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Sample records for adult zebra finch

  1. Song decrystallization in adult zebra finches does not require the song nucleus NIf.

    PubMed

    Roy, Arani; Mooney, Richard

    2009-08-01

    In adult male zebra finches, transecting the vocal nerve causes previously stable (i.e., crystallized) song to slowly degrade, presumably because of the resulting distortion in auditory feedback. How and where distorted feedback interacts with song motor networks to induce this process of song decrystallization remains unknown. The song premotor nucleus HVC is a potential site where auditory feedback signals could interact with song motor commands. Although the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf) appears to be the primary auditory input to HVC, NIf lesions made in adult zebra finches do not trigger song decrystallization. One possibility is that NIf lesions do not interfere with song maintenance, but do compromise the adult zebra finch's ability to express renewed vocal plasticity in response to feedback perturbations. To test this idea, we bilaterally lesioned NIf and then transected the vocal nerve in adult male zebra finches. We found that bilateral NIf lesions did not prevent nerve section-induced song decrystallization. To test the extent to which the NIf lesions disrupted auditory processing in the song system, we made in vivo extracellular recordings in HVC and a downstream anterior forebrain pathway (AFP) in NIf-lesioned birds. We found strong and selective auditory responses to the playback of the birds' own song persisted in HVC and the AFP following NIf lesions. These findings suggest that auditory inputs to the song system other than NIf, such as the caudal mesopallium, could act as a source of auditory feedback signals to the song motor network.

  2. The effects of delayed auditory feedback revealed by bone conduction microphone in adult zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Fukushima, Makoto; Margoliash, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Vocal control and learning are critically dependent on auditory feedback in songbirds and humans. Continuous delayed auditory feedback (cDAF) robustly disrupts speech fluency in normal humans and has ameliorative effects in some stutterers; however, evaluations of the effects of cDAF on songbirds are rare. We exposed singing young (141–151 days old) adult zebra finch males to high-amplitude cDAF. cDAF exposure was achieved by the recording of bone-conducted sounds using a piezoelectric accelerometer, which resulted in high-quality song recordings that were relatively uncontaminated by airborne sounds. Under this condition of cDAF, birds rapidly (2–6 days) changed their song syllable timing. The one bird for which we were able to maintain the accelerometer recordings over a long period of time recovered slowly over more than a month after cDAF was discontinued. These results demonstrate that cDAF can cause substantial changes in the motor program for syllable timing generation over short intervals of time in adult zebra finches. PMID:25739659

  3. Sex differences of excitatory synaptic transmission in RA projection neurons of adult zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Wang, Songhua; Meng, Wei; Liu, Shaoyi; Liao, Congshu; Huang, Qingyao; Li, Dongfeng

    2014-10-17

    Zebra finches are ideal animals to investigate sex difference in songbirds. Only males can sing. The brain nuclei controlling song learning and production in males are considerably larger than in females. The robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) is a premotor nucleus, playing a key role in controlling singing. RA receives denser synapse inputs in males than in females. Sex differences of excitatory synaptic transmission in the RA projection neurons (PNs) have not been reported. In the present study, using whole-cell voltage-clamp recording, spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs) and miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) of RA PNs in the intact males and females were recorded. The average frequency and amplitude of sEPSCs/mEPSCs in the intact males were higher than females. The half-width and decay time of sEPSCs/mEPSCs in the intact males were longer than females. In order to verify whether these sex differences related to sex steroids, males were castrated. The average frequency of sEPSCs/mEPSCs in castrated males was lower than intact males and was similar to in females; the amplitude was not changed after castrating. These results demonstrate the sexually dimorphic of the excitatory synaptic transmission in the RA PNs, the RA PNs in males receive more excitatory synaptic transmission and these sex differences were partly affected by sex hormones. These findings contribute to further illuminate the neural mechanisms under the sexually dimorphism in song production of adult zebra finches.

  4. Dynamics of zebra finch and mockingbird vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cimenser, Aylin

    such dynamics. Our Zebra Finch data consist of continuous recordings of six tutored birds from the early, plastic stages of sound production to the development of fully crystallized mature song. Our analysis reveals that well before the Zebra Finch hears adult song, identifiably distinct clusters are observable for all birds in the same regions of feature space. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  5. Carbachol-Induced Reduction in the Activity of Adult Male Zebra Finch RA Projection Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Wei; Wang, Song-Hua; Li, Dong-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Cholinergic mechanism is involved in motor behavior. In songbirds, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) is a song premotor nucleus in the pallium and receives cholinergic inputs from the basal forebrain. The activity of projection neurons in RA determines song motor behavior. Although many evidences suggest that cholinergic system is implicated in song production, the cholinergic modulation of RA is not clear until now. In the present study, the electrophysiological effects of carbachol, a nonselective cholinergic receptor agonist, were investigated on the RA projection neurons of adult male zebra finches through whole-cell patch-clamp techniques in vitro. Our results show that carbachol produced a significant decrease in the spontaneous and evoked action potential (AP) firing frequency of RA projection neurons, accompanying a hyperpolarization of the membrane potential, an increase in the evoked AP latency, afterhyperpolarization (AHP) peak amplitude, and AHP time to peak, and a decrease in the membrane input resistance, membrane time constant, and membrane capacitance. These results indicate that carbachol reduces the activity of RA projection neurons by hyperpolarizing the resting membrane potential and increasing the AHP and the membrane conductance, suggesting that the cholinergic modulation of RA may play an important role in song production. PMID:26904300

  6. Effects of early developmental conditions on innate immunity are only evident under favourable adult conditions in zebra finches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Coster, Greet; Verhulst, Simon; Koetsier, Egbert; de Neve, Liesbeth; Briga, Michael; Lens, Luc

    2011-12-01

    Long-term effects of unfavourable conditions during development can be expected to depend on the quality of the environment experienced by the same individuals during adulthood. Yet, in the majority of studies, long-term effects of early developmental conditions have been assessed under favourable adult conditions only. The immune system might be particularly vulnerable to early environmental conditions as its development, maintenance and use are thought to be energetically costly. Here, we studied the interactive effects of favourable and unfavourable conditions during nestling and adult stages on innate immunity (lysis and agglutination scores) of captive male and female zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata). Nestling environmental conditions were manipulated by a brood size experiment, while a foraging cost treatment was imposed on the same individuals during adulthood. This combined treatment showed that innate immunity of adult zebra finches is affected by their early developmental conditions and varies between both sexes. Lysis scores, but not agglutination scores, were higher in individuals raised in small broods and in males. However, these effects were only present in birds that experienced low foraging costs. This study shows that the quality of the adult environment may shape the long-term consequences of early developmental conditions on innate immunity, as long-term effects of nestling environment were only evident under favourable adult conditions.

  7. Zebra finches and Dutch adults exhibit the same cue weighting bias in vowel perception.

    PubMed

    Ohms, Verena R; Escudero, Paola; Lammers, Karin; ten Cate, Carel

    2012-03-01

    Vocal tract resonances, called formants, are the most important parameters in human speech production and perception. They encode linguistic meaning and have been shown to be perceived by a wide range of species. Songbirds are also sensitive to different formant patterns in human speech. They can categorize words differing only in their vowels based on the formant patterns independent of speaker identity in a way comparable to humans. These results indicate that speech perception mechanisms are more similar between songbirds and humans than realized before. One of the major questions regarding formant perception concerns the weighting of different formants in the speech signal ("acoustic cue weighting") and whether this process is unique to humans. Using an operant Go/NoGo design, we trained zebra finches to discriminate syllables, whose vowels differed in their first three formants. When subsequently tested with novel vowels, similar in either their first formant or their second and third formants to the familiar vowels, similarity in the higher formants was weighted much more strongly than similarity in the lower formant. Thus, zebra finches indeed exhibit a cue weighting bias. Interestingly, we also found that Dutch speakers when tested with the same paradigm exhibit the same cue weighting bias. This, together with earlier findings, supports the hypothesis that human speech evolution might have exploited general properties of the vertebrate auditory system.

  8. Smooth Operator: Avoidance of Subharmonic Bifurcations through Mechanical Mechanisms Simplifies Song Motor Control in Adult Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Elemans, Coen P. H.; Laje, Rodrigo; Mindlin, Gabriel B.; Goller, Franz

    2012-01-01

    Like human infants, songbirds acquire their song by imitation and eventually generate sounds that result from complicated neural networks and intrinsically nonlinear physical processes. Signatures of low-dimensional chaos such as subharmonic bifurcations have been reported in adult and developing zebra finch song. Here, we use methods from nonlinear dynamics to test whether adult male zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata) use the intrinsic nonlinear properties of their vocal organ, the syrinx, to insert subharmonic transitions in their song. In contrast to previous data on the basis of spectrographic evidence, we show that subharmonic transitions do not occur in adult song. Subharmonic transitions also do not arise in artificially induced sound in the intact syrinx, but are commonly generated in the excised syrinx. These findings suggest that subharmonic transitions are not used to increase song complexity, and that the brain controls song in a surprisingly smooth control regimen. Fast, smooth changes in acoustic elements can be produced by direct motor control in a stereotyped fashion, which is a more reliable indicator of male fitness than abrupt acoustic changes that do not require similarly precise control. Consistent with this view is the presence of high fidelity at every level of motor control, from telencephalic premotor areas to superfast syringeal muscles. PMID:20926650

  9. Influence of food and water availability on undirected singing and energetic status in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Rashotte, M E; Sedunova, E V; Johnson, F; Pastukhov, I F

    2001-01-01

    The songs of adult male zebra finches are termed "directed" and "undirected," depending on the social context in which they occur. Females elicit directed song, whereas undirected song is not addressed to a particular conspecific and even occurs at high levels in social isolation. We tested the hypothesis that the production of undirected song is more sensitive to a brief period of food deprivation than a comparable period of water deprivation. The hypothesis was based on prior findings suggesting that song production is energetically expensive and that food deprivation constitutes a more serious energetic challenge to zebra finches than does water deprivation. Two days of food or water deprivation were imposed on several groups of birds that provided song production data and a variety of energetic measures; normative data obtained in a baseline period when food and water were available ad libitum provided a standard for comparison. Singing, which occurred exclusively in the light phase of the day, was reduced at the onset of food deprivation, ceased completely within 4 h, and did not occur at all on the second day. When water was removed, the birds showed a slower and less substantial reduction in daily song production across the 2 days of deprivation. Energetic measures indicated that food deprivation was a greater energetic challenge than water deprivation. Our results demonstrate that undirected song in zebra finches is sensitive to nonsocial environmental factors that pose an energetic challenge and raise new questions about how birds calibrate their level of song production to the availability of nutrients in the environment.

  10. Development and adult phase plasticity of syllable repetitions in the birdsong of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Helekar, S A; Espino, G G; Botas, A; Rosenfield, D B

    2003-10-01

    Oscines learn their birdsongs from tutors. The authors found that a small fraction (approximately 7%) of captive male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) produce variant acoustic birdsong profiles consisting of repetitions of single song syllables at high frequencies. Juvenile offspring of nonrepeaters can selectively learn the syntactic rule or habit of repeating syllables from repeaters. Adult tutored syllable repeaters, unlike spontaneous repeaters, undergo a form of song plasticity involving progressive reduction of the mean number and variance of repeated syllables as a function of long-term exposure to nonrepeater songs without altering the number or sequence of syllables within motifs. These findings suggest that aspects of song syntax or temporal frame can be acquired independently of song syllable or spectral content, and plasticity involving restorative alteration of acquired variant temporal frames can occur after the closure of the critical period for song learning.

  11. Early Life Manipulations of the Nonapeptide System Alter Pair Maintenance Behaviors and Neural Activity in Adult Male Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Baran, Nicole M.; Tomaszycki, Michelle L.; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Adult zebra finches (T. guttata) form socially monogamous pair bonds characterized by proximity, vocal communication, and contact behaviors. In this experiment, we tested whether manipulations of the nonapeptide hormone arginine vasotocin (AVT, avian homolog of vasopressin) and the V1a receptor (V1aR) early in life altered species-typical pairing behavior in adult zebra finches of both sexes. Although there was no effect of treatment on the tendency to pair in either sex, males in different treatments exhibited profoundly different profiles of pair maintenance behavior. Following a brief separation, AVT-treated males were highly affiliative with their female partner but sang very little compared to Controls. In contrast, males treated with a V1aR antagonist sang significantly less than Controls, but did not differ in affiliation. These effects on behavior in males were also reflected in changes in the expression of V1aR and immediate early gene activity in three brain regions known to be involved in pairing behavior in birds: the medial amygdala, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and the lateral septum. AVT males had higher V1aR expression in the medial amygdala than both Control and antagonist-treated males and immediate early gene activity of V1aR neurons in the medial amygdala was positively correlated with affiliation. Antagonist treated males showed decreased activity in the medial amygdala. In addition, there was a negative correlation between the activity of V1aR cells in the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and singing. Treatment also affected the expression of V1aR and activity in the lateral septum, but this was not correlated with any behaviors measured. These results provide evidence that AVT and V1aR play developmental roles in specific pair maintenance behaviors and the neural substrate underlying these behaviors in a bird. PMID:27065824

  12. Effect of Vocal Nerve Section on Song and ZENK Protein Expression in Area X in Adult Male Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Congshu; Li, Dongfeng

    2012-01-01

    ZENK expression in vocal nuclei is associated with singing behavior. Area X is an important nucleus for learning and stabilizing birdsong. ZENK expression is higher in Area X compared to that in other vocal nuclei when birds are singing. To reveal the relationship between the ZENK expression in Area X and song crystallization, immunohistochemistry was used to detect ZENK protein expression in Area X after the unilateral vocal nerve (tracheosyringeal nerve) section in adult male zebra finches. Sham operations had no effect on song. In contrast, section of unilateral vocal nerve could induce song decrystallization at the 7th day after the surgery. The spectral and the temporal features of birdsong were distorted more significantly in the right-side vocal nerve section than in the left-side vocal nerve section. In addition, after surgery, ZENK expression was higher in the right-side of Area X than in the left-side. These results indicate that the vocal nerve innervations probably are right-side dominant. ZENK expression in both sides of Area X decreased, as compared to control group after surgery, which suggests that the ZENK expression in Area X is related to birdsong crystallization, and that there is cooperation between the Area X in AFP and syrinx nerve. PMID:23251821

  13. Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success and Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study with Adult- or Lifetime-Exposure in Zebra Finch

    PubMed Central

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID

  14. Pre and post-natal antigen exposure can program the stress axis of adult zebra finches: evidence for environment matching

    PubMed Central

    Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L.

    2014-01-01

    Both maternal exposure to stressors and exposure of offspring to stressors during early life can have lifelong effects on the physiology and behavior of offspring. Stress exposure can permanently shape an individual’s phenotype by influencing the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is responsible for the production and regulation of glucocorticoids such as corticosterone (CORT). In this study we used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine the effects of matching and mismatching maternal and early post-natal exposure to one of two types of antigens or a control on HPA axis reactivity in adult offspring. Prior to breeding, adult females were injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) or a control. Offspring of females in each of the three treatments were themselves exposed to LPS, KLH or a control injection at 5 and 28 days post-hatch. When offspring were at least 18 months of age, standardized capture and restraint stress tests were conducted to determine the impact of the treatments on adult stress responsiveness. We found significant interaction effects between maternal and offspring treatments on stress-induced CORT levels, and evidence in support of the environment matching hypothesis for KLH-treated birds not LPS-treated birds. KLH-treated offspring of KLH-treated mothers exhibited reduced stress-induced CORT levels, whereas LPS-treated or control offspring of KLH-treated mothers exhibited elevated stress-induced CORT levels. Although the treatment effects on baseline CORT were non-significant, the overall pattern was similar to the effects observed on stress-induced CORT levels. Our results highlight the complex nature of HPA axis programming, and to our knowledge, provide the first evidence that a match or mismatch between pre and post-natal antigen exposure can have life-long consequences for HPA axis function. PMID:25535860

  15. Activities of 3β-HSD and Aromatase in Slices of Developing and Adult Zebra Finch Brain

    PubMed Central

    Tam, Helen; Schlinger, Barney A.

    2009-01-01

    Sex steroids influence the development and function of the songbird brain. Developmentally, the neural circuitry underlying song undergoes masculine differentiation under the influence of estradiol. In adults, estradiol stimulates song behavior and the seasonal growth of song control circuits. There is good reason to believe that these neuroactive estrogens are synthesized in the brain. At all ages, estrogens could act at the lateral ventricle, during migration, or where song nuclei exist or will form. We investigated the activity of two critical steroidogenic enzymes, 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/isomerase (3βHSD) and aromatase, using a slice culture system. Sagittal brain slices were collected from juvenile (posthatch day 20) and adult zebra finches containing either the lateral ventricle, where neurons are born, or the telencephalic song nuclei HVC and RA. The slices were incubated with 3H dehydroepiandrosterone or 3H-androstenedione. Activity was determined by isolating certain products of 3βHSD (5α-androstanedione, 5β-androstanedione, estrone, and estradiol) and aromatase (estrone and estradiol). Activities of both 3βHSD and aromatase were detected in all slices and were confirmed using specific enzyme inhibitors. We found no significant difference in activity between adult males and females in either region for either enzyme. Juvenile female slices containing the lateral ventricle, however, showed greater levels of 3βHSD activity than did similar slices from age-matched males. Determination of the activity of these critical steroidogenic enzymes in slice culture has implications for the role of neurosteroids in brain development. PMID:16919626

  16. Female Zebra Finches Smell Their Eggs

    PubMed Central

    Golüke, Sarah; Dörrenberg, Sebastian; Krause, E. Tobias; Caspers, Barbara A.

    2016-01-01

    Parental investment in unrelated offspring seems maladaptive from an evolutionary perspective, due to the costs of energy and resources that cannot be invested in related offspring at the same time. Therefore selection should favour mechanisms to discriminate between own and foreign offspring. In birds, much emphasis has been placed on understanding the visual mechanisms underlying egg recognition. However, olfactory egg recognition has almost been completely ignored. Here, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are able to discriminate between their own and a conspecific egg based on olfactory cues alone. Zebra finches are colonial—breeding songbirds. Eggs are monomorphic, i.e. without any spotting pattern, and intraspecific brood parasitism frequently occurs. In a binary choice experiment, female zebra finches were given the choice between the scent of their own and a conspecific egg. After the onset of incubation, females chose randomly and showed no sign of discrimination. However, shortly before hatching, females preferred significantly the odour of their own egg. The finding that females are capable to smell their own egg may inspire more research on the potential of olfaction involved in egg recognition, especially in cases where visual cues might be limited. PMID:27192061

  17. Embryological Staging of the Zebra Finch, Taeniopygia guttata

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Jessica R; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Welch, Zoe S; Saha, Margaret S

    2013-01-01

    Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are the most commonly used laboratory songbird species, yet their embryological development has been poorly characterized. Most studies to date apply Hamburger and Hamilton stages derived from chicken development; however, significant differences in development between precocial and altricial species suggest that they may not be directly comparable. We provide the first detailed description of embryological development in the Zebra Finch under standard artificial incubation. These descriptions confirm that some of the features used to classify chicken embryos into stages are not applicable in an altricial bird such as the Zebra Finch. This staging protocol will help to standardize future studies of embryological development in the Zebra Finch. J. Morphol. 274:1090–1110, 2013. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Morphology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23813920

  18. Interactive effects of early and later nutritional conditions on the adult antioxidant defence system in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Noguera, José C; Monaghan, Pat; Metcalfe, Neil B

    2015-07-01

    In vertebrates, antioxidant defences comprise a mixture of endogenously produced components and exogenously obtained antioxidants that are derived mostly from the diet. It has been suggested that early-life micronutritional conditions might influence the way in which the antioxidant defence system operates, which could enable individuals to adjust the activity of the endogenous and exogenous components in line with their expected intake of dietary antioxidants if the future environment resembles the past. We investigated this possibility by experimentally manipulating the micronutrient content of the diet during different periods of postnatal development in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds that had a low micronutrient diet during the growth phase initially had a lower total antioxidant capacity (TAC) than those reared under a high micronutrient diet, but then showed a compensatory response, so that by the end of the growth phase, the TAC of the two groups was the same. Interestingly, we found an interactive effect of micronutrient intake early and late in development: only those birds that continued with the same dietary treatment (low or high) throughout development showed a significant increase in their TAC during the period of sexual maturation. A similar effect was also found in the level of enzymatic antioxidant defences (glutathione peroxidase; GPx). No significant effects were found in the level of oxidative damage in lipids [malondialdehyde (MDA) levels]. These findings demonstrate the importance of early and late developmental conditions in shaping multiple aspects of the antioxidant system. Furthermore, they suggest that young birds may adjust their antioxidant defences to enable them to 'thrive' on diets rich or poor in micronutrients later in life.

  19. Vocal Tract Articulation in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Ohms, Verena R.; Snelderwaard, Peter Ch.; ten Cate, Carel; Beckers, Gabriël J. L.

    2010-01-01

    Background Birdsong and human vocal communication are both complex behaviours which show striking similarities mainly thought to be present in the area of development and learning. Recent studies, however, suggest that there are also parallels in vocal production mechanisms. While it has been long thought that vocal tract filtering, as it occurs in human speech, only plays a minor role in birdsong there is an increasing number of studies indicating the presence of sound filtering mechanisms in bird vocalizations as well. Methodology/Principal Findings Correlating high-speed X-ray cinematographic imaging of singing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to song structures we identified beak gape and the expansion of the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity (OEC) as potential articulators. We subsequently manipulated both structures in an experiment in which we played sound through the vocal tract of dead birds. Comparing acoustic input with acoustic output showed that OEC expansion causes an energy shift towards lower frequencies and an amplitude increase whereas a wide beak gape emphasizes frequencies around 5 kilohertz and above. Conclusion These findings confirm that birds can modulate their song by using vocal tract filtering and demonstrate how OEC and beak gape contribute to this modulation. PMID:20689831

  20. Low plasticity in digestive physiology constrains feeding ecology in diet specialist, zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Brzek, Paweł; Lessner, Krista M; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Karasov, William H

    2010-03-01

    It can be hypothesized that species with a wide or variable food niche are able to adjust their digestive physiology to current food type. In diet specialists, however, the capacity for such presumably costly plasticity is not necessary and flexibility of digestive physiology should be lower. Recently, we found that ontogenetic changes in the activity of digestive enzymes in house sparrow, a species that gradually consumes more carbohydrates during ontogeny, are strongly modified by diet composition. In the present study we examined digestive flexibility of nestling and adult zebra finches, typical diet specialists that consume only seeds after hatching. Both adult and nestling zebra finches could not thrive on a protein-rich and carbohydrate-free diet that supported normal development of young house sparrows. Mass-specific activity of intestinal carbohydrases (maltase and sucrase) was not elevated by higher diet carbohydrate content in both nestling and adult birds. Mass-specific activity of maltase changed less during ontogenetic development in zebra finch than in house sparrow. We conclude that the digestive physiology of zebra finch is adapted to process carbohydrate-rich food after hatching and is much less flexible than in house sparrow. We hypothesize that this difference might reflect the lack of a diet switch during ontogeny or result from high specialization to a narrow diet niche.

  1. Ontogeny of Adaptive Antibody Response to a Model Antigen in Captive Altricial Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Killpack, Tess L.; Karasov, William H.

    2012-01-01

    Based on studies from the poultry literature, all birds are hypothesized to require at least 4 weeks to develop circulating mature B-cell lineages that express functionally different immunoglobulin specificities. However, many altricial passerines fledge at adult size less than four weeks after the start of embryonic development, and therefore may experience a period of susceptibility during the nestling and post-fledging periods. We present the first study, to our knowledge, to detail the age-related changes in adaptive antibody response in an altricial passerine. Using repeated vaccinations with non-infectious keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) antigen, we studied the ontogeny of specific adaptive immune response in altricial zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata. Nestling zebra finches were first injected at 7 days (7d), 14 days (14d), or 21 days post-hatch (21d) with KLH-adjuvant emulsions, and boosted 7 days later. Adults were vaccinated in the same manner. Induced KLH-specific IgY antibodies were measured using ELISA. Comparisons within age groups revealed no significant increase in KLH-specific antibody levels between vaccination and boost in 7d birds, yet significant increases between vaccination and boost were observed in 14d, 21d, and adult groups. There was no significant difference among age groups in KLH antibody response to priming vaccination, yet KLH antibody response post-boost significantly increased with age among groups. Post-boost antibody response in all nestling age groups was significantly lower than in adults, indicating that mature adult secondary antibody response level was not achieved in zebra finches prior to fledging (21 days post-hatch in zebra finches). Findings from this study contribute fundamental knowledge to the fields of developmental immunology and ecological immunology and strengthen the utility of zebra finches as a model organism for future studies of immune ontogeny. PMID:23056621

  2. Complete Genome Sequence of a Novel Circovirus from Zebra Finch

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Anna; Peschel, Andrea; Korbel, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    A novel circovirus was identified in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). The genome of the circovirus strain, designated 8454V25-1, comprised 1,982 nucleotides with two major open reading frames encoding a replication-associated protein and a viral capsid protein. PMID:26021933

  3. Zebra finches are sensitive to prosodic features of human speech.

    PubMed

    Spierings, Michelle J; ten Cate, Carel

    2014-07-22

    Variation in pitch, amplitude and rhythm adds crucial paralinguistic information to human speech. Such prosodic cues can reveal information about the meaning or emphasis of a sentence or the emotional state of the speaker. To examine the hypothesis that sensitivity to prosodic cues is language independent and not human specific, we tested prosody perception in a controlled experiment with zebra finches. Using a go/no-go procedure, subjects were trained to discriminate between speech syllables arranged in XYXY patterns with prosodic stress on the first syllable and XXYY patterns with prosodic stress on the final syllable. To systematically determine the salience of the various prosodic cues (pitch, duration and amplitude) to the zebra finches, they were subjected to five tests with different combinations of these cues. The zebra finches generalized the prosodic pattern to sequences that consisted of new syllables and used prosodic features over structural ones to discriminate between stimuli. This strong sensitivity to the prosodic pattern was maintained when only a single prosodic cue was available. The change in pitch was treated as more salient than changes in the other prosodic features. These results show that zebra finches are sensitive to the same prosodic cues known to affect human speech perception.

  4. A New Semi-automated Method for Assessing Avian Acoustic Networks Reveals that Juvenile and Adult Zebra Finches Have Separate Calling Networks

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, Marie S. A.; Soula, Hedi A.; Mariette, Mylene M.; Vignal, Clémentine

    2016-01-01

    Social networks are often inferred from spatial associations, but other parameters like acoustic communication are likely to play a central role in within group interactions. However, it is currently difficult to determine which individual initiates vocalizations, or who responds to whom. To this aim, we designed a method that allows analyzing group vocal network while controlling for spatial networks, by positioning each group member in equidistant individual cages and analyzing continuous vocal interactions semi-automatically. We applied this method to two types of zebra finch groups, composed of either two adult females and two juveniles, or four young adults (juveniles from the first groups). Young often co-occur in the same social group as adults but are likely to have a different social role, which may be reflected in their vocal interactions. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that the social structure of the group influences the parameters of the group vocal network. We found that groups including juveniles presented periods with higher level of activity than groups composed of young adults. Using two types of analyses (Markov analysis and cross-correlation), we showed that juveniles as well as adults were more likely to respond to individuals of their own age-class (i.e. to call one after another, in terms of turn-taking, and within a short time-window, in terms of time delay). When juveniles turned into adulthood, they showed adult characteristics of vocal patterns. Together our results suggest that vocal behavior changes during ontogeny, and individuals are more strongly connected with individuals of the same age-class within acoustic networks. PMID:27965602

  5. Zebra Finch Song Phonology and Syntactical Structure across Populations and Continents—A Computational Comparison

    PubMed Central

    Lachlan, Robert F.; van Heijningen, Caroline A. A.; ter Haar, Sita M.; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    Learned bird songs are often characterized by a high degree of variation between individuals and sometimes between populations, while at the same time maintaining species specificity. The evolution of such songs depends on the balance between plasticity and constraints. Captive populations provide an opportunity to examine signal variation and differentiation in detail, so we analyzed adult male zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) songs recorded from 13 populations across the world, including one sample of songs from wild-caught males in their native Australia. Cluster analysis suggested some, albeit limited, evidence that zebra finch song units belonged to universal, species-wide categories, linked to restrictions in vocal production and non-song parts of the vocal repertoire. Across populations, songs also showed some syntactical structure, although any song unit could be placed anywhere within the song. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant differentiation between populations, but the effect size was very small, and its communicative significance dubious. Our results suggest that variation in zebra finch songs within a population is largely determined by species-wide constraints rather than population-specific features. Although captive zebra finch populations have been sufficiently isolated to allow them to genetically diverge, there does not appear to have been any divergence in the genetically determined constraints that underlie song learning. Perhaps more surprising is the lack of locally diverged cultural traditions. Zebra finches serve as an example of a system where frequent learning errors may rapidly create within-population diversity, within broad phonological and syntactical constraints, and prevent the formation of long-term cultural traditions that allow populations to diverge. PMID:27458396

  6. Colour preferences in nest-building zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Muth, Felicity; Steele, Matthew; Healy, Susan D

    2013-10-01

    Some bird species are selective in the materials they choose for nest building, preferring, for example, materials of one colour to others. However, in many cases the cause of these preferences is not clear. One of those species is the zebra finch, which exhibits strong preferences for particular colours of nest material. In an attempt to determine why these birds strongly prefer one colour of material over another, we compared the preferences of paired male zebra finches for nest material colour with their preferences for food of the same colours. We found that birds did indeed prefer particular colours of nest material (in most cases blue) but that they did not generally prefer food of one colour over the other colours. It appears, then, that a preference for one colour or another of nest material is specific to the nest-building context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title.

  7. Do Zebra Finch Parents Fail to Recognise Their Own Offspring?

    PubMed Central

    Reers, Hendrik; Jacot, Alain; Forstmeier, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Individual recognition systems require the sender to be individually distinctive and the receiver to be able to perceive differences between individuals and react accordingly. Many studies have demonstrated that acoustic signals of almost any species contain individualized information. However, fewer studies have tested experimentally if those signals are used for individual recognition by potential receivers. While laboratory studies using zebra finches have shown that fledglings recognize their parents by their “distance call”, mutual recognition using the same call type has not been demonstrated yet. In a laboratory study with zebra finches, we first quantified between-individual acoustic variation in distance calls of fledglings. In a second step, we tested recognition of fledgling calls by parents using playback experiments. With a discriminant function analysis, we show that individuals are highly distinctive and most measured parameters show very high potential to encode for individuality. The response pattern of zebra finch parents shows that they do react to calls of fledglings, however they do not distinguish between own and unfamiliar offspring, despite individual distinctiveness. This finding is interesting in light of the observation of a high percentage of misdirected feedings in our communal breeding aviaries. Our results demonstrate the importance of adopting a receiver's perspective and suggest that variation in fledgling contact calls might not be used in individual recognition of offspring. PMID:21533233

  8. Heterospecific discrimination of Poecile vocalizations by zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Guillette, Lauren M; Hoeschele, Marisa; Hahn, Allison H; Sturdy, Christopher B

    2013-08-01

    Previous perceptual research with black-capped and mountain chickadees has demonstrated that the D note of the namesake chick-a-dee call controlled species-based discrimination compared to other note types in this call. In the current experiment, we sought to determine whether discrimination performance of the chickadees was controlled by stimulus-specific properties or due to learning through experience. To accomplish this, we tested zebra finches, a songbird species that is distantly related to chickadees, and also unfamiliar with black-capped and mountain chickadee vocalizations, on the same species-based discrimination on which black-capped and mountain chickadees were previously trained. We found that zebra finches learned the discrimination in the fewest number of trials with the D note, compared to other note types (i.e., the A, B, and C notes). In addition, we compared the current results to earlier work and found that zebra finches learned the discrimination in fewer trials compared to black-capped chickadees, and, across all species, males learned the discrimination in fewer trials than females. We discuss the roles that acoustic complexity and learning play in classification of the three species of songbirds tested. More generally, these results point to the benefits derived from testing members of each sex in species that vary in their natural history, vocal output, and phylogenetic relatedness as a means to uncover the mechanisms underlying acoustic communication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Parental influence on begging call structure in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): evidence of early vocal plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Villain, Avelyne S.; Boucaud, Ingrid C. A.; Bouchut, Colette; Vignal, Clémentine

    2015-01-01

    Begging calls are signals of need used by young birds to elicit care from adults. Different theoretical frameworks have been proposed to understand this parent–offspring communication. But relationships between parental response and begging intensity, or between begging characteristics and proxies of a young’s need remain puzzling. Few studies have considered the adjustment of nestling begging features to previous experience as a possible explanation of these discrepancies. In this study, we tested the effect of a heterospecific rearing environment on individual developmental trajectories of the acoustic structure of nestling begging calls. Fifty-two zebra finch chicks were fostered either to Bengalese finch or to zebra finch parents, and begging calls were recorded at several stages of nestling development. Acoustic analyses revealed that the development of the spectral features of the begging calls differed between experimental conditions: chicks reared by Bengalese finches produced higher pitched and less broadband begging calls than chicks reared by conspecific parents. Differences were stronger in males than females and were not explained by differences in growth rate. We conclude that nestling begging calls can be plastic in response to social interactions with parents. PMID:26716009

  10. Developmental stress increases reproductive success in male zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Crino, Ondi L.; Prather, Colin T.; Driscoll, Stephanie C.; Good, Jeffrey M.; Breuner, Creagh W.

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that exposure to stress during development can have sustained effects on animal phenotype and performance across life-history stages. For example, developmental stress has been shown to decrease the quality of sexually selected traits (e.g. bird song), and therefore is thought to decrease reproductive success. However, animals exposed to developmental stress may compensate for poor quality sexually selected traits by pursuing alternative reproductive tactics. Here, we examine the effects of developmental stress on adult male reproductive investment and success in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We tested the hypothesis that males exposed to developmental stress sire fewer offspring through extra-pair copulations (EPCs), but invest more in parental care. To test this hypothesis, we fed nestlings corticosterone (CORT; the dominant avian stress hormone) during the nestling period and measured their adult reproductive success using common garden breeding experiments. We found that nestlings reared by CORT-fed fathers received more parental care compared with nestlings reared by control fathers. Consequently, males fed CORT during development reared nestlings in better condition compared with control males. Contrary to the prediction that developmental stress decreases male reproductive success, we found that CORT-fed males also sired more offspring and were less likely to rear non-genetic offspring compared with control males, and thus had greater overall reproductive success. These data are the first to demonstrate that developmental stress can have a positive effect on fitness via changes in reproductive success and provide support for an adaptive role of developmental stress in shaping animal phenotype. PMID:25297860

  11. Spatial memory and the avian hippocampus: research in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Uwe; Watanabe, Shigeru; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present review is to show that spatial learning and memory is not a specialty of just a few avian species, and to describe the role of the avian hippocampus in spatial learning, memory and orientation. Based on our own research in zebra finches, we try to give an (not complete and probably biased) overview of this topic, and we also discuss the question of functional equivalence of hippocampus in birds and in mammals in that we question how far theories developed for mammalian hippocampus can also be applied to the avian hippocampal formation.

  12. The acoustic effect of vocal tract adjustments in zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Riede, Tobias; Schilling, Nadja; Goller, Franz

    2012-01-01

    Vocal production in songbirds requires the control of the respiratory system, the syrinx as sound source and the vocal tract as acoustic filter. Vocal tract movements consist of beak, tongue and hyoid movements which change the volume of the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity (OEC), glottal movements and tracheal length changes. The respective contributions of each movement to filter properties are not completely understood, but the effects of this filtering are thought to be very important for acoustic communication in birds. One of the most striking movements of the upper vocal tract during vocal behavior in songbirds involves the OEC. This study measured the acoustic effect of OEC adjustments in zebra finches by comparing resonance acoustics between an utterance with OEC expansion (calls) and a similar utterance without OEC expansion (respiratory sounds induced by a bilateral syringeal denervation). X-ray cineradiography confirmed the presence of an OEC motor pattern during song and call production, and a custom-built Hall-effect collar system confirmed that OEC expansion movements were not present during respiratory sounds. The spectral emphasis during zebra finch call production ranging between 2.5 and 5 kHz was not present during respiratory sounds, indicating strongly that it can be attributed to the OEC expansion. PMID:23085986

  13. Zebra finches are able to learn affixation-like patterns.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiani; Jansen, Naomi; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    Adding an affix to transform a word is common across the world languages, with the edges of words more likely to carry out such a function. However, detecting affixation patterns is also observed in learning tasks outside the domain of language, suggesting that the underlying mechanism from which affixation patterns have arisen may not be language or even human specific. We addressed whether a songbird, the zebra finch, is able to discriminate between, and generalize, affixation-like patterns. Zebra finches were trained and tested in a Go/Nogo paradigm to discriminate artificial song element sequences resembling prefixed and suffixed 'words.' The 'stems' of the 'words,' consisted of different combinations of a triplet of song elements, to which a fourth element was added as either a 'prefix' or a 'suffix.' After training, the birds were tested with novel stems, consisting of either rearranged familiar element types or novel element types. The birds were able to generalize the affixation patterns to novel stems with both familiar and novel element types. Hence, the discrimination resulting from the training was not based on memorization of individual stimuli, but on a shared property among Go or Nogo stimuli, i.e., affixation patterns. Remarkably, birds trained with suffixation as Go pattern showed clear evidence of using both prefix and suffix, while those trained with the prefix as the Go stimulus used primarily the prefix. This finding illustrates that an asymmetry in attending to different affixations is not restricted to human languages.

  14. Amyloidosis in a Captive Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Research Colony

    PubMed Central

    Shientag, Lisa J; Garlick, David S; Galati, Erin

    2016-01-01

    Five birds in a captive zebra finch research colony were diagnosed with systemic amyloidosis within a 7-mo period by means of postmortem Congo red staining and green birefringence under polarized light. The liver was the most frequently and usually the most seriously affected organ, followed by the spleen and then the kidney. All 5 birds had been clinically affected with various inflammatory, infectious, and neoplastic conditions associated with amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis in humans and animals. Immunohistochemistry using antisera against duck AA protein revealed that tissues from 2 of the 5 birds were positive for the presence of AA protein and systemic inflammation-associated amyloidosis. Although the development of AA amyloidosis has been associated with chronic inflammation, trauma, and various infectious and neoplastic diseases as well as possible genetic predispositions and stresses linked to overcrowding, the root causes for individual cases of AA amyloidosis are incompletely understood. As far as we know, this report is the first description of AA amyloidosis in captive, research zebra finches. PMID:27298248

  15. Motivation and memory in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) foraging behavior.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Kirsten; Clayton, Nicola S

    2008-04-01

    Remembering combinations of information such as what resources have been seen in which locations could play an important role in enhancing individual survival through increased foraging success. To date, there have been relatively few investigations of avian memory involving more than one category of information. This study explored zebra finches' (Taeniopygia guttata) capacity to recall two categories in combination, namely food-type and spatial location. Birds were trained to remove variously weighted flaps to find two types of food hidden beneath. Memory for food-types and locations was assessed by pre-feeding the birds to satiety on and devaluing one food-type, and then testing the birds' efficiency at finding the non-devalued food. When allowed one trial to learn locations of two food rewards that were hidden beneath lightly weighted flaps, birds performed better than chance at locating a food reward. However, they did not preferentially search for the non pre-fed food, suggesting that they were unable to recall both food type and location in combination. Zebra finches made fewer errors when tested on the one-trial task using more heavily weighted flaps than with lightly weighted flaps; there was equivocal evidence that they remembered which food type was hidden where on this task. When given repeated exposures to the locations of the two food rewards, finches located a food reward more accurately than on the one-trial tasks, and were also more likely to recall the locations of the different food types. In this foraging paradigm, experience and motivation may have influenced the birds' performance.

  16. Gaze strategy in the free flying zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Eckmeier, Dennis; Geurten, Bart R H; Kress, Daniel; Mertes, Marcel; Kern, Roland; Egelhaaf, Martin; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2008-01-01

    Fast moving animals depend on cues derived from the optic flow on their retina. Optic flow from translational locomotion includes information about the three-dimensional composition of the environment, while optic flow experienced during a rotational self motion does not. Thus, a saccadic gaze strategy that segregates rotations from translational movements during locomotion will facilitate extraction of spatial information from the visual input. We analysed whether birds use such a strategy by highspeed video recording zebra finches from two directions during an obstacle avoidance task. Each frame of the recording was examined to derive position and orientation of the beak in three-dimensional space. The data show that in all flights the head orientation was shifted in a saccadic fashion and was kept straight between saccades. Therefore, birds use a gaze strategy that actively stabilizes their gaze during translation to simplify optic flow based navigation. This is the first evidence of birds actively optimizing optic flow during flight.

  17. Transformation of temporal sequences in the zebra finch auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Yoonseob; Lagoy, Ryan; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Gardner, Timothy J

    2016-01-01

    This study examines how temporally patterned stimuli are transformed as they propagate from primary to secondary zones in the thalamorecipient auditory pallium in zebra finches. Using a new class of synthetic click stimuli, we find a robust mapping from temporal sequences in the primary zone to distinct population vectors in secondary auditory areas. We tested whether songbirds could discriminate synthetic click sequences in an operant setup and found that a robust behavioral discrimination is present for click sequences composed of intervals ranging from 11 ms to 40 ms, but breaks down for stimuli composed of longer inter-click intervals. This work suggests that the analog of the songbird auditory cortex transforms temporal patterns to sequence-selective population responses or ‘spatial codes', and that these distinct population responses contribute to behavioral discrimination of temporally complex sounds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18205.001 PMID:27897971

  18. Dopamine physiology in the basal ganglia of male zebra finches during social stimulation.

    PubMed

    Ihle, Eva C; van der Hart, Marieke; Jongsma, Minke; Tecott, Larry H; Doupe, Allison J

    2015-06-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) is involved in altering neural activity and gene expression in a zebra finch cortical-basal ganglia circuit specialized for singing, upon the shift between solitary singing and singing as a part of courtship. Our objective here was to sample changes in the extracellular concentrations of DA in Area X of adult and juvenile birds, to test the hypothesis that DA levels would change similarly during presentation of a socially salient stimulus in both age groups. We used microdialysis to sample the extracellular milieu of Area X in awake, behaving adult and juvenile male zebra finches, and analysed the dialysate using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. The extracellular levels of DA in Area X increased significantly during both female presentation to adult males and tutor presentation to juvenile males. DA levels were not correlated with the time spent singing. We also reverse-dialysed Area X with pharmacologic agents that act either on DA systems directly or on norepinephrine, and found that all of these agents significantly increased DA levels (3- to 10-fold) in Area X. These findings suggest that changes in extracellular DA levels can be stimulated similarly by very different social contexts (courtship and interaction with tutor), and influenced potently by dopaminergic and noradrenergic drugs. These results raise the possibility that the arousal level or attentional state of the subject (rather than singing behavior) is the common feature eliciting changes in extracellular DA concentration.

  19. Dopamine physiology in the basal ganglia of male zebra finches during social stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Ihle, Eva C; van der Hart, Marieke; Jongsma, Minke; Tecott, Larry H; Doupe, Allison J

    2015-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) is involved in altering neural activity and gene expression in a zebra finch cortical–basal ganglia circuit specialized for singing, upon the shift between solitary singing and singing as a part of courtship. Our objective here was to sample changes in the extracellular concentrations of DA in Area X of adult and juvenile birds, to test the hypothesis that DA levels would change similarly during presentation of a socially salient stimulus in both age groups. We used microdialysis to sample the extracellular milieu of Area X in awake, behaving adult and juvenile male zebra finches, and analysed the dialysate using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. The extracellular levels of DA in Area X increased significantly during both female presentation to adult males and tutor presentation to juvenile males. DA levels were not correlated with the time spent singing. We also reverse-dialysed Area X with pharmacologic agents that act either on DA systems directly or on norepinephrine, and found that all of these agents significantly increased DA levels (3- to 10-fold) in Area X. These findings suggest that changes in extracellular DA levels can be stimulated similarly by very different social contexts (courtship and interaction with tutor), and influenced potently by dopaminergic and noradrenergic drugs. These results raise the possibility that the arousal level or attentional state of the subject (rather than singing behavior) is the common feature eliciting changes in extracellular DA concentration. PMID:25872575

  20. Behavioural and physiological effects of population density on domesticated Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) held in aviaries.

    PubMed

    Poot, Hanneke; ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Schwabl, Ingrid; Jansen, René F; Gahr, Manfred

    2012-02-01

    Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are highly social and monogamous birds that display relatively low levels of aggression and coordinate group life mainly by means of vocal communication. In the wild, small groups may congregate to larger flocks of up to 150-350 birds. Little is known, however, about possible effects of population density on development in captivity. Investigating density effects on physiology and behaviour might be helpful in identifying optimal group size, in order to optimise Zebra Finch wellbeing. A direct effect of population density on development and reproduction was found: birds in lower density conditions produced significantly more and larger (body mass, tarsus length) surviving offspring than birds in high density conditions. Furthermore, offspring in low density aviaries produced slightly longer song motifs and more different syllables than their tutors, whereas offspring in high density aviaries produced shorter motifs and a smaller or similar number of different syllables than their tutors. Aggression levels within the populations were low throughout the experiment, but the number of aggressive interactions was significantly higher in high density aviaries. Baseline corticosterone levels did not differ significantly between high- and low density aviaries for either adult or offspring birds. On day 15 post hatching, brood size and baseline corticosterone levels were positively correlated. On days 60 and 100 post hatching this correlation was no longer present. The results of this study prove that population density affects various aspects of Zebra Finch development, with birds living in low population density conditions having an advantage over those living under higher population density conditions.

  1. Susceptibility and antibody response of the laboratory model zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to West Nile Virus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Lund, Melissa; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2017-01-01

    Since the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) into North America in 1999 a number of passerine bird species have been found to play a role in the amplification of the virus. Arbovirus surveillance, observational studies and experimental studies have implicated passerine birds (songbirds, e.g., crows, American robins, house sparrows, and house finches) as significant reservoirs of WNV in North America, yet we lack a tractable passerine animal model for controlled studies of the virus. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) serves as a model system across a diversity of fields, and here we develop the zebra finch a songbird model for WNV. Like many natural hosts of WNV, we found that zebra finches developed sufficient viremia to serve as a competent host, yet in general resisted mortality from infection. In the Australian zebra finch (AZF) T. g. castanotis, we detected WNV in the majority of sampled tissues by 4 days post injection (dpi). However, WNV was not detected in tissues of sacrificed birds at 14 dpi, shortly after the development of detectable anti-WNV antibodies in the majority of birds indicating successful viral clearance. We compared susceptibility between the two zebra finch subspecies AZF and Timor zebra finch (TZF) T. g. guttata. Compared to AZF, WNV RNA was detected in a larger proportion of challenged TZF and molecular detection of virus in the serum of TZF was significantly higher than in AZF. Given the observed moderate host competence and disease susceptibility, we suggest that zebra finches are appropriate as models for the study of WNV and although underutilized in this respect, may be ideal models for the study of the many diseases carried and transmitted by songbirds.

  2. Susceptibility and Antibody Response of the Laboratory Model Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Lund, Melissa; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie

    2017-01-01

    Since the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) into North America in 1999 a number of passerine bird species have been found to play a role in the amplification of the virus. Arbovirus surveillance, observational studies and experimental studies have implicated passerine birds (songbirds, e.g., crows, American robins, house sparrows, and house finches) as significant reservoirs of WNV in North America, yet we lack a tractable passerine animal model for controlled studies of the virus. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) serves as a model system across a diversity of fields, and here we develop the zebra finch a songbird model for WNV. Like many natural hosts of WNV, we found that zebra finches developed sufficient viremia to serve as a competent host, yet in general resisted mortality from infection. In the Australian zebra finch (AZF) T. g. castanotis, we detected WNV in the majority of sampled tissues by 4 days post injection (dpi). However, WNV was not detected in tissues of sacrificed birds at 14 dpi, shortly after the development of detectable anti-WNV antibodies in the majority of birds indicating successful viral clearance. We compared susceptibility between the two zebra finch subspecies AZF and Timor zebra finch (TZF) T. g. guttata. Compared to AZF, WNV RNA was detected in a larger proportion of challenged TZF and molecular detection of virus in the serum of TZF was significantly higher than in AZF. Given the observed moderate host competence and disease susceptibility, we suggest that zebra finches are appropriate as models for the study of WNV and although underutilized in this respect, may be ideal models for the study of the many diseases carried and transmitted by songbirds. PMID:28045891

  3. The zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata: an avian model for investigating the neurobiological basis of vocal learning.

    PubMed

    Mello, Claudio V

    2014-10-23

    Songbirds are capable of learning their vocalizations by copying a singing adult. This vocal learning ability requires juveniles to hear and memorize the sound of the adult song, and later to imitate it through a process involving sensorimotor integration. Vocal learning is a trait that songbirds share with humans, where it forms the basis of spoken language acquisition, with other avian groups (parrots and hummingbirds), and with a few other mammals (cetaceans, bats). It is however absent in traditional model organisms such as rodents and nonhuman primates. Zebra finches, a songbird species from Australia, are popular pets and are easy to breed. They also sing a relatively simple and stereotyped song that is amenable to quantitative analysis. Zebra finches have thus emerged as a choice model organism for investigating the neurobiological basis of vocal learning. A number of tools and methodologies have been developed to characterize the bioacoustics properties of their song, analyze the degree of accurate copying during vocal learning, map the brain circuits that control singing and song learning, and investigate the physiology of these circuits. Such studies have led to a large base of knowledge on song production and learning, and their underlying neural substrate. Several molecular resources have recently become available, including brain cDNA/EST databases, microarrays, BAC libraries, a molecular brain atlas, a complete genome assembly, and the ability to perform transgenesis. The recent availability of many other avian genomes provides unique opportunities for comparative analysis in the search for features unique to vocal learning organisms.

  4. Trisomy and triploidy are sources of embryo mortality in the zebra finch

    PubMed Central

    Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Ellegren, Hans

    2010-01-01

    Hatching failure is a surprisingly common phenomenon given that natural selection constantly works against it. In birds, an average of about 10 per cent of eggs across species fail to hatch, often owing to the death of embryos. While embryo mortality owing to inbreeding is both well-documented and evolutionarily plausible, this is not true for other sources of mortality. In fact, the basis for hatching failure in natural populations remains largely unexplained. Here, we demonstrate that embryo mortality in captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) follows from chromosomal aneuploidy or polyploidy. As part of microsatellite genotyping of a captive breeding population, we found 12 individuals (3.6%) with three alleles among 331 embryos that had died during development, while there were no such cases observed among 1210 adult birds. Subsequent genotyping of 1920 single nucleotide polymorphism markers distributed across the genome in birds with three alleles at microsatellite loci, and in greater than 1000 normal birds, revealed that the aberrant karyotypes involved cases of both trisomies and triploidy. Cases of both maternally and paternally inherited trisomies resulted from non-disjunction during meiosis. Maternally inherited cases of triploidy were attributable to failure of meiosis leading to diploid eggs, while paternally inherited triploidy could have arisen either from diploid sperm or from dispermy. Our initial microsatellite screening set only had the power to detect less than 10 per cent of trisomies and by extrapolation, our data therefore tentatively suggest that trisomy might be a major cause of embryo mortality in zebra finches. PMID:20444723

  5. Lifelong consequences of early nutritional conditions on learning performance in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Brust, Vera; Krüger, Oliver; Naguib, Marc; Krause, E Tobias

    2014-03-01

    Long-term effects of early developmental conditions on physiological and behavioural traits are common in animals. Yet, such lifelong effects of early life conditions on learning skills received relatively less attention, even though they are expected to have strong fitness effects. To test the lifelong impact of the early environment on associative and reversal learning performance, we tested zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in a reversal learning task about five years after they were raised either under low or high quality food treatments in their first month of life. The early nutritional treatment and its respective growth patterns significantly influenced learning performance: Zebra finches who received a high-quality nutrition early in life gained more weight during the treatment period but needed more trials to associate a cue with a reward. The early growth rate during the treatment phase was linked to how fast the birds detected the food at the onset of training in our learning task as well as to their associative learning performance. However, in the reversal learning step of the task testing for behavioural flexibility, no differences with respect to early nutritional treatments or related growth rates were apparent. We show that early life conditions directly affect the approach to our task and learning abilities over an entire lifetime, emphasizing how crucial the early environment is for understanding adult behaviour throughout life.

  6. Role of a telencephalic nucleus in the delayed song learning of socially isolated zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Morrison, R G; Nottebohm, F

    1993-08-01

    Male zebra finches normally learn their song from adult models during a restricted period of juvenile development. If song models are not available then, juveniles develop an isolate song which can be modified in adulthood. In this report we investigate the features of juvenile experience that underly the timing of song learning. Juvenile males raised in soundproof chambers or in visual isolation from conspecifics developed stable isolate song. However, whereas visual isolate song notes were similar to those of colony-reared males, soundproof chamber isolates included many phonologically abnormal notes in their songs. Despite having stable isolate songs, both groups copied new notes from tutors presented to them in adulthood (2.7 notes per bird for soundproof chamber isolates, 4.4 notes per bird for visual isolates). Old notes were often modified or eliminated. We infer that social interactions with live tutors are normally important for closing the sensitive period for song learning. Lesions of a forebrain nucleus (IMAN) had previously been shown to disrupt juvenile song learning, but not maintenance of adult song for up to 5 weeks after surgery. In this study, colony-reared adult males given bilateral lesions of IMAN retained all their song notes for up to 4-7.5 months after lesioning. However, similar lesions blocked all song note acquisition in adulthood by both visual and soundproof chamber isolates. Other work has shown that intact hearing is necessary for the maintenance of adult zebra finch song. We infer that auditory pathways used for song maintenance and acquisition differ: IMAN is necessary for auditorily guided song acquisition--whether by juveniles or adults--but not for adult auditorily guided song maintenance.

  7. Neural correlates of nesting behavior in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Zachary J.; Bertin, Marion; Bailey, Ida E.; Meddle, Simone L.; Healy, Susan D.

    2014-01-01

    Nest building in birds involves a behavioral sequence (nest material collection and deposition in the nest) that offers a unique model for addressing how the brain sequences motor actions. In this study, we identified brain regions involved in nesting behavior in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We used Fos immunohistochemistry to quantify production of the immediate early gene protein product Fos (a molecular indicator of neuronal activity) in the brain correlated this expression with the variation in nesting behavior. Using this technique, we found that neural circuitry involved in motor sequencing, social behavior, reward and motivation were active during nesting. Within pairs of nesting birds, the number of times a male picked up or deposited nesting material and the amount of time a female spent in the nest explained the variation in Fos expression in the anterior motor pathway, social behavior network, and reward neural circuits. Identification of the brain regions that are involved in nesting enables us to begin studying the roles of motor sequencing, context, and reward in construction behavior at the neural level. PMID:24508238

  8. Development of temporal structure in zebra finch song

    PubMed Central

    Troyer, Todd W.

    2013-01-01

    Zebra finch song has provided an excellent case study in the neural basis of sequence learning, with a high degree of temporal precision and tight links with precisely timed bursting in forebrain neurons. To examine the development of song timing, we measured the following four aspects of song temporal structure at four age ranges between 65 and 375 days posthatch: the mean durations of song syllables and the silent gaps between them, timing variability linked to song tempo, timing variability expressed independently across syllables and gaps, and transition probabilities between consecutive syllable pairs. We found substantial increases in song tempo between 65 and 85 days posthatch, due almost entirely to a shortening of gaps. We also found a decrease in tempo variability, also specific to gaps. Both the magnitude of the increase in tempo and the decrease in tempo variability were correlated on gap-by-gap basis with increases in the reliability of corresponding syllable transitions. Syllables had no systematic increase in tempo or decrease in tempo variability. In contrast to tempo parameters, both syllables and gaps showed an early sharp reduction in independent variability followed by continued reductions over the first year. The data suggest that links between syllable-based representations are strengthened during the later parts of the traditional period of song learning and that song rhythm continues to become more regular throughout the first year of life. Similar learning patterns have been identified in human sequence learning, suggesting a potentially rich area of comparative research. PMID:23175805

  9. The perception of regularity in an isochronous stimulus in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans.

    PubMed

    van der Aa, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel

    2015-06-01

    Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous and an irregular stimulus. However, when the tempo of the isochronous stimulus is changed, it is no longer treated as similar to the training stimulus. Training with three isochronous and three irregular stimuli did not result in improvement of the generalization. In contrast, humans, exposed to the same stimuli, readily generalized across tempo changes. Our results suggest that zebra finches distinguish the different stimuli by learning specific local temporal features of each individual stimulus rather than attending to the global structure of the stimuli, i.e., to the temporal regularity.

  10. Infestation of Research Zebra Finch Colony with 2 Novel Mite Species

    PubMed Central

    Siddalls, Monica; Currier, Timothy A; Pang, Jassia; Lertpiriyapong, Kvin; Patterson, Mary M

    2015-01-01

    A zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) housed in a neuroscience laboratory was observed to have numerous feather mites. Subsequently, similar mites were found on other birds in the animal facility and research space. The most abundant mite was a novel, undescribed species in the genus Neocheyletiella. Whereas known Neocheyletiella mites have previously been characterized as skin parasites of various birds worldwide, the species on the zebra finches is unique because it lives and builds nests in the feathers. Infrequent specimens of a ‘true’ feather mite, a new species of Megninialges, were present also. Although multiple treatments using a pyrethrin spray were effective in eradicating the mites, topical ivermectin later was found to be more efficacious, better tolerated by the birds, and less labor intensive. This case highlights the general dearth of information regarding ectoparasites in zebra finches, even though these are the most frequently used songbirds in biomedical research. The mite epizootic also underscores the diverse pathogens possible in zebra finches that arrive from outside sources and why ongoing health monitoring of finch colonies is warranted. PMID:25730757

  11. Digit ratio varies with sex, egg order and strength of mate preference in zebra finches.

    PubMed Central

    Burley, Nancy Tyler; Foster, Valerie Suzanne

    2004-01-01

    The steroid environment encountered by developing vertebrates has important organizational effects on physiology and behaviour that persist throughout an organism's lifetime. Optimal allocation of maternal steroids to zygotes may be difficult to achieve because of the sexually antagonistic effects of steroids; thus, for example, a hormone environment beneficial to a developing male may be much less beneficial to a developing female. Research into the important topic of how mothers might adaptively adjust steroid titres experienced by particular young has been constrained by the difficulty of measuring the steroid environment experienced by the embryo at critical times in development. A potential approach to this problem has been suggested by research on variation in digit ratios in humans, where the ratio of the length of the second and fourth digits reflects the steroid environment experienced by the foetus; notably, digit 4 lengthens in response to androgens. In light of the conservative nature of homeobox genes regulating early development in tetrapods, we questioned whether a sex difference in digit ratio exists in a passerine bird, the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata castanotis, and whether observed variation in the ratio is consistent with the previously reported pattern that androgen allocation to zebra finch egg yolk declines across laying order. We established an aviary population of outbred, wild-type zebra finches, and allowed them to breed freely. Hatchlings were marked to correspond to their egg order, and their digit ratios were measured after birds reached adulthood. We found that digit ratio increased across egg order, which is consistent with a pattern of decreasing androgen allocation. Moreover, digit ratios differed between the sexes. We also investigated whether variation in digit ratio among adult females predicted variation in their performance in mate-choice tests. Digit ratio accounted for almost 50% of the variance in strength of female

  12. The Zebra Finch, Taeniopygia guttata: An Avian Model for Investigating the Neurobiological Basis of Vocal Learning

    PubMed Central

    Mello, Claudio V.

    2015-01-01

    Songbirds are capable of learning their vocalizations by copying a singing adult. This vocal learning ability requires juveniles to hear and memorize the sound of the adult song, and later to imitate that song through a process involving sensorimotor integration. Vocal learning is a trait that songbirds share with humans, where it forms the basis of spoken language acquisition, with other avian groups (parrots and hummingbirds), and with a few other mammals (cetaceans, bats). It is however absent in traditional model organisms like rodents and non-human primates. Zebra finches, a songbird species from Australia, are popular pets, as they have attractive plumage and social behaviors and are easy to breed. They also sing a relatively simple and stereotyped song that is very amenable to quantitative analysis. Zebra finches have thus emerged as a choice model organism for investigating the neurobiological basis of vocal learning. A number of tools and methodologies have been developed to characterize the bioacoustics properties of their song, analyze the degree of accurate copying during vocal learning, map the brain circuits that control singing and song learning, and investigate the physiology of these circuits. Such studies have led to a large base of knowledge on song production and learning, and their underlying neural substrate. Several molecular resources have recently become available, including brain cDNA/EST databases, microarrays, BAC libraries, a molecular brain atlas, a complete genome assembly, and the ability to perform transgenesis. The recent availability of many other avian genomes provides unique opportunities for comparative analysis in the search of features unique to vocal learning organisms. PMID:25342070

  13. Dynamic gene expression in the song system of zebra finches during the song learning period.

    PubMed

    Olson, Christopher R; Hodges, Lisa K; Mello, Claudio V

    2015-12-01

    The brain circuitry that controls song learning and production undergoes marked changes in morphology and connectivity during the song learning period in juvenile zebra finches, in parallel to the acquisition, practice and refinement of song. Yet, the genetic programs and timing of regulatory change that establish the neuronal connectivity and plasticity during this critical learning period remain largely undetermined. To address this question, we used in situ hybridization to compare the expression patterns of a set of 30 known robust molecular markers of HVC and/or area X, major telencephalic song nuclei, between adult and juvenile male zebra finches at different ages during development (20, 35, 50 days post-hatch, dph). We found that several of the genes examined undergo substantial changes in expression within HVC or its surrounds, and/or in other song nuclei. They fit into broad patterns of regulation, including those whose expression within HVC during this period increases (COL12A1, COL 21A1, MPZL1, PVALB, and CXCR7) or decreases (e.g., KCNT2, SAP30L), as well as some that show decreased expression in the surrounding tissue with little change within song nuclei (e.g. SV2B, TAC1). These results reveal a broad range of molecular changes that occur in the song system in concert with the song learning period. Some of the genes and pathways identified are potential modulators of the developmental changes associated with the emergence of the adult properties of the song control system, and/or the acquisition of learned vocalizations in songbirds.

  14. The Quantitative Ethology of the Zebra Finch: A Study in Comparative Psychometrics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Figueredo, Aurelio Jose; And Others

    1992-01-01

    A quantitative ethogram was developed for the zebra finch, using one-zero focal animal sampling on an ethologically comprehensive checklist of 52 behavioral items, and it was assessed for interobserver reliability and construct validity. Applying the quantitative methods of psychometrics allows verification of ethological theory and testing of…

  15. Regulatory Differences in Natal Down Development between Altricial Zebra Finch and Precocial Chicken.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chih-Kuan; Ng, Chen Siang; Wu, Siao-Man; Chen, Jiun-Jie; Cheng, Po-Liang; Wu, Ping; Lu, Mei-Yeh Jade; Chen, Di-Rong; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Cheng, Hsu-Chen; Ting, Chau-Ti; Li, Wen-Hsiung

    2016-08-01

    Birds can be classified into altricial and precocial. The hatchlings of altricial birds are almost naked, whereas those of precocial birds are covered with natal down. This regulatory divergence is thought to reflect environmental adaptation, but the molecular basis of the divergence is unclear. To address this issue, we chose the altricial zebra finch and the precocial chicken as the model animals. We noted that zebra finch hatchlings show natal down growth suppressed anterior dorsal (AD) skin but partially down-covered posterior dorsal (PD) skin. Comparing the transcriptomes of AD and PD skins, we found that the feather growth promoter SHH (sonic hedgehog) was expressed higher in PD skin than in AD skin. Moreover, the data suggested that the FGF (fibroblast growth factor)/Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway is involved in natal down growth suppression and that FGF16 is a candidate upstream signaling suppressor. Ectopic expression of FGF16 on chicken leg skin showed downregulation of SHH, upregulation of the feather growth suppressor FGF10, and suppression of feather bud elongation, similar to the phenotype found in zebra finch embryonic AD skin. Therefore, we propose that FGF16-related signals suppress natal down elongation and cause the naked AD skin in zebra finch. Our study provides insights into the regulatory divergence in natal down formation between precocial and altricial birds.

  16. A Generalizability Analysis of Subjective Personality Assessments in the Stumptail Macaque and the Zebra Finch.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Figueredo, Aurelio Jose; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Two longitudinal studies involving 29 raters concerning the construct validity, temporal stability, and interrater reliability of the latent common factors underlying subjective assessments by human raters of personality traits in the stumptail macaque and the zebra finch illustrate the use of generalizability analysis to test prespecified…

  17. Identification of auditory distance cues by zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).

    PubMed

    Radziwon, Kelly E; Welch, Thomas E; Cone, Jarrod P; Dent, Micheal L

    2011-05-01

    The present study examined auditory distance perception cues in a non-territorial songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and in a non-songbird, the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). Using operant conditioning procedures, three zebra finches and three budgerigars were trained to identify 1- (Near) and 75-m (Far) recordings of three budgerigar contact calls, one male zebra finch song, and one female zebra finch call. Once the birds were trained on these endpoint stimuli, other stimuli were introduced into the operant task. These stimuli included recordings at intermediate distances and artificially altered stimuli simulating changes in overall amplitude, high-frequency attenuation, reverberation, and all three cues combined. By examining distance cues (amplitude, high-frequency attenuation, and reverberation) separately, this study sought to determine which cue was the most salient for the birds. The results suggest that both species could scale the stimuli on a continuum from Near to Far and that amplitude was the most important cue for these birds in auditory distance perception, as in humans and other animals.

  18. Developmental pattern of CB1 cannabinoid receptor immunoreactivity in brain regions important to zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song learning and control.

    PubMed

    Soderstrom, Ken; Tian, Qiyu

    2006-06-10

    Zebra finches learn song during distinct developmental stages, making them an important species for studying mechanisms underlying vocal development. Distinct interconnected forebrain regions have been identified as important to specific features of zebra finch vocal learning and production. Because prior experiments have demonstrated that late postnatal exposure to cannabinoid agonists alters zebra finch song learning, we have sought to identify brain regions likely involved in it. By using an affinity-purified polyclonal antibody directed against the zebra finch CB(1) cannabinoid receptor, we have studied staining patterns in groups of males at 25, 50, 75, and >100 days of age (adults). A general waxing and waning of staining intensity were observed over this developmental period. Distinct staining of song-related brain regions was also noted. Early establishment of staining patterns within rostral telencephalic song regions [area X and lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (lMAN)] suggests a role in auditory learning. Later establishment and maintenance in adulthood of small somata and neuropil staining within regions of rostral telencephalon [HVC and robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA)] are consistent with a vocal motor role for cannabinoid signaling. Our results provide insight into brain regions likely responsible for cannabinoid-altered vocal learning and add to accumulating evidence supporting an important role for cannabinoid signaling in CNS development.

