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Sample records for photoperiodic songbird express

  1. Concurrent hypothalamic gene expression under acute and chronic long days: Implications for initiation and maintenance of photoperiodic response in migratory songbirds.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Ila; Bhardwaj, Sanjay K; Malik, Shalie; Kumar, Vinod

    2017-01-05

    Hypothalamic expression of the thyroid hormone (TH) responsive gonadostimulatory (eya3, cga, tshβ, dio2, dio3, gnrh, gnih) and neurosteroid pathway genes (androgen receptor [ar], aromatase [cyp19], estrogen receptor [er] α and β) was examined in photosensitive redheaded buntings exposed to 2 (acute, experiment 1) or 12 (chronic, experiment 2) long days (16L:8D). Experiment 2 also included a photorefractory group. Acute long days caused a significant increase in eya3, cga, tshβ, dio2 and gnrh and decrease in dio3 mRNA levels. eya3, cga and tshβ expressions were unchanged after the chronic long days. We also found increased cyp19, erα and erβ mRNA levels after acute, and increased cyp19 and decreased erβ levels after the chronic long-day exposure. Photorefractory buntings showed expression patterns similar to that in the photosensitive state, except for high gnrh and gnih and low dio3 mRNA levels. Consistent with gene expression patterns, there were changes in fat deposition, body mass, testis size, and plasma levels of testosterone, tri-iodothyronine and thyroxine. These results show concurrent photostimulation of the TH-signalling and neurosteroid pathways, and extend the idea, based on differences in gene expression, that transitions in seasonal photoperiodic states are accomplished at the transcriptional levels in absolute photorefractory species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Adaptation of oxidative phosphorylation to photoperiod-induced seasonal metabolic states in migratory songbirds.

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Amit Kumar; Malik, Shalie; Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2015-06-01

    Eukaryotic cells produce chemical energy in the form of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation of metabolic fuels via a series of enzyme mediated biochemical reactions. We propose that the rates of these reactions are altered, as per energy needs of the seasonal metabolic states in avian migrants. To investigate this, blackheaded buntings were photoperiodically induced with non-migratory, premigratory, migratory and post-migratory phenotypes. High plasma levels of free fatty acids, citrate (an intermediate that begins the TCA cycle) and malate dehydrogenase (mdh, an enzyme involved at the end of the TCA cycle) confirmed increased availability of metabolic reserves and substrates to the TCA cycle during the premigratory and migratory states, respectively. Further, daily expression pattern of genes coding for enzymes involved in the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA (pdc and pdk) and oxidative phosphorylation in the TCA cycle (cs, odgh, sdhd and mdh) was monitored in the hypothalamus and liver. Reciprocal relationship between pdc and pdk expressions conformed with the altered requirements of acetyl-CoA for the TCA cycle in different metabolic states. Except for pdk, all genes had a daily expression pattern, with high mRNA expression during the day in the premigratory/migratory phenotypes, and at night (cs, odhg, sdhd and mdh) in the nonmigratory phenotype. Differences in mRNA expression patterns of pdc, sdhd and mdh, but not of pdk, cs and odgh, between the hypothalamus and liver indicated a tissue dependent metabolism in buntings. These results suggest the adaptation of oxidative phosphorylation pathway(s) at gene levels to the seasonal alternations in metabolism in migratory songbirds.

  3. Dietary phytoestrogens and photoperiodic response in a male songbird, the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis).

