbPer2 mRNA peak was phase aligned with lights on, whereas rbCry1. rbBmal1, and rbE4bp4 mRNA peaks were phase aligned with lights off. rbCry2 and rbClock had tissue-specific scattered peaks. For example, both rbCry2 and rbClock peaks were close to rbCry1 and rbBmal1 peaks, respectively, in the hypothalamus, but not in other tissues. The results are consistent with the autoregulatory circadian feedback loop, and indicate a conserved tissue-level circadian time generation in buntings. Variable phase relationships between gene pairs forming positive and negative limbs of the feedback loop may suggest the tissue-specific contribution of individual core circadian genes in the circadian time generation. PMID:23971885

  19. Innate Sex Differences in the Timing of Spring Migration in a Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Maggini, Ivan; Bairlein, Franz

    2012-01-01

    In migrating animals protandry is the phenomenon whereby males of a species arrive at the breeding grounds earlier than females. In the present study we investigated the proximate causes of protandry in a migratory songbird, the northern wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe. Previous experiments with caged birds revealed that males and females show differentiated photoperiod-induced migratory habits. However, it remained open whether protandry would still occur without photoperiodic cues. In this study we kept captive first-year birds under constant photoperiod and environmental conditions in a “common garden” experiment. Male northern wheatears started their spring migratory activity earlier than females, even in the absence of environmental cues. This indicates that protandry in the northern wheatear has an endogenous basis with an innate earlier spring departure of males than females. PMID:22312443

  20. Seasonal neuronal plasticity in song-control and auditory forebrain areas in subtropical nonmigratory and palearctic-indian migratory male songbirds.

    PubMed

    Surbhi; Rastogi, Ashutosh; Malik, Shalie; Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2016-10-01

    This study examines whether differences in annual life-history states (LHSs) among the inhabitants of two latitudes would have an impact on the neuronal plasticity of the song-control system in songbirds. At the times of equinoxes and solstices during the year (n = 4 per year) corresponding to different LHSs, we measured the volumetric changes and expression of doublecortin (DCX; an endogenous marker of the neuronal recruitment) in the song-control nuclei and higher order auditory forebrain regions of the subtropical resident Indian weaverbirds (Ploceus philippinus) and Palearctic-Indian migratory redheaded buntings (Emberiza bruniceps). Area X in basal ganglia, lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN), HVC (proper name), and robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) were enlarged during the breeding LHS. Both round and fusiform DCX-immunoreactive (DCX-ir) cells were found in area X and HVC but not in LMAN or RA, with a significant seasonal difference. Also, as shown by increase in volume and by dense, round DCX-ir cells, the neuronal incorporation was increased in HVC alone during the breeding LHS. This suggests differences in the response of song-control nuclei to photoperiod-induced changes in LHSs. Furthermore, DCX immunoreactivity indicated participation of the cortical caudomedial nidopallium and caudomedial mesopallium in the song-control system, albeit with differences between the weaverbirds and the buntings. Overall, these results show seasonal neuronal plasticity in the song-control system closely associated with annual reproductive LHS in both of the songbirds. Differences between species probably account for the differences in the photoperiod-response system between the relative refractory weaverbirds and absolute refractory redheaded buntings. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2914-2929, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26991695

  1. Cloning of gonadotropin-releasing hormone I complementary DNAs in songbirds facilitates dissection of mechanisms mediating seasonal changes in reproduction.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, T J; Lynch, K S; Lamba, P; Ball, G F; Bernard, D J

    2009-04-01

    Temperate zone animals exhibit seasonal variation in reproductive physiology. In most cases, seasonal changes in reproductive states are regulated by changes in GnRH1 secretion, rather than synthesis, from the preoptic area (POA)/anterior hypothalamus. An important exception occurs in some songbirds that become photorefractory to the stimulatory effects of long days and show profound decreases in brain GnRH1 protein content. Whether this decline reflects changes in gene expression is unknown because of past failures to measure GNRH1 mRNA levels, due in large part to the absence of available GNRH1 gene sequence in this taxon. Here, we report the first cloning of GNRH1 cDNAs in two songbirds: European starlings and zebra finches. Consistent with the size of the prepro-hormone in other avian and non-avian species, the open-reading frames predict proteins of 91 and 92 amino acids, respectively. Whereas the decapeptide in both species is perfectly conserved with chicken GnRH1, the amino acid identity in the signal peptide and GNRH associated peptide subdomains are significantly less well conserved. At the nucleotide level, the starling and zebra finch coding sequences are approximately 88% identical to each other but only approximately 70% identical to chicken GNRH1. In situ hybridization using radiolabeled cRNA probes demonstrated GNRH1 mRNA expression primarily in the POA, consistent with previous studies on the distribution of the GnRH1-immunoreactive cell bodies. Furthermore, we provide evidence for photoperiod-dependent regulation of GNRH1 mRNA in male starlings. Declines in GNRH1 mRNA levels occur in parallel with testicular involution. Thus, photorefractoriness is associated with decreases in GNRH1 gene expression in the medial POA. PMID:19131568

  2. An insight into the sensitivity of maize to photoperiod changes under controlled conditions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiang; Zhong, Hao; Fan, Xian-Wei; Li, You-Zhi

    2015-08-01

    Response of maize to photoperiods affects adaption of this crop to environments. We characterize the phenotypes of four temperate-adapted maize foundation parents, Huangzao 4, Chang 7-2, Ye 478 and Zheng 58, and two tropically adapted maize foundation parents, M9 and Shuang M9 throughout the growth stage under three constant photoperiod regimes in a daily cycle of 24 h at 28 °C, and analysed expression of 48 photoperiod response-associated genes. Consequently, long photoperiod (LP) repressed development of the tassels of photoperiod-sensitive maize lines at V9 stage, and caused subsequent failure in flowering; failure of photoperiod-sensitive maize lines in flowering under LP was associated with lower expression of flowering-related genes; photoperiod changes could make a marked impact on spatial layout of maize inflorescence. The larger oscillation amplitude of expression of photoperiod-responsive genes occurred in LP-sensitive maize lines. In conclusion, failure in development of tassels at V9 stage under LP is an early indicator for judging photoperiod sensitivity. The adaptation of temperate-adapted maize lines to LP is due to the better coordination of expression among photoperiod-sensing genes instead of the loss of the genes. High photoperiod sensitivity of maize is due to high expression of circadian rhythm-responding genes improperly early in the light. PMID:24910171

  3. Pituitary gonadotropin and testicular gonadotropin receptor expression in Atlantic cod (Gadusmorhua L.) during the first reproductive season: Effects of photoperiod modulation.

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Fernanda Ferreira Loureiro; Andersson, Eva; Mittelholzer, Christian; Karlsen, Orjan; Taranger, Geir Lasse; Schulz, Rüdiger W

    2011-08-01

    Pituitary mRNA levels of gonadotropin β-subunits and of their cognate receptors in the testis were studied during puberty in Atlantic cod under normal and experimental photoperiod conditions that suppressed, delayed or accelerated testis maturation. Results are discussed in context with changes in testicular histology and plasma androgen levels, considered as end points of gonadotropic regulation. Up-regulation of fshb was closely associated with the onset of puberty, decreased when spermatogenesis was completed and reached minimum levels after spawning. These results demonstrate, for the first time using an experimental approach, that activation of Fsh-dependent signaling is associated with spermatogonial proliferation and formation of spermatogenic cysts. Changes in fshr expression were less prominent and could be explained by changes in the cellular composition and RNA content of cod testis tissue. At more advanced stages of development (spermiogenesis, spermiation and spawning), lhb and, one month later, lhcgr transcript levels increased and reached peak values in spawning fish, in a positive feedback loop involving plasma androgens and Lh/Lhcgr-dependent signaling. This loop was broken by a loss of lhb expression at the end of the spawning season. Continuous light (LL) from summer solstice, ~8 months prior to spawning, suppressed the start of testis maturation and the changes in gonadotropin and receptor mRNA levels, while LL from winter solstice initially up-regulated lhb and lhcgr expression, before resulting in a precocious termination of the spawning season and low expression of all four genes. Our studies provide experimental evidence for a clear functional discrimination of cod gonadotropins. PMID:21605561

  4. Human mutant huntingtin disrupts vocal learning in transgenic songbirds.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wan-Chun; Kohn, Jessica; Szwed, Sarah K; Pariser, Eben; Sepe, Sharon; Haripal, Bhagwattie; Oshimori, Naoki; Marsala, Martin; Miyanohara, Atsushi; Lee, Ramee

    2015-11-01

    Speech and vocal impairments characterize many neurological disorders. However, the neurogenetic mechanisms of these disorders are not well understood, and current animal models do not have the necessary circuitry to recapitulate vocal learning deficits. We developed germline transgenic songbirds, zebra finches (Taneiopygia guttata) expressing human mutant huntingtin (mHTT), a protein responsible for the progressive deterioration of motor and cognitive function in Huntington's disease (HD). Although generally healthy, the mutant songbirds had severe vocal disorders, including poor vocal imitation, stuttering, and progressive syntax and syllable degradation. Their song abnormalities were associated with HD-related neuropathology and dysfunction of the cortical-basal ganglia (CBG) song circuit. These transgenics are, to the best of our knowledge, the first experimentally created, functional mutant songbirds. Their progressive and quantifiable vocal disorder, combined with circuit dysfunction in the CBG song system, offers a model for genetic manipulation and the development of therapeutic strategies for CBG-related vocal and motor disorders. PMID:26436900

  5. Determination of Photoperiod-Sensitive Phase in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.).

    PubMed

    Daba, Ketema; Warkentin, Thomas D; Bueckert, Rosalind; Todd, Christopher D; Tar'an, Bunyamin

    2016-01-01

    Photoperiod is one of the major environmental factors determining time to flower initiation and first flower appearance in plants. In chickpea, photoperiod sensitivity, expressed as delayed to flower under short days (SD) as compared to long days (LD), may change with the growth stage of the crop. Photoperiod-sensitive and -insensitive phases were identified by experiments in which individual plants were reciprocally transferred in a time series from LD to SD and vice versa in growth chambers. Eight chickpea accessions with differing degrees of photoperiod sensitivity were grown in two separate chambers, one of which was adjusted to LD (16 h light/8 h dark) and the other adjusted to SD (10 h light/14 h dark), with temperatures of 22/16°C (12 h light/12 h dark) in both chambers. The accessions included day-neutral (ICCV 96029 and FLIP 98-142C), intermediate (ICC 15294, ICC 8621, ILC 1687, and ICC 8855), and photoperiod-sensitive (CDC Corinne and CDC Frontier) responses. Control plants were grown continuously under the respective photoperiods. Reciprocal transfers of plants between the SD and LD photoperiod treatments were made at seven time points after sowing, customized for each accession based on previous data. Photoperiod sensitivity was detected in intermediate and photoperiod-sensitive accessions. For the day-neutral accession, ICCV 96029, there was no significant difference in the number of days to flowering of the plants grown under SD and LD as well as subsequent transfers. In photoperiod-sensitive accessions, three different phenological phases were identified: a photoperiod-insensitive pre-inductive phase, a photoperiod-sensitive inductive phase, and a photoperiod-insensitive post-inductive phase. The photoperiod-sensitive phase extends after flower initiation to full flower development. Results from this research will help to develop cultivars with shorter pre-inductive photoperiod-insensitive and photoperiod-sensitive phases to fit to regions with

  6. Determination of Photoperiod-Sensitive Phase in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

    PubMed Central

    Daba, Ketema; Warkentin, Thomas D.; Bueckert, Rosalind; Todd, Christopher D.; Tar’an, Bunyamin

    2016-01-01

    Photoperiod is one of the major environmental factors determining time to flower initiation and first flower appearance in plants. In chickpea, photoperiod sensitivity, expressed as delayed to flower under short days (SD) as compared to long days (LD), may change with the growth stage of the crop. Photoperiod-sensitive and -insensitive phases were identified by experiments in which individual plants were reciprocally transferred in a time series from LD to SD and vice versa in growth chambers. Eight chickpea accessions with differing degrees of photoperiod sensitivity were grown in two separate chambers, one of which was adjusted to LD (16 h light/8 h dark) and the other adjusted to SD (10 h light/14 h dark), with temperatures of 22/16°C (12 h light/12 h dark) in both chambers. The accessions included day-neutral (ICCV 96029 and FLIP 98-142C), intermediate (ICC 15294, ICC 8621, ILC 1687, and ICC 8855), and photoperiod-sensitive (CDC Corinne and CDC Frontier) responses. Control plants were grown continuously under the respective photoperiods. Reciprocal transfers of plants between the SD and LD photoperiod treatments were made at seven time points after sowing, customized for each accession based on previous data. Photoperiod sensitivity was detected in intermediate and photoperiod-sensitive accessions. For the day-neutral accession, ICCV 96029, there was no significant difference in the number of days to flowering of the plants grown under SD and LD as well as subsequent transfers. In photoperiod-sensitive accessions, three different phenological phases were identified: a photoperiod-insensitive pre-inductive phase, a photoperiod-sensitive inductive phase, and a photoperiod-insensitive post-inductive phase. The photoperiod-sensitive phase extends after flower initiation to full flower development. Results from this research will help to develop cultivars with shorter pre-inductive photoperiod-insensitive and photoperiod-sensitive phases to fit to regions with

  7. Possible Involvement of Photoperiodic Regulation in Reproductive Endocrine System of Female Olive Flounder Paralichthys olivaceus

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun Chul; Lee, Chi Hoon; Hur, Sung Pyu; Kim, Byeong Hoon; Park, Jun Young; Lee, Young Don

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated possible involvement of photoperiodic regulation in reproductive endocrine system of female olive flounder. To investigate the influence on brain-pituitary axis in endocrine system by regulating photoperiod, compared expression level of Kisspeptin and sbGnRH mRNA in brain and FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA in pituitary before and after spawning. Photoperiod was treated natural photoperiod and long photoperiod (15L:9D) conditions from Aug. 2013 to Jun. 2014. Continuous long photoperiod treatment from Aug. (post-spawning phase) was inhibited gonadal development of female olive flounder. In natural photoperiod group, the Kiss2 expression level a significant declined in Mar. (spawning period). And also, FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA expression levels were increasing at this period. However, in long photoperiod group, hypothalamic Kiss2, FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA expression levels did not show any significant fluctuation. These results suggest that expression of hypothalamic Kiss2, GtH and GH in the pituitary would change in response to photoperiod and their possible involvement of photoperiodic regulation in reproductive endocrine system of the BPG axis. PMID:25949205

  8. Key KdSOC1 gene expression profiles during plantlet morphogenesis under hormone, photoperiod, and drought treatments.

    PubMed

    Liu, C; Zhu, C; Zeng, H M

    2016-01-01

    Kalanchoe daigremontiana utilizes plantlet formation between its zigzag leaf margins as its method of asexual reproduction. In this study, K. daigremontiana SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (KdSOC1), a key intermediate in the transition from vegetative to asexual growth, was cloned. Furthermore, its expression profiles during plantlet formation under different environmental and hormone induction conditions were analyzed. The full-KdSOC1 cDNA sequence length was 1410 bp with 70% shared homology with Carya cathayensis SOC1. The conserved domain search of KdSOC1 showed the absence of I and C domains, which might indicate novel biological functions in K. daigremontiana. The full-KdSOC1 promoter sequence was 1401 bp long and contained multiple-hormone-responsive cis-acting elements. Hormone induction assays showed that gibberellins and salicylic acid mainly regulated KdSOC1 expression. The swift change from low to high KdSOC1 expression levels during long-day induction was accompanied by the rapid emergence of plantlets. Drought stress stimulated KdSOC1 expression in leaves both with and without plantlet formation. Together, the results suggested that KdSOC1 was closely involved in environmental stimulation signal perception and the transduction of K. daigremontiana plantlet formation. Therefore, future identification of KdSOC1 functions might reveal key information that will help elucidate the transition network between embryogenesis and organogenesis during plantlet formation. PMID:26909971

  9. Long and short photoperiod buds in hybrid aspen share structural development and expression patterns of marker genes

    PubMed Central

    Rinne, Päivi L.H.; Paul, Laju K.; Vahala, Jorma; Ruonala, Raili; Kangasjärvi, Jaakko; van der Schoot, Christiaan

    2015-01-01

    Tree architecture develops over time through the collective activity of apical and axillary meristems. Although the capacity of both meristems to form buds is crucial for perennial life, a comparative analysis is lacking. As shown here for hybrid aspen, axillary meristems engage in an elaborate process of axillary bud (AXB) formation, while apical dominance prevents outgrowth of branches. Development ceased when AXBs had formed an embryonic shoot (ES) with a predictable number of embryonic leaves at the bud maturation point (BMP). Under short days, terminal buds (TBs) formed an ES similar to that of AXBs, and both the TB and young AXBs above the BMP established dormancy. Quantitative PCR and in situ hybridizations showed that this shared ability and structural similarity was reflected at the molecular level. TBs and AXBs similarly regulated expression of meristem-specific and bud/branching-related genes, including CENTRORADIALIS-LIKE1 (CENL1), BRANCHED1 (BRC1), BRC2, and the strigolactone biosynthesis gene MORE AXILLARY BRANCHES1 (MAX1). Below the BMP, AXBs maintained high CENL1 expression at the rib meristem, suggesting that it serves to maintain poise for growth. In support of this, decapitation initiated outgrowth of CENL1-expressing AXBs, but not of dormant AXBs that had switched CENL1 off. This singles out CENL1 as a rib meristem marker for para-dormancy. BRC1 and MAX1 genes, which may counterbalance CENL1, were down-regulated in decapitation-activated AXBs. The results showed that removal of apical dominance shifted AXB gene expression toward that of apices, while developing TBs adopted the expression pattern of para-dormant AXBs. Bud development thus follows a shared developmental pattern at terminal and axillary positions, despite being triggered by short days and apical dominance, respectively. PMID:26248666

  10. Effect of photoperiod on endocrine profiles and vitellogenin expression in European eels Anguilla anguilla during artificially induced ovarian development.

    PubMed

    Parmeggiani, A; Govoni, N; Zannoni, A; Di Biase, A; Sirri, R; Forni, M; Mandelli, M; Mordenti, O

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the effects of dark and light conditions on the E2, testosterone and thyroid hormones levels and on the gene expression levels (vitellogenin 1, vitellogenin 2, and estradiol receptor one) in European eels (Anguilla anguilla) during ovarian development induced by increasing doses of carp pituitary extracts (CPEs). The subjects were divided into 2 groups: 14-hour light:10-hour dark (Light Group) and 24-hour darkness (Dark Group). All the eels received intramuscular injections with CPE at a dosage of 10 mg/kg body weight (BW) once a week for the first 3 weeks, 20 mg/kg BW fourth-sixth week, 30 mg/kg BW seventh-ninth week, and 40 mg/kg up to the end of the experiment (13th week). Vitellogenin and estradiol receptor expression levels did not show significant differences between the two housing conditions whereas in both groups vitellogenin mRNA increased starting from first CPE injection. Testosterone and 17-beta estradiol plasma levels were significantly greater in the Dark Group compared with the Light Group starting from the ninth and the 13th week, respectively. These results suggest that darkness could be a useful variable for standardizing gonadal maturation in eels kept in captivity. PMID:25459031

  11. Evolution of photoperiodic time measurement is independent of the circadian clock in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii

    PubMed Central

    Emerson, Kevin J.; Dake, Sabrina J.; Bradshaw, William E.; Holzapfel, Christina M.

    2014-01-01

    For over 70 years, researchers have debated whether the ability to use day length as a cue for the timing of seasonal events (photoperiodism) is related to the endogenous circadian clock that regulates the timing of daily events. Models of photoperiodism include two components: (1) a photoperiodic timer that measures the length of the day, and (2) a photoperiodic counter that elicits the downstream photoperiodic response after a threshold number of days has been counted. Herein, we show that there is no geographical pattern of genetic association between the expression of the circadian clock and the photoperiodic timer or counter. We conclude that the photoperiodic timer and counter have evolved independently of the circadian clock in the pitcher-plant mosquito Wyeomyia smithii and hence, the evolutionary modification of photoperiodism throughout the range of W. smithii has not been causally mediated by a corresponding evolution of the circadian clock. PMID:19190920

  12. Evolution of photoperiodic time measurement is independent of the circadian clock in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii.

    PubMed

    Emerson, Kevin J; Dake, Sabrina J; Bradshaw, William E; Holzapfel, Christina M

    2009-04-01

    For over 70 years, researchers have debated whether the ability to use day length as a cue for the timing of seasonal events (photoperiodism) is related to the endogenous circadian clock that regulates the timing of daily events. Models of photoperiodism include two components: (1) a photoperiodic timer that measures the length of the day, and (2) a photoperiodic counter that elicits the downstream photoperiodic response after a threshold number of days has been counted. Herein, we show that there is no geographical pattern of genetic association between the expression of the circadian clock and the photoperiodic timer or counter. We conclude that the photoperiodic timer and counter have evolved independently of the circadian clock in the pitcher-plant mosquito Wyeomyia smithii and hence, the evolutionary modification of photoperiodism throughout the range of W. smithii has not been causally mediated by a corresponding evolution of the circadian clock. PMID:19190920

  13. The role of COP1 in repression of photoperiodic flowering.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dongqing; Zhu, Danmeng; Deng, Xing Wang

    2016-01-01

    Plants use the circadian clock as a timekeeping mechanism to regulate photoperiodic flowering in response to the seasonal changes. CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 (COP1), initially identified as a central repressor of seedling photomorphogenesis, was recently shown to be involved in the regulation of light input to the circadian clock, modulating the circadian rhythm and flowering. COP1 encodes a RING-finger E3 ubiquitin ligase and works in concert with SUPPRESSOR of phyA-105 (SPA) proteins to repress photoperiodic flowering by regulating proteasome-mediated degradation of CONSTANS (CO), a central regulator of photoperiodic flowering. In addition, COP1 and EARLY FLOWERING 3 (ELF3) indirectly modulate CO expression via the degradation of GIGANTEA (GI). Here, we summarize the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying COP1's role in controlling of photoperiodic flowering. PMID:26949521

  14. DNA methylation pattern of Photoperiod-B1 is associated with photoperiod insensitivity in wheat (Triticum aestivum).

    PubMed

    Sun, Han; Guo, Zhiai; Gao, Lifeng; Zhao, Guangyao; Zhang, Wenping; Zhou, Ronghua; Wu, Yongzhen; Wang, Haiyang; An, Hailong; Jia, Jizeng

    2014-11-01

    As one of the three key components of the 'Green Revolution', photoperiod insensitivity is vital for improved adaptation of wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivars to a wider geographical range. Photoperiod-B1a (Ppd-B1a) is one of the major genes that confers photoperiod insensitivity in 'Green Revolution' varieties, and has made a significant contribution to wheat yield improvement. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the photoperiod insensitivity of Ppd-B1a alleles from an epigenetic perspective using a combination of bisulfite genomic sequencing, orthologous comparative analysis, association analysis, linkage analysis and gene expression analysis. Based on the study of a large collection of wheat germplasm, we report two methylation haplotypes of Ppd-B1 and demonstrate that the higher methylation haplotype (haplotype a) was associated with increased copy numbers and higher expression levels of the Ppd-B1 gene, earlier heading and photoperiod insensitivity. Furthermore, assessment of the distribution frequency of the different methylation haplotypes suggested that the methylation patterns have undergone selection during the wheat breeding process. Our study suggests that DNA methylation in the regulatory region of the Ppd-B1 alleles, which is closely related to copy number variation, plays a significant role in wheat breeding, to confer photoperiod insensitivity and better adaptation to a wider geographical range. PMID:25078249

  15. Evaluation of Reference Genes for Quantitative Real-Time PCR in Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Zinzow-Kramer, Wendy M.; Horton, Brent M.; Maney, Donna L.

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is becoming a popular tool for the quantification of gene expression in the brain and endocrine tissues of songbirds. Accurate analysis of qPCR data relies on the selection of appropriate reference genes for normalization, yet few papers on songbirds contain evidence of reference gene validation. Here, we evaluated the expression of ten potential reference genes (18S, ACTB, GAPDH, HMBS, HPRT, PPIA, RPL4, RPL32, TFRC, and UBC) in brain, pituitary, ovary, and testis in two species of songbird: zebra finch and white-throated sparrow. We used two algorithms, geNorm and NormFinder, to assess the stability of these reference genes in our samples. We found that the suitability of some of the most popular reference genes for target gene normalization in mammals, such as 18S, depended highly on tissue type. Thus, they are not the best choices for brain and gonad in these songbirds. In contrast, we identified alternative genes, such as HPRT, RPL4 and PPIA, that were highly stable in brain, pituitary, and gonad in these species. Our results suggest that the validation of reference genes in mammals does not necessarily extrapolate to other taxonomic groups. For researchers wishing to identify and evaluate suitable reference genes for qPCR songbirds, our results should serve as a starting point and should help increase the power and utility of songbird models in behavioral neuroendocrinology. PMID:24780145

  16. Recovery of motor and cognitive function after cerebellar lesions in a songbird – role of estrogens

    PubMed Central

    Spence, Rory D.; Zhen, Yin; White, Stephanie; Schlinger, Barney A.; Day, Lainy B.

    2010-01-01

    In addition to its key role in complex motor function, the cerebellum is increasingly recognized to have a role in cognition. Songbirds are particularly good models for the investigation of motor and cognitive processes but little is known about the role of the songbird cerebellum in these processes. To explore cerebellar function in a songbird, we lesioned the cerebellum of adult female zebra finches and examined the effects on a spatial working memory task and on motor function during this task. There is evidence for steroid synthesis in the songbird brain and neurosteroids may have an impact on some forms of neural plasticity in adult songbirds. We therefore hypothesized that neurosteroids would affect motor and cognitive function after a cerebellar injury. We found that cerebellar lesions produced deficits in motor and cognitive aspects of a spatial task. In line with our prediction, birds in which estrogen synthesis was blocked had impaired performance in our spatial task compared with those that had estrogen synthesis blocked but estrogen replaced. There was no clear effect of estrogen replacement on motor function. We also found that lesions induced expression of the estrogen synthetic enzyme aromatase in reactive astrocytes and Bergmann glia around a cerebellar lesion. These data suggest that the cerebellum of songbirds mediates both motor and cognitive function and that estrogens may improve the recovery of cognitive aspects of cerebellar function after injury. PMID:19302157

  17. Photoperiod effects on broiler behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated the effects of 3 photoperiod regimes on behavior of commercial broilers. The photoperiods were 23h for all treatments from 1-6d. Treatments 1 and 2, 20L:4D and 18L:6D respectively, were applied from 7-36d and increased to 23L:1D at 37d. Treatment 3 was a step-down/step-up pro...

  18. Thyroid Hormone Signalling Genes Are Regulated by Photoperiod in the Hypothalamus of F344 Rats

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Laura; Darras, Veerle M.; Morgan, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    Seasonal animals adapt their physiology and behaviour in anticipation of climate change to optimise survival of their offspring. Intra-hypothalamic thyroid hormone signalling plays an important role in seasonal responses in mammals and birds. In the F344 rat, photoperiod stimulates profound changes in food intake, body weight and reproductive status. Previous investigations of the F344 rat have suggested a role for thyroid hormone metabolism, but have only considered Dio2 expression, which was elevated in long day photoperiods. Microarray analysis was used to identify time-dependent changes in photoperiod responsive genes, which may underlie the photoperiod-dependent phenotypes of the juvenile F344 rat. The most significant changes are those related to thyroid hormone metabolism and transport. Using photoperiod manipulations and melatonin injections into long day photoperiod (LD) rats to mimic short day (SD), we show photoinduction and photosuppression gene expression profiles and melatonin responsiveness of genes by in situ hybridization; TSHβ, CGA, Dio2 and Oatp1c1 genes were all elevated in LD whilst in SD, Dio3 and MCT-8 mRNA were increased. NPY was elevated in SD whilst GALP increased in LD. The photoinduction and photosuppression profiles for GALP were compared to that of GHRH with GALP expression following GHRH temporally. We also reveal gene sets involved in photoperiodic responses, including retinoic acid and Wnt/ß-catenin signalling. This study extends our knowledge of hypothalamic regulation by photoperiod, by revealing large temporal changes in expression of thyroid hormone signalling genes following photoperiod switch. Surprisingly, large changes in hypothalamic thyroid hormone levels or TRH expression were not detected. Expression of NPY and GALP, two genes known to regulate GHRH, were also changed by photoperiod. Whether these genes could provide links between thyroid hormone signalling and the regulation of the growth axis remains to be

  19. Temporal pattern processing in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Comins, Jordan A; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2014-10-01

    Understanding how the brain perceives, organizes and uses patterned information is directly related to the neurobiology of language. Given the present limitations, such knowledge at the scale of neurons, neural circuits and neural populations can only come from non-human models, focusing on shared capacities that are relevant to language processing. Here we review recent advances in the behavioral and neural basis of temporal pattern processing of natural auditory communication signals in songbirds, focusing on European starlings. We suggest a general inhibitory circuit for contextual modulation that can act to control sensory representations based on patterning rules. PMID:25201176

  20. What songbirds teach us about learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brainard, Michael S.; Doupe, Allison J.

    2002-05-01

    Bird fanciers have known for centuries that songbirds learn their songs. This learning has striking parallels to speech acquisition: like humans, birds must hear the sounds of adults during a sensitive period, and must hear their own voice while learning to vocalize. With the discovery and investigation of discrete brain structures required for singing, songbirds are now providing insights into neural mechanisms of learning. Aided by a wealth of behavioural observations and species diversity, studies in songbirds are addressing such basic issues in neuroscience as perceptual and sensorimotor learning, developmental regulation of plasticity, and the control and function of adult neurogenesis.

  1. Dopamine receptors in a songbird brain

    PubMed Central

    Kubikova, Lubica; Wada, Kazuhiro; Jarvis, Erich D

    2010-01-01

    Dopamine is a key neuromodulatory transmitter in the brain. It acts through dopamine receptors to affect changes in neural activity, gene expression, and behavior. In songbirds, dopamine is released into the striatal song nucleus Area X, and the levels depend on social contexts of undirected and directed singing. This differential release is associated with differential expression of activity-dependent genes, such as egr1 (avian zenk), which in mammalian brain are modulated by dopamine receptors. Here we cloned from zebra finch brain cDNAs of all avian dopamine receptors: the D1 (D1A, D1B, D1D) and D2 (D2, D3, D4) families. Comparative sequence analyses of predicted proteins revealed expected phylogenetic relationships, in which the D1 family exists as single exon and the D2 family exists as spliced exon genes. In both zebra finch and chicken, the D1A, D1B, and D2 receptors were highly expressed in the striatum, the D1D and D3 throughout the pallium and within the mesopallium, respectively, and the D4 mainly in the cerebellum. Furthermore, within the zebra finch, all receptors, except for D4, showed differential expression in song nuclei relative to the surrounding regions and developmentally regulated expression that decreased for most receptors during the sensory acquisition and sensorimotor phases of song learning. Within Area X, half of the cells expressed both D1A and D2 receptors, and a higher proportion of the D1A-only-containing neurons expressed egr1 during undirected but not during directed singing. Our findings are consistent with hypotheses that dopamine receptors may be involved in song development and social context-dependent behaviors. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:741–769, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:20058221

  2. Photoperiodic Regulation of Florigen Function in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Golembeski, Greg S.; Imaizumi, Takato

    2015-01-01

    One mechanism through which flowering in response to seasonal change is brought about is by sensing the fluctuation in day-length; the photoperiod. Flowering induction occurs through the production of the florigenic protein FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and its movement from the phloem companion cells in the leaf vasculature into the shoot apex, where meristematic reprogramming occurs. FT activation in response to photoperiod condition is accomplished largely through the activity of the transcription factor CONSTANS (CO). Regulation of CO expression and protein stability, as well as the timing of other components via the circadian clock, is a critical mechanism by which plants are able to respond to photoperiod to initiate the floral transition. Modulation of FT expression in response to external and internal stimuli via components of the flowering network is crucial to mediate a fluid flowering response to a variety of environmental parameters. In addition, the regulated movement of FT protein from the phloem to the shoot apex, and interactions that determine floral meristem cell fate, constitute novel mechanisms through which photoperiodic information is translated into flowering time. PMID:26157354

  3. Change in photoperiodic cycle affects life span in a prosimian primate (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Perret, M

    1997-04-01

    The lesser mouse lemur, a small prosimian primate, exhibits seasonal rhythms strictly controlled by photoperiodic variations. Exposure to day lengths shorter than 12 h results in complete sexual rest, fattening, lethargy, and reduced behavioral activities; whereas exposure to day lengths greater than 12 h induces sexual activity, an increase in behavioral activities, and high hormonal levels. The objective of this study was to test whether long-term acceleration of seasonal rhythms may affect survival and longevity of this primate. In captivity, acceleration of seasonal rhythms was obtained by exposing the animals to an accelerated photoperiodic regimen consisting of 5 months of long photoperiod followed by 3 months of short photoperiod. The age-specific survival rate in animals exposed from birth to accelerated photoperiodic conditions (n = 89) was compared to the age-specific survival rate of animals maintained under a natural photoperiod (n = 68). Independent of sexes, the mean life span (45.5 +/- 2.1 months) and maximal survival (79.3 +/- 3.3 months) were significantly (p < .01) shortened in mouse lemurs exposed to the accelerated photoperiodic cycle compared to those in animals living under annual photoperiod (63.2 +/- 2.5 and 98 +/- 3.9 months for mean life span and maximal survival, respectively). This reduction of about 30% of life span was not accompanied by a desynchronization of biological rhythms under photoperiodic control and was not related to an increase in reproduction or in duration of time spent in active conditions. However, when the number of seasonal cycles experienced by 1 individual is considered rather than chronological age, the mean life span was 5 seasonal cycles and maximum survival reached 9-10 cycles, independent of sex or of photoperiodic regimen. These results suggest that in mouse lemurs, as in other seasonal mammals, longevity may depend on the expression of a fixed number of seasonal cycles rather than on a fixed biological age

  4. Daily expression of genes coding for neurotransmitters in central and peripheral tissues of redheaded bunting: Implication for circadian regulation of physiology in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Ila; Singh, Devraj; Kumar, Vinod

    2016-01-01

    In birds, circadian control of tissue level communication is not well understood. The present study investigated this, by monitoring daily oscillation of genes coding for peptides (neuropeptide Y, NPY; vasoactive intestinal peptide, VIP; somatostatis, SST) and intermediary enzymes of amine and amino acid neurotransmitters (dopamine [tyrosine hydroxylase, TH]; glutamate [glutaminase, GLS; glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase 2, GOT2]; gamma amino butyric actid, GABA [glutamic acid decarboxylase 65, GAD65]) biosynthetic pathway, along with c-FOS as an activation marker, in different tissues of migratory redheaded buntings, Emberiza bruniceps. We cloned a partial sequence of these genes, and measured their mRNA expression in the 'central' clock (retina, hypothalamus) and peripheral (heart, stomach, gut, liver) tissues, collected at six times (ZT 2, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 23; ZT 0 = lights on) from birds (n = 4/ ZT) in the 12 h:12 h light-dark cycle. There were daily mRNA oscillations of all genes, although with a tissue-specific expression pattern as well as with the differential phase relationships in genes within and between tissues. These results support a conserved tissue level circadian regulation of genes coding for peptide, amine and amino acid neurotransmitters, and substantiate the expression and plausible role of neurotransmitters in the peripheral tissues. We suggest a tissue-specific contribution of neurotransmitters in the circadian regulation of physiology and behaviour in a seasonal migratory species, the redheaded bunting. PMID:26930260

  5. Circadian rhythmicity and photoperiodism in the pitcher-plant mosquito: adaptive response to the photic environment or correlated response to the seasonal environment?