  19. Susceptibility and antibody response of the laboratory model zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to West Nile Virus: Data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Lund, Melissa; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.

    2016-01-01

    The data set contains the results of experimental challenge of captive zebra finches with an American crow isolate of West Nile virus (WNV). Data include infectivity, mortality, viremia, oral shedding of virus, and serology for anti- WNV antibodies. Australian and Timor zebra finches were used in this study and both are useful as a laboratory model of an avian species with moderate susceptibility to WNV.

  20. Comparative genomic analysis of the zebra finch degradome provides new insights into evolution of proteases in birds and mammals

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The degradome -the complete repertoire of proteases in an organism- is involved in multiple key biological and pathological processes. Previous studies in several organisms have yielded sets of curated protease sequences which may be used to characterize the degradome in a novel genome by similarity. Differences between degradomes can then be related to physiological traits of the species under study. Therefore, the sequencing of the zebra finch genome allows the comparison between the degradomes of mammals and birds and may help to understand the biological peculiarities of the zebra finch. Results A set of curated protease sequences from humans and chicken was used to predict the sequences of 460 protease and protease-like genes in the zebra finch genome. This analysis revealed important differences in the evolution of mammalian and bird degradomes, including genomic expansions and deletions of caspases, cytotoxic proteases, kallikreins, matrix metalloproteases, and trypsin-like proteases. Furthermore, we found several zebra finch-specific features, such as duplications in CASP3 and BACE, and a large genomic expansion of acrosin. Conclusions We have compared the degradomes of zebra finch, chicken and several mammalian species, with the finding of multiple differences which illustrate the evolution of the protease complement of these organisms. Detailed analysis of these changes in zebra finch proteases has shown that they are mainly related to immunological, developmental, reproductive and neural functions. PMID:20359326

  1. Breeding experience, alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success in a captive colony of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Baran, Nicole M; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Birds exhibit a remarkable diversity of different reproductive strategies both between and within species. Species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) may evolve the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, as well as benefit from prior breeding experience, which allows them to adaptively respond to unpredictable environments. In birds, the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, such as extra-pair mating, has been reported to be associated with fast reproduction, high mortality and environmental variability. However, little is known about the role of previous breeding experience in the adaptive use of alternative reproductive strategies. Here we performed an in-depth study of reproductive outcomes in a population of domesticated zebra finches, testing the impact of prior breeding experience on the use of alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success. We provide evidence that older females with prior breeding experience are quicker to initiate a clutch with a new partner and have increased success in chick rearing, even in a captive colony of zebra finches with minimal foraging demands. We also find evidence that the breeding experience of other females in the same social group influences reproductive investment by female zebra finches. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the use of alternative reproductive strategies in female zebra finches is associated with previous failed breeding attempts with the same pair partner. The results provide evidence that age and breeding experience play important roles in the flexible use of both facultative and adaptive reproductive strategies in female zebra finches.

  2. Mitochondrial uncoupling as a regulator of life-history trajectories in birds: an experimental study in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Stier, Antoine; Bize, Pierre; Roussel, Damien; Schull, Quentin; Massemin, Sylvie; Criscuolo, François

    2014-10-01

    Mitochondria have a fundamental role in the transduction of energy from food into ATP. The coupling between food oxidation and ATP production is never perfect, but may nevertheless be of evolutionary significance. The 'uncoupling to survive' hypothesis suggests that 'mild' mitochondrial uncoupling evolved as a protective mechanism against the excessive production of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS). Because resource allocation and ROS production are thought to shape animal life histories, alternative life-history trajectories might be driven by individual variation in the degree of mitochondrial uncoupling. We tested this hypothesis in a small bird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), by treating adults with the artificial mitochondrial uncoupler 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) over a 32-month period. In agreement with our expectations, the uncoupling treatment increased metabolic rate. However, we found no evidence that treated birds enjoyed lower oxidative stress levels or greater survival rates, in contrast to previous results in other taxa. In vitro experiments revealed lower sensitivity of ROS production to DNP in mitochondria isolated from skeletal muscles of zebra finch than mouse. In addition, we found significant reductions in the number of eggs laid and in the inflammatory immune response in treated birds. Altogether, our data suggest that the 'uncoupling to survive' hypothesis may not be applicable for zebra finches, presumably because of lower effects of mitochondrial uncoupling on mitochondrial ROS production in birds than in mammals. Nevertheless, mitochondrial uncoupling appeared to be a potential life-history regulator of traits such as fecundity and immunity at adulthood, even with food supplied ad libitum.

  3. Early-Life Stress Triggers Juvenile Zebra Finches to Switch Social Learning Strategies.

    PubMed

    Farine, Damien R; Spencer, Karen A; Boogert, Neeltje J

    2015-08-17

    Stress during early life can cause disease and cognitive impairment in humans and non-humans alike. However, stress and other environmental factors can also program developmental pathways. We investigate whether differential exposure to developmental stress can drive divergent social learning strategies between siblings. In many species, juveniles acquire essential foraging skills by copying others: they can copy peers (horizontal social learning), learn from their parents (vertical social learning), or learn from other adults (oblique social learning). However, whether juveniles' learning strategies are condition dependent largely remains a mystery. We found that juvenile zebra finches living in flocks socially learned novel foraging skills exclusively from adults. By experimentally manipulating developmental stress, we further show that social learning targets are phenotypically plastic. While control juveniles learned foraging skills from their parents, their siblings, exposed as nestlings to experimentally elevated stress hormone levels, learned exclusively from unrelated adults. Thus, early-life conditions triggered individuals to switch strategies from vertical to oblique social learning. This switch could arise from stress-induced differences in developmental rate, cognitive and physical state, or the use of stress as an environmental cue. Acquisition of alternative social learning strategies may impact juveniles' fit to their environment and ultimately change their developmental trajectories.

  4. Spatial memory and hippocampal function in a non-foodstoring songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Bischof, Hans-Joachim; Lieshoff, Carsten; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2006-01-01

    Spatial memory and hippocampal function have as yet been investigated mainly in pigeons and food storing songbirds. We show here that the zebra finch, a songbird not specialized in food storing and caching, is also able to learn a spatial memory task and uses a spatial map for finding food in a 'dry water maze'. Hippocampal lesions prevent learning and retention of this spatial task. The immediate early gene (IEG) products Zenk and Fos are expressed within the hippocampus when the bird is learning the task. Spatial learning cannot be assigned to any hippocampal subregion; IEG expression within the hippocampus is patchy and seems almost arbitrarily located. The IEG activation pattern in spatial memory experiments is compared with those in other learning experiments with zebra finches.

  5. RNA-seq transcriptome analysis of male and female zebra finch cell lines.

    PubMed Central

    Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Lin, Ya-Chi; London, Sarah E.; Clayton, David F.

    2012-01-01

    The derivation of stably cultured cell lines has been critical to the advance of molecular biology. We profiled gene expression in the first two generally available cell lines derived from zebra finch. Using Illumina RNA-seq, we generated ~93 million reads and mapped the majority to the recently assembled zebra finch genome. Expression of most Ensembl-annotated genes was detected, but over half of the mapped reads aligned outside annotated genes. The male-derived G266 line expressed Z-linked genes at a higher level than did the female-derived ZFTMA line, indicating persistence in culture of the distinctive lack of avian sex chromosome dosage compensation. Although these cell lines were not derived from neural tissue, many neurobiologically relevant genes were expressed, although typically at lower levels than in a reference sample from auditory forebrain. These cell lines recapitulate fundamental songbird biology and will be useful for future studies of songbird gene regulation and function. PMID:22922019

  6. Noninvasive diffusive optical imaging of the auditory response to birdsong in the zebra finch

    PubMed Central

    Lee, James V.; Maclin, Edward L.; Low, Kathy A.; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica; Clayton, David F.

    2013-01-01

    Songbirds communicate by learned vocalizations with concomitant changes in neurophysiological and genomic activities in discrete parts of the brain. Here we tested a novel implementation of diffusive optical imaging (also known as diffuse optical imaging, DOI) for monitoring brain physiology associated with vocal signal perception. DOI noninvasively measures brain activity using red and near-infrared light delivered through optic fibers (optodes) resting on the scalp. DOI does not harm subjects, so it raises the possibility of repeatedly measuring brain activity and the effects of accumulated experience in the same subject over an entire life span, all while leaving tissue intact for further study. We developed a custom-made apparatus for interfacing optodes to the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) head using 3D modeling software and rapid prototyping technology, and applied it to record responses to presentations of birdsong in isoflurane-anesthetized zebra finches. We discovered a subtle but significant difference between the hemoglobin spectra of zebra finches and mammals which has a major impact in how hemodynamic responses are interpreted in the zebra finch. Our measured responses to birdsong playback were robust, highly repeatable, and readily observed in single trials. Responses were complex in shape and closely paralleled responses described in mammals. They were localized to the caudal medial portion of the brain, consistent with response localization from prior gene expression, electrophysiological, and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. These results define an approach for collecting neurophysiological data from songbirds that should be applicable to diverse species and adaptable for studies in awake behaving animals. PMID:23322445

  7. Flavoprotein autofluorescence imaging of visual system activity in zebra finches and mice.

    PubMed

    Michael, Neethu; Bischof, Hans-Joachim; Löwel, Siegrid

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale brain activity patterns can be visualized by optical imaging of intrinsic signals (OIS) based on activity-dependent changes in the blood oxygenation level. Another method, flavoprotein autofluorescence imaging (AFI), exploits the mitochondrial flavoprotein autofluorescence, which is enhanced during neuronal activity. In birds, topographic mapping of visual space has been shown in the visual wulst, the avian homologue of the mammalian visual cortex by using OIS. We here applied the AFI method to visualize topographic maps in the visual wulst because with OIS, which depends on blood flow changes, blood vessel artifacts often obscure brain activity maps. We then compared both techniques quantitatively in zebra finches and in C57Bl/6J mice using the same setup and stimulation conditions. In addition to experiments with craniotomized animals, we also examined mice with intact skull (in zebra finches, intact skull imaging is not feasible probably due to the skull construction). In craniotomized animals, retinotopic maps were obtained by both methods in both species. Using AFI, artifacts caused by blood vessels were generally reduced, the magnitude of neuronal activity significantly higher and the retinotopic map quality better than that obtained by OIS in both zebra finches and mice. In contrast, our measurements in non-craniotomized mice did not reveal any quantitative differences between the two methods. Our results thus suggest that AFI is the method of choice for investigations of visual processing in zebra finches. In mice, however, if researchers decide to use the advantages of imaging through the intact skull, they will not be able to exploit the higher signals obtainable by the AFI-method.

  8. Comparative Cytogenetics between Two Important Songbird, Models: The Zebra Finch and the Canary

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Michelly da Silva; Kretschmer, Rafael; Frankl-Vilches, Carolina; Bakker, Antje; Gahr, Manfred; O´Brien, Patricia C. M.; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A.

    2017-01-01

    Songbird species (order Passeriformes, suborder Oscines) are important models in various experimental fields spanning behavioural genomics to neurobiology. Although the genomes of some songbird species were sequenced recently, the chromosomal organization of these species is mostly unknown. Here we focused on the two most studied songbird species in neuroscience, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and the canary (Serinus canaria). In order to clarify these issues and also to integrate chromosome data with their assembled genomes, we used classical and molecular cytogenetics in both zebra finch and canary to define their chromosomal homology, localization of heterochromatic blocks and distribution of rDNA clusters. We confirmed the same diploid number (2n = 80) in both species, as previously reported. FISH experiments confirmed the occurrence of multiple paracentric and pericentric inversions previously found in other species of Passeriformes, providing a cytogenetic signature for this order, and corroborating data from in silico analyses. Additionally, compared to other Passeriformes, we detected differences in the zebra finch karyotype concerning the morphology of some chromosomes, in the distribution of 5S rDNA clusters, and an inversion in chromosome 1. PMID:28129381

  9. Comparative Cytogenetics between Two Important Songbird, Models: The Zebra Finch and the Canary.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Michelly da Silva; Kretschmer, Rafael; Frankl-Vilches, Carolina; Bakker, Antje; Gahr, Manfred; O Brien, Patricia C M; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; de Oliveira, Edivaldo H C

    2017-01-01

    Songbird species (order Passeriformes, suborder Oscines) are important models in various experimental fields spanning behavioural genomics to neurobiology. Although the genomes of some songbird species were sequenced recently, the chromosomal organization of these species is mostly unknown. Here we focused on the two most studied songbird species in neuroscience, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and the canary (Serinus canaria). In order to clarify these issues and also to integrate chromosome data with their assembled genomes, we used classical and molecular cytogenetics in both zebra finch and canary to define their chromosomal homology, localization of heterochromatic blocks and distribution of rDNA clusters. We confirmed the same diploid number (2n = 80) in both species, as previously reported. FISH experiments confirmed the occurrence of multiple paracentric and pericentric inversions previously found in other species of Passeriformes, providing a cytogenetic signature for this order, and corroborating data from in silico analyses. Additionally, compared to other Passeriformes, we detected differences in the zebra finch karyotype concerning the morphology of some chromosomes, in the distribution of 5S rDNA clusters, and an inversion in chromosome 1.

  10. Bill Redness Is Positively Associated with Reproduction and Survival in Male and Female Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Simons, Mirre J. P.; Briga, Michael; Koetsier, Egbert; Folkertsma, Remco; Wubs, Matthias D.; Dijkstra, Cor; Verhulst, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Sexual traits can serve as honest indicators of phenotypic quality when they are costly. Brightly coloured yellow to red traits, which are pigmented by carotenoids, are relatively common in birds, and feature in sexual selection. Carotenoids have been linked to immune and antioxidant function, and the trade-off between ornamentation and these physiological functions provides a potential mechanism rendering carotenoid based signals costly. Mutual ornamentation is also common in birds and can be maintained by mutual mate choice for this ornament or by a correlated response in one sex to selection on the other sex. When selection pressures differ between the sexes this can cause intralocus sexual conflict. Sexually antagonistic selection pressures have been demonstrated for few sexual traits, and for carotenoid-dependent traits there is a single example: bill redness was found to be positively associated with survival and reproductive output in male zebra finches, but negatively so in females. We retested these associations in our captive zebra finch population without two possible limitations of this earlier study. Contrary to the earlier findings, we found no evidence for sexually antagonistic selection. In both sexes, individuals with redder bills showed higher survival. This association disappeared among the females with the reddest bills. Furthermore, females with redder bills achieved higher reproductive output. We conclude that bill redness of male and female zebra finches honestly signals phenotypic quality, and discuss the possible causes of the differences between our results and earlier findings. PMID:22808243

  11. Zebra finch mates use their forebrain song system in unlearned call communication.

    PubMed

    Ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Sagunsky, Hannes; Seltmann, Susanne; Gahr, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which "stack" calls are uttered frequently. To determine unequivocally the calls produced by each member of a group, we mounted miniature wireless microphones on each zebra finch. We find that group living paired males and females communicate using bilateral stack calling. To investigate the role of the song control system in call-based male female communication, we recorded the electrical activity in a premotor nucleus of the song control system in freely behaving male birds. The unique combination of acoustic monitoring together with wireless brain recording of individual zebra finches in groups shows that the neuronal activity of the song system correlates with the production of unlearned stack calls. The results suggest that the song system evolved from a brain circuit controlling simple unlearned calls to a system capable of producing acoustically rich, learned vocalizations.

  12. Zebra Finch Mates Use Their Forebrain Song System in Unlearned Call Communication

    PubMed Central

    Ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Sagunsky, Hannes; Seltmann, Susanne; Gahr, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which “stack” calls are uttered frequently. To determine unequivocally the calls produced by each member of a group, we mounted miniature wireless microphones on each zebra finch. We find that group living paired males and females communicate using bilateral stack calling. To investigate the role of the song control system in call-based male female communication, we recorded the electrical activity in a premotor nucleus of the song control system in freely behaving male birds. The unique combination of acoustic monitoring together with wireless brain recording of individual zebra finches in groups shows that the neuronal activity of the song system correlates with the production of unlearned stack calls. The results suggest that the song system evolved from a brain circuit controlling simple unlearned calls to a system capable of producing acoustically rich, learned vocalizations. PMID:25313846

  13. Acoustic pattern variations in the female-directed birdsongs of a colony of laboratory-bred zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Helekar; Marsh; Viswanath; Rosenfield

    2000-04-03

    The acoustic profile of the zebra finch song is characterized by a series of identical repeating units, each comprising a distinctive sequence of acoustic elements, called syllables. Here, we perform an analysis of song pattern deviations caused by variabilities in the production of song syllables. Zebra finches produce four different kinds of syllable variabilities-syllable deletions, single or double syllable insertions, syllable alterations, and syllable repetitions. All these variabilities, with the exception of repetitions, are present in songs of more than two-thirds of the normal adult birds; repetitions are present in less than one-fifth of birds. The frequency of occurrence of these variabilities is independent of the amount of singing, suggesting that they are unlikely to result simply from singing-induced physiological changes such as fatigue. Their frequencies in tutor-deprived birds are not significantly different from those in normal birds, indicating that they are unlikely to be acquired due to deficiencies in tutor-dependent learning. The types, patterns of occurrence and relative frequencies of these song syllable variabilities might reveal insights into the functioning of the song motor control pathway.

  14. HTR2 Receptors in a Songbird Premotor Cortical-Like Area Modulate Spectral Characteristics of Zebra Finch Song

    PubMed Central

    Wood, William E.; Roseberry, Thomas K.; Perkel, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] is involved in modulating an array of complex behaviors including learning, depression, and circadian rhythms. Additionally, HTR2 receptors on layer V pyramidal neurons are thought to mediate the actions of psychedelic drugs; the native function of these receptors at this site, however, remains unknown. Previously, we found that activation of HTR2 receptors in the zebra finch forebrain song premotor structure the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) led to increased excitation, and that endogenous 5-HT could roughly double spontaneous firing rate. Here, using in vivo single-unit recordings, we found that direct application of 5-HT to these same RA projection neurons, which are analogous to layer V cortical pyramidal neurons, caused a significant increase in the number of action potentials per song-related burst, and a dramatic decrease in signal-to-noise ratio. Injection of the serotonergic neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine into the third ventricle greatly reduced telencephalic 5-HT and resulted in decreased fundamental frequency of harmonic syllables as well as increased goodness of pitch. Both of these results can be explained by the observed actions of 5-HT on RA projection neurons, and both effects recovered to baseline within 2 weeks following the toxin injection. These results show that 5-HT is involved in modulating spectral properties of song, likely via effects on RA projection neurons, but that adult zebra finches can partially compensate for this deficit within 7 d. PMID:23407949

  15. Subdivisions of the Auditory Midbrain (N. Mesencephalicus Lateralis, pars dorsalis) in Zebra Finches Using Calcium-Binding Protein Immunocytochemistry

    PubMed Central

    Logerot, Priscilla; Krützfeldt, Nils O. E.; Wild, J. Martin; Kubke, M. Fabiana

    2011-01-01

    The midbrain nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis pars dorsalis (MLd) is thought to be the avian homologue of the central nucleus of the mammalian inferior colliculus. As such, it is a major relay in the ascending auditory pathway of all birds and in songbirds mediates the auditory feedback necessary for the learning and maintenance of song. To clarify the organization of MLd, we applied three calcium binding protein antibodies to tissue sections from the brains of adult male and female zebra finches. The staining patterns resulting from the application of parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin antibodies differed from each other and in different parts of the nucleus. Parvalbumin-like immunoreactivity was distributed throughout the whole nucleus, as defined by the totality of the terminations of brainstem auditory afferents; in other words parvalbumin-like immunoreactivity defines the boundaries of MLd. Staining patterns of parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin defined two regions of MLd: inner (MLd.I) and outer (MLd.O). MLd.O largely surrounds MLd.I and is distinct from the surrounding intercollicular nucleus. Unlike the case in some non-songbirds, however, the two MLd regions do not correspond to the terminal zones of the projections of the brainstem auditory nuclei angularis and laminaris, which have been found to overlap substantially throughout the nucleus in zebra finches. PMID:21701681

  16. Growth and atrophy of neurons labeled at their birth in a song nucleus of the zebra finch

    SciTech Connect

    Konishi, M.; Akutagawa, E. )

    1990-05-01

    The robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) is one of the forebrain nuclei that control song production in birds. In the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), this nucleus contains more and larger neurons in the male than in the female. A single injection of tritiated thymidine into the egg on the 6th or 7th day of incubation resulted in labeling of many RA neurons with tritium. The size of tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them did not differ between the sexes at 15 days after hatching. In the adult brain, tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them were much larger in the male than in the female. Also, tritium-labeled RA neurons were large in females which received an implant of estrogen immediately after hatching. The gender differences in the neuron size and nuclear volume of the zebra finch RA are, therefore, due not to the replacement of old neurons by new ones during development but to the growth and atrophy of neurons born before hatching. Similarly, the masculinizing effects of estrogen on the female RA are due not to neuronal replacement but to the prevention of atrophy and promotion of growth in preexisting neurons.

  17. Temporary inactivation of NCM, an auditory region, increases social interaction and decreases song perception in female zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Tomaszycki, Michelle L; Blaine, Sara K

    2014-10-01

    The caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) is an important site for the storage of auditory memories, particularly song, in passerines. In zebra finches, males sing and females do not, but females use song to choose mates. The extent to which the NCM is necessary for female mate choice is not well understood. To investigate the role of NCM in partner preferences, adult female zebra finches were bilaterally implanted with chronic cannulae directed at the NCM. Lidocaine, a sodium channel blocker, or saline (control) was infused into the NCM of females using a repeated measures design. Females were then tested in 3 separate paradigms: song preference, sexual partner preference, and pairing behavior/partner preference. We hypothesized that lidocaine would increase interactions with males by decreasing song discrimination and that this would be further evident in the song discrimination task. Indeed, females, when treated with lidocaine, had no preference for males singing unaltered song over males singing distorted song. These same females, when treated with saline, demonstrated a significant preference for males singing normal song. Furthermore, females affiliated with males more after receiving lidocaine than after receiving saline in the pairing paradigm, although neither treatment led to the formation of a partner preference. Our results support the hypothesis that NCM plays an important role not only in song discrimination, but also affiliation with a male.

  18. Discovery of a novel functional leptin protein (LEP) in zebra finches: evidence for the existence of an authentic avian leptin gene predominantly expressed in the brain and pituitary.

    PubMed

    Huang, Guian; Li, Juan; Wang, Hongning; Lan, Xinyu; Wang, Yajun

    2014-09-01

    Leptin (LEP) is reported to play important roles in controlling energy balance in vertebrates, including birds. However, it remains an open question whether an authentic "LEP gene" exists and functions in birds. Here, we identified and characterized a LEP gene (zebra finch LEP [zbLEP]) encoding a 172-amino acid precursor in zebra finches. Despite zbLEP showing limited amino acid sequence identity (26%-29%) to human and mouse LEPs, synteny analysis proved that zbLEP is orthologous to mammalian LEP. Using a pAH32 luciferase reporter system and Western blot analysis, we demonstrated that the recombinant zbLEP protein could potently activate finch and chicken LEP receptors (zbLEPR; cLEPR) expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells and enhance signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 phosphorylation, further indicating that zbLEP is a functional ligand for avian LEPRs. Interestingly, quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that zbLEP mRNA is expressed nearly exclusively in the pituitary and various brain regions but undetectable in adipose tissue and liver, whereas zbLEPR mRNA is widely expressed in adult finch tissues examined with abundant expression noted in pituitary, implying that unlike mammalian LEP, finch LEP may not act as an adipocyte-derived signal to control energy balance. As in finches, a LEP highly homologous to zbLEP was also identified in budgerigar genome. Strikingly, finch and budgerigar LEPs show little homology with chicken LEP (cLEP) previously reported, suggesting that the so-called cLEP is incorrect. Collectively, our data provide convincing evidence for the existence of an authentic functional LEP in avian species and suggest an important role of brain- and pituitary-derived LEP played in vertebrates.

  19. Assessment of neuroanatomical and behavioural effects of in ovo methylmercury exposure in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Yu, Maria S; Eng, Margaret L; Williams, Tony D; Guigueno, Mélanie F; Elliott, John E

    2017-01-07

    Methylmercury (MeHg) readily crosses the blood brain barrier and is a known neuro-toxicant. MeHg accumulation in the brain causes histopathological alterations, neurobehavioral changes, and impairments to cognitive motor functions in mammalian models. However, in birds the neurotoxic effects of MeHg on the developing pre-hatching brain and consequent behavioral alterations in adult birds have not received much attention. Moreover, passerine birds are poorly represented in MeHg neurotoxicology studies in comparison to other avian orders. Hence in this study, we used the egg injection method to investigate the long term effects of in ovo MeHg exposure on brain histopathology and courtship behavior in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Egg treatment groups included: a low MeHg dose of 0.2μg Hg g(-1) egg, a high MeHg dose of 3.2μg Hg g(-1) egg, and a vehicle control (water). No adverse effects of in ovo MeHg treatment were detected on courtship song quality or on mating behavior in experimental males at sexually maturity which would suggest that observable neurobehavioral effects of MeHg exposure may depend on the timing of exposure during offspring development. However, neuroanatomical analysis indicated an increase in telencephalon volume with increased MeHg concentrations which may suggest a prolonged inflammatory response in this region of the brain.

  20. Maternal antibody transfer can lead to suppression of humoral immunity in developing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    Maternally transferred antibodies have been documented in a wide range of taxa and are thought to adaptively provide protection against parasites and pathogens while the offspring immune system is developing. In most birds, transfer occurs when females deposit immunoglobulin Y into the egg yolk, and it is proportional to the amount in the female's plasma. Maternal antibodies can provide short-term passive protection as well as specific and nonspecific immunological priming, but high levels of maternal antibody can result in suppression of the offspring's humoral immune response. We injected adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with one of two antigens (lipopolysaccharide [LPS] or keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH]) or a control and then injected offspring with LPS, KLH, or a control on days 5 and 28 posthatch to examine the impact of maternally transferred antibodies on the ontogeny of the offspring's humoral immune system. We found that offspring of females exposed to KLH had elevated levels of KLH-reactive antibody over the first 17-28 days posthatch but reduced KLH-specific antibody production between days 28 and 36. We also found that offspring exposed to either LPS or KLH exhibited reduced total antibody levels, compared to offspring that received a control injection. These results indicate that high levels of maternal antibodies or antigen exposure during development can have negative repercussions on short-term antibody production and may have long-term fitness repercussions for the offspring.

  1. Using Digital Images of the Zebra Finch Song System as a Tool to Teach Organizational Effects of Steroid Hormones: A Free Downloadable Module

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grisham, William; Schottler, Natalie A.; Beck McCauley, Lisa M.; Pham, Anh P.; Ruiz, Maureen L.; Fong, Michelle C.; Cui, Xinran

    2011-01-01

    Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the…

  2. Noradrenergic neurotoxin, N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP-4), treatment eliminates estrogenic effects on song responsiveness in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Vyas, Akshat; Harding, Cheryl; McGowan, Joseph; Snare, Randall; Bogdan, Diane

    2008-10-01

    Female songbirds use male songs as an important criterion for mate selection. Several studies have reported that female songbirds prefer complex songs to other song types. In a recent study, the authors found that song responsiveness in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) is strongly modulated by circulating estrogen levels. The behavioral effects of estrogen are often mediated via norepinephrine (NE). The current study administered the noradrenergic neurotoxin, N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP-4) to estradiol-treated female zebra finches to investigate if estrogenic effects on song responsiveness are mediated via NE. The authors tested song responsiveness of adult female zebra finches for three acoustically different song types--simple, long-bout, and complex--under three treatment conditions, untreated, estradiol-treated, and estradiol + DSP-4-treated. Females only showed differential song responsiveness when treated with estradiol alone, responding more to complex songs. DSP-4 treatment eliminated this differential responsiveness. The results are discussed in the light of evidence from functional, neurochemical, and neuroanatomical studies that suggest that estrogenic effects on song processing might be mediated by NE.

  3. Adult neuron addition to the zebra finch song motor pathway correlates with the rate and extent of recovery from botox-induced paralysis of the vocal muscles.

    PubMed

    Pytte, Carolyn; Yu, Yi-Lo; Wildstein, Sara; George, Shanu; Kirn, John R

    2011-11-23

    In adult songbirds, neurons are continually incorporated into the telencephalic nucleus HVC (used as a proper name), a premotor region necessary for the production of learned vocalizations. Previous studies have demonstrated that neuron addition to HVC is highest when song is most variable: in juveniles during song learning, in seasonally singing adults during peaks in plasticity that precede the production of new song components, or during seasonal reestablishment of a previously learned song. These findings suggest that neuron addition provides motor flexibility for the transition from a variable song to a target song. Here we test the association between the quality of song structure and HVC neuron addition by experimentally manipulating syringeal muscle control with Botox, which produces a transient partial paralysis. We show that the quality of song structure covaries with new neuron addition to HVC. Both the magnitude of song distortion and the rate of song recovery after syringeal Botox injections were correlated with the number of new neurons incorporated into HVC. We suggest that the quality of song structure is either a cause or consequence of the number of new neurons added to HVC. Birds with naturally high rates of neuron addition may have had the greatest success in recovering song. Alternatively, or in addition, new neuron survival in the song motor pathway may be regulated by the quality of song-generated feedback as song regains its original stereotyped structure. Present results are the first to show a relationship between peripheral muscle control and adult neuron addition to cortical premotor circuits.

  4. Noradrenergic and GABAB Receptor Activation Differentially Modulate Inputs to the Premotor Nucleus RA in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Sizemore, Max; Perkel, David J.

    2008-01-01

    Neuromodulators can rapidly modify neural circuits, altering behavior. Songbirds provide an excellent system for studying the role of neuromodulation in modifying circuits that underlie behavior because song learning and production are mediated by a discrete set of interconnected nuclei. We examined the neuromodulatory effects of noradrenergic and GABAB receptor activation on synaptic inputs to the premotor robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) in zebra finches using whole cell voltage-clamp recording in vitro. In adults, norepinephrine strongly reduced input from the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN) but only slightly reduced the input from nucleus HVC (proper name), the excitatory input from axon collaterals of other RA neurons, and input from GABAergic interneurons. The effect of norepinephrine was mimicked by the α2 adrenoceptor agonist UK14,304 and blocked by the α2 antagonist yohimbine. Conversely, the GABAB receptor agonist baclofen strongly decreased HVC, collateral, and GABAergic inputs to RA neurons while causing little reduction in the LMAN input. In juveniles undergoing song learning, norepinephrine reduced the LMAN input, caused only a small reduction in the HVC input, and greatly reduced the collateral and GABAergic inputs. Baclofen caused similar results in juvenile and adult birds, reducing HVC, collateral, and GABAergic inputs significantly more than the LMAN input. Significant increases in paired-pulse ratio accompanied all reductions in synaptic transmission, suggesting a presynaptic locus. The reduction in the LMAN input by norepinephrine may be important for mediating changes in song elicited by different social contexts and is well-placed to play a role in song learning. PMID:18463188

  5. Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Alexandra M; Perez, Emilie C; Mulard, Hervé; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2016-02-01

    Social stimuli can have rewarding properties and promote learning. In birds, conspecific vocalizations like song can act as a reinforcer, and specific song variants can acquire particular rewarding values during early life exposure. Here we ask if, during adulthood, an acoustic signal simpler and shorter than song can become a reward for a female songbird because of its particular social value. Using an operant choice apparatus, we showed that female zebra finches display a preferential response toward their mate's calls. This reinforcing value of mate's calls could be involved in the maintenance of the monogamous pair-bond of the zebra finch.

  6. Red Carotenoid Coloration in the Zebra Finch Is Controlled by a Cytochrome P450 Gene Cluster.

    PubMed

    Mundy, Nicholas I; Stapley, Jessica; Bennison, Clair; Tucker, Rachel; Twyman, Hanlu; Kim, Kang-Wook; Burke, Terry; Birkhead, Tim R; Andersson, Staffan; Slate, Jon

    2016-06-06

    Bright-red colors in vertebrates are commonly involved in sexual, social, and interspecific signaling [1-8] and are largely produced by ketocarotenoid pigments. In land birds, ketocarotenoids such as astaxanthin are usually metabolically derived via ketolation of dietary yellow carotenoids [9, 10]. However, the molecular basis of this gene-environment mechanism has remained obscure. Here we use the yellowbeak mutation in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to investigate the genetic basis of red coloration. Wild-type ketocarotenoids were absent in the beak and tarsus of yellowbeak birds. The yellowbeak mutation mapped to chromosome 8, close to a cluster of cytochrome P450 loci (CYP2J2-like) that are candidates for carotenoid ketolases. The wild-type zebra finch genome was found to have three intact genes in this cluster: CYP2J19A, CYP2J19B, and CYP2J40. In yellowbeak, there are multiple mutations: loss of a complete CYP2J19 gene, a modified remaining CYP2J19 gene (CYP2J19(yb)), and a non-synonymous SNP in CYP2J40. In wild-type birds, CYP2J19 loci are expressed in ketocarotenoid-containing tissues: CYP2J19A only in the retina and CYP2J19B in the beak and tarsus and to a variable extent in the retina. In contrast, expression of CYP2J19(yb) is barely detectable in the beak of yellowbeak birds. CYP2J40 has broad tissue expression and shows no differences between wild-type and yellowbeak. Our results indicate that CYP2J19 genes are strong candidates for the carotenoid ketolase and imply that ketolation occurs in the integument in zebra finches. Since cytochrome P450 enzymes include key detoxification enzymes, our results raise the intriguing possibility that red coloration may be an honest signal of detoxification ability.

  7. Zebra finches have a light-dependent magnetic compass similar to migratory birds.

    PubMed

    Pinzon-Rodriguez, Atticus; Muheim, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    Birds have a light-dependent magnetic compass that provides information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina and mediated by a light-induced, radical-pair mechanism involving cryptochromes as sensory receptor molecules. To investigate how the behavioural responses of birds under different light spectra match with cryptochromes as the primary magnetoreceptor, we examined the spectral properties of the magnetic compass in zebra finches. We trained birds to relocate a food reward in a spatial orientation task using magnetic compass cues. The birds were well oriented along the trained magnetic compass axis when trained and tested under low-irradiance 521 nm green light. In the presence of a 1.4 MHz radio-frequency electromagnetic (RF)-field, the birds were disoriented, which supports the involvement of radical-pair reactions in the primary magnetoreception process. Birds trained and tested under 638 nm red light showed a weak tendency to orient ∼45 deg clockwise of the trained magnetic direction. Under low-irradiance 460 nm blue light, they tended to orient along the trained magnetic compass axis, but were disoriented under higher irradiance light. Zebra finches trained and tested under high-irradiance 430 nm indigo light were well oriented along the trained magnetic compass axis, but disoriented in the presence of a RF-field. We conclude that magnetic compass responses of zebra finches are similar to those observed in nocturnally migrating birds and agree with cryptochromes as the primary magnetoreceptor, suggesting that light-dependent, radical-pair-mediated magnetoreception is a common property for all birds, including non-migratory species.

  8. Effects of monocular deprivation in the nucleus rotundus of zebra finches: a Nissl and deoxyglucose study.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, K; Bischof, H J

    1986-01-01

    We evaluated in zebra finches the effects of monocular deprivation on morphological and physiological features of the nucleus rotundus, the thalamic relay station of the tectofugal pathway. In a first series of experiments neuron size and total volume were estimated in animals deprived for 20, 40 and at least 100 days and compared to values obtained from normally reared birds. Monocular closure for more than 40 days causes a marked hypertrophy in cells receiving their main input from the open eye, whereas the deprived cells are normal in size. However, with only 20 days of monocular deprivation both deprived and non-deprived rotundal neurons are larger than normal. This indicates that monocular closure has a biphasic effect: firstly, an unselective hypertrophy of deprived and non-deprived neurons, and secondly, a subsequent period of shrinkage of the deprived cells to normal values, while cells driven by the open eye remain hypertrophied. The total volume of the deprived n. rotundus turns out to be smaller in all age groups. In a second series of experiments the activity of the n. rotundus of animals monocularly deprived from birth for 100 days was investigated with the 2-deoxyglucose-method (Sokoloff et al. 1977). With binocular stimulation the activity of the deprived n. rotundus was reduced by about 40%. Depriving adult animals for 100 days does not result in asymmetric labeling of the n. rotundus. We interpretate the 2-DG data as evidence for the existence of a sensitive period for the effects of monocular deprivation. The anatomical data suggest, however, that the effects of monocular deprivation in birds are different from those observed in mammals.

  9. Budgerigars and zebra finches differ in how they generalize in an artificial grammar learning experiment

    PubMed Central

    Spierings, Michelle J.; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    The ability to abstract a regularity that underlies strings of sounds is a core mechanism of the language faculty but might not be specific to language learning or even to humans. It is unclear whether and to what extent nonhuman animals possess the ability to abstract regularities defining the relation among arbitrary auditory items in a string and to generalize this abstraction to strings of acoustically novel items. In this study we tested these abilities in a songbird (zebra finch) and a parrot species (budgerigar). Subjects were trained in a go/no-go design to discriminate between two sets of sound strings arranged in an XYX or an XXY structure. After this discrimination was acquired, each subject was tested with test strings that were structurally identical to the training strings but consisted of either new combinations of known elements or of novel elements belonging to other element categories. Both species learned to discriminate between the two stimulus sets. However, their responses to the test strings were strikingly different. Zebra finches categorized test stimuli with previously heard elements by the ordinal position that these elements occupied in the training strings, independent of string structure. In contrast, the budgerigars categorized both novel combinations of familiar elements as well as strings consisting of novel element types by their underlying structure. They thus abstracted the relation among items in the XYX and XXY structures, an ability similar to that shown by human infants and indicating a level of abstraction comparable to analogical reasoning. PMID:27325756

  10. Zebra finches can use positional and transitional cues to distinguish vocal element strings.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiani; Ten Cate, Carel

    2015-08-01

    Learning sequences is of great importance to humans and non-human animals. Many motor and mental actions, such as singing in birds and speech processing in humans, rely on sequential learning. At least two mechanisms are considered to be involved in such learning. The chaining theory proposes that learning of sequences relies on memorizing the transitions between adjacent items, while the positional theory suggests that learners encode the items according to their ordinal position in the sequence. Positional learning is assumed to dominate sequential learning. However, human infants exposed to a string of speech sounds can learn transitional (chaining) cues. So far, it is not clear whether birds, an increasingly important model for examining vocal processing, can do this. In this study we use a Go-Nogo design to examine whether zebra finches can use transitional cues to distinguish artificially constructed strings of song elements. Zebra finches were trained with sequences differing in transitional and positional information and next tested with novel strings sharing positional and transitional similarities with the training strings. The results show that they can attend to both transitional and positional cues and that their sequential coding strategies can be biased toward transitional cues depending on the learning context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan.

  11. Sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system parallels genetic, not gonadal, sex.

    PubMed

    Wade, J; Swender, D A; McElhinny, T L

    1999-10-01

    Mechanisms regulating sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system present an intriguing puzzle. Masculine development of brain regions and behavior can be induced in genetic females by posthatching estradiol treatment. That result is consistent with the hypothesis that estradiol, converted within the brain from testicular androgen via the aromatase enzyme, masculinizes neural structure and function. In contrast, treatment during specific stages of development with the aromatase inhibitor Fadrozole has not prevented masculine development, and the presence of testicular tissue in genetic females did not induce masculine organization of neuroanatomy or singing behavior. Fadrozole treatments in those previous studies were limited, however, and most genetic females had both ovarian and testicular tissue. The present experiments were designed to provide increased aromatase inhibition and to reliably produce genetic females with only testicular tissue. Eggs received a single injection at a later age or with higher doses of Fadrozole than had been used previously. Some embryos were exposed to Fadrozole more frequently by either injecting eggs on 2 days of development or dipping them for 10-12 days in Fadrozole. Finally, in some individuals from Fadrozole-treated eggs, the left gonad was removed, leaving each genetic male and female with a single right testis. None of these treatments significantly affected development of the song system compared to appropriate control groups. These results suggest that sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system is not regulated by embryonic aromatase activity or by gonadal secretions and instead involves events that need not be mediated by steroid hormones.

  12. Digital atlas of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain: a high-resolution photo atlas.

    PubMed

    Karten, Harvey J; Brzozowska-Prechtl, Agnieszka; Lovell, Peter V; Tang, Daniel D; Mello, Claudio V; Wang, Haibin; Mitra, Partha P

    2013-11-01

    We describe a set of new comprehensive, high-quality, high-resolution digital images of histological sections from the brain of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and make them publicly available through an interactive website (http://zebrafinch.brainarchitecture.org/). These images provide a basis for the production of a dimensionally accurate and detailed digital nonstereotaxic atlas. Nissl- and myelin-stained brain sections are provided in the transverse, sagittal, and horizontal planes, with the transverse plane approximating the more traditional Frankfurt plane. In addition, a separate set of brain sections in this same plane is stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, revealing the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons (dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and adrenergic) in the songbird brain. For a subset of sagittal sections we also prepared a corresponding set of drawings, defining and annotating various nuclei, fields, and fiber tracts that are visible under Nissl and myelin staining. This atlas of the zebra finch brain is expected to become an important tool for birdsong research and comparative studies of brain organization and evolution.

  13. The roles of vocal and visual interactions in social learning zebra finches: A video playback experiment.

    PubMed

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D

    2016-12-30

    The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator.

  14. Handling stress does not reflect personality in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    David, Morgan; Auclair, Yannick; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Cézilly, Frank

    2012-02-01

    Although increasing attention is given to both the causes and consequences of variation in animal personality, the measurement of personality in captive or free-ranging individuals remains an issue. In particular, one important question concerns whether personality should be established from the existence of complex behavioral syndromes (a suite of correlated behavioral traits) or could be more easily deduced from a single variable. In that context, it has recently been suggested that handling stress, measured through breathing rate during handling, could be a good descriptor of personality, at least in passerine birds. The authors experimentally investigated to what extent handling stress was correlated with personality in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), as assessed from a suite of repeatable behavioral traits, including activity, exploratory behavior, neophobia, and reaction to startle. Although breathing rate was repeatable across individuals, it was not related to any behavioral trait, suggesting that it cannot be used to quickly predict personality, at least in zebra finches. Breathing rate during handling, in addition, was related to morphology, questioning the fact that breathing rate during handling reflects personality irrespective of individual state. The authors suggest that inference on global personality from a reduced number of traits should be performed with caution.

  15. Budgerigars and zebra finches differ in how they generalize in an artificial grammar learning experiment.

    PubMed

    Spierings, Michelle J; Ten Cate, Carel

    2016-07-05

    The ability to abstract a regularity that underlies strings of sounds is a core mechanism of the language faculty but might not be specific to language learning or even to humans. It is unclear whether and to what extent nonhuman animals possess the ability to abstract regularities defining the relation among arbitrary auditory items in a string and to generalize this abstraction to strings of acoustically novel items. In this study we tested these abilities in a songbird (zebra finch) and a parrot species (budgerigar). Subjects were trained in a go/no-go design to discriminate between two sets of sound strings arranged in an XYX or an XXY structure. After this discrimination was acquired, each subject was tested with test strings that were structurally identical to the training strings but consisted of either new combinations of known elements or of novel elements belonging to other element categories. Both species learned to discriminate between the two stimulus sets. However, their responses to the test strings were strikingly different. Zebra finches categorized test stimuli with previously heard elements by the ordinal position that these elements occupied in the training strings, independent of string structure. In contrast, the budgerigars categorized both novel combinations of familiar elements as well as strings consisting of novel element types by their underlying structure. They thus abstracted the relation among items in the XYX and XXY structures, an ability similar to that shown by human infants and indicating a level of abstraction comparable to analogical reasoning.

  16. Female but not male zebra finches adjust heat output in response to increased incubation demand.

    PubMed

    Hill, Davina L; Lindström, Jan; McCafferty, Dominic J; Nager, Ruedi G

    2014-04-15

    In many incubating birds, heat transfer from parent to egg is facilitated by the brood patch, an area of ventral abdominal skin that becomes highly vascularised, swells and loses its down feathers around the time of laying. Only the female develops a brood patch in most passerine species, but males of some species can incubate and maintain the eggs at similar temperatures to females even without a brood patch. Here we used a novel application of infrared thermography to examine sex differences in parental care from a physiological perspective. Using incubating male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a species in which the male lacks a brood patch, we measured the surface temperature of the ventral plumage overlying the abdomen and a reference area that does not contact the eggs (thorax) twice per pair. In half of the pairs, clutch size was experimentally enlarged between the two sets of measurements to increase incubation demand. We found that the temperature differential between abdomen and thorax plumage was greater in females than in males, and that abdomen plumage was warmer after clutch enlargement than before in females but not in males. These findings are consistent with morphological sex differences in brood patch development and suggest that male and female zebra finches differ in the way they regulate abdomen versus general body surface temperature in response to variation in incubation demand.

  17. Nucleotide Variation, Linkage Disequilibrium and Founder-Facilitated Speciation in Wild Populations of the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Edwards, Scott V.

    2009-01-01

    The zebra finch has long been an important model system for the study of vocal learning, vocal production, and behavior. With the imminent sequencing of its genome, the zebra finch is now poised to become a model system for population genetics. Using a panel of 30 noncoding loci, we characterized patterns of polymorphism and divergence among wild zebra finch populations. Continental Australian populations displayed little population structure, exceptionally high levels of nucleotide diversity (π = 0.010), a rapid decay of linkage disequilibrium (LD), and a high population recombination rate (ρ ≈ 0.05), all of which suggest an open and fluid genomic background that could facilitate adaptive variation. By contrast, substantial divergence between the Australian and Lesser Sunda Island populations (KST = 0.193), reduced genetic diversity (π = 0.002), and higher levels of LD in the island population suggest a strong but relatively recent founder event, which may have contributed to speciation between these populations as envisioned under founder-effect speciation models. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that under a simple quantitative genetic model both drift and selection could have contributed to the observed divergence in six quantitative traits. In both Australian and Lesser Sundas populations, diversity in Z-linked loci was significantly lower than in autosomal loci. Our analysis provides a quantitative framework for studying the role of selection and drift in shaping patterns of molecular evolution in the zebra finch genome. PMID:19047416

  18. Colour vision and background adaptation in a passerine bird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Today, there is good knowledge of the physiological basis of bird colour vision and how mathematical models can be used to predict visual thresholds. However, we still know only little about how colour vision changes between different viewing conditions. This limits the understanding of how colour signalling is configured in habitats where the light of the illumination and the background may shift dramatically. I examined how colour discrimination in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is affected by adaptation to different backgrounds. I trained finches in a two-alternative choice task, to choose between red discs displayed on backgrounds with different colours. I found that discrimination thresholds correlate with stimulus contrast to the background. Thresholds are low, and in agreement with model predictions, for a background with a red colour similar to the discs. For the most contrasting green background, thresholds are about five times higher than this. Subsequently, I trained the finches for the detection of single discs on a grey background. Detection thresholds are about 2.5 to 3 times higher than discrimination thresholds. This study demonstrates close similarities in human and bird colour vision, and the quantitative data offer a new possibility to account for shifting viewing conditions in colour vision models. PMID:27703702

  19. Post-hatch oral estrogen in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): is infertility due to disrupted testes morphology or reduced copulatory behavior?

    PubMed

    Rochester, Johanna R; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Millam, James R

    2010-08-04

    Previous studies show that post-hatch oral exposure of zebra finches to estradiol benzoate compromises male fertility, but the basis of the infertility is not clear. In this study, zebra finch nestlings were orally dosed with estradiol benzoate (at 1, 10, or 100 nmol/g BW per day, post-hatch days 5 to 11 [EB1, EB10, and EB100, respectively]). EB10 and EB100 males exhibited no significant differences in the frequency of mounting behavior (compared to canola oil [vehicle]-treated controls), when observed for six weeks as adults in communal breeding cages with similarly treated females; EB1 males showed reduced mounting behavior compared to controls (p<0.05). EB- and control-treated adult pairs were subsequently co-housed in a communal breeding trial to determine the extent of parentage outside the established pair-bond. Microsatellite analysis was consistent with EB-treated males having lower success than controls in obtaining paternity outside the established pair-bond. Histological examination of testes revealed dose-related disruption of normal morphology: disrupted basal-to-lumen laminarity of spermatogenesis stages, increased vacuolization within seminiferous tubules, decreased sperm aggregation and decreased spermatid density. Additionally, EB100 and control males were housed individually, implanted with testosterone propionate (TP) and presented with a female 3, 5, 9, and 11 days post-implantation for assessment of male sexual behavior. EB-treated, TP-implanted birds showed a slight decrease in mounting and singing behavior on day 5 after implantation; other male courtship behaviors (display, solicitation) were unaffected. Taken together, these results suggest that infertility in male zebra finches resulting from early oral estrogen exposure is more likely due to disrupted testicular morphology than altered sexual behavior.

  20. “Bird Song Metronomics”: Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm

    PubMed Central

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a “signal-derived pulse,” or pulseS, of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulseS significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulseP), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulsesS that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulseS periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel to the

  1. Muscle activation patterns and motor anatomy of Anna's hummingbirds Calypte anna and zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Edward R; Keeney, Brooke K; Kung, Eric; Makan, Sirish; Wild, J Martin; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2013-01-01

    Flying animals exhibit profound transformations in anatomy, physiology, and neural architecture. Although much is known about adaptations in the avian skeleton and musculature, less is known about neuroanatomy and motor unit integration for bird flight. Hummingbirds are among the most maneuverable and specialized of vertebrate fliers, and two unusual neuromuscular features have been previously reported: (1) the pectoralis major has a unique distribution pattern of motor end plates (MEPs) compared with all other birds and (2) electromyograms (EMGs) from the hummingbird's pectoral muscles, the pectoralis major and the supracoracoideus, show activation bursts composed of one or a few spikes that appear to have a very consistent pattern. Here, we place these findings in a broader context by comparing the MEPs, EMGs, and organization of the spinal motor neuron pools of flight muscles of Anna's hummingbird Calypte anna, zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, and, for MEPs, several other species. The previously shown MEP pattern of the hummingbird pectoralis major is not shared with its closest taxonomic relative, the swift, and appears to be unique to hummingbirds. MEP arrangements in previously undocumented wing muscles show patterns that differ somewhat from other avian muscles. In the parallel-fibered strap muscles of the shoulder, MEP patterns appear to relate to muscle length, with the smallest muscles having fibers that span the entire muscle. MEP patterns in pennate distal wing muscles were the same regardless of size, with tightly clustered bands in the middle portion of the muscle, not evenly distributed bands over the muscle's entire length. Muscle activations were examined during slow forward flight in both species, during hovering in hummingbirds, and during slow ascents in zebra finches. The EMG bursts of a wing muscle, the pronator superficialis, were highly variable in peak number, size, and distribution across wingbeats for both species. In the pectoralis

  2. Zebra finches exhibit speaker-independent phonetic perception of human speech

    PubMed Central

    Ohms, Verena R.; Gill, Arike; Van Heijningen, Caroline A. A.; Beckers, Gabriel J. L.; ten Cate, Carel

    2010-01-01

    Humans readily distinguish spoken words that closely resemble each other in acoustic structure, irrespective of audible differences between individual voices or sex of the speakers. There is an ongoing debate about whether the ability to form phonetic categories that underlie such distinctions indicates the presence of uniquely evolved, speech-linked perceptual abilities, or is based on more general ones shared with other species. We demonstrate that zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) can discriminate and categorize monosyllabic words that differ in their vowel and transfer this categorization to the same words spoken by novel speakers independent of the sex of the voices. Our analysis indicates that the birds, like humans, use intrinsic and extrinsic speaker normalization to make the categorization. This finding shows that there is no need to invoke special mechanisms, evolved together with language, to explain this feature of speech perception. PMID:19955157

  3. Decoupling morphological development from growth in periodically cooled zebra finch embryos.

    PubMed

    Olson, Christopher R; Vleck, Carol M; Adams, Dean C

    2008-07-01

    Temperature affects growth and development, and morphometry can provide a quantitative description of how temperature changes affect the resulting phenotype. We performed a morphometric analysis on zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) embryos that were either exposed to periodic cooling to 20 or 30 degrees C throughout incubation over a background temperature of 37.5 degrees C, or were incubated at a constant temperature of 37.5 degrees C. Using a principle components analysis, we found that the relationship between the multivariate size (first principle component) and dry embryo mass depended upon the thermal treatment to which the developing embryos were exposed. Periodic cooling resulted in a smaller embryo mass, but had no effect on the multivariate size of the embryo. This suggests that the growth of phenotypic traits such as the length of long bones and the skull are less affected by temperature than is growth of other soft tissues such as muscle and organs that contribute to body mass.

  4. A reliable and flexible gene manipulation strategy in posthatch zebra finch brain

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadiantehrani, Somayeh; London, Sarah E.

    2017-01-01

    Songbird models meaningfully contribute to many fields including learned vocal communication, the neurobiology of social interactions, brain development, and ecology. The value of investigating gene-brain-behavior relationships in songbirds is therefore high. Viral infections typically used in other lab animals to deliver gene editing constructs have been less effective in songbirds, likely due to immune system properties. We therefore leveraged the in vivo electroporation strategy used in utero in rodents and in ovo in poultry, and apply it to posthatch zebra finch songbird chicks. We present a series of experiments with a combination of promoters, fluorescent protein genes, and piggyBac transposase vectors to demonstrate that this can be a reliable, efficient, and flexible strategy for genome manipulation. We discuss options for gene delivery experiments to test circuit and behavioral hypotheses using a variety of manipulations, including gene overexpression, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, inducible technologies, optogenetic or DREADD cellular control, and cell type-specific expression. PMID:28233828

  5. Colour bands, dominance, and body mass regulation in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Cuthill, I. C.; Hunt, S.; Cleary, C.; Clark, C.

    1997-01-01

    The arbitrary assignment of different coloured leg bands to zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) has profound effects on mate preference, reproductive success, mortality rates, parental investment and sex ratio. Choice chamber experiments indicate that the effect is mediated by altered attractiveness to members of the opposite sex. Effects on intrasexual dominance are more equivocal. We present two experiments which demonstrate significant effects of band colour on behavioural dominance (red bands are more dominant than light green bands) and the resulting diurnal pattern of gain in mass, fat, and seeds stored in the crop. Consistent with the literature on dominance and strategic regulation of body mass in other species, subordinate (green-banded) birds maintain higher fat reserves at dawn, but dominant (red-banded) birds show the highest overall daily mass gains. The lack of obvious effects of band colour on dominance in previous studies may lie in the degree to which food can be monopolized by particular individuals.

  6. Patterns of call communication between group-housed zebra finches change during the breeding cycle.

    PubMed

    Gill, Lisa F; Goymann, Wolfgang; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2015-10-06

    Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through different stages of the breeding cycle. As birds formed pairs and shifted their reproductive status, their call repertoire composition changed. The recordings revealed that calls occurred non-randomly in fine-tuned vocal interactions and decreased within groups while pair-specific patterns emerged. Call-type combinations of vocal interactions changed within pairs and were associated with successful egg-laying, highlighting a potential fitness relevance of calling dynamics in communication systems.

  7. Natural melatonin fluctuation and its minimally invasive simulation in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Seltmann, Susanne; Trost, Lisa; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin is a key hormone in the regulation of circadian rhythms of vertebrates, including songbirds. Understanding diurnal melatonin fluctuations and being able to reverse or simulate natural melatonin levels are critical to investigating the influence of melatonin on various behaviors such as singing in birds. Here we give a detailed overview of natural fluctuations in plasma melatonin concentration throughout the night in the zebra finch. As shown in previous studies, we confirm that "lights off" initiates melatonin production at night in a natural situation. Notably, we find that melatonin levels return to daytime levels as early as two hours prior to the end of the dark-phase in some individuals and 30 min before "lights on" in all animals, suggesting that the presence of light in the morning is not essential for cessation of melatonin production in zebra finches. Thus, the duration of melatonin production seems not to be specified by the length of night and might therefore be less likely to directly couple circadian and annual rhythms. Additionally, we show that natural melatonin levels can be successfully simulated through a combination of light-treatment (daytime levels during subjective night) and the application of melatonin containing skin-cream (nighttime levels during subjective day). Moreover, natural levels and their fluctuation in the transition from day to night can be imitated, enabling the decoupling of the effects of melatonin, for example on neuronal activity, from sleep and circadian rhythmicity. Taken together, our high-resolution profile of natural melatonin levels and manipulation techniques open up new possibilities to answer various melatonin related questions in songbirds.

  8. Sex-Specific Audience Effect in the Context of Mate Choice in Zebra Finches.

    PubMed

    Kniel, Nina; Bender, Stefanie; Witte, Klaudia

    2016-01-01

    Animals observing conspecifics during mate choice can gain additional information about potential mates. However, the presence of an observer, if detected by the observed individuals, can influence the nature of the behavior of the observed individuals, called audience effect. In zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis), domesticated males show an audience effect during mate choice. However, whether male and female descendants of the wild form show an audience effect during mate choice is unknown. Therefore, we conducted an experiment where male and female focal birds could choose between two distinctive phenotypes of the opposite sex, an artificially adorned stimulus bird with a red feather on the forehead and an unadorned stimulus bird, two times consecutively, once without an audience and once with an audience bird (same sex as test bird). Males showed an audience effect when an audience male was present and spent more time with adorned and less time with unadorned females compared to when there was no audience present. The change in time spent with the respective stimulus females was positively correlated with the time that the audience male spent in front of its cage close to the focal male. Females showed no change in mate choice when an audience female was present, but their motivation to associate with both stimulus males decreased. In a control for mate-choice consistency there was no audience in either test. Here, both focal females and focal males chose consistently without a change in choosing motivation. Our results showed that there is an audience effect on mate choice in zebra finches and that the response to a same-sex audience was sex-specific.

  9. Rule learning by zebra finches in an artificial grammar learning task: which rule?

    PubMed

    van Heijningen, Caroline A A; Chen, Jiani; van Laatum, Irene; van der Hulst, Bonnie; ten Cate, Carel

    2013-03-01

    A hallmark of the human language faculty is the use of syntactic rules. The natural vocalizations of animals are syntactically simple, but several studies indicate that animals can detect and discriminate more complex structures in acoustic stimuli. However, how they discriminate such structures is often not clear. Using an artificial grammar learning paradigm, zebra finches were tested in a Go/No-go experiment for their ability to distinguish structurally different three-element sound sequences. In Experiment 1, zebra finches learned to discriminate ABA and BAB from ABB, AAB, BBA, and ABB sequences. Tests with probe sounds consisting of four elements suggested that the discrimination was based on attending to the presence or absence of repeated A- and B-elements. One bird generalized the discrimination to a new element type. In Experiment 2, we continued the training by adding four-element songs following a 'first and last identical versus different' rule that could not be solved by attending to repetitions. Only two out of five birds learned the overall discrimination. Testing with novel probes demonstrated that discrimination was not based on using the 'first and last identical' rule, but on attending to the presence or absence of the individual training stimuli. The two birds differed in the strategies used. Our results thus demonstrate only a limited degree of abstract rule learning but highlight the need for extensive and critical probe testing to examine the rules that animals (and humans) use to solve artificial grammar learning tasks. They also underline that rule learning strategies may differ between individuals.

  10. Natural melatonin fluctuation and its minimally invasive simulation in the zebra finch

    PubMed Central

    Trost, Lisa; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin is a key hormone in the regulation of circadian rhythms of vertebrates, including songbirds. Understanding diurnal melatonin fluctuations and being able to reverse or simulate natural melatonin levels are critical to investigating the influence of melatonin on various behaviors such as singing in birds. Here we give a detailed overview of natural fluctuations in plasma melatonin concentration throughout the night in the zebra finch. As shown in previous studies, we confirm that “lights off” initiates melatonin production at night in a natural situation. Notably, we find that melatonin levels return to daytime levels as early as two hours prior to the end of the dark-phase in some individuals and 30 min before “lights on” in all animals, suggesting that the presence of light in the morning is not essential for cessation of melatonin production in zebra finches. Thus, the duration of melatonin production seems not to be specified by the length of night and might therefore be less likely to directly couple circadian and annual rhythms. Additionally, we show that natural melatonin levels can be successfully simulated through a combination of light-treatment (daytime levels during subjective night) and the application of melatonin containing skin-cream (nighttime levels during subjective day). Moreover, natural levels and their fluctuation in the transition from day to night can be imitated, enabling the decoupling of the effects of melatonin, for example on neuronal activity, from sleep and circadian rhythmicity. Taken together, our high-resolution profile of natural melatonin levels and manipulation techniques open up new possibilities to answer various melatonin related questions in songbirds. PMID:27123378

  11. Sex-Specific Audience Effect in the Context of Mate Choice in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Kniel, Nina; Bender, Stefanie; Witte, Klaudia

    2016-01-01

    Animals observing conspecifics during mate choice can gain additional information about potential mates. However, the presence of an observer, if detected by the observed individuals, can influence the nature of the behavior of the observed individuals, called audience effect. In zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis), domesticated males show an audience effect during mate choice. However, whether male and female descendants of the wild form show an audience effect during mate choice is unknown. Therefore, we conducted an experiment where male and female focal birds could choose between two distinctive phenotypes of the opposite sex, an artificially adorned stimulus bird with a red feather on the forehead and an unadorned stimulus bird, two times consecutively, once without an audience and once with an audience bird (same sex as test bird). Males showed an audience effect when an audience male was present and spent more time with adorned and less time with unadorned females compared to when there was no audience present. The change in time spent with the respective stimulus females was positively correlated with the time that the audience male spent in front of its cage close to the focal male. Females showed no change in mate choice when an audience female was present, but their motivation to associate with both stimulus males decreased. In a control for mate-choice consistency there was no audience in either test. Here, both focal females and focal males chose consistently without a change in choosing motivation. Our results showed that there is an audience effect on mate choice in zebra finches and that the response to a same-sex audience was sex-specific. PMID:26839957

  12. Diurnal and Reproductive Stage-Dependent Variation of Parental Behaviour in Captive Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Morvai, Boglárka; Nanuru, Sabine; Mul, Douwe; Kusche, Nina; Milne, Gregory; Székely, Tamás; Komdeur, Jan; Miklósi, Ádám

    2016-01-01

    Parental care plays a key role in ontogeny, life-history trade-offs, sexual selection and intra-familial conflict. Studies focusing on understanding causes and consequences of variation in parental effort need to quantify parental behaviour accurately. The applied methods are, however, diverse even for a given species and type of parental effort, and rarely validated for accuracy. Here we focus on variability of parental behaviour from a methodological perspective to investigate the effect of different samplings on various estimates of parental effort. We used nest box cameras in a captive breeding population of zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a widely used model system of sexual selection, intra-familial dynamics and parental care. We investigated diurnal and reproductive stage-dependent variation in parental effort (including incubation, brooding, nest attendance and number of feedings) based on 12h and 3h continuous video-recordings taken at various reproductive stages. We then investigated whether shorter (1h) sampling periods provided comparable estimates of overall parental effort and division of labour to those of longer (3h) sampling periods. Our study confirmed female-biased division of labour during incubation, and showed that the difference between female and male effort diminishes with advancing reproductive stage. We found individually consistent parental behaviours within given days of incubation and nestling provisioning. Furthermore, parental behaviour was consistent over the different stages of incubation, however, only female brooding was consistent over nestling provisioning. Parental effort during incubation did not predict parental effort during nestling provisioning. Our analyses revealed that 1h sampling may be influenced heavily by stochastic and diurnal variation. We suggest using a single longer sampling period (3h) may provide a consistent and accurate estimate for overall parental effort during incubation in zebra finches. Due to the

  13. Growing old with the immune system: a study of immunosenescence in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Noreen, Elin; Bourgeon, Sophie; Bech, Claus

    2011-07-01

    Immunosenescence has not received much attention in birds and the few existing studies indicate that the occurrence of immunosenescence and/or its extent may differ between species. In addition, not much information is available on the immunosenescence patterns of different immune parameters assessed simultaneously in both sexes within a single species. The present study reports the results on immunosenescence in innate immunity and both cellular and humoral acquired immunity of both sexes in a captive population of zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) using three age groups (approximately 0.2, 2.5 and 5.1 years). Both male and female finches showed an inverse U-shaped pattern in cellular immune function with age, quantified by a PHA response. Males showed stronger responses than females at all ages. In contrast, an increase with age in humoral immunity, quantified through total plasma immunoglobulin Y levels, was found in both sexes. However, our measurements of innate immunity measured through the bacteria-killing ability against Escherichia coli gave inconclusive results. Still, we conclude that both cellular and humoral acquired immunity are susceptible to immunosenescence, and that the sexes differ in cellular immunity.

  14. Frequency-range discriminations: special and general abilities in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Weisman, R; Njegovan, M; Sturdy, C; Phillmore, L; Coyle, J; Mewhort, D

    1998-09-01

    The acoustic frequency ranges in birdsongs and human speech can provide important pitch cues for recognition. Zebra finches and humans were trained to sort contiguous frequencies into 3 or 8 ranges, based on associations between the ranges and reward. The 3-range task was conducted separately in 3 spectral regions. Zebra finches discriminated 3 ranges in the medium and high spectral regions faster than in the low region and discriminated 8 ranges with precision. Humans discriminated 3 ranges in all 3 spectral regions to the same modest standard and acquired only a crude discrimination of the lowest and highest of 8 ranges. The results indicate that songbirds have a special sensitivity to the pitches in conspecific songs and, relative to humans, have a remarkable general ability to sort pitches into ranges.