    PubMed

    Corbitt, Cynthia; Satre, Danielle; Adamson, Larry A; Cobbs, Gary A; Bentley, George E

    2007-01-01

    Many commercial bird diets are made with soy products that contain phytoestrogens (i.e., plant compounds that have weak agonist activity at estrogen receptors), but the effects of these compounds on bird physiology and behavior are largely unknown. The primary phytoestrogens present in soy are the isoflavones genistin and diadzin, which have been shown to affect reproductive measures in many taxa. Two groups of wild-caught male Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) were fed a diet either made with water-washed soy protein (soy(+)) or made with soy protein that had been alcohol-washed to extract isoflavones (soy(-)). Both groups exhibited a photoperiodic response to long days. Plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations increased within the first week of long day (LD) exposure for both groups, and over the course of the experiment LH was higher in the soy(+) group, although concentrations for both groups were lower than have been reported in free-living juncos. The rate of cloacal protuberance (CP) growth was significantly affected by diet, with the soy(-) birds beginning to increase their CPs about a week faster than soy(+) birds after exposure to LD. There was no group difference in food intake, fat score, body mass, or behavioral measures during the study or in testis weight at the end of the study. Although effects of dietary phytoestrogens detected were subtle (i.e., rate of CP growth), those investigating subtle effects of hormonally active substances (e.g., endocrine disruptors) or environmental cues affecting the reproductive axis in songbirds may want to consider eliminating phytoestrogens from their experimental diets.

  4. Daily Cycles in Body Temperature in a Songbird Change with Photoperiod and Are Weakly Circadian.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Alistair

    2017-04-01

    Although it is well known that body temperature (Tb) is higher during the day in diurnal birds than at night, no data are available regarding exactly how Tb varies during a 24-h period, how this differs under different photoperiods, and how it responds to a change in photoperiod. This study used implanted temperature loggers in starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris) to address these questions. The duration of elevated Tb was directly related to photoperiod, but the amplitude of the daily cycle was significantly greater under shorter photoperiods. Under all photoperiods, Tb started to increase before dawn and continued to increase after dawn; there was no sudden change associated with dawn. In contrast, Tb decreased immediately and rapidly at dusk (significantly by 15 min). The daily cycle in Tb rapidly adjusted to a change in photoperiod. Following an acute increase in photoperiod, Tb increased immediately at the new earlier dawn but did not decrease until the new later dusk. Following a decrease in photoperiod, Tb did not increase after the time of the missed dawn; it only increased after the new later dawn. It decreased at the new earlier dusk. Following transfer to constant darkness, there was a moderate increase in Tb around the missed dawn, but then Tb gradually decreased before the missed dusk to lower values than during the previous night. The results suggest that the daily cycle in Tb is weakly circadian and may be entrained by dusk rather than dawn.

  5. Photoperiodic regulation of hypothalamic neuropeptide messenger RNA expression: effect of pinealectomy and neuroanatomical location.

    PubMed

    Duncan, M J

    1998-06-01

    Seasonal changes in daylength (photoperiod) affect many aspects of mammalian physiology and behavior, including reproduction, metabolism, thermoregulation, and sleep. The circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) regulates these photoperiodic changes. Our studies of the Siberian hamster SCN have shown that two types of neuropeptide-containing neurons, vasopressin (AVP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) neurons, respond to short photoperiod by decreasing mRNA expression. The present studies investigated whether photoperiodic inhibition of mRNA expression also occurs in somatostatin-synthesizing neurons in the SCN, depends upon the pineal gland, and occurs in neurons in other hypothalamic nuclei. Juvenile Siberian hamsters exposed to either long photoperiod (16 h light/day) or short photoperiod (10 h light/day) for 2 weeks after weaning, were used for these studies. Coronal sections throughout the SCN were prepared and processed for in situ hybridization. The results showed that photoperiod decreased the expression of AVP mRNA and VIP mRNA in the SCN, as seen previously, but not somatostatin mRNA. Furthermore, pinealectomy did not attenuate the short photoperiod inhibition of AVP mRNA and VIP mRNA expression in the SCN. Also, short photoperiod inhibition of AVP mRNA expression was found in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei, as well as in the SCN. These results show that short photoperiod inhibition of mRNA expression is partially selective among the neuropeptides, but is not restricted to the SCN. Furthermore, these findings suggest that photoperiodic regulation of neuropeptide mRNA expression is independent of pineal melatonin secretion and gonadal steroid secretion. Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Extra-hypothalamic brain clocks in songbirds: Photoperiodic state dependent clock gene oscillations in night-migratory blackheaded buntings, Emberiza melanocephala.