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, W E; Quebodeaux, M C; Holzapfel, C M

    2003-05-01

    Many plants and animals use the length of day or photoperiod to cue their seasonal patterns of development, reproduction, dormancy, and migration. Among temperate arthropods, the median or critical photoperiod increases with latitude or altitude. Concomitantly, in beetles, moths, mites, flies, and mosquitoes, there is a declining expression of a rhythmic, presumably circadian-based, component of photoperiodic response. It has been proposed that the long summer days in the north select for a reduced response to light by the circadian clock, which results in this declining rhythmic expression and, consequently, longer northern critical photoperiods. However, these patterns might also be due to direct, seasonal selection on the critical photoperiod itself, which results in a correlated reduction in the rhythmic component as a result of internal physiological constraints within the organism. Using standard light duration and selection experiments, we show that evolution of photoperiodic time measurement in the mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii, results from the direct response of critical photoperiod to seasonal selection and a correlated response of the rhythmic component of photoperiodic time measurement. We conclude that expression of the circadian clock is necessary neither for the central mechanism of photoperiodic time measurement nor for the adaptive modification of critical photoperiod. PMID:12858281

  6. Photoperiodic control of reproduction in the domestic hen.

    PubMed

    Sharp, P J

    1993-05-01

    Egg laying in domestic hens exposed to natural lighting begins shortly after the winter solstice, peaks in early spring, begins to decrease before the fall equinox, and is at its lowest during the late fall and early winter. The seasonal cycle of egg production phase-leads that of the changes in day length. This seeming anomaly can be explained if it is accepted that 1) short days are photoperiodically neutral and do not actively inhibit gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-I neurons; and 2) long days are photoperiodically active, transducing both stimulatory and inhibitory inputs to GnRH-I neurons. The development of a long day-induced inhibitory input results in a form of photorefractoriness. Around the winter solstice, photorefractoriness is dissipated by prolonged exposure to short days, allowing GnRH-I neurons to express a photoperiodic-independent, genotype-dependent, level of activity. This is sufficient to stimulate egg laying before the minimum photoperiod for photoinduced gonadotropin release is reached in early spring. When day length begins to decrease after the summer solstice, the photoinduced stimulatory input to GnRH-I neurons is reduced, unmasking the photoinduced inhibitory input. As a consequence, the activity of GnRH-I neurons decreases rapidly and the intensity of egg laying decreases. The minimum and maximum day lengths required to stimulate reproductive function in short-day hens, calculated from the photoperiodic response curves (PRC) for luteinizing hormone release are about 10 and 13 h, respectively, depending on genotype.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8502612

  7. Photoperiodic Influences on Ultradian Rhythms of Male Siberian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Prendergast, Brian J.; Zucker, Irving

    2012-01-01

    Seasonal changes in mammalian physiology and behavior are proximately controlled by the annual variation in day length. Long summer and short winter day lengths markedly alter the amplitude of endogenous circadian rhythms and may affect ultradian oscillations, but the threshold photoperiods for inducing these changes are not known. We assessed the effects of short and intermediate day lengths and changes in reproductive physiology on circadian and ultradian rhythms of locomotor activity in Siberian hamsters. Males were maintained in a long photoperiod from birth (15 h light/day; 15 L) and transferred in adulthood to 1 of 7 experimental photoperiods ranging from 14 L to 9 L. Decreases in circadian rhythm (CR) robustness, mesor and amplitude were evident in photoperiods ≤14 L, as were delays in the timing of CR acrophase and expansion of nocturnal activity duration. Nocturnal ultradian rhythms (URs) were comparably prevalent in all day lengths, but 15 L markedly inhibited the expression of light-phase URs. The period (τ’), amplitude and complexity of URs increased in day lengths ≤13 L. Among hamsters that failed to undergo gonadal regression in short day lengths (nonresponders), τ’ of the dark-phase UR was longer than in photoresponsive hamsters; in 13 L the incidence and amplitude of light-phase URs were greater in hamsters that did not undergo testicular regression. Day lengths as long as 14 L were sufficient to trigger changes in the waveform of CRs without affecting UR waveform. The transition from a long- to a short-day ultradian phenotype occurred for most UR components at day lengths of 12 L–13 L, thereby establishing different thresholds for CR and UR responses to day length. At the UR-threshold photoperiod of 13 L, differences in gonadal status were largely without effect on most UR parameters. PMID:22848579

  8. Genome wide transcriptional profiling of acclimation to photoperiod in high-latitude accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Lewandowska-Sabat, Anna Monika; Winge, Per; Fjellheim, Siri; Dørum, Guro; Bones, Atle Magnar; Rognli, Odd Arne

    2012-04-01

    Three Arabidopsis thaliana accessions originating from the northernmost boundary of the species distribution in Norway (59-68°N) were used to study global wide transcriptional responses to 16 and 24 h photoperiods during flower initiation. Significant analysis of microarrays (SAM), analyses of statistically overrepresented gene ontologies (GOstat) and gene set enrichment analyses (GSEA) were used to identify candidate genes and genetic pathways underlying phenotypic adaptations of accessions to different photoperiods. Statistical analyses identified 732 and 258 differentially expressed genes between accessions in 16 and 24 h photoperiod, respectively. Among significantly expressed genes, ethylene mediated signaling pathway was significantly overrepresented in 16 h photoperiod, while genes involved in response to auxin stimulus were found to be significantly overrepresented in 24 h photoperiod. Several gene sets were found to be differentially expressed among accessions, e.g. cold acclimation, dehydration response, phytochrome signaling, vernalization response and circadian clock regulated flowering time genes. These results revealed several candidate genes and pathways likely involved in transcriptional control of photoperiodic response. In particular, ethylene and auxin signaling pathway may represent candidate genes contributing to local adaptation of high-latitude accessions of A. thaliana. PMID:22325875

  9. Flowering time regulation: photoperiod- and temperature-sensing in leaves

    PubMed Central

    Song, Young Hun; Ito, Shogo; Imaizumi, Takato

    2013-01-01

    Plants monitor changes in photoperiod and temperature to synchronize their flowering with seasonal changes to maximize fitness. In the Arabidopsis photoperiodic flowering pathway, the circadian clock-regulated components, such as FLAVIN-BINDING, KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX 1 and CONSTANS, both of which have light-controlled functions, are crucial to induce the day-length specific expression of the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene in leaves. Recent advances indicate that FT transcriptional regulation is central for integrating the information derived from other important internal and external factors, such as developmental age, amount of gibberellic acid, and the ambient temperature. In this review, we describe how these factors interactively regulate the expression of FT, the main component of florigen, in leaves. PMID:23790253

  10. PHYTOCHROME C is an essential light receptor for photoperiodic flowering in the temperate grass, Brachypodium distachyon.

    PubMed

    Woods, Daniel P; Ream, Thomas S; Minevich, Gregory; Hobert, Oliver; Amasino, Richard M

    2014-09-01

    We show that in the temperate grass, Brachypodium distachyon, PHYTOCHROME C (PHYC), is necessary for photoperiodic flowering. In loss-of-function phyC mutants, flowering is extremely delayed in inductive photoperiods. PHYC was identified as the causative locus by utilizing a mapping by sequencing pipeline (Cloudmap) optimized for identification of induced mutations in Brachypodium. In phyC mutants the expression of Brachypodium homologs of key flowering time genes in the photoperiod pathway such as GIGANTEA (GI), PHOTOPERIOD 1 (PPD1/PRR37), CONSTANS (CO), and florigen/FT are greatly attenuated. PHYC also controls the day-length dependence of leaf size as the effect of day length on leaf size is abolished in phyC mutants. The control of genes upstream of florigen production by PHYC was likely to have been a key feature of the evolution of a long-day flowering response in temperate pooid grasses. PMID:25023399

  11. A framework for integrating the songbird brain

    PubMed Central

    Smith, V.A.; Wada, K.; Rivas, M.V.; McElroy, M.; Smulders, T.V.; Carninci, P.; Hayashizaki, Y.; Dietrich, F.; Wu, X.; McConnell, P.; Yu, J.; Wang, P.P.; Hartemink, A.J.; Lin, S.

    2008-01-01

    Biological systems by default involve complex components with complex relationships. To decipher how biological systems work, we assume that one needs to integrate information over multiple levels of complexity. The songbird vocal communication system is ideal for such integration due to many years of ethological investigation and a discreet dedicated brain network. Here we announce the beginnings of a songbird brain integrative project that involves high-throughput, molecular, anatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral levels of analysis. We first formed a rationale for inclusion of specific biological levels of analysis, then developed high-throughput molecular technologies on songbird brains, developed technologies for combined analysis of electrophysiological activity and gene regulation in awake behaving animals, and developed bioinformatic tools that predict causal interactions within and between biological levels of organization. This integrative brain project is fitting for the interdisciplinary approaches taken in the current songbird issue of the Journal of Comparative Physiology A and is expected to be conducive to deciphering how brains generate and perceive complex behaviors. PMID:12471494

  12. Learning-related brain hemispheric dominance in sleeping songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M. H.; van de Kamp, Ferdinand C.; Zandbergen, Matthijs A.; Bolhuis, Johan J.

    2015-01-01

    There are striking behavioural and neural parallels between the acquisition of speech in humans and song learning in songbirds. In humans, language-related brain activation is mostly lateralised to the left hemisphere. During language acquisition in humans, brain hemispheric lateralisation develops as language proficiency increases. Sleep is important for the formation of long-term memory, in humans as well as in other animals, including songbirds. Here, we measured neuronal activation (as the expression pattern of the immediate early gene ZENK) during sleep in juvenile zebra finch males that were still learning their songs from a tutor. We found that during sleep, there was learning-dependent lateralisation of spontaneous neuronal activation in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a secondary auditory brain region that is involved in tutor song memory, while there was right hemisphere dominance of neuronal activation in HVC (used as a proper name), a premotor nucleus that is involved in song production and sensorimotor learning. Specifically, in the NCM, birds that imitated their tutors well were left dominant, while poor imitators were right dominant, similar to language-proficiency related lateralisation in humans. Given the avian-human parallels, lateralised neural activation during sleep may also be important for speech and language acquisition in human infants. PMID:25761654

  13. Learning-related brain hemispheric dominance in sleeping songbirds.

    PubMed

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M H; van de Kamp, Ferdinand C; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2015-01-01

    There are striking behavioural and neural parallels between the acquisition of speech in humans and song learning in songbirds. In humans, language-related brain activation is mostly lateralised to the left hemisphere. During language acquisition in humans, brain hemispheric lateralisation develops as language proficiency increases. Sleep is important for the formation of long-term memory, in humans as well as in other animals, including songbirds. Here, we measured neuronal activation (as the expression pattern of the immediate early gene ZENK) during sleep in juvenile zebra finch males that were still learning their songs from a tutor. We found that during sleep, there was learning-dependent lateralisation of spontaneous neuronal activation in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a secondary auditory brain region that is involved in tutor song memory, while there was right hemisphere dominance of neuronal activation in HVC (used as a proper name), a premotor nucleus that is involved in song production and sensorimotor learning. Specifically, in the NCM, birds that imitated their tutors well were left dominant, while poor imitators were right dominant, similar to language-proficiency related lateralisation in humans. Given the avian-human parallels, lateralised neural activation during sleep may also be important for speech and language acquisition in human infants. PMID:25761654

  14. Responses of the mammary transcriptome of dairy cows to altered photoperiod during late gestation.

    PubMed

    Bentley, P A; Wall, E H; Dahl, G E; McFadden, T B

    2015-10-01

    Cows exposed to short day photoperiod (SD, 8L:16D) during the 60-day nonlactating period prior to parturition produce more milk in their subsequent lactation compared with cows exposed to long day photoperiod (LD, 16L:8D). Although this response is well established in dairy cows, the underlying mechanisms are not understood. We hypothesized that differential gene expression in cows exposed to SD or LD photoperiods during the dry period could be used to identify the functional basis for the subsequent increase in milk production during lactation. Pregnant, multiparous cows were maintained on an SD or LD photoperiod for 60 days prior to parturition. Mammary biopsies were obtained on days -24 and -9 relative to parturition and Affymetrix GeneChip Bovine Genome Arrays were used to quantify gene expression. Sixty-four genes were differentially expressed (P ≤ 0.05 and fold-change ≥ |1.5|) between SD and LD treatments. Many of these genes were associated with cell growth and proliferation, or immune function. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis predicted upstream regulators to include TNF, TGF-β1, interferon-γ, and several interleukins. In addition, expression of 125 genes was significantly different between day -24 and day -9; those genes were associated with milk component metabolism and immune function. The interaction of photoperiod and time affected 32 genes associated with insulin-like growth factor I signaling. Genes differentially expressed in response to photoperiod were associated with mammary development and immune function consistent with the enhancement of milk yield in the ensuing lactation. Our results provide insight into the mechanisms by which photoperiod affects the mammary gland and subsequently lactation. PMID:26175502

  15. Variation among individuals in photoperiod responses: Effects of breeding schedule, photoperiod, and age-related photoperiodic experience in birds.

    PubMed

    Watts, Heather E; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A; Hahn, Thomas P

    2015-07-01

    Many organisms use environmental cues to regulate reproductive function in order to time reproduction to coincide with favorable environmental conditions. Whereas we understand much about how environmental cues are used to time reproduction, we know relatively little about variation among individuals in responsiveness to environmental cues. However, this variation among individuals may represent a crucial component of a population's capacity to respond to changing environmental conditions. In this study, we quantify variation among individuals in photoperiod responsiveness of the avian reproductive system and investigate three potential underlying sources of this variation in environmental cue responsiveness. Specifically, we tested whether age-related photoperiodic experience, strength of the photoperiodic cue (day length), and degree of flexibility in breeding schedule influenced the degree of variation observed in experimental studies of seven species of cardueline finches. Overall, we found a high degree of variation among individuals in photoperiod response, and this was influenced by experimental photoperiod and breeding schedule. As experimental photoperiod became longer, the degree of variation declined. Opportunistic breeders showed greater variation in response compared with more seasonal breeders. We found no effect of age-related photoperiodic experience in one species for which we could examine this factor. The results of this study highlight the extent to which individuals can vary in their response to environmental cues and point to both species ecology and characteristics of the cue as important influences on the degree of this variation. PMID:25865942

  16. Photoperiodic response may facilitate adaptation to climatic change in long-distance migratory birds.

    PubMed Central

    Coppack, Timothy; Pulido, Francisco; Czisch, Michael; Auer, Dorothee P; Berthold, Peter

    2003-01-01

    Recent climatic change is causing spring events in northern temperate regions to occur earlier in the year. As a result, migratory birds returning from tropical wintering sites may arrive too late to take full advantage of the food resources on their breeding grounds. Under these conditions, selection will favour earlier spring arrival that could be achieved by overwintering closer to the breeding grounds. However, it is unknown how daylength conditions at higher latitudes will affect the timing of life cycle stages. Here, we show in three species of Palaearctic-African migratory songbirds that a shortening of migration distance induces an advancement of springtime activities. Birds exposed to daylengths simulating migration to and wintering in southern Europe considerably advanced their spring migratory activity and testicular development. This response to the novel photoperiodic environment will enable birds wintering further north to advance spring arrival and to start breeding earlier. Thus, phenotypic flexibility in response to the photoperiod may reinforce selection for shorter migration distance if spring temperatures continue to rise. PMID:12952632

  17. Photoperiodic response may facilitate adaptation to climatic change in long-distance migratory birds.

    PubMed

    Coppack, Timothy; Pulido, Francisco; Czisch, Michael; Auer, Dorothee P; Berthold, Peter

    2003-08-01

    Recent climatic change is causing spring events in northern temperate regions to occur earlier in the year. As a result, migratory birds returning from tropical wintering sites may arrive too late to take full advantage of the food resources on their breeding grounds. Under these conditions, selection will favour earlier spring arrival that could be achieved by overwintering closer to the breeding grounds. However, it is unknown how daylength conditions at higher latitudes will affect the timing of life cycle stages. Here, we show in three species of Palaearctic-African migratory songbirds that a shortening of migration distance induces an advancement of springtime activities. Birds exposed to daylengths simulating migration to and wintering in southern Europe considerably advanced their spring migratory activity and testicular development. This response to the novel photoperiodic environment will enable birds wintering further north to advance spring arrival and to start breeding earlier. Thus, phenotypic flexibility in response to the photoperiod may reinforce selection for shorter migration distance if spring temperatures continue to rise. PMID:12952632

  18. Photoperiod-dependent changes in the phase of core clock transcripts and global transcriptional outputs at dawn and dusk in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Flis, Anna; Sulpice, Ronan; Seaton, Daniel D; Ivakov, Alexander A; Liput, Magda; Abel, Christin; Millar, Andrew J; Stitt, Mark

    2016-09-01

    Plants use the circadian clock to sense photoperiod length. Seasonal responses like flowering are triggered at a critical photoperiod when a light-sensitive clock output coincides with light or darkness. However, many metabolic processes, like starch turnover, and growth respond progressively to photoperiod duration. We first tested the photoperiod response of 10 core clock genes and two output genes. qRT-PCR analyses of transcript abundance under 6, 8, 12 and 18 h photoperiods revealed 1-4 h earlier peak times under short photoperiods and detailed changes like rising PRR7 expression before dawn. Clock models recapitulated most of these changes. We explored the consequences for global gene expression by performing transcript profiling in 4, 6, 8, 12 and 18 h photoperiods. There were major changes in transcript abundance at dawn, which were as large as those between dawn and dusk in a given photoperiod. Contributing factors included altered timing of the clock relative to dawn, light signalling and changes in carbon availability at night as a result of clock-dependent regulation of starch degradation. Their interaction facilitates coordinated transcriptional regulation of key processes like starch turnover, anthocyanin, flavonoid and glucosinolate biosynthesis and protein synthesis and underpins the response of metabolism and growth to photoperiod. PMID:27075884

  19. Transoceanic migration by a 12 g songbird

    PubMed Central

    DeLuca, William V.; Woodworth, Bradley K.; Rimmer, Christopher C.; Marra, Peter P.; Taylor, Philip D.; McFarland, Kent P.; Mackenzie, Stuart A.; Norris, D. Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Many fundamental aspects of migration remain a mystery, largely due to our inability to follow small animals over vast spatial areas. For more than 50 years, it has been hypothesized that, during autumn migration, blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata) depart northeastern North America and undertake a non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean to either the Greater Antilles or the northeastern coast of South America. Using miniaturized light-level geolocators, we provide the first irrefutable evidence that the blackpoll warbler, a 12 g boreal forest songbird, completes an autumn transoceanic migration ranging from 2270 to 2770 km (mean ± s.d.: 2540 ± 257) and requiring up to 3 days (62 h ± 10) of non-stop flight. This is one of the longest non-stop overwater flights recorded for a songbird and confirms what has long been believed to be one of the most extraordinary migratory feats on the planet. PMID:25832815

  20. Transoceanic migration by a 12 g songbird.

    PubMed

    DeLuca, William V; Woodworth, Bradley K; Rimmer, Christopher C; Marra, Peter P; Taylor, Philip D; McFarland, Kent P; Mackenzie, Stuart A; Norris, D Ryan

    2015-04-01

    Many fundamental aspects of migration remain a mystery, largely due to our inability to follow small animals over vast spatial areas. For more than 50 years, it has been hypothesized that, during autumn migration, blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata) depart northeastern North America and undertake a non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean to either the Greater Antilles or the northeastern coast of South America. Using miniaturized light-level geolocators, we provide the first irrefutable evidence that the blackpoll warbler, a 12 g boreal forest songbird, completes an autumn transoceanic migration ranging from 2270 to 2770 km (mean ± s.d.: 2540 ± 257) and requiring up to 3 days (62 h ± 10) of non-stop flight. This is one of the longest non-stop overwater flights recorded for a songbird and confirms what has long been believed to be one of the most extraordinary migratory feats on the planet. PMID:25832815

  1. Photoperiodic time measurement and seasonal immunological plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Tyler J.; Prendergast, Brian J.

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal variations in immunity are common in nature, and changes in day length are sufficient to trigger enhancement and suppression of immune function in many vertebrates. Drawing primarily on data from Siberian hamsters, this review describes formal and physiological aspects of the neuroendocrine regulation of seasonal changes in mammalian immunity. Photoperiod regulates immunity in a trait-specific manner, and seasonal changes in gonadal hormone secretion and thyroid hormone signaling all participate in seasonal immunomodulation. Photoperiod-driven changes in the hamster reproductive and immune systems are associated with changes in iodothyronine deiodinase-mediated thyroid hormone signaling, but photoperiod exerts opposite effects on the epigenetic regulation of reproductive neuroendocrine and lymphoid tissues. Photoperiodic changes in immunocompetence may explain a proportion of the annual variance in disease incidence and severity in nature, and provide a useful framework to help understand brain-immune interactions. PMID:25456046

  2. In short photoperiods, human sleep is biphasic.

    PubMed

    Wehr

    1992-06-01

    Results of a photoperiod experiment show that human sleep can be unconsolidated and polyphasic, like the sleep of other animals. When normal individuals were transferred from a conventional 16-h photoperiod to an experimental 10-h photo-period, their sleep episodes expanded and usually divided into two symmetrical bouts, several hours in duration, with a 1-3 h waking interval between them. The durations of nocturnal melatonin secretion and of the nocturnal phase of rising sleepiness (measured in a constant routine protocol) also expanded, indicating that the timing of internal processes that control sleep and melatonin, such as circadian rhythms, had been modified by the change in photoperiod. Previous work suggests that the experimental results could be simulated with dual-oscillators, entrained separately to dawn and dusk, or with a two-process model, having a lowered threshold for sleep-onset during the scotoperiod. PMID:10607034

  3. Circadian Clock and Photoperiodic Response in Arabidopsis: From Seasonal Flowering to Redox Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Many of the developmental responses and behaviors in plants that occur throughout the year are controlled by photoperiod; among these, seasonal flowering is the most characterized. Molecular genetic and biochemical analyses have revealed the mechanisms by which plants sense changes in day length to regulate seasonal flowering. In Arabidopsis thaliana, induction of the expression of a florigen, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) protein, is a major output of the photoperiodic flowering pathway. The circadian clock coordinates the expression profiles and activities of the components in this pathway. Light-dependent control of CONSTANS (CO) transcription factor activity is a crucial part of the induction of the photoperiodic expression of FT. CO protein is stabilized only in the long day afternoon, which is when FT is induced. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the determination of the molecular architecture of the circadian clock and mechanisms underlying photoperiodic flowering. In addition, we introduce the molecular mechanisms of other biological processes, such as hypocotyl growth and reactive oxygen species production, which are also controlled by alterations in photoperiod. PMID:25346271

  4. The contribution of an hourglass timer to the evolution of photoperiodic response in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, W E; Quebodeaux, I M C; Holzapfel, C M

    2003-10-01

    Photoperiodism, the ability to assess the length of day or night, enables a diverse array of plants, birds, mammals, and arthropods to organize their development and reproduction in concert with the changing seasons in temperate climatic zones. For more than 60 years, the mechanism controlling photoperiodic response has been debated. Photoperiodism may be a simple interval timer, that is, an hourglasslike mechanism that literally measures the length of day or night or, alternatively, may be an overt expression of an underlying circadian oscillator. Herein, we test experimentally whether the rhythmic response in Wyeomyia smithii indicates a causal, necessary relationship between circadian rhythmicity and the evolutionary modification of photoperiodic response over the climatic gradient of North America, or may be explained by a simple interval timer. We show that a day-interval timer is sufficient to predict the photoperiodic response of W. smithii over this broad geographic range and conclude that rhythmic responses observed in classical circadian-based experiments alone cannot be used to infer a causal role for circadian rhythmicity in the evolution of photoperiodic time measurement. More importantly, we argue that the pursuit of circadian rhythmicity as the central mechanism that measures the duration of night or day has distracted researchers from consideration of the interval-timing processes that may actually be the target of natural selection linking internal photoperiodic time measurement to the external seasonal environment. PMID:14628922

  5. Vocal learning beyond imitation: mechanisms of adaptive vocal development in songbirds and human infants

    PubMed Central

    Tchernichovski, Ofer; Marcus, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Studies of vocal learning in songbirds typically focus on the acquisition of sensory templates for song imitation and on the consequent process of matching song production to templates. However, functional vocal development also requires the capacity to adaptively diverge from sensory templates, and to flexibly assemble vocal units. Examples of adaptive divergence include the corrective imitation of abnormal songs, and the decreased tendency to copy overabundant syllables. Such frequency-dependent effects might mirror tradeoffs between the assimilation of group identity (culture) while establishing individual and flexibly expressive songs. Intriguingly, although the requirements for vocal plasticity vary across songbirds, and more so between birdsong and language, the capacity to flexibly assemble vocal sounds develops in a similar, stepwise manner across species. Therefore, universal features of vocal learning go well beyond the capacity to imitate. PMID:25005823

  6. Genetic variation in male sexual behaviour in a population of white-footed mice in relation to photoperiod

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Kathy; Bucci, Donna; Zelensky, Paul K.; Chesney, Alanna; Tidhar, Wendy; Broussard, David R.; Heideman, Paul D.

    2015-01-01

    In natural populations, genetic variation in seasonal male sexual behaviour could affect behavioural ecology and evolution. In a wild-source population of white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus, from Virginia, U.S.A., males experiencing short photoperiod show high levels of genetic variation in reproductive organ mass and neuroendocrine traits related to fertility. We tested whether males from two divergent selection lines, one that strongly suppresses fertility under short photoperiod (responder) and one that weakly suppresses fertility under short photoperiod (nonresponder), also differ in photoperiod-dependent sexual behaviour and responses to female olfactory cues. Under short, but not long, photoperiod, there were significant differences between responder and nonresponder males in sexual behaviour and likelihood of inseminating a female. Males that were severely oligospermic or azoospermic under short photoperiod failed to display sexual behaviour in response to an ovariectomized and hormonally primed receptive female. However, on the day following testing, females were positive for spermatozoa only when paired with a male having a sperm count in the normal range for males under long photoperiod. Males from the nonresponder line showed accelerated reproductive development under short photoperiod in response to urine-soiled bedding from females, but males from the responder line did not. The results indicate genetic variation in sexual behaviour that is expressed under short, but not long, photoperiod, and indicate a potential link between heritable neuroendocrine variation and male sexual behaviour. In winter in a natural population, this heritable behavioural variation could affect fitness, seasonal life history trade-offs and population growth. PMID:25983335

  7. Photoperiod and reproduction in female deer mice

    SciTech Connect

    Whitsett, J.M.; Miller, L.L.

    1982-03-01

    Female deer mice were exposed to a short day photoperiod beginning during 1 of 3 stages of life. In the first experiment, exposure to SD during adulthood resulted in a minimal disruption of reproductive condition; many females bore 2 litters after the onset of this treatment. In the second experiment, females reared on SD from weaning matured normally, as measured by vaginal introitus; however, vaginal closure occurred in approximately one-half of these females by 9 weeks of age. In the third experiment, females were born of mothers housed on either an SD or a long day photoperiod, and were continued on the maternal photoperiod until 6 weeks of postnatal age. The SD photoperiod markedly inhibited reproductive maturation as measured by vaginal patency, ovarian weight, and uterine weight. A comparison of reproductive organ weights and vaginal condition provided evidence for the validity of the latter measure as an index of reproductive state. As assayed by the present testing procedure, the sensitivity of the reproductive system to photoperiod decreases as a function of age in female deer mice.

  8. Effects of extended photoperiod on sandhill crane reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.F.; Pendleton, G.W.

    1992-01-01

    Photoperiod studies were conducted with greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) from 1969 to 1972 and from 1982 to 1987 at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Maryland. When housed indoors and exposed to long photoperiods, males produced semen during winter. When exposed to artificially extended photoperiods during spring in outdoor pens, females apparently laid earlier in the year and laid more eggs than they would have without the added light. Cranes did not exhibit any signs of photorefractory response to extended photoperiods.

  9. Shared neural substrates for song discrimination in parental and parasitic songbirds.

    PubMed

    Louder, Matthew I M; Voss, Henning U; Manna, Thomas J; Carryl, Sophia S; London, Sarah E; Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Hauber, Mark E

    2016-05-27

    In many social animals, early exposure to conspecific stimuli is critical for the development of accurate species recognition. Obligate brood parasitic songbirds, however, forego parental care and young are raised by heterospecific hosts in the absence of conspecific stimuli. Having evolved from non-parasitic, parental ancestors, how brood parasites recognize their own species remains unclear. In parental songbirds (e.g. zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata), the primary and secondary auditory forebrain areas are known to be critical in the differential processing of conspecific vs. heterospecific songs. Here we demonstrate that the same auditory brain regions underlie song discrimination in adult brood parasitic pin-tailed whydahs (Vidua macroura), a close relative of the zebra finch lineage. Similar to zebra finches, whydahs showed stronger behavioral responses during conspecific vs. heterospecific song and tone pips as well as increased neural responses within the auditory forebrain, as measured by both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and immediate early gene (IEG) expression. Given parallel behavioral and neuroanatomical patterns of song discrimination, our results suggest that the evolutionary transition to brood parasitism from parental songbirds likely involved an "evolutionary tinkering" of existing proximate mechanisms, rather than the wholesale reworking of the neural substrates of species recognition. PMID:27095589

  10. Integrating Genomes, Brain and Behavior in the Study of Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Clayton, David F.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; London, Sarah E.

    2010-01-01

    Songbirds share some essential traits but are extraordinarily diverse, allowing comparative analyses aimed at identifying specific genotype–phenotype associations. This diversity encompasses traits like vocal communication and complex social behaviors that are of great interest to humans, but that are not well represented in other accessible research organisms. Many songbirds are readily observable in nature and thus afford unique insight into the links between environment and organism. The distinctive organization of the songbird brain will facilitate analysis of genomic links to brain and behavior. Access to the zebra finch genome sequence will, therefore, prompt new questions and provide the ability to answer those questions. PMID:19788884

  11. Influence of previous photoperiodic exposure on the reproductive response to a specific photoperiod signal in ewes.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, T; Donovan, A; Karsch, F J; Roche, J F; O'Callaghan, D

    1997-04-01

    Two experiments were carried out to determine whether the reproductive response of ewes to a specific photoperiodic signal depends on the time of year that the signal is given, and, if so, whether this dependence can be attributed to the photoperiodic history of the ewes. The aim of experiment 1 was to expand upon previous findings that the reproductive response to a specific photoperiodic challenge in ewes previously maintained on natural photoperiod varies with time of year. Ewes were transferred at one of three times of year from natural photoperiod to photochambers and were immediately exposed to 35 long days (18L:6D) followed by continuous exposure to short days (8.5L: 15.5D); this treatment is referred to as LD-->SD. The three times of year when long days started corresponded to the beginning of the breeding season, the mid-breeding season, and early anestrus (September 21, December 21, March 21, respectively). In ewes exposed to LD-->SD beginning in September, the breeding season and subsequent anestrous season was not altered. In ewes exposed to LD-->SD beginning in December, the transition to anestrus was advanced (p < 0.05) relative to that in controls maintained in simulated natural photoperiod. Subsequently, half of these ewes resumed reproductive activity within 180 days; this occurred 131 +/- 8 days after transfer to short days. In contrast, all ewes exposed to LD-->SD beginning in March resumed reproductive activity; this began 100 +/- 3 days after transfer to short days (p < 0.05 versus December group). The purpose of experiment 2 was to assess the extent to which the difference in response to a photoperiodic challenge can be attributed to photoperiodic history. Ewes were maintained on short days from the winter solstice interrupted with 35 long days from March 21, June 21, September 21, or December 21. The majority of ewes exhibited an onset of reproductive activity after exposure to LD-->SD at the different times of year, and there was no group

  12. A neuroendocrine role for chemerin in hypothalamic remodelling and photoperiodic control of energy balance

    PubMed Central

    Helfer, Gisela; Ross, Alexander W.; Thomson, Lynn M.; Mayer, Claus D.; Stoney, Patrick N.; McCaffery, Peter J.; Morgan, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term and reversible changes in body weight are typical of seasonal animals. Thyroid hormone (TH) and retinoic acid (RA) within the tanycytes and ependymal cells of the hypothalamus have been implicated in the photoperiodic response. We investigated signalling downstream of RA and how this links to the control of body weight and food intake in photoperiodic F344 rats. Chemerin, an inflammatory chemokine, with a known role in energy metabolism, was identified as a target of RA. Gene expression of chemerin (Rarres2) and its receptors were localised within the tanycytes and ependymal cells, with higher expression under long (LD) versus short (SD) photoperiod, pointing to a physiological role. The SD to LD transition (increased food intake) was mimicked by 2 weeks of ICV infusion of chemerin into rats. Chemerin also increased expression of the cytoskeletal protein vimentin, implicating hypothalamic remodelling in this response. By contrast, acute ICV bolus injection of chemerin on a 12 h:12 h photoperiod inhibited food intake and decreased body weight with associated changes in hypothalamic neuropeptides involved in growth and feeding after 24 hr. We describe the hypothalamic ventricular zone as a key site of neuroendocrine regulation, where the inflammatory signal, chemerin, links TH and RA signaling to hypothalamic remodeling. PMID:27225311

  13. Photoperiodic flowering regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Golembeski, Greg S.; Kinmonth-Schultz, Hannah A.; Song, Young Hun; Imaizumi, Takato

    2015-01-01

    Photoperiod, or the duration of light in a given day, is a critical cue that flowering plants utilize to effectively assess seasonal information and coordinate their reproductive development in synchrony with the external environment. The use of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, has greatly improved our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that determine how plants process and utilize photoperiodic information to coordinate a flowering response. This mechanism is typified by the transcriptional activation of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene by the transcription factor CONSTANS (CO) under inductive long-day conditions in Arabidopsis. FT protein then moves from the leaves to the shoot apex, where floral meristem development can be initiated. As a point of integration from a variety of environmental factors in the context of a larger system of regulatory pathways that affect flowering, the importance of photoreceptors and the circadian clock in CO regulation throughout the day has been a key feature of the photoperiodic flowering pathway. In addition to these established mechanisms, the recent discovery of a photosynthate derivative trehalose-6-phosphate as an activator of FT in leaves has interesting implications for the involvement of photosynthesis in the photoperiodic flowering response that were suggested from previous physiological experiments in flowering induction. PMID:25684830

  14. Early experience shapes vocal neural coding and perception in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Woolley, Sarah M. N.