  15. Housing conditions and sacrifice protocol affect neural activity and vocal behavior in a songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Elie, Julie Estelle; Soula, Hédi Antoine; Trouvé, Colette; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2015-12-01

    Individual cages represent a widely used housing condition in laboratories. This isolation represents an impoverished physical and social environment in gregarious animals. It prevents animals from socializing, even when auditory and visual contact is maintained. Zebra finches are colonial songbirds that are widely used as laboratory animals for the study of vocal communication from brain to behavior. In this study, we investigated the effect of single housing on the vocal behavior and the brain activity of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): male birds housed in individual cages were compared to freely interacting male birds housed as a social group in a communal cage. We focused on the activity of septo-hypothalamic regions of the "social behavior network" (SBN), a set of limbic regions involved in several social behaviors in vertebrates. The activity of four structures of the SBN (BSTm, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; POM, medial preoptic area; lateral septum; ventromedial hypothalamus) and one associated region (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) was assessed using immunoreactive nuclei density of the immediate early gene Zenk (egr-1). We further assessed the identity of active cell populations by labeling vasotocin (VT). Brain activity was related to behavioral activities of birds like physical and vocal interactions. We showed that individual housing modifies vocal exchanges between birds compared to communal housing. This is of particular importance in the zebra finch, a model species for the study of vocal communication. In addition, a protocol that daily removes one or two birds from the group affects differently male zebra finches depending of their housing conditions: while communally-housed males changed their vocal output, brains of individually housed males show increased Zenk labeling in non-VT cells of the BSTm and enhanced correlation of Zenk-revealed activity between the studied structures. These results show that

  16. Is the rate of metabolic ageing and survival determined by Basal metabolic rate in the zebra finch?

    PubMed

    Rønning, Bernt; Moe, Børge; Berntsen, Henrik H; Noreen, Elin; Bech, Claus

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR), as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age) and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (P<0.1). Thus, the effect of BMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.

  17. Newly paired zebra finches have higher dopamine levels and immediate early gene Fos expression in dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Sunayana B; Dias, Brian G; Crews, David; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2013-12-01

    Most birds are socially monogamous, yet little is known about the neural pathways underlying avian monogamy. Recent studies have implicated dopamine as playing a role in courtship and affiliation in a socially monogamous songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). In the present study, we sought to understand the specific contribution to pair formation in zebra finches of the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway that projects from the midbrain ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens. We observed that paired birds had higher levels of dopamine and its metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the ventral medial striatum, where the nucleus accumbens is situated, than unpaired birds. Additionally, we found that the percentage of dopaminergic neurons expressing immediate early gene Fos, a marker of neuronal activity, was higher in the ventral tegmental area of paired birds than in that of unpaired birds. These data are consistent with a role for the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway in pair formation in zebra finches, suggesting the possibility of a conserved neural mechanism of monogamy in birds and mammals.

  18. Late-Postnatal Cannabinoid Exposure Persistently Elevates Dendritic Spine Densities in Area X and HVC Song Regions of Zebra Finch Telencephalon

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Marcoita T.; Soderstrom, Ken

    2011-01-01

    Centrally acting cannabinoids are well known for their ability to impair functions associated with both learning and memory but appreciation of the physiological mechanisms underlying these actions, particularly those that persist, remains incomplete. Our earlier studies have shown that song stereotypy is persistently reduced in male zebra finches that have been developmentally exposed to cannabinoids. In the present work, we examined the extent to which changes in neuronal morphology (dendritic spine densities and soma size) within brain regions associated with zebra finch vocal learning are affected by late-postnatal cannabinoid agonist exposure. We found that daily treatment with the cannabinoid agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN, 1 mg/kg IM) is associated with 27 % and 31 % elevations in dendritic spine densities in the song regions Area X and HVC, respectively. We also found an overall increase in cell diameter within HVC. Changes in dendritic spine densities were only produced following developmental exposure; treatments given to adults that had completed vocal learning were not effective. These findings have important implications for understanding how repeated cannabinoid exposure can produce significant, lasting alteration of brain morphology, which may contribute to altered development and behavior. PMID:21737064

  19. A Distributed Neural Network Model for the Distinct Roles of Medial and Lateral HVC in Zebra Finch Song Production.

    PubMed

    Galvis, Daniel; Wu, Wei; Hyson, Richard L; Johnson, Frank; Bertram, Richard

    2017-04-05

    Male zebra finches produce a song consisting of a canonical sequence of syllables, learned from a tutor and repeated throughout its adult life. Much of the neural circuitry responsible for this behavior is located in the cortical premotor region HVC (acronym is name). In a recent study from our lab, we found that partial bilateral ablation of the medial portion of HVC has effects on the song that are qualitatively different from those of bilateral ablation of the lateral portion. In this report we describe a neural network organization that can explain these data, and in so doing suggests key roles for other brain nuclei in the production of song. We also suggest that syllables and the gaps between them are each coded separately by neural chains within HVC, and that the timing mechanisms for syllables and gaps are distinct. The design principles underlying this model assign distinct roles for medial and lateral HVC circuitry that explain the data on medial and lateral ablations. In addition, despite the fact that the neural coding of song sequence is distributed among several brain nuclei in our model, it accounts for data showing that cooling of HVC stretches syllables uniformly and to a greater extent than gaps. Finally, the model made unanticipated predictions about details of the effects of medial and lateral HVC ablations that were then confirmed by reanalysis of these previously acquired behavioral data.

  20. Effects of nutritional stress during different developmental periods on song and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Kriengwatana, B; Wada, H; Schmidt, K L; Taves, M D; Soma, K K; MacDougall-Shackleton, S A

    2014-03-01

    In songbirds, developmental stress affects song learning and production. Altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function resulting in elevated corticosterone (CORT) may contribute to this effect. We examined whether developmental conditions affected the association between adult song and HPA axis function, and whether nutritional stress before and after nutritional independence has distinct effects on song learning and/or vocal performance. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were raised in consistently high (HH) or low (LL) food conditions until post-hatch day (PHD) 62, or were switched from high to low conditions (HL) or vice versa (LH) at PHD 34. Song was recorded in adulthood. We assessed the response of CORT to handling during development and to dexamethasone (DEX) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenges during adulthood. Song learning and vocal performance were not affected by nutritional stress at either developmental stage. Nutritional stress elevated baseline CORT during development. Nutritional stress also increased rate of CORT secretion in birds that experienced stress only in the juvenile phase (HL group). Birds in the LL group had lower CORT levels after injection of ACTH compared to the other groups, however there was no effect of nutritional stress on the response to DEX. Thus, our findings indicate that developmental stress can affect HPA function without concurrently affecting song.

  1. Organization and development of zebra finch HVC and paraHVC based on expression of zRalDH, an enzyme associated with retinoic acid production

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Christopher R.; Rodrigues, Paulo Vianney; Jeong, Jin Kwon; Prahl, Daniel J.; Mello, Claudio V.

    2010-01-01

    The zRalDH gene encodes an aldehyde dehydrogenase associated with the conversion of retinaldehyde (the main vitamin A metabolite) into retinoic acid and its expression is highly enriched in the song control system of adult zebra finches (T. gutatta). Within song control nucleus HVC, zRalDH is specifically expressed in the neurons that project to area X of the striatum. It is also expressed in paraHVC, commonly considered a medial extension of HVC that is closely associated with auditory areas in the caudomedial telencephalon. Here we used in situ hybridization to generate a detailed analysis of HVC and paraHVC based on expression of zRalDH for adult zebra finches of both sexes and for males during the song learning period. We demonstrate that the distribution of zRalDH-positive cells can be used for accurate assessments of HVC and paraHVC in adult and juvenile males. We describe marked developmental changes in the numbers of zRalDH-expressing cells in HVC and paraHVC, reaching a peak at day 50 post-hatch, an effect potentially due to dynamic changes in the population of X-projecting cells in HVC. We also show that zRalDH-expressing cells in adult females, although much less numerous than in males, have a surprisingly broad distribution along the medial-to-lateral extent of HVC but are lacking where paraHVC is found in adult males. Our study thus contributes to our understanding of the nuclear organization of the song system and the dynamics of its developmental changes during the song learning period. PMID:21120932

  2. miR-9 and miR-140-5p Target FoxP2 and Are Regulated as a Function of the Social Context of Singing Behavior in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Zhimin; Luo, Guanzheng; Fu, Lijuan; Fang, Zhide; Wang, XiuJie

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in the FOXP2 gene cause speech and language impairments, accompanied by structural and functional abnormalities in brain regions underlying speech-related sensory-motor processing, including the striatum and cerebellum. The sequence and expression patterns of FOXP2 are highly conserved among higher vertebrates. In the zebra finch brain, FoxP2 is expressed in Area X, a striatal nucleus required for vocal learning, and reduced FoxP2 expression impairs dendritic development and vocal learning. The FoxP2 gene encodes a transcription factor that controls the expression of many downstream genes. However, how FOXP2 gene expression is regulated is not clearly understood. miRNAs regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by targeting the 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNAs, leading to translational suppression or mRNA degradation. In this study, we identified miR-9 and miR-140-5p as potential regulators of the FoxP2 gene. We show that both miR-9 and miR-140-5p target specific sequences in the FoxP2 3′-UTR and downregulate FoxP2 protein and mRNA expression in vitro. We also show that the expression of miR-9 and miR-140-5p in Area X of the zebra finch brain is regulated during song development in juvenile zebra finches. We further show that in adult zebra finches the expression of miR-9 and miR-140-5p in Area X is regulated as a function of the social context of song behavior in males singing undirected songs. Our findings reveal a post-transcriptional mechanism that regulates FoxP2 expression and suggest that social vocal behavior can influence the basal ganglia circuit controlling vocal learning via a miRNA-FoxP2 gene regulatory network. PMID:24133256

  3. Song discrimination learning in zebra finches induces highly divergent responses to novel songs.

    PubMed

    Verzijden, Machteld N; Etman, Eric; van Heijningen, Caroline; van der Linden, Marianne; ten Cate, Carel

    2007-01-22

    Perceptual biases can shape the evolution of signal form. Understanding the origin and direction of such biases is therefore crucial for understanding signal evolution. Many animals learn about species-specific signals. Discrimination learning using simple stimuli varying in one dimension (e.g. amplitude, wavelength) can result in perceptual biases with preferences for specific novel stimuli, depending on the stimulus dimensions. We examine how this translates to discrimination learning involving complex communication signals; birdsongs. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were trained to discriminate between two artificial songs, using a Go/No-Go procedure. The training songs in experiment 1 differed in the number of repeats of a particular element. The songs in experiment 2 differed in the position of an odd element in a series of repeated elements. We examined generalization patterns by presenting novel songs with more or fewer repeated elements (experiment 1), or with the odd element earlier or later in the repeated element sequence (experiment 2). Control birds were trained with only one song. The generalization curves obtained from (i) control birds, (ii) experimental birds in experiment 1, and (iii) experimental birds in experiment 2 showed large and systematic differences from each other. Birds in experiment 1, but not 2, responded more strongly to specific novel songs than to training songs, showing 'peak shift'. The outcome indicates that learning about communication signals may give rise to perceptual biases that may drive signal evolution.

  4. Blood Mercury Levels of Zebra Finches Are Heritable: Implications for the Evolution of Mercury Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Buck, Kenton A.; Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Cristol, Daniel A.; Swaddle, John P.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a ubiquitous metal contaminant that negatively impacts reproduction of wildlife and has many other sub-lethal effects. Songbirds are sensitive bioindicators of mercury toxicity and may suffer population declines as a result of mercury pollution. Current predictions of mercury accumulation and biomagnification often overlook possible genetic variation in mercury uptake and elimination within species and the potential for evolution in affected populations. We conducted a study of dietary mercury exposure in a model songbird species, maintaining a breeding population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) on standardized diets ranging from 0.0–2.4 μg/g methylmercury. We applied a quantitative genetics approach to examine patterns of variation and heritability of mercury accumulation within dietary treatments using a method of mixed effects modeling known as the 'animal model'. Significant variation in blood mercury accumulation existed within each treatment for birds exposed at the same dietary level; moreover, this variation was highly repeatable for individuals. We observed substantial genetic variation in blood mercury accumulation for birds exposed at intermediate dietary concentrations. Taken together, this is evidence that genetic variation for factors affecting blood mercury accumulation could be acted on by selection. If similar heritability for mercury accumulation exists in wild populations, selection could result in genetic differentiation for populations in contaminated locations, with possible consequences for mercury biomagnification in food webs. PMID:27668745

  5. Choreography of song, dance and beak movements in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Williams, H

    2001-10-01

    As do many songbirds, zebra finches sing their learned songs while performing a courtship display that includes movements of the body, head and beak. The coordination of these display components was assessed by analyzing video recordings of courting males. All birds changed beak aperture frequently within a single song, and each individual's pattern of beak movements was consistent from song to song. Birds that copied their father's songs reproduced many of the changes in beak aperture associated with particular syllables. The acoustic consequences of opening the beak were increases in amplitude and peak frequency, but not in fundamental frequency, of song syllables. The change in peak frequency is consistent with the hypothesis that an open beak results in a shortened vocal tract and thus a higher resonance frequency. Dance movements (hops and changes in body or head position) were less frequent, and the distribution of dance movements within the song was not as strongly patterned as were changes in beak aperture, nor were the peaks in the distribution as strongly marked. However, the correlation between the positioning of dance movements within fathers' and sons' songs was striking, suggesting that the choreography of dance patterns is transmitted from tutor to pupil together with the song.

  6. Heterologous Synapsis and Crossover Suppression in Heterozygotes for a Pericentric Inversion in the Zebra Finch.

    PubMed

    del Priore, Lucía; Pigozzi, María I

    2015-01-01

    In the zebra finch, 2 alternative morphs regarding centromere position were described for chromosome 6. This polymorphism was interpreted to be the result of a pericentric inversion, but other causes of the centromere repositioning were not ruled out. We used immunofluorescence localization to examine the distribution of MLH1 foci on synaptonemal complexes to test the prediction that pericentric inversions cause synaptic irregularities and/or crossover suppression in heterozygotes. We found complete suppression of crossing over in the region involved in the rearrangement in male and female heterozygotes. In contrast, the same region showed high levels of crossing over in homozygotes for the acrocentric form of this chromosome. No inversion loops or synaptic irregularities were detected along bivalent 6 in heterozygotes suggesting that heterologous pairing is achieved during zygotene or early pachytene. Altogether these findings strongly indicate that the polymorphic chromosome 6 originated by a pericentric inversion. Since inversions are common rearrangements in karyotypic evolution in birds, it seems likely that early heterologous pairing could help to fix these rearrangements, preventing crossing overs in heterozygotes and their deleterious effects on fertility.

  7. Environmental and genetic control of brain and song structure in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Woodgate, Joseph L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Bennett, Andrew T D; Catchpole, Clive K; Brighton, Roswitha; Leitner, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Birdsong is a classic example of a learned trait with cultural inheritance, with selection acting on trait expression. To understand how song responds to selection, it is vital to determine the extent to which variation in song learning and neuroanatomy is attributable to genetic variation, environmental conditions, or their interactions. Using a partial cross fostering design with an experimental stressor, we quantified the heritability of song structure and key brain nuclei in the song control system of the zebra finch and the genotype-by-environment (G × E) interactions. Neuroanatomy and song structure both showed low levels of heritability and are unlikely to be under selection as indicators of genetic quality. HVC, in particular, was almost entirely under environmental control. G × E interaction was important for brain development and may provide a mechanism by which additive genetic variation is maintained, which in turn may promote sexual selection through female choice. Our study suggests that selection may act on the genes determining vocal learning, rather than directly on the underlying neuroanatomy, and emphasizes the fundamental importance of environmental conditions for vocal learning and neural development in songbirds.

  8. Context-specific effects of estradiol on spatial learning and memory in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Rensel, M A; Salwiczek, L; Roth, J; Schlinger, B A

    2013-02-01

    Estradiol is known to impact cognitive function including spatial learning and memory, with studies focused largely on rodent models. Estrogens can be produced peripherally or centrally as neuroestrogens, and the specific role for neuroestrogens in memory processes remains unresolved. Many songbirds possess remarkable spatial memory capabilities and also express the estrogen synthetic enzyme aromatase abundantly in the hippocampus, suggesting that locally-produced estrogens may promote the acquisition or retrieval of spatial memories in these birds. We examined the effect of estradiol on spatial memory in three contexts in the zebra finch: retrieval after discrimination training, retrieval after familiarization but without discrimination training, and memory acquisition, using a combination of estradiol implants and oral dosing with the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD). Retrieval of spatial memory in both contexts was impaired when estradiol production was blocked. However, spatial memory acquisition was enhanced when estradiol production was inhibited whereas estradiol replacement impaired acquisition. These results provide evidence for a context-specific role of estradiol in songbird spatial memory, results that find accord with some mammalian studies but have not yet been observed in birds.

  9. Patterns of call communication between group-housed zebra finches change during the breeding cycle

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Lisa F; Goymann, Wolfgang; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through different stages of the breeding cycle. As birds formed pairs and shifted their reproductive status, their call repertoire composition changed. The recordings revealed that calls occurred non-randomly in fine-tuned vocal interactions and decreased within groups while pair-specific patterns emerged. Call-type combinations of vocal interactions changed within pairs and were associated with successful egg-laying, highlighting a potential fitness relevance of calling dynamics in communication systems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07770.001 PMID:26441403

  10. Blood Mercury Levels of Zebra Finches Are Heritable: Implications for the Evolution of Mercury Resistance.

    PubMed

    Buck, Kenton A; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A; Swaddle, John P

    Mercury is a ubiquitous metal contaminant that negatively impacts reproduction of wildlife and has many other sub-lethal effects. Songbirds are sensitive bioindicators of mercury toxicity and may suffer population declines as a result of mercury pollution. Current predictions of mercury accumulation and biomagnification often overlook possible genetic variation in mercury uptake and elimination within species and the potential for evolution in affected populations. We conducted a study of dietary mercury exposure in a model songbird species, maintaining a breeding population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) on standardized diets ranging from 0.0-2.4 μg/g methylmercury. We applied a quantitative genetics approach to examine patterns of variation and heritability of mercury accumulation within dietary treatments using a method of mixed effects modeling known as the 'animal model'. Significant variation in blood mercury accumulation existed within each treatment for birds exposed at the same dietary level; moreover, this variation was highly repeatable for individuals. We observed substantial genetic variation in blood mercury accumulation for birds exposed at intermediate dietary concentrations. Taken together, this is evidence that genetic variation for factors affecting blood mercury accumulation could be acted on by selection. If similar heritability for mercury accumulation exists in wild populations, selection could result in genetic differentiation for populations in contaminated locations, with possible consequences for mercury biomagnification in food webs.

  11. Neurotoxic effects of DSP-4 on the central noradrenergic system in male zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Waterman, Susanna A; Harding, Cheryl F

    2008-04-09

    When administered systemically, the noradrenergic neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP-4) appears to target the noradrenergic innervation originating in the locus coeruleus causing long-term decrements in noradrenergic function. In songbirds, DSP-4-treatment decreased female-directed singing by males and copulation solicitation responses of females to male songs. However, DSP-4 treatment in songbirds did not lower measures of NE function in the brain to the same extent as it does in mammals. The current study had two goals: determining if two DSP-4 treatments 10 days apart would cause significant decrements in noradrenergic function in male zebra finches and determining if, as in other species, the noradrenergic innervation of midbrain and cortical areas would be profoundly affected while hypothalamic areas were spared. Dopamine-beta-hydroxylase immunoreactivity (DBH-ir) was quantified in thirteen brain regions (five vocal control nuclei, one auditory nucleus, two hypothalamic nuclei, and five additional areas that demonstrated high DBH labeling in controls). Within 20 days, DSP-4 treatment profoundly reduced the number of DBH-ir cells in both the locus coeruleus and ventral subcoeruleus. Unlike a previous study, DBH labeling delineated four out of five vocal control nuclei and an auditory nucleus. As expected, DSP-4 treatment significantly decreased DBH labeling in all areas examined in the mesencephalon and telencephalon without significantly affecting DBH-ir in hypothalamic areas. This double treatment regime appears to be much more effective in decreasing noradrenergic function in songbirds than the single treatment typically used.

  12. Timing of Ossification in Duck, Quail, and Zebra Finch: Intraspecific Variation, Heterochronies, and Life History Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Mitgutsch, Christian; Wimmer, Corinne; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.; Hahnloser, Richard; Schneider, Richard A.

    2011-01-01

    Skeletogenic heterochronies have gained much attention in comparative developmental biology. The temporal appearance of mineralized individual bones in a species – the species ossification sequence – is an excellent marker in this kind of study. Several publications describe interspecific variation, but only very few detail intraspecific variation. In this study, we describe and analyze the temporal order of ossification of skeletal elements in the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, the Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica, and the White Pekin duck, a domestic race of the mallard Anas platyrhynchos, and explore patterns of intraspecific variation in these events. The overall sequences were found to be conserved. In the duck, variability is present in the relative timing of ossification in the occipital, the basisphenoid and the otic regions of the skull and the phalanges in the postcranium. This variation appears generally in close temporal proximity. Comparison with previously published data shows differences in ossification sequence in the skull, the feet, and the pelvis in the duck, and especially the pelvis in the quail. This clearly documents variability among different breeds. PMID:21728797

  13. Validation of an egg-injection method for embryotoxicity studies in a small, model songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Winter, V; Elliott, J E; Letcher, R J; Williams, T D

    2013-01-01

    Female birds deposit or 'excrete' lipophilic contaminants to their eggs during egg formation. Concentrations of xenobiotics in bird eggs can therefore accurately indicate levels of contamination in the environment and sampling of bird eggs is commonly used as a bio-monitoring tool. It is widely assumed that maternally transferred contaminants cause adverse effects on embryos but there has been relatively little experimental work confirming direct developmental effects (cf. behaviorally-mediated effects). We validated the use of egg injection for studies of in ovo exposure to xenobiotics for a small songbird model species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), where egg weight averages only 1 g. We investigated a) the effect of puncturing eggs with or without vehicle (DMSO) injection on egg fate (embryo development), chick hatching success and subsequent growth to 90 days (sexual maturity), and b) effects of two vehicle solutions (DMSO and safflower oil) on embryo and chick growth. PBDE-99 and -47 were measured in in ovo PBDE-treated eggs, chicks and adults to investigate relationships between putative injection amounts and the time course of metabolism (debromination) of PBDE-99 during early development. We successfully injected a small volume (5 μL) of vehicle into eggs, at incubation day 0, with no effects on egg or embryo fate and with hatchability similar to that for non-manipulated eggs in our captive-breeding colony (43% vs. 48%). We did find some evidence for an inhibitory effect of DMSO vehicle on post-hatching chick growth, in male chicks only. This method can be used to treat eggs in a dose-dependent, and ecologically-relevant, manner with PBDE-99, based on chemical analysis of eggs, hatchling and adults.

  14. PHA-stimulated immune-responsiveness in mercury-dosed zebra finches does not match results from environmentally exposed songbirds.

    PubMed

    Caudill, Mitchell T; Spear, Eliza L; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2015-04-01

    Dietary mercury exposure is associated with suppressed immune responsiveness in birds. This study examined the immune-responsiveness of domestic zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) experimentally exposed to mercury through their diet. We used the phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin-swelling test to assay the effect of two modes of mercury exposure. Some finches received exposure to mercury only after reaching sexual maturity, while others were maintained on a mercury-dosed diet throughout life, including development. Each bird received one of five dietary concentrations of methylmercury cysteine (0.0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.2 or 2.4 ppm). In contrast to a study on wild songbirds at a mercury-contaminated site, we detected no relationship between mercury level and immunological response to PHA, regardless of mode of exposure. This result represents the first major difference found by our laboratory between wild birds exposed to environmental mercury and captive birds experimentally exposed to mercury.

  15. Plasma sex steroids and tissue aromatization in hatchling zebra finches: implications for the sexual differentiation of singing behavior.

    PubMed

    Schlinger, B A; Arnold, A P

    1992-01-01

    One of the best examples for sex hormone regulation of brain development is found in songbirds. In zebra finches, only males sing because of striking sex differences in the neural circuitry that controls songs. Because developing females treated with estradiol (E2) develop a masculine song system, E2 is considered the normal masculinizing hormone. However, questions about the role of E2 in male development persist, because E2 treatments that masculinize song can demasculinize other sexual behaviors, and there exists contradictory evidence for high levels of circulating E2 in developing males. We remeasured plasma steriods in zebra finches during the first 13 days after hatching. E2 circulated at low levels, and there were no sex differences in circulating E2, estrone, testosterone, androstenedione, or dihydrotestosterone. We also measured aromatase activity [( 3H]androstenedione conversion to [3H]estrone and [3H]E2) in gonad, adrenal, brain, and other tissues of hatchlings. Aromatase was abundant in ovary, but was not definitively detected in testes, adrenals, or other nonneural tissues of males. Aromatase was also found in diencephalon and in high amounts in telencephalon, but sex differences were not detected in whole brain or cellular subfractions of telencephalon. Because ovarian steroidogenesis is high, it may be involved in differentiation of the female zebra finch, as in nonpasserine birds. By contrast, the functional estrogen necessary for masculinization of song is most likely derived from brain, supplied with substrate from the adrenals. The puzzle remains why the song system is not masculinized in females, who possess high levels of aromatizable androgens and telencephalic aromatase.

  16. Relationship between prolactin, reproductive experience, and parental care in a biparental songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-06-01

    Hormonal systems have long been thought to play an important role in stimulating the onset of parental behavior, a critical component of reproductive success in a variety of taxa. Elevations in the peptide hormone prolactin (PRL) have been repeatedly positively correlated with the onset and maintenance of parental care across vertebrate species. A causal role for PRL in parental care has been established in several mammalian species, but less evidence for a causal role of PRL and parental care exists in birds. The zebra finch, a socially monogamous, biparental songbird, is an exceptionally useful animal model to study parental care and other close social relationships. Both sexes share parental care equally, exhibit the same parental behaviors, and show a marked improvement in breeding success with experience. We hypothesize that PRL is critically involved in the expression of zebra finch parental care and predict that circulating PRL levels will increase with breeding experience. To begin testing this, we measured plasma PRL concentrations in 14 male-female zebra finch pairs (N=28) across two breeding cycles, using a repeated measures design. PRL was measured in the birds' first, reproductively inexperienced, breeding cycle beginning at courtship and extending through chick fledging. PRL was measured again during the birds' second, reproductively experienced, breeding cycle, beginning with egg laying until chick fledging. We found that plasma PRL is significantly elevated from non-breeding concentrations during late incubation and early post-hatch care and that this elevation is greater in the reproductively experienced cycle compared to the inexperienced cycle. Findings of this study will be used to inform hypotheses and predictions for future experimental manipulations of PRL during parental care.

  17. Response to begging calls by Zebra Finch parents: "first come, first served" rule may overcome a parental preference between chicks.

    PubMed

    Levréro, Florence; Blanc, Alain; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2012-02-01

    In birds, parents may provide differential food provisioning among offspring according to their sex. Here, we test the hypothesis that events linked to the fine dynamics of begging behaviour could modulate parental preferences. After evaluating the preference related to chick sex for each parent of six Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata pairs, we studied the possible modifications of this preference when offspring begging was asynchronous. Our observations show that male parents follow a "first come, first served" rule, whereas females keep their initial choice. Although this study remains preliminary due to the sample size, it underlines the potential importance of investigating fine temporal features of begging behaviour to fully understand parents' provisioning strategies.

  18. The Forebrain Song System Mediates Predictive Call Timing in Female and Male Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Benichov, Jonathan I.; Benezra, Sam E.; Vallentin, Daniela; Globerson, Eitan; Long, Michael A.; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The dichotomy between vocal learners and non-learners is a fundamental distinction in the study of animal communication. Male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are vocal learners that acquire a song resembling their tutors’, whereas females can only produce innate calls. The acoustic structure of short calls, produced by both males and females, is not learned. However, these calls can be precisely coordinated across individuals. To examine how birds learn to synchronize their calls, we developed a vocal robot that exchanges calls with a partner bird. Because birds answer the robot with stereotyped latencies, we could program it to disrupt each bird’s responses by producing calls that are likely to coincide with the bird’s. Within minutes, the birds learned to avoid this disruptive masking (jamming) by adjusting the timing of their responses. Notably, females exhibited greater adaptive timing plasticity than males. Further, when challenged with complex rhythms containing jamming elements, birds dynamically adjusted the timing of their calls in anticipation of jamming. Blocking the song system cortical output dramatically reduced the precision of birds’ response timing and abolished their ability to avoid jamming. Surprisingly, we observed this effect in both males and females, indicating that the female song system is functional rather than vestigial. We suggest that descending forebrain projections, including the song-production pathway, function as a general-purpose sensorimotor communication system. In the case of calls, it enables plasticity in vocal timing to facilitate social interactions, whereas in the case of songs, plasticity extends to developmental changes in vocal structure. PMID:26774786

  19. Effect of laying sequence on egg mercury in captive zebra finches: an interpretation considering individual variation.

    PubMed

    Ou, Langbo; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2015-08-01

    Bird eggs are used widely as noninvasive bioindicators for environmental mercury availability. Previous studies, however, have found varying relationships between laying sequence and egg mercury concentrations. Some studies have reported that the mercury concentration was higher in first-laid eggs or declined across the laying sequence, whereas in other studies mercury concentration was not related to egg order. Approximately 300 eggs (61 clutches) were collected from captive zebra finches dosed throughout their reproductive lives with methylmercury (0.3 μg/g, 0.6 μg/g, 1.2 μg/g, or 2.4 μg/g wet wt in diet); the total mercury concentration (mean ± standard deviation [SD] dry wt basis) of their eggs was 7.03 ± 1.38 μg/g, 14.15 ± 2.52 μg/g, 26.85 ± 5.85 μg/g, and 49.76 ± 10.37 μg/g, respectively (equivalent to fresh wt egg mercury concentrations of 1.24 μg/g, 2.50 μg/g, 4.74 μg/g, and 8.79 μg/g). The authors observed a significant decrease in the mercury concentration of successive eggs when compared with the first egg and notable variation between clutches within treatments. The mercury level of individual females within and among treatments did not alter this relationship. Based on the results, sampling of a single egg in each clutch from any position in the laying sequence is sufficient for purposes of population risk assessment, but it is not recommended as a proxy for individual female exposure or as an estimate of average mercury level within the clutch.

  20. Meiotic silencing and fragmentation of the male germline restricted chromosome in zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Schoenmakers, Sam; Wassenaar, Evelyne; Laven, Joop S E; Grootegoed, J Anton; Baarends, Willy M

    2010-06-01

    During male meiotic prophase in mammals, X and Y are in a largely unsynapsed configuration, which is thought to trigger meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). In avian species, females are ZW, and males ZZ. Although Z and W in chicken oocytes show complete, largely heterologous synapsis, they too undergo MSCI, albeit only transiently. The W chromosome is already inactive in early meiotic prophase, and inactive chromatin marks may spread on to the Z upon synapsis. Mammalian MSCI is considered as a specialised form of the general meiotic silencing mechanism, named meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin (MSUC). Herein, we studied the avian form of MSUC, by analysing the behaviour of the peculiar germline restricted chromosome (GRC) that is present as a single copy in zebra finch spermatocytes. In the female germline, this chromosome is present in two copies, which normally synapse and recombine. In contrast, during male meiosis, the single GRC is always eliminated. We found that the GRC in the male germline is silenced from early leptotene onwards, similar to the W chromosome in avian oocytes. The GRC remains largely unsynapsed throughout meiotic prophase I, although patches of SYCP1 staining indicate that part of the GRC may self-synapse. In addition, the GRC is largely devoid of meiotic double strand breaks. We observed a lack of the inner centromere protein INCENP on the GRC and elimination of the GRC following metaphase I. Subsequently, the GRC forms a micronucleus in which the DNA is fragmented. We conclude that in contrast to MSUC in mammals, meiotic silencing of this single chromosome in the avian germline occurs prior to, and independent of DNA double strand breaks and chromosome pairing, hence we have named this phenomenon meiotic silencing prior to synapsis (MSPS).

  1. Audience effect alters male mating preferences in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Dubois, Frédérique; Belzile, Alexandra

    2012-01-01

    The social environment of animals strongly influences the mating preferences of both the choosing and the observing individuals. Notably, there is recent evidence that polygamous males decrease their selectivity when being observed by competitors in order to direct their rivals' attention away from their true interest and, consequently, reduce sperm competition risk. Yet, other mechanisms, whose importance remains unexplored, could induce similar effects. In monogamous species with mutual choice, particularly, if males adjust their selectivity according to the risk of being rejected by their preferred mate, they should as well become less selective when potential rivals are present. Here, we investigated whether the presence of bystanders modifies male mating preferences when the risk of sperm competition is low, by carrying out mate-choice experiments with male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) whose preferences for two females were measured twice: with and without an audience. We found that the presence of potential rivals had no effect on the males' choosiness. However, with an audience, they spent more time with the female that was considered as the less attractive one in the control condition. These findings support the hypothesis that monogamous males alter their mate choice decisions in the presence of a male audience to reduce the risk of remaining unpaired. Thus, our results indicate that several explanations can account for the changes in male preferences due to the presence of competitors and highlight the importance of assessing the relative role of each mechanism potentially involved, to be able to make conclusions about the effect of an audience on signal evolution.

  2. Playback of colony sound alters the breeding schedule and clutch size in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) colonies.

    PubMed

    Waas, Joseph R; Colgan, Patrick W; Boag, Peter T

    2005-02-22

    The hypothesis that social stimulation, derived from the presence and activities of conspecifics, can hasten and synchronize breeding in colonies of birds was tested. A modified playback/recorder system was used to continuously exaggerate the amount of colony sound available to zebra finches throughout their courtship period. Males that heard 'sound supplements' generated from their own colony sang more than males in control colonies that did not receive playback; males that heard samples from a different colony, sang at an intermediate level. Females that were exposed to the vocalizations of their mate and playback from a colony other than their own, laid eggs earlier and more synchronously than females in control colonies. Females that heard the vocalizations of their mate along with playback samples generated from their own colony, laid eggs more synchronously but not earlier than control females. Both acoustic treatments caused females to lay larger clutches. Social stimulation influences the breeding schedule and clutch size in zebra finch colonies. If there are advantages associated with these effects, social stimulation may contribute to the maintenance of colonial breeding systems.

  3. Playback of colony sound alters the breeding schedule and clutch size in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) colonies

    PubMed Central

    Waas, Joseph R.; Colgan, Patrick W.; Boag, Peter T.

    2005-01-01

    The hypothesis that social stimulation, derived from the presence and activities of conspecifics, can hasten and synchronize breeding in colonies of birds was tested. A modified playback/recorder system was used to continuously exaggerate the amount of colony sound available to zebra finches throughout their courtship period. Males that heard ‘sound supplements’ generated from their own colony sang more than males in control colonies that did not receive playback; males that heard samples from a different colony, sang at an intermediate level. Females that were exposed to the vocalizations of their mate and playback from a colony other than their own, laid eggs earlier and more synchronously than females in control colonies. Females that heard the vocalizations of their mate along with playback samples generated from their own colony, laid eggs more synchronously but not earlier than control females. Both acoustic treatments caused females to lay larger clutches. Social stimulation influences the breeding schedule and clutch size in zebra finch colonies. If there are advantages associated with these effects, social stimulation may contribute to the maintenance of colonial breeding systems. PMID:15734692

  4. Acoustic Communication and Sound Degradation: How Do the Individual Signatures of Male and Female Zebra Finch Calls Transmit over Distance?

    PubMed Central

    Mouterde, Solveig C.; Theunissen, Frédéric E.; Elie, Julie E.; Vignal, Clémentine; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Background Assessing the active space of the various types of information encoded by songbirds' vocalizations is important to address questions related to species ecology (e.g. spacing of individuals), as well as social behavior (e.g. territorial and/or mating strategies). Up to now, most of the previous studies have investigated the degradation of species-specific related information (species identity), and there is a gap of knowledge of how finer-grained information (e.g. individual identity) can transmit through the environment. Here we studied how the individual signature coded in the zebra finch long distance contact call degrades with propagation. Methodology We performed sound transmission experiments of zebra finches' distance calls at various propagation distances. The propagated calls were analyzed using discriminant function analyses on a set of analytical parameters describing separately the spectral and temporal envelopes, as well as on a complete spectrographic representation of the signals. Results/Conclusion We found that individual signature is remarkably resistant to propagation as caller identity can be recovered even at distances greater than a hundred meters. Male calls show stronger discriminability at long distances than female calls, and this difference can be explained by the more pronounced frequency modulation found in their calls. In both sexes, individual information is carried redundantly using multiple acoustical features. Interestingly, features providing the highest discrimination at short distances are not the same ones that provide the highest discrimination at long distances. PMID:25061795

  5. Effects of lethal and sublethal concentrations of the herbicide, triclopyr butoxyethyl ester, in the diet of zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Holmes, S B; Thompson, D G; Wainio-Keizer, K L; Capell, S S; Staznik, B

    1994-07-01

    Lethal and sublethal effects of dietary triclopyr butoxyethyl ester (TBEE) on zebra finches (Poephila guttata Gould) were determined in laboratory experiments conducted between 8 January and 1 May 1991. The 8-day median lethal dietary concentration, LC50 (95% confidence interval), of TBEE to zebra finches was 1,923 (1,627 to 2,277) mg/kg. In the sublethal effects experiment, when birds were exposed to 500 mg/kg TBEE in the diet for 29 days, food consumption and body weight were significantly depressed (P < 0.05). Similar prolonged exposures to 50 and 150 mg/kg TBEE in the diet had no significant effect on food consumption or body weight (P > 0.05). Perch-hopping activity was depressed relative to controls in the 500 mg/kg group, and elevated in the 150 mg/kg group, but neither of these differences was significantly (P > 0.05). Disappearance of TBEE residues from treated seeds over the 29 day experimental period followed an exponential decay model, with half-lives in the order of 15 to 18 days. On the basis of our observation that TBEE had no significant adverse effects at a concentration greater than the maximum expected environmental concentration, we propose that forestry applications of triclopyr at registered dosage rates pose little risk to wild songbirds.

  6. Food, stress, and reproduction: short-term fasting alters endocrine physiology and reproductive behavior in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Sharon E; Stamplis, Teresa B; Barrington, William T; Weida, Nicholas; Hudak, Casey A

    2010-07-01

    Stress is thought to be a potent suppressor of reproduction. However, the vast majority of studies focus on the relationship between chronic stress and reproductive suppression, despite the fact that chronic stress is rare in the wild. We investigated the role of fasting in altering acute stress physiology, reproductive physiology, and reproductive behavior of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with several goals in mind. First, we wanted to determine if acute fasting could stimulate an increase in plasma corticosterone and a decrease in corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and testosterone. We then investigated whether fasting could alter expression of undirected song and courtship behavior. After subjecting males to fasting periods ranging from 1 to 10h, we collected plasma to measure corticosterone, CBG, and testosterone. We found that plasma corticosterone was elevated, and testosterone was decreased after 4, 6, and 10h of fasting periods compared with samples collected from the same males during nonfasted (control) periods. CBG was lower than control levels only after 10h of fasting. We also found that, coincident with these endocrine changes, males sang less and courted females less vigorously following short-term fasting relative to control conditions. Our data demonstrate that acute fasting resulted in rapid changes in endocrine physiology consistent with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activation and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis deactivation. Fasting also inhibited reproductive behavior. We suggest that zebra finches exhibit physiological and behavioral flexibility that makes them an excellent model system for studying interactions of acute stress and reproduction.

  7. Sex-biased investment in yolk androgens depends on female quality and laying order in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, Lucy; Rutstein, Alison N.; Hazon, Neil; Graves, Jefferson A.

    2005-04-01

    The Trivers-Willard hypothesis predicts sex biases in parental investment according to parental condition. In addition, parents may need to sex bias their investment if there is an asymmetry between the sexes in offspring fitness under different conditions. For studying maternal differential investment, egg resources are ideal subjects because they are self contained and allocated unequivocally by the female. Recent studies show that yolk androgens can be beneficial to offspring, so here we test for sex-biased investment with maternal investment of yolk testosterone (T) in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) eggs. From the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, we predicted females to invest more in male eggs in optimum circumstances (e.g. good-condition mother, early-laid egg), and more in female eggs under suboptimal conditions (e.g. poor-condition mother, late-laid egg). This latter prediction is also because in this species there is a female nestling disadvantage in poor conditions and we expected mothers to help compensate for this in female eggs. Indeed, we found more yolk T in female than male eggs. Moreover, in accordance with our predictions, yolk T in male eggs increased with maternal quality relative to female eggs, and decreased with laying order relative to female eggs. This supports our predictions for the different needs and value of male and female offspring in zebra finches. Our results support the idea that females may use yolk androgens as a tool to adaptively manipulate the inequalities between different nestlings.

  8. Experimental exposure to urban and pink noise affects brain development and song learning in zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Curcio, Michael T.; Swaddle, John P.; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Recently, numerous studies have observed changes in bird vocalizations—especially song—in urban habitats. These changes are often interpreted as adaptive, since they increase the active space of the signal in its environment. However, the proximate mechanisms driving cross-generational changes in song are still unknown. We performed a captive experiment to identify whether noise experienced during development affects song learning and the development of song-control brain regions. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were bred while exposed, or not exposed, to recorded traffic urban noise (Study 1) or pink noise (Study 2). We recorded the songs of male offspring and compared these to fathers’ songs. We also measured baseline corticosterone and measured the size of song-control brain regions when the males reached adulthood (Study 1 only). While male zebra finches tended to copy syllables accurately from tutors regardless of noise environment, syntax (the ordering of syllables within songs) was incorrectly copied affected by juveniles exposed to noise. Noise did not affect baseline corticosterone, but did affect the size of brain regions associated with song learning: these regions were smaller in males that had been had been exposed to recorded traffic urban noise in early development. These findings provide a possible mechanism by which noise affects behaviour, leading to potential population differences between wild animals occupying noisier urban environments compared with those in quieter habitats. PMID:27602270

  9. A genome-wide search for eigenetically regulated genes in zebra finch using MethylCap-seq and RNA-seq

    PubMed Central

    Steyaert, Sandra; Diddens, Jolien; Galle, Jeroen; De Meester, Ellen; De Keulenaer, Sarah; Bakker, Antje; Sohnius-Wilhelmi, Nina; Frankl-Vilches, Carolina; Van der Linden, Annemie; Van Criekinge, Wim; Vanden Berghe, Wim; De Meyer, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Learning and memory formation are known to require dynamic CpG (de)methylation and gene expression changes. Here, we aimed at establishing a genome-wide DNA methylation map of the zebra finch genome, a model organism in neuroscience, as well as identifying putatively epigenetically regulated genes. RNA- and MethylCap-seq experiments were performed on two zebra finch cell lines in presence or absence of 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine induced demethylation. First, the MethylCap-seq methodology was validated in zebra finch by comparison with RRBS-generated data. To assess the influence of (variable) methylation on gene expression, RNA-seq experiments were performed as well. Comparison of RNA-seq and MethylCap-seq results showed that at least 357 of the 3,457 AZA-upregulated genes are putatively regulated by methylation in the promoter region, for which a pathway analysis showed remarkable enrichment for neurological networks. A subset of genes was validated using Exon Arrays, quantitative RT-PCR and CpG pyrosequencing on bisulfite-treated samples. To our knowledge, this study provides the first genome-wide DNA methylation map of the zebra finch genome as well as a comprehensive set of genes of which transcription is under putative methylation control. PMID:26864856

  10. Colour Cues That Are Not Directly Attached to the Body of Males Do Not Influence the Mate Choice of Zebra Finches.

    PubMed

    Krause, E Tobias

    2016-01-01

    Mate choice decisions of female zebra finches are generally thought to rely on the assessment of male quality, which includes the specific ornamentation of males. A commonly used paradigm to experimentally manipulate a male's attractiveness is to add a coloured leg ring to the bird. Some studies have shown that female zebra finches prefer or alter their investment in males that have an additional red leg ring compared with males with green leg rings. Whether the coloured artificial ornaments need to be attached to the male's body or whether environmental colouration could have a similar effect on male attractiveness remains unclear. Here, I investigated this novel context to determine whether female choice between males is affected by environmental colour cues that are not directly attached to the male's body in four experiments involving 220 zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). A first experiment revealed that females chose males with red colour cues in the environmental background over males with green cues in the background. Based on this finding, I conducted follow-up experiments to obtain a deeper understanding of how environmental colour cues affect mate choice. Therefore, I examined whether female choice behaviour or male behaviour was altered in two additional experiments. Both experiments failed to show any effects of environmental colour cues on female choice or on male behaviour. Therefore, I replicated the initial experiment in a fourth experiment. Again replication failed; thus, the initial results indicating that environmental colouration affects mate choice behaviour of female zebra finches were not supported by the three subsequent experiments; thus, the outcome of the first experiment seems to be a false positive. Taking my results together, I found no robust support for the idea that environmental colour cues that are not directly attached to the body of male zebra finches affect female mate choice decisions.

  11. Colour Cues That Are Not Directly Attached to the Body of Males Do Not Influence the Mate Choice of Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Mate choice decisions of female zebra finches are generally thought to rely on the assessment of male quality, which includes the specific ornamentation of males. A commonly used paradigm to experimentally manipulate a male’s attractiveness is to add a coloured leg ring to the bird. Some studies have shown that female zebra finches prefer or alter their investment in males that have an additional red leg ring compared with males with green leg rings. Whether the coloured artificial ornaments need to be attached to the male’s body or whether environmental colouration could have a similar effect on male attractiveness remains unclear. Here, I investigated this novel context to determine whether female choice between males is affected by environmental colour cues that are not directly attached to the male’s body in four experiments involving 220 zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). A first experiment revealed that females chose males with red colour cues in the environmental background over males with green cues in the background. Based on this finding, I conducted follow-up experiments to obtain a deeper understanding of how environmental colour cues affect mate choice. Therefore, I examined whether female choice behaviour or male behaviour was altered in two additional experiments. Both experiments failed to show any effects of environmental colour cues on female choice or on male behaviour. Therefore, I replicated the initial experiment in a fourth experiment. Again replication failed; thus, the initial results indicating that environmental colouration affects mate choice behaviour of female zebra finches were not supported by the three subsequent experiments; thus, the outcome of the first experiment seems to be a false positive. Taking my results together, I found no robust support for the idea that environmental colour cues that are not directly attached to the body of male zebra finches affect female mate choice decisions. PMID:27977719

  12. Cannabinoid mitigation of neuronal morphological change important to development and learning: insight from a zebra finch model of psychopharmacology.

    PubMed

    Soderstrom, Ken; Gilbert, Marcoita T

    2013-03-19

    Normal CNS development proceeds through late-postnatal stages of adolescent development. The activity-dependence of this development underscores the significance of CNS-active drug exposure prior to completion of brain maturation. Exogenous modulation of signaling important in regulating normal development is of particular concern. This mini-review presents a summary of the accumulated behavioral, physiological and biochemical evidence supporting such a key regulatory role for endocannabinoid signaling during late-postnatal CNS development. Our focus is on the data obtained using a unique zebra finch model of developmental psychopharmacology. This animal has allowed investigation of neuronal morphological effects essential to establishment and maintenance of neural circuitry, including processes related to synaptogenesis and dendritic spine dynamics. Altered neurophysiology that follows exogenous cannabinoid exposure during adolescent development has the potential to persistently alter cognition, learning and memory.

  13. Sex-specific effects of maternal immunization on yolk antibody transfer and offspring performance in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Martyka, Rafał; Rutkowska, Joanna; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2011-02-23

    Trans-generational antibody transfer constitutes an important mechanism by which mothers may enhance offspring resistance to pathogens. Thus, differential antibody deposition may potentially allow a female to differentiate offspring performance. Here, we examined whether maternal immunization with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) prior to egg laying affects sex-specific yolk antibody transfer and sex-specific offspring performance in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We showed that immunized mothers deposit anti-SRBC antibodies into the eggs depending on embryo sex and laying order, and that maternal exposure to SRBC positively affects the body size of female, but not male offspring. This is the first study reporting sex-specific consequences of maternal immunization on offspring performance, and suggests that antibody transfer may constitute an adaptive mechanism of maternal favouritism.

  14. Features of the Retinotopic Representation in the Visual Wulst of a Laterally Eyed Bird, the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Neethu; Löwel, Siegrid; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The visual wulst of the zebra finch comprises at least two retinotopic maps of the contralateral eye. As yet, it is not known how much of the visual field is represented in the wulst neuronal maps, how the organization of the maps is related to the retinal architecture, and how information from the ipsilateral eye is involved in the activation of the wulst. Here, we have used autofluorescent flavoprotein imaging and classical anatomical methods to investigate such characteristics of the most posterior map of the multiple retinotopic representations. We found that the visual wulst can be activated by visual stimuli from a large part of the visual field of the contralateral eye. Horizontally, the visual field representation extended from -5° beyond the beak tip up to +125° laterally. Vertically, a small strip from -10° below to about +25° above the horizon activated the visual wulst. Although retinal ganglion cells had a much higher density around the fovea and along a strip extending from the fovea towards the beak tip, these areas were not overrepresented in the wulst map. The wulst area activated from the foveal region of the ipsilateral eye, overlapped substantially with the middle of the three contralaterally activated regions in the visual wulst, and partially with the other two. Visual wulst activity evoked by stimulation of the frontal visual field was stronger with contralateral than with binocular stimulation. This confirms earlier electrophysiological studies indicating an inhibitory influence of the activation of the ipsilateral eye on wulst activity elicited by stimulating the contralateral eye. The lack of a foveal overrepresentation suggests that identification of objects may not be the primary task of the zebra finch visual wulst. Instead, this brain area may be involved in the processing of visual information necessary for spatial orientation. PMID:25853253

  15. Features of the retinotopic representation in the visual wulst of a laterally eyed bird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Michael, Neethu; Löwel, Siegrid; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The visual wulst of the zebra finch comprises at least two retinotopic maps of the contralateral eye. As yet, it is not known how much of the visual field is represented in the wulst neuronal maps, how the organization of the maps is related to the retinal architecture, and how information from the ipsilateral eye is involved in the activation of the wulst. Here, we have used autofluorescent flavoprotein imaging and classical anatomical methods to investigate such characteristics of the most posterior map of the multiple retinotopic representations. We found that the visual wulst can be activated by visual stimuli from a large part of the visual field of the contralateral eye. Horizontally, the visual field representation extended from -5° beyond the beak tip up to +125° laterally. Vertically, a small strip from -10° below to about +25° above the horizon activated the visual wulst. Although retinal ganglion cells had a much higher density around the fovea and along a strip extending from the fovea towards the beak tip, these areas were not overrepresented in the wulst map. The wulst area activated from the foveal region of the ipsilateral eye, overlapped substantially with the middle of the three contralaterally activated regions in the visual wulst, and partially with the other two. Visual wulst activity evoked by stimulation of the frontal visual field was stronger with contralateral than with binocular stimulation. This confirms earlier electrophysiological studies indicating an inhibitory influence of the activation of the ipsilateral eye on wulst activity elicited by stimulating the contralateral eye. The lack of a foveal overrepresentation suggests that identification of objects may not be the primary task of the zebra finch visual wulst. Instead, this brain area may be involved in the processing of visual information necessary for spatial orientation.

  16. Sex Differences in Brain Thyroid Hormone Levels during Early Post-Hatching Development in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Yamaguchi, Shinji; Hayase, Shin; Aoki, Naoya; Takehara, Akihiko; Ishigohoka, Jun; Matsushima, Toshiya; Wada, Kazuhiro; Homma, Koichi J.

    2017-01-01

    Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4) in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds. PMID:28060907

  17. Dopaminergic modulation of reproductive behavior and activity in male zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Rauceo, Sharon; Harding, Cheryl F; Maldonado, Alexandra; Gaysinkaya, Lina; Tulloch, Ingrid; Rodriguez, Elizabeth

    2008-02-11

    We previously demonstrated that hormone treatments which stimulate female-directed singing increased levels and turnover of dopamine (DA) in brain areas controlling the motor patterning of song. To help determine how DA affects singing, we quantified the effects of treating adult male finches with the D1/D2 receptor antagonist cis-flupenthixol. Adult males were given subcutaneous silastic implants of androgen, in case drug treatment interfered with androgen secretion. One week later, they were tested with females. Males were divided into three groups matched for levels of courtship singing. Males were then subcutaneously implanted with osmotic minipumps containing either saline, a low, or a high dose of cis-flupenthixol. Each male was tested with a different female 5 and 10 days after implantation to determine how this D1/D2 receptor antagonist affected behavior. Both drug doses affected female-directed singing 5 days after initiation of treatment. High-dose males sang to females significantly less often than males in the other two groups. Low-dose males showed fewer high-intensity courtship displays in which males dance towards females as they sing. These effects on courtship singing were not seen at day 10, though other behavioral effects were seen at this time. Male beak wipes, rocks, following females and female withdrawals from males were also affected by drug treatment. General activity in the home cage was decreased by day 11. These data demonstrate that singing and several other female-directed behaviors are sensitive to perturbations in DA receptor function.

  18. Frequency-range discriminations and absolute pitch in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus), mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli), and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Lee, Tiffany T Y; Charrier, Isabelle; Bloomfield, Laurie L; Weisman, Ronald G; Sturdy, Christopher B

    2006-08-01

    The acoustic frequency ranges in birdsongs provide important absolute pitch cues for the recognition of conspecifics. Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus), mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli), and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were trained to sort tones contiguous in frequency into 8 ranges on the basis of associations between response to the tones in each range and reward. All 3 species acquired accurate frequency-range discriminations, but zebra finches acquired the discrimination in fewer trials and to a higher standard than black-capped or mountain chickadees, which did not differ appreciably in the discrimination. Chickadees' relatively poorer accuracy was traced to poorer discrimination of tones in the higher frequency ranges. During transfer tests, the discrimination generalized to novel tones when the training tones were included, but not when they were omitted.

  19. Activity in a Premotor Cortical Nucleus of Zebra Finches Is Locally Organized and Exhibits Auditory Selectivity in Neurons but Not in Glia

    PubMed Central

    Graber, Michael H.; Helmchen, Fritjof; Hahnloser, Richard H. R.

    2013-01-01

    Motor functions are often guided by sensory experience, most convincingly illustrated by complex learned behaviors. Key to sensory guidance in motor areas may be the structural and functional organization of sensory inputs and their evoked responses. We study sensory responses in large populations of neurons and neuron-assistive cells in the songbird motor area HVC, an auditory-vocal brain area involved in sensory learning and in adult song production. HVC spike responses to auditory stimulation display remarkable preference for the bird's own song (BOS) compared to other stimuli. Using two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized zebra finches we measure the spatio-temporal structure of baseline activity and of auditory evoked responses in identified populations of HVC cells. We find strong correlations between calcium signal fluctuations in nearby cells of a given type, both in identified neurons and in astroglia. In identified HVC neurons only, auditory stimulation decorrelates ongoing calcium signals, less for BOS than for other sound stimuli. Overall, calcium transients show strong preference for BOS in identified HVC neurons but not in astroglia, showing diversity in local functional organization among identified neuron and astroglia populations. PMID:24312533

  20. Body condition and immune response in wild zebra finches: effects of capture, confinement and captive-rearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewenson, Erynne; Zann, Richard; Flannery, Graham

    2001-08-01

    Behavioural ecologists attempt to predict fitness in birds from estimates of body condition and immune capacity. We investigated how the stresses associated with capture, confinement and captive-rearing of wild zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) affected different elements of the immune system and body condition. Wild birds had higher heterophil:lymphocyte ratios and total leucocyte counts than aviary birds, presumably an outcome of mounting specific resistance to pathogens, but this response diminished significantly within 10 days of confinement. Wild birds had lower phytohaemagglutinin-A (PHA) responses than their aviary-bred counterparts possibly because energetic costs limited a general resistance response. Wild birds were heavier and had higher haematocrits than their aviary counterparts, but had less fat, although just 10 days of captivity significantly increased fat levels. Measures of body condition were of limited use for predicting immune responsiveness. We conclude that the different elements of the immune system and body condition respond independently, and often unpredictably, to many ecological and behavioural stressors.

  1. Multiple Visual Field Representations in the Visual Wulst of a Laterally Eyed Bird, the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The visual wulst is the telencephalic target of the avian thalamofugal visual system. It contains several retinotopically organised representations of the contralateral visual field. We used optical imaging of intrinsic signals, electrophysiological recordings, and retrograde tracing with two fluorescent tracers to evaluate properties of these representations in the zebra finch, a songbird with laterally placed eyes. Our experiments revealed that there is some variability of the neuronal maps between individuals and also concerning the number of detectable maps. It was nonetheless possible to identify three different maps, a posterolateral, a posteromedial, and an anterior one, which were quite constant in their relation to each other. The posterolateral map was in contrast to the two others constantly visible in each successful experiment. The topography of the two other maps was mirrored against that map. Electrophysiological recordings in the anterior and the posterolateral map revealed that all units responded to flashes and to moving bars. Mean directional preferences as well as latencies were different between neurons of the two maps. Tracing experiments confirmed previous reports on the thalamo-wulst connections and showed that the anterior and the posterolateral map receive projections from separate clusters within the thalamic nuclei. Maps are connected to each other by wulst intrinsic projections. Our experiments confirm that the avian visual wulst contains several separate retinotopic maps with both different physiological properties and different thalamo-wulst afferents. This confirms that the functional organization of the visual wulst is very similar to its mammalian equivalent, the visual cortex. PMID:27139912

  2. MC1R genotype and plumage colouration in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata): population structure generates artefactual associations.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Joseph I; Krause, E Tobias; Lehmann, Katrin; Krüger, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding region in 162 zebra finches comprising 79 wild type and 83 white individuals from five stocks. Allelic counts differed significantly between the two plumage morphs at multiple segregating sites, but these were mostly synonymous. To provide a control, the birds were genotyped at eight microsatellites and subjected to Bayesian cluster analysis, revealing two distinct groups. We therefore crossed wild type with white individuals and backcrossed the F1s with white birds. No significant associations were detected in the resulting offspring, suggesting that our original findings were a byproduct of genome-wide divergence. Our results are consistent with a previous study that found no association between MC1R polymorphism and plumage coloration in leaf warblers. They also contribute towards a growing body of evidence suggesting that care should be taken to quantify, and where necessary control for, population structure in association studies.

  3. Sexual differentiation of brain and behavior in the zebra finch: critical periods for effects of early estrogen treatment.

    PubMed

    Adkins-Regan, E; Mansukhani, V; Seiwert, C; Thompson, R

    1994-07-01

    In order to determine the critical period(s) during which estrogen alters sexually dimorphic behavior and neuroanatomy in zebra finches (Poephila guttata), nestlings were injected daily with 20 micrograms estradiol benzoate (EB) during posthatching week 1, week 2, week 3, or weeks 1, 2, and 3. At 7 months of age, birds were implanted with testosterone propionate and tested with female partners for singing, dancing, and copulatory mounting. Brains were subsequently processed for morphometry, and the volumes of the song system nuclei HVC, area X, and RA and the soma sizes and densities of neurons in RA were determined. Males given EB during week 1 failed to mount. Females given EB during week 1 were fully masculinized with respect to dancing and RA neuron soma size and density, and were partially masculinized with respect to song nuclei volumes and singing. Treatment beginning after week 1 was ineffective or less effective for all measures. Only for RA neuron measures was treatment for all three weeks more effective than week 1 treatment. Thus the first post-hatching week is the most influential period of those tested for effects of exogenous estrogen on sexual differentiation in this species, and is a period during which both masculinization of females and demasculinization of males is possible.

  4. The effect of capture-and-handling stress on carotenoid-based beak coloration in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    McGraw, Kevin J; Lee, Kristen; Lewin, Amir

    2011-06-01

    Stress can have widespread effects on animal behaviors and phenotypes, including sexually selected traits. Ornamental colors have long been studied as honest signals of condition, but few studies have been conducted on how the physiological stress response (i.e., corticosterone (CORT) elevation) impacts color expression. We used a traditional capture-and-restraint technique to examine the effect of repeated handling stress on carotenoid-dependent beak coloration in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds subjected to daily, 10-min handling treatments, which elevated circulating CORT levels, for a four-week period displayed deeper orange/red beak coloration than did control animals. Stressed males lost body mass during the experiment and marginally decreased in circulating carotenoid concentrations. Hence, handling stress may have reduced food intake or induced mobilization of body stores (i.e., fat) of carotenoids. In contrast to males, stressed females maintained orange beak color, while control females faded in color. This study highlights sex- and pigment-specific mechanisms by which stress may temporarily enhance the expression of sexual traits, but at the expense of other key fitness traits (e.g., body mass maintenance, reproduction).

  5. Singing with reduced air sac volume causes uniform decrease in airflow and sound amplitude in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Plummer, Emily Megan; Goller, Franz

    2008-01-01

    Song of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is a complex temporal sequence generated by a drastic change to the regular oscillations of the normal respiratory pattern. It is not known how respiratory functions, such as supply of air volume and gas exchange, are controlled during song. To understand the integration between respiration and song, we manipulated respiration during song by injecting inert dental medium into the air sacs. Increased respiratory rate after injections indicates that the reduction of air affected quiet respiration and that birds compensated for the reduced air volume. During song, air sac pressure, tracheal airflow and sound amplitude decreased substantially with each injection. This decrease was consistently present during each expiratory pulse of the song motif irrespective of the air volume used. Few changes to the temporal pattern of song were noted, such as the increased duration of a minibreath in one bird and the decrease in duration of a long syllable in another bird. Despite the drastic reduction in air sac pressure, airflow and sound amplitude, no increase in abdominal muscle activity was seen. This suggests that during song, birds do not compensate for the reduced physiological or acoustic parameters. Neither somatosensory nor auditory feedback mechanisms appear to effect a correction in expiratory effort to compensate for reduced air sac pressure and sound amplitude.

  6. Masculinisation of the Zebra Finch Song System: Roles of Oestradiol and the Z-chromosome Gene Tubulin-Specific Chaperone Protein A

    PubMed Central

    Beach, L. Q.; Wade, J.

    2015-01-01

    Robust sex differences in brain and behaviour exist in zebra finches. Only males sing, and forebrain song control regions are more developed in males. The factors driving these differences are not clear, although numerous experiments have shown that oestradiol (E2) administered to female hatchlings partially masculinises brain and behaviour. Recent studies suggest that an increased expression of Z-chromosome genes in males (ZZ; females: ZW) might also play a role. The Z-gene tubulin-specific chaperone A (TBCA) exhibits increased expression in the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN) of juvenile males compared to females; TBCA+ cells project to the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA). In the present study, we investigated the role of TBCA and tested hypotheses with respect to the interactive or additive effects of E2 and TBCA. We first examined whether E2 in hatchling zebra finches modulates TBCA expression in the LMAN. It affected neither the mRNA, nor protein in either sex. We then unilaterally delivered TBCA small interfering (si)RNA to the LMAN of developing females treated with E2 or vehicle and males treated with the aromatase inhibitor, fadrozole, or its control. In both sexes, decreasing TBCA in LMAN reduced RA cell number, cell size and volume. It also decreased LMAN volume in females. Fadrozole in males increased LMAN volume and RA cell size. TBCA siRNA delivered to the LMAN also decreased the projection from this brain region to the RA, as indicated by anterograde tract tracing. The results suggest that TBCA is involved in masculinising the song system. However, because no interactions between the siRNA and hormone manipulations were detected, TBCA does not appear to modulate effects of E2 in the zebra finch song circuit. PMID:25702708

  7. Muscarinic Receptors Are Responsible for the Cholinergic Modulation of Projection Neurons in the Song Production Brain Nucleus RA of Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Wei; Wang, Songhua; Yao, Lihua; Zhang, Nan; Li, Dongfeng

    2017-01-01

    Songbirds are a useful model for the study of learned vocal behavior in vertebrates. The robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) is a premotor nucleus in the vocal motor pathway. It receives excitatory synaptic inputs from the anterior forebrain pathway. RA also receives cholinergic inputs from the ventral paleostriatum of the basal forebrain. Our previous study showed that carbachol, a non-selective cholinergic receptor agonist, modulates the electrophysiology of RA projection neurons (PNs), indicating that cholinergic modulation of RA may play an important role in song production. However, the receptor mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of two acetylcholine receptors on the RA PNs of adult male zebra finches using in vitro whole-cell current clamp. Our results demonstrate that activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) simulate the effects of carbachol. Both carbachol and the mAChR agonist muscarine produced a decrease in the excitability of RA PNs and a hyperpolarization of the membrane potential. The mAChR antagonist atropine blocked the effects of carbachol. Activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with nAChR agonist nicotine or DMPP had no effect on the excitability of RA PNs, and the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine failed to inhibit the effects of carbachol. These results suggest that mAChRs, but not nAChRs, primarily modulate the effects of carbachol on the activity of RA PNs. Collectively, these findings contribute to our understanding of the mechanism of cholinergic modulation in the vocal nuclei of songbirds. PMID:28293176

  8. Long-term effects of adolescent stress on neophobic behaviors in zebra finches are modulated by social context when in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Emmerson, Michael G; Spencer, Karen A

    2017-02-03

    Experiencing stress during adolescence can increase neophobic behaviors in adulthood, but most tests have been conducted in the absence of conspecifics. Conspecifics can modulate responses to stressors, for example by acting as 'social buffers' to attenuate the aversive appraisal of stressors. Here, we investigate the long-term effects of adolescent stress on the behavioral responses to novel stimuli (a mild stressor) across social contexts in an affiliative passerine bird, the zebra finch. During early (days 40-60) or late (days 65-85) adolescence the birds (n=66) were dosed with either saline or the hormone corticosterone (CORT). CORT was given in order to mimic a physiological stress response and saline was given as a control. In adulthood, the birds' behavioral responses to a novel environment were recorded in both the presence and absence of conspecifics. An acute CORT response was also quantified in adolescence and adulthood. Our findings show clear evidence of social context mediating any long-term effects of adolescent stress. In the presence of familiar conspecifics no treatment effects were detected. Individually, birds dosed with CORT in early adolescence were slower to enter a novel environment, spent more time perching in the same novel environment, and, if female, engaged in more risk assessment. Birds dosed in late adolescence were unaffected. No treatment effects were detected on CORT, but adolescents had a higher CORT concentration than adults. Our results are the first to suggest that familiar conspecifics in adulthood can buffer the long-term effects of stress that occurred during early adolescence.