    PubMed

    Singh, Devraj; Kumar, Vinod

    2017-04-01

    The avian circadian pacemaker system is comprised of independent clocks in the retina, pineal and hypothalamus, as shown by daily and circadian oscillations of core clock genes (Per2, Cry1, Bmal1 and Clock) in several birds including migratory blackheaded buntings (Emberiza melanocephala). This study investigated the extra-hypothalamic brain circadian clocks in blackheaded buntings, and measured Per2, Cry1, Cry2, Bmal1 and Clock mRNA expressions at 4h intervals over 24h beginning 1h after light-on in the left and right telencephalon, optic tectum and cerebellum, the brain regions involved in several physiological and cognitive functions. Because of seasonal alterations in the circadian clock dependent brain functions, we measured daily clock gene oscillations in buntings photoperiod-induced with the non-migratory state under short days (SDnM), and the pre-migratory (LDpM), migratory (LDM) and post-migratory (refractory, LDR) states under long days. Daily Per2 oscillations were not altered with changes in the photoperiodic states, except for about 2-3h phase difference in the optic tectum between the SDnM and LDpM states. However, there were about 3-5h differences in the phase and 2 to 4 fold change in the amplitude of daily Bmal1 and Cry1 mRNA oscillations between the photoperiod-induced states. Further, Cry2 and Clock genes lacked a significant oscillation, except in Cb (Cry2) and TeO and Rt (Clock) under LDR state. Overall, these results show the presence of circadian clocks in extra-hypothalamic brain regions of blackheaded buntings, and suggest tissue-dependent alterations in the waveforms of mRNA oscillations with transitions in the photoperiod-induced seasonal states in a long-day species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. QTL analysis of photoperiod sensitivity in common buckwheat by using markers for expressed sequence tags and photoperiod-sensitivity candidate genes

    PubMed Central

    Hara, Takashi; Iwata, Hiroyoshi; Okuno, Kazutoshi; Matsui, Katsuhiro; Ohsawa, Ryo

    2011-01-01

    Photoperiod sensitivity is an important trait related to crop adaptation and ecological breeding in common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench). Although photoperiod sensitivity in this species is thought to be controlled by quantitative trait loci (QTLs), no genes or regions related to photoperiod sensitivity had been identified until now. Here, we identified QTLs controlling photoperiod sensitivity by QTL analysis in a segregating F4 population (n = 100) derived from a cross of two autogamous lines, 02AL113(Kyukei SC2)LH.self and C0408-0 RP. The F4 progenies were genotyped with three markers for photoperiod-sensitivity candidate genes, which were identified based on homology to photoperiod-sensitivity genes in Arabidopsis and 76 expressed sequence tag markers. Among the three photoperiod-sensitivity candidate genes (FeCCA1, FeELF3 and FeCOL3) identified in common buckwheat, FeELF3 was associated with photoperiod sensitivity. Two EST regions, Fest_L0606_4 and Fest_L0337_6, were associated with photoperiod sensitivity and explained 20.0% and 14.2% of the phenotypic variation, respectively. For both EST regions, the allele from 02AL113(Kyukei SC2)LH.self led to early flowering. An epistatic interaction was also confirmed between Fest_L0606_4 and Fest_L0337_6. These results demonstrate that photoperiod sensitivity in common buckwheat is controlled by a pathway consisting of photoperiod-sensitivity candidate genes as well as multiple gene action. PMID:23136477

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Photoperiod history-dependent responses to intermediate day lengths engage hypothalamic iodothyronine deiodinase type III mRNA expression.