    2012-01-01

    Songbirds, like humans, are highly accomplished vocal learners. The many parallels between speech and birdsong and conserved features of mammalian and avian auditory systems have led to the emergence of the songbird as a model system for studying the perceptual mechanisms of vocal communication. Laboratory research on songbirds allows the careful control of early life experience and high-resolution analysis of brain function during vocal learning, production and perception. Here, I review what songbird studies have revealed about the role of early experience in the development of vocal behavior, auditory perception and the processing of learned vocalizations by auditory neurons. The findings of these studies suggest general principles for how exposure to vocalizations during development and into adulthood influences the perception of learned vocal signals. PMID:22711657

  15. Development of Auditory-Vocal Perceptual Skills in Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C.; Bottjer, Sarah W.

    2012-01-01

    Songbirds are one of the few groups of animals that learn the sounds used for vocal communication during development. Like humans, songbirds memorize vocal sounds based on auditory experience with vocalizations of adult “tutors”, and then use auditory feedback of self-produced vocalizations to gradually match their motor output to the memory of tutor sounds. In humans, investigations of early vocal learning have focused mainly on perceptual skills of infants, whereas studies of songbirds have focused on measures of vocal production. In order to fully exploit songbirds as a model for human speech, understand the neural basis of learned vocal behavior, and investigate links between vocal perception and production, studies of songbirds must examine both behavioral measures of perception and neural measures of discrimination during development. Here we used behavioral and electrophysiological assays of the ability of songbirds to distinguish vocal calls of varying frequencies at different stages of vocal learning. The results show that neural tuning in auditory cortex mirrors behavioral improvements in the ability to make perceptual distinctions of vocal calls as birds are engaged in vocal learning. Thus, separate measures of neural discrimination and behavioral perception yielded highly similar trends during the course of vocal development. The timing of this improvement in the ability to distinguish vocal sounds correlates with our previous work showing substantial refinement of axonal connectivity in cortico-basal ganglia pathways necessary for vocal learning. PMID:23285011

  16. Non-photoperiodic regulation of reproductive physiology in the flexibly breeding pine siskin (Spinus pinus).

    PubMed

    Watts, Heather E; Hahn, Thomas P

    2012-09-01

    In order to time reproduction to coincide with favorable conditions, animals use environmental cues to up- and down-regulate the reproductive axis appropriately. Although photoperiodic cues are one of the best studied of such environmental cues, animals also attend to others such as temperature, food availability, rainfall and social cues. Such non-photic cues are expected to be particularly important for tropical species and temperate-zone species that exhibit flexible or opportunistic breeding schedules. In this study, we investigate the use of non-photic cues, specifically food availability and social cues, to time the initiation of reproductive development in the pine siskin (Spinus pinus), a temperate-zone songbird with a flexible breeding schedule. Following winter solstice, males were housed on a 12L:12D photoperiod with either access to a preferred food, a potential mate (social cue), or both. Control birds received only maintenance diet and no mate. Access to a preferred food had a significant positive effect on testis size and circulating luteinizing hormone (LH). However, we found no effect of social treatment on reproductive development. The effect of the food treatment on reproductive development did not appear to result from effects on body mass or fat, as neither measure differed across treatments. The food treatment influenced not only reproductive physiology, but also reproductive behavior in this species, as access to seeds had a positive effect on affiliation of pairs. This study demonstrates that food is a potent stimulus for the initiation of reproductive development in pine siskins. PMID:22569115

  17. Non-photoperiodic regulation of reproductive physiology in the flexibly breeding pine siskin (Spinus pinus)

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Heather E.; Hahn, Thomas P.

    2012-01-01

    In order to time reproduction to coincide with favorable conditions, animals use environmental cues to up- and down-regulate the reproductive axis appropriately. Although photoperiodic cues are one of the best studied of such environmental cues, animals also attend to others such as temperature, food availability, rainfall and social cues. Such non-photic cues are expected to be particularly important for tropical species and temperate-zone species that exhibit flexible or opportunistic breeding schedules. In this study, we investigate the use of non-photic cues, specifically food availability and social cues, to time the initiation of reproductive development in the pine siskin (Spinus pinus), a temperate-zone songbird with a flexible breeding schedule. Following winter solstice, males were housed on a 12L:12D photoperiod with either access to a preferred food, a potential mate (social cue), or both. Control birds received only maintenance diet and no mate. Access to a preferred food had a significant positive effect on testis size and circulating luteinizing hormone (LH). However, we found no effect of social treatment on reproductive development. The effect of the food treatment on reproductive development did not appear to result from effects on body mass or fat, as neither measure differed across treatments. The food treatment influenced not only reproductive physiology, but also reproductive behavior in this species, as access to seeds had a positive effect on affiliation of pairs. This study demonstrates that food is a potent stimulus for the initiation of reproductive development in pine siskins. PMID:22569115

  18. A Microarray-Based Analysis Reveals that a Short Photoperiod Promotes Hair Growth in the Arbas Cashmere Goat

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jun; Wu, Dubala; Hao, Bayasihuliang; Li, Yurong; Zhao, Cunfa

    2016-01-01

    Many animals exhibit different behaviors in different seasons. The photoperiod can have effects on migration, breeding, fur growth, and other processes. The cyclic growth of the fur and feathers of some species of mammals and birds, respectively, is stimulated by the photoperiod as a result of hormone-dependent regulation of the nervous system. To further examine this phenomenon, we evaluated the Arbas Cashmere goat (Capra hircus), a species that is often used in this type of research. The goats were exposed to an experimentally controlled short photoperiod to study the regulation of cyclic cashmere growth. Exposure to a short photoperiod extended the anagen phase of the Cashmere goat hair follicle to increase cashmere production. Assessments of tissue sections indicated that the short photoperiod significantly induced cashmere growth. This conclusion was supported by a comparison of the differences in gene expression between the short photoperiod and natural conditions using gene chip technology. Using the gene chip data, we identified genes that showed altered expression under the short photoperiod compared to natural conditions, and these genes were found to be involved in the biological processes of hair follicle growth, structural composition of the hair follicle, and the morphogenesis of the surrounding skin appendages. Knowledge about differences in the expression of these genes as well as their functions and periodic regulation patterns increases our understanding of Cashmere goat hair follicle growth. This study also provides preliminary data that may be useful for the development of an artificial method to improve cashmere production by controlling the light cycle, which has practical significance for livestock breeding. PMID:26814503

  19. A Microarray-Based Analysis Reveals that a Short Photoperiod Promotes Hair Growth in the Arbas Cashmere Goat.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bin; Gao, Fengqin; Guo, Jun; Wu, Dubala; Hao, Bayasihuliang; Li, Yurong; Zhao, Cunfa

    2016-01-01

    Many animals exhibit different behaviors in different seasons. The photoperiod can have effects on migration, breeding, fur growth, and other processes. The cyclic growth of the fur and feathers of some species of mammals and birds, respectively, is stimulated by the photoperiod as a result of hormone-dependent regulation of the nervous system. To further examine this phenomenon, we evaluated the Arbas Cashmere goat (Capra hircus), a species that is often used in this type of research. The goats were exposed to an experimentally controlled short photoperiod to study the regulation of cyclic cashmere growth. Exposure to a short photoperiod extended the anagen phase of the Cashmere goat hair follicle to increase cashmere production. Assessments of tissue sections indicated that the short photoperiod significantly induced cashmere growth. This conclusion was supported by a comparison of the differences in gene expression between the short photoperiod and natural conditions using gene chip technology. Using the gene chip data, we identified genes that showed altered expression under the short photoperiod compared to natural conditions, and these genes were found to be involved in the biological processes of hair follicle growth, structural composition of the hair follicle, and the morphogenesis of the surrounding skin appendages. Knowledge about differences in the expression of these genes as well as their functions and periodic regulation patterns increases our understanding of Cashmere goat hair follicle growth. This study also provides preliminary data that may be useful for the development of an artificial method to improve cashmere production by controlling the light cycle, which has practical significance for livestock breeding. PMID:26814503

  20. A productivity model for parasitized, multibrooded songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, L.A.; Knutson, M.G.

    2006-01-01

    We present an enhancement of a simulation model to predict annual productivity for Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) and American Redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla); the model includes effects of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism. We used species-specific data from the Driftless Area Ecoregion of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa to parameterize the model as a case study. The simulation model predicted annual productivity of 2.03 ?? 1.60 SD for Wood Thrushes and 1.56 ?? 1.31 SD for American Redstarts. Our sensitivity analysis showed that high parasitism lowered Wood Thrush annual productivity more than American Redstart productivity, even though parasitism affected individual nests of redstarts more severely. Annual productivity predictions are valuable for habitat managers, but productivity is not easily obtained from field studies. Our model provides a useful means of integrating complex life history parameters to predict productivity for songbirds that experience nest parasitism. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2006.

  1. The opportunities and challenges of large-scale molecular approaches to songbird neurobiology

    PubMed Central

    Mello, C.V.; Clayton, D.F.

    2014-01-01

    High-through put methods for analyzing genome structure and function are having a large impact in song-bird neurobiology. Methods include genome sequencing and annotation, comparative genomics, DNA microarrays and transcriptomics, and the development of a brain atlas of gene expression. Key emerging findings include the identification of complex transcriptional programs active during singing, the robust brain expression of non-coding RNAs, evidence of profound variations in gene expression across brain regions, and the identification of molecular specializations within song production and learning circuits. Current challenges include the statistical analysis of large datasets, effective genome curations, the efficient localization of gene expression changes to specific neuronal circuits and cells, and the dissection of behavioral and environmental factors that influence brain gene expression. The field requires efficient methods for comparisons with organisms like chicken, which offer important anatomical, functional and behavioral contrasts. As sequencing costs plummet, opportunities emerge for comparative approaches that may help reveal evolutionary transitions contributing to vocal learning, social behavior and other properties that make songbirds such compelling research subjects. PMID:25280907

  2. The opportunities and challenges of large-scale molecular approaches to songbird neurobiology.

    PubMed

    Mello, C V; Clayton, D F

    2015-03-01

    High-throughput methods for analyzing genome structure and function are having a large impact in songbird neurobiology. Methods include genome sequencing and annotation, comparative genomics, DNA microarrays and transcriptomics, and the development of a brain atlas of gene expression. Key emerging findings include the identification of complex transcriptional programs active during singing, the robust brain expression of non-coding RNAs, evidence of profound variations in gene expression across brain regions, and the identification of molecular specializations within song production and learning circuits. Current challenges include the statistical analysis of large datasets, effective genome curations, the efficient localization of gene expression changes to specific neuronal circuits and cells, and the dissection of behavioral and environmental factors that influence brain gene expression. The field requires efficient methods for comparisons with organisms like chicken, which offer important anatomical, functional and behavioral contrasts. As sequencing costs plummet, opportunities emerge for comparative approaches that may help reveal evolutionary transitions contributing to vocal learning, social behavior and other properties that make songbirds such compelling research subjects. PMID:25280907

  3. The effects of phytochrome-mediated light signals on the developmental acquisition of photoperiod sensitivity in rice

    PubMed Central

    Yoshitake, Yoshihiro; Yokoo, Takayuki; Saito, Hiroki; Tsukiyama, Takuji; Quan, Xu; Zikihara, Kazunori; Katsura, Hitomi; Tokutomi, Satoru; Aboshi, Takako; Mori, Naoki; Inoue, Hiromo; Nishida, Hidetaka; Kohchi, Takayuki; Teraishi, Masayoshi; Okumoto, Yutaka; Tanisaka, Takatoshi

    2015-01-01

    Plants commonly rely on photoperiodism to control flowering time. Rice development before floral initiation is divided into two successive phases: the basic vegetative growth phase (BVP, photoperiod-insensitive phase) and the photoperiod-sensitive phase (PSP). The mechanism responsible for the transition of rice plants into their photoperiod-sensitive state remains elusive. Here, we show that se13, a mutation detected in the extremely early flowering mutant X61 is a nonsense mutant gene of OsHY2, which encodes phytochromobilin (PΦB) synthase, as evidenced by spectrometric and photomorphogenic analyses. We demonstrated that some flowering time and circadian clock genes harbor different expression profiles in BVP as opposed to PSP, and that this phenomenon is chiefly caused by different phytochrome-mediated light signal requirements: in BVP, phytochrome-mediated light signals directly suppress Ehd2, while in PSP, phytochrome-mediated light signals activate Hd1 and Ghd7 expression through the circadian clock genes' expression. These findings indicate that light receptivity through the phytochromes is different between two distinct developmental phases corresponding to the BVP and PSP in the rice flowering process. Our results suggest that these differences might be involved in the acquisition of photoperiod sensitivity in rice. PMID:25573482

  4. Circadian timing in central and peripheral tissues in a migratory songbird: dependence on annual life-history states.

    PubMed

    Singh, Devraj; Trivedi, Amit Kumar; Rani, Sangeeta; Panda, Satchidananda; Kumar, Vinod

    2015-10-01

    Predictable seasonal change in photoperiod triggers a sequential change in the daily activity-rest pattern, adaptive for migration in several bird species. The night-migratory black-headed bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) is day active under short photoperiods (8 h light:16 h dark, short day sensitive). Under long photoperiods (16 h light:8 h dark), the buntings are initially day active (long day premigratory) but subsequently become intensely night active (long day migratory) and after few weeks again return to a day active pattern (long day refractory). However, it is unclear how the daily expression of circadian genes changes during photoperiod-induced seasonal life-history states (LHSs). We measured period 2 (Per2), cryptochrome 1 (Cry1), brain and muscle arnt-like protein 1 (Bmal1), and circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (Clock) mRNA expressions in various neural and peripheral tissues of buntings in different LHSs and discovered differences of ∼2 to 6 h in the phase and 2- to 4-fold in amplitude of circadian oscillations of Per2, Cry1, and Bmal1 between photoperiod-induced LHSs. Phase relationship in mRNA oscillations was altered between oscillator components in the circadian pacemaker system (retina, pineal, hypothalamus) as well as in the peripheral (liver, muscle) tissues. These results show for the first time altered waveforms of clock gene expressions in all tissues in parallel with behavioral shifts and suggest the involvement of circadian system in photoperiod induction of seasonal LHSs in a migratory species. PMID:26103987

  5. Interaction of Photoperiod and Vernalization Determines Flowering Time of Brachypodium distachyon1[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Ream, Thomas S.; Woods, Daniel P.; Schwartz, Christopher J.; Sanabria, Claudia P.; Mahoy, Jill A.; Walters, Eric M.; Kaeppler, Heidi F.; Amasino, Richard M.

    2014-01-01

    Timing of flowering is key to the reproductive success of many plants. In temperate climates, flowering is often coordinated with seasonal environmental cues such as temperature and photoperiod. Vernalization is an example of temperature influencing the timing of flowering and is defined as the process by which a prolonged exposure to the cold of winter results in competence to flower during the following spring. In cereals, three genes (VERNALIZATION1 [VRN1], VRN2, and FLOWERING LOCUS T [FT]) have been identified that influence the vernalization requirement and are thought to form a regulatory loop to control the timing of flowering. Here, we characterize natural variation in the vernalization and photoperiod responses in Brachypodium distachyon, a small temperate grass related to wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare). Brachypodium spp. accessions display a wide range of flowering responses to different photoperiods and lengths of vernalization. In addition, we characterize the expression patterns of the closest homologs of VRN1, VRN2 (VRN2-like [BdVRN2L]), and FT before, during, and after cold exposure as well as in different photoperiods. FT messenger RNA levels generally correlate with flowering time among accessions grown in different photoperiods, and FT is more highly expressed in vernalized plants after cold. VRN1 is induced by cold in leaves and remains high following vernalization. Plants overexpressing VRN1 or FT flower rapidly in the absence of vernalization, and plants overexpressing VRN1 exhibit lower BdVRN2L levels. Interestingly, BdVRN2L is induced during cold, which is a difference in the behavior of BdVRN2L compared with wheat VRN2 during cold. PMID:24357601

  6. Interaction of photoperiod and vernalization determines flowering time of Brachypodium distachyon.

    PubMed

    Ream, Thomas S; Woods, Daniel P; Schwartz, Christopher J; Sanabria, Claudia P; Mahoy, Jill A; Walters, Eric M; Kaeppler, Heidi F; Amasino, Richard M

    2014-02-01

    Timing of flowering is key to the reproductive success of many plants. In temperate climates, flowering is often coordinated with seasonal environmental cues such as temperature and photoperiod. Vernalization is an example of temperature influencing the timing of flowering and is defined as the process by which a prolonged exposure to the cold of winter results in competence to flower during the following spring. In cereals, three genes (VERNALIZATION1 [VRN1], VRN2, and FLOWERING LOCUS T [FT]) have been identified that influence the vernalization requirement and are thought to form a regulatory loop to control the timing of flowering. Here, we characterize natural variation in the vernalization and photoperiod responses in Brachypodium distachyon, a small temperate grass related to wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare). Brachypodium spp. accessions display a wide range of flowering responses to different photoperiods and lengths of vernalization. In addition, we characterize the expression patterns of the closest homologs of VRN1, VRN2 (VRN2-like [BdVRN2L]), and FT before, during, and after cold exposure as well as in different photoperiods. FT messenger RNA levels generally correlate with flowering time among accessions grown in different photoperiods, and FT is more highly expressed in vernalized plants after cold. VRN1 is induced by cold in leaves and remains high following vernalization. Plants overexpressing VRN1 or FT flower rapidly in the absence of vernalization, and plants overexpressing VRN1 exhibit lower BdVRN2L levels. Interestingly, BdVRN2L is induced during cold, which is a difference in the behavior of BdVRN2L compared with wheat VRN2 during cold. PMID:24357601

  7. Photoperiod effects on plasma cortisol levels in Gasterosteus aculeatus.

    PubMed

    Audet, C; FitzGerald, G J; Guderley, H

    1986-01-01

    No diel variations of plasma cortisol levels were found in Gasterosteus aculeatus acclimated to two different photoperiod conditions: 14L:10D and 9L:15D. However, under long photoperiods, G. aculeatus exhibited higher plasma cortisol levels than under short photoperiods, suggesting that elevated plasma cortisol levels are associated with the spring migration and/or reproductive activities. This decrease of plasma cortisol levels is particularly marked in male G. aculeatus. Under the 9L:15D photoperiod, males had lower plasma cortisol levels than females, in contrast to 14L:10D, where no significant sex differences were found. PMID:3940931

  8. Incomplete and Inaccurate Vocal Imitation after Knockdown of FoxP2 in Songbird Basal Ganglia Nucleus Area X

    PubMed Central

    Haesler, Sebastian; Rochefort, Christelle; Georgi, Benjamin; Licznerski, Pawel; Osten, Pavel; Scharff, Constance

    2007-01-01

    The gene encoding the forkhead box transcription factor, FOXP2, is essential for developing the full articulatory power of human language. Mutations of FOXP2 cause developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD), a speech and language disorder that compromises the fluent production of words and the correct use and comprehension of grammar. FOXP2 patients have structural and functional abnormalities in the striatum of the basal ganglia, which also express high levels of FOXP2. Since human speech and learned vocalizations in songbirds bear behavioral and neural parallels, songbirds provide a genuine model for investigating the basic principles of speech and its pathologies. In zebra finch Area X, a basal ganglia structure necessary for song learning, FoxP2 expression increases during the time when song learning occurs. Here, we used lentivirus-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) to reduce FoxP2 levels in Area X during song development. Knockdown of FoxP2 resulted in an incomplete and inaccurate imitation of tutor song. Inaccurate vocal imitation was already evident early during song ontogeny and persisted into adulthood. The acoustic structure and the duration of adult song syllables were abnormally variable, similar to word production in children with DVD. Our findings provide the first example of a functional gene analysis in songbirds and suggest that normal auditory-guided vocal motor learning requires FoxP2. PMID:18052609

  9. Female song is widespread and ancestral in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Odom, Karan J; Hall, Michelle L; Riebel, Katharina; Omland, Kevin E; Langmore, Naomi E

    2014-01-01

    Bird song has historically been considered an almost exclusively male trait, an observation fundamental to the formulation of Darwin's theory of sexual selection. Like other male ornaments, song is used by male songbirds to attract females and compete with rivals. Thus, bird song has become a textbook example of the power of sexual selection to lead to extreme neurological and behavioural sex differences. Here we present an extensive survey and ancestral state reconstruction of female song across songbirds showing that female song is present in 71% of surveyed species including 32 families, and that females sang in the common ancestor of modern songbirds. Our results reverse classical assumptions about the evolution of song and sex differences in birds. The challenge now is to identify whether sexual selection alone or broader processes, such as social or natural selection, best explain the evolution of elaborate traits in both sexes. PMID:24594930

  10. HSP90B1, a thyroid hormone-responsive heat shock protein gene involved in photoperiodic signaling.

    PubMed

    Graham, Gemma; Sharp, Peter J; Li, Qiushi; Wilson, Peter W; Talbot, Richard T; Downing, Alison; Boswell, Timothy

    2009-05-29

    In order to further advance the understanding of genes involved in avian photoperiodic signaling, a chicken hypothalamic cDNA microarray was made to identify changes in gene expression in the whole hypothalamus of juvenile male domestic chickens after 4 days' photostimulation. The most robust change was a depression in heat shock protein 90B1 (HSP90B1) expression. This observation was confirmed using quantitative PCR, and it was subsequently demonstrated that the depression in HSP90B1 expression first occurs in the anterior hypothalamus after 1 day's photostimulation, and was also depressed in the anterior and basal hypothalamus after 4 days' photostimulation. Four days after an intravenous injection of thyroxine (T4), an avian photomimetic, in short day birds, HSP90B1 expression was depressed in the anterior, but not in the basal hypothalamus. Depressed HSP901 expression after photostimulation or T4 treatment was associated with increased GnRH-I mRNA and plasma LH. HSP90B1 is abundant throughout the brain where it occurs in glial cells, and is involved in regulating white matter plasticity. It is suggested that photoperiodically depressed hypothalamic HSP90B1 may affect glial function in photoperiodic signaling pathways in the neuroendocrine system. This is the first report of a thyroid hormone-responsive gene involved in photoperiodic signaling. PMID:19429192

  11. The RING-Finger Ubiquitin Ligase HAF1 Mediates Heading date 1 Degradation during Photoperiodic Flowering in Rice[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ying; Fu, Debao; Zhu, Chunmei; He, Yizhou; Zhang, Huijun; Liu, Tao; Li, Xianghua; Wu, Changyin

    2015-01-01

    The photoperiodic response is one of the most important factors determining heading date in rice (Oryza sativa). Although rhythmic expression patterns of flowering time genes have been reported to fine-tune the photoperiodic response, posttranslational regulation of key flowering regulators has seldom been elucidated in rice. Heading date 1 (Hd1) encodes a zinc finger transcription factor that plays a crucial role in the photoperiodic response, which determines rice regional adaptability. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of Hd1 accumulation during the photoperiod response. Here, we identify a C3HC4 RING domain-containing E3 ubiquitin ligase, Heading date Associated Factor 1 (HAF1), which physically interacts with Hd1. HAF1 mediates ubiquitination and targets Hd1 for degradation via the 26S proteasome-dependent pathway. The haf1 mutant exhibits a later flowering heading date under both short-day and long-day conditions. In addition, the haf1 hd1 double mutant headed as late as hd1 plants under short-day conditions but exhibited a heading date similar to haf1 under long-day conditions, thus indicating that HAF1 may determine heading date mainly through Hd1 under short-day conditions. Moreover, high levels of Hd1 accumulate in haf1. Our results suggest that HAF1 is essential to precise modulation of the timing of Hd1 accumulation during the photoperiod response in rice. PMID:26296966

  12. Photoperiodic growth control in perennial trees

    PubMed Central

    Azeez, Abdul; Sane, Aniruddha P

    2015-01-01

    Plants have to cope with changing seasons and adverse environmental conditions. Being sessile, plants have developed elaborate mechanisms for their survival that allow them to sense and adapt to the environment and reproduce successfully. A major adaptive trait for the survival of trees of temperate and boreal forests is the induction of growth cessation in anticipation of winters. In the last few years enormous progress has been made to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying SDs induced growth cessation in model perennial tree hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × P. tremuloides). In this review we discuss the molecular mechanism underlying photoperiodic control of growth cessation and adaptive responses. PMID:26340077

  13. Effects of "short" photoperiods on seedling growth of Pinus brutia.

    PubMed

    Iakovoglou, V; Radoglou, K; Kostopoulou, P; Dini-Papanastasi, O

    2012-03-01

    This study investigated how nurseries could benefit by inducing "short" photoperiods as low as 4 hr to produce "better" seedlings characterized by more vigorous roots; a substantial feature to overcome transplanting stress. The carryover effect of the photoperiod was also investigated on seedlings that grew for 30 days more underthe consistent 14 hr photoperiod. Seedlings of Pinus brutia were subjected to 4, 6, 8 and 14 hr photoperiod for 3 week. Fifteen seedlings were used to evaluate the leaf area, the root and shoot dry weight and their ratio. Six and sixteen seedlings were used to evaluate the shoot electrolyte leakage and the root growth potential, respectively. Based on the results, the 6 and 8 hr photoperiod indicated greater root allocation (4.8 and 4.9 mg, respectively) and chlorophyll content (3.7 and 4.4, respectively). They also indicated greater leaf area values (3.3 and 3.5 cm2, respectively) along with the 14 hr (3.4 cm2). The photoperiod effect continued even after seedlings were subjected at consistent photoperiod. Overall, "short" photoperiods could provide "better" P. brutia seedlings to accommodate immediate massive reforestation and afforestation needs. PMID:23033672

  14. CACTA-like transposable element in ZmCCT attenuated photoperiod sensitivity and accelerated the postdomestication spread of maize

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Qin; Li, Zhi; Li, Wenqiang; Ku, Lixia; Wang, Chao; Ye, Jianrong; Li, Kun; Yang, Ning; Li, Yipu; Zhong, Tao; Li, Jiansheng; Chen, Yanhui; Yan, Jianbing; Yang, Xiaohong; Xu, Mingliang

    2013-01-01

    The postdomestication adaptation of maize to longer days required reduced photoperiod sensitivity to optimize flowering time. We performed a genome-wide association study and confirmed that ZmCCT, encoding a CCT domain-containing protein, is associated with the photoperiod response. In early-flowering maize we detected a CACTA-like transposable element (TE) within the ZmCCT promoter that dramatically reduced flowering time. TE insertion likely occurred after domestication and was selected as maize adapted to temperate zones. This process resulted in a strong selective sweep within the TE-related block of linkage disequilibrium. Functional validations indicated that the TE represses ZmCCT expression to reduce photoperiod sensitivity, thus accelerating maize spread to long-day environments. PMID:24089449

  15. An Evolutionarily Conserved DOF-CONSTANS Module Controls Plant Photoperiodic Signaling.

    PubMed

    Lucas-Reina, Eva; Romero-Campero, Francisco J; Romero, José M; Valverde, Federico

    2015-06-01

    The response to daylength is a crucial process that evolved very early in plant evolution, entitling the early green eukaryote to predict seasonal variability and attune its physiological responses to the environment. The photoperiod responses evolved into the complex signaling pathways that govern the angiosperm floral transition today. The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii DNA-Binding with One Finger (CrDOF) gene controls transcription in a photoperiod-dependent manner, and its misexpression influences algal growth and viability. In short days, CrDOF enhances CrCO expression, a homolog of plant CONSTANS (CO), by direct binding to its promoter, while it reduces the expression of cell division genes in long days independently of CrCO. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), transgenic plants overexpressing CrDOF show floral delay and reduced expression of the photoperiodic genes CO and FLOWERING LOCUS T. The conservation of the DOF-CO module during plant evolution could be an important clue to understanding diversification by the inheritance of conserved gene toolkits in key developmental programs. PMID:25897001

  16. An Evolutionarily Conserved DOF-CONSTANS Module Controls Plant Photoperiodic Signaling1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The response to daylength is a crucial process that evolved very early in plant evolution, entitling the early green eukaryote to predict seasonal variability and attune its physiological responses to the environment. The photoperiod responses evolved into the complex signaling pathways that govern the angiosperm floral transition today. The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii DNA-Binding with One Finger (CrDOF) gene controls transcription in a photoperiod-dependent manner, and its misexpression influences algal growth and viability. In short days, CrDOF enhances CrCO expression, a homolog of plant CONSTANS (CO), by direct binding to its promoter, while it reduces the expression of cell division genes in long days independently of CrCO. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), transgenic plants overexpressing CrDOF show floral delay and reduced expression of the photoperiodic genes CO and FLOWERING LOCUS T. The conservation of the DOF-CO module during plant evolution could be an important clue to understanding diversification by the inheritance of conserved gene toolkits in key developmental programs. PMID:25897001

  17. Temperature and photoperiod responses of soybean embryos cultured in vitro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raper, C. D. Jr; Patterson, R. P.; Raper CD, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1986-01-01

    Temperature and photoperiod each have direct effects on growth rate of excised embryos of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill). To determine if the effects of photoperiod are altered by temperature, embryos of 'Ransom II' were cultured in vitro at 18, 24, and 30 degrees C under photoperiod durations of 12 and 18 h at an irradiance of 9 W m-2 (700 to 850 nm) and a photosynthetic photon flux density of 58 micromoles m-2 s-1 (400 to 700 nm). Accumulation rates of fresh and dry weight were greater under 18-h than 12-h photoperiods over the entire range of temperature. Water content of the culture embryos was not affected by photoperiod but was greater at 18 and 30 than 24 degrees C. The accumulation rate of dry weight increased from 18 to 26 but declined at 30 degrees C.