  9. Male foraging efficiency, but not male problem-solving performance, influences female mating preferences in zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Chantal, Véronique

    2016-01-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that females would prefer males with better cognitive abilities as mates. However, little is known about the traits reflecting enhanced cognitive skills on which females might base their mate-choice decisions. In particular, it has been suggested that male foraging performance could be used as an indicator of cognitive capacity, but convincing evidence for this hypothesis is still lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) modify their mating preferences after having observed the performance of males on a problem-solving task. Specifically, we measured the females’ preferences between two males once before and once after an observation period, during which their initially preferred male was incapable of solving the task contrary to their initially less-preferred male. We also conducted a control treatment to test whether the shift in female preferences was attributable to differences between the two stimulus males in their foraging efficiency. Finally, we assessed each bird’s performance in a color associative task to check whether females can discriminate among males based on their learning speed. We found that females significantly increased their preference toward the most efficient male in both treatments. Yet, there was no difference between the two treatments and we found no evidence that females assess male cognitive ability indirectly via morphological traits. Thus, our results suggest that females would not use the males’ problem-solving performance as an indicator of general cognitive ability to gain indirect fitness benefits (i.e., good genes) but rather to assess their foraging efficiency and gain direct benefits. PMID:27635358

  10. The songbird syrinx morphome: a three-dimensional, high-resolution, interactive morphological map of the zebra finch vocal organ

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Like human infants, songbirds learn their species-specific vocalizations through imitation learning. The birdsong system has emerged as a widely used experimental animal model for understanding the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for vocal production learning. However, how neural impulses are translated into the precise motor behavior of the complex vocal organ (syrinx) to create song is poorly understood. First and foremost, we lack a detailed understanding of syringeal morphology. Results To fill this gap we combined non-invasive (high-field magnetic resonance imaging and micro-computed tomography) and invasive techniques (histology and micro-dissection) to construct the annotated high-resolution three-dimensional dataset, or morphome, of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) syrinx. We identified and annotated syringeal cartilage, bone and musculature in situ in unprecedented detail. We provide interactive three-dimensional models that greatly improve the communication of complex morphological data and our understanding of syringeal function in general. Conclusions Our results show that the syringeal skeleton is optimized for low weight driven by physiological constraints on song production. The present refinement of muscle organization and identity elucidates how apposed muscles actuate different syringeal elements. Our dataset allows for more precise predictions about muscle co-activation and synergies and has important implications for muscle activity and stimulation experiments. We also demonstrate how the syrinx can be stabilized during song to reduce mechanical noise and, as such, enhance repetitive execution of stereotypic motor patterns. In addition, we identify a cartilaginous structure suited to play a crucial role in the uncoupling of sound frequency and amplitude control, which permits a novel explanation of the evolutionary success of songbirds. PMID:23294804

  11. No Trade-Offs between Lipid Stores and Structural Growth in Juvenile Zebra Finches Undergoing Nutritional Stress during Development.

    PubMed

    Kriengwatana, Buddhamas; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2015-01-01

    Nutritional conditions during development can affect both structural growth and body fat deposition. Body size and body fat each have significant consequences for fitness, yet few studies have investigated how young birds balance resource allocation between structural growth and fat reserves. We raised zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in consistently high- or low-food conditions until posthatch day 35 (PHD 35). From this age until PHD 62, half of the birds in each condition were switched to the other treatment, while the rest were maintained on the same conditions. Body mass, lean mass, body fat, and tarsus length were measured before (PHD 25) and after (PHD 55) nutritional independence. Precise measures of body composition were obtained noninvasively at both ages using quantitative magnetic resonance analysis. At PHD 25, birds in the high treatment had more body mass and lean mass than birds in the low treatment, but nutritional treatments did not affect body fat at this age. Unexpectedly, the strategic response of birds that experienced deteriorating food availability was to maintain body mass by increasing body fat and decreasing lean mass. Birds that experienced an improvement in food availability significantly increased body mass by increasing lean mass and not body fat. Birds maintained on a low diet throughout did not significantly increase body mass, lean mass, or body fat. Tarsus length was not affected by nutritional manipulations. These findings indicate that nutritional stress did not affect the relationship between skeletal growth and body fat deposition because lean mass, body fat, and tarsus length can be independently regulated at different developmental periods depending on nutritional conditions.

  12. Activation changes in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain areas evoked by alterations of the earth magnetic field.

    PubMed

    Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many animals are able to perceive the earth magnetic field and to use it for orientation and navigation within the environment. The mechanisms underlying the perception and processing of magnetic field information within the brain have been thoroughly studied, especially in birds, but are still obscure. Three hypotheses are currently discussed, dealing with ferromagnetic particles in the beak of birds, with the same sort of particles within the lagena organs, or describing magnetically influenced radical-pair processes within retinal photopigments. Each hypothesis is related to a well-known sensory organ and claims parallel processing of magnetic field information with somatosensory, vestibular and visual input, respectively. Changes in activation within nuclei of the respective sensory systems have been shown previously. Most of these previous experiments employed intensity enhanced magnetic stimuli or lesions. We here exposed unrestrained zebra finches to either a stationary or a rotating magnetic field of the local intensity and inclination. C-Fos was used as an activity marker to examine whether the two treatments led to differences in fourteen brain areas including nuclei of the somatosensory, vestibular and visual system. An ANOVA revealed an overall effect of treatment, indicating that the magnetic field change was perceived by the birds. While the differences were too small to be significant in most areas, a significant enhancement of activation by the rotating stimulus was found in a hippocampal subdivision. Part of the hyperpallium showed a strong, nearly significant, increase. Our results are compatible with previous studies demonstrating an involvement of at least three different sensory systems in earth magnetic field perception and suggest that these systems, probably less elaborated, may also be found in nonmigrating birds.

  13. Two-photon deep imaging through skin and skull of Zebra finches: preliminary studies for in-vivo brain metabolism monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abi-Haidar, D.; Olivier, T.; Mottin, S.; Vignal, C.; Mathevon, N.

    2007-02-01

    Zebra Finches are songbirds which constitute a model for neuro-ethologists to study the neuro-mechanisms of vocal recognition. For this purpose, in vivo and non invasive monitoring of brain activity is required during acoustical stimulation. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or NIRS (Near InfraRed Spectroscopy) are suitable methods for these measurements, even though MRI is difficult to link quantitatively with neural activity and NIRS suffers from a poor resolution. In the particular case of songbirds (whose skin is thin and quite transparent and whose skull structure is hollow), two-photon microscopy enables a quite deep penetration in tissues and could be an alternative. We present here preliminary studies on the feasability of two-photon microscopy in these conditions. To do so, we chose to image hollow fibers, filled with Rhodamine B, through the skin of Zebra finches in order to evaluate the spatial resolution we may expect in future in vivo experiments. Moreover, we used the reflectance-mode confocal configuration to evaluate the exponential decrease of backreflected light in skin and in skull samples. Following this procedure recently proposed by S.L. Jacques and co-workers, we planned to determine the scattering coefficient μ s and the anisotropy g of these tissues and make a comparison between fixed and fresh skin and skull samples for future Monte Carlo simulations of the scattering in our particular multi-layered structure.

  14. The vocal repertoire of the domesticated zebra finch: a data-driven approach to decipher the information-bearing acoustic features of communication signals.

    PubMed

    Elie, Julie E; Theunissen, Frédéric E

    2016-03-01

    Although a universal code for the acoustic features of animal vocal communication calls may not exist, the thorough analysis of the distinctive acoustical features of vocalization categories is important not only to decipher the acoustical code for a specific species but also to understand the evolution of communication signals and the mechanisms used to produce and understand them. Here, we recorded more than 8000 examples of almost all the vocalizations of the domesticated zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata: vocalizations produced to establish contact, to form and maintain pair bonds, to sound an alarm, to communicate distress or to advertise hunger or aggressive intents. We characterized each vocalization type using complete representations that avoided any a priori assumptions on the acoustic code, as well as classical bioacoustics measures that could provide more intuitive interpretations. We then used these acoustical features to rigorously determine the potential information-bearing acoustical features for each vocalization type using both a novel regularized classifier and an unsupervised clustering algorithm. Vocalization categories are discriminated by the shape of their frequency spectrum and by their pitch saliency (noisy to tonal vocalizations) but not particularly by their fundamental frequency. Notably, the spectral shape of zebra finch vocalizations contains peaks or formants that vary systematically across categories and that would be generated by active control of both the vocal organ (source) and the upper vocal tract (filter).

  15. Mass production of SNP markers in a nonmodel passerine bird through RAD sequencing and contig mapping to the zebra finch genome.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, Yann X C; Lhuillier, Emeline; Cézard, Timothée; Bertrand, Joris A M; Delahaie, Boris; Cornuault, Josselin; Duval, Thomas; Bouchez, Olivier; Milá, Borja; Thébaud, Christophe

    2013-09-01

    Here, we present an adaptation of restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) to the Illumina HiSeq2000 technology that we used to produce SNP markers in very large quantities at low cost per unit in the Réunion grey white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus), a nonmodel passerine bird species with no reference genome. We sequenced a set of six pools of 18-25 individuals using a single sequencing lane. This allowed us to build around 600 000 contigs, among which at least 386 000 could be mapped to the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) genome. This yielded more than 80 000 SNPs that could be mapped unambiguously and are evenly distributed across the genome. Thus, our approach provides a good illustration of the high potential of paired-end RAD sequencing of pooled DNA samples combined with comparative assembly to the zebra finch genome to build large contigs and characterize vast numbers of informative SNPs in nonmodel passerine bird species in a very efficient and cost-effective way.

  16. Developmental stress affects song learning but not song complexity and vocal amplitude in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Brumm, Henrik; Zollinger, Sue Anne; Slater, Peter J B

    2009-07-01

    Several recent studies have tested the hypothesis that song quality in adult birds may reflect early developmental conditions, specifically nutritional stress during the nestling period. Whilst all of these earlier studies found apparent links between early nutritional stress and song quality, their results disagree as to which aspects of song learning or production were affected. In this study, we attempted to reconcile these apparently inconsistent results. Our study also provides the first assessment of song amplitude in relation to early developmental stress and as a potential cue to male quality. We used an experimental manipulation in which the seeds on which the birds were reared were mixed with husks, making them more difficult for the parents to obtain. Compared with controls, such chicks were lighter at fledging; they were thereafter placed on a normal diet and had caught up by 100 days. We show that nutritional stress during the first 30 days of life reduced the birds' accuracy of song syntax learning, resulting in poorer copies of tutor songs. Our experimental manipulations did not lead to significant changes in song amplitude, song duration or repertoire size. Thus, individual differences observed in song performance features probably reflect differences in current condition or motivation rather than past condition.

  17. Developmental pattern of diacylglycerol lipase-α (DAGLα) immunoreactivity in brain regions important for song learning and control in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Soderstrom, Ken; Wilson, Ashley R

    2013-11-01

    Zebra finch song is a learned behavior dependent upon successful progress through a sensitive period of late-postnatal development. This learning is associated with maturation of distinct brain nuclei and the fiber tract interconnections between them. We have previously found remarkably distinct and dense CB1 cannabinoid receptor expression within many of these song control brain regions, implying a normal role for endocannabinoid signaling in vocal learning. Activation of CB1 receptors via daily treatments with exogenous agonist during sensorimotor stages of song learning (but not in adulthood) results in persistent alteration of song patterns. Now we are working to understand physiological changes responsible for this cannabinoid-altered vocal learning. We have found that song-altering developmental treatments are associated with changes in expression of endocannabinoid signaling elements, including CB1 receptors and the principal CNS endogenous agonist, 2-AG. Within CNS, 2-AG is produced largely through activity of the α isoform of the enzyme diacylglycerol lipase (DAGLα). To better appreciate the role of 2-AG production in normal vocal development we have determined the spatial distribution of DAGLα expression within zebra finch CNS during vocal development. Early during vocal development at 25 days, DAGLα staining is typically light and of fibroid processes. Staining peaks late in the sensorimotor stage of song learning at 75 days and is characterized by fiber, neuropil and some staining of both small and large cell somata. Results provide insight to the normal role for endocannabinoid signaling in the maturation of brain regions responsible for song learning and vocal-motor output, and suggest mechanisms by which exogenous cannabinoid exposure alters acquisition of this form of vocal communication.

  18. Androgen receptor location in the dark-eyed junco using a probe for in situ hybridization histochemistry generated from zebra finch cDNA.

    PubMed

    Satre, Danielle; Kim, Yong-Hwan; Corbitt, Cynthia

    2011-09-30

    Due to the role of sex steroids, namely testosterone (T), in the development and production of song in songbirds, androgen receptor (AR) densities in the brain regions controlling this behavior (i.e., the song control system) have long been studied. Many methods have been used to determine AR density and location to investigate the functional role of T in song development and production; however, a riboprobe developed from zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) cDNA was shown to be much more sensitive than previous methods. The zebra finch is a common model for song development and is sexually dimorphic, but does not breed seasonally or display seasonal changes in song control region volume. In this study, we used this riboprobe for in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISHH) to describe AR mRNA location in the brain of the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), a seasonally breeding model for which T has been shown to be important. Additionally, we provide a detailed comparison of AR mRNA location between these species. We found that this probe is indeed highly sensitive. We detected AR mRNA in four major regions of the song control system (HVC, MAN, RA and Area X). Additionally, we found that the location of AR mRNA in other regions varied only slightly between these two species. These findings suggest that this method is suitable for use across songbirds and it could be useful in the ongoing attempts to elucidate the roles of sex steroid hormones on the development of this and other sex steroid dependent behaviors in songbirds.

  19. Functional genomic analysis and neuroanatomical localization of miR-2954, a song-responsive sex-linked microRNA in the zebra finch

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ya-Chi; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Clayton, David F.

    2014-01-01

    Natural experience can cause complex changes in gene expression in brain centers for cognition and perception, but the mechanisms that link perceptual experience and neurogenomic regulation are not understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) have the potential to regulate large gene expression networks, and a previous study showed that a natural perceptual stimulus (hearing the sound of birdsong in zebra finches) triggers rapid changes in expression of several miRs in the auditory forebrain. Here we evaluate the functional potential of one of these, miR-2954, which has been found so far only in birds and is encoded on the Z sex chromosome. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we show that miR-2954 is present in subsets of cells in the sexually dimorphic brain regions involved in song production and perception, with notable enrichment in cell nuclei. We then probe its regulatory function by inhibiting its expression in a zebra finch cell line (G266) and measuring effects on endogenous gene expression using Illumina RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). Approximately 1000 different mRNAs change in expression by 1.5-fold or more (adjusted p < 0.01), with increases in some but not all of the targets that had been predicted by Targetscan. The population of RNAs that increase after miR-2954 inhibition is notably enriched for ones involved in the MAP Kinase (MAPK) pathway, whereas the decreasing population is dominated by genes involved in ribosomes and mitochondrial function. Since song stimulation itself triggers a decrease in miR-2954 expression followed by a delayed decrease in genes encoding ribosomal and mitochondrial functions, we suggest that miR-2954 may mediate some of the neurogenomic effects of song habituation. PMID:25565940

  20. Hippocampal activation of immediate early genes Zenk and c-Fos in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) during learning and recall of a spatial memory task.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Uwe; Watanabe, Shigeru; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2010-03-01

    Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are able to learn the position of food by orienting on spatial cues in a 'dry water maze'. In the course of spatial learning, the hippocampus shows high expression of the immediate early genes (IEGs) Zenk and c-Fos, indicating high activation of this area during learning. In contrast, the IEG activity is nearly absent if the birds do not have to rely on spatial cues. In the present experiment it was investigated whether hippocampal activation can also be observed if the learned spatial task is recalled. For this purpose, the hippocampal Zenk and c-Fos activation of birds in an early learning stage was compared with that of others having well reached their maximal performance. The results show that the avian hippocampus is also active during recall of a learned spatial task, but the activation is significantly lower than in animals learning actually. As in previous experiments, hippocampal IEG expression showed strong variation not only in the position of the active patches of neurons, but also in size and cell density. The observed difference contributes to the view that immediate early genes may not be indicators of activation alone, but may be due to a combination of activation and plastic changes.

  1. Plasma reactive oxygen metabolites and non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity are not affected by an acute increase of metabolic rate in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Beamonte-Barrientos, Rene; Verhulst, Simon

    2013-07-01

    Understanding the sources of variation in oxidative stress level is a challenging issue due to the implications of oxidative stress for late age diseases, longevity and life-history trade-offs. Reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress are mostly a by-product of energy metabolism and it is therefore often assumed that oxidative stress is proportional to energy consumption. In mammals, an increased metabolic rate induced by cold exposure generally increases oxidative stress. However, compared to mammals, birds generate fewer free radicals per ATP produced and hence it is not obvious that, in birds, a cold-induced increase of metabolic rate increase oxidative stress. We tested whether cold-induced increase in metabolic rate increased oxidative stress in zebra finches by exposing individuals to cold and warm overnight temperatures. We registered metabolic rate and plasma levels of non-enzymatic antioxidants and reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs), a measure of oxidative damage. Metabolic rate was on average 88 % higher in cold compared to warm temperature, with females being stronger affected than males. However, temperature had no effect on plasma antioxidants or our measure of oxidative damage. Middle-age birds had higher levels of plasma antioxidants than younger and older birds, but age was unrelated to ROMs. Birds showed repeatability of plasma ROMs across temperatures but not of non-enzymatic antioxidants. In contrast to similar studies in mammals, our results do not show evidence of increased oxidative stress in plasma after an acute cold-induced increase of metabolic rate but research in more bird species is needed to assess the generality of this pattern.

  2. Interspecific effects of 4A-DNT (4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene) and RDX (1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine) in Japanese quail, Northern bobwhite, and Zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Michael J; Hanna, Terry L; Shiflett, Alicia A; McFarland, Craig A; Cook, Michelle E; Johnson, Mark S; Gust, Kurt A; Perkins, Edward J

    2013-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the toxicological effects of two munition compounds, 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4A-DNT) and 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), on three different bird species: two common toxicological model species-the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and the Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica), and a representative passerine-the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Bobwhite were exposed to 4A-DNT at 0, 8, 15, 30, 60, or 150 mg/kg body weight (bw) d by oral gavage for seven days; because the high dose of 4A-DNT was lethal to bobwhite, the maximum dose was changed to 100 mg/kg bw d for Japanese quail and finches to ensure tissue could be used for future toxicogenomic work. RDX was similarly administered at 0, 0.5, 1.5, 3, 6, or 12 mg/kg bw d. Blood was drawn prior to euthanasia for blood cellularity and chemistry analyses. Finches were clearly least affected by 4A-DNT as evidenced by a lack of observable effects. Bobwhite appeared to be the most sensitive species to 4A-DNT as observed through changes in blood cellularity and plasma chemistry effects. Bobwhite appeared to be more sensitive to RDX than Japanese Quail due to increased effects on measures of plasma chemistries. Finches exhibited the greatest sensitivity to RDX through increased mortality and seizure activity. This study suggests that sensitivity among species is chemical-specific and provides data that could be used to refine current avian sensitivity models used in ecological risk assessments.

  3. Injury Severity and Mortality of Adult Zebra Crosswalk and Non-Zebra Crosswalk Road Crossing Accidents: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Pfortmueller, Carmen A.; Marti, Mariana; Kunz, Mirco; Lindner, Gregor; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis K.

    2014-01-01

    Principals Over a million people worldwide die each year from road traffic injuries and more than 10 million sustain permanent disabilities. Many of these victims are pedestrians. The present retrospective study analyzes the severity and mortality of injuries suffered by adult pedestrians, depending on whether they used a zebra crosswalk. Methods Our retrospective data analysis covered adult patients admitted to our emergency department (ED) between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2012 after being hit by a vehicle while crossing the road as a pedestrian. Patients were identified by using a string term. Medical, police and ambulance records were reviewed for data extraction. Results A total of 347 patients were eligible for study inclusion. Two hundred and three (203; 58.5%) patients were on a zebra crosswalk and 144 (41.5%) were not. The mean ISS (injury Severity Score) was 12.1 (SD 14.7, range 1-75). The vehicles were faster in non-zebra crosswalk accidents (47.7 km/n, versus 41.4 km/h, p<0.027). The mean ISS score was higher in patients with non-zebra crosswalk accidents; 14.4 (SD 16.5, range 1–75) versus 10.5 (SD13.14, range 1–75) (p<0.019). Zebra crosswalk accidents were associated with less risk of severe injury (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.38–0.98, p<0.042). Accidents involving a truck were associated with increased risk of severe injury (OR 3.53, 95%CI 1.21–10.26, p<0.02). Conclusion Accidents on zebra crosswalks are more common than those not on zebra crosswalks. The injury severity of non-zebra crosswalk accidents is significantly higher than in patients with zebra crosswalk accidents. Accidents involving large vehicles are associated with increased risk of severe injury. Further prospective studies are needed, with detailed assessment of motor vehicle types and speed. PMID:24595100

  4. Auditory scene analysis in estrildid finches (Taeniopygia guttata and Lonchura striata domestica): a species advantage for detection of conspecific song.

    PubMed

    Benney, K S; Braaten, R F

    2000-06-01

    Operant-conditioning techniques were used to investigate the ability of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica) to detect a zebra finch or a Bengalese finch target song intermixed with other birdsongs. Sixteen birds were trained to respond to the presence of a particular target song, either of their own species (n = 8) or of another species (n = 8). The birds were able to learn a discrimination between song mixtures that contained a target song and song mixtures that did not, and they were able to maintain their response to the target song when it was mixed with novel songs. Zebra finches, but not Bengalese finches, learned the discrimination with a conspecific target more quickly and were worse at detecting a Bengalese finch in the presence of a conspecific song. The results indicate that selective attention to birdsongs within an auditory scene is related to their biological relevance.

  5. Young and intense: FoxP2 immunoreactivity in Area X varies with age, song stereotypy, and singing in male zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Christopher K; Schwabe, Fabian; Schoof, Alexander; Mendoza, Ezequiel; Gampe, Jutta; Rochefort, Christelle; Scharff, Constance

    2013-01-01

    FOXP2 is a transcription factor functionally relevant for learned vocalizations in humans and songbirds. In songbirds, FoxP2 mRNA expression in the medium spiny neurons of the basal ganglia song nucleus Area X is developmentally regulated and varies with singing conditions in different social contexts. How individual neurons in Area X change FoxP2 expression across development and in social contexts is not known, however. Here we address this critical gap in our understanding of FoxP2 as a link between neuronal networks and behavior. We used a statistically unbiased analysis of FoxP2-immunoreactivity (FoxP2-IR) on a neuron-by-neuron basis and found a bimodal distribution of FoxP2-IR neurons in Area X: weakly-stained and intensely-stained. The density of intensely-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was 10 times higher in juveniles than in adults, exponentially decreased with age, and was negatively correlated with adult song stability. Three-week old neurons labeled with BrdU were more than five times as likely to be intensely-stained than weakly-stained. The density of FoxP2-IR putative migratory neurons with fusiform-shaped nuclei substantially decreased as birds aged. The density of intensely-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was not affected by singing whereas the density of weakly-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was. Together, these data indicate that young Area X medium spiny neurons express FoxP2 at high levels and decrease expression as they become integrated into existing neural circuits. Once integrated, levels of FoxP2 expression correlate with singing behavior. Together, these findings raise the possibility that FoxP2 levels may orchestrate song learning and song stereotypy in adults by a common mechanism.

  6. 17α-Ethinyl estradiol affects anxiety and shoaling behavior in adult male zebra fish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Reyhanian, Nasim; Volkova, Kristina; Hallgren, Stefan; Bollner, Tomas; Olsson, Per-Erik; Olsén, Håkan; Hällström, Inger Porsch

    2011-09-01

    Ethinyl estradiol is a potent endocrine disrupting compound in fish and ubiquitously present in the aquatic environment. In this study, we exposed adult zebra fish (Danio rerio) males to 0, 5 or 25 ng Ethinyl estradiol/L for 14 days and analyzed the effects on non-reproductive behavior. Effects of treatment of the exposed males was shown by vitellogenin induction, while brain aromatase (CYP 19B) activity was not significantly altered. Both concentrations of Ethinyl estradiol significantly altered the behavior in the Novel tank test, where anxiety is determined as the tendency to stay at the bottom when introduced into an unfamiliar environment. The effects were, however, opposite for the two concentrations. Fish that were exposed to 5 ng/L had longer latency before upswim, fewer transitions to the upper half and shorter total time spent in the upper half compared with control fish, while 25 ng Ethinyl estradiol treatment resulted in shorter latency and more and longer visits to the upper half. The swimming activity of 25, but not 5 ng-exposed fish were slightly but significantly reduced, and these fish tended to spend a lot of time at the surface. We also studied the shoaling behavior as the tendency to leave a shoal of littermates trapped behind a Plexiglas barrier at one end of the test tank. The fish treated with Ethinyl estradiol had significantly longer latency before leaving shoal mates and left the shoal fewer times. Further, the fish exposed to 5 ng/L also spent significantly less time away from shoal than control fish. Fertilization frequency was higher in males exposed to 5 ng/L Ethinyl estradiol when compared with control males, while no spawning was observed after treatment with 25 ng/L. The testes from both treatment groups contained a normal distribution of spermatogenesis stages, and no abnormality in testis morphology could be observed. In conclusion, we have observed effects on two behaviors not related to reproduction in zebra fish males after

  7. Zebra mussel life history

    SciTech Connect

    Ackerman, J.D.

    1995-06-01

    The success of introduced zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas) and Dreissena bugensis Andrusova) can be related in large parttot a life history that is unlike that of the indigenous freshwater fauna and yet is conserved with marine bivalves. Following external fertilization and embryological development, there is a brief trochophore stage. With the development of a velum and the secretion of a D-shaped larval shell, the larva becomes a D-shaped veliger, which is the first recognizable planktonic larva. Later, the secretion of a second larval shell leads to the last obligate free-swimming veliger stage known as the veliconcha. The last larval stage known as the pediveliger, however, can both swim using its velum or crawl using its fully-functional foot. Pediveligers actively select substrates on which they {open_quotes}settle{close_quotes} by secreting byssal threads and undergo metamorphosis to become plantigrade mussels. The secretion of the adult shell and concomitant changes in growth axis leads to the heteromyariant or mussel-like shape, which is convergent with marine mussels. Like a number of other bivalves, zebra mussels produce byssal threads as adults, but these attachments may be broken enabling their translocation to new areas. The recognition and examination of these life history traits will lead to a better understanding of zebra mussel biology.

  8. Abcb and Abcc transporter homologs are expressed and active in larvae and adults of zebra mussel and induced by chemical stress.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Anna; Weißbach, Susann; Faria, Melissa; Barata, Carlos; Piña, Benjamin; Luckenbach, Till

    2012-10-15

    Multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) of aquatic invertebrates has so far been associated with cellular efflux activity mediated by P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) and MRP (multidrug resistance protein; ABCC) type ABC (ATP binding cassette) transporters. Expression and activity of an abcb1/Abcb1 homolog has been shown in eggs and larvae of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha. Here we report identification of a partial cDNA sequence of an abcc/Abcc homolog from zebra mussel that is transcribed and active as a cellular efflux transporter in embryos and gill tissue of adult mussels. Transcript expression levels were comparatively low in eggs and sharply increased after fertilization, then maintaining high expression levels in 1 and 2 dpf (days post fertilization) larvae. MK571, a known inhibitor of mammalian ABCC transporters, blocks efflux of calcein-am in larvae and gill tissue as indicated by elevated calcein fluorescence; this indicates the presence of active Abcc protein in cells of the larvae and gills. Dacthal and mercury used as chemical stressors both induced expression of abcb1 and abcc mRNAs in larvae; accordingly, assays with calcein-am and ABCB1 inhibitor reversin 205 and ABCC inhibitor MK571 indicated enhanced Abcb1 and Abcc efflux activities. Responses to chemicals were different in gills, where abcb1 transcript abundances were enhanced in dacthal and mercury treatments, whereas abcc mRNA was only increased with mercury. Abcb1 and Abcc activities did not in all cases show increases that were according to respective mRNA levels; thus, Abcc activity was significantly higher with dacthal, whereas Abcb1 activity was unchanged with mercury. Our data indicate that abcb1/Abcb1 and abcc/Abcc transporters are expressed and active in larvae and adult stages of zebra mussel. Expression of both genes is induced as cellular stress response, but regulation appears to differ in larvae and tissue of adult stages.

  9. Darwin's finches treat their feathers with a natural repellent.

    PubMed

    Cimadom, Arno; Causton, Charlotte; Cha, Dong H; Damiens, David; Fessl, Birgit; Hood-Nowotny, Rebecca; Lincango, Piedad; Mieles, Alejandro E; Nemeth, Erwin; Semler, Elizabeth M; Teale, Stephen A; Tebbich, Sabine

    2016-10-10

    Darwin's finches are highly innovative. Recently we recorded for the first time a behavioural innovation in Darwin's finches outside the foraging context: individuals of four species rubbed leaves of the endemic tree Psidium galapageium on their feathers. We hypothesised that this behaviour serves to repel ectoparasites and tested the repellency of P. galapageium leaf extracts against parasites that negatively affect the fitness of Darwin's finches, namely mosquitoes and the invasive hematophagous fly Philornis downsi. Mosquitoes transmit pathogens which have recently been introduced by humans and the larvae of the fly suck blood from nestlings and incubating females. Our experimental evidence demonstrates that P. galapageium leaf extracts repel both mosquitoes and adult P. downsi and also inhibit the growth of P. downsi larvae. It is therefore possible that finches use this plant to repel ectopoarasites.

  10. Zebra batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudworth, J. L.

    By using molten sodium chloroaluminate as secondary electrolyte, a series of solid transition metal chlorides can be used as positive electrodes in cells with sodium as the negative and beta-alumina as the solid electrlyte. Nickel chloride is preferred and Zebra batteries based on this cell reaction have been developed to the pilot-line production stage. The batteries have a number of features which make them attractive for electric-vehicle applications. Thus, the cells can be assebled in the discharged state eliminating the need to handle liquid sodium. By locating the positive electrode inside the beta-alumina tube, square cell cases can be used giving maximum packing efficiency in batteries. The absence of corrosion in the cell leads to a long life and high reliability. For electric-vehicle applications safety is very imporant, and crash testing has shown that even serious damage to the battery in a crash situation would not present a significant additional hazard to the driver or passengers. The remaining technical challenges are to increase the specific power of the battery towards the end of discharge and to demonstrate that the processes, which have been developed for cell and battery production, are capable of meeting the cost targets.

  11. Insights into the evolution of Darwin’s finches from comparative analysis of the Geospiza magnirostris genome sequence

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A classical example of repeated speciation coupled with ecological diversification is the evolution of 14 closely related species of Darwin’s (Galápagos) finches (Thraupidae, Passeriformes). Their adaptive radiation in the Galápagos archipelago took place in the last 2–3 million years and some of the molecular mechanisms that led to their diversification are now being elucidated. Here we report evolutionary analyses of genome of the large ground finch, Geospiza magnirostris. Results 13,291 protein-coding genes were predicted from a 991.0 Mb G. magnirostris genome assembly. We then defined gene orthology relationships and constructed whole genome alignments between the G. magnirostris and other vertebrate genomes. We estimate that 15% of genomic sequence is functionally constrained between G. magnirostris and zebra finch. Genic evolutionary rate comparisons indicate that similar selective pressures acted along the G. magnirostris and zebra finch lineages suggesting that historical effective population size values have been similar in both lineages. 21 otherwise highly conserved genes were identified that each show evidence for positive selection on amino acid changes in the Darwin's finch lineage. Two of these genes (Igf2r and Pou1f1) have been implicated in beak morphology changes in Darwin’s finches. Five of 47 genes showing evidence of positive selection in early passerine evolution have cilia related functions, and may be examples of adaptively evolving reproductive proteins. Conclusions These results provide insights into past evolutionary processes that have shaped G. magnirostris genes and its genome, and provide the necessary foundation upon which to build population genomics resources that will shed light on more contemporaneous adaptive and non-adaptive processes that have contributed to the evolution of the Darwin’s finches. PMID:23402223

  12. Characterization of the finch embryo supports evolutionary conservation of the naive stage of development in amniotes

    PubMed Central

    Mak, Siu-Shan; Alev, Cantas; Nagai, Hiroki; Wrabel, Anna; Matsuoka, Yoko; Honda, Akira; Sheng, Guojun; Ladher, Raj K

    2015-01-01

    Innate pluripotency of mouse embryos transits from naive to primed state as the inner cell mass differentiates into epiblast. In vitro, their counterparts are embryonic (ESCs) and epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs), respectively. Activation of the FGF signaling cascade results in mouse ESCs differentiating into mEpiSCs, indicative of its requirement in the shift between these states. However, only mouse ESCs correspond to the naive state; ESCs from other mammals and from chick show primed state characteristics. Thus, the significance of the naive state is unclear. In this study, we use zebra finch as a model for comparative ESC studies. The finch blastoderm has mESC-like properties, while chick blastoderm exhibits EpiSC features. In the absence of FGF signaling, finch cells retained expression of pluripotent markers, which were lost in cells from chick or aged finch epiblasts. Our data suggest that the naive state of pluripotency is evolutionarily conserved among amniotes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07178.001 PMID:26359635

  13. Are Horses Like Zebras, or Vice Versa? Children's Sensitivity to the Asymmetries of Directional Comparisons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chestnut, Eleanor K.; Markman, Ellen M.

    2016-01-01

    Adults exhibit strong preferences when framing symmetrical relations. Adults prefer, for example, "A zebra is like a horse" to "A horse is like a zebra," and "The bicycle is near the building" to "The building is near the bicycle." This is because directional syntax requires more typical or prominent items…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-13

    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.

  15. Darwin’s finches treat their feathers with a natural repellent

    PubMed Central

    Cimadom, Arno; Causton, Charlotte; Cha, Dong H.; Damiens, David; Fessl, Birgit; Hood-Nowotny, Rebecca; Lincango, Piedad; Mieles, Alejandro E.; Nemeth, Erwin; Semler, Elizabeth M.; Teale, Stephen A.; Tebbich, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Darwin’s finches are highly innovative. Recently we recorded for the first time a behavioural innovation in Darwin’s finches outside the foraging context: individuals of four species rubbed leaves of the endemic tree Psidium galapageium on their feathers. We hypothesised that this behaviour serves to repel ectoparasites and tested the repellency of P. galapageium leaf extracts against parasites that negatively affect the fitness of Darwin’s finches, namely mosquitoes and the invasive hematophagous fly Philornis downsi. Mosquitoes transmit pathogens which have recently been introduced by humans and the larvae of the fly suck blood from nestlings and incubating females. Our experimental evidence demonstrates that P. galapageium leaf extracts repel both mosquitoes and adult P. downsi and also inhibit the growth of P. downsi larvae. It is therefore possible that finches use this plant to repel ectopoarasites. PMID:27721475

  16. Zebra mussel mitigation; overview

    SciTech Connect

    Claudi, R.

    1995-06-01

    Zebra mussels cause a number of problems to industrial raw water users as well as having serious impact on civil structures exposed to mussel infested waters. The largest volume of water (up to 90% of the total) drawn into most industrial and power generating plants, is for cooling and heat transfer. The rest of the volume is used for other plant processes, such as make-up in steam systems, and service systems used for cleaning, air conditions, fire protection and human consumption. All raw water systems are vulnerable to zebra mussel infestation to greater or lesser degree. To-date, many different chemical and non-chemical techniques for zebra mussel control have been investigated. However, the treatment of choice for most facilities is based on chemical control. This has been the common practice in Europe and so far it has been the case in North America. This is likely to change as the environmental constraints on release of chemicals into natural water bodies continue to increase. This paper deals with the different steps raw water users should take when deciding on a mitigation strategy, the mitigation measures available to-date and those that have been proposed for the control of zebra mussels in industrial systems.

  17. Zebra mussel monitoring

    SciTech Connect

    Hennagir, T.

    1994-01-01

    In less than a decade, zebra mussels have become the latest environmental scourge to plague the North American power industry. Infestations in the Great Lakes region have already reached natural disaster proportions. The invasion shows little sign of subsiding; Michigan's inland waters are the next most likely threatened area. In the southern United States, the mussles' migration has extended about 50 miles deeper than experts had originally predicted. By the year 2000, zebra mussel monitoring and control efforts will cost business and industry $5 billion, according to the federal Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990. Estimates of more than $1 million to control mussel fouling are projected for the Great Lakes area alone. While small independent hydropower stations are not as susceptible to zebra mussles as coal or nuclear facilities, there is cause for concern. Infestations can quickly foul hydropower plant components, hampering equipment operation and reducing facility efficiency. In extreme cases, leaving the mussels unchecked can result in stoplog gate flow blockage or false water level gauge readings. Advance prevention is often an effective first-line of defense against this troublesome, rapidly spreading and extremely prolific mollusk. Mussel monitoring efforts should begin a year in advance of when zebra mussels are expected to appear in a given location. Hydropower facility components that come into contact or rely exclusively on raw water are at greatest risk, as are other external components such as embayment walls, screens, trashracks and fish ladders.

  18. Functional interactions of dopamine cell groups reflect personality, sex, and social context in highly social finches.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Aubrey M; Goodson, James L

    2015-03-01

    Dopamine (DA) is well known for its involvement in novelty-seeking, learning, and goal-oriented behaviors such as social behavior. However, little is known about how DA modulates social processes differentially in relation to sex and behavioral phenotype (e.g., personality). Importantly, the major DA cell groups (A8-A15) are conserved across all amniote vertebrates, and thus broadly relevant insights may be obtained through investigations of avian species such as zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), which express a human-like social organization based on biparental nuclear families that are embedded within larger social groups. We here build upon a previous study that quantified multidimensional personality structures in male and female zebra finches using principal components analysis (PCA) of extensive behavioral measures in social and nonsocial contexts. These complex dimensions of behavioral phenotype can be characterized as Social competence/dominance, Gregariousness, and Anxiety. Here we analyze Fos protein expression in DA neuronal populations in response to social novelty and demonstrate that the Fos content of multiple dopamine cell groups is significantly predicted by sex, personality, social context, and their interactions. In order to further investigate coordinated neuromodulation of behavior across multiple DA cell groups, we also conducted a PCA of neural variables (DA cell numbers and their phasic Fos responses) and show that behavioral PCs are associated with unique suites of neural PCs. These findings demonstrate that personality and sex are reflected in DA neuron activity and coordinated patterns of neuromodulation arising from multiple DA cell groups.

  19. Do woodpecker finches acquire tool-use by social learning?

    PubMed Central

    Tebbich, S.; Taborsky, M.; Fessl, B.; Blomqvist, D.

    2001-01-01

    Tool-use is widespread among animals, but except in primates the development of this behaviour is poorly known. Here, we report on the first experimental study to our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the acquisition of tool-use in a bird species. The woodpecker finch Cactospiza pallida, endemic to the Galápagos Islands, is a famous textbook example of tool-use in animals. This species uses modified twigs or cactus spines to pry arthropods out of tree holes. Using nestlings and adult birds from the field, we tested experimentally whether woodpecker finches learn tool-use socially. We show that social learning is not essential for the development of tool-use: all juveniles developed tool-use regardless of whether or not they had a tool-using model. However, we found that not all adult woodpecker finches used tools in our experiments. These non-tool-using individuals also did not learn this task by observing tool-using conspecifics. Our results suggest that tool-use behaviour depends on a very specific learning disposition that involves trial-and-error learning during a sensitive phase early in ontogeny. PMID:11674865

  20. Predation on exotic zebra mussels by native fishes: Effects on predator and prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magoulick, D.D.; Lewis, L.C.

    2002-01-01

    1. Exotic zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, occur in southern U.S. waterways in high densities, but little is known about the interaction between native fish predators and zebra mussels. Previous studies have suggested that exotic zebra mussels are low profitability prey items and native vertebrate predators are unlikely to reduce zebra mussel densities. We tested these hypotheses by observing prey use of fishes, determining energy content of primary prey species of fishes, and conducting predator exclusion experiments in Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas. 2. Zebra mussels were the primary prey eaten by 52.9% of blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus; 48.2% of freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens; and 100% of adult redear sunfish, Lepomis microlophus. Blue catfish showed distinct seasonal prey shifts, feeding on zebra mussels in summer and shad, Dorosoma spp., during winter. Energy content (joules g-1) of blue catfish prey (threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense; gizzard shad, D. cepedianum; zebra mussels; and asiatic clams, Corbicula fluminea) showed a significant species by season interaction, but shad were always significantly greater in energy content than bivalves examined as either ash-free dry mass or whole organism dry mass. Fish predators significantly reduced densities of large zebra mussels (>5 mm length) colonising clay tiles in the summers of 1997 and 1998, but predation effects on small zebra mussels (???5 mm length) were less clear. 3. Freshwater drum and redear sunfish process bivalve prey by crushing shells and obtain low amounts of higher-energy food (only the flesh), whereas blue catfish lack a shell-crushing apparatus and ingest large amounts of low-energy food per unit time (bivalves with their shells). Blue catfish appeared to select the abundant zebra mussel over the more energetically rich shad during summer, then shifted to shad during winter when shad experienced temperature-dependent stress and mortality. Native fish predators can suppress adult zebra

  1. Prevention of zebra mussel infestation and dispersal during aquaculture operations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waller, D.L.; Fisher, S.W.; Dabrowska, H.

    1996-01-01

    The zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, an exotic invasive species, poses a major threat to North American fish management programs and the aquaculture industry. Fish hatcheries may become infected with zebra mussels from a variety of sources, including the water supply, fish shipments, boats, and equipment. The hatcheries could then serve as agents for the overland dispersal of zebra mussels into stocked waters and to other fish hatcheries. We evaluated the effectiveness and safety of aquaculture chemicals for use in controlling zebra mussels in fish hatcheries and preventing dispersal of veligers during fish transport. Chemicals were evaluated for use in fish transport and as disinfectants for ponds and equipment. Standardized static toxicity tests were conducted with representative species of warmwater, coolwater, and coldwater fishes and with larval (3-d-old veligers), early juvenile (settling larvae), and adult zebra mussels. Chemical concentrations and exposure durations were based on recommended treatment levels for fish, eggs, and ponds. Recommended treatment levels were also exceeded, if necessary, to establish lethal levels for zebra mussels of different developmental stages. Our results indicate that some chemicals currently in use in hatcheries may be effective for controlling zebra mussels in various operations. Chloride salts were the safest and most effective therapeutants tested for use in fish transport. The toxicity of chloride salts to fish varied among species and with temperature; only one treatment regime (sodium chloride at 10,000 mg/L) was safe to all fish species that we tested, but it was only effective on veliger and settler stages of the zebra mussel. Effective disinfectants were benzalkonium chloride for use on equipment and rotenone for use in ponds after fish are harvested. The regulatory status of the identified chemicals is discussed as well as several nonchemical control alternatives.

  2. Preference of redear sunfish on zebra mussels and rams-horn snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, John R. P.; Morgan, Michael N.

    1995-01-01

    We tested prey preferences of adult (200- to 222-mm long) redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) on two size classes of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and two-ridge rams-horns (Helisoma anceps) in experimental aquaria. We also tested physical limitations on consuming these mollusks and determined prey bioenergetic profitability. Redear sunfish strongly preferred rams-horns over zebra mussels, but they displayed no size preference for either prey. Ingestion was not physically limited since both prey species up to 15-mm long fit within the pharyngeal gapes of redear sunfish. Rams-horns were more bioenergetically profitable than zebra mussels and ingestion of rams-horn shell fragments was about three times less than zebra mussels. Rams-horns were somewhat more resistant to shell-crushing, but all size ranges of both prey species tested were crushable by redear sunfish. These studies suggested that the redear sunfish should not be considered a panacea for biological control of zebra mussels.

  3. The use of positive reinforcement in training zebra sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum).

    PubMed

    Marranzino, Ashley

    2013-01-01

    Positive reinforcement training (PRT) was used on 4 adult zebra sharks, Stegostoma fasciatum, housed at the Downtown Aquarium, Denver, to determine the ability of zebra sharks to become desensitized to various stimuli associated with veterinary procedures. One male and 3 female sharks were trained for 12 weeks. As a result of PRT, all 4 zebra sharks were desensitized to staying within a closed holding tank off of the main exhibit, the presence of multiple trainers in the closed holding tank, and tactile stimulation. One of the 4 zebra sharks was also successfully desensitized to the presence of a stretcher being brought into the holding tank. All of these procedures are common in veterinary examinations, and it is hoped that desensitization to these stimuli will reduce the stress associated with examinations. The training accomplished has allowed for easier maintenance of the zebra sharks by the aquarium staff and an improvement in the care of the sharks.

  4. A Zebra in the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leake, Devin; Morvillo, Nancy

    1998-01-01

    Describes the care and breeding of zebra fish, suggests various experiments and observations easily performed in a classroom setting, and provides some ideas to further student interest and exploration of these organisms. (DDR)

  5. Differential accumulation and pigmenting ability of dietary carotenoids in colorful finches.

    PubMed

    McGraw, Kevin J; Hill, Geoffrey E; Navara, Kristen J; Parker, Robert S

    2004-01-01

    Many animals develop bright red, orange, or yellow carotenoid pigmentation that they use to attract mates. Colorful carotenoid pigments are acquired from the diet and are either directly incorporated as integumentary colorants or metabolized into other forms before deposition. Because animals often obtain several different carotenoids from plant and animal food sources, it is possible that these pigments are accumulated at different levels in the body and may play unique roles in shaping the ultimate color expression of individuals. We studied patterns of carotenoid accumulation and integumentary pigmentation in two colorful finch species--the American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) and the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Both species acquire two main hydroxycarotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, from their seed diet but transform these into a series of metabolites that are used as colorful pigments in the plumage (goldfinches only) and beak (both species). We conducted a series of carotenoid-supplementation experiments to investigate the relative extent to which lutein and zeaxanthin are accumulated in blood and increase carotenoid coloration in feathers and bare parts. First, we supplemented the diets of both species with either lutein or zeaxanthin and measured plasma pigment status, feather carotenoid concentration (goldfinches only), and integumentary color. Zeaxanthin-supplemented males grew more colorful feathers and beaks than lutein-supplemented males, and in goldfinches incorporated a different ratio of carotenoids in feathers (favoring the accumulation of canary xanthophyll B). We also fed goldfinches different concentrations of a standard lutein-zeaxanthin mix and found that at physiologically normal and high concentrations, birds circulated proportionally more zeaxanthin over lutein than occurred in the diet. Collectively, these results demonstrate that zeaxanthin is preferentially accumulated in the body and serves as a more potent substrate for

  6. Optimizing efficiency of zebra mussel monitoring at TVA power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Kerley, B.L.

    1995-06-01

    The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began monitoring for zebra mussels in spring 1992 and first detected veligers entering plant intake at Shawnee, Allen and Cumberland Fossil Plans in summer 1993. Existing information indicated that densities of zebra mussel veligers at plant intakes did not always correspond to densities in critical pipe units; however, a more accurate predictive technique was unavailable. The two sites chosen for this project were Shawnee Fossil Plant on the Ohio River and Allen Fossil Plant on the Mississippi River. The project involved a coordinated series of experiments to determine how densities of zebra mussel veligers varied throughout the day, how veliger densities estimated outside the plants related to estimates at different internal locations, and how growth rate of adult zebra mussels compared using measurements taken inside and outside the plants and from the two different rivers. The data indicated no significant difference in veliger densities from samples collected at the intakes and samples collected inside the plants. There was also no significant difference in densities between samples collected inside the plants. There was also no significant difference in densities between samples taken at different times of the day. The data did indicate a significant difference in density estimates between samples collected on different days and between densities in the rivers compared to densities being drawn into the plant. The results will be used to assist plant staff in evaluating future data and in planning a more effective and cost efficient monitoring program.

  7. Zebra mussel mortality with chlorine

    SciTech Connect

    Van Benschoten, J.E.; Jensen, J.N.; Harrington, D.; DeGirolamo, D.J.

    1995-05-01

    The rate of mortality of the zebra mussel in response to chlorine is described by a kinetic model that combines a statistical characterization of mussel mortality with a disinfection-type modeling approach. Parameter estimates were made with nine sets of data from experiments conducted in Niagara River water. From the kinetic model, an operational diagram was constructed that describes the time to 95% mortality as a function of chlorine concentration and temperature. Either the model or the diagram can be used to assist utilities in planning chlorination treatments for controlling zebra mussels.

  8. The use of chlorine dioxide for zebra mussel control - A perspective of treatment histories

    SciTech Connect

    Smolik, N.; Rusznak, L.; Anderson, J.; Hale, L.

    1995-06-01

    It is of utmost importance to provide updated performance results of various chemical treatments presently being utilized for zebra mussel control. Zebra mussels have a distinctive ability to endure environmental changes by reproducing effectively and attaching to various hard surfaces. These traits are cause for concern and have resulted in some operating difficulties for industries bordering infested waterways. Various methods are being employed by industries to deal with the problems associated with these species. One of the options is control via chemical treatment. Prior field test studies showed that chlorine dioxide was determined to be an effective molluscicidal agent for adult zebra mussel eradication. Continuous feed of chlorine dioxide at treatment levels ranging from 0.25 - 5.0 ppm above the oxidant demand provided 100% adult zebra mussel mortality which required between 2.9 - 8.8 days of treatment. Previous studies also showed that water temperature was an essential parameter in determining the time required to achieve 100% mortality of adult zebra mussels. Further field applications were undertaken at three electric utility sites located in the midwest. These facilities were concerned with the potential for zebra mussels to reduce efficiency and availability by blocking water flow or plugging equipment. Treatment applications at these facilities consisted of a continuous feed of chlorine dioxide ranging from 0.15 - 0.5 ppm above the oxidant demand. Significant mortality was achieved in monitored mussels tested at each utility in a period ranging from two to four days. This time period was directly related to a number of parameters, with the predominant one being water temperature. Data from these field applications is presented in this paper and confirms that chlorine dioxide is an effective molluscicide for adult zebra mussel control.

  9. Ontogeny of the cranial skeleton in a Darwin's finch (Geospiza fortis)

    PubMed Central

    Genbrugge, Annelies; Heyde, Anne-Sophie; Adriaens, Dominique; Boone, Matthieu; Van Hoorebeke, Luc; Dirckx, Joris; Aerts, Peter; Podos, Jeffrey; Herrel, Anthony

    2011-01-01

    Darwin's finches are a model system in ecological and evolutionary research, but surprisingly little is known about their skull morphology and development. Indeed, only the early beak development and external variation in adult beak shape has been studied. Understanding the development of the skull from embryo up to the adult is important to gain insights into how selection acts upon, and drives, variation in beak shape. Here, we provide a detailed description of the skeletal development of the skull in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis). Although the ossification sequence of the cranial elements is broadly similar to that observed for other birds, some differences can be observed. Unexpectedly, our data show that large changes in skull shape take place between the nestling and the juvenile phases. The reorientation of the beak, the orbit and the formation of well-developed processes and cristae suggest that these changes are likely related to the use of the beak after leaving the nest. This suggests that the active use of the jaw muscles during seed cracking plays an important role in shaping the adult skull morphology and may be driving some of the intra-specific variation observed in species such as G. fortis. Investigating the development of the jaw muscles and their interaction with the observed ossification and formation of the skull and lower jaw would allow further insights into the ecology and evolution of beak morphology in Darwin's finches. PMID:21599660

  10. Circadian regulation of bird song, call, and locomotor behavior by pineal melatonin in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gang; Harpole, Clifford E; Trivedi, Amit K; Cassone, Vincent M

    2012-04-01

    As both a photoreceptor and pacemaker in the avian circadian clock system, the pineal gland is crucial for maintaining and synchronizing overt circadian rhythms in processes such as locomotor activity and body temperature through its circadian secretion of the pineal hormone melatonin. In addition to receptor presence in circadian and visual system structures, high-affinity melatonin binding and receptor mRNA are present in the song control system of male oscine passeriform birds. The present study explores the role of pineal melatonin in circadian organization of singing and calling behavior in comparison to locomotor activity under different lighting conditions. Similar to locomotor activity, both singing and calling behavior were regulated on a circadian basis by the central clock system through pineal melatonin, since these behaviors free-ran with a circadian period and since pinealectomy abolished them in constant environmental conditions. Further, rhythmic melatonin administration restored their rhythmicity. However, the rates by which these behaviors became arrhythmic and the rates of their entrainment to rhythmic melatonin administration differed among locomotor activity, singing and calling under constant dim light and constant bright light. Overall, the study demonstrates a role for pineal melatonin in regulating circadian oscillations of avian vocalizations in addition to locomotor activity. It is suggested that these behaviors might be controlled by separable circadian clockworks and that pineal melatonin entrains them all through a circadian clock.

  11. Mortality of zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, veligers during downstream transport

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horvath, T.G.; Lamberti, G.A.

    1999-01-01

    1. Streams flowing from lakes which contain zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, provide apparently suitable habitats for mussel colonization and downstream range expansion, yet most such streams contain few adult mussels. We postulated that mussel veligers experience high mortality during dispersal via downstream transport. They tested this hypothesis in Christiana Creek, a lake-outlet stream in south-western Michigan, U.S.A., in which adult mussel density declined exponentially with distance downstream. 2. A staining technique using neutral red was developed and tested to distinguish quickly live and dead veligers. Live and dead veligers were distinguishable after an exposure of fresh samples to 13.3 mg L-1 of neutral red for 3 h. 3. Neutral red was used to determine the proportion of live veligers in samples taken longitudinally along Christiana Creek. The proportion of live veligers (mean ?? SE) declined from 90 ?? 3% at the lake outlet to 40 ?? 8% 18 km downstream. 4. Veligers appear to be highly susceptible to damage by physical forces (e.g. shear), and therefore, mortality in turbulent streams could be an important mechanism limiting zebra mussel dispersal to downstream reaches. Predictions of zebra mussel spread and population growth should consider lake-stream linkages and high mortality in running waters.

  12. Epigenetics and the evolution of Darwin's Finches.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Michael K; Gurerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Haque, M Muksitul; Nilsson, Eric E; Koop, Jennifer A H; Knutie, Sarah A; Clayton, Dale H

    2014-07-24

    The prevailing theory for the molecular basis of evolution involves genetic mutations that ultimately generate the heritable phenotypic variation on which natural selection acts. However, epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of phenotypic variation may also play an important role in evolutionary change. A growing number of studies have demonstrated the presence of epigenetic inheritance in a variety of different organisms that can persist for hundreds of generations. The possibility that epigenetic changes can accumulate over longer periods of evolutionary time has seldom been tested empirically. This study was designed to compare epigenetic changes among several closely related species of Darwin's finches, a well-known example of adaptive radiation. Erythrocyte DNA was obtained from five species of sympatric Darwin's finches that vary in phylogenetic relatedness. Genome-wide alterations in genetic mutations using copy number variation (CNV) were compared with epigenetic alterations associated with differential DNA methylation regions (epimutations). Epimutations were more common than genetic CNV mutations among the five species; furthermore, the number of epimutations increased monotonically with phylogenetic distance. Interestingly, the number of genetic CNV mutations did not consistently increase with phylogenetic distance. The number, chromosomal locations, regional clustering, and lack of overlap of epimutations and genetic mutations suggest that epigenetic changes are distinct and that they correlate with the evolutionary history of Darwin's finches. The potential functional significance of the epimutations was explored by comparing their locations on the genome to the location of evolutionarily important genes and cellular pathways in birds. Specific epimutations were associated with genes related to the bone morphogenic protein, toll receptor, and melanogenesis signaling pathways. Species-specific epimutations were significantly overrepresented in these

  13. The function of zebra stripes.

    PubMed

    Caro, Tim; Izzo, Amanda; Reiner, Robert C; Walker, Hannah; Stankowich, Theodore

    2014-04-01

    Despite over a century of interest, the function of zebra stripes has never been examined systematically. Here we match variation in striping of equid species and subspecies to geographic range overlap of environmental variables in multifactor models controlling for phylogeny to simultaneously test the five major explanations for this infamous colouration. For subspecies, there are significant associations between our proxy for tabanid biting fly annoyance and most striping measures (facial and neck stripe number, flank and rump striping, leg stripe intensity and shadow striping), and between belly stripe number and tsetse fly distribution, several of which are replicated at the species level. Conversely, there is no consistent support for camouflage, predator avoidance, heat management or social interaction hypotheses. Susceptibility to ectoparasite attack is discussed in relation to short coat hair, disease transmission and blood loss. A solution to the riddle of zebra stripes, discussed by Wallace and Darwin, is at hand.

  14. Detroit Edison conquers zebra mussels

    SciTech Connect

    Harwood, D.B.; Buda, D.J. )

    1993-11-01

    A potentially troublesome zebra mussel infestation at Detroit Edison's Harbor Beach Power Plant was nipped in time. Reducing the oxygen content of water inside the plant's water systems and using steam to thermally treat a colony of mussels that was established in the plant's screenhouse prevented the problem. So successful was the temperature treatment that it will be used regularly as part of the plant's annual mussel removal program.

  15. New Concerns Emerge as Zebra Mussel Spreads.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walter, Martha L., Ed.

    1992-01-01

    Reports on the Zebra Mussel invasion of North American inland waterways. Discusses United States Army Corps of Engineers operations that may facilitate or be affected by the spread of Zebra Mussels, the threat to native clams, chemical and mechanical control methods, natural solutions, and ongoing research. (MCO)

  16. Zebra Stripes through the Eyes of Their Predators, Zebras, and Humans.

    PubMed

    Melin, Amanda D; Kline, Donald W; Hiramatsu, Chihiro; Caro, Tim

    2016-01-01

    The century-old idea that stripes make zebras cryptic to large carnivores has never been examined systematically. We evaluated this hypothesis by passing digital images of zebras through species-specific spatial and colour filters to simulate their appearance for the visual systems of zebras' primary predators and zebras themselves. We also measured stripe widths and luminance contrast to estimate the maximum distances from which lions, spotted hyaenas, and zebras can resolve stripes. We found that beyond ca. 50 m (daylight) and 30 m (twilight) zebra stripes are difficult for the estimated visual systems of large carnivores to resolve, but not humans. On moonless nights, stripes are difficult for all species to resolve beyond ca. 9 m. In open treeless habitats where zebras spend most time, zebras are as clearly identified by the lion visual system as are similar-sized ungulates, suggesting that stripes cannot confer crypsis by disrupting the zebra's outline. Stripes confer a minor advantage over solid pelage in masking body shape in woodlands, but the effect is stronger for humans than for predators. Zebras appear to be less able than humans to resolve stripes although they are better than their chief predators. In conclusion, compared to the uniform pelage of other sympatric herbivores it appears highly unlikely that stripes are a form of anti-predator camouflage.

  17. The zebra mussel: US utility implications. [Contains Glossary

    SciTech Connect

    McMahon, R.F. )

    1990-11-01

    Dreissena polymorpha, the freshwater macrofouling zebra mussel, was introduced to Lake St. Clair, near Detroit, Michigan, in 1985. It has since spread throughout Lake Erie. Its planktonic veliger larval stage disperses on water currents and adults are transported by human and natural vectors, making it likely to spread throughout most of the United States and southern Canada except for the southwestern and southern United State, where summer water temperatures are above tolerated levels. Veligers enter raw water systems on intake currents to settle and grow to adults attached by secreted byssal threads to hard surfaces. Accumulations of adults impede flow, aggravate sedimentation and corrosion, and foul small-diameter components. Settlement occurs at flow velocities less than 1.5--2.0 m/sec. Mussels can reduce effective pipe diameters and foul intake structures, steam condensers, heat exchangers, fire protection systems, and cooling tower basins. Establishment of mussels in raw water systems should be prevented because subsequent removal is difficult and expensive. Mitigation procedures include manual removal, robotic cleaning, thermal backwashing, water jetting, application of molluscicides, and possibly line pigging and acidic chemical cleaning. Control technologies include oxidizing and non-oxidizing molluscicides, robotic cleaning, shell strainers, exposure of veligers to high voltage electrical fields, thermal backwashing and sand-filtration. The United States power industry can utilize extensive European experience with this species and domestic experience with the Asian clam in its development of effective controls for zebra mussel fouling.

  18. Controlling zebra mussel infestations at hydroelectric plants

    SciTech Connect

    Sblendorio, R.P.; Malinchock, J.C. ); Claudi, R. )

    1991-07-01

    U.S. and Canadian utilities in the great lakes area have adopted techniques to temporarily prevent infestation of the zebra mussel in their hydro facilities, but are still looking for more permanent solutions.

  19. How to save the rarest Darwin's finch from extinction: the mangrove finch on Isabela Island

    PubMed Central

    Fessl, Birgit; Young, Glyn H.; Young, Richard P.; Rodríguez-Matamoros, Jorge; Dvorak, Michael; Tebbich, Sabine; Fa, John E.

    2010-01-01

    Habitat destruction and predation by invasive alien species has led to the disappearance of several island populations of Darwin's finches but to date none of the 13 recognized species have gone extinct. However, driven by rapid economic growth in the Galápagos, the effects of introduced species have accelerated and severely threatened these iconic birds. The critically endangered mangrove finch (Camarhynchus heliobates) is now confined to three small mangroves on Isabela Island. During 2006–2009, we assessed its population status and monitored nesting success, both before and after rat poisoning. Population size was estimated at around only 100 birds for the two main breeding sites, with possibly 5–10 birds surviving at a third mangrove. Before rat control, 54 per cent of nests during incubation phase were predated with only 18 per cent of nests producing fledglings. Post-rat control, nest predation during the incubation phase fell to 30 per cent with 37 per cent of nests producing fledglings. During the nestling phase, infestation by larvae of the introduced parasitic fly (Philornis downsi) caused 14 per cent additional mortality. Using population viability analysis, we simulated the probability of population persistence under various scenarios of control and showed that with effective management of these invasive species, mangrove finch populations should start to recover. PMID:20194165

  20. Zebra mussels invade Lake Erie muds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berkman, Paul Arthur; Haltuch, Melissa A.; Tichich, Emily; Garton, David W.; Kennedy, Gregory W.; Gannon, John E.; Mackey, Scudder D.; Fuller, Jonathan A.; Liebenthal, Dale L.

    1998-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) originated in western Russia but have now become widespread in Europe and North America. They are widely known for their conspicuous invasion of rocks and other hard substrates in North American and European watersheds. We have found beds of zebra mussels directly colonizing sand and mud sediments each year across hundreds of square kilometres of North America's Lake Erie. This transformation of sedimentary habitats into mussel beds represents an unforeseen change in the invasive capacity of this species.

  1. 18. Photographic copy of photograph (at teh offices of Finch, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    18. Photographic copy of photograph (at teh offices of Finch, Pruyn & Company, Glen Street, Glens Falls, New York), Beach?, Photographer, June 31, 1913. Panoramic view east to southwest of the Glens Falls Dam after the 1913 flood taken from the west end of the Finch, Pruyn & Company intake structure. - Glens Falls Dam, 100' to 450' West of U.S. Route 9 Bridge Spanning Hudson River, Glens Falls, Warren County, NY

  2. 20. Photographic copy of photograph (at the offices of Finch, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    20. Photographic copy of photograph (at the offices of Finch, Pruyn & Company, Glen Street, Glens Falls, New York), Beach?, Photographer, November 25, 1913. View southwest to northwest of the Glens Falls Dam before activation. Intake structures for International Paper Company and Finch, Pruyn & Company are on the left and right, respectively. - Glens Falls Dam, 100' to 450' West of U.S. Route 9 Bridge Spanning Hudson River, Glens Falls, Warren County, NY

  3. Environmental DNA mapping of Zebra Mussel populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amberg, Jon; Merkes, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) has become a popular tool for detecting aquatic invasive species, but advancements have made it possible to potentially answer other questions like reproduction, movement, and abundance of the targeted organism. In this study we developed a Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) eDNA protocol. We then determined if this assay could be used to help determine Zebra Mussel biomass in a lake with a well-established population of Zebra Mussels and a lake with an emerging population of mussels. Our eDNA assay detected DNA of Zebra Mussels but not DNA from more than 20 other species of fish and mussels, many commonly found in Minnesota waters. Our assay did not predict biomass. We did find that DNA from Zebra Mussels accumulated in softer substrates in both lakes, even though the mussels were predominately on the harder substrates. Therefore, we concluded that eDNA may be useful to detect the presence of Zebra Mussels in these lakes but our assay/approach could not predict biomass.

  4. Zebra mussels. The assault continues

    SciTech Connect

    Lamarre, L.

    1993-09-01

    Over the past seven years, zebra mussel infestation has spread relentlessly, fouling up utility cooling intakes and other industrial operations that draw fresh water. The striped invader has flourished in all of the Great Lakes and most of the major river systems east of and including the Mississippi. It has also migrated much deeper into the South than experts anticipated and is making its way westward. Now biologists have turned up a separate, look-alike species they fear may be just as destructive. EPRI is continuing its work to improve control techniques and has published a comprehensive monitoring and control guide that outlines the best practices currently available for dealing with the mussel problem. This article reviews the results of this work.

  5. Steam treatment of zebra mussels

    SciTech Connect

    Tsou, J.; Rybarik, D.L.; Thiel, J.

    1995-06-01

    Steam injection into intake bays is a nonchemical method to control zebra mussels. This technique was demonstrated at Dairyland Power Cooperative`s J.P. Madgett Station located in Alma, Wisconsin. The project was funded by the EPRI Zebra Mussel Consortium which includes: Dairyland Power Cooperative, Central Illinois Public Service, Duke Power, Illinois Power Company, PSI Energy, Public Service Electric & Gas, and Tennessee Valley Authority. This technique can be used by other power plants with a similar problem. A contract between Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation (Stone & Webster) was initiated in August 1994. The steam treatments were performed at the J.P. Madgett intake in Alma, Wisconsin, on September 14 and 18, 1994. The J.P. Madgett Station has two water intake bays with storage capacities of approximately 295,000 and 265,000 gallons, respectively. Each intake can be isolated, permitting either full or reduced generation depending on river temperature conditions. In addition to the intake bays, the outside fire protection loop and hydrants were also treated with the hot water from one of the bays. This paper presents the process design, piping and steam educator configurations, portable industrial boiler sizing and description, and the thermocouples to monitor the water temperature in the intake bay. The biological mortality and control test protocol and treatment results are also presented. Treatment effectiveness was 100%; however, equipment installation and operation was more problematic than anticipated. A generic computer program is developed and verified using thermal data from the test. The PC program will allow other utilities to size the boiler and estimate the heat losses from an intake bay. The treatment also provided valuable information that simplifies future applications and provides for more realistic design and installation schedules and costs.

  6. Zebra Stripes through the Eyes of Their Predators, Zebras, and Humans

    PubMed Central

    Melin, Amanda D.; Kline, Donald W.; Hiramatsu, Chihiro; Caro, Tim

    2016-01-01

    The century-old idea that stripes make zebras cryptic to large carnivores has never been examined systematically. We evaluated this hypothesis by passing digital images of zebras through species-specific spatial and colour filters to simulate their appearance for the visual systems of zebras’ primary predators and zebras themselves. We also measured stripe widths and luminance contrast to estimate the maximum distances from which lions, spotted hyaenas, and zebras can resolve stripes. We found that beyond ca. 50 m (daylight) and 30 m (twilight) zebra stripes are difficult for the estimated visual systems of large carnivores to resolve, but not humans. On moonless nights, stripes are difficult for all species to resolve beyond ca. 9 m. In open treeless habitats where zebras spend most time, zebras are as clearly identified by the lion visual system as are similar-sized ungulates, suggesting that stripes cannot confer crypsis by disrupting the zebra’s outline. Stripes confer a minor advantage over solid pelage in masking body shape in woodlands, but the effect is stronger for humans than for predators. Zebras appear to be less able than humans to resolve stripes although they are better than their chief predators. In conclusion, compared to the uniform pelage of other sympatric herbivores it appears highly unlikely that stripes are a form of anti-predator camouflage. PMID:26799935

  7. Eye of the Finch: characterization of the ocular microbiome of house finches in relation to mycoplasmal conjunctivitis.