    PubMed

    Kampf-Lassin, August; Prendergast, Brian J

    2013-04-15

    Perihypothalamic thyroid hormone signaling features prominently in the seasonal control of reproductive physiology. Triiodothyronine (T(3)) signaling stimulates gonadal development, and decrements in T(3) signaling are associated with gonadal regression. Type 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO3) converts the prohormone thyroxine (T(4)) into biologically inactive 3,3',5'-triiodothyronine, and in long-day breeding Siberian hamsters exposure to long (LD) and short (SD) photoperiods, respectively, inhibit and stimulate hypothalamic dio3 mRNA expression. Reproductive responses to intermediate-duration photoperiods (IntD) occur in a history-dependent manner; IntDs are interpreted as inhibitory only when preceded by longer photoperiods. Because dio3 expression has only been evaluated under LD or SD photoperiods, it is not known whether hypothalamic dio3 encodes absolute photoperiod duration or the reproductive interpretation of photoperiod. Male Siberian hamsters with and without a prior history of LD were exposed to IntD photoperiods, and hypothalamic dio3 mRNA expression was measured 6 wk later. Hamsters with a LD photoperiod history exhibited gonadal regression in IntD and a marked upregulation of hypothalamic dio3 expression, whereas in hamsters without prior exposure to LD, gonadal responses to IntD were absent, and dio3 expression remained low. Patterns of deiodinase expression in hamsters maintained in chronic IntD photoperiods did not appear to reflect feedback effects of gonadal status. Hypothalamic expression of dio3 does not exclusively reflect ambient photoperiod, but rather the context-dependent reproductive interpretation of photoperiod. Neuroendocrine mechanisms that compare current and prior photoperiods, which permit detection of directional changes in day length, occur either upstream, or at the level, of hypothalamic dio3 expression.

  10. Influence of photoperiod on expression of DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferases in Atlantic cod.

    PubMed

    Giannetto, Alessia; Nagasawa, Kazue; Fasulo, Salvatore; Fernandes, Jorge M O

    2013-05-01

    Photoperiod manipulation during early juvenile stages can influence growth in Atlantic cod. In the present study, one group of cod juveniles were reared under natural photoperiod conditions for Bodø (67° N, 14° E), whereas their counterparts were kept under continuous illumination. The mean weight of juvenile cod reared under continuous illumination was found to be 13% greater than those kept under natural photoperiod after 120days of light treatment. The molecular basis of this phenotypic plasticity is currently unknown but it is likely that DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferases (dnmts) are involved, since these genes play a crucial role in epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Phylogenetic analysis of Atlantic cod dnmt1, dnmt2 and dnmt3a revealed that within each group, the phylogeny follows the taxonomic relationship between the various species and comparative mapping of dnmt paralogues showed that these genes lie within regions of conserved synteny amongst teleosts. Of the three dnmt paralogues, dnmt3a had the highest expression in fast muscle of adult cod. In addition, dnmt1 and dnmt2 were differentially expressed between tissues but with prominent expression in gonads. Dnmt1 and dnmt3a transcript levels showed a significant increase in fast muscle of juvenile cod from the continuous light group at several time points. Remarkably, dnmt1 and dnmt3a transcript levels were 2-fold higher at 120days, by which point photoperiod conditions between the two light groups had become identical. Our data revealed that photoperiod can have an extended effect on expression of dnmt genes, which may be involved in the epigenetic regulation of muscle growth by photoperiod in Atlantic cod.