  18. Effects of long daily photoperiod and bovine somatotropin (Trobest) on milk yield in cows.

    PubMed

    Miller, A R; Stanisiewski, E P; Erdman, R A; Douglass, L W; Dahl, G E

    1999-08-01

    Bovine somatotropin (bST) and exposure to long daily photoperiod increase milk yield of dairy cattle. We tested the hypothesis that long daily photoperiod and bST treatment would increase milk yield in an additive manner in lactating cows. At winter solstice, 40 lactating cows were started on a 140-d experiment; cows were greater than 70 d in milk (DIM) and were balanced for uniformity of DIM and milk yield within parity. Cows were randomly assigned to one of four treatments (10/treatment): 1) natural photoperiod, 2) natural photoperiod + bST (14 mg/d Trobest i.m.), 3) long daily photoperiod (18 h of light and 6 h of darkness/d), or 4) long daily photoperiod + bST. Long daily photoperiod increased fat-corrected milk (FCM) yield 1.9 kg/d versus natural photoperiod. Treatment with bST increased FCM 5.7 kg/d versus natural photoperiod, and long daily photoperiod + bST increased FCM 5.8 kg/d versus long daily photoperiod. Long daily photoperiod + bST was additive, increasing FCM 7.7 kg/d versus natural photoperiod. Serum somatotropin increased with bST, but not photoperiod, and bST increased serum insulin-like growth factor-I. Long daily photoperiod tended to increase prolactin; bST had no effect. Long daily photoperiod + bST increased dry matter intake (DMI) relative to natural photoperiod and natural photoperiod + bST; long daily photoperiod increased DMI relative to natural photoperiod + bST. Photoperiod had no effect on net energy balance; however, bST decreased net energy balance. Generally, body weight and milk composition did not differ among treatments. In conclusion, combination of bST with long-daily photoperiod tended to amplify the increases in milk yield observed with either treatment individually. PMID:10480097

  19. Testosterone treatment diminishes sickness behavior in male songbirds.

    PubMed

    Ashley, Noah T; Hays, Quentin R; Bentley, George E; Wingfield, John C

    2009-06-01

    Males of many vertebrate species are typically more prone to disease and infection than female conspecifics, and this sexual difference is partially influenced by the immunosuppressive properties of testosterone (T) in males. T-induced immunosuppression has traditionally been viewed as a pleiotropic handicap, rather than an adaptation. Recently, it has been hypothesized that suppression of sickness behavior, or the symptoms of infection, may have adaptive value if sickness interferes with the expression of T-mediated behaviors important for male reproductive success. We conduct a classic hormone replacement experiment to examine if T suppresses sickness behavior in a seasonally-breeding songbird, Gambel's white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). Triggered experimentally by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), sickness behavior includes decreased activity, anorexia, and weight loss. Gonadectomized (GDX) males that were treated with silastic implants filled with T exhibited suppression of behavioral and physiological responses to LPS compared to GDX and sham-GDX controls given empty implants. Sickness responses of control groups were statistically indistinguishable. T-implanted birds had significantly higher plasma T than control groups and levels were within the range associated with aggressive interactions during male-to-male contests. These findings imply that suppression of sickness behavior could occur when T is elevated to socially-modulated levels. Alternatively, it is possible that this suppressive effect is mediated through a stress-induced mechanism, as corticosterone levels were elevated in T-implanted subjects compared to controls. We propose that males wounded and infected during contests may gain a brief selective advantage by suppressing sickness responses that would otherwise impair competitive performance. The cost of immunosuppression would be manifested in males through an increased susceptibility to disease, which is presumably

  20. The Importance of Carotenoid Dose in Supplementation Studies with Songbirds.

    PubMed

    Koch, Rebecca E; Wilson, Alan E; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoid coloration is the one of the most frequently studied ornamental traits in animals. Many studies of carotenoid coloration test the associations between carotenoid coloration and measures of performance, such as immunocompetence and oxidative state, proceeding from the premise that carotenoids are limited resources. Such studies commonly involve supplementing the diets of captive birds with carotenoids. In many cases, however, the amount of carotenoid administered is poorly justified, and even supposedly carotenoid-limited diets may saturate birds' systems. To quantify the relationships among the amount of carotenoids administered in experiments, levels of circulating carotenoids, and quantities of carotenoids deposited into colored ornaments, we performed a meta-analysis of 15 published studies that supplemented carotenoids to one of seven songbird species. We used allometric scaling equations to estimate the per-gram carotenoid consumption of each study's subjects, and we used meta-regression to evaluate the effects of this carotenoid dose on differences in coloration and plasma carotenoid levels between supplemented and control groups of birds. After accounting for supplementation duration and species, we observed a significant positive correlation between carotenoid intake and response of plasma carotenoid level to supplementation. The presence of supplemental carotenoids also tended to increase the expression of ornamental coloration, but the magnitude of the carotenoid dose did not significantly affect how strongly coloration changed with supplementation. Further, coloration effect sizes had no significant relationship with plasma carotenoid effect sizes. We also found significant heterogeneity in responses among studies and species, and the parameters used to measure color significantly affected response to supplementation. Our results emphasize the importance of performing dosage trials to determine what supplementation levels provide limited

  1. Negotiation of territorial boundaries in a songbird.

    PubMed

    Vehrencamp, Sandra L; Ellis, Jesse M; Cropp, Brett F; Koltz, John M

    2014-11-01

    How do territorial neighbors resolve the location of their boundaries? We addressed this question by testing the predictions of 2 nonexclusive game theoretical models for competitive signaling: the sequential assessment game and the territorial bargaining game. Our study species, the banded wren, is a neotropical nonmigratory songbird living in densely packed territorial neighborhoods. The males possess repertoires of approximately 25 song types that are largely shared between neighbors and sequentially delivered with variable switching rates. Over 3 days, boundary disputes among pairs of neighboring males were synchronously recorded, their perch positions were marked, and their behavioral interactions were noted. For each countersinging interaction between 2 focal males, we quantified approach and retreat order, a variety of song and call patterns, closest approach distance, distance from the territorial center, and female presence. Aggressors produced more rattle-buzz songs during the approaching phase of interactions, whereas defenders overlapped their opponent's songs. During the close phase of the interaction, both males matched frequently, but the key determinant of which one retreated first was song-type diversity-first retreaters sang with a higher diversity. Retreaters also produced more unshared song types during the interaction, and in the retreating phase of the interaction, they overlapped more. A negative correlation between song-type diversity asymmetry and contest duration suggested sequential assessment of motivational asymmetry. The use of this graded signal, which varied with distance from the center and indicated a male's motivation to defend a particular position, supported the bargaining model. The bargaining game could be viewed as a series of sequential assessment contests. PMID:25419086

  2. Negotiation of territorial boundaries in a songbird

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Jesse M.; Cropp, Brett F.; Koltz, John M.

    2014-01-01

    How do territorial neighbors resolve the location of their boundaries? We addressed this question by testing the predictions of 2 nonexclusive game theoretical models for competitive signaling: the sequential assessment game and the territorial bargaining game. Our study species, the banded wren, is a neotropical nonmigratory songbird living in densely packed territorial neighborhoods. The males possess repertoires of approximately 25 song types that are largely shared between neighbors and sequentially delivered with variable switching rates. Over 3 days, boundary disputes among pairs of neighboring males were synchronously recorded, their perch positions were marked, and their behavioral interactions were noted. For each countersinging interaction between 2 focal males, we quantified approach and retreat order, a variety of song and call patterns, closest approach distance, distance from the territorial center, and female presence. Aggressors produced more rattle-buzz songs during the approaching phase of interactions, whereas defenders overlapped their opponent’s songs. During the close phase of the interaction, both males matched frequently, but the key determinant of which one retreated first was song-type diversity—first retreaters sang with a higher diversity. Retreaters also produced more unshared song types during the interaction, and in the retreating phase of the interaction, they overlapped more. A negative correlation between song-type diversity asymmetry and contest duration suggested sequential assessment of motivational asymmetry. The use of this graded signal, which varied with distance from the center and indicated a male’s motivation to defend a particular position, supported the bargaining model. The bargaining game could be viewed as a series of sequential assessment contests. PMID:25419086

  3. Integration of photoperiod and cold temperature signals into flowering genetic pathways in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jae-Hyung; Park, Chung-Mo

    2015-01-01

    Appropriate timing of flowering is critical for propagation and reproductive success in plants. Therefore, flowering time is coordinately regulated by endogenous developmental programs and external signals, such as changes in photoperiod and temperature. Flowering is delayed by a transient shift to cold temperatures that frequently occurs during early spring in the temperate zones. It is known that the delayed flowering by short-term cold stress is mediated primarily by the floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). However, how the FLC-mediated cold signals are integrated into flowering genetic pathways is not fully understood. We have recently reported that the INDUCER OF CBF EXPRESSION 1 (ICE1), which is a master regulator of cold responses, FLC, and the floral integrator SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1) constitute an elaborated feedforward-feedback loop that integrates photoperiod and cold temperature signals to regulate seasonal flowering in Arabidopsis. Cold temperatures promote the binding of ICE1 to FLC promoter to induce its expression, resulting in delayed flowering. However, under floral inductive conditions, SOC1 induces flowering by blocking the ICE1 activity. We propose that the ICE1-FLC-SOC1 signaling network fine-tunes the timing of photoperiodic flowering during changing seasons. PMID:26430754

  4. Integration of photoperiod and cold temperature signals into flowering genetic pathways in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jae-Hyung; Park, Chung-Mo

    2015-01-01

    Appropriate timing of flowering is critical for propagation and reproductive success in plants. Therefore, flowering time is coordinately regulated by endogenous developmental programs and external signals, such as changes in photoperiod and temperature. Flowering is delayed by a transient shift to cold temperatures that frequently occurs during early spring in the temperate zones. It is known that the delayed flowering by short-term cold stress is mediated primarily by the floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). However, how the FLC-mediated cold signals are integrated into flowering genetic pathways is not fully understood. We have recently reported that the INDUCER OF CBF EXPRESSION 1 (ICE1), which is a master regulator of cold responses, FLC, and the floral integrator SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1) constitute an elaborated feedforward-feedback loop that integrates photoperiod and cold temperature signals to regulate seasonal flowering in Arabidopsis. Cold temperatures promote the binding of ICE1 to FLC promoter to induce its expression, resulting in delayed flowering. However, under floral inductive conditions, SOC1 induces flowering by blocking the ICE1 activity. We propose that the ICE1-FLC-SOC1 signaling network fine-tunes the timing of photoperiodic flowering during changing seasons. PMID:26430754

  5. Using bioacoustics to examine shifts in songbird phenology.

    PubMed

    Buxton, Rachel T; Brown, Emma; Sharman, Lewis; Gabriele, Christine M; McKenna, Megan F

    2016-07-01

    Monitoring patterns in biodiversity and phenology have become increasingly important given accelerating levels of anthropogenic change. Long-term monitoring programs have reported earlier occurrence of spring activity, reflecting species response to climate change. Although tracking shifts in spring migration represents a valuable approach to monitoring community-level consequences of climate change, robust long-term observations are challenging and costly. Audio recordings and metrics of bioacoustic activity could provide an effective method for monitoring changes in songbird activity and broader biotic interactions. We used 3 years of spring and fall recordings at six sites in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, an area experiencing rapid warming and glacial retreat, to examine the utility of bioacoustics to detect changes in songbird phenology. We calculated the Acoustic Complexity Index (ACI), an algorithm representing an index of bird community complexity. Abrupt changes in ACI values from winter to spring corresponded to spring transition, suggesting that ACI may be an effective, albeit coarse metric to detect the arrival of migrating songbirds. The first peak in ACI shifted from April 16 to April 11 from 2012 to 2014. Changes in ACI were less abrupt in the fall due to weather events, suggesting spring recordings are better suited to indicate phenology. To ensure changes in ACI values were detecting real changes in songbird activity, we explored the relationship between ACI and song of three species: varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius), Pacific wren (Troglodytes pacificus), and ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula). ACI was positively related to counts of all species, but most markedly with song of the varied thrush, the most common species in our recordings and a known indicator of forest ecosystem health. We conclude that acoustic recordings paired with bioacoustic indices may be a useful method of monitoring shifts in songbird communities due to climate

  6. The Songbird Neurogenomics (SoNG) Initiative: Community-based tools and strategies for study of brain gene function and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Replogle, Kirstin; Arnold, Arthur P; Ball, Gregory F; Band, Mark; Bensch, Staffan; Brenowitz, Eliot A; Dong, Shu; Drnevich, Jenny; Ferris, Margaret; George, Julia M; Gong, George; Hasselquist, Dennis; Hernandez, Alvaro G; Kim, Ryan; Lewin, Harris A; Liu, Lei; Lovell, Peter V; Mello, Claudio V; Naurin, Sara; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Wade, Juli; Clayton, David F

    2008-01-01

    Background Songbirds hold great promise for biomedical, environmental and evolutionary research. A complete draft sequence of the zebra finch genome is imminent, yet a need remains for application of genomic resources within a research community traditionally focused on ethology and neurobiological methods. In response, we developed a core set of genomic tools and a novel collaborative strategy to probe gene expression in diverse songbird species and natural contexts. Results We end-sequenced cDNAs from zebra finch brain and incorporated additional sequences from community sources into a database of 86,784 high quality reads. These assembled into 31,658 non-redundant contigs and singletons, which we annotated via BLAST search of chicken and human databases. The results are publicly available in the ESTIMA:Songbird database. We produced a spotted cDNA microarray with 20,160 addresses representing 17,214 non-redundant products of an estimated 11,500–15,000 genes, validating it by analysis of immediate-early gene (zenk) gene activation following song exposure and by demonstrating effective cross hybridization to genomic DNAs of other songbird species in the Passerida Parvorder. Our assembly was also used in the design of the "Lund-zfa" Affymetrix array representing ~22,000 non-redundant sequences. When the two arrays were hybridized to cDNAs from the same set of male and female zebra finch brain samples, both arrays detected a common set of regulated transcripts with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.895. To stimulate use of these resources by the songbird research community and to maintain consistent technical standards, we devised a "Community Collaboration" mechanism whereby individual birdsong researchers develop experiments and provide tissues, but a single individual in the community is responsible for all RNA extractions, labelling and microarray hybridizations. Conclusion Immediately, these results set the foundation for a coordinated set of 25 planned

  7. PHYTOCHROME C plays a major role in the acceleration of wheat flowering under long-day photoperiod

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Andrew; Li, Chengxia; Hu, Wei; Lau, Mei Yee; Lin, Huiqiong; Rockwell, Nathan C.; Martin, Shelley S.; Jernstedt, Judith A.; Lagarias, J. Clark; Dubcovsky, Jorge

    2014-01-01

    Phytochromes are dimeric proteins that function as red and far-red light sensors influencing nearly every phase of the plant life cycle. Of the three major phytochrome families found in flowering plants, PHYTOCHROME C (PHYC) is the least understood. In Arabidopsis and rice, PHYC is unstable and functionally inactive unless it heterodimerizes with another phytochrome. However, when expressed in an Arabidopsis phy-null mutant, wheat PHYC forms signaling active homodimers that translocate into the nucleus in red light to mediate photomorphogenic responses. Tetraploid wheat plants homozygous for loss-of-function mutations in all PHYC copies (phyCAB) flower on average 108 d later than wild-type plants under long days but only 19 d later under short days, indicating a strong interaction between PHYC and photoperiod. This interaction is further supported by the drastic down-regulation in the phyCAB mutant of the central photoperiod gene PHOTOPERIOD 1 (PPD1) and its downstream target FLOWERING LOCUS T1, which are required for the promotion of flowering under long days. These results implicate light-dependent, PHYC-mediated activation of PPD1 expression in the acceleration of wheat flowering under inductive long days. Plants homozygous for the phyCAB mutations also show altered profiles of circadian clock and clock-output genes, which may also contribute to the observed differences in heading time. Our results highlight important differences in the photoperiod pathways of the temperate grasses with those of well-studied model plant species. PMID:24961368

  8. Matrix metalloproteinase inhibition influences aspects of photoperiod stimulated ovarian recrudescence in Siberian hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Shahed, Asha; Simmons, Jamie; Featherstone, Sydney L; Young, Kelly A.

    2015-01-01

    Blocking matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in vivo with inhibitor GM6001 impedes photostimulated ovarian recrudescence in photoregressed Siberian hamsters. Since direct and indirect effects of MMPs influence a myriad of ovarian functions, we investigated the effect of in vivo MMP inhibition during recrudescence on ovarian mRNA expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), 3β-hy-droxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD), Cyp19a1 aromatase, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), amphiregulin (Areg), estrogen receptors (Esr1 and Esr2), tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMP-1,-2,-3), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), its receptor VEGFR-2, and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2). Female Siberian hamsters were randomly assigned to one of four photoperiod groups: stimulatory long (LD) or inhibitory short (SD) photoperiods, or transferred from SD to LD for 2 weeks (post-transfer, PT). Half of the PT hamsters were injected (ip) daily with GM6001 (PTG). SD exposure reduced ovarian StAR, 3β-HSD, Cyp19a1, Esr1, Esr2, TIMPs 2–3, PCNA, VEGFR-2 and Ang-2 mRNA expression (p < 0.05), and 2 weeks of photostimulation restored mRNA expression of 3β-HSD and PCNA and increased Areg and VEGFA mRNA expression in the PT group. GM6001 treatment during photostimulation (PTG) increased TIMP-1, -2 and -3 and PCNA mRNA, but inhibited Areg mRNA expression compared to PT. Neither photoperiod nor GM6001 altered EGFR expression. Results of this study suggest that in vivo inhibition of MMP activity by GM6001 may impede ovarian recrudescence, particularly follicular growth, in two ways: (1) directly by partially inhibiting the release of EGFR ligands like Areg, thereby potentially affecting EGFR activation and its downstream pathway, and (2) indirectly by its effect on TIMPs which themselves can affect proliferation, angiogenesis and follicular growth. PMID:25910436

  9. Neuromedin U partly mimics thyroid-stimulating hormone and triggers Wnt/β-catenin signalling in the photoperiodic response of F344 rats.

    PubMed

    Helfer, G; Ross, A W; Morgan, P J

    2013-12-01

    In seasonal animals, photoperiod exerts profound effects on physiology, such as growth, energy balance and reproduction, via changes in the neuroendocrine axes. A key element of the photoperiodic response is the thyroid hormone level in the hypothalamus, which is controlled via retrograde transport of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pars tuberalis of the pituitary. TSH regulates type II deiodinase (Dio2) expression, which transforms inactive thyroid hormone to its active form, via TSH receptors expressed in the ependymal cells of the hypothalamus. In the present study, we hypothesised that a second peptide hormone, neuromedin U (NMU), may play a role in the photoperiodic response alongside TSH because the gene for NMU is also expressed in a strongly photoperiod-dependent manner in the pars tuberalis and its receptor NMU2 is expressed in the ependymal layer of the third ventricle in photoperiod-sensitive F344 rats. Consistent with other studies conducted in nonseasonal mammals, we found that acute i.c.v. injections of NMU into the hypothalamus negatively regulated food intake and body weight and increased core body temperature in F344 rats. At the same time, NMU increased Dio2 mRNA expression in the ependymal region of the hypothalamus similar to the effects of TSH. These data suggest that NMU may affect acute and photoperiodically controlled energy balance through distinct pathways. We also showed that TSH inhibits the expression of type III deiodinase (Dio3) in F344 rats, a response not mimicked by NMU. Furthermore, NMU also increased the expression of genes from the Wnt/β-catenin pathway within the ependymal layer of the third ventricle. This effect was not influenced by TSH. These data indicate that, although NMU acts with some similarities to TSH, it also has completely distinct signalling functions that do not overlap. In summary, the present study of NMU signalling reveals the potential for a new player in the control of seasonal biology. PMID

  10. Neuromedin U Partly Mimics Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone and Triggers Wnt/β-Catenin Signalling in the Photoperiodic Response of F344 Rats

    PubMed Central

    Helfer, G; Ross, A W; Morgan, P J

    2013-01-01

    In seasonal animals, photoperiod exerts profound effects on physiology, such as growth, energy balance and reproduction, via changes in the neuroendocrine axes. A key element of the photoperiodic response is the thyroid hormone level in the hypothalamus, which is controlled via retrograde transport of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pars tuberalis of the pituitary. TSH regulates type II deiodinase (Dio2) expression, which transforms inactive thyroid hormone to its active form, via TSH receptors expressed in the ependymal cells of the hypothalamus. In the present study, we hypothesised that a second peptide hormone, neuromedin U (NMU), may play a role in the photoperiodic response alongside TSH because the gene for NMU is also expressed in a strongly photoperiod-dependent manner in the pars tuberalis and its receptor NMU2 is expressed in the ependymal layer of the third ventricle in photoperiod-sensitive F344 rats. Consistent with other studies conducted in nonseasonal mammals, we found that acute i.c.v. injections of NMU into the hypothalamus negatively regulated food intake and body weight and increased core body temperature in F344 rats. At the same time, NMU increased Dio2 mRNA expression in the ependymal region of the hypothalamus similar to the effects of TSH. These data suggest that NMU may affect acute and photoperiodically controlled energy balance through distinct pathways. We also showed that TSH inhibits the expression of type III deiodinase (Dio3) in F344 rats, a response not mimicked by NMU. Furthermore, NMU also increased the expression of genes from the Wnt/β-catenin pathway within the ependymal layer of the third ventricle. This effect was not influenced by TSH. These data indicate that, although NMU acts with some similarities to TSH, it also has completely distinct signalling functions that do not overlap. In summary, the present study of NMU signalling reveals the potential for a new player in the control of seasonal biology. PMID

  11. Photoperiodic Control of Carbon Distribution during the Floral Transition in Arabidopsis[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Marchena, M. Isabel; Albi, Tomás; Lucas-Reina, Eva; Said, Fatima E.; Romero-Campero, Francisco J.; Cano, Beatriz; Ruiz, M. Teresa; Romero, José M.; Valverde, Federico

    2014-01-01

    Flowering is a crucial process that demands substantial resources. Carbon metabolism must be coordinated with development through a control mechanism that optimizes fitness for any physiological need and growth stage of the plant. However, how sugar allocation is controlled during the floral transition is unknown. Recently, the role of a CONSTANS (CO) ortholog (Cr-CO) in the control of the photoperiod response in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and its influence on starch metabolism was demonstrated. In this work, we show that transitory starch accumulation and glycan composition during the floral transition in Arabidopsis thaliana are regulated by photoperiod. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, we demonstrate a role for CO in regulating the level and timing of expression of the GRANULE BOUND STARCH SYNTHASE (GBSS) gene. Furthermore, we provide a detailed characterization of a GBSS mutant involved in transitory starch synthesis and analyze its flowering time phenotype in relation to its altered capacity to synthesize amylose and to modify the plant free sugar content. Photoperiod modification of starch homeostasis by CO may be crucial for increasing the sugar mobilization demanded by the floral transition. This finding contributes to our understanding of the flowering process. PMID:24563199

  12. Differences in Number of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Associated with Summer and Winter Photoperiods in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Aumann, Tim D.; Raabus, Mai; Tomas, Doris; Prijanto, Agustinus; Churilov, Leonid; Spitzer, Nicholas C.; Horne, Malcolm K.

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates the number of dopaminergic neurons in the adult rodent hypothalamus and midbrain is regulated by environmental cues, including photoperiod, and that this occurs via up- or down-regulation of expression of genes and proteins that are important for dopamine (DA) synthesis in extant neurons (‘DA neurotransmitter switching’). If the same occurs in humans, it may have implications for neurological symptoms associated with DA imbalances. Here we tested whether there are differences in the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in DA synthesis) and DA transporter (DAT) immunoreactive neurons in the midbrain of people who died in summer (long-day photoperiod, n = 5) versus winter (short-day photoperiod, n = 5). TH and DAT immunoreactivity in neurons and their processes was qualitatively higher in summer compared with winter. The density of TH immunopositive (TH+) neurons was significantly (~6-fold) higher whereas the density of TH immunonegative (TH-) neurons was significantly (~2.5-fold) lower in summer compared with winter. The density of total neurons (TH+ and TH- combined) was not different. The density of DAT+ neurons was ~2-fold higher whereas the density of DAT- neurons was ~2-fold lower in summer compared with winter, although these differences were not statistically significant. In contrast, midbrain nuclear volume, the density of supposed glia (small TH- cells), and the amount of TUNEL staining were the same in summer compared with winter. This study provides the first evidence of an association between environmental stimuli (photoperiod) and the number of midbrain DA neurons in humans, and suggests DA neurotransmitter switching underlies this association. PMID:27428306

  13. Photoperiod-modulated testis maturation in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua, L.).

    PubMed

    Almeida, Fernanda F L; Taranger, Geir Lasse; Norberg, Birgitta; Karlsen, Orjan; Bogerd, Jan; Schulz, Rüdiger W

    2009-04-01

    Precocious male puberty is a significant problem in Atlantic cod aquaculture. While photoperiod manipulation can inhibit testis growth, a detailed analysis of effects on spermatogenesis is missing. Starting July 1, 2004, prepubertal fish were exposed to different photoperiod regimens in indoor tanks for 17 mo. Testis histology, germ cell dynamics (proliferation and apoptosis), and plasma androgen levels were analyzed. In the natural light (NL) group, testis growth started in September 2004 and was completed in February 2005, when a 2-mo spawning period started. In the constant light (LL) group, none or very few spermatogenic cysts were recruited into spermatogenesis, and apoptotic germ cell loss was high. A change of photoperiod from NL to LL at winter solstice (December 21, 2004) resulted in premature (2 mo) completion of the reproductive cycle, while changing from LL to NL at winter solstice triggered faster than normal testis development. Plasma testosterone levels increased in the NL group from spermatogonial proliferation toward meiosis, while those of 11-ketotestosterone increased toward spermiogenesis and spermiation. Plasma androgen levels did not rise under LL conditions. Comparing fish with developing testes from all groups indicated that low androgen levels were associated with a high incidence of spermatogonial apoptosis; we also found that androgen receptor mRNA expression was most prominent in Sertoli cells in contact with growing spermatogonial clones. Our data show that an inhibitory photoperiod (LL) reduced or blocked differentiation of spermatogonia, increased apoptosis (particularly among proliferating spermatogonia), and was associated with reduced androgen levels, a situation possibly reflecting insufficient gonadotropic stimulation. PMID:19038862

  14. Comparative Proteomic Analysis of the Response of Maize (Zea mays L.) Leaves to Long Photoperiod Condition.

    PubMed

    Wu, Liuji; Tian, Lei; Wang, Shunxi; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ping; Tian, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Huimin; Liu, Haiping; Chen, Yanhui

    2016-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.), an important industrial material and food source, shows an astonishing environmental adaptation. A remarkable feature of its post-domestication adaptation from tropical to temperate environments is adaptation to a long photoperiod (LP). Many photoperiod-related genes have been identified in previous transcriptomics analysis, but proteomics shows less evidence for this mechanism of photoperiod response. In this study, we sampled newly expanded leaves of maize at the three- and six-leaf stages from an LP-sensitive introgression line H496, the donor CML288, LP-insensitive inbred line, and recurrent parent Huangzao4 (HZ4) grown under long days (15 h light and 9 h dark). To characterize the proteomic changes in response to LP, the iTRAQ-labeling method was used to determine the proteome profiles of plants exposed to LP. A total of 943 proteins differentially expressed at the three- and six-leaf stages in HZ4 and H496 were identified. Functional analysis was performed by which the proteins were classified into stress defense, signal transduction, carbohydrate metabolism, protein metabolism, energy production, and transport functional groups using the WEGO online tool. The enriched gene ontology categories among the identified proteins were identified statistically with the Cytoscape plugin ClueGO + Cluepedia. Twenty Gene Ontology terms showed the highest significance, including those associated with protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, splicesome, ribosome, glyoxylate, dicarboxylate metabolism, L-malate dehydrogenase activity, and RNA transport. In addition, for subcellular location, all proteins showed significant enrichment of the mitochondrial outer membrane. The sugars producted by photosynthesis in plants are also a pivotal metabolic output in the circadian regulation. The results permit the prediction of several crucial proteins to photoperiod response and provide a foundation for further study of the influence of LP treatments on

  15. Comparative Proteomic Analysis of the Response of Maize (Zea mays L.) Leaves to Long Photoperiod Condition

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Liuji; Tian, Lei; Wang, Shunxi; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ping; Tian, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Huimin; Liu, Haiping; Chen, Yanhui

    2016-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.), an important industrial material and food source, shows an astonishing environmental adaptation. A remarkable feature of its post-domestication adaptation from tropical to temperate environments is adaptation to a long photoperiod (LP). Many photoperiod-related genes have been identified in previous transcriptomics analysis, but proteomics shows less evidence for this mechanism of photoperiod response. In this study, we sampled newly expanded leaves of maize at the three- and six-leaf stages from an LP-sensitive introgression line H496, the donor CML288, LP-insensitive inbred line, and recurrent parent Huangzao4 (HZ4) grown under long days (15 h light and 9 h dark). To characterize the proteomic changes in response to LP, the iTRAQ-labeling method was used to determine the proteome profiles of plants exposed to LP. A total of 943 proteins differentially expressed at the three- and six-leaf stages in HZ4 and H496 were identified. Functional analysis was performed by which the proteins were classified into stress defense, signal transduction, carbohydrate metabolism, protein metabolism, energy production, and transport functional groups using the WEGO online tool. The enriched gene ontology categories among the identified proteins were identified statistically with the Cytoscape plugin ClueGO + Cluepedia. Twenty Gene Ontology terms showed the highest significance, including those associated with protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, splicesome, ribosome, glyoxylate, dicarboxylate metabolism, L-malate dehydrogenase activity, and RNA transport. In addition, for subcellular location, all proteins showed significant enrichment of the mitochondrial outer membrane. The sugars producted by photosynthesis in plants are also a pivotal metabolic output in the circadian regulation. The results permit the prediction of several crucial proteins to photoperiod response and provide a foundation for further study of the influence of LP treatments on

  16. Management of photoperiod to control caprine reproduction in the subtropics.

    PubMed

    Delgadillo, José Alberto; Fitz-Rodríguez, Gonzalo; Duarte, Gerardo; Véliz, Francisco Gerardo; Carrillo, Evaristo; Flores, José Alfredo; Vielma, Jesús; Hernandez, Horacio; Malpaux, Benoît

    2004-01-01

    Reproductive seasonality is observed in some breeds originating from or adapted to subtropical latitudes. In 'photoperiodic flexible breeds', such as Australian cashmere goats, the annual breeding season can be manipulated through nutrition, whereas in 'photoperiodic rigid breeds', such as Creole goats from subtropical Mexico, sexual activity can be controlled by altering the photoperiod. In males from the latter breed, artificial long days, whether or not accompanied by the administration of melatonin, stimulate sexual activity during the non-breeding season. These treated males are able to induce the sexual activity of anoestrous females through the male effect under intensive or extensive conditions. Photoperiodic treatments and the male effect can be easily integrated into different breeding management systems in subtropical latitudes. PMID:15315746

  17. Photoperiodic Treatments in Morning Glory: A Laboratory Investigation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madrazo, Gerry M., Jr.; Hounshell, Paul B.

    1978-01-01

    The Japanese morning glory, a short-day plant, is an excellent specimen for studying photoperiodism. This article gives ideas for investigations including the effects of hormones, light quality, and temperature. Preparation of the seed is also discussed. (BB)

  18. A New Mechanism of Sound Generation in Songbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goller, Franz; Larsen, Ole N.

    1997-12-01

    Our current understanding of the sound-generating mechanism in the songbird vocal organ, the syrinx, is based on indirect evidence and theoretical treatments. The classical avian model of sound production postulates that the medial tympaniform membranes (MTM) are the principal sound generators. We tested the role of the MTM in sound generation and studied the songbird syrinx more directly by filming it endoscopically. After we surgically incapacitated the MTM as a vibratory source, zebra finches and cardinals were not only able to vocalize, but sang nearly normal song. This result shows clearly that the MTM are not the principal sound source. The endoscopic images of the intact songbird syrinx during spontaneous and brain stimulation-induced vocalizations illustrate the dynamics of syringeal reconfiguration before phonation and suggest a different model for sound production. Phonation is initiated by rostrad movement and stretching of the syrinx. At the same time, the syrinx is closed through movement of two soft tissue masses, the medial and lateral labia, into the bronchial lumen. Sound production always is accompanied by vibratory motions of both labia, indicating that these vibrations may be the sound source. However, because of the low temporal resolution of the imaging system, the frequency and phase of labial vibrations could not be assessed in relation to that of the generated sound. Nevertheless, in contrast to the previous model, these observations show that both labia contribute to aperture control and strongly suggest that they play an important role as principal sound generators.

  19. Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition

    PubMed Central

    Bregman, Micah R.; Patel, Aniruddh D.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2016-01-01

    Humans easily recognize “transposed” musical melodies shifted up or down in log frequency. Surprisingly, songbirds seem to lack this capacity, although they can learn to recognize human melodies and use complex acoustic sequences for communication. Decades of research have led to the widespread belief that songbirds, unlike humans, are strongly biased to use absolute pitch (AP) in melody recognition. This work relies almost exclusively on acoustically simple stimuli that may belie sensitivities to more complex spectral features. Here, we investigate melody recognition in a species of songbird, the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), using tone sequences that vary in both pitch and timbre. We find that small manipulations altering either pitch or timbre independently can drive melody recognition to chance, suggesting that both percepts are poor descriptors of the perceptual cues used by birds for this task. Instead we show that melody recognition can generalize even in the absence of pitch, as long as the spectral shapes of the constituent tones are preserved. These results challenge conventional views regarding the use of pitch cues in nonhuman auditory sequence recognition. PMID:26811447

  20. Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition.

    PubMed

    Bregman, Micah R; Patel, Aniruddh D; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2016-02-01

    Humans easily recognize "transposed" musical melodies shifted up or down in log frequency. Surprisingly, songbirds seem to lack this capacity, although they can learn to recognize human melodies and use complex acoustic sequences for communication. Decades of research have led to the widespread belief that songbirds, unlike humans, are strongly biased to use absolute pitch (AP) in melody recognition. This work relies almost exclusively on acoustically simple stimuli that may belie sensitivities to more complex spectral features. Here, we investigate melody recognition in a species of songbird, the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), using tone sequences that vary in both pitch and timbre. We find that small manipulations altering either pitch or timbre independently can drive melody recognition to chance, suggesting that both percepts are poor descriptors of the perceptual cues used by birds for this task. Instead we show that melody recognition can generalize even in the absence of pitch, as long as the spectral shapes of the constituent tones are preserved. These results challenge conventional views regarding the use of pitch cues in nonhuman auditory sequence recognition. PMID:26811447

  1. Striatal FoxP2 Is Actively Regulated during Songbird Sensorimotor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Teramitsu, Ikuko; Poopatanapong, Amy; Torrisi, Salvatore; White, Stephanie A.