    PubMed

    Thomason, Courtney A; Leon, Ariel; Kirkpatrick, Laila T; Belden, Lisa K; Hawley, Dana M

    2017-04-01

    Vertebrate ocular microbiomes are poorly characterized and virtually unexplored in wildlife species. Pathogen defense is considered a key function of microbiomes, but determining microbiome stability during disease is critical for understanding the role of resident microbial communities in infectious disease dynamics. Here, we characterize the ocular bacterial microbiome of house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus), prior to and during experimental infection with an inflammatory ocular disease, Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, caused by Mycoplasma gallisepticum. In ocular tissues of healthy house finches, we identified 526 total bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs, 97% similarity), primarily from Firmicutes (92.6%) and Proteobacteria (6.9%), via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Resident ocular communities of healthy female finches were characterized by greater evenness and phylogenetic diversity compared to healthy male finches. Regardless of sex, ocular microbiome community structure significantly shifted 11 days after experimental inoculation with M. gallisepticum. A suite of OTUs, including taxa from the genera Methylobacterium, Acinetobacter and Mycoplasma, appear to drive these changes, indicating that the whole finch ocular microbiome responds to infection. Further study is needed to quantify changes in absolute abundance of resident taxa and to elucidate potential functional roles of the resident ocular microbiome in mediating individual responses to this common songbird bacterial pathogen.

  8. Effects of social conditions during adolescence on courtship and aggressive behavior are not abolished by adult social experience.

    PubMed

    Ruploh, Tim; Henning, Miriam; Bischof, Hans-Joachim; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus

    2015-01-01

    Social experience during adolescence has long-lasting consequences for adult social behavior in many species. In zebra finches, individuals reared in pairs during adolescence start to court females faster, sing more courtship motifs to females and are more aggressive compared with group-reared males. We investigated whether such differences are stable during adulthood or can be abolished by novel social experience after adolescence by giving all birds extensive experience with group life during adulthood. Courtship and aggressiveness increased in all males, but pair-reared males still had a higher motif rate and were more aggressive than group-reared males. Males no longer differed in courtship latency. In addition to the stable treatment differences, individual differences in behavior remained stable over time. Our results show that differences in behavior acquired during adolescence are preserved into adulthood, although adults still change their social behavior. Adolescence can thus be seen as a sensitive period during which social conditions have a lasting effect on adult behavior.

  9. A family of Finch and Skea relativistic stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maharaj, S. D.; Kileba Matondo, D.; Mafa Takisa, P.

    Several new families of exact solution to the Einstein-Maxwell system of differential equations are found for anisotropic charged matter. The spacetime geometry is that of Finch and Skea which satisfies all criteria for physical acceptability. The exact solutions can be expressed in terms of elementary functions, Bessel functions and modified Bessel functions. When a parameter is restricted to be an integer then the special functions reduce to simple elementary functions. The uncharged model of Finch and Skea [R. Finch and J. E. F. Skea, Class. Quantum Grav. 6 (1989) 467.] and the charged model of Hansraj and Maharaj [S. Hansraj and S. D. Maharaj, Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 15 (2006) 1311.] are regained as special cases. The solutions found admit a barotropic equation of state. A graphical analysis indicates that the matter and electric quantities are well behaved.

  10. GSK-3β Inhibition Affects Singing Behavior and Neurogenesis in Adult Songbirds.

    PubMed

    Aloni, Etay; Shapira, Moran; Eldar-Finkelman, Hagit; Barnea, Anat

    2015-01-01

    GSK-3 (glycogen synthase kinase-3) is a serine/threonine kinase which is a critical regulator in neuronal signaling, cognition, and behavior. We have previously shown that unlike other vertebrates that harbor both α and β GSK-3 genes, the α gene is missing in birds. Therefore, birds can be used as a new animal model to study the roles of GSK-3β in behavior and in regulating adult neurogenesis. In the present study, we inhibited GSK-3β in brains of adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and accordingly investigated how this inhibition affects behavior and cell proliferation. Our results show that GSK-3 inhibition: (1) affects specific aspects of singing behavior, which might be related to social interactions in birds, and (2) differentially affects cell proliferation in various parts of the ventricular zone. Taken together, our study demonstrates a role of GSK-3β in regulating singing behavior and neuronal proliferation in birds and highlights the importance of GSK-3β in modulating cognitive abilities as well as social behavior.

  11. Characterization of potato breeding clones to determine mechanisms conferring observed resistance/tolerance to zebra chip disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A haploid tuberosum x Solanum berthaultii hybrid clone and its progeny from backcrossing to cultivated potato were screened for resistance to adult potato psyllid, the insect vector of Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (syn. Ca. L. psyllaurous) which is associated with zebra chip (ZC) disease. Po...

  12. Research continues on zebra mussel control

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-04-01

    Researchers are working on many fronts to learn methods for controlling and combatting zebra mussels, a species of mussel that can attach to the inside of water intakes at hydroelectric and thermal power plants, and can reduce or block water flow. Biologists at the University of Toledo in Ohio report that compounds from the African soapberry plant called lemmatoxins are lethal to zebra mussels. In laboratory tests, researchers have determined 1 to 2 milligrams of purified lemmatoxins per liter will kill the mussels. In field tests, biologist Harold Lee flushed water through a mussel-infested pipe. He found that the berry extract killed mussels in four to eight hours, making continuous treatment of water intake pipes unnecessary, according to a report in New Scientists. The University of Toledo participated in another project, funded by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation. That project team included the cities of Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, Finkbeiner, Pettis Strout, Ltd. consulting engineers, and researchers from Ohio's Case Western Reserve University. The team identified a chemical oxidant, sodium hypochlorite, as a cost-effective agent for controlling zebra mussels at water treatment plant intakes. Toledo has used the sodium hypochlorite and reports the chemical has cleared colonies of zebra mussels that had attached to the intake of its water treatment plant.

  13. Control of zebra mussels with ultraviolet radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, D.P.

    1998-07-01

    This paper presents the results of research on the effects of low and medium pressure ultraviolet (UV) radiation on zebra mussel mortality carried out between 1992 and 1995. An initial 1992 study, carried out by Aquatic Sciences (ASI), showed that flow-through UV systems have the ability to kill zebra mussels and prevent them from attaching to downstream surfaces. However, this work did not include expanded testing to determine the limitations of UV radiation at higher flow rates or to further define effective working parameters. The 1994 study was carried out at the Lennox Thermal Generating Station (TGS) of Ontario Hydro in Kingston, Ontario. This study involved the testing of two open channel UV systems (medium and low pressure) in an effort to determine flow rates and volumes for which UV disinfection would be effective and practical for the prevention of zebra mussel infestation. It was recommended that medium pressure (MP) and low pressure (LP) UV systems be tested for their ability to control downstream settlement of zebra mussels, in flow-through trials.

  14. Zebra Mussel Monitoring and Control Guide

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-01

    The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Zebra Mussel Monitoring and Control Guide is a comprehensive compilation of US and European practices as reported in the open literature as of the end of 1992. EPRI considers the guide to be a living' document and will update it periodically in order to provide results of current research on chemical and nonchemical control technologies and utility experiences. The zebra mussel has infested all of the Great Lakes and other major rivers and waterways and is positioned to spread even more to the adjoining river basins. The impact of the zebra mussel on industrial power plantsis as a biofouler that clogs water systems and heat exchangers. This EPRI guideline identifies the zebra mussel, discusses its distribution in the United States, presents the potential threats to power plants, and presents the methods to initiate monitoring and control programs. Both preventive and corrective measures are presented. Preventive measures include various monitoring methods to initiate control techniques. The control techniques include both chemical and nonchemical together with combining techniques. Corrective methods include operational considerations, chemical cleaning, and mechanical/physical cleaning. It also may be possible to incorporate design changes, such as open to closed-loop backfit, backflushing, or pretreatment for closed systems. Various appendices are included that contain specifications to aid utilities in implementing several of the monitoring and control technologies, results of chemical evaluations at Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company plants, and data on the fate of various commercial molluscicides.

  15. Potato zebra chip disease: a phytopathological tale

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato zebra chip (ZC) disease is a relative newcomer to the world of important potato diseases. First reported in Mexico in the 1990s, by 2004-2005 the disease was causing serious economic damage in parts of Texas. ZC is now widespread in the western United States, Mexico, Central America, and wa...

  16. Physical Conditions in the Source Region of a Zebra Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasnov, L. V.; Karlický, M.; Stupishin, A. G.

    2016-08-01

    We analyze the physical conditions in the source region of a zebra structure, observed with the Ondřejov radiospectrograph during the 1 August 2010 solar flare. To determine the gyro-frequency harmonic numbers of the observed zebra lines, we compute the magnetic field strength, the electron density, and their spatial scales in the source region of the zebra structure. The region where the flare occurred is analyzed using EUV (171 Å and 335 Å) observations. To determine the conditions in the zebra source region, the magnetic field structure is reconstructed using observed photospheric magnetic field data. By computing the dependence of the magnetic field vs. height in this reconstruction and by comparing the magnetic field strength derived from the zebra structure, we determine the dependence of the electron density vs. height in the zebra source-region. We identify the loops where the zebra structure was generated at heights of about 2.5 - 3.3 Mm. Assuming the barometric law for the electron density, we determine the temperature in the zebra source-region to be T ≈ 2.0 × 104~K. Comparing the obtained values of the temperature and electron density in the zebra source-region with a model of the solar atmosphere, we find that the zebra structure was generated in the transition region, in agreement with our previous results.

  17. EFFECTS OF EXOGENOUS ESTROGEN ON MATE SELECTION OF HOUSE FINCHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concern about the potential for endocrine disrupting chemicals to interfere with normal breeding behaviors of wildlife has prompted this study of effects of exogenous estrogen on mate selection in songbirds. The house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) was selected as a model as it is ...

  18. EFFECTS OF EXTROGENOUS ESTROGEN ON MATE SELECTION OF HOUSE FINCHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Effects of exogenous estrogen on mate selection of house finches. Clark, J., Fairbrother, A*. Parametrix, Inc., Corvallis, OR; Brewer, L., EBA, Inc., Sisters, OR; Bennett, R.S., USEPA, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Duluth, MN.

    Concern about the potential for endocrine...

  19. The tale of the finch: adaptive radiation and behavioural flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Tebbich, Sabine; Sterelny, Kim; Teschke, Irmgard

    2010-01-01

    Darwin's finches are a classic example of adaptive radiation. The ecological diversity of the Galápagos in part explains that radiation, but the fact that other founder species did not radiate suggests that other factors are also important. One hypothesis attempting to identify the extra factor is the flexible stem hypothesis, connecting individual adaptability to species richness. According to this hypothesis, the ancestral finches were flexible and therefore able to adapt to the new and harsh environment they encountered by exploiting new food types and developing new foraging techniques. Phenotypic variation was initially mediated by learning, but genetic accommodation entrenched differences and supplemented them with morphological adaptations. This process subsequently led to diversification and speciation of the Darwin's finches. Their current behaviour is consistent with this hypothesis as these birds use unusual resources by extraordinary means. In this paper, we identify cognitive capacities on which flexibility and innovation depend. The flexible stem hypothesis predicts that we will find high levels of these capacities in all species of Darwin's finches (not just those using innovative techniques). Here, we test that prediction, and find that while most of our data are in line with the flexible stem hypothesis, some are in tension with it. PMID:20194172

  20. Speciation or Irruption: The Significance of the Darwin Finches.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harper, G. H.

    1980-01-01

    Uses the irruption theory in explaining the occurrence of the Darwin finches in the Galapagos Islands as an example of how alternative theories can be presented in an educational setting. Advocates the comparison of alternative theories to encourage creative thinking and a critical attitude. (CS)

  1. Control Strategies for Zebra Mussel Infestations at Public Facilities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-07-01

    facilities. It was decided that sites where zebra mussel infestations would be most apparent were components of (1) navigation locks (walls, miter gates, fill... components likely to be negatively affected by zebra mussels. In addition, attendees prepared a preliminary list of strategies to deal with zebra mussel...struc- tural components , and suitable control strategies. The matrix was developed prior to the meeting by WES personnel and was based on an approach

  2. The head of the finch: the anatomy of the feeding system in two species of finches (Geospiza fortis and Padda oryzivora).

    PubMed

    Genbrugge, Annelies; Herrel, Anthony; Boone, Matthieu; Van Hoorebeke, Luc; Podos, Jeffrey; Dirckx, Joris; Aerts, Peter; Dominique, Adriaens

    2011-12-01

    Despite the large number of studies devoted to the evolution of beak shape in Darwin's finches, surprisingly little is known about the morphology of the skull and jaw musculature in these birds. Moreover, it remains currently unclear whether Darwin's finches are unusual in their cranial morphology compared with other seed-cracking birds. Here, we provide a detailed description of the morphology of the cranial system in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) and compare it with that of another seed-cracking bird of similar overall size and appearance, the Java finch (Padda oryzivora). Our data show an overall similarity in beak size and cranial morphology. Yet, differences in the jaw adductor size and corresponding attachments to the cranium and mandible are prominent, with the medium ground finch having much more robust jaw-closing muscles. This is reflected in differences in bite forces, with the medium ground finch biting much harder than the Java finch. These data suggest similarities in the evolution of the feeding system in birds specializing in the cracking of hard seeds, but also show the uniqueness of the cranial morphology and bite force of the medium ground finch compared with other seed-cracking birds.

  3. Comparative morphology of zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussel sperm: Light and electron microscopy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walker, G.K.; Black, M.G.; Edwards, C.A.

    1996-01-01

    Adult zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussels were induced to release large quantities of live spermatozoa by the administration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin). Sperm were photographed alive using phase-contrast microscopy and were fixed subsequently with glutaraldehyde followed by osmium tetroxide for eventual examination by transmission or scanning electron microscopy. The sperm of both genera are of the ect-aquasperm type. Their overall dimensions and shape allow for easy discrimination at the light and scanning electron microscopy level. Transmission electron microscopy of the cells reveals a barrel-shaped nucleus in zebra mussel sperm and an elongated nucleus in quagga mussel sperm. In both species, an acrosome is cradled in a nuclear fossa. The ultrastructure of the acrosome and axial body, however, is distinctive for each species. The structures of the midpiece are shown, including a unique mitochondrial "skirt" that includes densely packed parallel cristae and extends in a narrow sheet from the mitochondria.

  4. Effect of dose on house finch infection with western equine encephalomyelitis and St. Louis encephalitis viruses.

    PubMed

    Reisen, William K; Chiles, Robert; Martinez, Vincent; Fang, Ying; Green, Emily; Clark, Sharon

    2004-09-01

    House finches, Carpodacus mexicanus, were experimentally infected with high and standard doses of western equine encephalomyelitis virus (WEEV) or St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) to determine whether high doses would produce an elevated viremia response and a high frequency of chronic infections. Finches inoculated with approximately100,000 plaque forming units (PFU) of WEEV or SLEV produced viremia and antibody responses similar to those in finches inoculated with approximately 100 PFU of WEEV or 1000 PFU of SLEV, the approximate quantities of virus expectorated by blood-feeding Culex tarsalis Coquillett. Infected finches were held through winter and then necropsied. Only one finch inoculated with the high dose of SLEV developed a chronic infection. Our data indicated that elevated infectious doses of virus may not increase the viremia level or the frequency of chronic infection in house finches.

  5. DSP-4, a noradrenergic neurotoxin, produces sex-specific effects on pairing and courtship behavior in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Vahaba, Daniel M; Lacey, William H; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2013-09-01

    Norepinephrine (NE) is involved in a variety of behaviors across vertebrate species. In songbirds, NE is involved in singing and auditory perception, fundamental components of pair formation. Mechanisms of pairing remain poorly understood in avian species. NE is likely involved given its role in vocal communication and perception. Here, we tested the hypothesis that DSP-4 treatments (a noradrenergic neurotoxin that decreases NE) decreases singing in males, song perception in females and pairing in both sexes using a naturalistic paradigm. Females were tested for preferences of either control or DSP-4 males in a two-choice paradigm using live males. Both sexes were then tested for courtship and pair formation in aviaries. In the two-choice paradigm, control females showed a significant preference for control males over DSP-4 males, whereas DSP-4 females showed no such preference. In the aviary tests, DSP-4 males engaged in less courtship behavior, showed decreased pairing behaviors and increased pair latencies compared to control males. In females, DSP-4 treatments did not alter courtship or pairing behavior. Lower neural densities of noradrenergic fibers in song, auditory, and affiliative regions were observed in DSP-4 animals of both sexes. Furthermore, DBH-ir densities in these regions explained variations in courtship and pairing behaviors, as well as pairing status. Our results extend previous findings to naturalistic contexts, provide evidence that DBH-ir densities in specific regions correlate with pairing-related behaviors, and inform us of sex differences in the role of NE in pairing.

  6. Covariation in oxidative stress markers in the blood of nestling and adult birds.

    PubMed

    Romero-Haro, Ana Angela; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Interest in the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species and the state of the antioxidant machinery-that is, oxidative stress-has recently grown among comparative physiologists and evolutionary/behavioral ecologists. The number and types of markers used to estimate oxidative stress is, however, under debate. The study of covariation among these markers is necessary to better interpret the information content of each independent variable. Here, the covariation in levels of 10 blood parameters in a group of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) as nestlings and adults was analyzed across a large data set. Total glutathione levels in erythrocytes were negatively correlated with plasma carotenoid values in nestlings only, supporting the implication of carotenoids in the antioxidant machinery during a particularly stressful period of life. Plasma lipid levels (triglycerides [TRGs]) as well as plasma antioxidant capacity-the latter tested with and without control for uric acid levels-showed individual consistency with age. Plasma TRG and uric acid levels were strongly correlated with plasma lipid peroxidation and antioxidant capacity, respectively, suggesting an influence of recent intake or mobilization of energy stores on these variables. The meaning of oxidative stress markers, whether corrected or uncorrected for levels of nutritional metabolites, remains to be explored. Experiments manipulating diet composition and oxidative stress are necessary to confirm or reject the hypothesized causalities.

  7. Stravation tolerance of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha

    SciTech Connect

    Chase, R.; McMahon, R.F.

    1995-06-01

    Samples of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha (n=30), were held without food at 5{degrees}, 15{degrees}, or 25{degrees}C and examined daily for mortality. Further samples of 210 mussels at each test temperature were periodically subsampled (n=10) throughout the starvation period. Tissues and shells of sampled specimens were dried to a constant weight. Zebra mussels held at 25{degrees}C experienced 100% mortality after 166 days of starvation while mussels at 15{degrees}C experienced 100% mortality after 545 days. A mortality of 60% was recorded in mussels after 524 days at 5{degrees}C. Dry shell weight (DSW) of starving zebra mussels at 25{degrees}C remained constant; at 15{degrees}C, DSW increased, likely due to deposition of new shell without increase in length. At 5{degrees}C DSW decreased possibly due to the high solubility of shell calcium carbonate at this low temperature. Dry tissue weight (DTW) decreased linearly during starvation at all test temperatures with the rate of DTW loss increasing at higher holding temperatures. Estimated percent tissue biomass reductions in a 20 mm long starved individual were 73.8% after 132 days at 25{degrees}C, 68.9% after 545 days at 15{degrees}C and 61.6% after 516 days at 5{degrees}C. When DTW loss rates were converted to O{sub 2} consumption rates (O{sub 2}), the O{sub 2} of a 20 mm long mussel was estimated to be 22.2% of prestarvation O{sub 2} at 25{degrees}C, 11.0% at 15{degrees}C and 10.2% at 5{degrees}C. Major reduction in metabolic demand in starving zebra mussels at low temperatures allows overwintering without appreciable loss of organic energy stores.

  8. Chlorine dioxide treatment for zebra mussel control

    SciTech Connect

    Rybarik, D.; Byron, J.; Germer, M.

    1995-06-01

    Chlorine is recognized and commonly used biocide for power plant cooling water and service water treatment programs, including the control of zebra mussels. Chlorine dioxide has recently become a popular method of zebra mussel control because of its economy, safety, environmental acceptability, and effectiveness when compared to other mussel control methods. This control technique was recently demonstrated at Dairyland Power Cooperative`s Alma Generating Station on the east bank of the upper Mississippi River in Alma, Wisconsin. The project was assisted with EPRI Tailored Collaboration Program funds. The Dairyland Power Alam Generating Station consists of five generating units that utilize raw, untreated Mississippi River water for condenser, circulating, and service water supplies. The first units were built in 1947, with the final and largest unit being completed in 1960. Total station generating capacity is 200 MW. Because of recent increases in the zebra mussel density at the station intake, Dairyland Power selected the team of Nalco and Rio Linda to perform a chlorine dioxide treatment of the station`s new water systems to eradicate and control the mussels before their presence created operational difficulties. This paper will present the results of the treatment including treatment theory, design and construction of the treatment system, the method of chlorine dioxide generation, treatment concentration, analytical methods o monitoring chlorine dioxide generation, residuals and trihalomethane (THM) concentrations, protocol for monitoring treatment mortality, and the effects of chlorine dioxide and detoxification on other water chemistry parameters and equipment materials. The goal of this paper is to inform and assist users with establishing consistent and uniform practices for safely utilizing and monitoring chlorine dioxide in the eradication and control of zebra mussels.

  9. Zebra mussel control using acoustic energy

    SciTech Connect

    Tiller, G.W.; Gaucher, T.A.; Menezes, J.K.; Dolat, S.W. )

    1992-01-01

    A practical and economical device or method that reduces zebra mussel colonization without detrimental side effects is highly desirable. An ideal method is one that could be installed near, on, or in existing raw water intakes and conduits. It must have a known effect that is limited to a defined area, should have maximum effects on a targeted species, and preferably have a low life cycle cost than the current alternative methods of control and maintenance. Underwater sound could be such a desirable solution, if found to be an effective control measure for zebra mussels. Although sound most often applies specifically to acoustic energy that is audible to humans, 20 Hertz (Hz) to 20 kiloHertz (kHz), in this report we will use the terms sound and acoustic to include acoustic energy between 100 Hz and 100 MegaHertz (MHz). This research on zebra mussel biofouling is designed to effect the early developmental stages in the life cycle of Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas). Vulnerable stages in the development of D. polymorpha that might yield to site-specific acoustic deterrence measures include the free-swimming larval veliger stage, the postveliger pre-attachment demersal stage, and the immediate post-attachment stage. The proposed applications include surface treatment to prevent, reduce or eliminate colonization on underwater structures, and the stream treatment to reduce or eliminate (destroy) mussel larvae entrained in a moving volume of water.

  10. Invasion of the Zebra Mussels: A Mock Trial Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Judy A.; Czerniak, Charlene M.

    2005-01-01

    In this activity, students learn about the important topic of invasive species, specifically Zebra Mussels. Students role-play different characters in a real-life situation: the trial of the Zebra Mussel for unlawful disruption of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Students will also learn about jurisprudential inquiry by examining the trial process. This…

  11. 17. Photographic copy of photograph (at the offices of Finch, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    17. Photographic copy of photograph (at the offices of Finch, Pruyn & Company, Glen Street, Glens Falls, New York), Beach?, Photographer, March 28, 1913. Panoramic view of the Hudson River at Glens Falls during the March 1913 flood showing overtopped Glens Falls Dam and washed out bridge. Facing southwest. - Glens Falls Dam, 100' to 450' West of U.S. Route 9 Bridge Spanning Hudson River, Glens Falls, Warren County, NY

  12. The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771), in North America: impact on raw water users

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffiths, Ronald W.; Kovalak, William P.; Schloesser, Donald W.

    1989-01-01

    The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas), is a small mollusc native to the Black, Caspian, and Azov Seas that was discovered in Lake Erie of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America in 1988. Its presence there raises immediate concerns for users of raw water because it can become abundant enough to obstruct the flow of water through pipes, hoses, screens, and condensers. Biofouling attributed to this mussel was observed at several power plants, water treatment plants, and food processing and industrial facilities along Lake Erie in 1989. Estimated densities at one power plant intake canal were as high as 700,000 per m2. In addition, large numbers were found in main steam condensors and in the service water system, threatening the water supply for cooling, fire protection, and dust suppression systems. Municipal water intakes along the Canadian and United States shorelines have also been impaired. In one southeast Michigan city, drinking water withdrawal from Lake Erie was reduced 45% by the mussel. Routine checks of raw water supplies for free-floating zebra mussel veligers are reommended to determine if reproducing adult populations are present in local water bodies. After an early alert, raw water intakes could be protected to alleviate damage from the biofouling zebra mussel.

  13. Comparative biology of zebra mussels in Europe and North America: an overview

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mackie, Gerald L.; Schloesser, Don W.

    1996-01-01

    SYNOPSIS. Since the discovery of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, in the Great Lakes in 1988 comparisons have been made with mussel populations in Europe and the former Soviet Union. These comparisons include: Population dynamics, growth and mortality rates, ecological tolerances and requirements, dispersal rates and patterns, and ecological impacts. North American studies, mostly on the zebra mussel and a few on a second introduced species, the quagga mussel, Dreissena bugensis, have revealed some similarities and some differences. To date it appears that North American populations of zebra mussels are similar to European populations in their basic biological characteristics, population growth and mortality rates, and dispersal mechanisms and rates. Relative to European populations differences have been demonstrated for: (1) individual growth rates; (2) life spans; (3) calcium and pH tolerances and requirements; (4) potential distribution limits; and (5) population densities of veligers and adults. In addition, studies on the occurrence of the two dreissenid species in the Great Lakes are showing differences in their modes of life, depth distributions, and growth rates. As both species spread throughout North America, comparisons between species and waterbodies will enhance our ability to more effectively control these troublesome species.

  14. Steroidal and gonadal effects on neural cell proliferation in vitro in an adult songbird.

    PubMed

    Mirzatoni, Anahid; Dong, Stephanie M; Guerra, Marjorie; Zhen, Yin; Katz, Amnon; Schlinger, Barney A

    2010-09-10

    Neurogenesis in the adult songbird brain occurs along the ventricular zone (VZ), a specialized cell layer surrounding the lateral ventricles. To examine the acute effects of sex steroids on VZ cell proliferation, male and female adult zebra finch brain slices containing the VZ were exposed to 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine-5'-monophosphate (BrdU) in vitro. Slices from one hemisphere served as the control, while contralateral slices were treated with steroids, steroidogenic enzyme inhibitors or gonadal tissue itself. There were no significant effects on VZ cell proliferation in either sexes by acute exposure to 17beta-estradiol (E2), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a cocktail of four sex steroids, and inhibitors of sex steroid synthesis (aminoglutethimide, ketoconazole, and fadrozole), or by activation of a mitochondrial cholesterol transporter. By contrast, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) suppressed VZ cell proliferation in males, but not females, replicating previous observations involving treatments with corticosterone and RU-486. This suggests that DHEA suppresses proliferation in males via a glucocorticoid receptor-related mechanism. These results suggest that neurosteroidogenesis per se has little effect on acute VZ cell proliferation. Co-incubation with an ovary of female, but not male, slices significantly increased VZ cell proliferation; testicular tissue had no impact on proliferation in males or females. This suggests a role for a non-steroidal ovarian factor on adult female VZ cell proliferation. We also have evidence that previously reported sex-differences in BrdU-labeling along the adult VZ (males>females) result from a more rapid loss of cells in females. Sex differences in steroid action and cell death along the VZ may contribute to the maintenance of the sexually dimorphic song system.

  15. Molecular ecology of zebra mussel invasions.

    PubMed

    May, Gemma E; Gelembiuk, Gregory W; Panov, Vadim E; Orlova, Marina I; Lee, Carol Eunmi

    2006-04-01

    The invasion of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, into North American waters has resulted in profound ecological disturbances and large monetary losses. This study examined the invasion history and patterns of genetic diversity among endemic and invading populations of zebra mussels using DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene. Patterns of haplotype frequency indicate that all invasive populations of zebra mussels from North America and Europe originated from the Ponto-Caspian Sea region. The distribution of haplotypes was consistent with invasive populations arising from the Black Sea drainage, but could not exclude the possibility of an origin from the Caspian Sea drainage. Similar haplotype frequencies among North American populations of D. polymorpha suggest colonization by a single founding population. There was no evidence of invasive populations arising from tectonic lakes in Turkey, while lakes in Greece and Macedonia contained only Dreissena stankovici. Populations in Turkey might be members of a sibling species complex of D. polymorpha. Ponto-Caspian derived populations of D. polymorpha (theta = 0.0011) and Dreissena bugensis (one haplotype) exhibited low levels of genetic diversity at the COI gene, perhaps as a result of repeated population bottlenecks. In contrast, geographically isolated tectonic lake populations exhibited relatively high levels of genetic diversity (theta = 0.0032 to 0.0134). It is possible that the fluctuating environment of the Ponto-Caspian basin facilitated the colonizing habit of invasive populations of D. polymorpha and D. bugensis. Our findings were concordant with the general trend of destructive freshwater invaders in the Great Lakes arising from the Ponto-Caspian Sea basin.

  16. Improved axial resolution of FINCH fluorescence microscopy when combined with spinning disk confocal microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Nisan; Brooker, Gary

    2014-01-01

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. Addition of a Nipkow disk real-time confocal image scanner is shown to reduce the FINCH depth of focus while improving transverse confocal resolution in a combined method called “CINCH”. PMID:25321701

  17. Linda Finch speaks to children during World Flight in New Orleans, La.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Linda Finch, who re-created the flight of Amelia Earhardt's flight around the world 60 years ago, landed at New Orleans Lakefront Airport to speak to groups of inner-city school children during World Flight 1997. Stennis Space Center's Educator Resource Center played a role in the event by providing SSC-developed Geomap software to aid students in tracking Finch's flight.

  18. Zebra mussels enter the compost pile

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-08-01

    Zebra mussels, introduced accidentally into the Great Lakes, are overpopulating at phenomenal rates, especially in Lake Erie, where they damage oyster beds, foster excessive algae growth and cling to boats. They also clog the intake pipes of city water systems and power generating plants. The expense of cleaning intake screens is considerable, since they have to be physically removed and cleaned. Then the mussels must be disposed of, costing some power plants as much as $50,000 a year to landfill, says Wayne Koser of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

  19. Environmentally Safe Control of Zebra Mussel Fouling

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel Molloy

    2008-02-29

    The two primary objectives of this USDOE-NETL contract were successfully achieved during the project: (1) to accelerate research on the development of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL145A (Pf-CL145A) as a biocontrol agent for zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis)--two invasive freshwater bivalve species that are infesting water pipes in power plants; and (2) to identify a private-sector company that would move forward to commercialize Pf-CL145A as a substitute for the current polluting use of biocide chemicals for control of these dreissenid mussels in power plant pipes.

  20. Seasonal stress physiology and body condition differ among co-occurring tropical finch species.

    PubMed

    Maute, Kimberly L; French, Kristine; Legge, Sarah; Astheimer, Lee

    2013-12-01

    Seasonal changes in avian hormonal stress responses and condition are well known for common species found at temperate and arctic latitudes, but declining and tropical species are poorly studied. This study compares stress and condition measures of co-occurring declining and non-declining tropical grass finch species in Australia. We monitored declining Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) and non-declining long-tailed and masked finches (Poepila acuticauda and P. personata) during two seasons that are potentially stressful: peak breeding (early dry season when food is plentiful) and moult (late dry to early wet season when food may be scarce). We measured body condition (muscle and fat), haematocrit, and stress response to capture using plasma corticosterone and binding globulin concentrations. All species had higher muscle and lower fat indices during breeding than moult. Haematocrit did not consistently differ between seasons. Long-tailed finches had higher stress responses during breeding than moult, similar to other passerines studied. Masked finches showed no seasonal changes in stress response. Gouldian finches had stress response patterns opposite to those of long-tailed finches, with higher stress responses during moult. However, seasonal trends in Gouldian and long-tailed finch stress responses sometimes differed between years or sites. The differences in stress response patterns between species suggest that the declining Gouldian finch is more sensitive to recent environmental changes which are thought to further reduce grass seed food resources during the late dry to early wet season. Retention of stress responsiveness during a protracted moult could increase the survival potential of Gouldian finches. This study highlights the utility of stress and condition indices to determine the sensitivity of co-occurring species to environmental conditions.

  1. Crayfish (Orconectes virilis) predation on zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Love, Joy; Savino, Jacqueline F.

    1993-01-01

    In laboratory studies, we quantified predation rates and handling time of crayfish (Orconectes virilis) on zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and rainbow trout (Oncorhhynchus mykiss) eggs. In single prey species tests, crayfish ate zebra mussels at similar rates as they ate rainbow trout eggs. When both prey were present, crayfish preferred rainbow trout eggs. Handling time of mussels was about twice that of rainbow trout eggs, and energetic content of mussels was lower. Therefore, net benefit for foraging on rainbow trout eggs was about three times that of foraging on zebra mussels.

  2. Molecular characterization of novel circoviruses from finch and gull.

    PubMed

    Todd, D; Scott, A N J; Fringuelli, E; Shivraprasad, H L; Gavier-Widen, D; Smyth, J A

    2007-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to molecularly characterize circoviruses that infect finches and gulls. Circovirus-specific DNAs were isolated using polymerase chain reaction methods from bursa of Fabricius tissues from a Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae) and a herring gull (Larus argentatus) that were known to be circovirus-infected. Nucleotide sequence determination and analysis of cloned genomic DNAs showed that these circoviruses represented novel members of the genus Circovirus of the family Circoviridae, and have been tentatively named Finch circovirus (FiCV) and Gull Circovirus (GuCV). Both new circoviruses shared genome organizational features with previously characterized circoviruses, such that both contained two major, inversely-arranged open reading frames encoding the putative replication-associated and capsid proteins, and both contained a potential stem-loop and nonanucleotide motif. Phylogenetic analyses based on genome nucleotide sequences and involving the seven additional genus members indicated that FiCV and GuCV were more closely related to canary circovirus, beak and feather disease virus and pigeon circovirus, and that FiCV and canary circovirus were the most closely related avian circoviruses. Pairwise comparisons showed that the capsid proteins of FiCV and GuCV shared highest amino acid identity values with those of canary circovirus (62.0%) and pigeon circovirus (40.6%), respectively. The 5' intergenic region of GuCV was longer (207 nucleotides) and contained more direct and inverse repeated sequences than those of other circoviruses, while the 3' intergenic region of FiCV was notable in being longer (307 nucleotides) than its counterparts in other circoviruses and in containing two long repeats of 77 nucleotides.

  3. Zebra Fish Lacking Adaptive Immunity Acquire an Antiviral Alert State Characterized by Upregulated Gene Expression of Apoptosis, Multigene Families, and Interferon-Related Genes.

    PubMed

    García-Valtanen, Pablo; Martínez-López, Alicia; López-Muñoz, Azucena; Bello-Perez, Melissa; Medina-Gali, Regla M; Ortega-Villaizán, María Del Mar; Varela, Monica; Figueras, Antonio; Mulero, Víctoriano; Novoa, Beatriz; Estepa, Amparo; Coll, Julio

    2017-01-01

    To investigate fish innate immunity, we have conducted organ and cell immune-related transcriptomic as well as immunohistologic analysis in mutant zebra fish (Danio rerio) lacking adaptive immunity (rag1(-/-)) at different developmental stages (egg, larvae, and adult), before and after infection with spring viremia carp virus (SVCV). The results revealed that, compared to immunocompetent zebra fish (rag1(+/+) ), rag1(-/-) acquired increased resistance to SVCV with age, correlating with elevated transcript levels of immune genes in skin/fins and lymphoid organs (head kidney and spleen). Gene sets corresponding to apoptotic functions, immune-related multigene families, and interferon-related genes were constitutively upregulated in uninfected adult rag1(-/-) zebra fish. Overexpression of activated CASPASE-3 in different tissues before and after infection with SVCV further confirmed increased apoptotic function in rag1(-/-) zebra fish. Concurrently, staining of different tissue samples with a pan-leukocyte antibody marker showed abundant leukocyte infiltrations in SVCV-infected rag1(-/-) fish, coinciding with increased transcript expression of genes related to NK-cells and macrophages, suggesting that these genes played a key role in the enhanced immune response of rag1(-/-) zebra fish to SVCV lethal infection. Overall, we present evidence that indicates that rag1(-/-) zebra fish acquire an antiviral alert state while they reach adulthood in the absence of adaptive immunity. This antiviral state was characterized by (i) a more rapid response to viral infection, which resulted in increased survival, (ii) the involvement of NK-cell- and macrophage-mediated transcript responses rather than B- and/or T-cell dependent cells, and (iii) enhanced apoptosis, described here for the first time, as well as the similar modulation of multigene family/interferon-related genes previously associated to fish that survived lethal viral infections. From this and other studies, it might

  4. Charged compact stellar model in Finch-Skea spacetime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratanpal, B. S.; Pandya, D. M.; Sharma, R.; Das, S.

    2017-04-01

    Making use of the Finch and Skea ansatz (Class. Quantum Gravity 6:467, 1989), we present a new class of solutions for a compact stellar object whose exterior space-time is described by the Riessner-Nordström metric. We generate the solution by assuming a specific charge distribution and show its relevance in the context of relativistic spherical objects possessing a net charge. In particular, we analyze the impact of charge on the mass-radius (M-R) relationship of compact stellar objects.

  5. Condition index monitoring supports conservation priorities for the protection of threatened grass-finch populations

    PubMed Central

    Maute, Kimberly; French, Kristine; Legge, Sarah; Astheimer, Lee; Garnett, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Conservation agencies are often faced with the difficult task of prioritizing what recovery actions receive support. With the number of species under threat of decline growing globally, research that informs conservation priorities is greatly needed. The relative vulnerability of cryptic or nomadic species is often uncertain, because populations are difficult to monitor and local populations often seem stable in the short term. This uncertainty can lead to inaction when populations are in need of protection. We tested the feasibility of using differences in condition indices as an indication of population vulnerability to decline for related threatened Australian finch sub-species. The Gouldian finch represents a relatively well-studied endangered species, which has a seasonal and site-specific pattern of condition index variation that differs from the closely related non-declining long-tailed finch. We used Gouldian and long-tailed finch condition variation as a model to compare with lesser studied, threatened star and black-throated finches. We compared body condition (fat and muscle scores), haematocrit and stress levels (corticosterone) among populations, seasons and years to determine whether lesser studied finch populations matched the model of an endangered species or a non-declining species. While vulnerable finch populations often had lower muscle and higher fat and corticosterone concentrations during moult (seasonal pattern similar to Gouldian finches), haematocrit values did not differ among populations in a predictable way. Star and black-throated finch populations, which were predicted to be vulnerable to decline, showed evidence of poor condition during moult, supporting their status as vulnerable. Our findings highlight how measures of condition can provide insight into the relative vulnerability of animal and plant populations to decline and will allow the prioritization of efforts towards the populations most likely to be in jeopardy of extinction

  6. Condition index monitoring supports conservation priorities for the protection of threatened grass-finch populations.

    PubMed

    Maute, Kimberly; French, Kristine; Legge, Sarah; Astheimer, Lee; Garnett, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Conservation agencies are often faced with the difficult task of prioritizing what recovery actions receive support. With the number of species under threat of decline growing globally, research that informs conservation priorities is greatly needed. The relative vulnerability of cryptic or nomadic species is often uncertain, because populations are difficult to monitor and local populations often seem stable in the short term. This uncertainty can lead to inaction when populations are in need of protection. We tested the feasibility of using differences in condition indices as an indication of population vulnerability to decline for related threatened Australian finch sub-species. The Gouldian finch represents a relatively well-studied endangered species, which has a seasonal and site-specific pattern of condition index variation that differs from the closely related non-declining long-tailed finch. We used Gouldian and long-tailed finch condition variation as a model to compare with lesser studied, threatened star and black-throated finches. We compared body condition (fat and muscle scores), haematocrit and stress levels (corticosterone) among populations, seasons and years to determine whether lesser studied finch populations matched the model of an endangered species or a non-declining species. While vulnerable finch populations often had lower muscle and higher fat and corticosterone concentrations during moult (seasonal pattern similar to Gouldian finches), haematocrit values did not differ among populations in a predictable way. Star and black-throated finch populations, which were predicted to be vulnerable to decline, showed evidence of poor condition during moult, supporting their status as vulnerable. Our findings highlight how measures of condition can provide insight into the relative vulnerability of animal and plant populations to decline and will allow the prioritization of efforts towards the populations most likely to be in jeopardy of extinction.

  7. Invasive Parasites, Habitat Change and Heavy Rainfall Reduce Breeding Success in Darwin's Finches

    PubMed Central

    Cimadom, Arno; Ulloa, Angel; Meidl, Patrick; Zöttl, Markus; Zöttl, Elisabet; Fessl, Birgit; Nemeth, Erwin; Dvorak, Michael; Cunninghame, Francesca; Tebbich, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundance)is lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss. PMID:25248092

  8. Galápagos mockingbirds tolerate introduced parasites that affect Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Knutie, Sarah A; Owen, Jeb P; McNew, Sabrina M; Bartlow, Andrew W; Arriero, Elena; Herman, Jordan M; DiBlasi, Emily; Thompson, Michael; Koop, Jennifer A H; Clayton, Dale H

    2016-04-01

    Introduced parasites threaten native host species that lack effective defenses. Such parasites increase the risk of extinction, particularly in small host populations like those on islands. If some host species are tolerant to introduced parasites, this could amplify the risk of the parasite to vulnerable host species. Recently, the introduced parasitic nest fly Philornis downsi has been implicated in the decline of Darwin's finch populations in the Galápagos Islands. In some years, 100% of finch nests fail due to P. downsi; however, other common host species nesting near Darwin's finches, such as the endemic Galápagos mockingbird (Mimus parvulus), appear to be less affected by P. downsi. We compared effects of P. downsi on mockingbirds and medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos. We experimentally manipulated the abundance of P. downsi in nests of mockingbirds and finches to measure the direct effect of the parasite on the reproductive success of each species of host. We also compared immunological and behavioral responses by each species of host to the fly. Although nests of the two host species had similar parasite densities, flies decreased the fitness of finches but not mockingbirds. Neither host species had a significant antibody-mediated immune response to P. downsi. Moreover, finches showed no significant increase in begging, parental provisioning, or plasma glucose levels in response to the flies. In contrast, parasitized mockingbird nestlings begged more than nonparasitized mockingbird nestlings. Greater begging was correlated with increased parental provisioning behavior, which appeared to compensate for parasite damage. The results of our study suggest that finches are negatively affected by P. downsi because they do not have such behavioral mechanisms for energy compensation. In contrast, mockingbirds are capable of compensation, making them tolerant hosts, and a possible indirect threat to Darwin's finches.

  9. Zebra mussel-directed foodchain transfer of environmental contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, S.W.; Bruner, K.A.; Landrum, P.F.

    1994-12-31

    Zebra mussel densities in some near-shore areas of Lake Erie exceed 500,000 individuals m{sup 3}. Because of their large biomass, the zebra mussels can collectively filter the entire volume of Lake Erie`s western basin in approximately 7 days. In so doing, the mussels remove a significant fraction of suspended particles, including algae and sediment. If those particles are contaminated with PCBs, the mussels could potentially redirect contaminant cycling in Lake Erie. Their data show that contaminated particles are a significant source of contaminants for the zebra mussel with sediment being more significant source than algae. When particles are the source of contamination for the zebra mussel, significant foodchain contamination may result from direct consumption of contaminated mussels or via an indirect route in which unassimilated contaminants are shunted into zebra mussel feces and the latter are consumed by benthic invertebrates. Trophic transfer of PCBs from zebra mussel feces to gammarids was measured. Importantly, biomagnification of some PCB congeners occurred during foodchain transfer from particles to mussels to feces such that the indirect route of transfer through ingestion of contaminated feces is more significant ecologically. Implications for Lake Erie foodchains will be discussed.

  10. The secondary contact phase of allopatric speciation in Darwin's finches

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Peter R.; Grant, B. Rosemary

    2009-01-01

    Speciation, the process by which two species form from one, involves the development of reproductive isolation of two divergent lineages. Here, we report the establishment and persistence of a reproductively isolated population of Darwin's finches on the small Galápagos Island of Daphne Major in the secondary contact phase of speciation. In 1981, an immigrant medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) arrived on the island. It was unusually large, especially in beak width, sang an unusual song, and carried some Geospiza scandens alleles. We followed the fate of this individual and its descendants for seven generations over a period of 28 years. In the fourth generation, after a severe drought, the lineage was reduced to a single brother and sister, who bred with each other. From then on this lineage, inheriting unusual song, morphology, and a uniquely homozygous marker allele, was reproductively isolated, because their own descendants bred with each other and with no other member of the resident G. fortis population. These observations agree with some expectations of an ecological theory of speciation in that a barrier to interbreeding arises as a correlated effect of adaptive divergence in morphology. However, the important, culturally transmitted, song component of the barrier appears to have arisen by chance through an initial imperfect copying of local song by the immigrant. The study reveals additional stochastic elements of speciation, in which divergence is initiated in allopatry; immigration to a new area of a single male hybrid and initial breeding with a rare hybrid female. PMID:19918081

  11. n-dimensional isotropic Finch-Skea stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chilambwe, Brian; Hansraj, Sudan

    2015-02-01

    We study the impact of dimension on the physical properties of the Finch-Skea astrophysical model. It is shown that a positive definite, monotonically decreasing pressure and density are evident. A decrease in stellar radius emerges as the order of the dimension increases. This is accompanied by a corresponding increase in energy density. The model continues to display the necessary qualitative features inherent in the 4-dimensional Finch-Skea star and the conformity to the Walecka theory is preserved under dimensional increase. The causality condition is always satisfied for all dimensions considered resulting in the proposed models demonstrating a subluminal sound speed throughout the interior of the distribution. Moreover, the pressure and density decrease monotonically outwards from the centre and a pressure-free hypersurface exists demarcating the boundary of the perfect-fluid sphere. Since the study of the physical conditions is performed graphically, it is necessary to specify certain constants in the model. Reasonable values for such constants are arrived at on examining the behaviour of the model at the centre and demanding the satisfaction of all elementary conditions for physical plausibility. Finally two constants of integration are settled on matching of our solutions with the appropriate Schwarzschild-Tangherlini exterior metrics. Furthermore, the solution admits a barotropic equation of state despite the higher dimension. The compactification parameter as well as the density variation parameter are also computed. The models satisfy the weak, strong and dominant energy conditions in the interior of the stellar configuration.

  12. Sequential learning and rule abstraction in Bengalese finches.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Yumiko; Suzuki, Kenta; Inada, Masayuki; Iriki, Atsushi; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2012-05-01

    The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica) is a species of songbird. Males sing courtship songs with complex note-to-note transition rules, while females discriminate these songs when choosing their mate. The present study uses serial reaction time (RT) to examine the characteristics of the Bengalese finches' sequential behaviours beyond song production. The birds were trained to produce the sequence with an "A-B-A" structure. After the RT to each key position was determined to be stable, we tested the acquisition of the trained sequential response by presenting novel and random three-term sequences (random test). We also examined whether they could abstract the embedded rule in the trained sequence and apply it to the novel test sequence (abstract test). Additionally, we examined rule abstraction through example training by increasing the number of examples in baseline training from 1 to 5. When considered as (gender) groups, training with 5 examples resulted in no statistically significant differences in the abstract tests, while statistically significant differences were observed in the random tests, suggesting that the male birds learned the trained sequences and transferred the abstract structure they had learned during the training trials. Individual data indicated that males, as opposed to females, were likely to learn the motor pattern of the sequence. The results are consistent with observations that males learn to produce songs with complex sequential rules, whereas females do not.

  13. Exploring vocal recovery after cranial nerve injury in Bengalese finches.

    PubMed

    Urbano, Catherine M; Peterson, Jennifer R; Cooper, Brenton G

    2013-02-08

    Songbirds and humans use auditory feedback to acquire and maintain their vocalizations. The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) is a songbird species that rapidly modifies its vocal output to adhere to an internal song memory. In this species, the left side of the bipartite vocal organ is specialized for producing louder, higher frequencies (≥2.2kHz) and denervation of the left vocal muscles eliminates these notes. Thus, the return of higher frequency notes after cranial nerve injury can be used as a measure of vocal recovery. Either the left or right side of the syrinx was denervated by resection of the tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve. Histologic analyses of syringeal muscle tissue showed significant muscle atrophy in the denervated side. After left nerve resection, songs were mainly composed of lower frequency syllables, but three out of five birds recovered higher frequency syllables. Right nerve resection minimally affected phonology, but it did change song syntax; syllable sequence became abnormally stereotyped after right nerve resection. Therefore, damage to the neuromuscular control of sound production resulted in reduced motor variability, and Bengalese finches are a potential model for functional vocal recovery following cranial nerve injury.

  14. The byssus of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha. I: Morphology and in situ protein processing during maturation.

    PubMed

    Rzepecki, L M; Waite, J H

    1993-10-01

    The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, owes its notoriety as a biofouler to its adhesive skills and opportunism. Adhesion by the adult mussel to hard substrata is mediated by a nonliving extracorporeal structure called the byssus, which is superficially similar to the byssus of marine mussels in that it consists of a tight bundle of sclerotized threads tipped by adhesive plaques. Juvenile zebra mussels secrete a homologous structure on settlement, but they also employ an elongated belaying byssus while climbing that consists of an elastic, mucous filament anchored at irregular intervals by a byssal thread and plaque. This multiply anchored belaying line can be 20 to 30 times the mussel length. Histochemical tests show that the thread and plaque of both kinds of byssus contains a complex distribution of proteins that are subject to chemical processing after secretion. This processing may result from the formation of crosslinks following the catecholoxidase-catalyzed oxidation of peptidyl 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine during sclerotization.

  15. USGS Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program for north Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Churchill, Christopher J.; Baldys, Stanley

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program for north Texas provides early detection and monitoring of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) by using a holistic suite of detection methods. The program is designed to assess zebra mussel occurrence, distribution, and densities in north Texas waters by using four approaches: (1) SCUBA diving, (2) water-sample collection with plankton tow nets (followed by laboratory analyses), (3) artificial substrates, and (4) water-quality sampling. Data collected during this type of monitoring can assist rapid response efforts and can be used to quantify the economic and ecological effects of zebra mussels in the north Texas area. Monitoring under this program began in April 2010. The presence of large zebra mussel populations often causes undesirable economic and ecological effects, including damage to water-processing infrastructure and hydroelectric powerplants (with an estimated 10-year cost of $3.1 billion), displacement of native mussels, increases in concentrations of certain species of cyanobacteria, and increases in concentrations of geosmin (an organic compound that results in taste and odor issues in water). Since no large-scale, environmentally safe eradication method has been developed for zebra mussels, it is difficult to remove established populations. Broad physicochemical adaptability, prolific reproductive capacity, and rapid dispersal methods have enabled zebra mussels, within a period of about 20 years, to establish populations under differing environmental conditions across much of the eastern part of the United States. In Texas, the presence of zebra mussels was first confirmed in April 2009 in Lake Texoma in the Red River Basin along the Texas-Oklahoma border. They were most likely introduced into Lake Texoma through overland transport from an infested water body. Since then, the presence of zebra mussels has been reported in both the Red River and Washita River arms of Lake Texoma, in

  16. Examination of the potential of chlorine dioxide for use in zebra mussel veliger control

    SciTech Connect

    Rusznak, L.; Smolik, N.; Hale, L.; Freymark, S.

    1995-06-01

    Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) veligers were treated with various concentrations of chlorine dioxide and exposed at several time intervals to determine the effectiveness of this oxidant as a veliger control agent. The direction of this testing was based on previous studies which determined the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide as a molluscicide for adult zebra mussel control. Zebra mussel veligers were collected from the Niagara River shoreline at an untreated site and tested using filtered river water from the same source. All testing was conducted on site at an industrial plant in order to insure the integrity of veligers collected for this study. The plankton wheel method was used to examine the effects of chlorine dioxide. This methodology involves intense microscopic examination of the test organism prior to and after chemical exposure todeterminen molluscicidal efficacy. Veliger mortality was determined based on observations of veliger movement. Typical criteria for the determination of mortality was expanded to include four categories; veliger actively swimming, internal musculature movement, no internal musculature movement observed, however not necessarily indicating a mortality and obviously a mortality. The treatment levels ranged from 0.75 ppm - 2.0 ppm which are considered to simulate treatment levels in actual applications. Mortality levels ranged on average from 16%-42% based on 30 minute or 60 minute exposure times. The determination exposure time was based on water flow time intervals in actural applications. Sodium hypochlorite was also evaluated in order to compare the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide against this known veliger control agent. Testing resulted in chlorine dioxide providing significantly better veliger control than sodium hypochlorite under similar conditions.

  17. Two developmental modules establish 3D beak-shape variation in Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Mallarino, Ricardo; Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary; Herrel, Anthony; Kuo, Winston P; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2011-03-08

    Bird beaks display tremendous variation in shape and size, which is closely associated with the exploitation of multiple ecological niches and likely played a key role in the diversification of thousands of avian species. Previous studies have demonstrated some of the molecular mechanisms that regulate morphogenesis of the prenasal cartilage, which forms the initial beak skeleton. However, much of the beak diversity in birds depends on variation in the premaxillary bone. It forms later in development and becomes the most prominent functional and structural component of the adult upper beak/jaw, yet its regulation is unknown. Here, we studied a group of Darwin's finch species with different beak shapes. We found that TGFβIIr, β-catenin, and Dickkopf-3, the top candidate genes from a cDNA microarray screen, are differentially expressed in the developing premaxillary bone of embryos of species with different beak shapes. Furthermore, our functional experiments demonstrate that these molecules form a regulatory network governing the morphology of the premaxillary bone, which differs from the network controlling the prenasal cartilage, but has the same species-specific domains of expression. These results offer potential mechanisms that may explain how the tightly coupled depth and width dimensions can evolve independently. The two-module program of development involving independent regulating molecules offers unique insights into how different developmental pathways may be modified and combined to induce multidimensional shifts in beak morphology. Similar modularity in development may characterize complex traits in other organisms to a greater extent than is currently appreciated.

  18. Molecular characterization of the song control nucleus HVC in Bengalese finch brain.

    PubMed

    Kato, Masaki; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2010-11-11

    Songbirds have a specialized neural substrate for learned vocalization, called the song circuit, which consists of several song nuclei in the brain. The song control nucleus HVC (a letter-based name) is the intersection point of the song learning and vocal motor pathways. Knowledge of the types of genes expressed in the HVC is essential in understanding the molecular aspects of the HVC. Gene expression in the HVC under silent conditions shows the competence necessary for singing. To investigate this, we compared the HVC with its adjacent tissues in searching for the molecular specificities of the song nucleus HVC using an in-house cDNA microarray of the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica). Our microarray analysis revealed that 70 genes were differentially expressed in the HVC compared with the adjacent tissue. We investigated 27 of the microarray-selected genes that were enriched or repressed in the HVC by in situ hybridization. We found that multiple calcium-binding proteins (e.g., CAPS2, parvalbumin and ATH) were enriched in the HVC. Meanwhile, the adult HVC showed low expression levels of plasticity-related genes (e.g., CAMK2A and MAP2K1) compared with the juvenile HVC. The HVC plays an important role during song learning, but our results suggest that the plasticity of this nucleus may be suppressed during adulthood. Our findings provide new information about the molecular features that characterize the HVC.

  19. The evolutionary history of Darwin's finches: speciation, gene flow, and introgression in a fragmented landscape.

    PubMed

    Farrington, Heather L; Lawson, Lucinda P; Clark, Courtney M; Petren, Kenneth

    2014-10-01

    Many classic examples of adaptive radiations take place within fragmented systems such as islands or mountains, but the roles of mosaic landscapes and variable gene flow in facilitating species diversification is poorly understood. Here we combine phylogenetic and landscape genetic approaches to understand diversification in Darwin's finches, a model adaptive radiation. We combined sequence data from 14 nuclear introns, mitochondrial markers, and microsatellite variation from 51 populations of all 15 recognized species. Phylogenetic species-trees recovered seven major finch clades: ground, tree, vegetarian, Cocos Island, grey and green warbler finches, and a distinct clade of sharp-beaked ground finches (Geospiza cf. difficilis) basal to all ground and tree finches. The ground and tree finch clades lack species-level phylogenetic structure. Interisland gene flow and interspecies introgression vary geographically in predictable ways. First, several species exhibit concordant patterns of population divergence across the channel separating the Galápagos platform islands from the separate volcanic province of northern islands. Second, peripheral islands have more admixed populations while central islands maintain more distinct species boundaries. This landscape perspective highlights a likely role for isolation of peripheral populations in initial divergence, and demonstrates that peripheral populations may maintain genetic diversity through outbreeding during the initial stages of speciation.

  20. Strategic concealment of sexual identity in an estrilid finch

    PubMed Central

    Langmore, N. E.; Bennett, A. T. D.

    1999-01-01

    One explanation for the evolution of sexual monomorphism is the sexual indistinguishability hypothesis, which argues that in group-living species individuals might benefit by concealing their sex to reduce sexual competition. We tested this hypothesis in long-tailed finches Poephila acuticauda. Males and females could not be reliably distinguished morphologically or by analysis of the reflectance spectra (300 to 700 nm) from the plumage and bill. Males seemed unable to distinguish the sex of an unfamiliar individual in the absence of behavioural cues; they were equally likely to court and copulate with unfamiliar males and females but rarely courted familiar males. Here we report the first experimental evidence that sexual monomorphism enables strategic concealment of sex. Males were more likely to reveal their sex when faced with a solitary unfamiliar individual than a group of unfamiliar individuals. When encountering an unfamiliar male that revealed his sex, subordinate males were more likely to conceal their sex than dominant males.

  1. Modified Finch and Skea stellar model compatible with observational data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandya, D. M.; Thomas, V. O.; Sharma, R.

    2015-04-01

    We present a new class of solutions to the Einstein's field equations corresponding to a static spherically symmetric anisotropic system by generalizing the ansatz of Finch and Skea [Class. Quantum Grav. 6:467, 1989] for the gravitational potential g rr . The anisotropic stellar model previously studied by Sharma and Ratanpal [Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 13:1350074, 2013] is a sub-class of the solutions provided here. Based on physical requirements, regularity conditions and stability, we prescribe bounds on the model parameters. By systematically fixing values of the model parameters within the prescribed bound, we demonstrate that our model is compatible with the observed masses and radii of a wide variety of compact stars like 4U 1820-30, PSR J1903+327, 4U 1608-52, Vela X-1, PSR J1614-2230, SAX J1808.4-3658 and Her X-1.

  2. How large was the founding population of Darwin's finches?

    PubMed Central

    Vincek, V.; O'Huigin, C.; Satta, Y.; Takahata, Y.; Boag, P. T.; Grant, P. R.; Grant, B. R.; Klein, J.

    1997-01-01

    A key assumption of many allopatric speciation models is that evolution in peripheral or isolated populations is facilitated by drastic reductions in population size. Population bottlenecks are believed to lead to rapid changes in gene frequencies through genetic drift, to facilitate rapid emergence of novel phenotypes, and to enhance reproductive isolation via genetic revolutions. For such effects to occur, founding populations must be very small, and remain small for some time after founding. This assumption has, however, rarely been tested in nature. One approach is to exploit the polymorphism of the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) to obtain information about the founding population. Here, we use the Mhc polymorphism to estimate the size of the founding population of Darwin's finches in the Galápagos Archipelago. The results indicate that the population could not have been smaller than 30 individuals.

  3. Chemical regulation of spawning in the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ram, Jeffrey L.; Nichols, S. Jerrine; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Donald W.

    1992-01-01

    Previous literature suggests that spawning in bivalves is chemically regulated, both by environmental chemical cues and by internal chemical mediators. In a model proposed for zebra mussels, chemicals from phytoplankton initially trigger spawning, and chemicals associated with gametes provide further stimulus for spawning. The response to environmental chemicals is internally mediated by a pathway utilizing serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, a neurotransmitter), which acts directly on both male and female gonads. The role of serotonin and most other aspects of the model have been tested only on bivalves other than zebra mussels. The effect of serotonin on zebra mussel spawning was tested. Serotonin (10-5 and 10-3 M) injected into ripe males induced spawning, but injection of serotonin into females did not. Gametes were not released by 10-6 serotonin; in most cases, serotonin injection did not release gametes from immature recipients. Serotonin injection provides a reliable means for identifying ripe male zebra mussels and for obtaining zebra mussel sperm without the need for dissection.

  4. Copper and copper-nickel alloys as zebra mussel antifoulants

    SciTech Connect

    Dormon, J.M.; Cottrell, C.M.; Allen, D.G.; Ackerman, J.D.; Spelt, J.K.

    1996-04-01

    Copper has been used in the marine environment for decades as cladding on ships and pipes to prevent biofouling by marine mussels (Mytilus edulis L.). This motivated the present investigation into the possibility of using copper to prevent biofouling in freshwater by both zebra mussels and quagga mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. bugensis collectively referred to as zebra mussels). Copper and copper alloy sheet proved to be highly effective in preventing biofouling by zebra mussels over a three-year period. Further studies were conducted with copper and copper-nickel mesh (lattice of expanded metal) and screen (woven wire with a smaller hole size), which reduced the amount of copper used. Copper screen was also found to be strongly biofouling-resistant with respect to zebra mussels, while copper mesh reduced zebra mussel biofouling in comparison to controls, but did not prevent it entirely. Preliminary investigations into the mechanism of copper antifouling, using galvanic couples, indicated that the release of copper ions from the surface of the exposed metal into the surrounding water is directly or indirectly responsible for the biofouling resistance of copper.

  5. Quagga and zebra mussels: biology, impacts, and control

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Don W.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Don W.

    2013-01-01

    Quagga and Zebra Mussels: Biology, Impacts, and Control, Second Edition provides a broad view of the zebra/quagga mussel issue, offering a historic perspective and up-to-date information on mussel research. Comprising 48 chapters, this second edition includes reviews of mussel morphology, physiology, and behavior. It details mussel distribution and spread in Europe and across North America, and examines policy and regulatory responses, management strategies, and mitigation efforts. In addition, this book provides extensive coverage of the impact of invasive mussel species on freshwater ecosystems, including effects on water clarity, phytoplankton, water quality, food web changes, and consequences to other aquatic fauna. It also reviews and offers new insights on how zebra and quagga mussels respond and adapt to varying environmental conditions. This new edition includes seven video clips that complement chapter text and, through visual documentation, provide a greater understanding of mussel behavior and distribution.

  6. IMPACT OF WATER PH ON ZEBRA MUSSEL MORTALITY

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2002-10-15

    The experiments conducted this past quarter have suggested that the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL0145A is effective at killing zebra mussels throughout the entire range of pH values tested (7.2 to 8.6). Highest mortality was achieved at pH values characteristic of preferred zebra mussel waterbodies, i.e., hard waters with a range of 7.8 to 8.6. In all water types tested, however, ranging from very soft to very hard, considerable mussel kill was achieved (83 to 99% mean mortality), suggesting that regardless of the pH or hardness of the treated water, significant mussel kill can be achieved upon treatment with P. fluorescens strain CL0145A. These results further support the concept that this bacterium has significant potential for use as a zebra mussel control agent in power plant pipes receiving waters with a wide range of physical and chemical characteristics.

  7. Interpretation of the zebra pattern in the Jovian kilometric radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlotnik, E. Ya.; Shaposhnikov, V. E.; Zaitsev, V. V.

    2016-06-01

    The origin of a fine structure as quasi-harmonic parallel drifting stripes of enhanced brightness (zebra pattern) in the dynamic spectrum of Jovian kilometric radiation is discussed. A possible interpretation of the observed structure based on the effect of double plasma resonance (DPR) in the Jupiter magnetosphere is analyzed. It is shown that the observed features of the zebra pattern cannot be attributed to the DPR effect at electron cyclotron harmonics. The proposed scheme consists of excitation of ion cyclotron waves at the low hybrid frequency in the ion DPR regions and succeeding coalescence of these waves with a longitudinal wave at the upper hybrid frequency. The source parameters necessary for matching the expected and observed properties of the Jupiter zebra pattern are discussed.

  8. Identification of larvae: The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), quagga mussel (Dreissena rosteriformis bugensis), and Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, S. Jerrine; Black, M.G.

    1994-01-01

    There are presently four freshwater bivalves in the United States that produce larvae or veligers commonly found in the water column: two forms of Asian clams and two species of dreissenids. Portions of the geographic range of three of these bivalves, one species of Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea), zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), and quagga mussels (Dreissena rosteriformis bugensis), overlap, causing problems with larval identification. To determine which characteristics can be used to separate larval forms, adult Asian clams, quaggas, and zebra mussels were brought into the laboratory and induced to spawn, and the resulting larvae were reared. Hybrids between quaggas and zebra mussels were also produced, but not reared to maturity. Characteristics allowing for the most rapid and accurate separation of larvae were hinge length, shell length/height, shell shape, shell size, and the presence or absence of a foot and velum. These characteristics were observed in laboratory-reared larvae of known parentage and field-caught larvae of unknown parentage. In most cases, larvae of the Asian clam can be readily separated from those produced by either type of dreissenid on the basis of shell size and presence of a foot. Separating the gametes and embryos of the two types of dreissenids is not possible, but after shell formation, most of the larval stages can be distinguished. Hinge length, shell length/height, and the similarity in size of the shell valves can be used to separate straight-hinged, umbonal, pediveliger, and plantigrade larvae. Quagga × zebra mussel hybrids show characteristics of both parents and are difficult to identify.

  9. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation impairs extracellular matrix remodeling during zebra fish fin regeneration.

    PubMed

    Andreasen, Eric A; Mathew, Lijoy K; Löhr, Christiane V; Hasson, Rachelle; Tanguay, Robert L

    2007-01-01

    Adult zebra fish completely regenerate their caudal (tail) fin following partial amputation. Exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) inhibits this regenerative process. Proper regulation of transcription, innervation, vascularization, and extracellular matrix (ECM) composition is essential for complete fin regeneration. Previous microarray studies suggest that genes involved in ECM regulation are misexpressed following activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. To investigate whether TCDD blocks regeneration by impairing ECM remodeling, male zebra fish were i.p. injected with 50 ng/g TCDD or vehicle, and caudal fins were amputated. By 3 days postamputation (dpa), the vascular network in the regenerating fin of TCDD-exposed fish was disorganized compared to vehicle-exposed animals. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining revealed that axonal outgrowth was impacted by TCDD as early as 3 dpa. Histological analysis demonstrated that TCDD exposure leads to an accumulation of collagen at the end of the fin ray just distal to the amputation site by 3 dpa. Mature lepidotrichial-forming cells (fin ray-forming cells) were not observed in the fins of TCDD-treated fish. The capacity to metabolize ECM was also altered by TCDD exposure. Quantitative real-time PCR studies revealed that the aryl hydrocarbon pathway is active and that matrix-remodeling genes are expressed in the regenerate following TCDD exposure.