  11. Photoperiod influences growth and mll (mixed-lineage leukaemia) expression in Atlantic cod.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

  13. Genomic resources for songbird research and their use in characterizing gene expression during brain development

    PubMed Central

    Li, XiaoChing; Wang, Xiu-Jie; Tannenhauser, Jonathan; Podell, Sheila; Mukherjee, Piali; Hertel, Moritz; Biane, Jeremy; Masuda, Shoko; Nottebohm, Fernando; Gaasterland, Terry

    2007-01-01

    Vocal learning and neuronal replacement have been studied extensively in songbirds, but until recently, few molecular and genomic tools for songbird research existed. Here we describe new molecular/genomic resources developed in our laboratory. We made cDNA libraries from zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brains at different developmental stages. A total of 11,000 cDNA clones from these libraries, representing 5,866 unique gene transcripts, were randomly picked and sequenced from the 3′ ends. A web-based database was established for clone tracking, sequence analysis, and functional annotations. Our cDNA libraries were not normalized. Sequencing ESTs without normalization produced many developmental stage-specific sequences, yielding insights into patterns of gene expression at different stages of brain development. In particular, the cDNA library made from brains at posthatching day 30–50, corresponding to the period of rapid song system development and song learning, has the most diverse and richest set of genes expressed. We also identified five microRNAs whose sequences are highly conserved between zebra finch and other species. We printed cDNA microarrays and profiled gene expression in the high vocal center of both adult male zebra finches and canaries (Serinus canaria). Genes differentially expressed in the high vocal center were identified from the microarray hybridization results. Selected genes were validated by in situ hybridization. Networks among the regulated genes were also identified. These resources provide songbird biologists with tools for genome annotation, comparative genomics, and microarray gene expression analysis. PMID:17426146

  14. Parallel FoxP1 and FoxP2 expression in songbird and human brain predicts functional interaction.

    PubMed

    Teramitsu, Ikuko; Kudo, Lili C; London, Sarah E; Geschwind, Daniel H; White, Stephanie A

    2004-03-31

    Humans and songbirds are two of the rare animal groups that modify their innate vocalizations. The identification of FOXP2 as the monogenetic locus of a human speech disorder exhibited by members of the family referred to as KE enables the first examination of whether molecular mechanisms for vocal learning are shared between humans and songbirds. Here, in situ hybridization analyses for FoxP1 and FoxP2 in a songbird reveal a corticostriatal expression pattern congruent with the abnormalities in brain structures of affected KE family members. The overlap in FoxP1 and FoxP2 expression observed in the songbird suggests that combinatorial regulation by these molecules during neural development and within vocal control structures may occur. In support of this idea, we find that FOXP1 and FOXP2 expression patterns in human fetal brain are strikingly similar to those in the songbird, including localization to subcortical structures that function in sensorimotor integration and the control of skilled, coordinated movement. The specific colocalization of FoxP1 and FoxP2 found in several structures in the bird and human brain predicts that mutations in FOXP1 could also be related to speech disorders.

  15. Photoperiod regulates multiple gene expression in the suprachiasmatic nuclei and pars tuberalis of the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Johnston, Jonathan D; Ebling, Francis J P; Hazlerigg, David G

    2005-06-01

    Photoperiod regulates the seasonal physiology of many mammals living in temperate latitudes. Photoperiodic information is decoded by the master circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus and then transduced via pineal melatonin secretion. This neurochemical signal is interpreted by tissues expressing melatonin receptors (e.g. the pituitary pars tuberalis, PT) to drive physiological changes. In this study we analysed the photoperiodic regulation of the circadian clockwork in the SCN and PT of the Siberian hamster. Female hamsters were exposed to either long or short photoperiod for 8 weeks and sampled at 2-h intervals across the 24-h cycle. In the SCN, rhythmic expression of the clock genes Per1, Per2, Cry1, Rev-erbalpha, and the clock-controlled genes arginine vasopressin (AVP) and d-element binding protein (DBP) was modulated by photoperiod. All of these E-box-containing genes tracked dawn, with earlier peak mRNA expression in long, compared to short, photoperiod. This response occurred irrespective of the presence of additional regulatory cis-elements, suggesting photoperiodic regulation of SCN gene expression through a common E-box-related mechanism. In long photoperiod, expression of Cry1 and Per1 in the PT tracked the onset and offset of melatonin secretion, respectively. However, whereas Cry1 tracked melatonin onset in short period, Per1 expression was not detectably rhythmic. We therefore propose that, in the SCN, photoperiodic regulation of clock gene expression primarily occurs via E-boxes, whereas melatonin-driven signal transduction drives the phasing of a subset of clock genes in the PT, independently of the E-box.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. A functional nexus between photoperiod acclimation, torpor expression and somatic fatty acid composition in a heterothermic mammal.