    2010-01-01

    Background Mutations in the FOXP2 transcription factor lead to language disorders with developmental onset. Accompanying structural abnormalities in cortico-striatal circuitry indicate that at least a portion of the behavioral phenotype is due to organizational deficits. We previously found parallel FoxP2 expression patterns in human and songbird cortico/pallio-striatal circuits important for learned vocalizations, suggesting that FoxP2's function in birdsong may generalize to speech. Methodology/Principal Findings We used zebra finches to address the question of whether FoxP2 is additionally important in the post-organizational function of these circuits. In both humans and songbirds, vocal learning depends on auditory guidance to achieve and maintain optimal vocal output. We tested whether deafening prior to or during the sensorimotor phase of song learning disrupted FoxP2 expression in song circuitry. As expected, the songs of deafened juveniles were abnormal, however basal FoxP2 levels were unaffected. In contrast, when hearing or deaf juveniles sang for two hours in the morning, FoxP2 was acutely down-regulated in the striatal song nucleus, area X. The extent of down-regulation was similar between hearing and deaf birds. Interestingly, levels of FoxP2 and singing were correlated only in hearing birds. Conclusions/Significance Hearing appears to link FoxP2 levels to the amount of vocal practice. As juvenile birds spent more time practicing than did adults, their FoxP2 levels are likely to be low more often. Behaviorally-driven reductions in the mRNA encoding this transcription factor could ultimately affect downstream molecules that function in vocal exploration, especially during sensorimotor learning. PMID:20062527

  2. Genetic correlations and the evolution of photoperiodic time measurement within a local population of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii

    PubMed Central

    Bradshaw, W E; Emerson, K J; Holzapfel, C M

    2012-01-01

    The genetic relationship between the daily circadian clock and the seasonal photoperiodic timer remains a subject of intense controversy. In Wyeomyia smithii, the critical photoperiod (an overt expression of the photoperiodic timer) evolves independently of the rhythmic response to the Nanda–Hamner protocol (an overt expression of the daily circadian clock) over a wide geographical range in North America. Herein, we focus on these two processes within a single local population in which there is a negative genetic correlation between them. We show that antagonistic selection against this genetic correlation rapidly breaks it down and, in fact, reverses its sign, showing that the genetic correlation is due primarily to linkage and not to pleiotropy. This rapid reversal of the genetic correlation within a small, single population means that it is difficult to argue that circadian rhythmicity forms the necessary, causal basis for the adaptive divergence of photoperiodic time measurement within populations or for the evolution of photoperiodic time measurement among populations over a broad geographical gradient of seasonal selection. PMID:22072069

  3. Genetic correlations and the evolution of photoperiodic time measurement within a local population of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, W E; Emerson, K J; Holzapfel, C M

    2012-05-01

    The genetic relationship between the daily circadian clock and the seasonal photoperiodic timer remains a subject of intense controversy. In Wyeomyia smithii, the critical photoperiod (an overt expression of the photoperiodic timer) evolves independently of the rhythmic response to the Nanda-Hamner protocol (an overt expression of the daily circadian clock) over a wide geographical range in North America. Herein, we focus on these two processes within a single local population in which there is a negative genetic correlation between them. We show that antagonistic selection against this genetic correlation rapidly breaks it down and, in fact, reverses its sign, showing that the genetic correlation is due primarily to linkage and not to pleiotropy. This rapid reversal of the genetic correlation within a small, single population means that it is difficult to argue that circadian rhythmicity forms the necessary, causal basis for the adaptive divergence of photoperiodic time measurement within populations or for the evolution of photoperiodic time measurement among populations over a broad geographical gradient of seasonal selection. PMID:22072069

  4. Sensitivity to the photoperiod and potential migratory features of neuroblasts in the adult sheep hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Batailler, Martine; Derouet, Laura; Butruille, Lucile; Migaud, Martine

    2016-07-01

    Adult neurogenesis, a process that consists in the generation of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, represents a remarkable illustration of the brain structural plasticity abilities. The hypothalamus, a brain region that plays a key role in the neuroendocrine regulations including reproduction, metabolism or food intake, houses neural stem cells located within a hypothalamic neurogenic niche. In adult sheep, a seasonal mammalian species, previous recent studies have revealed photoperiod-dependent changes in the hypothalamic cell proliferation rate. In addition, doublecortin (DCX), a microtubule-associated protein expressed in immature migrating neurons, is highly present in the vicinity of the hypothalamic neurogenic niche. With the aim to further explore the mechanism underlying adult sheep hypothalamic neurogenesis, we first show that new neuron production is also seasonally regulated since the density of DCX-positive cells changes according to the photoperiodic conditions at various time points of the year. We then demonstrate that cyclin-dependant kinase-5 (Cdk5) and p35, two proteins involved in DCX phosphorylation and known to be critically involved in migration processes, are co-expressed with DCX in young hypothalamic neurons and are capable of in vivo interaction. Finally, to examine the migratory potential of these adult-born neurons, we reveal the rostro-caudal extent of DCX labeling on hypothalamic sagittal planes. DCX-positive cells are found in the most rostral nuclei of the hypothalamus, including the preoptic area many of which co-expressed estrogen receptor-α. Thus, beyond the confirmation of the high level of neuron production during short photoperiod in sheep, our results bring new and compelling elements in support of the existence of a hypothalamic migratory path that is responsive to seasonal stimuli. PMID:26336953

  5. Influence of photoperiod on the pregnant and postpartum mare.

    PubMed

    Hodge, S L; Kreider, J L; Potter, G D; Harms, P G; Fleeger, J L

    1982-10-01

    Over a 2-year period, mares (n = 32) of predominantly Quarter Horse breeding and their foals were used to study the effects of photoperiod on reproduction during the periparturient period. Specific objectives of the study were (i) to evaluate the effects of an extended photoperiod regimen (16 hours' light) on gestation length, foal development, and postpartum reproductive performance, and (ii) to measure changes in plasma progesterone concentrations during the last trimester of gestation and plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations after foaling until ovulation. Mares in the extended daylength treatment group had shorter (10 days) mean gestation length (P less than 0.01) than did control mares (exposed to normal daylight hours). Although foals of mares exposed to long photoperiod were carried for a shorter term, their birth weights tended to be heavier, but not significantly, than those of foals from control mares. Foal size, as determined by body measurements, was not affected by the photoperiod. Neither interval from parturition to 1st ovulation nor onset of estrus to ovulation were significantly affected by the extended photoperiod. Plasma progestogen concentrations increased from basal levels at prepartum weeks 4 and 5 to peak values a week before foaling in both mare groups. The LH profiles from parturition to ovulation were similar for both mare groups. However, mean plasma LH values during the 7 days before the 1st ovulation were higher (P less than 0.05) in mares exposed to extended daylength than in control mares. PMID:7149374

  6. Using the "Kalanchoe daigremontiana" Plant To Show the Effects of Photoperiodism on Plantlet Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hershey, David R.

    2002-01-01

    Describes an activity demonstrating the importance of photoperiod on plant development. Uses the plant devil's backbone for the experiment and studies the details of photoperiodic requirement for plantlet formation. (Contains 12 references.) (YDS)

  7. Effect of photoperiod on reproductive activity and hair in mares.

    PubMed

    Kooistra, L H; Ginther, O J

    1975-10-01

    The effects of photoperiod on reproductive activity and hair changes in pony mares were studied in 2 experiments. In experiment I, the effect of a fixed daily photoperiod on the onset of the breeding season was studied in 36 mares from Nov 13, 1973, to June 13, 1974. The 4 treatment groups were as follows: daily photoperiod equivalent to the normal day length (control group); constant light 24 hours a day with no dark (L24:D0 group); 16-hour daily photoperiod with 8 hours of dark (L16:D8 group); and 9-hour daily photoperiod with 15 hours of dark (L9:D15 group). The intervals from beginning of experiment to 1st ovulation of breeding season, to shedding of hair in tufts, and to appearance of a smooth coat were shorter (P less than 0.05) for L16:D8 group (107.1 +/- 11.1, 56.0 +/- 0, and 145.8 +/- 4.0 days, respectively) than for control, L24:D0, and L9:D15 groups and were shorter (P less than 0.05) for L24:D0 group (less than 156.1 +/- 12.2, 99.5 +/- 9.5, and 173.9 +/- 9.9 days, respectively) than for control group (192.1 +/- 3.3, 134.9 +/- 8.9, and 205.0 +/- 0 days, respectively) or L9:D15 group (less than 200.3 +/- 5,8, 150.6 +/- 12.9, and 201.7 +/- 3.3 days, respectively). These intervals were not significantly different between the control group and the L9:D15 group, but fewer (P less than 0.05) mares in the L9:D15 group had at least 1 ovulation by termination of the project. In experiment II, the effect of photoperiod on onset of anestrus was studied in 3 groups of 7 mares each. Mares in group A, as part of a previous experiment, were induced to enter the breeding season earlier than normal by a gradual increase in daily photoperiod beginning on Oct 13, 1972. From Feb 16, 1973, to June 22, 1973, group A mares were maintained at a fixed daily photoperiod of 15 hours 23 minutes. Mares in group B, as part of a previous experiment, were kept under environmental conditions simulating normal conditions in southern Wisconsin. On June 22, 1973 (beginning of the present

  8. Photoperiod-Dependent Effects of 4-tert-Octylphenol on Adherens and Gap Junction Proteins in Bank Vole Seminiferous Tubules

    PubMed Central

    Kuras, Paulina; Lydka-Zarzycka, Marta; Bilinska, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we evaluated in vivo and in vitro effects of 4-tert-octylphenol (OP) on the expression and distribution of adherens and gap junction proteins, N-cadherin, β-catenin, and connexin 43 (Cx43), in testes of seasonally breeding rodents, bank voles. We found that in bank vole testes expression and distribution of N-cadherin, β-catenin, and Cx43 were photoperiod dependent. Long-term treatment with OP (200 mg/kg b.w.) resulted in the reduction of junction proteins expressions (P < 0.05, P < 0.01) and their delocalization in the testes of males kept in long photoperiod, whereas in short-day animals slight increase of Cx43 (P < 0.05), N-cadherin, and β-catenin (statistically nonsignificant) levels was observed. Effects of OP appeared to be independent of FSH and were maintained during in vitro organ culture, indicating that OP acts directly on adherens and gap junction proteins in the testes. An experiment performed using an antiestrogen ICI 182,780 demonstrated that the biological effects of OP on β-catenin and Cx43 involve an estrogen receptor-mediated response. Taken together, in bank vole organization of adherens and gap junctions and their susceptibility to OP are related to the length of photoperiod. Alterations in cadherin/catenin and Cx43-based junction may partially result from activation of estrogen receptor α and/or β signaling pathway. PMID:23737770

  9. The consequences of photoperiodism for organisms in new climates.

    PubMed

    Grevstad, Fritzi S; Coop, Leonard B

    2015-09-01

    A change in climate is known to affect seasonal timing (phenology) of the life stages of poikilothermic organisms whose development depends on temperature. Less understood is the potential for even greater disruption to the life cycle when a phenology shift exposes photoperiod-sensitive life stages to new day lengths. We present a conceptual framework and model to investigate the ways that photoperiod-cued diapause can interact with a change in climate or latitude to influence voltinism in poikilothermic organisms. Our degree-day phenology model combines detailed spatial climate data, latitude- and date-specific photoperiods, and development and photoperiod response parameters. As an example, we model the biological control beetle Galerucella calmariensis and map the number of generations expected following its introduction into diverse climates throughout the continental United States. Incorporation of photoperiodism results in a complex geography of voltinism that differs markedly from predictions of traditional phenology models. Facultative multivoltine species will be prone to univoltism when transported to either warmer or southern climates due to exposure of the sensitive stage to shorter day lengths. When moved to more northern locations, they may attempt too many generations for the season duration thereby exposing vulnerable life stages to harsh weather in the fall. We further show that even small changes in temperature can result in large and unexpected shifts in voltinism. Analogous effects may be expected for organisms from wide variety of taxa that use photoperiod as a seasonal cue during some stage of their life cycle. Our approach is useful for understanding the performance and impacts of introduced pests and beneficial organisms as well as for predicting responses of resident species to climate change and climate variability. PMID:26552260

  10. Quantifying the Effects of Photoperiod, Temperature and Daily Irradiance on Flowering Time of Soybean Isolines

    PubMed Central

    Cober, Elroy R.; Curtis, Daniel F.; Stewart, Douglas W.; Morrison, Malcolm J.

    2014-01-01

    Soybean isolines with different combinations of photoperiod sensitivity alleles were planted in a greenhouse at different times during the year resulting in natural variation in daily incident irradiance and duration. The time from planting to first flower were observed. Mathematical models, using additive and multiplicative modes, were developed to quantify the effect of photoperiod, temperature, photoperiod-temperature interactions, rate of photoperiod change, and daily solar irradiance on flowering time. Observed flowering times correlated with predicted times (R2 = 0.92, Standard Error of the Estimate (SSE) = 2.84 d, multiplicative mode; R2 = 0.91, SSE = 2.88 d, additive mode). The addition of a rate of photoperiod change function and an irradiance function to the temperature and photoperiod functions improved the accuracy of flowering time prediction. The addition of a modified photoperiod function, which allowed for photoperiod sensitivity at shorter photoperiods, improved prediction of flowering time. Both increasing and decreasing rate of photoperiod change, as well as low levels of daily irradiance delayed flowering in soybean. The complete model, which included terms for the rate of photoperiod change, photoperiod, temperature and irradiance, predicted time to first flower in soybean across a range of environmental conditions with an SEE of 3.6 days when tested with independent data. PMID:27135515

  11. Photoperiod affects the cerebrospinal fluid proteome: a comparison between short day- and long day-treated ewes.

    PubMed

    Teixeira-Gomes, A-P; Harichaux, G; Gennetay, D; Skipor, J; Thiery, J-C; Labas, V; Dufourny, L

    2015-10-01

    Photoperiod is the main physical synchronizer of seasonal functions and a key factor in the modulation of molecule access to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in animals. Previous work has shown that photoperiod affects the transfer rate of steroids and protein hormones from blood to CSF and modulates choroid plexus tight junction protein content. We hypothesized that the CSF proteome would also be modified by photoperiod. We tested this hypothesis by comparing CSF obtained from the third ventricle of mature, ovariectomized, estradiol-replaced ewes exposed to long day length (LD) or short day length (SD). Variations in CSF protein expression between SD- or LD-treated ewes were studied in pools of CSF collected for 48 h. Proteins were precipitated, concentrated, and included in a polyacrylamide gel without protein fractionation. After in-gel tryptic digestion of total protein samples, we analyzed the resulting peptides by nanoliquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (GeLC-MS/MS). Quantitative analysis was performed using 2 methods based on spectral counting and extracted ion chromatograms. Among 103 identified proteins, 41 were differentially expressed between LD and SD ewes (with P < 0.05 and at least a 1.5-fold difference). Of the 41 differentially expressed proteins, 22 were identified by both methods and 19 using extracted ion chromatograms only. Eighteen proteins were more abundant in LD ewes and 23 were more abundant in SD ewes. These proteins are involved in numerous functions including hormone transport, immune system activity, metabolism, and angiogenesis. To confirm proteomic results, 2 proteins, pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) and gelsolin, for each individual sample of CSF collected under SD or LD were analyzed with Western blots. These results suggest an important photoperiod-dependent change in CSF proteome composition. Nevertheless, additional studies are required to assess the role of each protein in seasonal

  12. N-acetyltransferase (nat) Is a Critical Conjunct of Photoperiodism between the Circadian System and Endocrine Axis in Antheraea pernyi

    PubMed Central

    Bembenek, Jadwiga; Hiragaki, Susumu; Suzuki, Takeshi; Takeda, Makio

    2014-01-01

    Since its discovery in 1923, the biology of photoperiodism remains a mystery in many ways. We sought the link connecting the circadian system to an endocrine switch, using Antheraea pernyi. PER-, CLK- and CYC-ir were co-expressed in two pairs of dorsolateral neurons of the protocerebrum, suggesting that these are the circadian neurons that also express melatonin-, NAT- and HIOMT-ir. The results suggest that a melatonin pathway is present in the circadian neurons. Melatonin receptor (MT2 or MEL-1B-R)-ir in PTTH-ir neurons juxtaposing clock neurons suggests that melatonin gates PTTH release. RIA showed a melatonin rhythm with a peak four hours after lights off in adult brain both under LD16∶8 (LD) and LD12∶12 (SD), and both the peak and the baseline levels were higher under LD than SD, suggesting a photoperiodic influence. When pupae in diapause were exposed to 10 cycles of LD, or stored at 4°C for 4 months under constant darkness, an increase of NAT activity was observed when PTTH released ecdysone. DNA sequence upstream of nat contained E-boxes to which CYC/CLK could bind, and nat transcription was turned off by clk or cyc dsRNA. dsRNANAT caused dysfunction of photoperiodism. dsRNAPER upregulated nat transcription as anticipated, based on findings in the Drosophila melanogaster circadian system. Transcription of nat, cyc and clk peaked at ZT12. RIA showed that dsRNANAT decreased melatonin while dsRNAPER increased melatonin. Thus nat, a clock controlled gene, is the critical link between the circadian clock and endocrine switch. MT-binding may release PTTH, resulting in termination of diapause. This study thus examined all of the basic functional units from the clock: a photoperiodic counter as an accumulator of mRNANAT, to endocrine switch for photoperiodism in A. pernyi showing this system is self-complete without additional device especially for photoperiodism. PMID:24667367

  13. Effects of photoperiod and food restriction on the reproductive physiology of female California mice

    PubMed Central

    Steinman, Michael Q.; Knight, Jennifer A.; Trainor, Brian C.

    2012-01-01

    Many temperate-zone animals use changes in photoperiod to time breeding. Shorter term cues, like food availability, are integrated with photoperiod to adjust reproductive timing under unexpected conditions. Many mice of the genus Peromyscus breed in the summer. California mice (Peromyscus californicus), however, can breed year round, but tend to begin breeding in the winter. Glial cells may be involved in transduction of environmental signals that regulate gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) activity. We examined the effects of diet and photoperiod on reproduction in female California mice. Mice placed on either short days (8L:16D) or long days (16L:8D) were food restricted (80% of normal intake) or fed ad libitum. Short day-food restricted mice showed significant regression of the reproductive system. GnRH-immunoreactivity was increased in the tuberal hypothalamus of long day-food restricted mice. This may be associated with the sparing effect long days have when mice are food restricted. The number of GFAP-immunoreactive fibers in proximity to GnRH nerve terminals correlated negatively with uterine size in ad libitum but not food restricted mice, suggesting diet may alter glial regulation of the reproductive axis. There was a trend towards food restriction increasing uterine expression of c-fos mRNA, an estrogen dependent gene. Similar to other seasonally breeding rodents, short days render the reproductive system of female California mice more susceptible to effects of food restriction. This may be vestigial, or it may have evolved to mitigate consequences of unexpectedly poor winter food supplies. PMID:22245263

  14. Photoperiod and stress regulation of corticosteroid receptor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glucose transporter GLUT3 mRNA in the hippocampus of male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Walton, J C; Grier, A J; Weil, Z M; Nelson, R J

    2012-06-28

    In response to changing day lengths, small photoperiodic rodents have evolved a suite of adaptations to survive the energetic bottlenecks of winter. Among these adaptations are changes in metabolism, adiposity, and energy balance. Whereas hypothalamic and neuroendocrine regulation of these adaptations has been extensively studied, the impact of day length, and interaction of day length and stress, on the energy balance of neurons within the central nervous system remains unspecified. Thus, we exposed male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) to either short or long day lengths for 14 weeks to induce the full suite of adaptive responses, exposed them to 4h of restraint, and then measured relative mRNA expression in the hippocampus for low- and high-affinity glucocorticoid receptors (glucocorticoid receptor (GR), mineralocorticoid receptor (MR)), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and the neuron-specific glucose transporter GLUT3. Independent of photoperiod, restraint elevated plasma cortisol (CORT) concentrations and reduced expression of GR, MR, and BDNF. Neither restraint nor photoperiod significantly altered GLUT3 expression. Among all groups, plasma cortisol concentrations were negatively correlated with GR and MR expression. MR, BDNF, and GLUT3 levels were positively correlated with one another, even when controlling for photoperiod and CORT. Taken together, these results suggest that, as peripheral energy balance changes across day length in this photoperiodic species, the neurons of the hippocampus do not alter relative gene expression levels of three proteins involved in monitoring neuronal glucose regulation and morphology. PMID:22521589

  15. PCH1 integrates circadian and light-signaling pathways to control photoperiod-responsive growth in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Huang, He; Yoo, Chan Yul; Bindbeutel, Rebecca; Goldsworthy, Jessica; Tielking, Allison; Alvarez, Sophie; Naldrett, Michael J; Evans, Bradley S; Chen, Meng; Nusinow, Dmitri A

    2016-01-01

    Plants react to seasonal change in day length through altering physiology and development. Factors that function to harmonize growth with photoperiod are poorly understood. Here we characterize a new protein that associates with both circadian clock and photoreceptor components, named PHOTOPERIODIC CONTROL OF HYPOCOTYL1 (PCH1). pch1 seedlings have overly elongated hypocotyls specifically under short days while constitutive expression of PCH1 shortens hypocotyls independent of day length. PCH1 peaks at dusk, binds phytochrome B (phyB) in a red light-dependent manner, and co-localizes with phyB into photobodies. PCH1 is necessary and sufficient to promote the biogenesis of large photobodies to maintain an active phyB pool after light exposure, potentiating red-light signaling and prolonging memory of prior illumination. Manipulating PCH1 alters PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 levels and regulates light-responsive gene expression. Thus, PCH1 is a new factor that regulates photoperiod-responsive growth by integrating the clock with light perception pathways through modulating daily phyB-signaling. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13292.001 PMID:26839287

  16. Establishment of TSH β real-time monitoring system in mammalian photoperiodism

    PubMed Central

    Tsujino, Kaori; Narumi, Ryohei; Masumoto, Koh-hei; Susaki, Etsuo A; Shinohara, Yuta; Abe, Takaya; Iigo, Masayuki; Wada, Atsushi; Nagano, Mamoru; Shigeyoshi, Yasufumi; Ueda, Hiroki R

    2013-01-01

    Organisms have seasonal physiological changes in response to day length. Long-day stimulation induces thyroid-stimulating hormone beta subunit (TSHβ) in the pars tuberalis (PT), which mediates photoperiodic reactions like day-length measurement and physiological adaptation. However, the mechanism of TSHβ induction for day-length measurement is largely unknown. To screen candidate upstream molecules of TSHβ, which convey light information to the PT, we generated Luciferase knock-in mice, which quantitatively report the dynamics of TSHβ expression. We cultured brain slices containing the PT region from adult and neonatal mice and measured the bioluminescence activities from each slice over several days. A decrease in the bioluminescence activities was observed after melatonin treatment in adult and neonatal slices. These observations indicate that the experimental system possesses responsiveness of the TSHβ expression to melatonin. Thus, we concluded that our experimental system monitors TSHβ expression dynamics in response to external stimuli. PMID:23758111

  17. Biomechanics and control of vocalization in a non-songbird.

    PubMed

    Elemans, Coen P H; Zaccarelli, Riccardo; Herzel, Hanspeter

    2008-07-01

    The neuromuscular control of vocalization in birds requires complicated and precisely coordinated motor control of the vocal organ (i.e. the syrinx), the respiratory system and upper vocal tract. The biomechanics of the syrinx is very complex and not well understood. In this paper, we aim to unravel the contribution of different control parameters in the coo of the ring dove (Streptopelia risoria) at the syrinx level. We designed and implemented a quantitative biomechanical syrinx model that is driven by physiological control parameters and includes a muscle model. Our simple nonlinear model reproduces the coo, including the inspiratory note, with remarkable accuracy and suggests that harmonic content of song can be controlled by the geometry and rest position of the syrinx. Furthermore, by systematically switching off the control parameters, we demonstrate how they affect amplitude and frequency modulations and generate new experimentally testable hypotheses. Our model suggests that independent control of amplitude and frequency seems not to be possible with the simple syringeal morphology of the ring dove. We speculate that songbirds evolved a syrinx design that uncouples the control of different sound parameters and allows for independent control. This evolutionary key innovation provides an additional explanation for the rapid diversification and speciation of the songbirds. PMID:17999946

  18. Migration and the evolution of duetting in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Logue, David M.; Hall, Michelle L.

    2014-01-01

    Many groups of animals defend shared resources with coordinated signals. The best-studied of these signals are the vocal duets produced by mated pairs of birds. Duets are believed to be more common among tropical-breeding species, but a comprehensive test of this hypothesis is lacking, and the mechanisms that generate latitudinal patterns in duetting are not known. We used a stratified sample of 372 songbird species to conduct the first broad-scale, phylogenetically explicit analysis of duet evolution. We found that duetting evolves in association with the absence of migration, but not with sexual monochromatism or tropical breeding. We conclude that the evolution of migration exerts a major influence on the evolution of duetting. The perceived association between tropical breeding and duetting may be a by-product of the migration–duetting relationship. Migration reduces the average duration of partnerships, potentially reducing the benefits of cooperative behaviour, including duetting. Ultimately, the evolution of coordinated resource-defence signals in songbirds may be driven by ecological conditions that favour sedentary lifestyles and social stability. PMID:24619447

  19. Variations on a theme: Songbirds, variability, and sensorimotor error correction.

    PubMed

    Kuebrich, B D; Sober, S J

    2015-06-18

    Songbirds provide a powerful animal model for investigating how the brain uses sensory feedback to correct behavioral errors. Here, we review a recent study in which we used online manipulations of auditory feedback to quantify the relationship between sensory error size, motor variability, and vocal plasticity. We found that although inducing small auditory errors evoked relatively large compensatory changes in behavior, as error size increased the magnitude of error correction declined. Furthermore, when we induced large errors such that auditory signals no longer overlapped with the baseline distribution of feedback, the magnitude of error correction approached zero. This pattern suggests a simple and robust strategy for the brain to maintain the accuracy of learned behaviors by evaluating sensory signals relative to the previously experienced distribution of feedback. Drawing from recent studies of auditory neurophysiology and song discrimination, we then speculate as to the mechanistic underpinnings of the results obtained in our behavioral experiments. Finally, we review how our own and other studies exploit the strengths of the songbird system, both in the specific context of vocal systems and more generally as a model of the neural control of complex behavior. PMID:25305664

  20. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perlut, N.G.; Freeman-Gallant, C. R.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Kilpatrick, C.W.; Zalik, N.J.

    2008-01-01

    Hay harvests have detrimental ecological effects on breeding songbirds, as harvesting results in nest failure. Importantly, whether harvesting also affects evolutionary processes is not known. We explored how hay harvest affected social and genetic mating patterns, and thus, the overall opportunity for sexual selection and evolutionary processes for a ground-nesting songbird, the Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). On an unharvested field, 55% of females were in polygynous associations, and social polygyny was associated with greater rates of extra-pair paternity (EPP). In this treatment, synchrony explained variation in EPP rates, as broods by more synchronous females had more EPP than broods by asynchronous females. In contrast, on a harvested field, simultaneous nest failure caused by haying dramatically decreased the overall incidence of EPP by increasing the occurrence of social monogamy and, apparently, the ability of polygynous males to maintain paternity in their own nests. Despite increased social and genetic monogamy, these haying-mediated changes in mating systems resulted in greater than twofold increase in the opportunity for sexual selection. This effect arose, in part, from a 30% increase in the variance associated with within-pair fertilization success, relative to the unharvested field. This effect was caused by a notable increase (+110%) in variance associated with the quality of social mates following simultaneous nest failure. Because up to 40% of regional habitat is harvested by early June, these data may demonstrate a strong population-level effect on mating systems, sexual selection, and consequently, evolutionary processes. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  1. A conceptual framework for clutch size evolution in songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2014-01-01

    Causes of evolved differences in clutch size among songbird species remain debated. I propose a new conceptual framework that integrates aspects of traditional life history theory, while including novel elements, to explain evolution of clutch size among songbirds. I review evidence that selection by nest predation on length of time that offspring develop in the nest creates a gradient in offspring characteristics at nest-leaving (fledging), including flight mobility, spatial dispersion, and self-feeding rate. I postulate that this gradient has consequences for offspring mortality rates and parental energy expenditure per offspring. These consequences then determine how reproductive effort is partitioned among offspring, while reproductive effort evolves from age-specific mortality effects. Using data from a long-term site in Arizona, as well as from the literature, I provide support for hypothesized relationships. Nestling development period consistently explains fledgling mortality, energy expenditure per offspring, and clutch size while accounting for reproductive effort (i.e., total energy expenditure) to thereby support the framework. Tests in this paper are not definitive, but they document previously unrecognized relationships and address diverse traits (developmental strategies, parental care strategies, energy requirements per offspring, evolution of reproductive effort, clutch size) that justify further investigations of hypotheses proposed here.

  2. Variations on a theme: songbirds, variability, and sensorimotor error correction

    PubMed Central

    Kuebrich, Benjamin; Sober, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    Songbirds provide a powerful animal model for investigating how the brain uses sensory feedback to correct behavioral errors. Here, we review a recent study in which we used online manipulations of auditory feedback to quantify the relationship between sensory error size, motor variability, and vocal plasticity. We found that although inducing small auditory errors evoked relatively large compensatory changes in behavior, as error size increased the magnitude of error correction declined. Furthermore, when we induced large errors such that auditory signals no longer overlapped with the baseline distribution of feedback, the magnitude of error correction approached zero. This pattern suggests a simple and robust strategy for the brain to maintain the accuracy of learned behaviors by evaluating sensory signals relative to the previously experienced distribution of feedback. Drawing from recent studies of auditory neurophysiology and song discrimination, we then speculate as to the mechanistic underpinnings of the results obtained in our behavioral experiments. Finally, we review how our own and other studies exploit the strengths of the songbird system, both in the specific context of vocal systems and more generally as a model of the neural control of complex behavior. PMID:25305664

  3. How the songbird brain listens to its own songs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahnloser, Richard

    2010-03-01

    Songbirds are capable of vocal learning and communication and are ideally suited to the study of neural mechanisms of auditory feedback processing. When a songbird is deafened in the early sensorimotor phase after tutoring, it fails to imitate the song of its tutor and develops a highly aberrant song. It is also known that birds are capable of storing a long-term memory of tutor song and that they need intact auditory feedback to match their own vocalizations to the tutor's song. Based on these behavioral observations, we investigate feedback processing in single auditory forebrain neurons of juvenile zebra finches that are in a late developmental stage of song learning. We implant birds with miniature motorized microdrives that allow us to record the electrical activity of single neurons while birds are freely moving and singing in their cages. Occasionally, we deliver a brief sound through a loudspeaker to perturb the auditory feedback the bird experiences during singing. These acoustic perturbations of auditory feedback reveal complex sensitivity that cannot be predicted from passive playback responses. Some neurons are highly feedback sensitive in that they respond vigorously to song perturbations, but not to unperturbed songs or perturbed playback. These findings suggest that a computational function of forebrain auditory areas may be to detect errors between actual feedback and mirrored feedback deriving from an internal model of the bird's own song or that of its tutor.

  4. A Mechanism for Frequency Modulation in Songbirds Shared with Humans

    PubMed Central

    Margoliash, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    In most animals that vocalize, control of fundamental frequency is a key element for effective communication. In humans, subglottal pressure controls vocal intensity but also influences fundamental frequency during phonation. Given the underlying similarities in the biomechanical mechanisms of vocalization in humans and songbirds, songbirds offer an attractive opportunity to study frequency modulation by pressure. Here, we present a novel technique for dynamic control of subsyringeal pressure in zebra finches. By regulating the opening of a custom-built fast valve connected to the air sac system, we achieved partial or total silencing of specific syllables, and could modify syllabic acoustics through more complex manipulations of air sac pressure. We also observed that more nuanced pressure variations over a limited interval during production of a syllable concomitantly affected the frequency of that syllable segment. These results can be explained in terms of a mathematical model for phonation that incorporates a nonlinear description for the vocal source capable of generating the observed frequency modulations induced by pressure variations. We conclude that the observed interaction between pressure and frequency was a feature of the source, not a result of feedback control. Our results indicate that, beyond regulating phonation or its absence, regulation of pressure is important for control of fundamental frequencies of vocalizations. Thus, although there are separate brainstem pathways for syringeal and respiratory control of song production, both can affect airflow and frequency. We hypothesize that the control of pressure and frequency is combined holistically at higher levels of the vocalization pathways. PMID:23825417

  5. A conceptual framework for clutch-size evolution in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Martin, Thomas E

    2014-03-01

    Causes of evolved differences in clutch size among songbird species remain debated. I propose a new conceptual framework that integrates aspects of traditional life-history theory while including novel elements to explain evolution of clutch size among songbirds. I review evidence that selection by nest predation on length of time that offspring develop in the nest creates a gradient in offspring characteristics at nest leaving (fledging), including flight mobility, spatial dispersion, and self-feeding rate. I postulate that this gradient has consequences for offspring mortality rates and parental energy expenditure per offspring. These consequences then determine how reproductive effort is partitioned among offspring, while reproductive effort evolves from age-specific mortality effects. Using data from a long-term site in Arizona, as well as from the literature, I provide support for hypothesized relationships. Nestling development period consistently explains fledgling mortality, energy expenditure per offspring, and clutch size while accounting for reproductive effort (i.e., total energy expenditure) to thereby support the framework. Tests in this article are not definitive, but they document previously unrecognized relationships and address diverse traits (developmental strategies, parental care strategies, energy requirements per offspring, evolution of reproductive effort, clutch size) that justify further investigations of hypotheses proposed here. PMID:24561596

  6. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-06-14

    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning. PMID:27247385

  7. Afferents from Vocal Motor and Respiratory Effectors are Recruited during Vocal Production in Juvenile Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Bottjer, Sarah W.; To, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Learned behaviors require coordination of diverse sensory inputs with motivational and motor systems. Although mechanisms underlying vocal learning in songbirds have focused primarily on auditory inputs, it is likely that sensory inputs from vocal effectors also provide essential feedback. We investigated the role of somatosensory and respiratory inputs from vocal effectors of juvenile zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) during the stage of sensorimotor integration when they are learning to imitate a previously memorized tutor song. We report that song production induced expression of the immediate early gene product Fos in trigeminal regions that receive hypoglossal afferents from the tongue and syrinx (the main vocal organ). Furthermore, unilateral lesion of hypoglossal afferents greatly diminished singing-induced Fos expression on the side ipsilateral to the lesion, but not on the intact control side. In addition, unilateral lesion of the vagus reduced Fos expression in the ipsilateral nucleus of the solitary tract in singing birds. Lesion of the hypoglossal nerve to the syrinx greatly disrupted vocal behavior, whereas lesion of the hypoglossal nerve to the tongue exerted no obvious disruption and lesions of the vagus caused some alterations to song behavior. These results provide the first functional evidence that somatosensory and respiratory feedback from peripheral effectors is activated during vocal production and conveyed to brainstem regions. Such feedback is likely to play an important role in vocal learning during sensorimotor integration in juvenile birds and in maintaining stereotyped vocal behavior in adults. PMID:22875924

  8. Vole infant development is influenced perinatally by maternal photoperiodic history.

    PubMed

    Lee, T M; Zucker, I

    1988-11-01

    Vole pups were maintained from the time of conception in the same short-day (SD) photoperiod (10 h light/day, LD 10:14); groups differed only with respect to SD photoperiodic histories of dams before gestation, which simulated those experienced by dams breeding in autumn (SD-2, 2 wk of short days), midwinter (SD-21), or late winter (SD-26). Compared with SD-2 pups, offspring born to SD-26 dams matured more rapidly with respect to body size and reproductive status. Several other somatic and behavioral measures indicated that winter preparedness was greatest in pups whose dams had experienced 2 wk and least in those that had experienced 26 wk of SD treatment before conception. A cross-fostering design, in which pups gestated in long (LD 14:10) or short photoperiods were reared postnatally in the same or opposite day length, indicated that several photoresponsive traits are influenced predominantly by prenatal photoperiod, others by postnatal day length, and others by both photoregimens. Information is communicated to fetuses about the length of time dams have been exposed to short day lengths before mating as well as about the day length prevailing during gestation. The changes induced by the mother in her pups pre- and postnatally likely facilitate adaptation of newly weaned voles to seasonally varying environmental conditions. PMID:3056043

  9. Functional Allelic Variation at Key Photoperiod Response QTL in Maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tropical maize represents a valuable genetic resource containing unique alleles not present in elite temperate maize. The strong delay in flowering in response to long daylength photoperiods exhibited by most tropical maize hinders its incorporation into temperate maize breeding programs. We tested ...