  10. IMPACT OF WATER TEMPERATURE ON ZEBRA MUSSEL MORTALITY

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2002-08-07

    These tests conducted this past quarter have indicated that the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL0145A is effective at killing zebra mussels at water temperatures ranging from 7 to 23 C. Percent kill will likely be somewhat lower at very low temperatures, e.g., 7 C, but even at such low temperatures high mussel kill can still be achieved (>70% kill). This is significant because the development of a zebra mussel control method that is efficacious in such a wide range of temperatures broadens its usefulness as a potential commercial product.

  11. A SEROLOGIC AND POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION SURVEY OF EQUINE HERPESVIRUS IN BURCHELL'S ZEBRAS (EQUUS QUAGGA), HARTMANN'S MOUNTAIN ZEBRAS (EQUUS ZEBRA HARTMANNAE), AND THOMSON'S GAZELLES (EUDORCAS THOMSONII) IN A MIXED SPECIES SAVANNAH EXHIBIT.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Karen M; Fleming, Gregory J; Mylniczenko, Natalie D

    2016-12-01

    Reports of equine herpesvirus (EHV) 1 and EHV-9 causing clinical disease in a wide range of species have been well documented in the literature. It is thought that zebras are the natural hosts of EHV-9 both in the wild and in captive collections. Concerns about potential interspecies transmission of EHV-1 and EHV-9 in a mixed species savannah exhibit prompted serologic and polymerase chain reaction surveys. Eighteen Burchell's zebras ( Equus quagga ), 11 Hartmann's mountain zebras ( Equus zebra hartmannae), and 14 Thomson's gazelles ( Eudorcas thomsonii ) cohabitating the same exhibit were examined for EHV-1 virus neutralization titers, and evidence of virus via EHV 1-5 polymerase chain reactions. None of the animals had previous exposure to vaccination with EHV-1 or EHV-4. All tested zebras had positive EHV-1 titers, ranging from 4 to 384. All zebras and Thomson's gazelles had negative polymerase chain reaction results for all targeted equine herpesviruses. EHV-9-specific assays are not available but EHV-1, EHV-4, and EHV-9 cross-react serologically. Positive serology results indicate a potential latent equine herpesvirus in the zebra population, which prompted initiation of an equine herpesvirus vaccine protocol, changes in pregnant zebra mare management, and equine herpesvirus polymerase chain reaction screening prior to shipment to or from the study site.

  12. Zebra Mussel Monitoring and Control Guide. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-01

    The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Zebra Mussel Monitoring and Control Guide is a comprehensive compilation of US and European practices as reported in the open literature as of the end of 1992. EPRI considers the guide to be a living` document and will update it periodically in order to provide results of current research on chemical and nonchemical control technologies and utility experiences. The zebra mussel has infested all of the Great Lakes and other major rivers and waterways and is positioned to spread even more to the adjoining river basins. The impact of the zebra mussel on industrial power plantsis as a biofouler that clogs water systems and heat exchangers. This EPRI guideline identifies the zebra mussel, discusses its distribution in the United States, presents the potential threats to power plants, and presents the methods to initiate monitoring and control programs. Both preventive and corrective measures are presented. Preventive measures include various monitoring methods to initiate control techniques. The control techniques include both chemical and nonchemical together with combining techniques. Corrective methods include operational considerations, chemical cleaning, and mechanical/physical cleaning. It also may be possible to incorporate design changes, such as open to closed-loop backfit, backflushing, or pretreatment for closed systems. Various appendices are included that contain specifications to aid utilities in implementing several of the monitoring and control technologies, results of chemical evaluations at Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company plants, and data on the fate of various commercial molluscicides.

  13. Reducing costly zebra mussel infestations at power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Smythe, G.

    1994-10-01

    The fast-spreading-zebra mussel has significant potential to foul intakes and other water systems at North American hydro projects. Chemical controls can be effective in reducing infestations, but most have environmental and other drawbacks. Several non-chemical methods promise to help project operators reduce problems associated with the mussels.

  14. Development of a cDNA microarray of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) foot and its use in understanding the early stage of underwater adhesion.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wei; Faisal, Mohamed

    2009-05-01

    The underwater adhesion of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) to substrates is a complex process that is controlled by a delicate apparatus, the byssus. As a critical activity of the byssus glands embedded in the zebra mussel feet, byssogenesis is highly active to produce numerous byssal threads from the settled juvenile stage through the adult stage in its life cycle. This lifelong activity helps the zebra mussel to firmly attach to substrata underwater, thereby causing severe economic and ecologic impacts. In an attempt to better understand the zebra mussel's byssus activity, a cDNA microarray (ZMB) including 716 genes, generated from a Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) cDNA library, was printed and used for the comparison of gene expression during zebra mussel adhesion and non-adhesion. To better understand the byssogenesis mechanism, RNA samples from the zebra mussel feet with byssogenesis and without byssogenesis were used in a two-color hybridization to reveal the gene differential expression in the two states. Based on the P values (P<0.05), Fifty-two ESTs were found as differentially expressed genes and were divided into two groups, upregulated and downregulated groups according to there logFC values. With the false discovery rate (FDR) adjustment, seven were identified from the upregulated group and nine from the downregulated group. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the four excretory gland peptide-like protein (EGP) encoding genes in upregulated group are structurally different than the two in the downregulated list. The amino acid composition analysis on the proteins, which were encoded by the up- or downregulated ESTs without homologues (NH) suggested that seven of the NH proteins are biochemically similar to the novel foot proteins from other mussels. The quantitative reverse transcription PCR (QRT-PCR) proved the uniqueness of the templates in the array, and also confirmed the differentially expressed genes identified by microarray

  15. Frequency variations of solar radio zebras and their power-law spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlický, M.

    2014-01-01

    Context. During solar flares several types of radio bursts are observed. The fine striped structures of the type IV solar radio bursts are called zebras. Analyzing them provides important information about the plasma parameters of their radio sources. We present a new analysis of zebras. Aims: Power spectra of the frequency variations of zebras are computed to estimate the spectra of the plasma density variations in radio zebra sources. Methods: Frequency variations of zebra lines and the high-frequency boundary of the whole radio burst were determined with and without the frequency fitting. The computed time dependencies of these variations were analyzed with the Fourier method. Results: First, we computed the variation spectrum of the high-frequency boundary of the whole radio burst, which is composed of several zebra patterns. This power spectrum has a power-law form with a power-law index -1.65. Then, we selected three well-defined zebra-lines in three different zebra patterns and computed the spectra of their frequency variations. The power-law indices in these cases are found to be in the interval between -1.61 and -1.75. Finally, assuming that the zebra-line frequency is generated on the upper-hybrid frequency and that the plasma frequency ωpe is much higher than the electron-cyclotron frequency ωce, the Fourier power spectra are interpreted to be those of the electron plasma density in zebra radio sources.

  16. Exploring possible human influences on the evolution of Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    De León, Luis Fernando; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Bermingham, Eldredge; Podos, Jeffrey; Herrel, Anthony; Hendry, Andrew P

    2011-08-01

    Humans are an increasingly common influence on the evolution of natural populations. Potential arenas of influence include altered evolutionary trajectories within populations and modifications of the process of divergence among populations. We consider this second arena in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) on Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, Ecuador. Our study compared the G. fortis population at a relatively undisturbed site, El Garrapatero, to the population at a severely disturbed site, Academy Bay, which is immediately adjacent to the town of Puerto Ayora. The El Garrapatero population currently shows beak size bimodality that is tied to assortative mating and disruptive selection, whereas the Academy Bay population was historically bimodal but has lost this property in conjunction with a dramatic increase in local human population density. We here evaluate potential ecological-adaptive drivers of the differences in modality by quantifying relationships between morphology (beak and head dimensions), functional performance (bite force), and environmental characteristics (diet). Our main finding is that associations among these variables are generally weaker at Academy Bay than at El Garrapatero, possibly because novel foods are used at the former site irrespective of individual morphology and performance. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the rugged adaptive landscapes promoting and maintaining diversification in nature can be smoothed by human activities, thus hindering ongoing adaptive radiation.

  17. Impact of European zebra mussel infestation to the electric power industry

    SciTech Connect

    McMahon, R.F. )

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports on Dreissena polymorpha, the European freshwater zebra mussel, introduced to the Great Lakes in 1985. It is now found throughout Lakes St. Clair and Erie, in Green Bay, Lake Michigan and invaded western Lake Ontario by Fall 1989. As its planktonic veliger larva is dispersed on water currents and adults are transported by human and natural vectors, it is likely to spread throughout U.S. and southern Canadian freshwaters. Mussel accumulations impede flow, and aggravate sedimentation and corrosion. Settlement occurs at flow velocities less than 1.5-2.0 m/sec. Mussels foul intake structures, low-flow piping, steam condensors, heat exchangers, fire protection systems, and cooling tower basins. Monitoring of source waters for mussels and veligers allows initiation of control measures before macrofouling occurs. Mussel fouling should be prevented as removal is difficult and expensive.

  18. A simple explanation for the evolution of complex song syntax in Bengalese finches

    PubMed Central

    Katahira, Kentaro; Suzuki, Kenta; Kagawa, Hiroko; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    The songs of Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica) have complex syntax and provide an opportunity to investigate how complex sequential behaviour emerges via the evolutionary process. In this study, we suggest that a simple mechanism, i.e. many-to-one mapping from internal states onto syllables, may underlie the emergence of apparent complex syllable sequences that have higher order history dependencies. We analysed the songs of Bengalese finches and of their wild ancestor, the white-rumped munia (L. striata), whose songs are more stereotypical and simpler compared with those of Bengalese finches. The many-to-one mapping mechanism sufficiently accounted for the differences in the complexity of song syllable sequences of these two strains. PMID:24284561

  19. Every inch a finch: a commentary on Grant (1993) ‘Hybridization of Darwin's finches on Isla Daphne Major, Galapagos’

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Graham

    2015-01-01

    One of the most familiar features of the natural world is that most animals and plants fall into distinct categories known as species. The attempt to understand the nature of species and the origin of new species was the enterprise that drove the early development of evolutionary biology and has continued to be a major focus of research. Individuals belonging to the same species usually share a distinctive appearance and way of life, and they can mate together successfully and produce viable offspring. New species may evolve, therefore, either through ecological divergence or through sexual isolation. The balance between these processes will depend on the extent of hybridization, especially in the early stages of divergence. Detecting and measuring hybridization in natural populations, however, requires intensive, long-term field programmes that are seldom undertaken, leaving a gap in our understanding of species formation. The finch community of a small, isolated island in the Galapagos provided an opportunity to discover how frequently hybridization takes place between closely related species in a pristine location, and Peter Grant's paper, published in Philosophical Transactions B in 1993, reports the observations that he and his collaborators made during the first 20 years of what is now one of the classical studies of evolution in action. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750230

  20. The effect of zebra mussel consumption on growth of freshwater drum in Lake Erie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, John R. P.; Bur, Michael T.

    1996-01-01

    We examined food habits and scale annuli of freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) from western Lake Erie to determine whether increasing predation on zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) had affected growth of freshwater drum. The volume of zebra mussels in drum guts was greater in older fish. Growth of age classes 3–4, which consumed few zebra mussels, was greater in the most productive year for zebra mussels, July 1990–August 1991, than in three prior years. The total lengths of 5-year-old drum changed little. The mean total length of 6-year-old females has declined since the zebra mussel invaded Lake Erie, even through mussels comprised more than two-thirds of gut samples in these fish. These studies suggest that zebra mussels may not benefit freshwater drum when serving as a staple in the diet. PDF

  1. Zebra Fish Lacking Adaptive Immunity Acquire an Antiviral Alert State Characterized by Upregulated Gene Expression of Apoptosis, Multigene Families, and Interferon-Related Genes

    PubMed Central

    García-Valtanen, Pablo; Martínez-López, Alicia; López-Muñoz, Azucena; Bello-Perez, Melissa; Medina-Gali, Regla M.; Ortega-Villaizán, María del Mar; Varela, Monica; Figueras, Antonio; Mulero, Víctoriano; Novoa, Beatriz; Estepa, Amparo; Coll, Julio

    2017-01-01

    To investigate fish innate immunity, we have conducted organ and cell immune-related transcriptomic as well as immunohistologic analysis in mutant zebra fish (Danio rerio) lacking adaptive immunity (rag1−/−) at different developmental stages (egg, larvae, and adult), before and after infection with spring viremia carp virus (SVCV). The results revealed that, compared to immunocompetent zebra fish (rag1+/+), rag1−/− acquired increased resistance to SVCV with age, correlating with elevated transcript levels of immune genes in skin/fins and lymphoid organs (head kidney and spleen). Gene sets corresponding to apoptotic functions, immune-related multigene families, and interferon-related genes were constitutively upregulated in uninfected adult rag1−/− zebra fish. Overexpression of activated CASPASE-3 in different tissues before and after infection with SVCV further confirmed increased apoptotic function in rag1−/− zebra fish. Concurrently, staining of different tissue samples with a pan-leukocyte antibody marker showed abundant leukocyte infiltrations in SVCV-infected rag1−/− fish, coinciding with increased transcript expression of genes related to NK-cells and macrophages, suggesting that these genes played a key role in the enhanced immune response of rag1−/− zebra fish to SVCV lethal infection. Overall, we present evidence that indicates that rag1−/− zebra fish acquire an antiviral alert state while they reach adulthood in the absence of adaptive immunity. This antiviral state was characterized by (i) a more rapid response to viral infection, which resulted in increased survival, (ii) the involvement of NK-cell- and macrophage-mediated transcript responses rather than B- and/or T-cell dependent cells, and (iii) enhanced apoptosis, described here for the first time, as well as the similar modulation of multigene family/interferon-related genes previously associated to fish that survived lethal viral infections. From this and other studies

  2. Proceedings of the fifth international zebra mussel and other aquatic nuisance organisms conference 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Ackerman, J.D.

    1995-06-01

    This report contains articles from the proceedings of the fifth international zebra mussel & other aquatic nuisance organisms conference. Topics include articles on: Zebra mussel life history; Strategies for application of non-oxidizing biocides; examination of the potential of chlorine dioxide for use in zebra mussel veliger control; and ballast water control; overview of the Canadian approach. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  3. Lesser scaup forage on zebra mussels at Cook nuclear plant, Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, C.A.; Carlson, J.

    1993-01-01

    Nineteen of 21 Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) entrained while foraging at the water intake structures of Cook Nuclear Plant, Bridgman, Michigan had consumed zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). The average number of zebra mussels in the upper gastrointestinal tract was 260; maximum number was 987. Migrating Lesser Scaup found this new food source during the first winter following settlement of zebra mussels on the water intake structures of the power plant.

  4. Do zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) alter lake water chemistry in a way that favours Microcystis growth?

    PubMed

    Bykova, Olga; Laursen, Andrew; Bostan, Vadim; Bautista, Joseph; McCarthy, Lynda

    2006-12-01

    This study examined possible relationships between the presence of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and Microcystis spp. abundance. Experiments were conducted in 12 microcosms designed to mimic shallow lake ecosystems. Fresh, aerated water with phytoplankton (pseudokirchneriella spp. and Microcystis spp.) was pumped into each microcosm daily to ensure zebra mussels were exposed to oxygen and food. Microcosms containing zebra mussels experienced significantly higher fluxes of nitrate (p=0.019) and lower fluxes of ortho-phosphate (p=0.047) into sediments. In a second experiment, water column nutrient concentrations were compared in microcosms with and without live zebra mussels. Consistent with results of the previous experiment, microcosms with zebra mussels had significantly less nitrate (p=0.023) and organic nitrogen (p=0.003) in the water column, while ammonium (p=0.074), phosphate (p=0.491), and dissolved organic carbon (p=0.820) in the water column were not different between microcosms with or without zebra mussels. Microcosms with zebra mussels also experienced a reduction in green algae (pseudokirchneriella) (p<0.001) and an increase in abundance of Microcystis (p<0.001) relative to microcosms without zebra mussels. In an experiment without zebra mussels, nutrient ratios (N/P) were manipulated to determine potential links between N/P and relative abundance of each phytoplankton. Manipulation of N/P was intended to mimic differences observed in microcosms with and without zebra mussels in the previous experiment. Low N/P (mimicking microcosms with zebra mussels) was related to an increase in Microcystis (p<0.001) and Microcystis/Pseudokirchneriella biovolume (p<0.001). It is this shift in N/P, and possibly some level of selective feeding, that is believed to have driven changes in the relative abundance of Microcystis. In lakes invaded by zebra mussels, alterations in the processing of nitrogen and phosphorus could contribute to the re-emergence of

  5. The Effect of Zebra Mussels on Algal Community Structure in an Impounded River System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trumble, A. F.; Luttenton, M.

    2005-05-01

    The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, invaded the Great Lakes Region in the mid 1980's, and subsequently colonized inland lakes and coastal river systems through secondary invasions. The Muskegon River below Croton Dam was colonized by zebra mussels in 2000 following their introduction into Croton impoundment in the late 1990's. No zebra mussels were found below Croton Dam in 1999 but had increased to 25,000 m-2 by 2001. We examined the affect of zebra mussels on epilithic periphyton communities by comparing plots that were and were not colonized by zebra mussels. Chlorophyll a increased in both treatments over time but was significantly higher in control plots than in zebra mussel plots. The concentration of chlorophyll a in the control plots increased from 14 µgcm-2 to 26 µgcm-2 and the concentration in the zebra mussel plots started at 12 µgcm-2, peaked at 19 µgcm-2, and then decreased to 15 µgcm-2 over a 6 week period. In a related experiment using artificial streams, chlorophyll a increased with increasing zebra mussel density, but differences were not significant. The different trends observed between the two experiments may be explained in part by arthropod invertebrates associated with zebra mussel populations.

  6. Electric utility Zebra Mussel Control technology conference: Proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Tsou, J.L. ); Mussalli, Y.G. )

    1992-03-01

    This Conference on Zebra Mussel Control technology was held on October 22--23, 1991 in Itasca (Chicago), Illinois. The Conference was sponsored by EPRI Zebra Mussel Task Force and hosted by Commonwealth Edison Company to bring together representatives of utilities, manufacturers, researches, and consultants. Nineteen papers were presented in three sessions. These sessions were devoted to the following topics: Overview and Control Strategy, Monitoring and Non-Chemical Control Technology, and Chemical Control Technology. A half-day workshop/panel discussion devoted to the same topics was conducted at the second day of the formal presentations. More than 160 people attended this Conference. This report contains technical papers and summaries of the workshop/panel sessions. Of these 19 papers, there are 4 papers related to overview and control strategy, 7 papers related to monitoring and non-chemical control technology, and 8 papers related to chemical control technology.

  7. Switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a zebra shark

    PubMed Central

    Dudgeon, Christine L.; Coulton, Laura; Bone, Ren; Ovenden, Jennifer R.; Thomas, Severine

    2017-01-01

    Parthenogenesis is a natural form of asexual reproduction in which embryos develop in the absence of fertilisation. Most commonly found in plants and invertebrate organisms, an increasing number of vertebrate species have recently been reported employing this reproductive strategy. Here we use DNA genotyping to report the first demonstration of an intra-individual switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a shark species, the zebra shark Stegostoma fasciatum. A co-housed, sexually produced daughter zebra shark also commenced parthenogenetic reproduction at the onset of maturity without any prior mating. The demonstration of parthenogenesis in these two conspecific individuals with different sexual histories provides further support that elasmobranch fishes may flexibly adapt their reproductive strategy to environmental circumstances. PMID:28091617

  8. Switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a zebra shark.

    PubMed

    Dudgeon, Christine L; Coulton, Laura; Bone, Ren; Ovenden, Jennifer R; Thomas, Severine

    2017-01-16

    Parthenogenesis is a natural form of asexual reproduction in which embryos develop in the absence of fertilisation. Most commonly found in plants and invertebrate organisms, an increasing number of vertebrate species have recently been reported employing this reproductive strategy. Here we use DNA genotyping to report the first demonstration of an intra-individual switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a shark species, the zebra shark Stegostoma fasciatum. A co-housed, sexually produced daughter zebra shark also commenced parthenogenetic reproduction at the onset of maturity without any prior mating. The demonstration of parthenogenesis in these two conspecific individuals with different sexual histories provides further support that elasmobranch fishes may flexibly adapt their reproductive strategy to environmental circumstances.

  9. Genetic diversity predicts pathogen resistance and cell-mediated immunocompetence in house finches

    PubMed Central

    Hawley, Dana M; Sydenstricker, Keila V; Kollias, George V; Dhondt, André A

    2005-01-01

    Evidence is accumulating that genetic variation within individual hosts can influence their susceptibility to pathogens. However, there have been few opportunities to experimentally test this relationship, particularly within outbred populations of non-domestic vertebrates. We performed a standardized pathogen challenge in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) to test whether multilocus heterozygosity across 12 microsatellite loci predicts resistance to a recently emerged strain of the bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG). We simultaneously tested whether the relationship between heterozygosity and pathogen susceptibility is mediated by differences in cell-mediated or humoral immunocompetence. We inoculated 40 house finches with MG under identical conditions and assayed both humoral and cell-mediated components of the immune response. Heterozygous house finches developed less severe disease when infected with MG, and they mounted stronger cell-mediated immune responses to phytohaemagglutinin. Differences in cell-mediated immunocompetence may, therefore, partly explain why more heterozygous house finches show greater resistance to MG. Overall, our results underscore the importance of multilocus heterozygosity for individual pathogen resistance and immunity. PMID:17148199

  10. Do apprehended saffron finches know how to survive predators? A careful look at reintroduction candidates.

    PubMed

    Dutra, Luisa Mascarenhas Ladeia; Young, Robert John; Galdino, Conrado Aleksander Barbosa; Vasconcellos, Angélica da Silva

    2016-04-01

    Wildlife trafficking is a major factor contributing to the reduction of biological diversity. In Brazil, trafficked animals are apprehended by environmental agencies and released in the wild. The maintenance of wild animals in captivity may jeopardize their survival in the wild, for example, by reducing their ability to recognize a predator. Saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) are among the most trafficked Brazilian birds. Twenty-eight apprehended saffron finches were submitted to Temperament and Predator-recognition tests, with presentation of predator and non-predator models: a live and a taxidermised hawk, a taxidermised armadillo and a Lego cube. The captive saffron finches have retained general anti-predator responses, such as increasing alertness, avoiding back-facing and keeping distance when presented with potential predators. The birds responded more strongly to the live hawk than to the cube. Although some responses to the other stimuli were not statistically different from each other, a decrease in intensity of response with the decrease in threat level was remarkable. We found no relationship between temperament traits and responses to predators: a possible consequence of husbandry practices in captivity. Our results indicate saffron finches may retain basic anti-predator responses in captivity, which favours release and reintroduction programmes: information relevant for conservation management.

  11. Influenza A(H7N9) virus transmission between finches and poultry.

    PubMed

    Jones, Jeremy C; Sonnberg, Stephanie; Webby, Richard J; Webster, Robert G

    2015-04-01

    Low pathogenicity avian influenza A(H7N9) virus has been detected in poultry since 2013, and the virus has caused >450 infections in humans. The mode of subtype H7N9 virus transmission between avian species remains largely unknown, but various wild birds have been implicated as a source of transmission. H7N9 virus was recently detected in a wild sparrow in Shanghai, China, and passerine birds, such as finches, which share space and resources with wild migratory birds, poultry, and humans, can be productively infected with the virus. We demonstrate that interspecies transmission of H7N9 virus occurs readily between society finches and bobwhite quail but only sporadically between finches and chickens. Inoculated finches are better able to infect naive poultry than the reverse. Transmission occurs through shared water but not through the airborne route. It is therefore conceivable that passerine birds may serve as vectors for dissemination of H7N9 virus to domestic poultry.

  12. Influenza A(H7N9) Virus Transmission between Finches and Poultry

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Jeremy C.; Sonnberg, Stephanie; Webby, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Low pathogenicity avian influenza A(H7N9) virus has been detected in poultry since 2013, and the virus has caused >450 infections in humans. The mode of subtype H7N9 virus transmission between avian species remains largely unknown, but various wild birds have been implicated as a source of transmission. H7N9 virus was recently detected in a wild sparrow in Shanghai, China, and passerine birds, such as finches, which share space and resources with wild migratory birds, poultry, and humans, can be productively infected with the virus. We demonstrate that interspecies transmission of H7N9 virus occurs readily between society finches and bobwhite quail but only sporadically between finches and chickens. Inoculated finches are better able to infect naive poultry than the reverse. Transmission occurs through shared water but not through the airborne route. It is therefore conceivable that passerine birds may serve as vectors for dissemination of H7N9 virus to domestic poultry. PMID:25811839

  13. The emergence and spread of finch trichomonosis in the British Isles

    PubMed Central

    Lawson, Becki; Robinson, Robert A.; Colvile, Katie M.; Peck, Kirsi M.; Chantrey, Julian; Pennycott, Tom W.; Simpson, Victor R.; Toms, Mike P.; Cunningham, Andrew A.

    2012-01-01

    Finch trichomonosis, caused by the protozoal parasite Trichomonas gallinae, was first recognized as an emerging infectious disease of British passerines in 2005. The first year of seasonal epidemic mortality occurred in 2006 with significant declines of greenfinch Carduelis chloris and chaffinch Fringilla coelebs populations. Here, we demonstrate that large-scale mortality, principally of greenfinch, continued in subsequent years, 2007–2009, with a shifting geographical distribution across the British Isles over time. Consequent to the emergence of finch trichomonosis, the breeding greenfinch population in Great Britain has declined from ca 4.3 million to ca 2.8 million birds and the maximum mean number of greenfinches (a proxy for flock size) visiting gardens has declined by 50 per cent. The annual rate of decline of the breeding greenfinch population within England has exceeded 7 per cent since the initial epidemic. Although initially chaffinch populations were regionally diminished by the disease, this has not continued. Retrospective analyses of disease surveillance data showed a rapid, widespread emergence of finch trichomonosis across Great Britain in 2005 and we hypothesize that the disease emerged by T. gallinae jumping from columbiforms to passeriforms. Further investigation is required to determine the continuing impact of finch trichomonosis and to develop our understanding of how protozoal diseases jump host species. PMID:22966140

  14. On the Hypothetico-Deductive Nature of Science--Darwin's Finches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Anton E.

    2009-01-01

    Allchin (2006) has misinterpreted a classic case of hypothetico-deductive (HD) science in terms of his preferred "let's-gather-some-data-and-see-what-emerges" view. The misrepresentation concerns the research program of Peter and Rosemary Grant on Darwin's finches. The present essay argues that the Grants' research is HD in nature and includes a…

  15. Three Molecular Markers Show No Evidence of Population Genetic Structure in the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae)

    PubMed Central

    West, Andrea J.; Cardilini, Adam P. A.; Clark, Jennalee A.; Maute, Kimberley L.; Legge, Sarah; Brazill-Boast, James; Griffith, Simon C.; Rollins, Lee A.

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of genetic diversity and connectivity between regions can inform conservation managers about risk of inbreeding, potential for adaptation and where population boundaries lie. The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) is a threatened species in northern Australia, occupying the savannah woodlands of the biogeographically complex monsoon tropics. We present the most comprehensive population genetic analysis of diversity and structure the Gouldian finch using 16 microsatellite markers, mitochondrial control region and 3,389 SNPs from genotyping-by-sequencing. Mitochondrial diversity is compared across three related, co-distributed finches with different conservation threat-statuses. There was no evidence of genetic differentiation across the western part of the range in any of the molecular markers, and haplotype diversity but not richness was lower than a common co-distributed species. Individuals within the panmictic population in the west may be highly dispersive within this wide area, and we urge caution when interpreting anecdotal observations of changes to the distribution and/or flock sizes of Gouldian finch populations as evidence of overall changes to the population size of this species. PMID:27936082

  16. Sexual dimorphism in relation to current selection in the house finch.

    PubMed

    Badyaev, A V; Martin, T E

    2000-06-01

    Sexual dimorphism is thought to have evolved in response to selection pressures that differ between males and females. Our aim in this study was to determine the role of current net selection in shaping and maintaining contemporary sexual dimorphism in a recently established population of the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) in Montana. We found strong differences between sexes in direction of selection on sexually dimorphic traits, significant heritabilities of these traits, and a close congruence between current selection and observed sexual dimorphism in Montana house finches. Strong directional selection on sexually dimorphic traits and similar intensities of selection in each sex suggested that sexual dimorphism arises from adaptive responses in males and females, with both sexes being far from their local fitness optimum. This pattern is expected when a recently established population experiences continuous immigration from ecologically distinct areas of a species range or as a result of widely fluctuating selection pressures, as found in our study. Strong and sexually dimorphic selection pressures on heritable morphological traits, in combination with low phenotypic and genetic covariation among these traits during growth, may have accounted for close congruence between current selection and observed sexual dimorphism in the house finch. This conclusion is consistent with the profound adaptive population divergence in sexual dimorphism that accompanied very successful colonization of most of the North America by the house finch over the last 50 years.

  17. Annually recurring parthenogenesis in a zebra shark Stegostoma fasciatum.

    PubMed

    Robinson, D P; Baverstock, W; Al-Jaru, A; Hyland, K; Khazanehdari, K A

    2011-11-01

    A zebra shark, Stegostoma fasciatum, held in captivity at the Burj Al Arab aquarium, produced embryos and pups in the absence of a male. A total of 15 pups were produced from eggs laid within the aquarium over a period of four consecutive years commencing 2007. Parthenogenesis was confirmed through DNA analysis for three pups sampled during the first two consecutive egg cycles and is presumed to be the method of reproduction responsible thereafter.

  18. Zebra mussel control using periodic chlorine dioxide treatments

    SciTech Connect

    Tsou, J.; Coyle, J.; Crone, D.

    1996-08-01

    This paper summarizes the EPRI report (TR-105202) on the same topic as well as presents changes in current thinking on the suitability (applicability) of chlorine dioxide for fouling control. Chlorine dioxide was tested as a zebra mussel biocide at two steam electric generating stations in Illinois and one in Indiana. The purpose of these studies was to determine the efficacy of chlorine dioxide in killing zebra mussels and to develop site specific treatment programs for the three utilities. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Zebra Mussel Consortium sponsored the testing of this recent use of chlorine dioxide. The raw water system at Central Illinois Public Service`s Meredosia Station, on the Illinois River, received applications of chlorine dioxide in April, July, and September 1994. The raw water system at Illinois Power Company`s Wood River Station, on the Mississippi River, received applications in July 1993, January, April, May, July, and September 1994. The Gallagher Station, on the Ohio River, was treated in July and October 1994. Chlorine dioxide was generated on-site and injected into the water intake structure. Both cooling and service water systems were treated at the facilities. 6 refs., 13 figs.

  19. Variable light environments induce plastic spectral tuning by regional opsin coexpression in the African cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra

    PubMed Central

    Dalton, Brian E.; Lu, Jessica; Leips, Jeff; Cronin, Thomas W.; Carleton, Karen L.

    2015-01-01

    Critical behaviors such as predation and mate choice often depend on vision. Visual systems are sensitive to the spectrum of light in their environment, which can vary extensively both within and among habitats. Evolutionary changes in spectral sensitivity contribute to divergence and speciation. Spectral sensitivity of the retina is primarily determined by visual pigments, which are opsin proteins bound to a chromophore. We recently discovered that photoreceptors in different regions of the retina, which view objects against distinct environmental backgrounds, coexpress different pairs of opsins in an African cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra. This coexpression tunes the sensitivity of the retinal regions to the corresponding backgrounds and may aid detection of dark objects, such as predators. Although intraretinal regionalization of spectral sensitivity in many animals correlates with their light environments, it is unknown whether variation in the light environment induces developmentally plastic alterations of intraretinal sensitivity regions. Here, we demonstrate with fluorescent in situ hybridization and qPCR that the spectrum and angle of environmental light both influence the development of spectral sensitivity regions by altering the distribution and level of opsins across the retina. Normally M. zebra coexpresses LWS opsin with RH2Aα opsin in double cones of the ventral but not the dorsal retina. However, when illuminated from below throughout development, adult M. zebra coexpressed LWS and RH2Aα in double cones both dorsally and ventrally. Thus, environmental background spectra alter the spectral sensitivity pattern that develops across the retina, potentially influencing behaviors and related evolutionary processes such as courtship and speciation. PMID:26175094

  20. Neural representation of spectral and temporal features of song in the auditory forebrain of zebra finches as revealed by functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Boumans, Tiny; Theunissen, Frédéric E; Poirier, Colline; Van Der Linden, Annemie

    2007-11-01

    Song perception in songbirds, just as music and speech perception in humans, requires processing the spectral and temporal structure found in the succession of song-syllables. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and synthetic songs that preserved exclusively either the temporal or the spectral structure of natural song, we investigated how vocalizations are processed in the avian forebrain. We found bilateral and equal activation of the primary auditory region, field L. The more ventral regions of field L showed depressed responses to the synthetic songs that lacked spectral structure. These ventral regions included subarea L3, medial-ventral subarea L and potentially the secondary auditory region caudal medial nidopallium. In addition, field L as a whole showed unexpected increased responses to the temporally filtered songs and this increase was the largest in the dorsal regions. These dorsal regions included L1 and the dorsal subareas L and L2b. Therefore, the ventral region of field L appears to be more sensitive to the preservation of both spectral and temporal information in the context of song processing. We did not find any differences in responses to playback of the bird's own song vs other familiar conspecific songs. We also investigated the effect of three commonly used anaesthetics on the blood oxygen level-dependent response: medetomidine, urethane and isoflurane. The extent of the area activated and the stimulus selectivity depended on the type of anaesthetic. We discuss these results in the context of what is known about the locus of action of the anaesthetics, and reports of neural activity measured in electrophysiological experiments.

  1. Divergence and gene flow among Darwin's finches: a genome-wide view of adaptive radiation driven by interspecies allele sharing

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Daniela H.; Kronforst, Marcus R.

    2015-01-01

    A recent analysis of the genomes of Darwin's finches revealed extensive interspecies allele sharing throughout the history of the radiation and identified a key locus responsible for morphological evolution in this group. The radiation of Darwin's finches on the Galápagos archipelago has long been regarded as an iconic study system for field ecology and evolutionary biology. Coupled with an extensive history of field work, these latest findings affirm the increasing acceptance of introgressive hybridization, or gene flow between species, as a significant contributor to adaptive evolution. Here we review and discuss these findings in relation to both classical work on Darwin's finches and contemporary work showing similar evolutionary signatures in other biological systems. The continued unification of genomic data with field biology promises to further elucidate the molecular basis of adaptation in Darwin's finches and well beyond. PMID:26200327

  2. Mitigation of unionid mortality caused by zebra mussel infestation: cleaning of unionids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schloesser, Don W.

    1996-01-01

    Exotic zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha have infested and caused mortality of native unionids in the Great Lakes since 1986; no other such parasitism of native unionids occurs in North America. Survival of unionids threatened by zebra mussel infestation was tested by suspending uncleaned and cleaned unionids in nearshore waters of western Lake Erie. Survival was determined, and newly settled zebra mussels were removed from clean unionids at eight intervals that ranged from 21 d to 77 d between 5 July 1990 and 3 July 1991. After 1 year, survival rates of uncleaned and cleaned unionids were 0% and 42%, respectively. Of the 10 species examined, only indivduals from 3 species (Amblema plicata plicata, Fusconaia flava, and Quadrula quadrula) survived 1 year. These species have relatively thick shells, which may have contributed to their survival. Removal of newly settled zebra mussels may be important to unionid survival because 98% of the zebra mussels removed after the initial cleaning were small mussels (<10 mm long) that could rapidly grow and cover unionids. At present, we do not know how zebra mussels cause mortality of unionids, but the removal of zebra mussels from unionids is the only method known that successfully reduces unionid mortality in waters colonized by zebra mussels.

  3. Bioaccumulation of pathogenic bacteria and amoeba by zebra mussels and their presence in watercourses.

    PubMed

    Mosteo, R; Goñi, P; Miguel, N; Abadías, J; Valero, P; Ormad, M P

    2016-01-01

    Dreissena polymorpha (the zebra mussel) has been invading freshwater bodies in Europe since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Filter-feeding organisms can accumulate and concentrate both chemical and biological contaminants in their tissues. Therefore, zebra mussels are recognized as indicators of freshwater quality. In this work, the capacity of the zebra mussel to accumulate human pathogenic bacteria and protozoa has been evaluated and the sanitary risk associated with their presence in surface water has also been assessed. The results show a good correlation between the pathogenic bacteria concentration in zebra mussels and in watercourses. Zebra mussels could therefore be used as an indicator of biological contamination. The bacteria (Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp., and Salmonella spp.) and parasites (Cryptosporidium oocysts and free-living amoebae) detected in these mussels reflect a potential sanitary risk in water.

  4. First description of the breeding biology and natural history of the ochre-breasted brush finch atlapetes semirufus in venezuela

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biancucci, L.; Martin, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    We provide the first description of the eggs, breeding biology, and natural history of the Ochre-breasted Brush Finch (Atlapetes semirufus). We found 37 nests over four breeding seasons (2004-2007) in Yacamb?? National Park, Venezuela. Nesting activity started in late April and continued until early June suggesting single-brooded behavior despite a typical tropical clutch size of two eggs (x?? = 1.89) that were laid on consecutive days. Egg mass averaged 3.38 g and 11.6% of adult female mass. The incubation and nestling periods averaged 14.9 and 10.5 days, respectively. Only females incubated and the percent time they spent incubating did not change between early and late incubation. Females brooded 42.7% of the time when nestlings were 2 days of age and 20.5% when 9 days of age. Both parents provisioned young at a low rate (3.9 trips/hr) and nestling growth rate (k = 0.45) was also slow. Nest predation rates were relatively high with daily mortality rates of 0.058 and 0.067 during incubation and nestling stages, respectively.

  5. Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalized defences in its host.

    PubMed

    Feeney, W E; Troscianko, J; Langmore, N E; Spottiswoode, C N

    2015-07-07

    Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes orix). We show that female cuckoo finch plumage colour and pattern more closely resembled those of Euplectes weavers (putative models) than Vidua finches (closest relatives); that their tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava) hosts were equally aggressive towards female cuckoo finches and southern red bishops, and more aggressive to both than to their male counterparts; and that prinias were equally likely to reject an egg after seeing a female cuckoo finch or bishop, and more likely to do so than after seeing a male bishop near their nest. This is, to our knowledge, the first quantitative evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult bird, and suggests that host-parasite coevolution can select for aggressive mimicry by avian brood parasites, and counter-defences by hosts, at all stages of the reproductive cycle.

  6. Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalized defences in its host

    PubMed Central

    Feeney, W. E.; Troscianko, J.; Langmore, N. E.; Spottiswoode, C. N.

    2015-01-01

    Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes orix). We show that female cuckoo finch plumage colour and pattern more closely resembled those of Euplectes weavers (putative models) than Vidua finches (closest relatives); that their tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava) hosts were equally aggressive towards female cuckoo finches and southern red bishops, and more aggressive to both than to their male counterparts; and that prinias were equally likely to reject an egg after seeing a female cuckoo finch or bishop, and more likely to do so than after seeing a male bishop near their nest. This is, to our knowledge, the first quantitative evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult bird, and suggests that host–parasite coevolution can select for aggressive mimicry by avian brood parasites, and counter-defences by hosts, at all stages of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26063850

  7. Is the body condition of the invasive zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) enhanced through attachment to native freshwater mussels (Bivalvia, Unionidae)?

    PubMed

    Pilotto, Francesca; Sousa, Ronaldo; Aldridge, David C

    2016-05-15

    The invasion of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, into Western Europe and North America has driven widespread ecological change. Attachment of zebra mussels to the shell of native unionoid mussels has resulted in reductions in unionoid abundance and, in extreme cases, their localised extirpations. While the impacts of zebra mussels on infested unionoids are well documented, the possible benefits of the association to the zebra mussel have been little considered. We collected zebra mussels attached to unionoids and to inanimate structures. Zebra mussels attached to unionoids had significantly larger shells, higher standardized body mass and glycogen content than those attached to inanimate substrates, suggesting that D. polymorpha benefits from settling upon unionoids. The body condition of individual zebra mussels was negatively correlated with the number of zebra mussels attached to the unionoid, indicating intraspecific competition. Therefore, zebra mussels seem positively affected through attachment to unionoid mussels, but that these benefits decrease at higher densities of fouling. This association may offer advantages to the spread of zebra mussels within unionoid-rich systems, especially at sites with soft substrates and at the early stages of the invasion process where intraspecific competition is likely to be lower and benefits to the zebra mussels are higher.

  8. Pathology and immunohistochemistry of papillomavirus-associated cutaneous lesions in Cape mountain zebra, giraffe, sable antelope and African buffalo in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Williams, J H; van Dyk, E; Nel, P J; Lane, E; Van Wilpe, E; Bengis, R G; de Klerk-Lorist, L M; van Heerden, J

    2011-06-01

    Skin lesions associated with papillomaviruses have been reported in many animal species and man. Bovine papillomavirus (BVP) affects mainly the epidermis, but also the dermis in several species including bovine, the best-known example being equine sarcoid, which is associated with BVP types 1 and 2. This publication describes and illustrates the macroscopic and histological appearance of BPV-associated papillomatous, fibropapillomatous or sarcoid-like lesions in Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra) from the Gariep Dam Nature Reserve, 2 giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) from the Kruger National Park, and a sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) from the Kimberley area of South Africa. An African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) cow from Kruger National Park also had papillomatous lesions but molecular characterisation of lesional virus was not done. Immunohistochemical staining using polyclonal rabbit antiserum to chemically disrupted BPV-1, which cross-reacts with the L1 capsid of most known papillomaviruses, was positive in cells of the stratum granulosum of lesions in Giraffe 1, the sable and the buffalo and negative in those of the zebra and Giraffe 2. Fibropapillomatous and sarcoid-like lesions from an adult bovine were used as positive control for the immunohistochemistry and are described and the immunohistochemistry illustrated for comparison. Macroscopically, both adult female giraffe had severely thickened multifocal to coalescing nodular and occasionally ulcerated lesions of the head, neck and trunk with local poorly-circumscribed invasion into the subcutis. Necropsy performed on the 2nd giraffe revealed neither internal metastases nor serious underlying disease. Giraffe 1 had scattered, and Giraffe 2 numerous, large, anaplastic, at times indistinctly multinucleated dermal fibroblasts with bizarre nuclei within the sarcoid-like lesions, which were BPV-1 positive in Giraffe 1 and BPV-1 and -2 positive in Giraffe 2 by RT-PCR. The sable antelope presented with a

  9. The effect of sodium chlorite solutions on zebra mussel mortality

    SciTech Connect

    Dion, J.; Richer, Y.; Messer, R.

    1995-06-01

    The effect of four dilutions, 8 ppm, 40 ppm, 120 ppm and 473 ppm of the stock solution of a first product, Z-8, on zebra mussel mortality was investigated in static continuous exposure systems and compared to controls. The entire size class spectrum of the mussel population present at the sampling site was tested by leaving mussels attached to their original rock substrata. Two size class grouping of mussels, 13 mm and less and more than 13 mm in length, were exposed in the same test chambers but were analyzed separately. No mortality occurred in the controls. Concentration 8 ppm had no effect after 166 hours on both size class groupings. Concentrations 40, 120 and 473 ppm had observable killing effect within the 331 hours of experiment for both size groupings. The smaller mussels died faster than the larger ones. Another product, Z-11, was similarly tested during fall 1994 with dilutions 8, 40, 80 and 120 ppm. At 8 ppm dilution, Z-11 had induced only little mortality on both size class groupings after 739 hours. At 40, 80 and 120 ppm dilutions, Z-11 had interesting killing effect for both mussel size groupings within the 739 hours of experiment considering the somehow intermittent treatment used. The results already appear to show that sodium chlorite solutions have the potential for eventually becoming a surrogate to the use of chlorine for the control of zebra mussels. That is because they already show a good killing efficiency without being involved in the formation of undesired by-products such as the use of chlorine is. On this purpose, the product is engaged in the process of homologation by Agriculture Canada for it use as treatment against zebra mussels.

  10. Factors Affecting Zebra Mussel Kill by the Bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2004-02-24

    The specific purpose of this research project was to identify factors that affect zebra mussel kill by the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Test results obtained during this three-year project identified the following key variables as affecting mussel kill: treatment concentration, treatment duration, mussel siphoning activity, dissolved oxygen concentration, water temperature, and naturally suspended particle load. Using this latter information, the project culminated in a series of pipe tests which achieved high mussel kill inside power plants under once-through conditions using service water in artificial pipes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Geoffrey E.; Farmer, Kristy L.

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Microlichus americanus acariasis in saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) with dermatitis and feather loss.

    PubMed

    Rettenmund, Christy L; Ossiboff, Robert J; McAloose, Denise; Knee, Wayne; Wade, Susan E; Paré, Jean A

    2015-05-01

    Over a 5-year period, 13 saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) housed in mixed aviaries at the Bronx Zoo (Bronx, New York) were examined with feather loss and dermatitis, primarily affecting the nape, neck, and dorsum. Feather loss, hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and mixed granulocytic and mononuclear inflammation were identified in biopsies from live birds and tissue sections from postmortem specimens. In 10 of 13 cases, sections of arthropod parasites were seen histologically within feather follicles and along the surface of affected skin. Based on morphological characteristics, mites recovered from samples of formalin-fixed skin in 4 birds were identified as Microlichus americanus, an epidermoptid mite infrequently reported from wild birds and hippoboscid flies. Gross and histological lesions strongly implicate M. americanus as the cause of dermatitis affecting practically all saffron finches in the collection.

  13. Peregrine falcon predation of endangered Laysan teal and Laysan Finches on remote Hawaiian atolls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Nash, Sarah A.B.; Courtot, Karen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first records of Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) predation on endangered Laysan teal (or duck; Anas laysanensis) and predation on endangered Laysan finches (Telespiza cantans). At Midway Atoll, vagrant Peregrine falcons killed ≥4% of a newly translocated Laysan teal population in 2006 and ≥2% in 2008. On Laysan Island during 2008–2009, remains of >76 Laysan finches (<1% of the population) were found at peregrine perches. On Midway Atoll, all depredated Laysan teal and other seabirds were recovered at kill sites on tarmac (runways). If the frequency or duration of vagrant raptors visitation increases at small atolls, this could pose a mortality risk to consider, especially during proposed translocations of endangered species. Vegetation restoration of abandoned runways near wetlands at Midway Atoll would provide cover and may help reduce mortality of endangered species due to vagrant raptors.

  14. CINCH (confocal incoherent correlation holography) super resolution fluorescence microscopy based upon FINCH (Fresnel incoherent correlation holography)

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Nisan; Storrie, Brian; Bruce, Marc

    2016-01-01

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates high resolution super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. The simple addition of a real-time Nipkow disk confocal image scanner in a conjugate plane of this incoherent holographic system is shown to reduce the depth of focus, and the combination of both techniques provides a simple way to enhance the axial resolution of FINCH in a combined method called “CINCH”. An important feature of the combined system allows for the simultaneous real-time image capture of widefield and holographic images or confocal and confocal holographic images for ready comparison of each method on the exact same field of view. Additional GPU based complex deconvolution processing of the images further enhances resolution. PMID:26839443

  15. On the Hypothetico-Deductive Nature of Science—Darwin's Finches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, Anton E.

    2009-01-01

    Allchin (2006) has misinterpreted a classic case of hypothetico-deductive (HD) science in terms of his preferred ‘let’s-gather-some-data-and-see-what-emerges’ view. The misrepresentation concerns the research program of Peter and Rosemary Grant on Darwin’s finches. The present essay argues that the Grants’ research is HD in nature and includes a statement by Peter Grant to that effect.

  16. Predation of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) by freshwater drum in western Lake Erie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, John R. P.; Bur, Michael T.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Donald W.

    1992-01-01

    Environmental and economic problems associated with the colonization of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in western Lake Erie created a need to investigate control mechanisms. Predation by fishes is one potential means of control, but predation on zebra mussels by native fishes in Lake Erie is unknown. The freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) is the most likely fish predator since it is the only fish with pharyngeal teeth capable of crushing mollusk shells. In 1990, freshwater drum were collected in western Lake Erie from 9 sites near rocky reefs and 13 sites with silt or sand bottoms, and gut contents were examined. Predation on zebra mussels increased as drum size increased. Small drum (200-249 mm in length) fed mainly on dipterans, amphipods, and small fish; small zebra mussels (375 mm in length) fed almost exclusively on zebra mussels (seasons and locations combined). The smallest drum capable of crushing zebra mussel shells was 265 mm. Since freshwater drum over 375 mm feed heavily on zebra mussels, they may become a possible biological control mechanism for mussels in portions of North America.

  17. Structure and evolution of electron "zebra stripes" in the inner radiation belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Zong, Q.-G.; Zhou, X.-Z.; Foster, J. C.; Rankin, R.

    2016-05-01

    "Zebra stripes" are newly found energetic electron energy-spatial (L shell) distributed structure with an energy between tens to a few hundreds keV in the inner radiation belt. Using high-quality measurements of electron fluxes from Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE) on board the twin Van Allen Probes, we carry out case and statistical studies from April 2013 to April 2014 to study the structural and evolutionary characteristics of zebra stripes below L = 3. It is revealed that the zebra stripes can be transformed into evenly spaced patterns in the electron drift frequency coordinate: the detrended logarithmic fluxes in each L shell region can be well described by sinusoidal functions of drift frequency. The "wave number" of this sinusoidal function, which corresponds to the reciprocal of the gap between two adjacent peaks in the drift frequency coordinate, increases in proportion to real time. Further, these structural and evolutionary characteristics of zebra stripes can be reproduced by an analytic model of the evolution of the particle distribution under a single monochromatic or static azimuthal electric field. It is shown that the essential ingredient for the formation of multiple zebra stripes is the periodic drift of particles. The amplitude of the zebra stripes shows a good positive correlation with Kp index, which indicates that the generation mechanism of zebra stripes should be related to geomagnetic activities.

  18. Rates of karyotypic evolution in Estrildid finches differ between island and continental clades.

    PubMed

    Hooper, Daniel M; Price, Trevor D

    2015-04-01

    Reasons why chromosomal rearrangements spread to fixation and frequently distinguish related taxa remain poorly understood. We used cytological descriptions of karyotype to identify large pericentric inversions between species of Estrildid finches (family Estrildidae) and a time-dated phylogeny to assess the genomic, geographic, and phylogenetic context of karyotype evolution in this group. Inversions between finch species fixed at an average rate of one every 2.26 My. Inversions were twice as likely to fix on the sex chromosomes compared to the autosomes. A high repeat density on the sex chromosomes may increase mutation rates, but other explanations via mutagenic input are not supported, as the number of inversions on a chromosome does not correlate with its length or map size. Inversions have fixed 3.3× faster in three continental clades than in two island chain clades, and fixation rate correlates with both range size and the number of sympatric species pairs. These results point to adaptation as the dominant mechanism driving fixation and suggest a role for gene flow in karyotype divergence. A review shows that the rapid karyotype evolution observed in the Estrildid finches appears to be more general across birds, and by implication other understudied taxa.

  19. Structural tissue organization in the beak of Java and Darwin's finches

    PubMed Central

    Genbrugge, Annelies; Adriaens, Dominique; Kegel, Barbara; Brabant, Loes; Hoorebeke, Luc; Podos, Jeffrey; Dirckx, Joris; Aerts, Peter; Herrel, Anthony

    2012-01-01

    Birds are well known for occupying diverse feeding niches, and for having evolved diverse beak morphologies associated with dietary specialization. Birds that feed on hard seeds typically possess beaks that are both deep and wide, presumably because of selection for fracture avoidance, as suggested by prior studies. It follows then that birds that eat seeds of different size and hardness should vary in one or more aspects of beak morphology, including the histological organization of the rhamphotheca, the cellular interface that binds the rhamphotheca to the bone, and the organization of trabeculae in the beak. To explore this expectation we here investigate tissue organization in the rhamphotheca of the Java finch, a large granivorous bird, and describe interspecific differences in the trabecular organization of the beak across 11 species of Darwin's finches. We identify specializations in multiple layers of the horny beak, with the dermis anchored to the bone by Sharpey's fibers in those regions that are subjected to high stresses during biting. Moreover, the rhamphotheca is characterized by a tight dermo-epidermal junction through interdigitations of these two tissues. Herbst corpuscles are observed in high density in the dermis of the lateral aspect of the beak as observed in other birds. Finally, the trabecular organization of the beak in Darwin's finches appears most variable in regions involved most in food manipulation, with the density of trabeculae in the beak generally mirroring loading regimes imposed by different feeding habits and beak use in this clade. PMID:22938039

  20. Zebra mussels affect benthic predator foraging success and habitat choice on soft sediments.

    PubMed

    Beekey, M A; McCabe, D J; Marsden, J E

    2004-09-01

    The introduction of zebra mussels ( Dreissena spp.) to North America has resulted in dramatic changes to the complexity of benthic habitats. Changes in habitat complexity may have profound effects on predator-prey interactions in aquatic communities. Increased habitat complexity may affect prey and predator dynamics by reducing encounter rates and foraging success. Zebra mussels form thick contiguous colonies on both hard and soft substrates. While the colonization of substrata by zebra mussels has generally resulted in an increase in both the abundance and diversity of benthic invertebrate communities, it is not well known how these changes affect the foraging efficiencies of predators that prey on benthic invertebrates. We examined the effect of zebra mussels on the foraging success of four benthic predators with diverse prey-detection modalities that commonly forage in soft substrates: slimy sculpin ( Cottus cognatus), brown bullhead ( Ameirus nebulosus), log perch ( Percina caprodes), and crayfish ( Orconectes propinquus). We conducted laboratory experiments to assess the impact of zebra mussels on the foraging success of predators using a variety of prey species. We also examined habitat use by each predator over different time periods. Zebra mussel colonization of soft sediments significantly reduced the foraging efficiencies of all predators. However, the effect was dependent upon prey type. All four predators spent more time in zebra mussel habitat than in either gravel or bare sand. The overall effect of zebra mussels on benthic-feeding fishes is likely to involve a trade-off between the advantages of increased density of some prey types balanced against the reduction in foraging success resulting from potential refugia offered in the complex habitat created by zebra mussels.

  1. Economic impacts of zebra mussels on drinking water treatment and electric power generation facilities.

    PubMed

    Connelly, Nancy A; O'Neill, Charles R; Knuth, Barbara A; Brown, Tommy L

    2007-07-01

    Invasions of nonnative species such as zebra mussels can have both ecological and economic consequences. The economic impacts of zebra mussels have not been examined in detail since the mid-1990s. The purpose of this study was to quantify the annual and cumulative economic impact of zebra mussels on surface water-dependent drinking water treatment and electric power generation facilities (where previous research indicated the greatest impacts). The study time frame was from the first full year after discovery in North America (Lake St. Clair, 1989) to the present (2004); the study area was throughout the mussels' North American range. A mail survey resulted in a response rate of 31% for electric power companies and 41% for drinking water treatment plants. Telephone interviews with a sample of nonrespondents assessed nonresponse bias; only one difference was found and adjusted for. Over one-third (37%) of surveyed facilities reported finding zebra mussels in the facility and almost half (45%) have initiated preventive measures to prevent zebra mussels from entering the facility operations. Almost all surveyed facilities (91%) with zebra mussels have used control or mitigation alternatives to remove or control zebra mussels. We estimated that 36% of surveyed facilities experienced an economic impact. Expanding the sample to the population of the study area, we estimated 267 million dollars (BCa 95% CI = 161 million dollars - 467 million dollars) in total economic costs for electric generation and water treatment facilities through late 2004, since 1989. Annual costs were greater (44,000 dollars/facility) during the early years of zebra mussel infestation than in recent years (30,000 dollars). As a result of this and other factors, early predictions of the ultimate costs of the zebra mussel invasion may have been excessive.

  2. Zebra mussels anchor byssal threads faster and tighter than quagga mussels in flow.

    PubMed

    Peyer, Suzanne M; McCarthy, Alice J; Lee, Carol Eunmi

    2009-07-01

    While the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha has rapidly spread throughout the Great Lakes and inland waterways, it is being displaced by the quagga mussel Dreissena bugensis in shallow water habitats. However, zebra mussels remain dominant in areas with higher water velocity. We hypothesized that the persistence of zebra over quagga mussels in habitats with higher water velocity might result from greater rate and strength of byssal thread attachment. We examined whether zebra mussels relative to quagga mussels have: (1) higher byssal thread synthesis rate, (2) lower dislodgment in flow and (3) greater mechanical force required for detachment from substrate. Specifically, we examined byssal thread synthesis rate and dislodgment of both species in response to water velocities of 0, 50, 100 and 180 cm s(-1). Byssal thread synthesis rate was significantly higher for zebra than for quagga mussels at all velocities. Dislodgment from the substrate increased for both species with increasing velocity but was significantly lower for zebra than for quagga mussels. We also tested the mechanical force to detach mussels after short (32 h) and long (two and three months) periods of attachment on hard substrate. Detachment force was significantly higher for zebra than for quagga mussels only after short-term attachment. Higher byssal thread synthesis rate in zebra mussels was a likely factor that minimized their dislodgment in flow and increased short-term attachment strength. Differences in byssal thread synthesis rate between the two species might partly account for the ability of zebra mussels to maintain dominance over quagga mussels in habitats with high velocities.

  3. Zebra mussel control using periodic chlorine dioxide treatments. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Mussalli, Y.G.; Martin, P.D.

    1995-11-01

    Chlorine dioxide was injected into the water intakes at two power plants in Illinois and one in Indiana in an effort to eradicate the existing population of zebra mussels and mitigate further settlement in station river water cooling systems. Results of the treatments at Illinois Power Company`s Wood River Station on the Mississippi River, Central Illinois Public Service`s Meredosia Station on the Illinois River, and SI Energy`s Gallagher Station on the Ohio River are reported. Treatments were performed on a turnkey basis, with three treatments performed at Meredosia Station in 1994, six treatments performed at Wood River Station between July 1993 and September 1994, and 2 treatments performed at Gallagher Station in 1994. For each treatment, a contractor installed and operated a portable chlorine dioxide generator, monitored water quality and oxidant levels, and provided and monitored bioboxes containing test mussels. Results of the treatments were very favorable, indicating a good potential for periodic treatments with chlorine dioxide to control zebra mussel infestations in the raw water systems of power plants and other industrial facilities. Some difficulties with the chlorine dioxide generation system and cold temperature effects reduced the treatment effectiveness, particularly the second treatment at Gallagher Station. Average induced mortalities ranged from 70 to 100% at Wood River, 87 to 92% at Meredosia, and 30 to 100% at Gallagher for native mussels. Dechlorination successfully kept total oxidant residual levels at or below 0.05 ppM during all treatments at all stations.

  4. Using zebra mussels to monitor Escherichia coli in environmental waters.

    PubMed

    Selegean, J P; Kusserow, R; Patel, R; Heidtke, T M; Ram, J L

    2001-01-01

    Use of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) as an indicator of previously elevated bacteria concentrations in a watershed was examined. The ability of the zebra mussel to accumulate and purge Escherichia coli over several days was investigated in both laboratory and field experiments. In laboratory experiments, periodic enumeration of E. coli in mussels that had been exposed to a dilute solution of raw sewage demonstrated that (i) maximum concentrations of E. coli are reached within a few hours of exposure to sewage, (ii) the tissue concentration attained is higher than the concentration in the ambient water, and (iii) the E. coli concentrations take several days to return to preexposure concentrations when mussels are subsequently placed in sterile water. In field experiments conducted in southeast Michigan in the Clinton River watershed, brief increases in E. coli concentrations in the water were accompanied by increases in mussel concentrations of E. coli that lasted 2 or 3 d. The ability of mussels to retain and to concentrate E. coli made it possible to detect E. coli in the environment under conditions that conventional monitoring may often miss. Sampling caged mussels in a river and its tributaries may enable watershed managers to reduce the sampling frequency normally required to identify critical E. coli sources, thereby providing a more cost-effective river monitoring strategy for bacterial contamination.

  5. Zebra spectral structures in Jovian decametric radio emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rošker, S.; Panchenko, M.; Rucker, H. O.; Brazhenko, A. I.

    2015-10-01

    Jupiter with the largest planetary magnetosphere in the solar system emits intense coherent non-thermal radiation in a wide frequency range. This emission is a result of complicated interactions between the dynamic Jovian magnetosphere and energetic particles supplying free energy from planetary rotation and the interaction between Jupiter and the Galilean moon Io. Decametric radio emission (DAM) is the strongest component of Jovian radiation observed in a frequency range from a few MHz up to 40 MHz. Depending on the time scales the Jovian DAM exhibits different complex spectral structures. Recent observations of the Jovian decametric radio emission using the large ground-based radio telescope URAN-2 (Poltava, Ukraine) enabled the detection of fine spectral structures, specifically zebra stripe-like patterns, never reported before in the Jovian decametric wavelength regime (Figure 1). In this presentation we describe and analyse these new observations by investigating the characteristics of the Jovian decametric zebra patterns. On basis of these findings the possible mechanism of wave generation is discussed and in particular the value of the determination of local plasma densities within the Jovian magnetosphere by remote radio sensing is emphasized.

  6. Social Memory Formation Rapidly and Differentially Affects the Motivation and Performance of Vocal Communication Signals in the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Toccalino, Danielle C.; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (<30 s) exposure to a female led to the formation of a short-term memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the

  7. Prevalence and sequence comparison of Phyllodistomum folium from zebra mussel and from freshwater fish in the Ebro River.

    PubMed

    Peribáñez, Miguel A; Ordovás, Laura; Benito, Josep; Benejam, Lluís; Gracia, María J; Rodellar, Clementina

    2011-01-01

    We utilised DNA analysis to detect the presence of the digenean Phyllodistomum folium in three cyprinid species, Scardinius erythrophthalmus, Cyprinus carpio and Rutilus rutilus. DNA sequencing of the region containing the genes ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 revealed 100% sequence identity between DNA from the sporocysts found in zebra mussels and DNA from adults located in the urinary system of 29 cyprinid fish. A second genetically different (variation=1.6%) sequence was observed in two samples from R. rutilus. In our opinion, the existence of a complex of species reported as P. folium is supported by recent genetic studies, including our own results. The overall prevalence of P. folium in mussels from the Ebro River was 4.67% in 2006, although during the summer months the rates frequently exceeded 10%.

  8. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) Conjunctivitis, and Mycoplasma spp. Isolated from North American Wild Birds, 1994-2015.

    PubMed

    Ley, David H; Hawley, Dana M; Geary, Steven J; Dhondt, André A

    2016-07-01

    Sampling wild birds for mycoplasma culture has been key to the study of House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) conjunctivitis, yielding isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum spanning the temporal and geographic ranges of disease from emergence to endemicity. Faced with the challenges and costs of sample collection over time and from remote locations for submission to our laboratory for mycoplasma culture, protocols evolved to achieve a practical optimum. Herein we report making M. gallisepticum isolates from House Finches almost every year since the disease emerged in 1994, and we now have 227 isolates from 17 states. Our wild bird host range for M. gallisepticum isolates includes Blue Jay ( Cyanocitta cristata ), American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis), Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria), Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus), Evening Grosbeak ( Coccothraustes vespertinus ), and herein first reports for Western Scrub-jay ( Aphelocoma californica ), and American Crow ( Corvus brachyrhynchos ). By collecting and identifying isolates from birds with clinical signs similar to those of House Finch conjunctivitis, we also expanded the known host range of Mycoplasma sturni and obtained isolates from additional wild bird species. Accumulating evidence shows that a diverse range of wild bird species may carry or have been exposed to M. gallisepticum in the US, as in Europe and Asia. Therefore, the emergence of a pathogenic M. gallisepticum strain in House Finches may actually be the exception that has allowed us to identify the broader epidemiologic picture.

  9. Co-existence of zebra mussels and freshwater unionids: Population dynamics of Leptodea fragilis in a coastal wetland infested with zebra mussels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, S. Jerrine; Amberg, Jon

    1999-01-01

    In 1996, thousands of live Leptodea fragilis were collected from a marsh located in the western basin of Lake Erie that was infested with zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Despite the presence of zebra mussels at this site for a number of years, this L. fragilis population showed no signs of competition-induced changes in population dynamics. Biofouling was limited: fewer than 1% of the L. fragilis showed evidence of recent or past zebra mussel colonization. Successful recruitment occurred yearly, with multiple year classes collected that ranged in age from 1 to 12 years. However, age and shell length were not well correlated. Seventy-one percent of the individuals collected were 51-80 mm long, but ranged in age from 2 to 4.5 years. Three different patterns of growth or shell deposition were found. Some individuals grew rapidly, reaching 105 mm in 3.5 years, while others grew only 4.5 mm over the same time period. A few grew poorly during some years but very rapidly in others. Individuals with a shell length of 41 mm or more were sexually mature and females were more common than males. The strong recruitment and steady growth of this population showed no change between the years before and after the zebra mussel invasion, indicating that this marsh is functioning as a natural refugium from potential problems caused by zebra mussels.

  10. Illustrated identification keys to strongylid parasites (Strongylidae: Nematoda) of horses, zebras and asses (Equidae).