  10. Neural and neuroendocrine processing of a non-photic cue in an opportunistically breeding songbird.

    PubMed

    Ernst, Darcy K; Bentley, George E

    2016-03-15

    Recent studies of the onset of breeding in long-day photoperiodic breeders have focused on the roles of type 2 and 3 iodothyronine deiodinases (DIO2 and DIO3) in the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) and subsequent activation of the reproductive axis. It has been hypothesized that an increase in DIO2 and a reciprocal decrease in DIO3 causes the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus, setting off a reproductive cascade, and that this DIO mechanism for GnRH release is conserved across vertebrate taxa. We sought to test whether social cues that are known to stimulate reproductive behaviors can activate the DIO system to initiate reproduction in a non-photoperiodic bird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Isolation of males and subsequent presentation of females did not increase DIO2 or GnRH expression in the hypothalamus, nor did it decrease gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) or DIO3. Males receiving a female stimulus showed significantly higher mRNA expression and immunoreactive cell count of the immediate-early gene early growth response protein 1 (EGR-1) than isolated males, indicating hypothalamic activation in response to a female. Cells immunoreactive for EGR-1 were not co-localized with those immunoreactive for GnRH. Reproductive behaviors (singing, copulation attempts and overall activity) were significantly higher in males receiving a female stimulus. This study presents a social effect on behavior and EGR-1 expression in the hypothalamus of males in response to females, but more research is needed to determine whether the DIO2 system and the GnRH system are responsive to social stimulation in this species. PMID:26787482

  11. Utilization of potatoes for life support systems. II - The effects of temperature under 24-h and 12-h photoperiods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, Raymond M.; Steffen, Kenneth L.; Tibbitts, Theodore W.; Palta, Jiwan P.

    1986-01-01

    The effects of temperature and the photoperiod length on the growth and tuberization of Norland potatoes were investigated for two photoperiods, 12-h and 24-hr at 400 micromol/sq m per sec PPF, and at temperatures of 12, 16, 20, 24, and 28 C. It was found that stem length increased with increasing temperature under both photoperiods. The highest tuber yield was obtained at 16 C under the 24-hr photoperiod and at 20 C under the 12-hr photoperiod (i.e., increasing the photoperiod from 12 to 24 hrs effectively decreases the optimal temperature for tuber formation). Little or no tuber formation occurred at 28 C under either photoperiod.

  12. Effect of increased photoperiod on hormone concentrations in thoroughbred stallions.

    PubMed

    Burns, P J; Jawad, M J; Edmundson, A; Cahill, C; Boucher, J K; Wilson, E A; Douglas, R H

    1982-01-01

    Stallions on two Central Kentucky farms (9/farm) were studied during the 1980 breeding season. On one farm stallions were exposed to an increased photoperiod (16 h light/day) from 1 December 1979; on the second farm the stallions were maintained in an ambient photoperiod. On the basis of matings per conception (total mating/mares in foal) stallions on each farm were assigned to a high fertility (1 . 9-2 . 4 matings per conception, N = 4) or low fertility (2 . 6-5 . 6 matings per conception, N = 5) group. Exposure of stallions to increased photoperiod significantly increased serum concentrations of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHA), androstenedione, testosterone and oestrone by the start of the breeding season (16 February) while concentrations of oestradiol-17 beta and total oestrogens were similar in the two groups. LH was the only hormone significantly affected by the fertility of stallions, with LH concentrations consistently higher in the 'increased light-high fertility' stallions compared to the low basal concentration observed in the other 3 groups during the early breeding season (16 Feb.-31 March). FSH concentrations were not significantly affected by photoperiod or fertility, but appeared to be consistently higher in the 'increased light-high fertility' stallions than in the 'increased light-low fertility' stallions. The 'increased light-high fertility' stallions were mated to more mares than were stallions in the other 3 groups and differences in LH and FSH concentrations may therefore have been confounded with frequency of mating. Seasonal conception rates were unaffected by increased photoperiod. PMID:6820058

  13. Ubiquitin-Specific Proteases UBP12 and UBP13 Act in Circadian Clock and Photoperiodic Flowering Regulation in Arabidopsis1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Xia; Lu, Falong; Li, Yue; Xue, Yongming; Kang, Yanyuan; Zhang, Shuaibin; Qiu, Qi; Cui, Xiekui; Zheng, Shuzhi; Liu, Bin; Xu, Xiaodong; Cao, Xiaofeng

    2013-01-01

    Protein ubiquitination is involved in most cellular processes. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation regulates the stability of key components of the circadian clock feedback loops and the photoperiodic flowering pathway. Here, we identified two ubiquitin-specific proteases, UBP12 and UBP13, involved in circadian clock and photoperiodic flowering regulation. Double mutants of ubp12 and ubp13 display pleiotropic phenotypes, including early flowering and short periodicity of circadian rhythms. In ubp12 ubp13 double mutants, CONSTANS (CO) transcript rises earlier than that of wild-type plants during the day, which leads to increased expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T. This, and analysis of ubp12 co mutants, indicates that UBP12 and UBP13 regulate photoperiodic flowering through a CO-dependent pathway. In addition, UBP12 and UBP13 regulate the circadian rhythm of clock genes, including LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL, CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED1, and TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION1. Furthermore, UBP12 and UBP13 are circadian controlled. Therefore, our work reveals a role for two deubiquitinases, UBP12 and UBP13, in the control of the circadian clock and photoperiodic flowering, which extends our understanding of ubiquitin in daylength measurement in higher plants. PMID:23645632

  14. Photoperiodic Regulation of Cerebral Blood Flow in White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus)

    PubMed Central

    Teplitsky, Seth

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Individuals living outside the tropics need to adjust their behavioral and physiological repertoires throughout the year to adapt to the changing seasons. White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) reduce hippocampal volumes, hippocampal-dependent memory function, long-term potentiation, and alter neurogenesis in response to short (winter-like) day lengths (photoperiods). During winter, these mice putatively shunt energy away from the brain to maximize peripheral thermogenesis, immune function, and survival. We hypothesized that these changes in brain function are accompanied by alterations in brain vasculature. We maintained white-footed mice in short (8 h light/16 h dark) or long (16 h light/8 h dark) photoperiods for 8–9 weeks. Mice were then perfused with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) lectin to visualize the perfused cerebrovasculature. Short-day mice reduced hippocampal and cortical capillary density (FITC+ area); vessels isolated from short day-exposed mice expressed higher mRNA levels of the gelatinase matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2). Additionally, short-day mice reduced cerebral blood flow ∼15% compared with their long-day counterparts, as assessed by laser speckle flowmetry. Immunohistochemistry revealed higher levels of MMP2 in the hippocampus of mice maintained in short days compared with long days, potentially contributing to the observed vascular remodeling. These data demonstrate that a discrete environmental signal (i.e., day length) can substantially alter cerebral blood flow in adult mammals. PMID:27570829

  15. Reproductive responses of male Brandt's voles ( Lasiopodomys brandtii) to 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) under short photoperiod

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Xin; Jiang, Lian Yu; Han, Mei; Ye, Man Hong; Wang, Ai Qin; Wei, Wan Hong; Yang, Sheng Mei

    2016-04-01

    The plant secondary metabolite 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) can stimulate and enhance animal reproduction. This compound has been successfully detected in Leymus chinensis, which is the main diet of Brandt's voles. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different 6-MBOA doses on the reproductive physiology of male Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. The results showed that 6-MBOA administration increased relative testis weight, regardless of the dose, but it had little effect on the body mass. Low and middle doses of 6-MBOA increased the concentrations of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in the serum and the mRNA levels of StAR and CYP11a1 in the testes. However, 6-MBOA did not cause any significant increase in the mRNA levels of KiSS-1, GPR54, and GnRH compared to those in the control group. The mRNA level of KiSS-1 in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) was higher than that in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV). Collectively, our results demonstrated that the number of KiSS-1-expressing neurons located in the ARC was the highest, and that 6-MBOA, which might modulate the reproductive activity along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, had a dose-dependent stimulatory effect on the reproductive activity of Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. Our study provided insights into the mechanism of 6-MBOA action and the factors influencing the onset of reproduction in Brandt's voles.

  16. Photoperiodic Regulation of Cerebral Blood Flow in White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Borniger, Jeremy C; Teplitsky, Seth; Gnyawali, Surya; Nelson, Randy J; Rink, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Individuals living outside the tropics need to adjust their behavioral and physiological repertoires throughout the year to adapt to the changing seasons. White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) reduce hippocampal volumes, hippocampal-dependent memory function, long-term potentiation, and alter neurogenesis in response to short (winter-like) day lengths (photoperiods). During winter, these mice putatively shunt energy away from the brain to maximize peripheral thermogenesis, immune function, and survival. We hypothesized that these changes in brain function are accompanied by alterations in brain vasculature. We maintained white-footed mice in short (8 h light/16 h dark) or long (16 h light/8 h dark) photoperiods for 8-9 weeks. Mice were then perfused with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) lectin to visualize the perfused cerebrovasculature. Short-day mice reduced hippocampal and cortical capillary density (FITC(+) area); vessels isolated from short day-exposed mice expressed higher mRNA levels of the gelatinase matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2). Additionally, short-day mice reduced cerebral blood flow ∼15% compared with their long-day counterparts, as assessed by laser speckle flowmetry. Immunohistochemistry revealed higher levels of MMP2 in the hippocampus of mice maintained in short days compared with long days, potentially contributing to the observed vascular remodeling. These data demonstrate that a discrete environmental signal (i.e., day length) can substantially alter cerebral blood flow in adult mammals. PMID:27570829

  17. Reproductive responses of male Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) to 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) under short photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Dai, Xin; Jiang, Lian Yu; Han, Mei; Ye, Man Hong; Wang, Ai Qin; Wei, Wan Hong; Yang, Sheng Mei

    2016-04-01

    The plant secondary metabolite 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) can stimulate and enhance animal reproduction. This compound has been successfully detected in Leymus chinensis, which is the main diet of Brandt's voles. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different 6-MBOA doses on the reproductive physiology of male Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. The results showed that 6-MBOA administration increased relative testis weight, regardless of the dose, but it had little effect on the body mass. Low and middle doses of 6-MBOA increased the concentrations of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in the serum and the mRNA levels of StAR and CYP11a1 in the testes. However, 6-MBOA did not cause any significant increase in the mRNA levels of KiSS-1, GPR54, and GnRH compared to those in the control group. The mRNA level of KiSS-1 in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) was higher than that in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV). Collectively, our results demonstrated that the number of KiSS-1-expressing neurons located in the ARC was the highest, and that 6-MBOA, which might modulate the reproductive activity along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, had a dose-dependent stimulatory effect on the reproductive activity of Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. Our study provided insights into the mechanism of 6-MBOA action and the factors influencing the onset of reproduction in Brandt's voles. PMID:26940061

  18. Assessing visual requirements for social context-dependent activation of the songbird song system

    PubMed Central

    Hara, Erina; Kubikova, Lubica; Hessler, Neal A.; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2008-01-01

    Social context has been shown to have a profound influence on brain activation in a wide range of vertebrate species. Best studied in songbirds, when males sing undirected song, the level of neural activity and expression of immediate early genes (IEGs) in several song nuclei is dramatically higher or lower than when they sing directed song to other birds, particularly females. This differential social context-dependent activation is independent of auditory input and is not simply dependent on the motor act of singing. These findings suggested that the critical sensory modality driving social context-dependent differences in the brain could be visual cues. Here, we tested this hypothesis by examining IEG activation in song nuclei in hemispheres to which visual input was normal or blocked. We found that covering one eye blocked visually induced IEG expression throughout both contralateral visual pathways of the brain, and reduced activation of the contralateral ventral tegmental area, a non-visual midbrain motivation-related area affected by social context. However, blocking visual input had no effect on the social context-dependent activation of the contralateral song nuclei during female-directed singing. Our findings suggest that individual sensory modalities are not direct driving forces for the social context differences in song nuclei during singing. Rather, these social context differences in brain activation appear to depend more on the general sense that another individual is present. PMID:18826930

  19. Allowable levels of take for the trade in Nearctic songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Fred A.; Walters, Matthew A.H.; Boomer, G. Scott

    2012-01-01

    The take of Nearctic songbirds for the caged-bird trade is an important cultural and economic activity in Mexico, but its sustainability has been questioned. We relied on the theta-logistic population model to explore options for setting allowable levels of take for 11 species of passerines that were subject to legal take in Mexico in 2010. Because estimates of population size necessary for making periodic adjustments to levels of take are not routinely available, we examined the conditions under which a constant level of take might contribute to population depletion (i.e., a population below its level of maximum net productivity). The chance of depleting a population is highest when levels of take are based on population sizes that happen to be much lower or higher than the level of maximum net productivity, when environmental variation is relatively high and serially correlated, and when the interval between estimation of population size is relatively long (≥5 years). To estimate demographic rates of songbirds involved in the Mexican trade we relied on published information and allometric relationships to develop probability distributions for key rates, and then sampled from those distributions to characterize the uncertainty in potential levels of take. Estimates of the intrinsic rate of growth (r) were highly variable, but median estimates were consistent with those expected for relatively short-lived, highly fecund species. Allowing for the possibility of nonlinear density dependence generally resulted in allowable levels of take that were lower than would have been the case under an assumption of linearity. Levels of take authorized by the Mexican government in 2010 for the 11 species we examined were small in comparison to relatively conservative allowable levels of take (i.e., those intended to achieve 50% of maximum sustainable yield). However, the actual levels of take in Mexico are unknown and almost certainly exceed the authorized take. Also, the take

  20. Songbird migration across the Sahara: the non-stop hypothesis rejected!

    PubMed

    Schmaljohann, Heiko; Liechti, Felix; Bruderer, Bruno

    2007-03-01

    Billions of songbirds breeding in the Western Palaearctic cross the largest desert of the world, the Sahara, twice a year. While crossing Europe, the vast majority use an intermittent flight strategy, i.e. fly at night and rest or feed during the day. However, it was long assumed that they overcome the Sahara in a 40 h non-stop flight. In this study, we observed bird migration with radar in the plain sand desert of the Western Sahara (Mauritania) during autumn and spring migration and revealed a clear prevalence of intermittent migration. Massive departures of songbirds just after sunset independent of site and season suggests strongly that songbirds spent the day in the plain desert. Thus, most songbirds cross the Sahara predominantely by the intermittent flight strategy. Autumn migration took place mainly at low altitudes with high temperatures, its density decreased abruptly before sunrise, followed by very little daytime migration. Migration was highly restricted to night-time and matched perfectly the intermittent flight strategy. However, in spring, when migratory flights occurred at much higher altitudes than in autumn, in cool air, about 17% of the songbird migration occurred during the day. This suggests that flying in high temperatures and turbulent air, as is the case in autumn, may lead to an increase in water and/or energy loss and may prevent songbirds from prolonged flights into the day. PMID:17254999

  1. Finding the Beat: From Socially Coordinated Vocalizations in Songbirds to Rhythmic Entrainment in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Benichov, Jonathan I.; Globerson, Eitan; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2016-01-01

    Humans and oscine songbirds share the rare capacity for vocal learning. Songbirds have the ability to acquire songs and calls of various rhythms through imitation. In several species, birds can even coordinate the timing of their vocalizations with other individuals in duets that are synchronized with millisecond-accuracy. It is not known, however, if songbirds can perceive rhythms holistically nor if they are capable of spontaneous entrainment to complex rhythms, in a manner similar to humans. Here we review emerging evidence from studies of rhythm generation and vocal coordination across songbirds and humans. In particular, recently developed experimental methods have revealed neural mechanisms underlying the temporal structure of song and have allowed us to test birds' abilities to predict the timing of rhythmic social signals. Surprisingly, zebra finches can readily learn to anticipate the calls of a “vocal robot” partner and alter the timing of their answers to avoid jamming, even in reference to complex rhythmic patterns. This capacity resembles, to some extent, human predictive motor response to an external beat. In songbirds, this is driven, at least in part, by the forebrain song system, which controls song timing and is essential for vocal learning. Building upon previous evidence for spontaneous entrainment in human and non-human vocal learners, we propose a comparative framework for future studies aimed at identifying shared mechanism of rhythm production and perception across songbirds and humans. PMID:27375455

  2. Tectonic collision and uplift of Wallacea triggered the global songbird radiation.

    PubMed

    Moyle, Robert G; Oliveros, Carl H; Andersen, Michael J; Hosner, Peter A; Benz, Brett W; Manthey, Joseph D; Travers, Scott L; Brown, Rafe M; Faircloth, Brant C

    2016-01-01

    Songbirds (oscine passerines) are the most species-rich and cosmopolitan bird group, comprising almost half of global avian diversity. Songbirds originated in Australia, but the evolutionary trajectory from a single species in an isolated continent to worldwide proliferation is poorly understood. Here, we combine the first comprehensive genome-scale DNA sequence data set for songbirds, fossil-based time calibrations, and geologically informed biogeographic reconstructions to provide a well-supported evolutionary hypothesis for the group. We show that songbird diversification began in the Oligocene, but accelerated in the early Miocene, at approximately half the age of most previous estimates. This burst of diversification occurred coincident with extensive island formation in Wallacea, which provided the first dispersal corridor out of Australia, and resulted in independent waves of songbird expansion through Asia to the rest of the globe. Our results reconcile songbird evolution with Earth history and link a major radiation of terrestrial biodiversity to early diversification within an isolated Australian continent. PMID:27575437

  3. Finding the Beat: From Socially Coordinated Vocalizations in Songbirds to Rhythmic Entrainment in Humans.

    PubMed

    Benichov, Jonathan I; Globerson, Eitan; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2016-01-01

    Humans and oscine songbirds share the rare capacity for vocal learning. Songbirds have the ability to acquire songs and calls of various rhythms through imitation. In several species, birds can even coordinate the timing of their vocalizations with other individuals in duets that are synchronized with millisecond-accuracy. It is not known, however, if songbirds can perceive rhythms holistically nor if they are capable of spontaneous entrainment to complex rhythms, in a manner similar to humans. Here we review emerging evidence from studies of rhythm generation and vocal coordination across songbirds and humans. In particular, recently developed experimental methods have revealed neural mechanisms underlying the temporal structure of song and have allowed us to test birds' abilities to predict the timing of rhythmic social signals. Surprisingly, zebra finches can readily learn to anticipate the calls of a "vocal robot" partner and alter the timing of their answers to avoid jamming, even in reference to complex rhythmic patterns. This capacity resembles, to some extent, human predictive motor response to an external beat. In songbirds, this is driven, at least in part, by the forebrain song system, which controls song timing and is essential for vocal learning. Building upon previous evidence for spontaneous entrainment in human and non-human vocal learners, we propose a comparative framework for future studies aimed at identifying shared mechanism of rhythm production and perception across songbirds and humans. PMID:27375455

  4. Light responses in Photoperiodism in Arabidopsis thaliana

    SciTech Connect

    Anthony R. Cashmore

    2006-08-01

    domains. It is this cysteine residue that forms a covalent adduct with the bound flavin in the photocycle of PHOT1 and FKF1. In the mutant ADO1 this cysteine is replaced by an alanine. We argue that if ADO1 functions as a photoreceptor in a similar fashion to PHOT1, then this mutant ADO1 should not be able to rescue the altered circadian phenotype of ado1 mutant plants. We find under white light, that indeed this is the case. Experiments underway are aimed at determining if the altered circadian phenotype under blue and red light are similarly unable to be rescued by the mutant gene, and we are performing similar experiments under red light with respect to the defect in hypocotyl elongation. The results from these experiments will likely support the hypothesis that ADO1 functions as a blue light photoreceptor, and they will address the question concerning whether or not the altered properties of the ado1 mutant under red light are also a reflection of this photoreceptor function. References. Briggs, W. R., Beck, C. F., Cashmore, A. R., Christie, J. M., Hughes, J., Jarillo, J. A., Kagawa, T., Kanegae, H., Liscum, E., Nagatani, A., et al. (2001). The phototropin family of photoreceptors. Plant Cell 13, 993-997. Christie, J. M., Reymond, P., Powell, G. K., Bernasconi, P., Raibekas, A. A., Liscum, E., and Briggs, W. R. (1998). Arabidopsis NPH1: A flavoprotein with the properties of a photoreceptor for phototropism. Science 282, 1698-1701. Froehlich, A. C., Liu, Y., Loros, J. J., and Dunlap, J. C. (2002). White Collar-1, a circadian blue light photoreceptor, binding to the frequency promoter. Science 297, 815-819. Imaizumi, T., Tran, H. G., Swartz, T. E., Briggs, W. R., and Kay, S. A. (2003). FKF1 is essential for photoperiodic-specific light signalling in Arabidopsis. Nature 426, 302-306. Jarillo, J. A., Capel, J., Tang, R.-H., Yang, H.-Q., Alonso, J. M., Ecker, J. R., and Cashmore, A. R. (2001a). An Arabidopsis circadian clock component interacts with both CRY1 and phy

  5. Growth and splitting of neural sequences in songbird vocal development

    PubMed Central

    Okubo, Tatsuo S.; Mackevicius, Emily L.; Payne, Hannah L.; Lynch, Galen F.; Fee, Michale S.

    2015-01-01

    Neural sequences are a fundamental feature of brain dynamics underlying diverse behaviors, but the mechanisms by which they develop during learning remain unknown. Songbirds learn vocalizations composed of syllables; in adult birds, each syllable is produced by a different sequence of action potential bursts in the premotor cortical area HVC. Here we carried out recordings of large populations of HVC neurons in singing juvenile birds throughout learning to examine the emergence of neural sequences. Early in vocal development, HVC neurons begin producing rhythmic bursts, temporally locked to a ‘prototype’ syllable. Different neurons are active at different latencies relative to syllable onset to form a continuous sequence. Through development, as new syllables emerge from the prototype syllable, initially highly overlapping burst sequences become increasingly distinct. We propose a mechanistic model in which multiple neural sequences can emerge from the growth and splitting of a common precursor sequence. PMID:26618871

  6. Growth and splitting of neural sequences in songbird vocal development.

    PubMed

    Okubo, Tatsuo S; Mackevicius, Emily L; Payne, Hannah L; Lynch, Galen F; Fee, Michale S

    2015-12-17

    Neural sequences are a fundamental feature of brain dynamics underlying diverse behaviours, but the mechanisms by which they develop during learning remain unknown. Songbirds learn vocalizations composed of syllables; in adult birds, each syllable is produced by a different sequence of action potential bursts in the premotor cortical area HVC. Here we carried out recordings of large populations of HVC neurons in singing juvenile birds throughout learning to examine the emergence of neural sequences. Early in vocal development, HVC neurons begin producing rhythmic bursts, temporally locked to a 'prototype' syllable. Different neurons are active at different latencies relative to syllable onset to form a continuous sequence. Through development, as new syllables emerge from the prototype syllable, initially highly overlapping burst sequences become increasingly distinct. We propose a mechanistic model in which multiple neural sequences can emerge from the growth and splitting of a common precursor sequence. PMID:26618871

  7. Mesoscopic Patterns of Neural Activity Support Songbird Cortical Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Guitchounts, Grigori; Velho, Tarciso; Lois, Carlos; Gardner, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    Time-locked sequences of neural activity can be found throughout the vertebrate forebrain in various species and behavioral contexts. From “time cells” in the hippocampus of rodents to cortical activity controlling movement, temporal sequence generation is integral to many forms of learned behavior. However, the mechanisms underlying sequence generation are not well known. Here, we describe a spatial and temporal organization of the songbird premotor cortical microcircuit that supports sparse sequences of neural activity. Multi-channel electrophysiology and calcium imaging reveal that neural activity in premotor cortex is correlated with a length scale of 100 µm. Within this length scale, basal-ganglia–projecting excitatory neurons, on average, fire at a specific phase of a local 30 Hz network rhythm. These results show that premotor cortical activity is inhomogeneous in time and space, and that a mesoscopic dynamical pattern underlies the generation of the neural sequences controlling song. PMID:26039895

  8. The Origin of Time in the Songbird Motor Pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Michael

    2010-03-01

    Many complex behaviors, like speech or music, have a hierarchical organization with structure on many timescales. How does the brain control the timing and ordering of behavioral sequences? Do different circuits control different timescales of the behavior? To begin answering these questions, we use temperature to manipulate the biophysical dynamics in different regions of the songbird forebrain involved in song production. We found that cooling premotor nucleus HVC (high vocal center) uniformly slows song speed by up to 40% while only slightly altering the acoustic structure, whereas cooling downstream motor nucleus RA (robust nucleus of the arcopallium) has no observable effect on song timing, despite a marked affect of RA spiking activity. To better understand the circuit mechanisms of precise premotor timing, we perform intracellular recordings in RA-projecting HVC neurons during singing. Our observations suggest highly ordered dynamics within HVC which are consistent with a synfire-like neuronal architecture.

  9. Basal ganglia function, stuttering, sequencing, and repair in adult songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Kubikova, Lubica; Bosikova, Eva; Cvikova, Martina; Lukacova, Kristina; Scharff, Constance; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2014-01-01

    A pallial-basal-ganglia-thalamic-pallial loop in songbirds is involved in vocal motor learning. Damage to its basal ganglia part, Area X, in adult zebra finches has been noted to have no strong effects on song and its function is unclear. Here we report that neurotoxic damage to adult Area X induced changes in singing tempo and global syllable sequencing in all animals, and considerably increased syllable repetition in birds whose song motifs ended with minor repetitions before lesioning. This stuttering-like behavior started at one month, and improved over six months. Unexpectedly, the lesioned region showed considerable recovery, including immigration of newly generated or repaired neurons that became active during singing. The timing of the recovery and stuttering suggest that immature recovering activity of the circuit might be associated with stuttering. These findings indicate that even after juvenile learning is complete, the adult striatum plays a role in higher level organization of learned vocalizations. PMID:25307086

  10. Mesoscopic patterns of neural activity support songbird cortical sequences.

    PubMed

    Markowitz, Jeffrey E; Liberti, William A; Guitchounts, Grigori; Velho, Tarciso; Lois, Carlos; Gardner, Timothy J

    2015-06-01

    Time-locked sequences of neural activity can be found throughout the vertebrate forebrain in various species and behavioral contexts. From "time cells" in the hippocampus of rodents to cortical activity controlling movement, temporal sequence generation is integral to many forms of learned behavior. However, the mechanisms underlying sequence generation are not well known. Here, we describe a spatial and temporal organization of the songbird premotor cortical microcircuit that supports sparse sequences of neural activity. Multi-channel electrophysiology and calcium imaging reveal that neural activity in premotor cortex is correlated with a length scale of 100 µm. Within this length scale, basal-ganglia-projecting excitatory neurons, on average, fire at a specific phase of a local 30 Hz network rhythm. These results show that premotor cortical activity is inhomogeneous in time and space, and that a mesoscopic dynamical pattern underlies the generation of the neural sequences controlling song. PMID:26039895

  11. Photoperiod- and Triiodothyronine-dependent Regulation of Reproductive Neuropeptides, Proinflammatory Cytokines, and Peripheral Physiology in Siberian Hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Banks, Ruth; Delibegovic, Mirela; Stevenson, Tyler J

    2016-06-01

    Seasonal trade-offs in reproduction and immunity are ubiquitous in nature. The mechanisms that govern transitions across seasonal physiological states appear to involve reciprocal switches in the local synthesis of thyroid hormone. In long-day (LD) summer-like conditions, increased hypothalamic triiodothyronine (T3) stimulates gonadal development. Alternatively, short-day (SD) winter-like conditions increase peripheral leukocytes and enhance multiple aspects of immune function. These data indicate that the localized effects of T3 in the hypothalamus and leukocytes are photoperiod dependent. We tested the hypothesis that increased peripheral T3 in SD conditions would increase aspects of reproductive physiology and inhibit immune function, whereas T3 injections in LD conditions would facilitate aspects of immune function (i.e., leukocytes). In addition, we also examined whether T3 regulates hypothalamic neuropeptide expression as well as hypothalamic and splenic proinflammatory cytokine expression. Adult male Siberian hamsters were maintained in LD (15L:9D) or transferred to SD (9L:15D) for 8 weeks. A subset of LD and SD hamsters was treated daily with 5 µg T3 for 2 weeks. LD and SD controls were injected with saline. Daily T3 administration in SD hamsters (SD+T3) resulted in a rapid and substantial decrease in peripheral leukocyte concentrations and stimulated gonadal development. T3 treatment in LD (LD+T3) had no effect on testicular volumes but significantly increased leukocyte concentrations. Molecular analyses revealed that T3 stimulated interleukin 1β messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in the spleen and inhibited RFamide Related Peptide-3 mRNA expression in the hypothalamus. Moreover, there was a photoperiod-dependent decrease in splenic tumor necrosis factor-α mRNA expression. These findings reveal that T3 has tissue-specific and photoperiod-dependent regulation of seasonal rhythms in reproduction and immune function. PMID:26984896

  12. The neural dynamics of song syntax in songbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Dezhe

    2010-03-01

    Songbird is ``the hydrogen atom'' of the neuroscience of complex, learned vocalizations such as human speech. Songs of Bengalese finch consist of sequences of syllables. While syllables are temporally stereotypical, syllable sequences can vary and follow complex, probabilistic syntactic rules, which are rudimentarily similar to grammars in human language. Songbird brain is accessible to experimental probes, and is understood well enough to construct biologically constrained, predictive computational models. In this talk, I will discuss the structure and dynamics of neural networks underlying the stereotypy of the birdsong syllables and the flexibility of syllable sequences. Recent experiments and computational models suggest that a syllable is encoded in a chain network of projection neurons in premotor nucleus HVC (proper name). Precisely timed spikes propagate along the chain, driving vocalization of the syllable through downstream nuclei. Through a computational model, I show that that variable syllable sequences can be generated through spike propagations in a network in HVC in which the syllable-encoding chain networks are connected into a branching chain pattern. The neurons mutually inhibit each other through the inhibitory HVC interneurons, and are driven by external inputs from nuclei upstream of HVC. At a branching point that connects the final group of a chain to the first groups of several chains, the spike activity selects one branch to continue the propagation. The selection is probabilistic, and is due to the winner-take-all mechanism mediated by the inhibition and noise. The model predicts that the syllable sequences statistically follow partially observable Markov models. Experimental results supporting this and other predictions of the model will be presented. We suggest that the syntax of birdsong syllable sequences is embedded in the connection patterns of HVC projection neurons.

  13. Influence of Photoperiod on Hormones, Behavior, and Immune Function

    PubMed Central

    Walton, James C.; Weil, Zachary M.; Nelson, Randy J.

    2011-01-01

    Photoperiodism is the ability of plants and animals to measure environmental day length to ascertain time of year. Central to the evolution of photoperiodism in animals is the adaptive distribution of energetically challenging activities across the year to optimize reproductive fitness while balancing the energetic tradeoffs necessary for seasonally- appropriate survival strategies. The ability to accurately predict future events requires endogenous mechanisms to permit physiological anticipation of annual conditions. Day length provides a virtually noise free environmental signal to monitor and accurately predict time of the year. In mammals, melatonin provides the hormonal signal transducing day length. Duration of pineal melatonin is inversely related to day length and its secretion drives enduring changes in many physiological systems, including the HPA, HPG, and brain-gut axes, the autonomic nervous system, and the immune system. Thus, melatonin is the fulcrum mediating redistribution of energetic investment among physiological processes to maximize fitness and survival. PMID:21156187

  14. Similarities in the circadian clock and photoperiodism in plants

    PubMed Central

    Song, Young Hun; Ito, Shogo; Imaizumi, Takato

    2010-01-01

    Summary of recent advances Plants utilize circadian clocks to synchronize their physiological and developmental events with daily and yearly changes in the environment. Recent advances in Arabidopsis research have provided a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the circadian clock and photoperiodism. One of the most important questions is whether the mechanisms studied in Arabidopsis are conserved in other plants. Homologs of many Arabidopsis clock genes have been identified in various plants and some gene functions have been characterized. It seems that the circadian clocks in plants are similar. Recent success in molecular genetics has also revealed the mechanisms of photoperiodic flowering in cereals. The day-length sensing mechanisms appear to have diverged more between long-day plants and short-day plants than the circadian clock. PMID:20620097

  15. Photoperiodic control of circadian activity rhythms in diurnal rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramm, K. R.; Kramm, Deborah A.

    1980-03-01

    The responses of red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) to complete and skeleton light-dark (LD) cycles were compared. The skeletons, comprised of two 1-h pulses of light per day, effectively simulated the complete photoperiods in the squirrels, but not the chipmunks. Skeleton photoperiods greater than 12-h caused the chipmunks to shift activity from the longer to the shorter of the two intervals between the pulses. To interpret the mechanism of phase control, squirrels and chipmunks were kept in continuous darkness and exposed to 1-h light pulses every 10 days. The time-course of entrainment was also quantified. Both techniques produced light-response curves. The data suggest that the parametric and non-parametric contributions to entrainment are different in these two rodent species.