    PubMed

    Lichtenfels, J Ralph; Kharchenko, Vitaliy A; Dvojnos, Grigory M

    2008-09-15

    The Equidae (the horse, Equus caballus, the ass, Equus asinus, zebras and their hybrids) are hosts to a great variety of nematode parasites, some of which can cause significant morbidity or mortality if individual hosts are untreated. Worldwide the nematode parasites of horses belong to 7 suborders, 12 families, 29 genera and 83 species. The great majority (19 of 29 genera and 64 of 83 species) are members of the family Strongylidae, which includes the most common and pathogenic nematode parasites of horses. Only the Strongylidae are included in this treatise. The Strongylidae (common name strongylids) of horses--nematodes with a well-developed buccal capsule, a mouth collar with two leaf-crowns, and a strongyloid (common name of superfamily Strongyloidea) copulatory bursa--can be separated into two subfamilies: Strongylinae (common name strongylins), usually large or medium-sized with a globular or funnel-shaped buccal capsule; and Cyathostominae (common name cyathostomins), usually small to medium-sized with a cylindrical buccal capsule. The increased attention to strongylid nematode parasites of horses has resulted in the need for updated diagnostic keys to these parasites using readily recognizable characters and the most recent literature on their systematics. Because the cyathostomins have been historically difficult to identify, and because they have emerged as the most significant nematode pathogens of horses, we provide a brief nomenclatural and taxonomic history and an introduction to the morphology of this group. This treatise is intended to serve as a basic working tool--providing easy identifications to genus and species of adult strongylid nematodes of equids. All strongylid nematodes normally parasitic in horses, the ass (and their hybrids), and zebras are included. The keys are illustrated with line drawings and halftone photomicrographs of each species. A short discussion of the systematics of the genus and species is provided for each genus

  11. Migratory herds of wildebeests and zebras indirectly affect calf survival of giraffes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Derek E; Kissui, Bernard M; Kiwango, Yustina A; Bond, Monica L

    2016-12-01

    In long-distance migratory systems, local fluctuations in the predator-prey ratio can exhibit extreme variability within a single year depending upon the seasonal location of migratory species. Such systems offer an opportunity to empirically investigate cyclic population density effects on short-term food web interactions by taking advantage of the large seasonal shifts in migratory prey biomass.We utilized a large-mammal predator-prey savanna food web to evaluate support for hypotheses relating to the indirect effects of "apparent competition" and "apparent mutualism" from migratory ungulate herds on survival of resident megaherbivore calves, mediated by their shared predator. African lions (Panthera leo) are generalist predators whose primary, preferred prey are wildebeests (Connochaetes taurinus) and zebras (Equus quagga), while lion predation on secondary prey such as giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) may change according to the relative abundance of the primary prey species.We used demographic data from five subpopulations of giraffes in the Tarangire Ecosystem of Tanzania, East Africa, to test hypotheses relating to direct predation and indirect effects of large migratory herds on calf survival of a resident megaherbivore. We examined neonatal survival via apparent reproduction of 860 adult females, and calf survival of 449 giraffe calves, during three precipitation seasons over 3 years, seeking evidence of some effect on neonate and calf survival as a consequence of the movements of large herds of migratory ungulates.We found that local lion predation pressure (lion density divided by primary prey density) was significantly negatively correlated with giraffe neonatal and calf survival probabilities. This supports the apparent mutualism hypothesis that the presence of migratory ungulates reduces lion predation on giraffe calves.Natural predation had a significant effect on giraffe calf and neonate survival, and could significantly affect giraffe population

  12. Predicting the spread of aquatic invaders: insight from 200 years of invasion by zebra mussels.

    PubMed

    Karatayev, Alexander Y; Burlakova, Lyubov E; Mastitsky, Sergey E; Padilla, Dianna K

    2015-03-01

    Understanding factors controlling the introduction and spread of species is crucial to improving the management of both natural populations and introduced species. The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is considered the most aggressive freshwater invader in the Northern Hemisphere, and is a convenient model system for invasion biology, offering one of the best aquatic examples for examining the invasion process. We used data on 553 of the 1040 glacial lakes in the Republic of Belarus that were examined for the presence of zebra mussels. We used these data to build, test, and construct modified models to predict the spread of this invader, including selection of important parameters that could limit the spread of this invader. In spite of 200 years of continuous invasion, by 1996, zebra mussels were found in only 16.8% of all lakes studied. Of those lakes without zebra mussels in 1996, 66% were predicted to be susceptible to invasion by zebra mussels in the future, and 33% were predicted to be immune to successful invasion due to their water chemistry. Eighty lakes free of zebra mussels in 1996 were reexamined from 1997 to 2008. Of these, zebra mussels successfully invaded an additional 31 lakes, all of which were classified initially as suitable for zebra mussels; none of the lakes previously classified as unsuitable were invaded. We used the Random Forests classification algorithm with 16 environmental variables to determine the most important factors that differed between invaded lakes and those lakes suitable for invasion that have not yet been invaded. Distance to the nearest infested lakes was found to be the most important variable, followed by the lake area, color, average depth, and concentration of chloride, magnesium, and bicarbonate. This study provides a useful approach for predicting the spread of an invader across a landscape with variable habitat suitability that can be applied to a variety of species and systems.

  13. Removal of algae by the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) population in western Lake Erie: a bioenergetics approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madenjian, Charles P.

    1995-01-01

    A bioenergetics model for growth of a zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) individual was verified with observations on zebra mussel growth in western Lake Erie. The bioenergetics model was then applied to the zebra mussel population in the western basin of Lake Erie to estimate the removal of phytoplankton by mussels. According to the modeling results, the zebra mussel population consumed 5.0 million tonnes of phytoplankton, while 1.4 million tonnes of phytoplankton was deposited in pseudofeces from the mussels. Thus, a total of 6.4 ± 2.4 million tonnes of phytoplankton was removed from the water column by zebra mussel in western Lake Erie during 1990. Primary production was estimated to be 24.8 million tonnes; therefore, zebra mussel removed the equivalent of 26 ± 10% of the primary production for western Lake Erie.

  14. Zebra mussel adhesion: structure of the byssal adhesive apparatus in the freshwater mussel, Dreissena polymorpha.

    PubMed

    Farsad, Nikrooz; Sone, Eli D

    2012-03-01

    The freshwater zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) owes a large part of its success as an invasive species to its ability to attach to a wide variety of substrates. As in marine mussels, this attachment is achieved by a proteinaceous byssus, a series of threads joined at a stem that connect the mussel to adhesive plaques secreted onto the substrate. Although the zebra mussel byssus is superficially similar to marine mussels, significant structural and compositional differences suggest that further investigation of the adhesion mechanisms in this freshwater species is warranted. Here we present an ultrastructural examination of the zebra mussel byssus, with emphasis on interfaces that are critical to its adhesive function. By examining the attached plaques, we show that adhesion is mediated by a uniform electron dense layer on the underside of the plaque. This layer is only 10-20 nm thick and makes direct and continuous contact with the substrate. The plaque itself is fibrous, and curiously can exhibit either a dense or porous morphology. In zebra mussels, a graded interface between the animal and the substrate mussels is achieved by interdigitation of uniform threads with the stem, in contrast to marine mussels, where the threads themselves are non-uniform. Our observations of several novel aspects of zebra mussel byssal ultrastructure may have important implications not only for preventing biofouling by the zebra mussel, but for the development of new bioadhesives as well.

  15. Clinical and Pathologic Features of a Suspected Selenium Deficiency in Captive Plains Zebras.

    PubMed

    Chen, Feilan; Gao, Jie; Wu, Denghu; Xu, Lei; Han, Wenli; Zhang, Denghua; Bi, Xiaoyun; He, Mingzhong; Pan, Yongquan

    2017-03-01

    Previous studies have shown that selenium (Se) deficiency is associated with nutritional myopathy, known as white muscle disease (WMD), in horses. However, correlations between Se deficiency and clinical findings, such as hematologic biochemical values and pathological features, have not been evaluated in captive plains zebras. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the clinical and pathologic features that may be caused by a Se deficiency in the captive plains zebra. Clinical findings, feed analyses, hematologic biochemical analyses, response to treatment, and pathologic examination were assessed in six affected plains zebras. The dietary concentration of Se in feed was also tested. Sudden death occurred in two cases during the first day of the onset of symptoms. Two zebras died at 4 days and two zebras survived after treatment. The clinical signs in affected animals were characterized by general weakness, astasia, and abnormal postural positions. The Se concentration in hay from the breeding stable was low, based on the reference value. Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity was lower compared with the equine reference value. Multiple areas of subcutaneous steatitis and pale skeletal muscle and myocardium were revealed at gross necropsy. Degeneration and necrosis of myocardial and skeletal muscles, as well as congestion of the liver, lung, and kidney were found via histopathological examination. No suspected bacterial infections were found. Feed analyses, response to treatment, serum GSH-Px activity, and pathological features suggest that Se deficiency may have caused the disease in the six affected captive plains zebra.

  16. Effect of acute stresses on zebra fish (Danio rerio) metabolome measured by NMR-based metabolomics.

    PubMed

    Mushtaq, Mian Yahya; Marçal, Rosilene Moretti; Champagne, Danielle L; van der Kooy, Frank; Verpoorte, Robert; Choi, Young Hae

    2014-09-01

    We applied an acute stress model to zebra fish in order to measure the changes in the metabolome due to biological stress. This was done by submitting the fish to fifteen minutes of acute confinement (netting) stress, and then five minutes for the open field and light/dark field tests. A polar extract of the zebra fish was then subjected to (1)H nuclear magnetic spectroscopy. Multivariate data analysis of the spectra showed a clear separation associated to a wide range of metabolites between zebra fish that were submitted to open field and light/dark field tests. Alanine, taurine, adenosine, creatine, lactate, and histidine were high in zebra fish to which the light/dark field test was applied, regardless of stress, while acetate and isoleucine/lipids appeared to be higher in zebra fish exposed to the open field test. These results show that any change in the environment, even for a small period of time, has a noticeable physiological impact. This research provides an insight of how different mechanisms are activated under different environments to maintain the homeostasis of the body. It should also contribute to establish zebra fish as a model for metabolomics studies.

  17. Zebra fish myc family and max genes: differential expression and oncogenic activity throughout vertebrate evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber-Agus, N; Horner, J; Torres, R; Chiu, F C; DePinho, R A

    1993-01-01

    To gain insight into the role of Myc family oncoproteins and their associated protein Max in vertebrate growth and development, we sought to identify homologs in the zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio). A combination of a polymerase chain reaction-based cloning strategy and low-stringency hybridization screening allowed for the isolation of zebra fish c-, N-, and L-myc and max genes; subsequent structural characterization showed a high degree of conservation in regions that encode motifs of known functional significance. On the functional level, zebra fish Max, like its mammalian counterpart, served to suppress the transformation activity of mouse c-Myc in rat embryo fibroblasts. In addition, the zebra fish c-myc gene proved capable of cooperating with an activated H-ras to effect the malignant transformation of mammalian cells, albeit with diminished potency compared with mouse c-myc. With respect to their roles in normal developing tissues, the differential temporal and spatial patterns of steady-state mRNA expression observed for each zebra fish myc family member suggest unique functions for L-myc in early embryogenesis, for N-myc in establishment and growth of early organ systems, and for c-myc in increasingly differentiated tissues. Furthermore, significant alterations in the steady-state expression of zebra fish myc family genes concomitant with relatively constant max expression support the emerging model of regulation of Myc function in cellular growth and differentiation. Images PMID:8474440

  18. Efficacy of candidate chemicals for preventing attachment of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cope, W.G.; Bartsch, M.R.; Marking, L.L.

    1997-01-01

    Forty-seven chemicals having potential for preventing the attachment of zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha were identified and tested. For each chemical, 15 zebra mussels (5-8-mm shell length) in each of two replicates and six treatments were exposed for 48 h followed by a 48-h postexposure period in untreated water. Eleven of the chemicals inhibited the reattachment of zebra mussels after the 48-h exposure; eight had EC50 values ranging from 0.4 to 5.4 mg /L, and three had EC50 values ranging from 19.4 to 29.0 mg/L. Based on an analysis of chemical cost, solubility in water, anticipated treatment concentrations, and potential hazards to humans or the environment, three of the most promising chemicals, all antioxidants (butylated hydroxyanisole [BHA], tert-butylhydroquinone, and tannic acid) were tested on nontarget fish (bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus; channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus; and rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss). These chemicals were not selectively toxic to zebra mussels; only the tests with bluegill and BHA and with channel catfish and tannic acid had 48-h LC50 values greater than the concentrations effective for preventing the reattachment of zebra mussels. Although the attachment of zebra mussels can be prevented with selected antioxidants, an alternative formulation should be investigated to minimize effects on nontarget organisms, such as fish.

  19. Ultrastructural and Histochemical Characterization of the Zebra Mussel Adhesive Apparatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farsad, Nikrooz

    Since their accidental introduction into the Great Lakes in mid- to late-1980s, the freshwater zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, have colonized most lakes and waterways across eastern North America. Their rapid spread is partly attributed to their ability to tenaciously attach to hard substrates via an adhesive apparatus called the byssus, resulting in serious environmental and economic impacts. A detailed ultrastructural study of the byssus revealed a 10 nm adhesive layer at the attachment interface. Distributions of the main adhesive amino acid, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), and its oxidizing (cross-linking) enzyme, catechol oxidase, were determined histochemically. It was found that, upon aging, DOPA levels remained high in the portion of the byssus closest to the interface, consistent with an adhesive role. In contrast, reduced levels of DOPA corresponded well with high levels of catechol oxidase in the load-bearing component of the byssus, presumably forming cross-links and increasing the cohesive strength.

  20. IMPACT OF OXYGEN CONCENTRATION ON ZEBRA MUSSEL MORTALITY

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2003-01-27

    These tests have indicated that the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL0145A is effective at killing zebra mussels in environments having dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations ranging from very low to very high. The results suggest that the highest mussel kill can be achieved in moderately to highly aerated environments, while kill may be 0-20% lower under conditions of very low oxygen. For example, under highly oxygenated conditions 97% kill was achieved while conditions having low DO produced 79% mussel kill. Service water measured in a local power plant indicated that DO concentrations were in the range of 8-9 ppm (e.g., highly aerated) within their pipes. Therefore, we will not expect to see decreases in the efficacy of CL0145A treatments due to oxygen levels within such power plant pipes.

  1. Recent results of zebra patterns in solar radio bursts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernov, Gennady P.

    2010-09-01

    This review covers the most recent experimental results and theoretical research on zebra patterns (ZPs) in solar radio bursts. The basic attention is given to events with new peculiar elements of zebra patterns received over the last few years. All new properties are considered in light of both what was known earlier and new theoretical models. Large-scale ZPs consisting of small-scale fiber bursts could be explained by simultaneous inclusion of two mechanisms when whistler waves “highlight" the levels of double plasma resonance (DPR). A unique fine structure was observed in the event on 2006 December 13: spikes in absorption formed dark ZP stripes against the absorptive type III-like bursts. The spikes in absorption can appear in accordance with well known mechanisms of absorptive bursts. The additional injection of fast particles filled the loss-cone (breaking the loss-cone distribution), and the generation of the continuum was quenched at these moments. The maximum absorptive effect occurs at the DPR levels. The parameters of millisecond spikes are determined by small dimensions of the particle beams and local scale heights in the radio source. Thus, the DPR model helps to understand several aspects of unusual elements of ZPs. However, the simultaneous existence of several tens of the DPR levels in the corona is impossible for any realistic profile of the plasma density and magnetic field. Three new theories of ZPs are examined. The formation of eigenmodes of transparency and opacity during the propagation of radio waves through regular coronal inhomogeneities is the most natural and promising mechanism. Two other models (nonlinear periodic space - charge waves and scattering of fast protons on ion-sound harmonics) could happen in large radio bursts.

  2. Development of a Bioaerosol single particle detector (BIO IN) for the Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber FINCH

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bundke, U.; Reimann, B.; Nillius, B.; Jaenicke, R.; Bingemer, H.

    2010-02-01

    In this work we present the setup and first tests of our new BIO IN detector. This detector was constructed to classify atmospheric ice nuclei (IN) for their biological content. It is designed to be coupled to the Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber FINCH. If one particle acts as an ice nucleus, it will be at least partly covered with ice at the end of the development section of the FINCH chamber. The device combines an auto-fluorescence detector and a circular depolarization detector for simultaneous detection of biological material and discrimination between water droplets, ice crystals and non activated large aerosol particles. The excitation of biological material with UV light and analysis of auto-fluorescence is a common principle used for flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, spectroscopy and imaging. The detection of auto-fluorescence of airborne single particles demands some more experimental effort. However, expensive commercial sensors are available for special purposes, e.g. size distribution measurements. But these sensors will not fit the specifications needed for the FINCH IN counter (e.g. high sample flow of up 10 LPM). The newly developed -low cost- BIO IN sensor uses a single high-power UV LED for the electronic excitation instead of much more expensive UV lasers. Other key advantages of the new sensor are the low weight, compact size, and the little effect on the aerosol sample, which allows it to be coupled with other instruments for further analysis. The instrument will be flown on one of the first missions of the new German research aircraft "HALO" (High Altitude and LOng range).

  3. Polyomavirus Infection in Gouldian Finches (Erythrura gouldiae) and Other Pet Birds of the Family Estrildidae.

    PubMed

    Circella, E; Caroli, A; Marino, M; Legretto, M; Pugliese, N; Bozzo, G; Cocciolo, G; Dibari, D; Camarda, A

    2017-02-18

    A syndrome characterized by apathy, diarrhoea and high mortality of nestlings was observed in a flock of pet birds of the family Estrildidae. Enlargement of the liver, pulmonary congestion and urate accretions in the kidney were observed. Microscopically, there was glomerular atrophy, oedema and congestion of the lungs and necrosis and fibrosis of the liver. Cowdry type B intranuclear inclusion bodies were detected in the tissues. Polyomavirus was detected by polymerase chain reaction. The entire genome of the virus was amplified and sequenced, revealing 99 % identity to the sequence of finch polyomavirus isolated from the Eurasian bullfinch (family Fringillidae).

  4. Experimental evidence for millisecond activation timescales using the Fast IN Chamber (FINCH) measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Klein, H.; Nillius, B.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.; Bingemer, H.

    2009-04-01

    Ice formation in clouds is a subject of great practical and fundamental importance since the occurrence of ice particle initializes dramatic changes in the microphysical structure of the cloud, which finally ends in the formation of precipitation. The initially step of ice formation is largely unknown. Homogenous nucleation of ice occurs only below -40 °C. If an ice nucleus (IN) is present, heterogeneous nucleation may occur at higher temperature. Here deposition freezing, condensation and immersion freezing as well as contact freezing are known. Also growth rates of ice particles are known as function of crystal surface properties, temperature and super saturation. Timescales for homogenous freezing activation in the order of 0.01 seconds and nucleation rates have been measured by Anderson et al. (1980) and Hagen et al., (1981) using their expansion cloud chamber. This contribution of deposition mode freezing measurements by the ice nucleus counter FINCH presents evidence that the activation timescale of this freezing mode is in the order of 1E-3 seconds. FINCH is an Ice Nucleus counter which activates IN in a supersaturated environment at freezing temperatures. The activation conditions are actively controlled by mixing three gas flows (aerosol, particle-free cold-dry and warm-humid flows).See Bundke et al. 2008 for details. In a special operation mode of FINCH we are able to produce a controlled peak super saturation in the order of 1 ms duration. For several test aerosols the results observed in this particular mode are comparable to normal mode operations, where the maximum super saturation remains for more than a second, thus leading to the conclusion that the time for activation is in the order of 1ms or less. References: R.J. Anderson et al, "A Study of Homogeneous Condensation Freezing Nucleation of Small Water Droplets in an Expansion Cloud Chamber, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 37, 2508-2520, 1980 U.Bundke et al., "The fast Ice Nucleus

  5. Speciational history of North American Haemorhous finches (Aves: Fringillidae) inferred from multilocus data.

    PubMed

    Smith, Brian Tilston; Bryson, Robert W; Chua, Vivien; Africa, Lia; Klicka, John

    2013-03-01

    We investigated species relationships and timing of speciation in North American Haemorhous finches by using a mitochondrial phylogeographic approach combined with a multilocus species tree reconstruction. Haemorhous purpureus and H. cassinii were strongly supported as sister taxa, and H. mexicanus was sister to H. purpureus+H. cassinii. Our divergence times indicated that diversification within Haemorhous occurred progressively from the Late Miocene into the Pleistocene. Our inferred pattern of speciation demonstrates the complexity of the origins of North American birds, and provides additional evidence that a single cause for speciation in closely related North American birds, such as Late Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles, is unlikely.

  6. How well can fishes prey on zebra mussels in eastern North America?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, John R. P.

    1993-01-01

    Literature on mollusk-eating fishes was reviewed to determine the potential for different species of fish to control zebra mussels in eastern North America. At least six species are potential predators of zebra mussels because they possess (1) both upper and lower pharyngeal teeth or (2) lower pharyngeal teeth and chewing pads located on the dorsal roof for crushing mollusk shells. Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) and two centrarchids, redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) and pumpkinseed (L. gibbosus), possess both upper and lower pharyngeal teeth and are likely to consume more zebra mussels than fishes with only lower pharyngeal teeth. Only two catostomid species, copper and river redhorses (Moxostoma hubbsi and M. carinatum), have chewing pads that enable them to crush mollusks. The exotic omnivorous common carp (Cyprinus carpio), possessing lower teeth and a chewing pad, may prey on zebra mussels when aquatic insect larvae, its preferred food, become rare. Managing populations of drum, sunfishes and redhorses to reduce exploitation of large individuals and improve their habitats are suggested as means to intensify biological control of zebra mussels in eastern North America. Other Eurasian molluscivores, the roach (Rutilus rutilus) and the black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) should not be introduced into North America because research has shown repeatedly that an introduced biological controller usually does not forage for unwanted pests or reside only in preferred habitats of pests. Drum, sunfishes and redhorses should be preferred over these exotics as biological controllers of zebra mussels in North America because these native fishes will likely occupy newly established habitats of zebra mussels.

  7. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers.

    PubMed

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2017-02-05

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity'.

  8. Sex chromosome linkage of mate preference and color signal maintains assortative mating between interbreeding finch morphs.

    PubMed

    Pryke, Sarah R

    2010-05-01

    Assortative mating is a key aspect in the speciation process because it is important for both initial divergence and maintenance of distinct species. However, it remains a challenge to explain how assortative mating evolves when diverging populations are undergoing gene flow (e.g., during hybridization). Here I experimentally test how assortative mating is maintained with frequent gene flow between diverged head-color morphs of the Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae). Contrary to the predominant view on the development of sexual preferences in birds, cross-fostered offspring did not imprint on the phenotype of their conspecific (red or black morphs) or heterospecific (Bengalese finch) foster parents. Instead, the mating preferences of F(1) and F(2) intermorph-hybrids are consistent with inheritance on the Z chromosomes, which are also the location for genes controlling color expression and the genes causing low fitness of intermorph-hybrids. Genetic associations between color signal and preference loci on the sex chromosomes may prevent recombination from breaking down these associations when the morphs interbreed, helping to maintain assortative mating in the face of gene flow. Although sex linkage of reproductively isolating traits is theoretically expected to promote speciation, social and ecological constraints may enforce frequent interbreeding between the morphs, thus preventing complete reproductive isolation.

  9. High-magnification super-resolution FINCH microscopy using birefringent crystal lens interferometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegel, Nisan; Lupashin, Vladimir; Storrie, Brian; Brooker, Gary

    2016-12-01

    Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) microscopy is a promising approach for high-resolution biological imaging but has so far been limited to use with low-magnification, low-numerical-aperture configurations. We report the use of in-line incoherent interferometers made from uniaxial birefringent α-barium borate (α-BBO) or calcite crystals that overcome the aberrations and distortions present with previous implementations that employed spatial light modulators or gradient refractive index lenses. FINCH microscopy incorporating these birefringent elements and high-numerical-aperture oil immersion objectives could outperform standard wide-field fluorescence microscopy, with, for example, a 149 nm lateral point spread function at a wavelength of 590 nm. Enhanced resolution was confirmed with sub-resolution fluorescent beads. Taking the Golgi apparatus as a biological example, three different proteins labelled with GFP and two other fluorescent dyes in HeLa cells were resolved with an image quality that is comparable to similar samples captured by structured illumination microscopy.

  10. Divergence with gene flow as facilitated by ecological differences: within-island variation in Darwin's finches

    PubMed Central

    de León, Luis Fernando; Bermingham, Eldredge; Podos, Jeffrey; Hendry, Andrew P.

    2010-01-01

    Divergence and speciation can sometimes proceed in the face of, and even be enhanced by, ongoing gene flow. We here study divergence with gene flow in Darwin's finches, focusing on the role of ecological/adaptive differences in maintaining/promoting divergence and reproductive isolation. To this end, we survey allelic variation at 10 microsatellite loci for 989 medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) on Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos. We find only small genetic differences among G. fortis from different sites. We instead find noteworthy genetic differences associated with beak. Moreover, G. fortis at the site with the greatest divergence in beak size also showed the greatest divergence at neutral markers; i.e. the lowest gene flow. Finally, morphological and genetic differentiation between the G. fortis beak-size morphs was intermediate to that between G. fortis and its smaller (Geospiza fuliginosa) and larger (Geospiza magnirostris) congeners. We conclude that ecological differences associated with beak size (i.e. foraging) influence patterns of gene flow within G. fortis on a single island, providing additional support for ecological speciation in the face of gene flow. Patterns of genetic similarity within and between species also suggest that interspecific hybridization might contribute to the formation of beak-size morphs within G. fortis. PMID:20194167

  11. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers

    PubMed Central

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F.

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity’. PMID:27994122

  12. 75 FR 43853 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule to List the Medium Tree-Finch...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-27

    ... medium tree- finch's habitat is a lush evergreen cloud forest dominated by Scalesia pedunculata (daisy...: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife..., Chief, Branch of Foreign Species, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401...

  13. Bioaccumulation of human waterborne protozoa by zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha): interest for water biomonitoring.

    PubMed

    Palos Ladeiro, M; Aubert, D; Villena, I; Geffard, A; Bigot, A

    2014-01-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia duodenalis and Toxoplasma gondii are ubiquitous pathogens, which waterborne transmission has been largely demonstrated. Since they can be found in various watercourses, interactions with aquatic organisms are possible. Protozoan detection for watercourses biomonitoring is currently based on large water filtration. The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is a choice biological model in ecotoxicological studies which are already in use to detect chemical contaminations in watercourses. In the present study, the zebra mussel was tested as a new tool for detecting water contamination by protozoa. In vivo exposures were conducted in laboratory experiments. Zebra mussel was exposed to various protozoan concentrations for one week. Detection of protozoa was realized by Taqman real time qPCR. Our experiments evidenced C. parvum, G. duodenalis and T. gondii oocyst bioaccumulation by mussels proportionally to ambient contamination, and significant T. gondii prevalence was observed in muscle tissue. To our knowledge, this is the first study that demonstrates T. gondii oocyst accumulation by zebra mussel. The results from this study highlight the capacity of zebra mussels to reveal ambient biological contamination, and thus to be used as a new effective tool in sanitary biomonitoring of water bodies.

  14. Novel proteins identified in the insoluble byssal matrix of the freshwater zebra mussel.

    PubMed

    Gantayet, Arpita; Rees, David J; Sone, Eli D

    2014-04-01

    The freshwater zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is an invasive, biofouling species that adheres to a variety of substrates underwater, using a proteinaceous anchor called the byssus. The byssus consists of a number of threads with adhesive plaques at the tips. It contains the unusual amino acid 3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), which is believed to play an important role in adhesion, in addition to providing structural integrity to the byssus through cross-linking. Extensive DOPA cross-linking, however, renders the zebra mussel byssus highly resistant to protein extraction, and therefore limits byssal protein identification. We report here on the identification of seven novel byssal proteins in the insoluble byssal matrix following protein extraction from induced, freshly secreted byssal threads with minimal cross-linking. These proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS analysis of tryptic digests of the matrix proteins by spectrum matching against a zebra mussel cDNA library of genes unique to the mussel foot, the organ that secretes the byssus. All seven proteins were present in both the plaque and thread. Comparisons of the protein sequences revealed common features of zebra mussel byssal proteins, and several recurring sequence motifs. Although their sequences are unique, many of the proteins display similarities to marine mussel byssal proteins, as well as to adhesive and structural proteins from other species. The large expansion of the byssal proteome reported here represents an important step towards understanding zebra mussel adhesion.

  15. How the zebra got its stripes: a problem with too many solutions

    PubMed Central

    Larison, Brenda; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Thomassen, Henri A.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.; Chan-Golston, Alec M.; Li, Elizabeth; Smith, Thomas B.

    2015-01-01

    The adaptive significance of zebra stripes has thus far eluded understanding. Many explanations have been suggested, including social cohesion, thermoregulation, predation evasion and avoidance of biting flies. Identifying the associations between phenotypic and environmental factors is essential for testing these hypotheses and substantiating existing experimental evidence. Plains zebra striping pattern varies regionally, from heavy black and white striping over the entire body in some areas to reduced stripe coverage with thinner and lighter stripes in others. We examined how well 29 environmental variables predict the variation in stripe characteristics of plains zebra across their range in Africa. In contrast to recent findings, we found no evidence that striping may have evolved to escape predators or avoid biting flies. Instead, we found that temperature successfully predicts a substantial amount of the stripe pattern variation observed in plains zebra. As this association between striping and temperature may be indicative of multiple biological processes, we suggest that the selective agents driving zebra striping are probably multifarious and complex. PMID:26064590

  16. A physical explanation of solar microwave Zebra pattern with the current-carrying plasma loop model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Baolin

    2010-02-01

    The microwave Zebra pattern structure is an intriguing fine structure on the dynamic spectra of solar type IV radio bursts. Up to now, there is no perfect physical model for the origin of the solar microwave Zebra pattern. Recently, Ledenev et al. (Sol. Phys. 233:129, 2006) put forward an interference mechanism to explain the features of microwave Zebra patterns in solar continuum events. This model needs a structure with a multitude of discrete narrow-band sources of small size. Based on the model of a current-carrying plasma loop and the theory of tearing-mode instability, we propose that the above structure does exist and may provide the main conditions for the interference mechanism. With this model, we may explain the frequency upper limit, the formation of the parallel and equidistant stripes, the superfine structure and intermediate frequency drift rate of the Zebra stripes. If this explanation is valid, the Zebra pattern structures can reveal some information of the motion and the inner structures of the coronal plasma loops.

  17. LETHALITY OF PSEUDOMONAS FLUORESCENS STRAIN CLO145A TO THE 2 ZEBRA MUSSEL SPECIES PRESENT IN NORTH AMERICA

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2001-10-28

    These experiments indicated that bacterial strain CL0145A of Pseudomonas fluorescens is equally lethal to the 2 zebra mussel species present in North America, Dreissena polymorpha and Dreissena bugensis. Thus, this bacterial strain should be equally effective at killing zebra mussels in power plant pipes, irrespective of which species is present.

  18. Modeling the Role of Zebra Mussels in the Proliferation of Blue-green Algae in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron

    EPA Science Inventory

    Under model assumptions from Saginaw Bay 1991, selective rejection of blue-green algae by zebra mussels appears to be a necessary factor in the enhancement of blue-green algae production in the presence of zebra mussels. Enhancement also appears to depend on the increased sedime...

  19. Seasonal effects of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) on sediment denitrification rates in Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bruesewitz, Denise A.; Tank, Jennifer L.; Bernot, Melody J.; Richardson, William B.; Strauss, Eric A.

    2006-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) have altered the structure of invaded ecosystems and exhibit characteristics that suggest they may influence ecosystem processes such as nitrogen (N) cycling. We measured denitrification rates seasonally on sediments underlying zebra mussel beds collected from the impounded zone of Navigation Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River. Denitrification assays were amended with nutrients to characterize variation in nutrient limitation of denitrification in the presence or absence of zebra mussels. Denitrification rates at zebra mussel sites were high relative to sites without zebra mussels in February 2004 (repeated measures analysis of variance (RM ANOVA), p = 0.005), potentially because of high NO3-N variability from nitrification of high NH4+ zebra mussel waste. Denitrification rates were highest in June 2003 (RM ANOVA, p 3-N concentrations during the study (linear regression, R2 = 0.72, p p ≤ 0.01). Examining how zebra mussels influence denitrification rates will aid in developing a more complete understanding of the impact of zebra mussels and more effective management strategies of eutrophic waters.

  20. Incidence, Distribution, and Genetic Variations of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter sp.' Associated with Zebra Chip of Potato in North America.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The presence of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (CLs) and ‘Candidatus Liberibacter psyllaurous’ (CLp) were confirmed in potato plants affected with zebra chip/zebra complex (ZC) disease throughout Texas potato production areas in 2005-2008, in seed tubers produced from Wyoming in 2007, and in...

  1. 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

  2. Lessons learned in over 100 zebra mussel control applications at industrial facilities

    SciTech Connect

    McGough, C.M.; Gilland, P.H.; Muia, R.A.

    1998-12-31

    Since their introduction into US waterways, Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorphae) have spread rapidly throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi regions. These mussels have continued to colonize the intake pipes of industrial water supplies and water distribution systems throughout the affected areas. Their colonization has compromised plant safety and production efficiency, and steadily increased costs to water users. The design of each industrial plant water distribution system is unique. A comprehensive zebra mussel control strategy using the best available options must be considered in each specific situation. This paper discusses the successful use of one strategy (a quaternary ammonia-based molluscicide) in the battle against zebra mussels. The commercial life cycle of an industrial molluscicide began with initial toxicity screening in the laboratory. The evaluation continued at plant sites through field trials and applications. Lessons learned from these experiences helped direct the efforts toward the development of a second generation program.

  3. Low frequency sound as a control measure for zebra mussel fouling

    SciTech Connect

    Donskoy, D.M.; Ludyanskiy, M.L.

    1995-06-01

    The study of the effect of acoustic energy on zebra mussels first began in the Soviet Union over 30 years ago, where researchers indicated the feasibility of reducing Dreissena fouling, in particular on cooling systems. However, these studies were discontinued due to the successful use of chlorination and the relatively low level of technology at that time in the Soviet Union. Interest in the use of acoustic energy as a control measure has been revived, and the three major approaches are: (1) cavitation, (2) sound treatment, and (3) sound treatment. The objective of the present paper is to determine the feasibility and effectivensss of low frequency sound techniques to fight zebra mussel fouling. A number of experiments were performed, and the results are presented and discussed. It is concluded that low frequency sound can be an effective means of control of zebra mussel fouling.

  4. Zebra Crossing Spotter: Automatic Population of Spatial Databases for Increased Safety of Blind Travelers

    PubMed Central

    Ahmetovic, Dragan; Manduchi, Roberto; Coughlan, James M.; Mascetti, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we propose a computer vision-based technique that mines existing spatial image databases for discovery of zebra crosswalks in urban settings. Knowing the location of crosswalks is critical for a blind person planning a trip that includes street crossing. By augmenting existing spatial databases (such as Google Maps or OpenStreetMap) with this information, a blind traveler may make more informed routing decisions, resulting in greater safety during independent travel. Our algorithm first searches for zebra crosswalks in satellite images; all candidates thus found are validated against spatially registered Google Street View images. This cascaded approach enables fast and reliable discovery and localization of zebra crosswalks in large image datasets. While fully automatic, our algorithm could also be complemented by a final crowdsourcing validation stage for increased accuracy. PMID:26824080

  5. ZebraZoom: an automated program for high-throughput behavioral analysis and categorization

    PubMed Central

    Mirat, Olivier; Sternberg, Jenna R.; Severi, Kristen E.; Wyart, Claire

    2013-01-01

    The zebrafish larva stands out as an emergent model organism for translational studies involving gene or drug screening thanks to its size, genetics, and permeability. At the larval stage, locomotion occurs in short episodes punctuated by periods of rest. Although phenotyping behavior is a key component of large-scale screens, it has not yet been automated in this model system. We developed ZebraZoom, a program to automatically track larvae and identify maneuvers for many animals performing discrete movements. Our program detects each episodic movement and extracts large-scale statistics on motor patterns to produce a quantification of the locomotor repertoire. We used ZebraZoom to identify motor defects induced by a glycinergic receptor antagonist. The analysis of the blind mutant atoh7 revealed small locomotor defects associated with the mutation. Using multiclass supervised machine learning, ZebraZoom categorized all episodes of movement for each larva into one of three possible maneuvers: slow forward swim, routine turn, and escape. ZebraZoom reached 91% accuracy for categorization of stereotypical maneuvers that four independent experimenters unanimously identified. For all maneuvers in the data set, ZebraZoom agreed with four experimenters in 73.2–82.5% of cases. We modeled the series of maneuvers performed by larvae as Markov chains and observed that larvae often repeated the same maneuvers within a group. When analyzing subsequent maneuvers performed by different larvae, we found that larva–larva interactions occurred as series of escapes. Overall, ZebraZoom reached the level of precision found in manual analysis but accomplished tasks in a high-throughput format necessary for large screens. PMID:23781175

  6. Identification and functional characterization of the house finch interleukin-1β.

    PubMed

    Park, Myeongseon; Kim, Sungwon; Adelman, James S; Leon, Ariel E; Hawley, Dana M; Dalloul, Rami A

    2017-04-01

    Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), an inflammatory cytokine of the IL-1 family, is primarily produced as a precursor protein by monocytes and macrophages, then matures and becomes activated through proteolytic catalysis. Although the biological characteristics of avian IL-1β are well known, little information is available about its biological role in songbird species such as house finches that are vulnerable to naturally-occurring inflammatory diseases. In this study, house finch IL-1β (HfIL-1β) was cloned, expressed, and its biological function examined. Both precursor and mature forms of HfIL-1β consisting of 269 and 162 amino acids, respectively, were amplified from total RNA of spleen and cloned into expression vectors. HfIL-1β showed high sequential and tertiary structural similarity to chicken homologue that allowed detection of the expressed mature recombinant HfIL-1β (rHfIL-1β) with anti-ChIL-1β antibody by immunoblot analysis. For further characterization, we used primary splenocytes and hepatocytes that are predominant sources of IL-1β upon stimulation, as well as suitable targets to stimulation by IL-1β. Isolated house finch splenocytes were stimulated with rHfIL-1β in the presence and absence of concanavalin A (Con A), RNA was extracted and transcript levels of Th1/Th2 cytokines and a chemokine were measured by qRT-PCR. The addition of rHfIL-1β induced significant enhancement of IL-2 transcript, a Th1 cytokine, while transcription of IL-1β and the Th2 cytokine IL-10 was slightly enhanced by rHfIL-1β treatment. rHfIL-1β also led to elevated levels of the chemokine CXCL1 and nitric oxide production regardless of co-stimulation with Con A. In addition, the production of the acute phase protein serum amyloid A and the antimicrobial peptide LEAP2 was observed in HfIL-1β-stimulated hepatocytes. Taken together, these observations revealed the basic functions of HfIL-1β including the stimulatory effect on cell proliferation, production of Th1/Th2

  7. Nutrient Recycling Impacts by Zebra Mussels in Harper’s Ferry Slough, Upper Mississippi River

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-12-01

    Reservoir, Wisconsin,” Lake Reserv. Manage. 8, 61-71. James, W. F., Barko, J. W., and Eakin, H. L. (1997). “Nutrient regeneration by the zebra ...1993), and fish er ies (Rich ard son and Bartsch 1997). In an other riverine en vi ron ment, the Sen eca River (New York), high ze bra mus sel den...Nutrient Recycling Impacts by Zebra Mussels in Harper’s Ferry Slough, Upper Mississippi River by W. F. James, J. W. Barko, H. L. Eakin, J. S

  8. Changes in ultra-structures and electrophysiological properties in HVC of untutored and deafened Bengalese finches relation to normally reared birds: implications for song learning.

    PubMed

    Peng, Zhe; Zhang, XueBo; Xi, Chao; Zeng, ShaoJu; Liu, Nan; Zuo, MingXue; Zhang, XinWen

    2012-12-01

    Songbirds are increasingly used as an experimentally tractable system to study the neurobiological underpinnings of vocal learning. To gain additional insights into how birdsongs are learned, we compared the size of HVC, the high vocal center for song production, and its ultrastructural or electrophysiological properties between the normally reared Bengalese finches, and the untutored or deafened ones before the onset of sensory learning (around post-hatching day 20). Our results showed that HVC had more synapses and concave synaptic curvature, but fewer perforated synapse, in the untutored or deafened birds in comparison with those in the normally reared birds. Although there was no significant difference of the ratio of straight or compound synapses, there was an increasing tendency for the untutored and deafened birds to possess more straight and compound synapses. These data revealed that synapses in the isolated or deafened birds had lower synapse activity in relation to those with normal hearing. This was confirmed by our electrophysiological results to show significant decreases in the firing rates of spike or burst in the isolated or deafened birds in the three types of HVC neurons i.e., putative X-projecting neurons, RA-projecting neurons and interneurons. In addition, low firing frequency (<10Hz) occurred much more in the above three types of HVC neurons in the tutored or deafened birds than in the normally reared birds. These data suggest that all the three putative types of neurons in HVC might be involved in the activity of the production of adult normal songs.

  9. Phylogeography of the Buarremon brush-finch complex (Aves, Emberizidae) in Mesoamerica.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G; Townsend Peterson, A; Nyari, Arpad; García-Deras, Gabriela M; García-Moreno, Jaime

    2008-04-01

    The Buarremon brush-finches represent a complex suite of populations distributed in the montane New World Tropics from Mexico south to South America. Traditional taxonomic arrangements have separated populations of this genus into three species, based on plumage variation, although plumage patterns are well known to exhibit homoplasy. We present a first detailed phylogeographic and phylogenetic study, focused on Mesoamerican populations, and signal the existence of strong differentiation among populations with a clear geographic structure. We find well differentiated clades for (1) the Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre del Sur in Oaxaca, (2) western Mexican populations, including the B. brunneinucha populations in the Sierra Madre del Sur and B. virenticeps, (3) Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra de los Tuxtlas, (4) northern Central America, (5) southern Central America, (6) middle Central America, and (7) South America. We demonstrate a lack of concordance with plumage patterns, and argue for several additional species to be recognized in the complex.

  10. House finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) balance investment in behavioural and immunological defences against pathogens.

    PubMed

    Zylberberg, Maxine; Klasing, Kirk C; Hahn, Thomas P

    2013-02-23

    Infection with parasites and pathogens is costly for hosts, causing loss of nutritional resources, reproductive potential, tissue integrity and even life. In response, animals have evolved behavioural and immunological strategies to avoid infection by pathogens and infestation by parasites. Scientists generally study these strategies in isolation from each other; however, since these defences entail costs, host individuals should benefit from balancing investment in these strategies, and understanding of infectious disease dynamics would benefit from studying the relationship between them. Here, we show that Carpodacus mexicanus (house finches) avoid sick individuals. Moreover, we show that individuals investing less in behavioural defences invest more in immune defences. Such variation has important implications for the dynamics of pathogen spread through populations, and ultimately the course of epidemics. A deeper understanding of individual- and population-level disease defence strategies will improve our ability to understand, model and predict the outcomes of pathogen spread in wildlife.

  11. State-space modeling of population sizes and trends in Nihoa Finch and Millerbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Brinck, Kevin W.; Camp, Richard J.; Farmer, Chris; Plentovich, Sheldon M.; Banko, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Both of the 2 passerines endemic to Nihoa Island, Hawai‘i, USA—the Nihoa Millerbird (Acrocephalus familiaris kingi) and Nihoa Finch (Telespiza ultima)—are listed as endangered by federal and state agencies. Their abundances have been estimated by irregularly implemented fixed-width strip-transect sampling from 1967 to 2012, from which area-based extrapolation of the raw counts produced highly variable abundance estimates for both species. To evaluate an alternative survey method and improve abundance estimates, we conducted variable-distance point-transect sampling between 2010 and 2014. We compared our results to those obtained from strip-transect samples. In addition, we applied state-space models to derive improved estimates of population size and trends from the legacy time series of strip-transect counts. Both species were fairly evenly distributed across Nihoa and occurred in all or nearly all available habitat. Population trends for Nihoa Millerbird were inconclusive because of high within-year variance. Trends for Nihoa Finch were positive, particularly since the early 1990s. Distance-based analysis of point-transect counts produced mean estimates of abundance similar to those from strip-transects but was generally more precise. However, both survey methods produced biologically unrealistic variability between years. State-space modeling of the long-term time series of abundances obtained from strip-transect counts effectively reduced uncertainty in both within- and between-year estimates of population size, and allowed short-term changes in abundance trajectories to be smoothed into a long-term trend.

  12. Darwin's finches and their diet niches: the sympatric coexistence of imperfect generalists.

    PubMed

    De León, L F; Podos, J; Gardezi, T; Herrel, A; Hendry, A P

    2014-06-01

    Adaptive radiation can be strongly influenced by interspecific competition for resources, which can lead to diverse outcomes ranging from competitive exclusion to character displacement. In each case, sympatric species are expected to evolve into distinct ecological niches, such as different food types, yet this expectation is not always met when such species are examined in nature. The most common hypotheses to account for the coexistence of species with substantial diet overlap rest on temporal variation in niches (often diets). Yet spatial variation in niche overlap might also be important, pointing to the need for spatiotemporal analyses of diet and diet overlap between closely related species persisting in sympatry. We here perform such an analysis by characterizing the diets of, and diet overlap among, four sympatric Darwin's ground finch species at three sites and over 5 years on a single Galápagos island (Santa Cruz). We find that the different species have broadly similar and overlapping diets - they are to some extent generalists and opportunists - yet we also find that each species retains some 'private' resources for which their morphologies are best suited. Importantly, use of these private resources increased considerably, and diet overlap decreased accordingly, when the availability of preferred shared foods, such as arthropods, was reduced during drought conditions. Spatial variation in food resources was also important. These results together suggest that the ground finches are 'imperfect generalists' that use overlapping resources under benign conditions (in space or time), but then retreat to resources for which they are best adapted during periods of food limitation. These conditions likely promote local and regional coexistence.

  13. Syringeal Specialization of Frequency Control during Song Production in the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Secora, Kristen R.; Peterson, Jennifer R.; Urbano, Catherine M.; Chung, Boah; Okanoya, Kazuo; Cooper, Brenton G.

    2012-01-01

    Background Singing in songbirds is a complex, learned behavior which shares many parallels with human speech. The avian vocal organ (syrinx) has two potential sound sources, and each sound generator is under unilateral, ipsilateral neural control. Different songbird species vary in their use of bilateral or unilateral phonation (lateralized sound production) and rapid switching between left and right sound generation (interhemispheric switching of motor control). Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica) have received considerable attention, because they rapidly modify their song in response to manipulations of auditory feedback. However, how the left and right sides of the syrinx contribute to acoustic control of song has not been studied. Methodology Three manipulations of lateralized syringeal control of sound production were conducted. First, unilateral syringeal muscular control was eliminated by resection of the left or right tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve, which provides neuromuscular innervation of the syrinx. Spectral and temporal features of song were compared before and after lateralized nerve injury. In a second experiment, either the left or right sound source was devoiced to confirm the role of each sound generator in the control of acoustic phonology. Third, air pressure was recorded before and after unilateral denervation to enable quantification of acoustic change within individual syllables following lateralized nerve resection. Significance These experiments demonstrate that the left sound source produces louder, higher frequency, lower entropy sounds, and the right sound generator produces lower amplitude, lower frequency, higher entropy sounds. The bilateral division of labor is complex and the frequency specialization is the opposite pattern observed in most songbirds. Further, there is evidence for rapid interhemispheric switching during song production. Lateralized control of song production in Bengalese finches may

  14. Variation with land use of immune function and prevalence of avian pox in Galapagos finches.

    PubMed

    Zylberberg, Maxine; Lee, Kelly A; Klasing, Kirk C; Wikelski, Martin

    2013-02-01

    Introduced disease has been implicated in recent wildlife extinctions and population declines worldwide. Both anthropogenic-induced change and natural environmental features can affect pathogen spread. Furthermore, environmental disturbance can result in changes in stress physiology, nutrition, and social structure, which in turn can suppress immune system function. However, it remains unknown whether landscape variation results in heterogeneity in host resistance to pathogens. Avian pox virus, a pathogen implicated in avian declines and extinctions in Hawaii, was introduced to the Galapagos in the 1890 s, and prevalence (total number of current infections) has increased recently in finches. We tested whether prevalence and recovery trends in 7 species of Galapagos finches varied by elevation or human land use. To do so, we used infection data obtained from 545 wild-caught birds. In addition, we determined whether annual changes in 4 aspects of innate immune function (complement protein activity, natural antibody activity, concentration of PIT54 protein, and heterophil:lymphocyte ratio) varied by elevation or land use. Prevalence and recovery rates did not vary by elevation from 2008 to 2009. Avian pox prevalence and proportion of recovered individuals in undeveloped and urban areas did not change from 2008 to 2009. In agricultural areas, avian pox prevalence increased 8-fold (from 2% to 17% of 234 individuals sampled) and proportion of recovered individuals increased (11% to 19%) from 2008 to 2009. These results suggest high disease-related mortality. Variation in immune function across human land-use types correlated with variation in both increased prevalence and susceptibility, which indicates changes in innate immune function may underlie changes in disease susceptibility. Our results suggest anthropogenic disturbance, in particular agricultural practices, may underlie immunological changes in host species that themselves contribute to pathogen emergence.

  15. The ZEBRA electric vehicle battery: power and energy improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galloway, Roy C.; Haslam, Steven

    Vehicle trials with the first sodium/nickel chloride ZEBRA batteries indicated that the pulse power capability of the battery needed to be improved towards the end of the discharge. A research programme led to several design changes to improve the cell which, in combination, have improved the power of the battery to greater than 150 W kg -1 at 80% depth of discharge. Bench and vehicle tests have established the stability of the high power battery over several years of cycling. The gravimetric energy density of the first generation of cells was less than 100 Wh kg -1. Optimisation of the design has led to a cell with a specific energy of 120 Wh kg -1 or 86 Wh kg -1 for a 30 kWh battery. Recently, the cell chemistry has been altered to improve the useful capacity. The cell is assembled in the over-discharged state and during the first charge the following reactions occur: at 1.6 V: Al+4NaCl=NaAlCl 4+3Na; at 2.35 V: Fe+2NaCl=FeCl 2+2Na; at 2.58 V: Ni+2NaCl=NiCl 2+2 Na. The first reaction serves to prime the negative sodium electrode but occurs at too low a voltage to be of use in providing useful capacity. By minimising the aluminium content more NaCl is released for the main reactions to improve the capacity of the cell. This, and further composition optimisation, have resulted in cells with specific energies in excess of 140 Wh kg -1, which equates to battery energies>100 Wh kg -1. The present production battery, as installed in a Mercedes Benz A class electric vehicle, gives a driving range of 205 km (128 miles) in city and hill climbing. The cells with improved capacity will extend the practical driving range to beyond 240 km (150 miles).

  16. Molecular characterization of Trichomonas gallinae isolates recovered from the Canadian Maritime provinces' wild avifauna reveals the presence of the genotype responsible for the European finch trichomonosis epidemic and additional strains.

    PubMed

    McBurney, Scott; Kelly-Clark, Whitney K; Forzán, María J; Lawson, Becki; Tyler, Kevin M; Greenwood, Spencer J

    2015-07-01

    Finch trichomonosis, caused by Trichomonas gallinae, emerged in the Canadian Maritime provinces in 2007 and has since caused ongoing mortality in regional purple finch (Carpodacus purpureus) and American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) populations. Trichomonas gallinae was isolated from (1) finches and rock pigeons (Columbia livia) submitted for post-mortem or live-captured at bird feeding sites experiencing trichomonosis mortality; (2) bird seed at these same sites; and (3) rock pigeons live-captured at known roosts or humanely killed. Isolates were characterized using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and iron hydrogenase (Fe-hyd) gene sequences. Two distinct ITS types were found. Type A was identical to the UK finch epidemic strain and was isolated from finches and a rock pigeon with trichomonosis; apparently healthy rock pigeons and finches; and bird seed at an outbreak site. Type B was obtained from apparently healthy rock pigeons. Fe-hyd sequencing revealed six distinct subtypes. The predominant subtype in both finches and the rock pigeon with trichomonosis was identical to the UK finch epidemic strain A1. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in Fe-hyd sequences suggest there is fine-scale variation amongst isolates and that finch trichomonosis emergence in this region may not have been caused by a single spill-over event.

  17. Review of techniques to prevent introduction of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) during native mussel (Unionoidea) conservation activities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cope, W.G.; Newton, T.J.; Gatenby, C.M.

    2003-01-01

    Because of the declines in diversity and abundance of native freshwater mussels (superfamily Unionoidea), and the potential decimation of populations of native mussels resulting from the rapid spread of the exotic zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, management options to eliminate or reduce the threat of the zebra mussel are needed. Relocating native mussels to refugia (artificial and natural) has been proposed to mitigate the threat of zebra mussels to native species. Relocation of native mussels to refugia such as fish hatchery facilities or natural habitats within their historic range. Which are unlikely to be infested by zebra mussels, necessitates that protocols be developed to prevent the inadvertent introduction of zebra mussels. Several recent studies have developed Such protocols, and have assessed their effectiveness on the health and survival of native mussels during subsequent relocation to various refugia. The purpose of this project is to synthesize and evaluate the current protocols and to develop a set of procedures that resource managers and researchers should consider before conducting conservation activities in zebra mussel infested waters. We found that the existing protocols have many common points of concern, such as facility modification and suitability, zebra mussel risk assessment and management procedures, and health and disease management procedures. These conservation protocols may have broad applicability to other situations and locations. A summary and evaluation of the information in these main areas, along with recommended guidelines, are presented in this article.

  18. Efficacy of Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf-CL145A) spray dried powder for controlling zebra mussels adhering to test substrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luoma, James A.; Severson, Todd J.; Weber, Kerry L.; Mayer, Denise A.

    2015-01-01

    Approximately 30 days after exposure, zebra mussels were sorted into live and dead, and enumerated. Mean survival of zebra mussels in control treatments exceeded 95 percent. Mean survival of zebra mussels in the Lake Carlos WWC SDP-treated groups ranged from 0.5 to 2.1 percent and when compared at the same exposure duration, no difference was detected in survival between the 50 and 100 milligrams per liter (mg/L) treatment groups. Similarly, mean survival of zebra mussels in the Shawano Lake WWC SDP-treated groups ranged from 2.0 to 12.6 percent and when compared at the same exposure duration, no difference was detected in survival between the 50- and 100-mg/L treatment groups. Mean survival of zebra mussels in the Lake Carlos BI trial SDP-treated groups did not differ (p = 0.93) and was 18.1 and 18.0 percent in the 50- and 100-mg/L treatment groups, respectively. Mean survival of zebra mussels in the Shawano Lake BI trial SDP-treated groups differed (p < 0.01) and was 2.9 and 0.9 percent in the 50- and 100-mg/L treatment groups, respectively. Survival of zebra mussels assigned to the SDP-treated groups in the Lake Carlos WWC trial (12-hour exposure duration) differed from the survival of zebra mussels assigned to the SDP-treated groups in the Lake Carlos BI trial; however, after modification of the BI application technique, no difference (p = 0.22) was detected between the survival of zebra mussel in the Shawano Lake WWC (12-hour exposure duration) and BI trials.

  19. Development of a molecular diagnostic system to discriminate Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) and Dreissena bugensis (quagga mussel)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoy, M.S.; Kelly, K.; Rodriguez, R.J.

    2010-01-01

    A 3-primer PCR system was developed to discriminate invasive zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussel. The system is based on: 1) universal primers that amplifies a region of the nuclear 28s rDNA gene from both species and 2) a species-specific primer complementary to either zebra or quagga mussel. The species-specific primers bind to sequences between the binding sites for the universal primers resulting in the amplification of two products from the target species and one product from the nontarget species. Therefore, nontarget products are positive amplification controls. The 3-primer system accurately discriminated zebra and quagga mussels from seven geographically distinct populations.

  20. Zebra Crossing: Walking in Two Continents Sharing and Celebrating Difference through Music

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joseph, Dawn

    2011-01-01

    I use the metaphor "zebra crossing" in my reflective narrative to describe my plight and struggle as a non-white person growing up and working in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the apartheid era. This article considers and compares the notions of culture, diversity and identity as I now work in a tertiary institution in Melbourne,…

  1. Pulse power generated electric fields as a means to control zebra mussels

    SciTech Connect

    Smythe, A.G.; Lange, C.L.; Doyle, J.F.

    1995-06-01

    In 1994, a study was conducted to determine if pulsed electric fields could reduce zebra mussel settlement rates. The study was a continuation of a study that began in 1991. Several types of fields were generated over the four-year study. The 1994 study concluded that fast rise DC, pulse power signals could stun post-veligers and significantly reduce settlement.

  2. Bioaccumulation of PAHs in the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, at Times Beach, New York

    SciTech Connect

    Roper, J.M. |; Cherry, D.S.; Simmers, J.W.

    1994-12-31

    While zebra mussels have not been reported in confined disposal facilities (CDFs), recent reports of zebra mussels in soft sediments indicate a possible concern for dredging and the disposal of dredged material. In response to this concern, an insitu biomonitoring study utilizing the zebra mussel was performed at the Times Beach CDF, in Buffalo, NY. Mussels were placed at the facility for 30 days at sites of known PAH concentrations. The placement occurred at areas of comparably high, intermediate and low total PAH sediment concentrations. At each site the mussels were placed both in the water column and at the sediment surface. Mussels were collected on Day 34 of the study for tissue analysis. Tissues concentrations of total PAHs from mussels placed in water column and the sediment respectively were at the high site 8.4 and 5.6 mg/Kg, the intermediate site 4.3 and 3.3 mg/Kg and low site 3.2 and 2.7 mg/Kg. The following issues will be addressed; PAH concentration in the tissues compared to site sediment concentrations and the accumulation differences of mussels placed in the water column versus those in the sediment. The data indicate that zebra mussel PAH bioaccumulation potential is of environmental concern.

  3. Automatic detection of zebra crossings from mobile LiDAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riveiro, B.; González-Jorge, H.; Martínez-Sánchez, J.; Díaz-Vilariño, L.; Arias, P.

    2015-07-01

    An algorithm for the automatic detection of zebra crossings from mobile LiDAR data is developed and tested to be applied for road management purposes. The algorithm consists of several subsequent processes starting with road segmentation by performing a curvature analysis for each laser cycle. Then, intensity images are created from the point cloud using rasterization techniques, in order to detect zebra crossing using the Standard Hough Transform and logical constrains. To optimize the results, image processing algorithms are applied to the intensity images from the point cloud. These algorithms include binarization to separate the painting area from the rest of the pavement, median filtering to avoid noisy points, and mathematical morphology to fill the gaps between the pixels in the border of white marks. Once the road marking is detected, its position is calculated. This information is valuable for inventorying purposes of road managers that use Geographic Information Systems. The performance of the algorithm has been evaluated over several mobile LiDAR strips accounting for a total of 30 zebra crossings. That test showed a completeness of 83%. Non-detected marks mainly come from painting deterioration of the zebra crossing or by occlusions in the point cloud produced by other vehicles on the road.

  4. Evaluation of several chemical disinfectants for removing zebra mussels from unionid mussels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waller, D.L.; Fisher, S.W.

    1998-01-01

    We evaluated the safety and effectiveness of chemical treatments for killing veliger and juvenile stages of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha attached to unionid mussels. Static toxicity tests were conducted on eight unionid mussel species with common aquaculture chemicals (benzalkonium chloride, formalin, hydrogen peroxide, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride). The concentration and duration of each chemical treatment tested had previously been found to kill zebra mussel veligers and juveniles. Several species (e.g., Elliptio dilatata, Lampsilis cardium, and Lasmigona complanata) incurred less than 10% mortality in chloride salt treatments, while in other species (e.g., Obliquaria reflexa and Leptodea fragilis) mortality varied greatly among treatment regimes. Treatments with benzalkonium chloride, formalin, and hydrogen peroxide were less than 90% effective on juvenile stages of zebra mussels and, therefore, were ruled out after preliminary trials. Limited application of specific chemical treatments may be feasible for more tolerant species; however, effective disinfection of unionid shells will require the use of chemical treatment followed by a quarantine period to completely remove zebra mussel larvae and juveniles.

  5. Use and costs of insecticides to control zebra chip and psyllids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Zebra chip disease in potatoes has become a serious problem in North America. Researchers in Texas developed a sampling and reporting program for cooperating growers in three states. Data from this project enabled us to document insecticide use and costs for ZC control in commercial potato fields...

  6. Use and costs of insecticdes to control potato psyllids and zebra chip on potatoes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Zebra chip disease in potatoes has become a serious problem in North America. Researchers in Texas developed a sampling and reporting program for cooperating growers in three states. Data from this project enabled us to document insecticide use and costs for ZC control in commercial potato fields...

  7. Bindweed Psyllid: Biology, Natural History, and Interactions with the Zebra Chip Pathogen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bactericera maculipennis is a native psyllid that commonly occurs on field bindweed in the western United States. We have found that Pacific Northwest populations of B. maculipennis carry Liberibacter solanacearum, the pathogen associated with zebra chip disease of potato. In North America, this p...

  8. Non-destructive NIR detection of Zebra Chip disease in whole potatoes (abstract)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potatoes are the 4th biggest food crop worldwide and the leading vegetable crop in the U.S., accounting for 15 percent of vegetable sales. Over 50% of potatoes are consumed as processed products such as French fries and chips. Zebra Chip (ZC) is a disease of potatoes that causes brown discoloration ...

  9. Examining the role of tuber biochemistry in the development of zebra chip in stored potato tubers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Zebra chip disease (ZC), associated with infection by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso), is an emerging problem for potato growers in the United States, Mexico, and New Zealand. Although potato tubers exhibiting ZC symptoms will be rejected by processors, it remains possible...

  10. Variations in Zebra Chip disease expression and tuber biochemistry in response to vector density

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study examined effects of the number of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso)-positive psyllids feeding on potatoes to Lso titers, zebra chip disease (ZC) symptom severity, and levels of amino acids, carbohydrates, and phenolics in tubers harvested weeks later. Red La Soda and Russet Nor...

  11. Characterization of management and environmental factors associated with regional variations in potato zebra chip occurrence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato zebra chip (ZC) disease, putatively caused by the bacterial pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’, which is vectored by the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli), has caused widespread damage to the US potato production ever since its first discovery in south Texas in 2000. In t...

  12. SPATIALLY AND SPECTRALLY RESOLVED OBSERVATIONS OF A ZEBRA PATTERN IN A SOLAR DECIMETRIC RADIO BURST

    SciTech Connect

    Chen Bin; Bastian, T. S.; Gary, D. E.; Jing Ju

    2011-07-20

    We present the first interferometric observation of a zebra-pattern radio burst with simultaneous high spectral ({approx}1 MHz) and high time (20 ms) resolution. The Frequency-Agile Solar Radiotelescope Subsystem Testbed (FST) and the Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA) were used in parallel to observe the X1.5 flare on 2006 December 14. By using OVSA to calibrate the FST, the source position of the zebra pattern can be located on the solar disk. With the help of multi-wavelength observations and a nonlinear force-free field extrapolation, the zebra source is explored in relation to the magnetic field configuration. New constraints are placed on the source size and position as a function of frequency and time. We conclude that the zebra burst is consistent with a double-plasma resonance model in which the radio emission occurs in resonance layers where the upper-hybrid frequency is harmonically related to the electron cyclotron frequency in a coronal magnetic loop.

  13. Spatially and Spectrally Resolved Observations of a Zebra Pattern in a Solar Decimetric Radio Burst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Bin; Bastian, T. S.; Gary, D. E.; Jing, Ju

    2011-07-01

    We present the first interferometric observation of a zebra-pattern radio burst with simultaneous high spectral (≈1 MHz) and high time (20 ms) resolution. The Frequency-Agile Solar Radiotelescope Subsystem Testbed (FST) and the Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA) were used in parallel to observe the X1.5 flare on 2006 December 14. By using OVSA to calibrate the FST, the source position of the zebra pattern can be located on the solar disk. With the help of multi-wavelength observations and a nonlinear force-free field extrapolation, the zebra source is explored in relation to the magnetic field configuration. New constraints are placed on the source size and position as a function of frequency and time. We conclude that the zebra burst is consistent with a double-plasma resonance model in which the radio emission occurs in resonance layers where the upper-hybrid frequency is harmonically related to the electron cyclotron frequency in a coronal magnetic loop.

  14. First report of zebra chip disease and Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum on potatoes in Idaho

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In September of 2011, potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers in a packing facility in (Idaho Falls???) were observed with internal discolorations suggestive of the zebra chip disease (ZC). Symptoms were observed in 1-2% of tubers of Russet Burbank and Russet Norkotah and included brown spots and streak...

  15. Assessing the potential for fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): Insight from bioenergetics models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eggleton, M.A.; Miranda, L.E.; Kirk, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Rates of annual food consumption and biomass were modeled for several fish species across representative rivers and lakes in eastern North America. Results were combined to assess the relative potential of fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Predicted annual food consumption by fishes in southern waters was over 100% greater than that in northern systems because of warmer annual water temperatures and presumed increases in metabolic demand. Although generally increasing with latitude, biomasses of several key zebra mussel fish predators did not change significantly across latitudes. Biomasses of some less abundant fish predators did increase significantly with latitude, but increases were not of the magnitude to offset predicted decreases in food consumption. Our results generally support the premise that fishes in rivers and lakes of the southern United States (U.S.) have inherently greater potential to impact zebra mussels by predation. Our simulations may provide a partial explanation of why zebra mussel invasions have not been as rapid and widespread in southern U.S. waters compared to the Great Lakes region. ?? Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.

  16. Equid herpesvirus 9 (EHV-9) isolates from zebras in Ontario, Canada, 1989 to 2007.

    PubMed

    Rebelo, Ana Rita; Carman, Susy; Shapiro, Jan; van Dreumel, Tony; Hazlett, Murray; Nagy, Éva

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this study was to identify and partially characterize 3 equid herpesviruses that were isolated postmortem from zebras in Ontario, Canada in 1989, 2002, and 2007. These 3 virus isolates were characterized by plaque morphology, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of their genomic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, and sequence analyses of the full length of the glycoprotein G (gG) gene (ORF70) and a portion of the DNA polymerase gene (ORF30). The isolates were also compared to 3 reference strains of equid herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1). Using rabbit kidney cells, the plaques for the isolates from the zebras were found to be much larger in size than the EHV-1 reference strains. The RFLP patterns of the zebra viruses differed among each other and from those of the EHV-1 reference strains. Real-time PCR and sequence analysis of a portion of the DNA polymerase gene determined that the herpesvirus isolates from the zebras contained a G at nucleotide 2254 and a corresponding N at amino acid position 752, which suggested that they could be neuropathogenic EHV-1 strains. However, subsequent phylogenetic analysis of the gG gene suggested that they were EHV-9 and not EHV-1.

  17. Draft Genome Sequence of Potato ‘Zebra Chip’ Associated Bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A new species of Candidatus Liberibacter, ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ (Lso) was recently confirmed to be associated with potato zebra chip (ZC) disease. The bacterium belongs to gram negative, phloem-limited, a-Proteobacteria. Because Koch’s postulates have not been fulfilled, information regarding the et...