  16. Chilling outweighs photoperiod in preventing precocious spring development.

    PubMed

    Laube, Julia; Sparks, Tim H; Estrella, Nicole; Höfler, Josef; Ankerst, Donna P; Menzel, Annette

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that increased spring temperatures cause earlier onset dates of leaf unfolding and flowering. However, a temperature increase in winter may be associated with delayed development when species' chilling requirements are not fulfilled. Furthermore, photosensitivity is supposed to interfere with temperature triggers. To date, neither the relative importance nor possible interactions of these three factors have been elucidated. In this study, we present a multispecies climate chamber experiment to test the effects of chilling and photoperiod on the spring phenology of 36 woody species. Several hypotheses regarding their variation with species traits (successional strategy, floristic status, climate of their native range) were tested. Long photoperiods advanced budburst for one-third of the studied species, but magnitudes of these effects were generally minor. In contrast to prior hypotheses, photosensitive responses were not restricted to climax or oceanic species. Increased chilling length advanced budburst for almost all species; its effect greatly exceeding that of photoperiod. Moreover, we suggest that photosensitivity and chilling effects have to be rigorously disentangled, as the response to photoperiod was restricted to individuals that had not been fully chilled. The results indicate that temperature requirements and successional strategy are linked, with climax species having higher chilling and forcing requirements than pioneer species. Temperature requirements of invasive species closely matched those of native species, suggesting that high phenological concordance is a prerequisite for successful establishment. Lack of chilling not only led to a considerable delay in budburst but also caused substantial changes in the chronological order of species' budburst. The results reveal that increased winter temperatures might impact forest ecosystems more than formerly assumed. Species with lower chilling requirements, such as pioneer or invasive

  17. Photoperiod Regulates vgf-Derived Peptide Processing in Siberian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Noli, Barbara; Brancia, Carla; Pilleri, Roberta; D’Amato, Filomena; Messana, Irene; Manconi, Barbara; Ebling, Francis J. P.; Ferri, Gian-Luca; Cocco, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    VGF mRNA is induced in specific hypothalamic areas of the Siberian hamster upon exposure to short photoperiods, which is associated with a seasonal decrease in appetite and weight loss. Processing of VGF generates multiple bioactive peptides, so the objective of this study was to determine the profile of the VGF-derived peptides in the brain, pituitary and plasma from Siberian hamsters, and to establish whether differential processing might occur in the short day lean state versus long day fat. Antisera against short sequences at the C- or N- termini of proVGF, as well as against NERP-1, TPGH and TLQP peptides, were used for analyses of tissues, and both immunohistochemistry and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) coupled with high-performance liquid (HPLC) or gel chromatography were carried out. VGF peptide immunoreactivity was found within cortex cholinergic perikarya, in multiple hypothalamic nuclei, including those containing vasopressin, and in pituitary gonadotrophs. ELISA revealed that exposure to short day photoperiod led to a down-regulation of VGF immunoreactivity in the cortex, and a less pronounced decrease in the hypothalamus and pituitary, while the plasma VGF levels were not affected by the photoperiod. HPLC and gel chromatography both confirmed the presence of multiple VGF-derived peptides in these tissues, while gel chromatography showed the presence of the VGF precursor in all tissues tested except for the cortex. These observations are consistent with the view that VGF-derived peptides have pleiotropic actions related to changing photoperiod, possibly by regulating cholinergic systems in the cortex, vasopressin hypothalamic pathways, and the reproductive axis. PMID:26555143

  18. Maternal Photoperiodic History Affects Offspring Development in Syrian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Beery, Annaliese K.; Paul, Matthew J.; Routman, David M.; Zucker, Irving

    2009-01-01

    During the first 7 weeks of postnatal life, short day lengths inhibit the onset of puberty in many photoperiodic rodents, but not in Syrian hamsters. In this species, timing of puberty and fecundity are independent of the early postnatal photoperiod. Gestational day length affects postnatal reproductive development in several rodents; its role in Syrian hamsters has not been assessed. We tested the hypothesis that cumulative effects of pre- and postnatal short day lengths would restrain gonadal development in male Syrian hamsters. Males with prenatal short day exposure were generated by dams transferred to short day lengths 6 weeks, 3 weeks, and 0 weeks prior to mating. Additional groups were gestated in long day lengths and transferred to short days at birth, at 4 weeks of age, or not transferred (control hamsters). In pups of dams exposed to short day treatment throughout gestation, decreased testis growth was apparent by 3 weeks and persisted through 9 weeks of age, at which time maximum testis size was attained. A subset of males (14%), whose dams had been in short days for 3 to 6 weeks prior to mating displayed pronounced delays in testicular development, similar to those of other photoperiodic rodents. This treatment also increased the percentage of male offspring that underwent little or no gonadal regression postnatally (39%). By 19 weeks of age, males housed in short days completed spontaneous gonadal development. After prolonged long day treatment to break refractoriness, hamsters that initially were classified as nonregressors underwent testicular regression in response to a 2nd sequence of short day lengths. The combined action of prenatal and early postnatal short day lengths diminishes testicular growth of prepubertal Syrian hamsters no later than the 3rd week of postnatal life, albeit to a lesser extent than in other photoperiodic rodents. PMID:18838610

  19. Two Coordinately Regulated Homologs of FLOWERING LOCUS T Are Involved in the Control of Photoperiodic Flowering in Soybean1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Fanjiang; Liu, Baohui; Xia, Zhengjun; Sato, Shusei; Kim, Bo Min; Watanabe, Satoshi; Yamada, Tetsuya; Tabata, Satoshi; Kanazawa, Akira; Harada, Kyuya; Abe, Jun

    2010-01-01

    FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) is a key flowering integrator in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), with homologs that encode florigens in many plant species regardless of the type of photoperiodic response. We identified 10 FT homologs, which were arranged as five pairs of linked genes in different homoeologous chromosomal regions, in soybean (Glycine max), a paleopolyploid species. Two of the FT homologs, GmFT2a and GmFT5a, were highly up-regulated under short-day (SD) conditions (inductive for flowering in soybean) and had diurnal expression patterns with the highest expression 4 h after dawn. Under long-day (LD) conditions, expression of GmFT2a and GmFT5a was down-regulated and did not follow a diurnal pattern. Flowering took much longer to initiate under LD than under SD, and only the GmFT5a transcript accumulated late in development under LD. Ectopic expression analysis in Arabidopsis confirmed that both GmFT2a and GmFT5a had the same function as Arabidopsis FT, but the effect of GmFT5a was more prominent. A double-mutant soybean line for two PHYTOCHROME A (PHYA) genes expressed high levels of GmFT2a and GmFT5a under LD, and it flowered slightly earlier under LD than the wild type grown under SD. The expression levels of GmFT2a and GmFT5a were regulated by the PHYA-mediated photoperiodic regulation system, and the GmFT5a expression was also regulated by a photoperiod-independent system in LD. Taken together, our results suggest that GmFT2a and GmFT5a coordinately control flowering and enable the adaptation of soybean to a wide range of photoperiodic environments. PMID:20864544

  20. Photoperiod shift effects on yield characteristics of rice.

    PubMed

    Volk, G M; Mitchell, C A

    1995-01-01

    Edible yield must be maximized for each crop species selected for inclusion in the Controlled Ecological Life-Support System (CELSS) proposed by NASA to support long-term manned space missions. In a greenhouse study aimed at increasing biomass partitioning to rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain, plants of the high yielding semi-dwarf rice cultivar Ai-Nan-Tsao were started in pots under 8-h photoperiods at a density of 212 plants m-2. After different periods of time under 8-h photoperiods, pots were switched to continuous light for the remainder of the cropping cycle. Continuous light did not delay time to first panicle emergence (60 d) or time to harvest (83 d). There was a positive correlation between the length of continuous light treatments and nongrain biomass. Grain yield (1.6 +/- 0.2 g plant-1) did not increase in continuous light. Yield-efficiency rate (grain weight per length of cropping cycle, canopy volume, and weight of nongrain shoot biomass) was used to compare treatments. Small Ai-Nan-Tsao rice canopies grown under 8-h photoperiods were more efficient producers of grain than canopies grown under continuous light for a portion of the rice cropping cycle. PMID:11540306

  1. Photoperiod shift effects on yield characteristics of rice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volk, G. M.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1995-01-01

    Edible yield must be maximized for each crop species selected for inclusion in the Controlled Ecological Life-Support System (CELSS) proposed by NASA to support long-term manned space missions. In a greenhouse study aimed at increasing biomass partitioning to rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain, plants of the high yielding semi-dwarf rice cultivar Ai-Nan-Tsao were started in pots under 8-h photoperiods at a density of 212 plants m-2. After different periods of time under 8-h photoperiods, pots were switched to continuous light for the remainder of the cropping cycle. Continuous light did not delay time to first panicle emergence (60 d) or time to harvest (83 d). There was a positive correlation between the length of continuous light treatments and nongrain biomass. Grain yield (1.6 +/- 0.2 g plant-1) did not increase in continuous light. Yield-efficiency rate (grain weight per length of cropping cycle, canopy volume, and weight of nongrain shoot biomass) was used to compare treatments. Small Ai-Nan-Tsao rice canopies grown under 8-h photoperiods were more efficient producers of grain than canopies grown under continuous light for a portion of the rice cropping cycle.

  2. Time measurement in the photoperiodic induction of sexual rest in the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare (Latreille).

    PubMed

    Nasri-Ammar, K; Souty-Grosset, C; Mocquard, J P

    2001-08-01

    The photoperiodic control of sexual rest in Armadillidium vulgare was investigated using various experimental protocols. When reared in conditions of a Nanda-Hamner (i.e. resonance) protocol from their first parturial moult to their post experimental moult, females showed a weak resonance effect in sexual rest incidence. The transfer from a long day cycle to a symmetrical skeleton photoperiod--consisting of two equal light pulses per 24 h of continuous darkness--revealed the involvement of a circadian oscillatory system in the photoperiodic clock of this species. The data, obtained in the whole experiments, suggested that both oscillator and hourglass features are involved in the photoperiodic response controlling the sexual rest in Armadillidium vulgare. Moreover, when non-24-h light-dark cycles (with a long photophase) were applied, a mechanism responsible of arrest of reproduction also implied a photoperiodic counter which accumulated and added up the photoperiodic information within a sensitive period during post parturial intermoult. PMID:11510415

  3. Region-Specific Neural Corticosterone Patterns Differ From Plasma in a Male Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Comito, D.; Kosarussavadi, S.; Schlinger, B. A.

    2014-01-01

    The adrenal hormone corticosterone (CORT) acts on brain to mediate physiology and behavior. In songbirds, behavioral effects of CORT vary across species, environmental conditions, and life history stage, with several mechanisms proposed to account for these divergent results. Although blood CORT levels are well characterized, few studies measure CORT within the brain itself. Here we used in vivo microdialysis to measure CORT in two regions of the zebra finch brain, the hippocampus (HP) and caudal nidopallium (cNp). Our results show that we can successfully measure physiological levels of CORT in brain within 15- to 30-minute intervals of dialysate collection. Moreover, we found that levels in the cNp were generally lower than levels in the HP. Surprisingly, whereas plasma CORT levels increased in response to a standard stressor, no stress-induced surge was detected in the HP or cNp. In addition, although a diel CORT rhythm was observed in plasma, the rhythm in brain was attenuated and only observed when levels were integrated over a 4-hour time period. Regional differences in brain CORT levels were reflected in local mRNA expression levels of the CORT-inactivating enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 with levels elevated in the cNp relative to the HP. Region-specific CORT metabolism may therefore play a role in buffering the brain from CORT fluctuations. PMID:24914945

  4. Effect of photoperiod on flowering of cypress vine (Ipomea quamoclit L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koike, Yasuhiko

    2013-05-01

    Plants of Ipomoea quamoclit L. were exposed to an 8-hour photoperiod under natural daylight, which was supplemented with 60 W incandescent lamps to give an 8- to 24-hour day. Under photoperiods of 12 hours or less, flower buds were initiated, while the period from bud formation to flowering was shortened in plants grown under a 12-hour photoperiod. Photoperiods of 12 hours or less had no effect on plant height and number of nodes. The present results suggest that Ipomoea quamoclit L. is a short-day plant.

  5. Photoperiodic regulation of the seasonal pattern of photosynthetic capacity and the implications for carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Bauerle, William L; Oren, Ram; Way, Danielle A; Qian, Song S; Stoy, Paul C; Thornton, Peter E; Bowden, Joseph D; Hoffman, Forrest M; Reynolds, Robert F

    2012-05-29

    Although temperature is an important driver of seasonal changes in photosynthetic physiology, photoperiod also regulates leaf activity. Climate change will extend growing seasons if temperature cues predominate, but photoperiod-controlled species will show limited responsiveness to warming. We show that photoperiod explains more seasonal variation in photosynthetic activity across 23 tree species than temperature. Although leaves remain green, photosynthetic capacity peaks just after summer solstice and declines with decreasing photoperiod, before air temperatures peak. In support of these findings, saplings grown at constant temperature but exposed to an extended photoperiod maintained high photosynthetic capacity, but photosynthetic activity declined in saplings experiencing a naturally shortening photoperiod; leaves remained equally green in both treatments. Incorporating a photoperiodic correction of photosynthetic physiology into a global-scale terrestrial carbon-cycle model significantly improves predictions of seasonal atmospheric CO(2) cycling, demonstrating the benefit of such a function in coupled climate system models. Accounting for photoperiod-induced seasonality in photosynthetic parameters reduces modeled global gross primary production 2.5% (∼4 PgC y(-1)), resulting in a >3% (∼2 PgC y(-1)) decrease of net primary production. Such a correction is also needed in models estimating current carbon uptake based on remotely sensed greenness. Photoperiod-associated declines in photosynthetic capacity could limit autumn carbon gain in forests, even if warming delays leaf senescence. PMID:22586103

  6. Photoperiodic Regulation of the Seasonal Pattern of Photosynthetic Capacity and the Implications for Carbon Cycling

    SciTech Connect

    Bauerle, William L.; Oren, Ram; Way, Danielle A.; Qian, Song S.; Stoy, Paul C.; Thornton, Peter E; Bowden, Joseph D.; Hoffman, Forrest M; Reynolds, Robert F.

    2012-01-01

    Although temperature is an important driver of seasonal changes in photosynthetic physiology, photoperiod also regulates leaf activity. Climate change will extend growing seasons if temperature cues predominate, but photoperiod-controlled species will show limited responsiveness to warming. We show that photoperiod explains more seasonal variation in photosynthetic activity across 23 tree species than temperature. Although leaves remain green, photosynthetic capacity peaks just after summer solstice and declines with decreasing photoperiod, before air temperatures peak. In support of these findings, saplings grown at constant temperature but exposed to an extended photoperiod maintained high photosynthetic capacity, but photosynthetic activity declined in saplings experiencing a naturally shortening photoperiod; leaves remained equally green in both treatments. Incorporating a photoperiodic correction of photosynthetic physiology into a global-scale terrestrial carbon-cycle model significantly improves predictions of seasonal atmospheric CO{sub 2} cycling, demonstrating the benefit of such a function in coupled climate system models. Accounting for photoperiod-induced seasonality in photosynthetic parameters reduces modeled global gross primary production 2.5% ({approx}4 PgC y{sup -1}), resulting in a >3% ({approx}2 PgC y{sup -1}) decrease of net primary production. Such a correction is also needed in models estimating current carbon uptake based on remotely sensed greenness. Photoperiod-associated declines in photosynthetic capacity could limit autumn carbon gain in forests, even if warming delays leaf senescence.

  7. Variations in the photoperiodic cloacal response of Japanese quail: association with testes weight and feather color

    SciTech Connect

    Oishi, T.; Konishi, T.

    1983-04-01

    The size of the cloacal gland was found to be a reliable indicator of testicular activity of Japanese quail. Six experiments were performed to examine the effects of alternating long and short photoperiod on the size of the cloacal gland of male Japanese quail. Three types of photoperiodic cloacal responses were distinguished. Type I birds became refractory to short photoperiods after they had experienced 5 weeks or more of short days. They maintained large cloacal glands under subsequent condition of alternating long and short photoperiod. Type II birds were intermediate types I and III birds did not become refractory to short photoperiods after experiencing 5 weeks or more of short days. The cloacal glands responded to conditions of alternating long and short photoperiods with increases or decreases in size. Feather color on the throat was found to correspond to the type of cloacal response. Type I birds had brick-red throat feathers. Type II birds had white feathers intermingled with brick-red feathers. Type III had white throat feathers. The percentages of types I, II, and III observed in the experimental population was 67, 18, and 15%, respectively. Type III birds were used to study the effects of blinding on the cloacal response to short photoperiod. Five out of eight blinded type III birds did not lose the responsiveness to short photoperiod. These results are consistent with the view that extraocular photoreceptors participate in the photoperiodic gonadal response of Japanese quail.

  8. Seasonal patterns of photosynthetic capacity: photoperiodic control and its carbon cycling implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauerle, W.; Oren, R.; Way, D.; Qian, S.; Stoy, P. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Bowden, J.; Hoffman, F. M.; Reynolds, R.

    2012-12-01

    While temperature is an important driver of seasonal changes in photosynthetic physiology, photoperiod also regulates leaf activity. Climate change will extend growing seasons if temperature cues predominate, but photoperiod-controlled species will show limited responsiveness to warming. We show that photoperiod explains more seasonal variation in photosynthetic activity across 23 tree species than temperature. Although leaves remain green, photosynthetic capacity peaks just after summer solstice and declines with decreasing photoperiod, before air temperatures peak. In support of these findings, saplings grown at constant temperature, but exposed to an extended photoperiod maintained high photosynthetic capacity, while photosynthetic activity declined in saplings experiencing a naturally shortening photoperiod; leaves remained equally green in both treatments. Incorporating a photoperiodic correction of photosynthetic physiology into a global-scale terrestrial carbon cycle model significantly improves predictions of seasonal atmospheric CO2 cycling, demonstrating the benefit of such a function in coupled climate system models. Accounting for photoperiod-induced seasonality in photosynthetic parameters reduces modeled global gross primary production ~4 PgC y-1, resulting in a ~2 PgC y-1 decrease of net primary production. Such a correction is also needed in models estimating current carbon uptake based on remotely-sensed greenness. Photoperiod-associated declines in photosynthetic capacity could limit autumn carbon gain in forests, even if warming delays leaf senescence. Assessments of late season carbon sequestration under a changing climate should focus on potential adverse impacts of warming via increased ecosystem respiration.

  9. The effects of chronic photoperiod shifting on the physiology of female Long-Evans rats.

    PubMed

    Deibel, Scott H; Hong, Nancy S; Himmler, Stephanie M; McDonald, Robert J

    2014-04-01

    As the prevalence of shift work is increasing, it is important to elucidate the impact that shift work has on health. Because of the alternating work schedules present in rotating shift work and working at night, shift workers are in a chronic state of circadian disruption. Animal models of circadian disruption are useful because they offer more experimental control than the largely correlational human shift work studies. The effects of chronic circadian disruption on food preference, glucose tolerance, corticosterone secretion, and performance in a stress-inducing task were investigated in female Long-Evans rats. A 64-day photoperiod shifting paradigm was used to induce circadian disruption. Surprisingly, neither the photoperiod shifted animals, nor the control animals demonstrated a preference for either an unhealthy or healthy diet. Nor was there a difference between the groups in weight gained during photoperiod shifting. However, the photoperiod shifted rats gained significantly more weight than control animals, without eating more food during discriminative fear conditioning to context (DFCTC). Surprisingly, chronic photoperiod shifting appeared to facilitate retention in the DFCTC task. The photoperiod shifted animals also had increased serum glucose values during fasting and after a glucose challenge test. The photoperiod shifted animals only had elevated corticosterone during the final two phases of photoperiod shifting. This study demonstrates that chronic photoperiod shifting elicits weight gain when exposed to a stressful event and impairs glucose tolerance in the same individual. PMID:24631903

  10. Transgenic songbirds with suppressed or enhanced activity of CREB transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Abe, Kentaro; Matsui, Sumiko; Watanabe, Dai

    2015-06-16

    Songbirds postnatally develop their skill to utter and to perceive a vocal signal for communication. How genetic and environmental influences act in concert to regulate the development of such skill is not fully understood. Here, we report the phenotype of transgenic songbirds with altered intrinsic activity of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) transcription factor. By viral vector-mediated modification of genomic DNA, we established germ line-transmitted lines of zebra finches, which exhibited enhanced or suppressed activity of CREB. Although intrinsically acquired vocalizations or their hearing ability were not affected, the transgenic birds showed reduced vocal learning quality of their own songs and impaired audio-memory formation against conspecific songs. These results thus demonstrate that appropriate activity of CREB is necessary for the postnatal acquisition of learned behavior in songbirds, and the CREB transgenic birds offer a unique opportunity to separately manipulate both genetic and environmental factors that impinge on the postnatal song learning. PMID:26048905

  11. Translating Birdsong: Songbirds as a model for basic and applied medical research

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Songbirds, long of interest to basic neuroscientists, have great potential as a model system for translational neuroscience. Songbirds learn their complex vocal behavior in a manner that exemplifies general processes of perceptual and motor skill learning, and more specifically resembles human speech learning. Song is subserved by circuitry that is specialized for vocal learning and production, but that has strong similarities to mammalian brain pathways. The combination of a highly quantifiable behavior and discrete neural substrates facilitates understanding links between brain and behavior, both normally and in disease. Here we highlight 1) behavioral and mechanistic parallels between birdsong and aspects of speech and social communication, including insights into mirror neurons, the function of auditory feedback, and genes underlying social communication disorders, and 2) contributions of songbirds to understanding cortical-basal ganglia circuit function and dysfunction, including the possibility of harnessing adult neurogenesis for brain repair. PMID:23750515

  12. An IACUC Perspective on Songbirds and Their Use in Neurobiological Research

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Marc F.

    2011-01-01

    Laboratory research using songbirds as a model system for investigating basic questions of neurobiological function has expanded rapidly and recently, with approximately 120 laboratories working with songbirds worldwide. In the United States alone, of the approximately 80 such laboratories nearly a third have been established in the past 10 years. Yet many animal facilities are not outfitted to manage these animals, and as a consequence laboratories often use alternative housing arrangements established by institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs). These committees invariably differ in their expertise level with birds and thus guidelines also vary considerably from one institution to another. In this article I address a number of factors to consider for effective oversight of research involving songbirds. PMID:21131718

  13. Interspecific social networks promote information transmission in wild songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Farine, Damien R.; Aplin, Lucy M.; Sheldon, Ben C.; Hoppitt, William

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the functional links between social structure and population processes is a central aim of evolutionary ecology. Multiple types of interactions can be represented by networks drawn for the same population, such as kinship, dominance or affiliative networks, but the relative importance of alternative networks in modulating population processes may not be clear. We illustrate this problem, and a solution, by developing a framework for testing the importance of different types of association in facilitating the transmission of information. We apply this framework to experimental data from wild songbirds that form mixed-species flocks, recording the arrival (patch discovery) of individuals to novel foraging sites. We tested whether intraspecific and interspecific social networks predicted the spread of information about novel food sites, and found that both contributed to transmission. The likelihood of acquiring information per unit of connection to knowledgeable individuals increased 22-fold for conspecifics, and 12-fold for heterospecifics. We also found that species varied in how much information they produced, suggesting that some species play a keystone role in winter foraging flocks. More generally, these analyses demonstrate that this method provides a powerful approach, using social networks to quantify the relative transmission rates across different social relationships. PMID:25673683

  14. Niche filling slows the diversification of Himalayan songbirds.

    PubMed

    Price, Trevor D; Hooper, Daniel M; Buchanan, Caitlyn D; Johansson, Ulf S; Tietze, D Thomas; Alström, Per; Olsson, Urban; Ghosh-Harihar, Mousumi; Ishtiaq, Farah; Gupta, Sandeep K; Martens, Jochen; Harr, Bettina; Singh, Pratap; Mohan, Dhananjai

    2014-05-01

    Speciation generally involves a three-step process--range expansion, range fragmentation and the development of reproductive isolation between spatially separated populations. Speciation relies on cycling through these three steps and each may limit the rate at which new species form. We estimate phylogenetic relationships among all Himalayan songbirds to ask whether the development of reproductive isolation and ecological competition, both factors that limit range expansions, set an ultimate limit on speciation. Based on a phylogeny for all 358 species distributed along the eastern elevational gradient, here we show that body size and shape differences evolved early in the radiation, with the elevational band occupied by a species evolving later. These results are consistent with competition for niche space limiting species accumulation. Even the elevation dimension seems to be approaching ecological saturation, because the closest relatives both inside the assemblage and elsewhere in the Himalayas are on average separated by more than five million years, which is longer than it generally takes for reproductive isolation to be completed; also, elevational distributions are well explained by resource availability, notably the abundance of arthropods, and not by differences in diversification rates in different elevational zones. Our results imply that speciation rate is ultimately set by niche filling (that is, ecological competition for resources), rather than by the rate of acquisition of reproductive isolation. PMID:24776798

  15. Functional changes between seasons in the male songbird auditory forebrain

    PubMed Central

    De Groof, Geert; Poirier, Colline; George, Isabelle; Hausberger, Martine; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2013-01-01

    Songbirds are an excellent model for investigating the perception of learned complex acoustic communication signals. Male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) sing throughout the year distinct types of song that bear either social or individual information. Although the relative importance of social and individual information changes seasonally, evidence of functional seasonal changes in neural response to these songs remains elusive. We thus decided to use in vivo functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine auditory responses of male starlings that were exposed to songs that convey different levels of information (species-specific and group identity or individual identity), both during (when mate recognition is particularly important) and outside the breeding season (when group recognition is particularly important). We report three main findings: (1) the auditory area caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), an auditory region that is analogous to the mammalian auditory cortex, is clearly involved in the processing/categorization of conspecific songs; (2) season-related change in differential song processing is limited to a caudal part of NCM; in the more rostral parts, songs bearing individual information induce higher BOLD responses than songs bearing species and group information, regardless of the season; (3) the differentiation between songs bearing species and group information and songs bearing individual information seems to be biased toward the right hemisphere. This study provides evidence that auditory processing of behaviorally-relevant (conspecific) communication signals changes seasonally, even when the spectro-temporal properties of these signals do not change. PMID:24391561

  16. Interspecific social networks promote information transmission in wild songbirds.

    PubMed

    Farine, Damien R; Aplin, Lucy M; Sheldon, Ben C; Hoppitt, William

    2015-03-22

    Understanding the functional links between social structure and population processes is a central aim of evolutionary ecology. Multiple types of interactions can be represented by networks drawn for the same population, such as kinship, dominance or affiliative networks, but the relative importance of alternative networks in modulating population processes may not be clear. We illustrate this problem, and a solution, by developing a framework for testing the importance of different types of association in facilitating the transmission of information. We apply this framework to experimental data from wild songbirds that form mixed-species flocks, recording the arrival (patch discovery) of individuals to novel foraging sites. We tested whether intraspecific and interspecific social networks predicted the spread of information about novel food sites, and found that both contributed to transmission. The likelihood of acquiring information per unit of connection to knowledgeable individuals increased 22-fold for conspecifics, and 12-fold for heterospecifics. We also found that species varied in how much information they produced, suggesting that some species play a keystone role in winter foraging flocks. More generally, these analyses demonstrate that this method provides a powerful approach, using social networks to quantify the relative transmission rates across different social relationships. PMID:25673683

  17. New perspectives on mechanisms of sound generation in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Goller, F; Larsen, O N

    2002-12-01

    The physical mechanisms of sound generation in the vocal organ, the syrinx, of songbirds have been investigated mostly with indirect methods. Recent direct endoscopic observation identified vibrations of the labia as the principal sound source. This model suggests sound generation in a pulse-tone mechanism similar to human phonation with the labia forming a pneumatic valve. The classical avian model proposed that vibrations of the thin medial tympaniform membranes are the primary sound generating mechanism. As a direct test of these two hypotheses we ablated the medial tympaniform membranes in two species (cardinal and zebra finch) and found that both were still able to phonate and sing without functional membranes. Small changes in song structure (harmonic emphasis, frequency control) occurred after medial tympaniform membrane ablation and suggest that the medial tympaniform membranes play a role in adjusting tension on the labia. Such a role is consistent with the fact that the medial tympaniform membranes are directly attached to the medial labia. There is no experimental support for a third hypothesis, proposing an aerodynamic model for generation of tonal sounds. Indirect tests (song in heliox atmosphere) as well as direct (labial vibration during tonal sound) measurements of syringeal vibrations support a vibration-based sound-generating mechanism even for tonal sounds. PMID:12471485

  18. A Comprehensive Account of Sound Sequence Imitation in the Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Westkott, Maren; Pawelzik, Klaus R.

    2016-01-01

    The amazing imitation capabilities of songbirds show that they can memorize sensory sequences and transform them into motor activities which in turn generate the original sound sequences. This suggests that the bird's brain can learn (1) to reliably reproduce spatio-temporal sensory representations and (2) to transform them into corresponding spatio-temporal motor activations by using an inverse mapping. Neither the synaptic mechanisms nor the network architecture enabling these two fundamental aspects of imitation learning are known. We propose an architecture of coupled neuronal modules that mimick areas in the song bird and show that a unique synaptic plasticity mechanism can serve to learn both, sensory sequences in a recurrent neuronal network, as well as an inverse model that transforms the sensory memories into the corresponding motor activations. The proposed membrane potential dependent learning rule together with the architecture that includes basic features of the bird's brain represents the first comprehensive account of bird imitation learning based on spiking neurons. PMID:27486395

  19. Evaluating causes of population change in North American insectivorous songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.

    1962-01-01

    Although the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a principal source of information regarding populations of most North American bird species, many features of the survey complicate analysis of population change. Correlation studies based on BBS data cannot be used to unambiguously define cause and effect relationships. Recently, B?hning-Gaese et al. (1993) presented an analysis of population trends in insectivorous songbirds using data from the BBS. They concluded that predation has played an important role in influencing population trends. We review aspects of the analysis methods for estimating population trends (e.g., observer effects, data subset) and for associating mean trends with species attributes (e.g., confounding of attributes). Using alternative analyses of the same BBS data, we demonstrate that the evidence that predation is associated with population declines is weaker than they suggested. Based on our analyses the only factor among those tested that is consistently associated with population trends is migration status (i.e., short-distance migrant/resident vs. long-distance migrant) during the period 1978-1987. Also, we present evidence that the harsh winters of the mid-1970's severely depressed populations of short-distance migrant species, and may be responsible for the observed associations between migration status and population trends.

  20. Evaluating causes of population change in North American insectivorous songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sauer, J.R.; Pendleton, G.W.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1996-01-01

    Although the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a principal source of information regarding populations of most North American bird species, many features of the survey complicate analysis of population change. Correlation studies based on BBS data cannot be used to unambiguously define cause and effect relationships. Recently, Bohning-Gaese et al. (1993) presented an analysis of population trends in insectivorous songbirds using data from the BBS. They concluded that predation has played an important role in influencing population trends. We review aspects of the analysis methods for estimating population trends (e.g., observer effects, data subset) and for associating mean trends with species attributes (e.g., confounding of attributes). Using alternative analyses of the same BBS data, we demonstrate that the evidence that predation is associated with population declines is weaker than they suggested. Based on our analyses the only factor among those tested that is consistently associated with population trends is migration status (i.e., short-distance migrant/resident vs. long-distance migrant) during the period 1978-1987. Also, we present evidence that the harsh winters of the mid-1970's severely depressed populations of short-distance migrant species, and may be responsible for the observed associations between migration status and population trends.

  1. A Statistical Method for Quantifying Songbird Phonology and Syntax

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wei; Thompson, John A.; Bertram, Richard; Johnson, Frank

    2008-01-01

    Songbirds are the preeminent animal model for understanding how the brain encodes and produces learned vocalizations. Here, we report a new statistical method, the Kullback-Leibler (K-L) distance, for analyzing vocal change over time. First, we use a computerized recording system to capture all song syllables produced by birds each day. Sound Analysis Pro software (Tchernichovski et al., 2000) is then used to measure the duration of each syllable as well as four spectral features: pitch, entropy, frequency modulation, and pitch goodness. Next, 2-dimensional scatter plots of each day of singing are created where syllable duration is on the x-axis and each of the spectral features is represented separately on the y-axis. Each point in the scatter plots represents one syllable and we regard these plots as random samples from a probability distribution. We then apply the standard information-theoretic quantity K-L distance to measure dissimilarity in phonology across days of singing. A variant of this procedure can also be used to analyze differences in syllable syntax. PMID:18674560

  2. Influence of light and photoperiodicity on pig prolificacy.

    PubMed

    Claus, R; Weiler, U

    1985-01-01

    In the wild pig mating activity is seasonal. The main breeding period is in late autumn but a second period may occur around April. It is known from other species that seasonal variations in breeding activity are mainly regulated by photoperiod. In the domestic pig seasonal influences on prolificacy still exist: for example, AI boars not only show decreased steroid synthesis, sperm counts and libido in summer compared with the optima which occur in winter but also a biphasic pattern with a transient increase in spring. In cyclic sows ovarian function may be affected with anoestrus mainly in summer and occasionally in February/March. Additionally ovulation rate may be lower in summer and the duration of oestrus prolonged compared with that in late autumn and winter. In consequence the interval from weaning to oestrus is prolonged in summer and mating during this season leads to lower conception rates and slightly smaller litters. Light programmes which extend the daily light period to a constant 15-16 h seem to be ineffective in improving reproductive characteristics of the sow but stimulate the sucking frequency of piglets and increase survival of piglets with a low birthweight. Simulation, in summer, of the decreasing photoperiod (naturally occurring in autumn) stimulates the reproductive characteristics of AI boars, optimizing testicular steroid production, libido and semen composition. Similarly, a programme of decreasing light (20 min decrease/week) from May to August removed the seasonal increase (June-August) of the weaning-to-oestrus interval which was 5.7 days (compared with 23.6 days for the controls). An interaction between photoperiod and puberty attainment seems to exist for male and female pigs. Further experiments with appropriate light programmes, however, are necessary to clarify this interaction. PMID:3910824

  3. Distinct Neurogenomic States in Basal Ganglia Subregions Relate Differently to Singing Behavior in Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Hilliard, Austin T.; Miller, Julie E.; Horvath, Steve; White, Stephanie A.