  18. Potato psyllids and their bacterial allies: Two fronts in the war against zebra chip disease.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato psyllid is a major pest of potato in the western United States that transmits the pathogen that causes zebra chip disease. Potato psyllids, like all psyllids, have close associations with bacterial endosymbionts living within them. These endosymbionts may be obligate or facultative, and the...

  19. ZEBRA MUSSEL COLONIZATION OF RUSTY CRAYFISH IN GREEN BAY, LAKE MICHIGAN

    EPA Science Inventory

    In August, 1995 six rusty crayfish colonized with zebra mussels were captured in small-meshed fyke-nets sets set apart as of a fish sampling effort at Peter's Marsh and Long-Tail Point Wetland in lower Green Bay. Mussels colonized virtually all areas of the crayfish bodies, but ...

  20. Cultivation of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) within their invaded range to improve water quality in reservoirs.

    PubMed

    McLaughlan, C; Aldridge, D C

    2013-09-01

    Algal and cyanobacterial blooms in reservoirs are driven by nutrient enrichment and may present economic and conservation challenges for water managers. Current approaches such as suppression of algal growth with barley straw, ferric dosing or manipulation of fish stocks have not yielded long term successes. A possibility that has sparked growing interest is the encouragement and cultivation of natural filter feeders, such as mussels, which remove suspended matter from the water and reduce nutrient levels through biodeposition and assimilation. This review focusses on the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) as a tool for enhancement of water quality in reservoirs. Native to the Ponto-Caspian region, this species has invaded many lakes and reservoirs across North America and Western Europe, where it occurs in very high densities. While purposeful introduction of a non-native species into new sites is socially unacceptable, we investigate the possible benefits of encouraging increased abundance of zebra mussels in sites where the species is already established. We estimate that the annual nitrogen and phosphorus input into a large UK reservoir (Grafham Water) could be assimilated into zebra mussel biomass by encouraging settlement onto 3075 m and 1400 m of commercial mussel ropes, respectively. While zebra mussel cultivation has an incredible capacity to push eutrophic systems towards a clear water state, there are many risks associated with encouraging an invasive species, even within sites where it has already established. The zebra mussel is a prominent biofouler of native unionid mussels and raw water pipes, it changes the physical characteristics of the places it inhabits, in sites low in phosphorus it can be responsible for toxic cyanobacterial blooms, it alters nutrient cycling and community structure and it can have negative impacts on amenity value. Increased propagule pressure from elevated numbers of veliger larvae in the water column may increase the risk

  1. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain.

    PubMed

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  2. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    PubMed Central

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge. PMID:22611428

  3. Evaluation of the use of chlorine dioxide to control zebra mussels

    SciTech Connect

    Tsou, J.; Coyle, J.; Pallo, S.

    1995-06-01

    Chlorine dioxide was tested as a zebra mussel biocide at two steam electric generating stations in Illinois. The purpose of these studies was to determine the efficacy of chlorine dioxide in killing zebra mussels and to develop site specific treatment programs for the two utilities. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Zebra Mussel Consortium sponsored the testing of this recent use of chlorine dioxide. The raw water system at Central Illinois Public Service`s Meredosia Station, on the Illinois River, received two to four day applications of chlorine dioxide in April, July, and September 1994. The raw water system at Illinois Power Company`s Wood River Station, on the Mississippi River, received two to four day applications in July 1993, January, April, May, July, and September 1994. Chlorine dioxide was generated on-site and injected into the water intake structure, in front of or just behind the traveling screens, at both power stations. Both cooling and service water systems were treated at the facilities. Various water quality parameters, including residual chlorine in the discharge effluent, were measured during the studies. Residual chlorine was neutralized with sodium bisulfite prior to discharge at both plants. Bioboxes, containing healthy zebra mussels, were placed at various strategic locations throughout the power stations. Control bioboxes were also placed in the rivers, upstream of the chlorine dioxide injection locations. Results of the chlorine dioxide applications varied from 35 percent to 100 percent. These varied results appear to be related to seasonal water temperature differences, water quality, and/or plant design. Mortality differences were also noted in bioboxes which contained zebra mussels imported from Lake Erie and those which contained local mussels. These and other data are presented.

  4. Robotic removal of zebra mussel accumulations in a nuclear power plant screenhouse

    SciTech Connect

    Kotler, S.R.; Mallen, E.C. [Indiana Michigan Power Co. Tamms, K.M.

    1995-06-01

    Zebra mussel accumulations in the power plant intake system have increased over the last four years and have become a maintenance issue. Several treatment methods have been used, including mechanical cleaning by divers. This is limited to areas of relatively low flow velocity. Various sections of the screenhouse are not accessible except during an outage or when one of the intake tunnels can be otherwise be blocked and flow reduced. In addition, diver services are relatively costly. For the above reasons, the Indiana Michigan Power Co., Cook Nuclear Plant, contracted with ARD Environmental Inc. to develop and test a robotic system as an alternative to cleaning by divers. The first phase of this project addressed the requirement to clean the screenhouse floor in all areas, including those with high flow velocity. Subsequent phases will address robotic cleaning of other areas of the intake and the screenhouse structures. The objectives of the project were to: (1) Demonstrate the ability to deploy and retrieve a modified XT1000 vehicle in the inlet bay and screen bays; (2) Remove the accumulations of zebra mussels and possibly other pumpable material from the floor; (3) Reduce or eliminate the need for diver services and reduce overall cost of removing accumulations of zebra mussels; and, (4) Critique operations and develop recommendations for further enhancements to the robotic equipment and materials handling system. Implementation of the operating plan commenced on September 8, 1994, and was completed on October 7, 1994. The project demonstrated that robotic techniques are an efficient and cost effective alternative to diver operations for mechanical removal of zebra mussels. In particular, the robotic system was able to operate effectively in the high flow velocity areas including those at the intake tunnels. The ability to operate in the high flow areas means that zebra mussel removal may take place at any time, without affecting normal plant operations.

  5. ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF CONTINUOUS BACTERIAL TREATMENTS OVER A TWO-WEEK PERIOD ON ZEBRA MUSSEL MORTALITY

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2001-07-17

    These experiments indicated that in waters at 23 C the window of opportunity to kill zebra mussels with bacterial strain CL0145A is limited to the first two days of treatment. Treatments beyond two days will not increase mortality.

  6. Early responses to zebra mussels in the Great Lakes: a journey from information vacuum to policy and regulation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffiths, Ronald W.; Schloesser, Don W.; Kovalak, William P.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species such as zebra mussels pose a threat to the economies and environments of coastal and fresh-water habitats around the world. Consequently, it is important that government policies and programs be adequate to protect these waters from invaders. This chapter documents key events that took place in the early years (1988-1991) of zebra mussel colonization of the Laurentian Great Lakes and evaluates government responses (policies and programs) to this disruptive, invasive, freshwater species.

  7. Effect of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) on food-chain transfer of PCBs in Saginaw Bay

    SciTech Connect

    Hoof, P.L. Van; Hsieh, J.L.; Eadie, B.J.; Lansing, M.B.

    1995-12-31

    The recent invasion of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has significantly impacted the water quality of the Great Lakes. Relatively little is known about the influence of zebra mussels on contaminant cycling, and transfer to higher trophic organisms. Due to its high filtering rate and ability to rapidly establish large populations, Dreissena could potentially alter the flow of energy through the food web. In addition, this species has demonstrated a large capacity for accumulating lipophilic organic contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Thus, zebra mussels could contribute to enhanced contaminant biomagnification by serving as an additional food-chain link either through direct transfer (ingestion by fish or ducks), and/or indirectly by funneling contaminants out of the pelagic zone down to benthic invertebrates. In order to determine if zebra mussels are enhancing biomagnification of PCBs in a Saginaw Bay food web, two years of field collections of various components (water, sediment, algae, zooplankton, zebra mussel, zebra mussel feces, gammarid amphipods, fish) were analyzed for their PCB congener content. Trophic levels will be characterized using stable isotope ratios of {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N, whereas carbon sources will be identified using {sup 13}C/{sup 13}C ratios.

  8. Gene expression profiling during the byssogenesis of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha).

    PubMed

    Xu, Wei; Faisal, Mohamed

    2010-04-01

    Since its invasion to the North American waters 20 years ago, the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has negatively impacted the ecosystems through its firm underwater adhesion. The molecular mechanisms governing the functions of the zebra mussel byssus, the main structure responsible for maintaining the underwater adhesion, have received little attention. Our previously developed zebra mussel foot byssus cDNA microarray was applied in this study to identify the genes involved in different stages of the byssal threads generation. Byssal threads of zebra mussels were manually severed under laboratory conditions and the formation of new byssal threads was followed over a 3 week course. By comparing the gene expression profiles in different stages of byssal threads generation (byssogenesis) to their baseline values, we found that the number of unique byssus genes differentially expressed at 12-h, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 21 days post-treatment was 13, 13, 20, 17, 16, 20, and 29, respectively. Comparisons were also made between two subsequent samples (e.g., 12 h vs. 1, 1 vs. 2 days, 2 vs. 3 days, and so on). Seven differentially expressed genes were selected for validation by using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) and the results were consistent with those from the microarray analysis. By using fluorescent in situ hybridization, we found that two microarray identified genes, BG15_F03-DPFP and BG16_H05-EGP, were expressed in two major byssus glands located in the zebra mussel foot: the stem-forming gland and plaque-forming gland, respectively. Moreover, the qRT-PCR of seven microarray identified genes with different zebra mussel samples suggested that they were also expressed in other mussel tissues beside the foot, albeit at much lower levels. This suggested that the microarray identified genes were produced primarily by the foot, and were likely associated with byssogenesis. The differentially expressed genes identified in this study indicated that multiple

  9. Variations: Darwin's finches, sea barnacles and the side effects of antidepressants.

    PubMed

    Lieb, Julian

    2008-01-01

    "It may metaphorically be said," Darwin wrote, "that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, the slightest variations; rejecting those that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers..." Variation is a principle of nature, without which natural selection could not operate, and life exist. Darwin believed that natural selection would make nature "more and more diversified." Variation occurs in the clutch sizes of birds, the color of hair and skin, the annual temperature, in language and speech, the direction of local Magnetic North and True North, and the variation of pathogens (antigenic variation). Antidepressants act as probes, burrowing into the deepest recesses of cells, and signaling physiological and pathological information to observers. They have at least forty side effects that are not only variations, but often paradoxes that would have fascinated Charles Darwin, who had the keenest interest in the variation of the beaks of finches and in sea barnacles.

  10. Genomic variation at the tips of the adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Jaime A; Cooper, Elizabeth A; Hendry, Andrew P; Podos, Jeffrey; De León, Luis F; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; MacMillan, W Owen; Uy, J Albert C

    2016-11-01

    Adaptive radiation unfolds as selection acts on the genetic variation underlying functional traits. The nature of this variation can be revealed by studying the tips of an ongoing adaptive radiation. We studied genomic variation at the tips of the Darwin's finch radiation; specifically focusing on polymorphism within, and variation among, three sympatric species of the genus Geospiza. Using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD-seq), we characterized 32 569 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), from which 11 outlier SNPs for beak and body size were uncovered by a genomewide association study (GWAS). Principal component analysis revealed that these 11 SNPs formed four statistically linked groups. Stepwise regression then revealed that the first PC score, which included 6 of the 11 top SNPs, explained over 80% of the variation in beak size, suggesting that selection on these traits influences multiple correlated loci. The two SNPs most strongly associated with beak size were near genes associated with beak morphology across deeper branches of the radiation: delta-like 1 homologue (DLK1) and high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2). Our results suggest that (i) key adaptive traits are associated with a small fraction of the genome (11 of 32 569 SNPs), (ii) SNPs linked to the candidate genes are dispersed throughout the genome (on several chromosomes), and (iii) micro- and macro-evolutionary variation (roots and tips of the radiation) involve some shared and some unique genomic regions.

  11. VizieR Online Data Catalog: URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) (Finch+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.

    2016-04-01

    The URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) consists of 112177 parallaxes. The catalog utilizes all Northern Hemisphere epoch data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT). This data includes all individual exposures from April 2012 to June 2015 giving a larger epoch baseline for determining parallaxes over the 2-year span of the First USNO Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog (URAT1) (Zacharias et al., 2015, Cat. I/329) published data. The URAT parallax pipeline is custom code that utilizes routines from (Jao, C.-W., 2004, PhD thesis Georgia Stat), the JPL DE405 ephemeris and Green's parallax factor (Green, R.M., 1985, Spherical Astronomy) for determining parallaxes from a weighted least-squares reduction. The relative parallaxes have been corrected to absolute by using the distance color relation described in (Finch et. al, 2014, Cat. J/AJ/148/119) to determine a mean distance of all UCAC4 reference stars (R=8-16 mag) used in the astrometric reductions. Presented here are all significant parallaxes from the URAT Northern Hemisphere epoch data comprising of 2 groups: a) URAT parallax results for stars with prior published parallax, and b) first time trigonometric parallaxes as obtained from URAT data of stars without prior published parallax. Note, more stringent selection criteria have been applied to the second group than the first in order to keep the rate of false detections low. For specific information about the astrometric reductions please see 'The First U.S. Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog' published paper (Zacharias et al., 2015AJ....150..101Z, Cat. I/329). For complete details regarding the parallax pipeline please see 'Parallax Results From URAT Epoch Data' (Finch and Zacharias, 2016, AJ, in press). This catalog gives all positions on the ICRS at Epoch J2014.0; it covers the magnitude range 6.56 to 16.93 in the URAT band-pass, with an average parallax precision of 4.3mas for stars having no known

  12. A Compact Statistical Model of the Song Syntax in Bengalese Finch

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Dezhe Z.; Kozhevnikov, Alexay A.

    2011-01-01

    Songs of many songbird species consist of variable sequences of a finite number of syllables. A common approach for characterizing the syntax of these complex syllable sequences is to use transition probabilities between the syllables. This is equivalent to the Markov model, in which each syllable is associated with one state, and the transition probabilities between the states do not depend on the state transition history. Here we analyze the song syntax in Bengalese finch. We show that the Markov model fails to capture the statistical properties of the syllable sequences. Instead, a state transition model that accurately describes the statistics of the syllable sequences includes adaptation of the self-transition probabilities when states are revisited consecutively, and allows associations of more than one state to a given syllable. Such a model does not increase the model complexity significantly. Mathematically, the model is a partially observable Markov model with adaptation (POMMA). The success of the POMMA supports the branching chain network model of how syntax is controlled within the premotor song nucleus HVC, but also suggests that adaptation and many-to-one mapping from the syllable-encoding chain networks in HVC to syllables should be included in the network model. PMID:21445230

  13. Macquarie Island's Finch-Langdon fault: A ridge-transform inside-corner structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wertz, Karah L.; Mosher, Sharon; Daczko, Nathan R.; Coffin, Millard F.

    2003-08-01

    Macquarie Island consists of uplifted oceanic crust, uniquely situated in the ocean basin where it formed, thus allowing onshore structures to be placed into their regional oceanic tectonic context. The Finch-Langdon fault, the most significant spreading-related structure on the island, juxtaposes upper-crust rocks against lower-crust and upper-mantle rocks. It consists of dominantly oblique strike-slip, northwest-, west-northwest , and north-northeast striking fault segments that bear hydrothermal mineralization indicative of faulting during seafloor spreading. Talus breccias and graywackes overlain by volcanic flows proximal to the fault indicate a long-lived submarine fault scarp that exposed diabase dikes and gabbros during volcanism. Swath reflectivity and bathymetry reveal ridge-parallel spreading fabric and perpendicular fracture zones, the closest ˜7 km east of the island. On the basis of field and swath data, we propose that this fault zone formed near the inside corner of a ridge-transform intersection and that structures on the island are conformable with those in the surrounding seafloor.

  14. Effect of lesion of nucleus robustus archistriatalis on call in bramble finch (Fringilla montifringilla).

    PubMed

    Jiang, J; Li, D; Li, J; Yang, X

    2001-10-01

    The lesion of nucleus robustus archistriatalis (RA) has no effect on normal short calls in the bramble finch, but affects significantly the temporal and acoustic features of learned long calls. It causes the principal frequency of basic sound in monotone long calls to increase 500 cents, and to lose two upper partials. The lesion of RA not only results in the increased sound length of loud-sound and shortened coda of variable-tone long calls by 13.4%-22.1% and 21.2%-24.2% on average, respectively, but also makes the frequency rising coefficient (FRC) of even order partial tone in loud-sound drop 18.5%-25.8% on an average, and the step-up rate decrease 22.7% -24.0% on an average with the increase of frequencies. These results show that the control of temporal and frequency features of learned calls by RA matches to each other. Moreover, the lesion of bilateral RA can confuse the vocal pattern, and the produced long call has the character of both the mono- and variable-tone long calls. The prelude shows rising frequency, and the loud sound is monotone sound.

  15. Is Beak Morphology in Darwin’s Finches Tuned to Loading Demands?

    PubMed Central

    Soons, Joris; Genbrugge, Annelies; Podos, Jeffrey; Adriaens, Dominique; Aerts, Peter; Dirckx, Joris; Herrel, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    One of nature's premier illustrations of adaptive evolution concerns the tight correspondence in birds between beak morphology and feeding behavior. In seed-crushing birds, beaks have been suggested to evolve at least in part to avoid fracture. Yet, we know little about mechanical relationships between beak shape, stress dissipation, and fracture avoidance. This study tests these relationships for Darwin's finches, a clade of birds renowned for their diversity in beak form and function. We obtained anatomical data from micro-CT scans and dissections, which in turn informed the construction of finite element models of the bony beak and rhamphotheca. Our models offer two new insights. First, engineering safety factors are found to range between 1 and 2.5 under natural loading conditions, with the lowest safety factors being observed in species with the highest bite forces. Second, size-scaled finite element (FE) models reveal a correspondence between inferred beak loading profiles and observed feeding strategies (e.g. edge-crushing versus tip-biting), with safety factors decreasing for base-crushers biting at the beak tip. Additionally, we identify significant correlations between safety factors, keratin thickness at bite locations, and beak aspect ratio (depth versus length). These lines of evidence together suggest that beak shape indeed evolves to resist feeding forces. PMID:26068929

  16. HVC contributes toward conspecific contact call responding in male Bengalese finches.

    PubMed

    Urbano, Catherine M; Aston, Avery E; Cooper, Brenton G

    2016-05-04

    The processes of producing and acquiring birdsong, like human speech, utilize interdependent neural systems for vocal learning and production. In addition to song, these brain areas are undoubtedly used for other affiliative behaviors. Oscine sound production is lateralized because their vocal organ contains two independently controlled sound sources. Therefore, songbirds offer a unique opportunity to study the biological relevance of lateralized behavioral control. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica) produce different types of sound with each sound source: the left sound generator produces tonal frequencies from 1 to 4 kHz and the right sound source produces the lower frequency (<2 kHz) tonal and broadband sounds. We sought to investigate whether the premotor nucleus HVC contributes toward lateralized auditory processing of conspecific vocalizations. We ablated either the left or the right HVC and tested birds with the callback paradigm using female contact calls that were filtered to accentuate particular frequency ranges. The results show that (a) the acoustic frequency of call stimuli drives different patterns of calling behavior and that (b) both HVC nuclei contribute toward contact call production, but HVC ablation does not alter the number of short calls produced upon hearing a female contact call. These data are consistent with the emerging view that the motor production and auditory processing are linked and suggest that HVC may contribute toward affiliative behaviors by promoting the production of contact call responses.

  17. Bioassessment of mercury, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, and pesticides in the upper Mississippi river with Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cope, W.G.; Bartsch, M.R.; Rada, R.G.; Balogh, S.J.; Rupprecht, J.E.; Young, R.D.; Johnson, D.K.

    1999-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were sampled from artificial substrates deployed from May 30 to October 19, 1995, at 19 locks and dams from Minneapolis, MN, to Muscatine, IA. Analyses of composite tissue samples of zebra mussels (10-20-mm length) revealed accumulation of mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during a 143-d exposure period. Concentrations of total Hg ranged from 2.6 to 6.1 ng/g wet weight and methylmercury (CH3Hg) from 1.0 to 3.3 ng/g wet weight. About 50% (range 30- 70%) of the mean total Hg in zebra mussels was CH3Hg. Cadmium ranged from 76 to 213 ng/g wet weight. Concentrations of total PCBs (Aroclor 1254) in zebra mussels varied longitudinally (range 10007330 ng/g lipid weight), but the composition of PCB congeners (total of 21 measured) was similar throughout the river. Chlordane and dieldrin were the only two pesticides detected of the 15 analyzed. Zebra mussels are sentinels of contaminant bioavailability in the Upper Mississippi River and may be an important link in the trophic transfer of contaminants in the river because of their increasing importance in the diets of certain fish and waterfowl.Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were sampled from artificial substrates deployed from May 30 to October 19, 1995, at 19 locks and dams from Minneapolis, MN, to Muscatine, IA. Analyses of composite tissue samples of zebra mussels (10-20-mm length) revealed accumulation of mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during a 143-d exposure period. Concentrations of total Hg ranged from 2.6 to 6.1 ng/g wet weight and methylmercury (CH3Hg) from 1.0 to 3.3 ng/g wet weight. About 50% (range 30-70%) of the mean total Hg in zebra mussels was CH3Hg. Cadmium ranged from 76 to 213 ng/g wet weight. Concentrations of total PCBs (Aroclor 1254) in zebra mussels varied longitudinally (range 1000-7330 ng/g lipid weight), but the composition of PCB congeners (total of 21 measured) was similar throughout the

  18. Bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls by zebra mussel populations predicted on the basis of bioenergetics

    SciTech Connect

    Yankovich, T.

    1995-12-31

    Hydrophobic organic contaminants, such as PCBs, partition between several phases in aquatic environments. In order to predict contaminant partitioning and flux rates between aquatic biota and other environmental phases, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the physico-chemical properties characteristic of the contaminant of interest, in addition to exposure rates of organisms to various contaminated phases. Exposure regimes are often dictated by food availability and corresponding feeding rates necessary to meet organism energetic requirements. Therefore, a model coupling zebra mussel bioenergetics and predicted PCB bioaccumulation has been constructed to assess the impact of zebra mussel populations on organic contaminant transfer in freshwater systems. The potential impact of mussel populations on organic contaminant transfer and energy flow will be discussed.

  19. Lake Erie and Lake Michigan zebra mussel settlement monitoring and implications for chlorination treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Demoss, D.; Mendelsberg, J.I. )

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports on the 1991 zebra mussel veliger settlement monitoring program undertaken to record and evaluate zebra mussel veliger settlement in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. Studies by Dr. Gerald Mackie of Canada in 1990 indicated veliger settlement may be occurring primarily during short time periods every season corresponding with warmer water temperatures. Veliger settlement monitoring was performed using a plexiglass sampler apparatus. The samplers were simple in design and consisted of a 20-inch-square plexiglass base panel with thirty-six 1 inch {times} 3 inch clear plexiglass microscope slides attached. The results of the monitoring program indicate the existence of preferential settlement periods for veligers correlating with sustained lake water temperatures above 70{degrees}F. Veliger settlement concentrations in the south basin of Lake Michigan appear to be similar to those in western Lake Erie.

  20. Cross-effects of nickel contamination and parasitism on zebra mussel physiology.

    PubMed

    Minguez, Laëtitia; Boiché, Anatole; Sroda, Sophie; Mastitsky, Sergey; Brulé, Nelly; Bouquerel, Jonathan; Giambérini, Laure

    2012-03-01

    Aquatic organisms are exposed to pollution which may make them more susceptible to infections and diseases. The present investigation evaluated effects of nickel contamination and parasitism (ciliates Ophryoglena spp. and intracellular bacteria Rickettsiales-like organisms), alone and in combination, on biological responses of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, and also the infestation abilities of parasites, under laboratory controlled conditions. Results showed that after 48 h, more organisms were infected in nickel-exposed groups, which could be related to weakening of their immune system. Acting separately, nickel contamination and infections were already stressful conditions; however, their combined action caused stronger biological responses in zebra mussels. Our data, therefore, confirm that the parasitism in D. polymorpha represents a potential confounding factor in ecotoxicological studies that involve this bivalve.

  1. Neutron and X-ray diagnostics for SZP experiments at Zebra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darling, T.; McGee, E.; Covington, A.; Dutra, E.; Wessel, F. J.; Ruskov, E.; Rahman, H. U.; Valenzuela, J. C.; Conti, F.

    2016-10-01

    The Zebra pulsed-power generator at the Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF) of the University of Nevada produces current pulses of up to a megaamp with a rise time of 70 ns. By passing this current through a structured gas jet target, such as the Staged-Z-pinch (SZP), the project hopes to approach near energy gain conditions from fusion reactions in a pinched plasma. This article describes the setup and instrumentation at Zebra for detecting the neutron and x-ray output of the pinch and the procedures for reducing these signals to a quantitative measurement of the yields. Scintillation detectors with fast PMT detectors and activation decay measurements are the primary neutron diagnostics. These measurements are of prime importance in determining the parameters required to optimize the gas jet conditions for fusion. Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, DE-AR0000569.

  2. Testosterone induces testicular development but reduces GnRH-I fiber density in the brain of the House Finch, Carpodacus mexicanus.

    PubMed

    Deviche, Pierre; Martin, Russell K; Small, Thomas; Sharp, Peter J

    2006-06-01

    Testosterone (T) in male birds generally inhibits the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis, but the androgen can also be gonadostimulatory. The mechanisms responsible for this stimulation are unknown. To address this question, adult male House Finches, Carpodacus mexicanus, held on short day length to inhibit reproductive function, received 20-mm long T-filled Silastic capsules either for 74 days (T+; n=5; Day 1-74) or for 66 days followed by eight days without capsules (T-; n=5), or empty capsules for 74 days (controls, C, n=10). At sacrifice on Day 74, plasma T concentrations were elevated in T+ males and low, and similar in T- and C males. Testes were enlarged in T+ males (136.5+/-57.2mg), small in T- males (16.2+/-9.5 mg), and undeveloped in C males (5.4+/-3.6 mg). The three groups had similar numbers and sizes of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I immunoreactive (GnRH-I ir) perikarya, but perikaryon GnRH-I ir labelling was lighter in T+ than C males. T+ males also had lower density of GnRH-immunolabelled fibers in the preoptic area and lower intensity of GnRH immunolabelling in the median eminence than C males, suggesting an inhibition of GnRH-I neuronal activity. Plasma luteinizing hormone in the three experimental groups was uniformly low and did not differ. Thus, T administration-induced testicular development was associated with an inhibition of the reproductive neuroendocrine system, demonstrating a direct stimulatory effect of T on testes. Stimulation of testicular function by endogenous T in seasonal breeders may contribute to the rapid gonadal maturation that takes place in response to photostimulation.

  3. Baltimore City adopts a proactive approach to zebra mussel control using potassium permanganate

    SciTech Connect

    Balog, G.G.; Neimery, T.F.; Davis, L.S.

    1995-06-01

    In 1992, The Baltimore City Department of Public Works initiated aggressive, proactive measures to guard against the infiltration of zebra mussels into local reservoirs and river supplies, which provide raw and finished water to more than 1.6 million people in the City and five neighboring counties. After months of detailed study and planning, Baltimore City appropriated $3.66 million in July 1994 to construct zebra mussel control facilities. Three of the structures will house units that inject controlled doses of potassium permanganate into water intake pipes located in the Liberty and Loch Raven reservoirs and the Susquehanna River. In the event the zebra mussel makes its way into Maryland waters, the chemical would create a hostile environment for the mollusk preventing the mussels` colonization in the more than 20 miles of water tunnels that lead to area filtration plants. Though chlorine is preferred chemical for control in other municipalities, studies indicate that chlorine by-products, known as trihalomethanes, would near or exceed future Environmental Protection Agency standards (a maximum of 80 parts per billion) for drinking water. Consequently, it was decided to use potassium permanganate as the primary control chemical, with chlorine as an emergency backup. In addition, the City plans to construct a thermal control system as the Prettyboy reservoir intake to control the mussel threat without harming the thriving trout population found downstream from the dam. Baltimore City officials have also spearheaded a program using innovative posters to heighten public awareness to the potential harm that can result from the careless transportation of zebra mussels from infested to uninhabited waters. The City`s actions have helped ensure protected waters for Maryland residents and reduced the need for additional public spending to defend against the stealthy intruder.

  4. An experimental assessment of the imaging quality of the low energy gamma-ray telescope ZEBRA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butler, R. C.; Caroli, E.; Dicocco, G.; Natalucci, L.; Spada, G.; Spizzichino, A.; Stephen, J. B.; Carter, J. N.; Charalambous, P. M.; Dean, A. J.

    1985-01-01

    One gamma-ray detection plane of the ZEBRA telescope, consisting of nine position sensitive scintillation crystal bars designed to operate over the spectral range 0.2 to 10 MeV, has been constructed in the laboratory. A series of experimental images has been generated using a scaled down flight pattern mask in conjunction with a diverging gamma-ray beam. Point and extended sources have been imaged in order to assess quantitatively the performance of the system.

  5. Pharyngeal teeth of the freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) a predator of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, John R. P.

    1997-01-01

    The morphology of pharyngeal teeth of freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) was studied to determine changes that occur during growth of drum that may relate to consumption of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) by larger fish. Pharyngeal teeth were of three types. Cardiform teeth were replaced by villiform teeth, which were replaced by molariform teeth as the size class of drum increased. Molariform teeth comprised over 85% of total surface area of dentition in fish 265 mm long.

  6. Assimilation efficiency of organic contaminants from algae by the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha

    SciTech Connect

    Goldenstein, T.A.; Bruner, K.A.; Fisher, S.W.; Landrum, P.F.

    1995-12-31

    A high percent of hydrophobic contaminants in the Great Lakes are particulate bound. Due to large populations and its high filtering capacity, the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, has the potential to re-direct contaminants from the water column by removal of contaminated particles, including algae. Throughout a season, zebra mussels feed on a variety of algal species. To determine if there are algal species differences in assimilation efficiency of contaminants, the percent assimilation efficiency (%AE) of three PCB congeners and DDE from three algae species were investigated using pulse-chase methodology. Results suggest no species difference in %AE for hexachlorobiphenyl (HCBP) from the algae Chlorella vulgaris and Chlamydomonas rheinhardtii. The mean %AE of HCBP from C. vulgaris was 60.9 (SE = {+-} 4.1), as compared to 68.6 (SE = {+-} 2.9) from C. rheinhardtii. Results from additional compounds and algal species will be discussed. The results of this study will allow them to refine the mechanism of contaminant uptake in aquatic filter feeders and assess the effect of zebra mussels on contaminant cycling in the Great lakes.

  7. [Mollusc diversity in an Arca zebra (Mollusca: Bivalvia) community, Chacopata, Sucre, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Prieto, A S; Ruiz, L J; García, N; Alvarez, M

    2001-06-01

    The diversity of a subtidal epifaunal mollusk community was studied from September, 1990 to September, 1991 in Chacopata, Sucre State, Venezuela. There were 40 species (24 bivalves and 16 gastropods). The diversity indexes (H' = 2.087, J' = 0.392, 1/D = 0.528) were low when compared with other tropical zones. Monthly diversity reached its maximum in September, 1990 (1.63 bits/ind.) and July, 1991 (1.60 bits/ind.); minimum diversity occurred in June, 1991 (0.52 bits/ind.). A Log series model applied to species abundance data showed a straight line with a diversity index alpha of 5.56. Of 40 species identified, the turkeywing Arca zebra was dominant (69% in number of individuals and 72% of biomass) followed by Pinctada imbricata, Modiolus squamosus, Chama macerophyla and Anadara notabilis. The predatory snails Phyllonotus pomum, Chicoreus brevifrons and Murex recurvirostris seemed to have trophic relationships with A. zebra. The total mean biomass in wet weight (469.20 +/- 263 g m-2, shell included) was high which indicates that A. zebra, a species with a rapid growth rate, occupies a central role in the assemblage as an efficient filter feeder that converts planktonic food into available biomass, supporting one of the most important fisheries in Venezuela.

  8. Batteries: An Advanced Na-FeCl2 ZEBRA Battery for Stationary Energy Storage Application

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Guosheng; Lu, Xiaochuan; Kim, Jin Yong; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Meinhardt, Kerry D.; Engelhard, Mark H.; Sprenkle, Vincent L.

    2015-06-17

    Sodium-metal chloride batteries, ZEBRA, are considered as one of the most important electrochemical devices for stationary energy storage applications because of its advantages of good cycle life, safety, and reliability. However, sodium-nickel chloride (Na-NiCl2) batteries, the most promising redox chemistry in ZEBRA batteries, still face great challenges for the practical application due to its inevitable feature of using Ni cathode (high materials cost). In this work, a novel intermediate-temperature sodium-iron chloride (Na-FeCl2) battery using a molten sodium anode and Fe cathode is proposed and demonstrated. The first use of unique sulfur-based additives in Fe cathode enables Na-FeCl2 batteries can be assembled in the discharged state and operated at intermediate-temperature (<200°C). The results in this work demonstrate that intermediate-temperature Na-FeCl2 battery technology could be a propitious solution for ZEBRA battery technologies by replacing the traditional Na-NiCl2 chemistry.

  9. Simple Approaches to Improve the Automatic Inventory of ZEBRA Crossing from Mls Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arias, P.; Riveiro, B.; Soilán, M.; Díaz-Vilariño, L.; Martínez-Sánchez, J.

    2015-08-01

    The city management is increasingly supported by information technologies, leading to paradigms such as smart cities, where decision-makers, companies and citizens are continuously interconnected. 3D modelling turns of great relevance when the city has to be managed making use of geospatial databases or Geographic Information Systems. On the other hand, laser scanning technology has experienced a significant growth in the last years, and particularly, terrestrial mobile laser scanning platforms are being more and more used with inventory purposes in both cities and road environments. Consequently, large datasets are available to produce the geometric basis for the city model; however, this data is not directly exploitable by management systems constraining the implementation of the technology for such applications. This paper presents a new algorithm for the automatic detection of zebra crossing. The algorithm is divided in three main steps: road segmentation (based on a PCA analysis of the points contained in each cycle of collected by a mobile laser system), rasterization (conversion of the point cloud to a raster image coloured as a function of intensity data), and zebra crossing detection (using the Hough Transform and logical constrains for line classification). After evaluating different datasets collected in three cities located in Northwest Spain (comprising 25 strips with 30 visible zebra crossings) a completeness of 83% was achieved.

  10. Primary structure of pancreatic polypeptide from four species of Perissodactyla (Przewalski's horse, zebra, rhino, tapir).

    PubMed

    Henry, J S; Lance, V A; Conlon, J M

    1991-12-01

    Pancreatic polypeptide (PP) has been purified from extracts of the pancreas of four species of odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla): Przewalski's horse, mountain zebra, white rhinoceros, and mountain tapir. The amino acid sequence of Przewalski's horse pancreatic polypeptide was established as Ala-Pro-Met-Glu-Pro-Val-Tyr-Pro-Gly-Asp10-Asn- Ala-Thr-Pro-Glu-Gln-Met-Ala-Gln-Tyr20-Ala-Ala-Glu-Leu-Arg-Arg-Tyr- Ile-Asn-Met30 - Leu-Thr-Arg-Pro-Arg-Tyr.NH2. Zebra PP was identical to Przewalski's horse PP, rhinoceros PP contained three substitutions relative to the horse (Ser for Ala1, Leu for Met3, and Glu for Gln16), and tapir PP contained one substitution relative to the horse (Leu for Met3). On the basis of morphological characteristics and the fossil record, the rhinocerotids are classified with the tapirids in the suborder Ceratomorpha, whereas the horse and zebra belong to a separate suborder, Hippomorpha. On the basis of structural similarity of the PP molecules, however, it would appear that the tapir is more closely related to the horse than to the rhinoceros. These observations provide a further example of the need for extreme caution when inferring taxonomic or phylogenetic relationships between species from the structures of homologous peptides.

  11. Great Lakes clams find refuge from zebra mussels in restored, lake-connected marsh (Ohio)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, S. Jerrine; Wilcox, Douglas A.

    2004-01-01

    Since the early 1990s, more than 95 percent of the freshwater clams once found in Lake Erie have died due to the exotic zebara mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Zebra mussels attach themselves to native clams in large numbers, impeding the ability of the clams to eat and burrow. However, in 1996, we discovered a population of native clams in Metzger Marsh in western Lake Erie (about 50 miles [80 km] east of Toledo) that were thriving despite the longtime presence of zebra mussel in surrounding waters. At that time, Metzger Marsh was undergoing extensive restoration, including construction of a dike to replace the eroded barrier beach and of a water-control structure to maintain hydrologic connections with the lake (Wilcox and Whillans 1999). The restoration plan called for a drawdown of water levels to promote plant growth from the seedbank -- a process that would also destroy most of the clam population. State and federal resource managers recommended removing as many clams as possible to a site that was isolated from zebra mussels, and then returning them to the marsh after it was restored. We removed about 7,000 native clams in 1996 and moved them back to Metzger Marsh in 1999.

  12. Zebra Alphaherpesviruses (EHV-1 and EHV-9): Genetic Diversity, Latency and Co-Infections

    PubMed Central

    Abdelgawad, Azza; Damiani, Armando; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Strauss, Günter; Szentiks, Claudia A.; East, Marion L.; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2016-01-01

    Alphaherpesviruses are highly prevalent in equine populations and co-infections with more than one of these viruses’ strains frequently diagnosed. Lytic replication and latency with subsequent reactivation, along with new episodes of disease, can be influenced by genetic diversity generated by spontaneous mutation and recombination. Latency enhances virus survival by providing an epidemiological strategy for long-term maintenance of divergent strains in animal populations. The alphaherpesviruses equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) and 9 (EHV-9) have recently been shown to cross species barriers, including a recombinant EHV-1 observed in fatal infections of a polar bear and Asian rhinoceros. Little is known about the latency and genetic diversity of EHV-1 and EHV-9, especially among zoo and wild equids. Here, we report evidence of limited genetic diversity in EHV-9 in zebras, whereas there is substantial genetic variability in EHV-1. We demonstrate that zebras can be lytically and latently infected with both viruses concurrently. Such a co-occurrence of infection in zebras suggests that even relatively slow-evolving viruses such as equine herpesviruses have the potential to diversify rapidly by recombination. This has potential consequences for the diagnosis of these viruses and their management in wild and captive equid populations. PMID:27657113

  13. Genetic variability and phylogeography of the invasive zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas).

    PubMed

    Astanei, Iulian; Gosling, Elizabeth; Wilson, Jim; Powell, Eithne

    2005-05-01

    The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas), a bivalve species originally native to the Black and Caspian seas, has invaded Ireland in the last decade. Five microsatellite loci were used to investigate genetic diversity and population structure in 10 populations across Europe (Ireland, UK, the Netherlands and Romania) and the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario and Lake St Clair). Levels of allelic diversity and mean expected heterozygosity were high for all populations (mean number of alleles/locus and H(E) were 10-15.2 and 0.79-0.89, respectively). High levels of polymorphism observed in Irish populations suggest that the Irish founder population(s) were large and/or several introductions took place after foundation. Significant deficits of heterozygotes were recorded for all populations, and null alleles were the most probable factor contributing to these deficits. Pairwise comparisons using Fisher exact tests and F(ST) values revealed little genetic differentiation between Irish populations. The UK sample was not significantly differentiated from the Irish samples, most probably reflecting an English origin for Irish zebra mussels. No significant differentiation was detected between the two Great Lakes populations. Our data support a northwest rather than a central or east European source for North American zebra mussels.

  14. In-line FINCH super resolution digital holographic fluorescence microscopy using a high efficiency transmission liquid crystal GRIN lens

    PubMed Central

    Brooker, Gary; Siegel, Nisan; Rosen, Joseph; Hashimoto, Nobuyuki; Kurihara, Makoto; Tanabe, Ayano

    2014-01-01

    We report a new optical arrangement that creates high efficiency, high quality Fresnel Incoherent Correlation Holography (FINCH) holograms using polarization sensitive transmission liquid crystal gradient index (TLCGRIN) diffractive lenses. In contrast, current universal practice in the field employs reflective spatial light modulators (SLM) to separate sample and reference beams. Polarization sensitive TLCGRIN lenses enable a straight optical path, have >90% transmission efficiency, are not pixelated and are free of many limitations of reflective SLM devices. For each sample point, two spherical beams created by a glass lens in combination with a polarization sensitive TLCGRIN lens interfere, create a hologram and resultant super resolution image. PMID:24322233

  15. Infection with Mycoplasma gallisepticum buffers the effects of acute stress on innate immunity in house finches.

    PubMed

    Fratto, Melanie; Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Davis, Andrew K

    2014-01-01

    When wild animals become infected, they still must cope with the rigors of daily life, and, thus, they still can be exposed to acute stressors. The suite of physiological responses to acute stress includes modifying the innate immune system, but infections can also cause similar changes. We examined the effects of an acute stressor (capture stress) on leukocyte abundance and bacteria-killing ability (BKA) in wild birds (house finches Haemorhous mexicanus) with and without a naturally occurring infection (Mycoplasma gallisepticum) to determine whether infection alters the typical immune response to stress. Birds were captured and bled within 3 min (baseline sample) and then held in paper bags for 2 h and bled again (stress sample). From blood smears made at both time points, we obtained estimates of total white blood cell (WBC) counts and relative numbers of each cell. We also measured BKA of plasma at both time points. In uninfected birds (n = 26), total WBC count decreased by 30% over time, while in infected birds (n = 9), it decreased by 6%. Relative numbers of heterophils did not change over time in uninfected birds but increased in infected birds. Combined with a reduction in lymphocyte numbers, this led to a threefold increase in heterophil-lymphocyte values in infected birds after the stressor, compared to a twofold increase in uninfected birds. There was a nonsignificant tendency for BKA to decline with stress in uninfected birds but not in diseased birds. Collectively, these results suggest that infections can buffer the negative effects of acute stress on innate immunity.

  16. Bioassessment of mercury, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, and pesticides in the upper Mississippi River with zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cope, W. Gregory; Bartsch, Michelle; Rada, Ronald G.; Balogh, Steven J.; Rupprecht, John E.; Young, R. David; Johnson, D. Kent

    1999-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were sampled from artificial substrates deployed from May 30 to October 19, 1995, at 19 locks and dams from Minneapolis, MN, to Muscatine, IA. Analyses of composite tissue samples of zebra mussels (10-20-mm length) revealed accumulation of mercury(Hg), cadmium (Cd), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during a 143-d exposure period. Concentrations of total Hg ranged from 2.6 to 6.1 ng/g wet weight and methylmercury (CH3Hg) from 1.0 to 3.3 ng/g wet weight. About 50% (range 30-70%) of the mean total Hg in zebra mussels was CH3Hg. Cadmium ranged from 76 to 213 ng/g wet weight. Concentrations of total PCBs (Aroclor 1254) in zebra mussels varied longitudinally (range 1000-7330 ng/g lipid weight), but the composition of PCB congeners (total of 21 measured) was similar throughout the river. Chlordane and dieldrin were the only two pesticides detected of the 15 analyzed. Zebra mussels are sentinels of contaminant bioavailability in the Upper Mississippi River and may be an important link in the trophic transfer of contaminants in the river because of their increasing importance in the diets of certain fish and waterfowl.

  17. Humoral response of captive zebra sharks Stegostoma fasciatum to salivary gland proteins of the leech Branchellion torpedinis.

    PubMed

    Marancik, David P; Leary, John H; Fast, Mark M; Flajnik, Martin F; Camus, Alvin C

    2012-10-01

    Parasitism by the marine leech Branchellion torpedinis is known to cause disease and mortality in captive elasmobranchs and is difficult to control when inadvertently introduced into public aquaria. Preliminary characterization of the salivary gland transcriptome of B. torpedinis has identified anticoagulants, proteases, and immunomodulators that may be secreted into host tissues to aid leech feeding. This retrospective study examined antigen-specific serum IgM responses in captive zebra sharks Stegostoma fasciatum to leech salivary gland extract. Antibody response was examined by ELISA and Western blot assays in 20 serum samples from six zebra sharks, with a 5 year history of leech infection, and 18 serum samples from 8 captive bred zebra sharks, with no history of leech exposure. ELISA demonstrated significantly higher serum IgM titers to salivary gland extract in exposed zebra sharks compared to the non-exposed population. No obvious trends in antibody titers were appreciated in exposed zebra sharks over a four-year period. One-dimensional and two-dimensional Western blot assays revealed IgM targeted specific salivary gland proteins within the 40, 55, 70 and 90 kD range. Antigenic proteins identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and de novo peptide sequencing include a secreted disintegrin, metalloproteinase and thrombospondin motif containing protein (ADAMTS), tubulin, aldehyde dehydrogenase and two unknown proteins. Humoral immune responses to leech salivary gland proteins warrants further investigation as there may be options to exploit immune mechanisms to reduce parasite burdens in aquaria.

  18. Bioassessment of mercury, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, and pesticides in the Upper Mississippi River with zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

    SciTech Connect

    Cope, W.G.; Bartsch, M.R.; Rada, R.G.; Balogh, S.J.; Rupprecht, J.E.; Young, R.D.; Johnson, D.K.

    1999-12-15

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were sampled from artificial substrates deployed from May 30 to October 19, 1995, at 19 locks and dams from Minneapolis, MN, to Muscatine, IA. Analyses of composite tissue samples of zebra mussels revealed accumulation of mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during a 143-d exposure period. Concentrations of total Hg ranged from 2.6 to 6.1 ng/g wet weight and methylmercury (CH{sub 3}Hg) from 1.0 to 3.3 ng/g wet weight. About 50% of the mean total Hg in zebra mussels was CH{sub 3}Hg. Cadmium ranged from 76 to 213 ng/g wet weight. Concentrations of total PCBs in zebra mussels varied longitudinally, but the composition of PCB congeners was similar throughout the river. Chlordane and dieldrin were the only two pesticides detected of the 15 analyzed. Zebra mussels are sentinels of contaminant bioavailability in the Upper Mississippi River and may be an important link in the trophic transfer of contaminants in the river because of their increasing importance in the diets of certain fish and waterfowl.

  19. Evolutionary constraints on equid domestication: Comparison of flight initiation distances of wild horses (Equus caballus ferus) and plains zebras (Equus quagga).

    PubMed

    Brubaker, Alexali S; Coss, Richard G

    2015-11-01

    Habituation to humans was an essential component of horse (Equus caballus ferus) domestication, with the nondomestication of zebras (Equus quagga) possibly reflecting an adaptive constraint on habituation. We present the human hunting hypothesis, arguing that ancestral humans hunted African animals, including zebras, long enough to promote a persistent wariness of humans, whereas a briefer period of hunting horses in Central Asia influenced by glacial cycles was unlikely to produce an equally persistent wariness. An alternative habituation to humans hypothesis, prompted by field observations, posits that zebras can habituate well to nonthreatening humans given sufficient exposure. If so, other factors must account for zebra nondomestication. To examine these hypotheses, we compared the flight initiation distances (FIDs) of wild horses in the United States and plains zebras in Africa to a human approaching on foot (N = 87). We compared the flight behavior of both species at sites with low and high exposure to humans (mean humans/acre = .004 and .209, respectively). Analyses revealed a significant interaction (p = .0001) between equid species and level of human exposure. The mean FIDs of horses (146 m) and zebras (105 m) with low human exposure did not differ appreciably (p = .412), but these distances were substantially longer (p < .0001) than those of horses (17 m) and zebras (37 m) with high human exposure that did differ significantly (p < .0001). The finding that plains zebras habituate less completely to humans than horses do might reflect an adaptive response to historical hunting and partly explain their resistance to domestication.

  20. A Cryptic Invasion in the Western Atlantic: Presence of the Fouling Barnacle Megabalanus zebra (Darwin, 1854) (Crustacea, Cirripedia) in the Caribbean Sea.

    PubMed

    Pitombo, Fabio Bettini; Gobin, Judith; Abreu, Nivia Maria Nunes; Jute, Alana

    2017-02-26

    The barnacle Megabalanus zebra is largely known from ship hulls, with little information on its biology, ecology, and natural range. We identify M. zebra here from the southern Caribbean, based upon specimens collected as early as 2002. Challenges associated with identifying megabalinine species have delayed recognition of this species as distinct from other Caribbean Megabalanus. Sequenced material of M. zebra from Curaçao did not match M. zebra GenBank sequences that could be verified by descriptions or vouchered material. The presence of young M. zebra on vessels that have not left the Caribbean, as well as on pier pilings and resident buoys, indicate that this species is established in the tropical Western Atlantic Ocean, but the timing of its invasion remains unknown.

  1. Addressing Potential Cumulative Impacts of Development on Threatened Species: The Case of the Endangered Black-Throated Finch

    PubMed Central

    Vanderduys, Eric Peter; Reside, April E.; Grice, Anthony; Rechetelo, Juliana

    2016-01-01

    Where threatened biodiversity is adversely affected by development, policies often state that "no net loss" should be the goal and biodiversity offsetting is one mechanism available to achieve this. However, developments are often approved on an ad hoc basis and cumulative impacts are not sufficiently examined. We demonstrate the potential for serious threat to an endangered subspecies when multiple developments are planned. We modelled the distribution of the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta) using bioclimatic data and Queensland's Regional Ecosystem classification. We overlaid granted, extant extractive and exploratory mining tenures within the known and modelled ranges of black-throated finches to examine the level of incipient threat to this subspecies in central Queensland, Australia. Our models indicate that more than half of the remaining P. cincta cincta habitat is currently under extractive or exploratory tenure. Therefore, insufficient habitat exists to offset all potential development so "no net loss" is not possible. This has implications for future conservation of this and similarly distributed species and for resource development planning, especially the use of legislated offsets for biodiversity protection. PMID:26934622

  2. Predictors of aggressive response towards simulated intruders depend on context and sex in Crimson Finches (Neochmia phaeton).

    PubMed

    Young, Catherine Mary; Cain, Kristal Elaine; Svedin, Nina; Backwell, Patricia Ruth Yvonne; Pryke, Sarah Rosalind

    2017-02-01

    Quantifying differences in aggressive behaviour across contexts can be useful in developing an understanding of life histories and breeding systems, as well as the relative costs and benefits of such behaviour. We investigated whether age, relative body size and colouration, sex, and breeding stage influenced levels of aggressive behaviour in two contexts, towards conspecific and heterospecific intruders (mounts) around active nests of group living Crimson Finches (Neochmia phaeton). We found that when responding to a conspecific mount, relative body size, and age were important in predicting the aggressive response of males toward a conspecific, with older males and those close in size to their opponent showing a higher aggressive response. On the other hand, factors relating to female aggression were not as clear. In contrast, response to a heterospecific mount was unrelated to age, colour or size in either sex. Additionally, although birds were equally aggressive to conspecific and heterospecific mount types, we found no evidence that individuals are consistent in their level of aggression across these contexts. This suggests that aggressive behaviour in Crimson Finches is at least partially plastic and that individuals may be capable of assessing and responding to situations independently.

  3. Addressing Potential Cumulative Impacts of Development on Threatened Species: The Case of the Endangered Black-Throated Finch.

    PubMed

    Vanderduys, Eric Peter; Reside, April E; Grice, Anthony; Rechetelo, Juliana

    2016-01-01

    Where threatened biodiversity is adversely affected by development, policies often state that "no net loss" should be the goal and biodiversity offsetting is one mechanism available to achieve this. However, developments are often approved on an ad hoc basis and cumulative impacts are not sufficiently examined. We demonstrate the potential for serious threat to an endangered subspecies when multiple developments are planned. We modelled the distribution of the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta) using bioclimatic data and Queensland's Regional Ecosystem classification. We overlaid granted, extant extractive and exploratory mining tenures within the known and modelled ranges of black-throated finches to examine the level of incipient threat to this subspecies in central Queensland, Australia. Our models indicate that more than half of the remaining P. cincta cincta habitat is currently under extractive or exploratory tenure. Therefore, insufficient habitat exists to offset all potential development so "no net loss" is not possible. This has implications for future conservation of this and similarly distributed species and for resource development planning, especially the use of legislated offsets for biodiversity protection.

  4. Biodeposition and uptake of polychlorinated biphenyls and cadmium by zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (RAC project number 594g): Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Dobson, E.; Mackie, G.L.

    1996-12-31

    This report describes investigations of the biodeposition and accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and cadmium by zebra mussels in western Lake Erie and Hamilton Harbour. A general introduction reviews the characteristics of PCBs and cadmium, contaminant cycling and bioavailability, and the uptake and deposition of contaminants by zebra mussels. Section two describes the investigation of the effects on PCB and cadmium sedimentation of zebra mussel biodeposition. Methodology involved using sediment traps, each containing 300-500 mussels, deployed at selected sites at two depths (near the top and the bottom of the water column). Biodeposition models are proposed and field results are compared to predictions of correlations with the factors thought to affect deposition. The third section describes the investigation of PCB and cadmium accumulation by mussels in which mussel tissue samples were collected and analyzed. Bioaccumulation models are also proposed and field results are compared with predictions. Finally, potential ecological implications of the results are discussed.

  5. Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) limit food for larval fish (Pimephales promelas) in turbulent systems: a bioenergetics analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartsch, L.A.; Richardson, W.B.; Sandheinrich, M.B.

    2003-01-01

    We conducted a factorial experiment, in outdoor mesocosms, on the effects of zebra mussels and water column mixing (i.e., turbulence) on the diet, growth, and survival of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Significant (P < 0.05) larval mortality occurred by the end of the experiment with the highest mortality (90%) occurring in the presence of both turbulence and zebra mussels, whereas mortality was 37% in treatment with turbulence and 17% and 18% in the zebra mussels treatment, and the control, respectively. The size of individual fish was significantly different among treatments at the end of the experiment and was inversely related to survival. Levels of trophic resources (i.e., phyto and zooplankton) varied among treatments and were treatment specific. Turbulent mixing facilitated removal of phytoplankton by zebra mussels by making the entire water column of the tanks available to these benthic filter feeders. Early in the experiment (Day = 0 to 14) the physical process of turbulent mixing likely caused a reduction in standing stocks of zooplankton. The interactive effect of turbulence and mussels reduced copepod and rotifer stocks, through physical processes and through filtration by zebra mussels, relative to the turbulence treatment. The reductions in the number of total zooplankton in the turbulent mixing mesocosms and the further reduction of rotifer and copepod in the turbulence and mussels treatment coincided with a period of increased reliance of larval fathead minnows on these prey. Estimates of consumption from bioenergetics modeling and measured prey standing stocks indicated caloric resources of suitable prey in turbulence treatments during the early weeks of the experiment were insufficient to prevent starvation. Early mortality in the turbulence and mussels treatment likely released surviving fish from intense intraspecific competition and resulted in higher individual growth rates. A combination of high abundance of zebra mussels in an

  6. Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) limit food for larval fish (Pimephales promelas) in turbulent systems: A bioenergetics analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartsch, L.A.; Richardson, W.B.; Sandheinrich, M.B.

    2003-01-01

    We conducted a factorial experiment, in outdoor mesocosms, on the effects of zebra mussels and water column mixing (i.e., turbulence) on the diet, growth, and survival of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Significant (P < 0.05) larval mortality occurred by the end of the experiment with the highest mortality (90%) occurring in the presence of both turbulence and zebra mussels, whereas mortality was 37% in treatment with turbulence and 17% and 18% in the zebra mussels treatment, and the control, respectively. The size of individual fish was significantly different among treatments at the end of the experiment and was inversely related to survival. Levels of trophic resources (i.e., phyto and zooplankton) varied among treatments and were treatment specific. Turbulent mixing facilitated removal of phytoplankton by zebra mussels by making the entire water column of the tanks available to these benthic filter feeders. Early in the experiment (Day = 0 to 14) the physical process of turbulent mixing likely caused a reduction in standing stocks of zooplankton. The interactive effect of turbulence and mussels reduced copepod and rotifer stocks, through physical processes and through filtration by zebra mussels, relative to the turbulence treatment. The reductions in the number of total zooplankton in the turbulent mixing mesocosms and the further reduction of rotifer and copepod in the turbulence and mussels treatment coincided with a period of increased reliance of larval fathead minnows on these prey. Estimates of consumption from bioenergetics modeling and measured prey standing stocks indicated caloric resources of suitable prey in turbulence treatments during the early weeks of the experiment were insufficient to prevent starvation. Early mortality in the turbulence and mussels treatment likely released surviving fish from intense intraspecific competition and resulted in higher individual growth rates. A combination of high abundance of zebra mussels in an

  7. Effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations on survivorship in zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea)

    SciTech Connect

    McMahon, R.F.; Matthews, M.A.; Shaffer, L.R.; Johnson, P.D.

    1995-06-01

    In order to determine their tolerance to elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide, Asian clams and zebra mussels were collected. Subsamples of both species were acclimated to 25{degrees}C>14 days and then exposed in water at 25{degrees}C to various concentrations of CO{sub 2} and survivorship recorded. Zebra mussels were allowed to byssally attach prior to testing. Media CO{sub 2} concentrations were maintained by continuous bubbling with appropriate gas mixtures. Gas treatment included: (1) anoxia; (2) hypercapnic anoxia; and (3) hypercapnic normoxia. Deaths were recorded in subsamples of both species every 12-24 h until 100% mortality was achieved. No significant mortality occurred among specimens of either species in air bubbled control media in any experiment. Mortality time of zebra mussels exposed to anoxia under 100% N{sub 2} was 103.7 h and of Asian clams, 349.7 h. Mortality was more rapid among samples of both species exposed to anoxia under 100% CO{sub 2}, mean time to death being 43.6 h for zebra mussels and 46.3 h for Asian clams. There was no difference in the survivorship of samples of either species under atmospheres of either 5% CO{sub 2} and 95% N{sub 2} or 100% N{sub 2}, however, Asian clams survived anoxia under either atmosphere 4 to 5 times longer than did zebra mussels. There was no significant mortality among Asian clam or zebra mussel samples after a 39 day exposure to hypercapnic normoxia. While exposure to hypercapnic normoxia under an atmosphere of 5% CO{sub 2}:19% O{sub 2}:76% N{sub 2} did not induce mortality in zebra mussel samples, it completely suppressed all byssal thread production after 7 days of exposure and induced all sampled individuals to release from their byssal attachments within 10 days of exposure. These results indicate that CO{sub 2} injection may be an easily applied, cost-effective, environmentally acceptable molluscicide for mitigation and control of raw water system macrofouling by Asian clams and zebra mussels.

  8. Larvae of Chironomids (Insecta, Diptera) Encountered in the Mantle Cavity of Zebra Mussels, Dreissena polymorpha (Bivalvia, Dreissenidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastitsky, Sergey E.; Samoilenko, Vera M.

    2005-02-01

    The paper includes data on species composition of chironomid larvae which were encountered in the mantle cavity of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) within 7 waterbodies in the Republic of Belarus. All were found to be free-living species commonly present in periphyton and/or benthos. A long-term study of the seasonal dynamics of these larvae in Dreissena did not reveal any typical pattern. Our data suppose that chironomids do not have an obligate association with zebra mussels and possibly enter their mantle cavity inadvertently.

  9. Temperature dependent growth rates of the upper-hybrid waves and solar radio zebra patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benáček, J.; Karlický, M.; Yasnov, L. V.

    2017-02-01

    Context. The zebra patterns observed in solar radio emission are very important for flare plasma diagnostics. The most promising model of these patterns is based on double plasma resonance instability, which generates upper-hybrid waves, which can be then transformed into the zebra emission. Aims: We aim to study in detail the double plasma resonance instability of hot electrons, together with a much denser thermal background plasma. In particular, we analyse how the growth rate of the instability depends on the temperature of both the hot plasma and background plasma components. Methods: We numerically integrated the analysed model equations, using Python and Wolfram Mathematica. Results: We found that the growth-rate maxima of the upper-hybrid waves for non-zero temperatures of both the hot and background plasma are shifted towards lower frequencies comparing to the zero temperature case. This shift increases with an increase of the harmonic number s of the electron cyclotron frequency and temperatures of both hot and background plasma components. We show how this shift changes values of the magnetic field strength estimated from observed zebras. We confirmed that for a relatively low hot electron temperature, the dependence of growth rate vs. both the ratio of the electron plasma and electron cyclotron frequencies expresse distinct peaks, and by increasing this temperature these peaks become smoothed. We found that in some cases, the values of wave number vector components for the upper-hybrid wave for the maximal growth rate strongly deviate from their analytical estimations. We confirmed the validity of the assumptions used when deriving model equations.

  10. Body size-dependent Cd accumulation in the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha from different routes.

    PubMed

    Tang, Wen-Li; Evans, Douglas; Kraemer, Lisa; Zhong, Huan

    2017-02-01

    Understanding body size-dependent metal accumulation in aquatic organisms (i.e., metal allometry) is critical in interpreting biomonitoring data. While growth has received the most attention, little is known about controls of metal exposure routes on metal allometry. Here, size-dependent Cd accumulation in zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) from different routes were investigated by exposing mussels to A.((111)Cd spiked algae+(113)Cd spiked river water) or B.((111)Cd spiked sediments+(113)Cd spiked river water). After exposure, (111)Cd or (113)Cd levels in mussel tissue were found to be negatively correlated with tissue weight, while Cd allometry coefficients (b values) were dependent on Cd exposure routes: -0.664 for algae, -0.241 for sediments and -0.379 for river water, compared to -0.582 in un-exposed mussels. By comparing different Cd exposure routes, we found that size-dependent Cd bioaccumulation from algae or river water could be more responsible for the overall size-dependent Cd accumulation in mussels, and the relative importance of the two sources was dependent on mussel size ranges: Cadmium obtained from algae (algae-Cd) was more important in size-dependent Cd accumulation in smaller mussels (tissue dry weight < 5 mg), while river water-Cd became more important in larger individuals (tissue dry weight > 5 mg). In contrast, sediment-Cd contributed only a small amount to Cd accumulation in zebra mussels and may have little effect on size-dependent Cd bioaccumulation. Our results suggest that size-dependent Cd accumulation in mussels could be largely affected by exposure routes, which should be considered when trying to interpret Cd biomonitoring data of zebra mussels.

  11. Comparative analysis of theories of zebra-pattern in solar radio emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlotnik, E.

    2007-08-01

    Strong and weak aspects of different theories of fine structure on solar radio emission dynamic spectra observed as several or numerous quasi- equidistant bands of enhanced and reduced radiation (zebra-pattern) are discussed. Most of works proposing zebra-pattern interpretation is based on plasma mechanism of radio emission generation which consists of exciting plasma (electrostatic) waves and their succeeding transformation into electromagnetic emission. Plasma waves arise due to kinetic or hydrodynamic instability at the upper hybrid frequencies (at the levels of double plasma resonance in a distributed source) or at the electron gyrofrequency harmonics (Bernstein modes in a compact source with quasi-uniform magnetic field). The reason for the instability is occurrence of a number of electrons with nonequilibrium distribution over velocities perpendicular to magnetic field. Radio emission escaping from the source is a result of nonlinear coalescence of plasma waves with low frequency or high frequency waves which does not break the harmonic character of spectrum. A significant number of works is devoted to considering whistlers as a main reason for occurring stripes in emission and absorption on dynamic spectra. Whistlers are also believed to be excited by a group of nonequilibrium electrons, and then some nonlinear processes including whistler interaction result in specific frequency spectrum with enhanced and reduced radiation stripes. An alternative theory of zebra-pattern origin suggests the presence of a compact source with trapped plasma waves in the corona. The trapped waves in a confined space easily provide discrete spectrum. One more interpretation is based on special effects that may occur when radio waves are propagating through non-uniform coronal plasma: the alternate bright and dark stripes on dynamic spectra are supposed to be a result of radio wave interference or diffraction on some periodical structure in the solar corona. All suggested

  12. "A Zebra in the Water": Inspiring Science in Spain.

    PubMed

    Guerra-Varela, Jorge; Cabezas-Sainz, Pablo; Yebra-Pimentel, Elena; Gutiérrez-Lovera, Carlha; Cedrón, Vanessa P; Otero Obarrio, Mónica A; Sciara, Andrés A; Rodríguez, Noemí; Araujo, Juan; Millán, Adrián; Sánchez, Laura

    2016-08-01

    The zebrafish model can play a role in education because of its suitability for manipulation and attractiveness to students compared to traditional lecture-based instruction. Furthermore, zebrafish offer advantages over other model species. Seeing as fewer and fewer students are entering science degree programs, this project has been developed to encourage scientific vocations among secondary school students. To do so, an aquarium was given to 114 schools so that they could look after adult zebrafish, mate them, and visualize embryo development. For training on more sophisticated techniques, a virtual tool was developed to simulate a real genetics laboratory on a personal computer. Results based on teachers' feedback indicate that the students were fully dedicated to the project and achieved better understanding of genetic concepts and techniques. These results demonstrate the potential of alternative teaching methods for engaging students in science learning.

  13. Spectrum of MHC Class II Variability in Darwin’s Finches and Their Close Relatives

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Akie; Tichy, Herbert; Grant, Peter R.; Grant, B. Rosemary; Sato, Tetsuji; O’hUigin, Colm

    2011-01-01

    The study describes >400 major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II B exon 2 and 114 intron 2 sequences of 36 passerine bird species, 13 of which belong to the group of Darwin’s finches (DFs) and the remaining 23 to close or more distant relatives of DFs in Central and South America. The data set is analyzed by a combination of judiciously selected statistical methods. The analysis reveals that reliable information concerning MHC organization, including the assignment of sequences to loci, and evolution, as well as the process of species divergence, can be obtained in the absence of genomic sequence data, if the analysis is taken several steps beyond the standard phylogenetic tree construction approach. The main findings of the present study are these: The MHC class II B region of the passerine birds is as elaborate in its organization, divergence, and genetic diversity as the MHC of the eutherian mammals, specifically the primates. Hence, the reported simplicity of the fowl MHC is an oddity. With the help of appropriate markers, the divergence of the MHC genes can be traced deep in the phylogeny of the bird taxa. Transspecies polymorphism is rampant at many of the bird MHC loci. In this respect, the DFs behave as if they were a single, genetically undifferentiated population. There is thus far no indication of alleles that could be considered species, genus, or even DF group specific. The implication of these findings is that DFs are in the midst of adaptive radiations, in which morphological differentiation into species is running ahead of genetic differentiation in genetic systems such as the MHC or the mitochondrial DNA. The radiations are so young that there has not been enough time to sort out polymorphisms at most of the loci among the morphologically differentiating species. These findings parallel those on Lake Victoria haplochromine fishes. Several of the DF MHC allelic lineages can be traced back to the MHC genes of the species Tiaris obscura<