    2012-01-01

    Both avian and mammalian basal ganglia are involved in voluntary motor control. In birds, such movements include hopping, perching and flying. Two organizational features that distinguish the songbird basal ganglia are that striatal and pallidal neurons are intermingled, and that neurons dedicated to vocal-motor function are clustered together in a dense cell group known as area X that sits within the surrounding striato-pallidum. This specification allowed us to perform molecular profiling of two striato-pallidal subregions, comparing transcriptional patterns in tissue dedicated to vocal-motor function (area X) to those in tissue that contains similar cell types but supports non-vocal behaviors: the striato-pallidum ventral to area X (VSP), our focus here. Since any behavior is likely underpinned by the coordinated actions of many molecules, we constructed gene co-expression networks from microarray data to study large-scale transcriptional patterns in both subregions. Our goal was to investigate any relationship between VSP network structure and singing and identify gene co-expression groups, or modules, found in the VSP but not area X. We observed mild, but surprising, relationships between VSP modules and song spectral features, and found a group of four VSP modules that were highly specific to the region. These modules were unrelated to singing, but were composed of genes involved in many of the same biological processes as those we previously observed in area X-specific singing-related modules. The VSP-specific modules were also enriched for processes disrupted in Parkinson's and Huntington's Diseases. Our results suggest that the activation/inhibition of a single pathway is not sufficient to functionally specify area X versus the VSP and support the notion that molecular processes are not in and of themselves specialized for behavior. Instead, unique interactions between molecular pathways create functional specificity in particular brain regions during

  4. Flying with the winds: differential migration strategies in relation to winds in moth and songbirds.

    PubMed

    Åkesson, Susanne

    2016-01-01

    The gamma Y moth selects to migrate in stronger winds compared to songbirds, enabling fast transport to distant breeding sites, but a lower precision in orientation as the moth allows itself to be drifted by the winds. Photo: Ian Woiwod. In Focus: Chapman, J.R., Nilsson, C., Lim, K.S., Bäckman, J., Reynolds, D.R. & Alerstam, T. (2015) Adaptive strategies in nocturnally migrating insects and songbirds: contrasting responses to winds. Journal of Animal Ecology, In press Insects and songbirds regularly migrate long distances across continents and seas. During these nocturnal migrations, they are exposed to a fluid medium, the air, in which they transport themselves by flight at similar speeds as the winds may carry them. It is crucial for an animal to select the most favourable flight conditions relative to winds to minimize the distance flown on a given amount of fuel and to avoid hazardous situations. Chapman et al. (2015a) showed contrasting strategies in how moths initiate migration predominantly under tailwind conditions, allowing themselves to drift to a larger extent and gain ground speed as compared to nocturnal songbird migrants. The songbirds use more variable flight strategies in relation to winds, where they sometimes allow themselves to drift, and at other occasions compensate for wind drift. This study shows how insects and birds have differentially adapted to migration in relation to winds, which is strongly dependent on their own flight capability, with higher flexibility enabling fine-tuned responses to keep a time programme and reach a goal in songbirds compared to in insects. PMID:26768333

  5. Toxic exposure of songbirds to lead in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W. Nelson; Franson, J. Christian; French, John B.; May, Thomas; Rattner, Barnett A.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Warner, Sarah E.; Weber, John; Mosby, David

    2013-01-01

    Mining and smelting in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District has caused widespread contamination of soils with lead (Pb) and other metals. Soils from three study sites sampled in the district contained from approximately 1,000–3,200 mg Pb/kg. Analyses of earthworms [33–4,600 mg Pb/kg dry weight (dw)] collected in the district showed likely high Pb exposure of songbirds preying on soil organisms. Mean tissue Pb concentrations in songbirds collected from the contaminated sites were greater (p < 0.05) than those in songbirds from reference sites by factors of 8 in blood, 13 in liver, and 23 in kidney. Ranges of Pb concentrations in livers (mg Pb/kg dw) were as follows: northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) = 0.11–3.0 (reference) and 1.3–30 (contaminated) and American robin (Turdus migratorius) = 0.43–8.5 (reference) and 7.6–72 (contaminated). Of 34 adult and juvenile songbirds collected from contaminated sites, 11 (32 %) had hepatic Pb concentrations that were consistent with adverse physiological effects, 3 (9 %) with systemic toxic effects, and 4 (12 %) with life-threatening toxic effects. Acid-fast renal intranuclear inclusion bodies, which are indicative of Pb poisoning, were detected in kidneys of two robins that had the greatest renal Pb concentrations (952 and 1,030 mg/kg dw). Mean activity of the enzyme delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in red blood cells, a well-established bioindicator of Pb poisoning in birds, was decreased by 58–82 % in songbirds from the mining sites. We conclude that habitats within the mining district with soil Pb concentrations of ≥1,000 mg Pb/kg are contaminated to the extent that they are exposing ground-feeding songbirds to toxic concentrations of Pb.

  6. Toxic exposure of songbirds to lead in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District.

    PubMed

    Beyer, W Nelson; Franson, J Christian; French, John B; May, Thomas; Rattner, Barnett A; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I; Warner, Sarah E; Weber, John; Mosby, David

    2013-10-01

    Mining and smelting in the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District has caused widespread contamination of soils with lead (Pb) and other metals. Soils from three study sites sampled in the district contained from approximately 1,000-3,200 mg Pb/kg. Analyses of earthworms [33-4,600 mg Pb/kg dry weight (dw)] collected in the district showed likely high Pb exposure of songbirds preying on soil organisms. Mean tissue Pb concentrations in songbirds collected from the contaminated sites were greater (p < 0.05) than those in songbirds from reference sites by factors of 8 in blood, 13 in liver, and 23 in kidney. Ranges of Pb concentrations in livers (mg Pb/kg dw) were as follows: northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) = 0.11-3.0 (reference) and 1.3-30 (contaminated) and American robin (Turdus migratorius) = 0.43-8.5 (reference) and 7.6-72 (contaminated). Of 34 adult and juvenile songbirds collected from contaminated sites, 11 (32%) had hepatic Pb concentrations that were consistent with adverse physiological effects, 3 (9%) with systemic toxic effects, and 4 (12%) with life-threatening toxic effects. Acid-fast renal intranuclear inclusion bodies, which are indicative of Pb poisoning, were detected in kidneys of two robins that had the greatest renal Pb concentrations (952 and 1,030 mg/kg dw). Mean activity of the enzyme delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in red blood cells, a well-established bioindicator of Pb poisoning in birds, was decreased by 58-82% in songbirds from the mining sites. We conclude that habitats within the mining district with soil Pb concentrations of ≥1,000 mg Pb/kg are contaminated to the extent that they are exposing ground-feeding songbirds to toxic concentrations of Pb. PMID:23771631

  7. Adaptive strategies in nocturnally migrating insects and songbirds: contrasting responses to wind.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Jason W; Nilsson, Cecilia; Lim, Ka S; Bäckman, Johan; Reynolds, Don R; Alerstam, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Animals that use flight as their mode of transportation must cope with the fact that their migration and orientation performance is strongly affected by the flow of the medium they are moving in, that is by the winds. Different strategies can be used to mitigate the negative effects and benefit from the positive effects of a moving flow. The strategies an animal can use will be constrained by the relationship between the speed of the flow and the speed of the animal's own propulsion in relation to the surrounding air. Here we analyse entomological and ornithological radar data from north-western Europe to investigate how two different nocturnal migrant taxa, the noctuid moth Autographa gamma and songbirds, deal with wind by analysing variation in resulting flight directions in relation to the wind-dependent angle between the animal's heading and track direction. Our results, from fixed locations along the migratory journey, reveal different global strategies used by moths and songbirds during their migratory journeys. As expected, nocturnally migrating moths experienced a greater degree of wind drift than nocturnally migrating songbirds, but both groups were more affected by wind in autumn than in spring. The songbirds' strategies involve elements of both drift and compensation, providing some benefits from wind in combination with destination and time control. In contrast, moths expose themselves to a significantly higher degree of drift in order to obtain strong wind assistance, surpassing the songbirds in mean ground speed, at the cost of a comparatively lower spatiotemporal migratory precision. Moths and songbirds show contrasting but adaptive responses to migrating through a moving flow, which are fine-tuned to the respective flight capabilities of each group in relation to the wind currents they travel within. PMID:26147535

  8. Anthracnose disease response for photoperiod-insensitive Ethiopian germplasm from the U.S. sorghum collection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ethiopia is an important center of genetic diversity for sorghum germplasm; however, photoperiod-sensitivity limits the utilization of this genetic resource. The United States National Plant Germplasm System maintains 180 Ethiopian sorghum accessions that are less sensitive to photoperiod and these...

  9. Role of photoperiod and melatonin in seasonal acclimatization of the djungarian hamster, Phodopus sungorus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinlechner, S.; Heldmaier, G.

    1982-12-01

    The Djungarian hamster, Phodopus sungorus, shows a clear annual cycle in some thermogenic parameters such as nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) and cold resistance. These seasonal changes were found to be basically controlled by natural changes in photoperiod. Further support for this view was obtained by exposing the hamsters to artificial long and short photoperiods. Implantation of melatonin during fall and winter results in an increased thermogenic capacity in both short and long day hamsters comparable to that shown by values of control hamsters exposed to short photoperiods during winter. This thermotropic action of melatonin and of short photoperiod could be found only in fall and winter whereas during spring and summer, melatonin, like photoperiod, had no influence on thermogenic capacities. These results show that the actions of melatonin and photoperiod vary with the season and that they depend upon the photoperiodic history of the hamsters. Our results further indicate that the pineal gland with its hormone melatonin is involved in mediation of photoperiodic control of seasonal acclimatization.

  10. Research update: Yield and nutritive value of photoperiod-sensitive sorghum and sorghum-sudangrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the yield of photoperiod-sensitive forage sorghum and sorghum-sudangrass against non-photoperiod-sensitive sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass, or corn silage. Forages were planted on two dates at two locations (Marshfield and Hancock, WI). Results suggested some ...

  11. Genetic Control of Photoperiod Sensitivity in Maize Revealed by Joint Multiple Population Analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reduced photoperiod sensitivity was critical to the evolution of broad geographical adaptability in maize, but modern tropical maize retains photoperiod sensitivity, hindering its use in temperate maize breeding programs. Many flowering time genes have been identified in diverse plant species, but t...

  12. Photoperiodic regulation of testis function in rats: mediation by a circadian mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, R.J.; Bamat, M.K.; Zucker, I.

    1982-05-01

    Laboratory rats traditionally are classified as nonphotoperiodic because variations in daylength have little or no effect on their gonadal function. After olfactory bulbectomy, however, rats show clear evidence of photoperiodic regulation of the gonads. The present study demonstrates, by means of resonance experiments, that the testicular response to daylength in rats is mediated by a circadian photoperiodic time measurement system similar to that of photoperiodic rodents. Olfactory-bulbectomized rats were maintained in fixed photoperiods in which a 6 h light period was coupled with dark periods of 18, 30, 42, or 54 h; a fifth group was maintained in a 45L:10D photoperiod. Rats from the 6L:30D, 6L:54D and 14L:10D photoperiods had testes and seminal vesicle weights, plasma testosterone titers and spermatogenesis indices indicative of functional reproductive status. Rats exposed to the 6L:18D and 6L:42D photoperiods had reduced testicular and seminal vesicle weights, lower testosterone levels and reduced spermatogenesis. Researchers hypothesize that photo- and nonphotoperiodic rodent species use similar mechanisms for distinguishing long from short photoperiods, but differ in the extent to which discrimination of short daylengths is transduced into altered gonadal activity.

  13. Photoperiodic modulation of voluntary ethanol intake in C57BL/6 mice.

    PubMed

    Rosenwasser, A M; Fixaris, M C; McCulley, W D

    2015-08-01

    Seasonal and geographic variations in light exposure influence human mood and behavior, including alcohol consumption. Similarly, manipulation of the environmental lighting regimen modulates voluntary ethanol intake in experimental animals. Nevertheless, previous studies in rats and hamsters have been somewhat inconsistent, and little is known concerning such effects in mice. In the present study, we maintained male C57Bl/6 mice in running-wheel cages under either short- or long-photoperiod light-dark cycles (LD 6:18 vs. LD 18:6); subsequently, the same animals were maintained under short or long "skeleton photoperiods", consisting of two daily 15-min light pulses signaling dusk and dawn (SP 6:18 vs. SP 18:6). Running wheels were locked mechanically for half the animals under each photoperiod. Analysis of running wheel patterns showed that mice displayed stable circadian adaptation to both standard LD cycles and skeleton photoperiods. Mice consumed more ethanol and less water, and thus showed higher ethanol preference, under LD 6:18 and SP 6:18 relative to the corresponding long-photoperiod regimens. While running-wheel access increased water intake, ethanol intake was unaffected by this manipulation. These effects are consistent with previous studies showing that short photoperiods or constant darkness increases ethanol intake in rodents. Further, the similarity of the effects of complete and skeleton photoperiods suggests that these effects are mediated by photoperiod-induced alterations in the circadian entrainment pattern, rather than by light exposure per se. PMID:25992479

  14. Effects of photoperiod on reproduction, nymphal development timing and diapause in Amblyomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Female engorgement weight, oviposition, and molting times of larvae and nymphs of Amblyomma maculatum Koch were studied at various photoperiods under constant humidity and temperature in the laboratory. Ticks were held at 0:24, 10:14, 12:12, or 14:10 (L:D) photoperiods during the egg through unfed ...

  15. Analysis of Photoperiod Requirements of Soft Winter Wheat from the Eastern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Photoperiod response plays a major role in determining the climatic adaptation of wheat, and variation is commonly associated with Ppd loci on group two chromosomes. Seventy-three soft winter wheat (SWW) cultivars from the eastern U.S. were tested for photoperiod response in growth chambers. Floweri...

  16. Adaptation to short photoperiods augments circadian food anticipatory activity in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Sean P; Prendergast, Brian J

    2014-06-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Energy Balance". Both the light-dark cycle and the timing of food intake can entrain circadian rhythms. Entrainment to food is mediated by a food entrainable circadian oscillator (FEO) that is formally and mechanistically separable from the hypothalamic light-entrainable oscillator. This experiment examined whether seasonal changes in day length affect the function of the FEO in male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Hamsters housed in long (LD; 15 h light/day) or short (SD; 9h light/day) photoperiods were subjected to a timed-feeding schedule for 10 days, during which food was available only during a 5h interval of the light phase. Running wheel activity occurring within a 3h window immediately prior to actual or anticipated food delivery was operationally-defined as food anticipatory activity (FAA). After the timed-feeding interval, hamsters were fed ad libitum, and FAA was assessed 2 and 7 days later via probe trials of total food deprivation. During timed-feeding, all hamsters exhibited increases FAA, but FAA emerged more rapidly in SD; in probe trials, FAA was greater in magnitude and persistence in SD. Gonadectomy in LD did not induce the SD-like FAA phenotype, indicating that withdrawal of gonadal hormones is not sufficient to mediate the effects of photoperiod on FAA. Entrainment of the circadian system to light markedly affects the functional output of the FEO via gonadal hormone-independent mechanisms. Rapid emergence and persistent expression of FAA in SD may reflect a seasonal adaptation that directs behavior toward sources of nutrition with high temporal precision at times of year when food is scarce. PMID:24666779

  17. Adaptation to short photoperiods augments circadian food anticipatory activity in Siberian hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Sean P.; Prendergast, Brian J.

    2014-01-01

    Both the light-dark cycle and the timing of food intake can entrain circadian rhythms. Entrainment to food is mediated by a food entrainable circadian oscillator (FEO) that is formally and mechanistically separable from the hypothalamic light-entrainable oscillator. This experiment examined whether seasonal changes in day length affect the function of the FEO in male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Hamsters housed in long (LD; 15 h light/day) or short (SD; 9 h light/day) photoperiods were subjected to a timed-feeding schedule for 10 days, during which food was available only during a 5 h interval of the light phase. Running wheel activity occurring within a 3 h window immediately prior to actual or anticipated food delivery was operationally-defined as food anticipatory activity (FAA). After the timed-feeding interval, hamsters were fed ad libitum, and FAA was assessed 2 and 7 days later via probe trials of total food deprivation. During timed-feeding, all hamsters exhibited increases FAA, but FAA emerged more rapidly in SD; in probe trials, FAA was greater in magnitude and persistence in SD. Gonadectomy in LD did not induce the SD-like FAA phenotype, indicating that withdrawal of gonadal hormones is not sufficient to mediate the effects of photoperiod on FAA. Entrainment of the circadian system to light markedly affects the functional output of the FEO via gonadal hormone-independent mechanisms. Rapid emergence and persistent expression of FAA in SD may reflect a seasonal adaptation that directs behavior toward sources of nutrition with high temporal precision at times of year when food is scarce. PMID:24666779

  18. Flower-bud formation in explants of photoperiodic and day-neutral Nicotiana biotypes and its bearing on the regulation of flower formation.

    PubMed

    Rajeevan, M S; Lang, A

    1993-05-15

    The capacity to form flower buds in thin-layer explants was studied in flowering plants of several species, cultivars, and lines of Nicotiana differing in their response to photoperiod. This capacity was found in all biotypes examined and could extend into sepals and corolla. It varied greatly, depending on genotype, source tissue and its developmental stage, and composition of the culture medium, particularly the levels of glucose, auxin, and cytokinin. It was greatest in the two day-neutral plants examined, Samsun tobacco and Nicotiana rustica, where it extended from the inflorescence region down the vegetative stem, in a basipetally decreasing gradient; it was least in the two qualitative photoperiodic plants studied, the long-day plant Nicotiana silvestris and the short-day plant Maryland Mammoth tobacco, the quantitative long-day plant Nicotiana alata and the quantitative short-day plant Nicotiana otophora line 38-G-81, where it was limited to the pedicels (and, in some cases, the sepals). Regardless of the photoperiodic response of the source plants, the response was the same in explants cultured under long and short days. The finding that capacity to form flower buds in explants is present in all Nicotiana biotypes studied supports the idea that it is regulated by the same mechanism(s), regardless of the plant's photoperiodic character. However, the source plants were all in the flowering stage, and no flower-bud formation can be obtained in explants from strictly vegetative Nicotiana plants. Hence, flower formation in the explants is not identical with de novo flower formation in a hitherto vegetative plant: it is rather the expression of a floral state already established in the plant, although it can vary widely in extent and spatial distribution. Culture conditions that permit flower-bud formation in an explant are conditions that maintain the floral state and encourage its expression; conditions under which no flower buds are formed reduce this state

  19. Flower-bud formation in explants of photoperiodic and day-neutral Nicotiana biotypes and its bearing on the regulation of flower formation

    SciTech Connect

    Rajeevan, M.S.; Lang, A. )

    1993-05-15

    The capacity to form flower buds in thin-layer explants was studied in Nicotiana of several species, cultivars, and lines of differing in their response to photoperiod. This capacity was found in all biotypes examined and could extend into sepals and corolla. It varied depending on genotype, source tissue and its developmental state, and composition of the culture medium, particularly the levels of glucose, auxin, and cytokinin. It was greatest in the two day-neutral plants examined, Samsun tobacco and Nicotiana rustica, where it extended from the inflorescence region down the vegetative stem, in a basipetally decreasing gradient; it was least in the two qualitative photoperiodic plants studied, the long-day plant Nicotiana silvestris and the short-day plant Maryland Mammoth tobacco, the quantitative long-day plant Nicotiana alata and the quantitative short-day plant Nicotiana otophora line 38-G-81, where it was limited to the pedicels (and, in some cases, the sepals). Regardless of the photoperiodic response of the source plants, the response was the same in explants cultured under long and short days. The capacity to form flow buds in explants is present in all Nicotiana biotypes studied supports the idea that it is regulated by the same mechanism(s), regardless of the plant's photoperiodic character. However, flower formation in the explants is not identical with de novo flower formation in a hitherto vegetative plant: it is rather the expression of a floral state already established in the plant, although it can vary widely in extent and spatial distribution. Culture conditions that permit flower-bud formation in an explant are conditions that maintain the floral state and encourage its expression; conditions under which no flower buds are formed reduce this state and/or prevent its expression. 14 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  20. Photoperiod, temperature, and regional patterns of conceptions in the USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randall, Walter

    1993-03-01

    Twenty-two years of monthly values of birth data for the USA, 1967 through 1988, were analyzed by visual inspection. The data were transformed to remove the influence of length of month and of linear trend, and the values were lagged 9 months to approximate the time of conception. Then, 11-year monthly averages were obtained and plotted as standard scores. Thus two 11-year sets of data were independently analyzed, providing the opportunity of replication. Four distinct temporal patterns were found, differing in month of occurrence of the initial trough and peak and the relative sizes of the two troughs; these characteristics of the temporal pattern change systematically with latitude in the eastern and midwestern states. Data from two other continents, the United Kingdom and Australia, also were analyzed using the same method and found to exhibit a temporal pattern during the year similar to the northern states of the USA. Two biologically relevant variables, temperature and photoperiod, were considered as possible controllers and regulators of the annual rhythmicity. Comparisons of the trends in conceptions with these environmental variables, and inspections of the temperatures and photoperiods at which peaks and troughs in conceptions were found, indicated that these environmental variables could not account for the annual rhythmicity in conceptions.

  1. Deep-brain photoreceptors (DBPs) involved in the photoperiodic gonadal response in an avian species, Gallus gallus.

    PubMed

    Kang, Seong W; Kuenzel, Wayne J

    2015-01-15

    Three primitive photoreceptors [melanopsin (Opn4), neuropsin/opsin5 (Opn5) and vertebrate ancient opsin (VAOpn)] were reported as possible avian deep-brain photoreceptors (DBPs) involved in the perception of photoperiodic information affecting the onset and development of reproduction. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of long-day photostimulation and/or sulfamethazine treatment (SMZ, a compound known to advance light-induced testes development) on gene expression of DBPs and key hypothalamic and pituitary genes involved in avian reproductive function. Two-week old chicks were randomly selected into four experimental groups: short-day control (SC, LD8:16), short-day+SMZ (SS, LD8:16, 0.2% diet SMZ), long-day control (LC, LD16:8), and long-day+SMZ (LS, LD16:8, 0.2% diet SMZ). Birds were sampled on days 3, 7, and 28 after initiation of a long-day photoperiod and/or SMZ dietary treatments. Three brain regions [septal-preoptic, anterior hypothalamic (SepPre/Ant-Hypo) region, mid-hypothalamic (Mid-Hypo) region, posterior-hypothalamic (Post-Hypo) region], and anterior pituitary gland were dissected. Using quantitative real-time RT-PCR, we determined changes of expression levels of genes in distinct brain regions; Opn4 and Opn5 in SepPre/Ant-Hypo and Post-Hypo regions and, VAOpn in the Mid-Hypo region. Long-day treatment resulted in a significantly elevated testes weight on days 7 and 28 compared to controls, and SMZ augmented testes weight in both short- and long-day treatment after day 7 (P<0.05). Long-day photoperiodic treatment on the third day unexpectedly induced a large 8.4-fold increase of VAOpn expression in the Mid-Hypo region, a 15.4-fold increase of Opn4 and a 97.8-fold increase of Opn5 gene expression in the Post-Hypo region compared to SC birds (P<0.01). In contrast, on days 7 and 28, gene expression of the three DBPs was barely detectable. LC group showed a significant increase in GnRH-1 and TRH mRNA in the Mid-Hypo compared to SC on

  2. Three FLOWERING LOCUS T-like genes function as potential florigens and mediate photoperiod response in sorghum.

    PubMed

    Wolabu, Tezera W; Zhang, Fei; Niu, Lifang; Kalve, Shweta; Bhatnagar-Mathur, Pooja; Muszynski, Michael G; Tadege, Million

    2016-05-01

    Sorghum is a typical short-day (SD) plant and its use in grain or biomass production in temperate regions depends on its flowering time control, but the underlying molecular mechanism of floral transition in sorghum is poorly understood. Here we characterized sorghum FLOWERING LOCUS T (SbFT) genes to establish a molecular road map for mechanistic understanding. Out of 19 PEBP genes, SbFT1, SbFT8 and SbFT10 were identified as potential candidates for encoding florigens using multiple approaches. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that SbFT1 clusters with the rice Hd3a subclade, while SbFT8 and SbFT10 cluster with the maize ZCN8 subclade. These three genes are expressed in the leaf at the floral transition initiation stage, expressed early in grain sorghum genotypes but late in sweet and forage sorghum genotypes, induced by SD treatment in photoperiod-sensitive genotypes, cooperatively repressed by the classical sorghum maturity loci, interact with sorghum 14-3-3 proteins and activate flowering in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, suggesting florigenic potential in sorghum. SD induction of these three genes in sensitive genotypes is fully reversed by 1 wk of long-day treatment, and yet, some aspects of the SD treatment may still make a small contribution to flowering in long days, indicating a complex photoperiod response mediated by SbFT genes. PMID:26765652

  3. Functional and evolutionary characterization of the CONSTANS gene family in short-day photoperiodic flowering in soybean.

    PubMed

    Wu, Faqiang; Price, Brian William; Haider, Waseem; Seufferheld, Gabriela; Nelson, Randall; Hanzawa, Yoshie

    2014-01-01

    CONSTANS (CO) plays a central role in photoperiodic flowering control of plants. However, much remains unknown about the function of the CO gene family in soybean and the molecular mechanisms underlying short-day photoperiodic flowering of soybean. We identified 26 CO homologs (GmCOLs) in the soybean genome, many of them previously unreported. Phylogenic analysis classified GmCOLs into three clades conserved among flowering plants. Two homeologous pairs in Clade I, GmCOL1a/GmCOL1b and GmCOL2a/GmCOL2b, showed the highest sequence similarity to Arabidopsis CO. The mRNA abundance of GmCOL1a and GmCOL1b exhibited a strong diurnal rhythm under flowering-inductive short days and peaked at dawn, which coincided with the rise of GmFT5a expression. In contrast, the mRNA abundance of GmCOL2a and GmCOL2b was extremely low. Our transgenic study demonstrated that GmCOL1a, GmCOL1b, GmCOL2a and GmCOL2b fully complemented the late flowering effect of the co-1 mutant in Arabidopsis. Together, these results indicate that GmCOL1a and GmCOL1b are potential inducers of flowering in soybean. Our data also indicate rapid regulatory divergence between GmCOL1a/GmCOL1b and GmCOL2a/GmCOL2b but conservation of their protein function. Dynamic evolution of GmCOL regulatory mechanisms may underlie the evolution of photoperiodic signaling in soybean. PMID:24465684

  4. ADNP: A major autism mutated gene is differentially distributed (age and gender) in the songbird brain.

    PubMed

    Kleiman, Gal Hacohen; Barnea, Anat; Gozes, Illana

    2015-10-01

    ADNP is a protein necessary for brain development, important for brain plasticity, cognitive and social functioning, characteristics that are all impaired in autism and in the Adnp(+/-) mouse model, in a sex-dependent manner. ADNP was originally discovered as a protein that is secreted from glial cells in response to vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). VIP is a major neuroprotective peptide in the CNS and PNS and was also associated with social recognition in rodents and aggression, pair-bonding and parental behaviors in birds. Comparative sequence alignment revealed high evolutionary conservation of ADNP in Chordata. Despite its importance in brain function, ADNP has never been studied in birds. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are highly social songbirds that have a sexually dichotomous anatomical brain structure, with males demonstrating a developed song system, presenting a model to study behavior and potential sexually dependent fundamental differences. Here, using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), we discovered sexually dichotomous and age related differences in ADNP mRNA expression in three different regions of the song bird brain-cerebellum, cerebrum, and brain stem. Higher levels of ADNP mRNA were specifically found in young male compared to the female cerebrum, while aging caused a significant 2 and 3-fold decrease in the female and male cerebrum, respectively. Furthermore, a comparison between the three tested brain regions revealed unique sex-dependent ADNP mRNA distribution patterns, affected by aging. Future studies are aimed at deciphering the function of ADNP in birds, toward a better molecular understanding of sexual dichotomy in singing behavior in birds. PMID:25895853

  5. Temperature can interact with landscape factors to affect songbird productivity.

    PubMed

    Cox, W Andrew; Thompson, Frank R; Reidy, Jennifer L; Faaborg, John

    2013-04-01

    Increased temperatures and more extreme weather patterns associated with global climate change can interact with other factors that regulate animal populations, but many climate change studies do not incorporate other threats to wildlife in their analyses. We used 20 years of nest-monitoring data from study sites across a gradient of habitat fragmentation in Missouri, USA, to investigate the relative influence of weather variables (temperature and precipitation) and landscape factors (forest cover and edge density) on the number of young produced per nest attempt (i.e., productivity) for three species of songbirds. We detected a strong forest cover × temperature interaction for the Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) on productivity. Greater forest cover resulted in greater productivity because of reduced brood parasitism and increased nest survival, whereas greater temperatures reduced productivity in highly forested landscapes because of increased nest predation but had no effect in less forested landscapes. The Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) exhibited a similar pattern, albeit with a marginal forest cover × temperature interaction. By contrast, productivity of the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was not influenced by landscape effects or temperature. Our results highlight a potential difficulty of managing wildlife in response to global change such as habitat fragmentation and climate warming, as the habitat associated with the greatest productivity for flycatchers was also that most negatively influenced by high temperatures. The influence of high temperatures on nest predation (and therefore, nest predators) underscores the need to acknowledge the potential complexity of species' responses to climate change by incorporating a more thorough consideration of community ecology in the development of models of climate impacts on wildlife. PMID:23504884

  6. Neural imaging in songbirds using fiber optic fluorescence microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nooshabadi, Fatemeh; Hearn, Gentry; Lints, Thierry; Maitland, Kristen C.

    2012-02-01

    The song control system of juvenile songbirds is an important model for studying the developmental acquisition and generation of complex learned vocal motor sequences, two processes that are fundamental to human speech and language. To understand the neural mechanisms underlying song production, it is critical to characterize the activity of identified neurons in the song control system when the bird is singing. Neural imaging in unrestrained singing birds, although technically challenging, will advance our understanding of neural ensemble coding mechanisms in this system. We are exploring the use of a fiber optic microscope for functional imaging in the brain of behaving and singing birds in order to better understand the contribution of a key brain nucleus (high vocal center nucleus; HVC) to temporal aspects of song motor control. We have constructed a fluorescence microscope with LED illumination, a fiber bundle for transmission of fluorescence excitation and emission light, a ~2x GRIN lens, and a CCD for image acquisition. The system has 2 μm resolution, 375 μm field of view, 200 μm working distance, and 1 mm outer diameter. As an initial characterization of this setup, neurons in HVC were imaged using the fiber optic microscope after injection of quantum dots or fluorescent retrograde tracers into different song nuclei. A Lucid Vivascope confocal microscope was used to confirm the imaging results. Long-term imaging of the activity of these neurons in juvenile birds during singing may lead us to a better understanding of the central motor codes for song and the central mechanism by which auditory experience modifies song motor commands to enable vocal learning and imitation.

  7. Pattern-Induced Covert Category Learning in Songbirds.

    PubMed

    Comins, Jordan A; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2015-07-20

    Language is uniquely human, but its acquisition may involve cognitive capacities shared with other species. During development, language experience alters speech sound (phoneme) categorization. Newborn infants distinguish the phonemes in all languages but by 10 months show adult-like greater sensitivity to native language phonemic contrasts than non-native contrasts. Distributional theories account for phonetic learning by positing that infants infer category boundaries from modal distributions of speech sounds along acoustic continua. For example, tokens of the sounds /b/ and /p/ cluster around different mean voice onset times. To disambiguate overlapping distributions, contextual theories propose that phonetic category learning is informed by higher-level patterns (e.g., words) in which phonemes normally occur. For example, the vowel sounds /Ι/ and /e/ can occupy similar perceptual spaces but can be distinguished in the context of "with" and "well." Both distributional and contextual cues appear to function in speech acquisition. Non-human species also benefit from distributional cues for category learning, but whether category learning benefits from contextual information in non-human animals is unknown. The use of higher-level patterns to guide lower-level category learning may reflect uniquely human capacities tied to language acquisition or more general learning abilities reflecting shared neurobiological mechanisms. Using songbirds, European starlings, we show that higher-level pattern learning covertly enhances categorization of the natural communication sounds. This observation mirrors the support for contextual theories of phonemic category learning in humans and demonstrates a general form of learning not unique to humans or language. PMID:26119748

  8. Social performance reveals unexpected vocal competency in young songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Kojima, Satoshi; Doupe, Allison J.

    2011-01-01

    Vocal ontogeny in songbirds provides a good model for understanding how complex motor behavior, including speech, is learned. For birdsong, as for other motor learning, it has generally been assumed that a subject's motor output at any point during learning represents what the subject has learned to produce by that time. Here, we show, however, that juvenile zebra finches partway through song learning, singing immature song, are capable of producing song with much more mature properties, depending on the behavioral context. In these birds, we were able to elicit courtship (female-directed) song, which young birds normally sing infrequently, and to compare it with the alone or “undirected” song (Undir) predominantly produced during learning as well as with the same bird's subsequent adult song. We found that the juvenile courtship song was much less variable than the immature Undir and as stereotyped as the adult song produced after a further month of practice. More strikingly, the juvenile courtship song was also acoustically much more similar than Undir to the adult song. This finding demonstrates that the Undir that juvenile birds usually produce underestimates the extent of learning and that song structure is learned faster than previously thought. Moreover, the rapid improvement in song quality in response to external social cues supports the idea that courtship singing is a state of motor “performance,” in which the bird selects the best variants of the song learned during singing alone, and suggests that such performance states can reveal unappreciated progression of learning. PMID:21220335

  9. Photoperiodism and Crassulacean acid metabolism : II. Relations between leaf aging and photoperiod in Crassulacean acid metabolism induction.

    PubMed

    Brulfert, J; Guerrier, D; Queiroz, O

    1982-05-01

    Measurements of net CO2 exchange, malate accumulation, properties and capacity of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC, EC 4.1.1.31) in leaves of different ages of two short-day dependent Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana v. Poelln. Tom thumb and K. velutina Welw.) show that, in both species: a) young leaves from plants grown under long days display a CO2 exchange pattern typical of C3 plants; b) leaf aging promotes CAM under long-day conditions; c) short-day treatment induces CAM in young leaves to a higher degree than aging under long days; d) at least in K. blossfeldiana, the PEPC form developed with leaf aging under long days and the enzyme form synthetized de novo in young leaves grown under short days were shown to have similar properties. Short days also promote CAM in older leaves though at a lesser extent than in young leaves: The result is that this photoperiodic treatment increases the general level of CAM performance by the whole plant. The physiological meaning of the control of PEPC capacity by photoperiodism could be to afford a precisely timed seasonal increase in CAM potentiality, enabling the plant to immediately optimize its response to the onset of drought periods. PMID:24276160

  10. Songbirds use pulse tone register in two voices to generate low-frequency sound.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kenneth K; Cooper, Brenton G; Larsen, Ole N; Goller, Franz

    2007-11-01

    The principal physical mechanism of sound generation is similar in songbirds and humans, despite large differences in their vocal organs. Whereas vocal fold dynamics in the human larynx are well characterized, the vibratory behaviour of the sound-generating labia in the songbird vocal organ, the syrinx, is unknown. We present the first high-speed video records of the intact syrinx during induced phonation. The syrinx of anaesthetized crows shows a vibration pattern of the labia similar to that of the human vocal fry register. Acoustic pulses result from short opening of the labia, and pulse generation alternates between the left and right sound sources. Spontaneously calling crows can also generate similar pulse characteristics with only one sound generator. Airflow recordings in zebra finches and starlings show that pulse tone sounds can be generated unilaterally, synchronously or by alternating between the two sides. Vocal fry-like dynamics therefore represent a common production mechanism for low-frequency sounds in songbirds. These results also illustrate that complex vibration patterns can emerge from the mechanical properties of the coupled sound generators in the syrinx. The use of vocal fry-like dynamics in the songbird syrinx extends the similarity to this unusual vocal register with mammalian sound production mechanisms. PMID:17725979