    PubMed

    Geiser, Fritz; Klingenspor, Martin; McAllan, Bronwyn M

    2013-01-01

    The seasonal changes in thermal physiology and torpor expression of many heterothermic mammals are controlled by photoperiod. As function at low body temperatures during torpor requires changes of tissue lipid composition, we tested for the first time whether and how fatty acids are affected by photoperiod acclimation in hamsters, Phodopus sungorus, a strongly photoperiodic species. We also examined changes in fatty acid composition in relation to those in morphology and thermal biology. Hamsters in short photoperiod had smaller reproductive organs and most had a reduced body mass in comparison to those in long photoperiod. Pelage colour of hamsters under short photoperiod was almost white while that of long photoperiod hamsters was grey-brown and black. Short photoperiod acclimation resulted in regular (28% of days) torpor use, whereas all hamsters in long photoperiod remained normothermic. The composition of total fatty acids differed between acclimation groups for brown adipose tissue (5 of 8 fatty acids), heart muscle (4 of 7 fatty acids) and leg muscle (3 of 11 fatty acids). Importantly, 54% of all fatty acids detected were correlated (r(2) = 0.60 to 0.87) with the minimum surface temperature of individuals, but the responses of tissues differed. While some of the compositional changes of fatty acids were consistent with a 'homeoviscous' response, this was not the case for all, including the sums of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, which did not differ between acclimation groups. Our data identify a possible nexus between photoperiod acclimation, morphology, reproductive biology, thermal biology and fatty acid composition. They suggest that some of the changes in thermal physiology are linked to the composition of tissue and organ fatty acids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  2. Rapid Induction of Hypothalamic Iodothyronine Deiodinase Expression by Photoperiod and Melatonin in Juvenile Siberian Hamsters (Phodopus sungorus)

    PubMed Central

    Prendergast, Brian J.; Pyter, Leah M.; Kampf-Lassin, August; Patel, Priyesh N.

    2013-01-01

    Production of T3 in the mediobasal hypothalamus is critical for regulation of seasonal reproductive physiology. Type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO2) and DIO3 enzymes catalyze the prohormone T4 into biologically-active T3 and biologically-inactive rT3, respectively. In several seasonally-breeding vertebrates, DIO2 and DIO3 expression is implicated in photoperiod signal transduction in adulthood. These experiments tested the hypothesis that juvenile Siberian hamsters, which are highly responsive to photoperiod at weaning (postnatal day [PND]18), exhibit rapid and sustained changes in hypothalamic dio3 mRNA expression during photoperiod-induced and photoperiod-inhibited puberty. Hypothalamic dio2 and dio3 expression was measured via quantitative PCR in hamsters born and reared in a long-day photoperiod (15L:9D) and weaned on PND18 into short-day photoperiods (9L:15D). In SD males, hypothalamic dio3 mRNA was elevated 2.5-fold within 3 days (PND21) and continued to increase (>20-fold) through PND32; changes in dio3 mRNA preceded inhibition of gonadotropin (FSH) secretion and gonadal regression in SD. Females exhibited comparable dio3 responses to SD. In LD males, dio3 remained low and invariant from PND18–PND32. In contrast, dio2 mRNA rose conspicuously on PND21, independent of photoperiod, returning to basal levels thereafter. In LD, a single afternoon melatonin (MEL) injection on PND18 or PND20 was sufficient to increase hypothalamic dio3 mRNA, and dio3 increased in proportion to the number of successive days of MEL treatment. SD photoperiods and MEL exert rapid, sustained, and additive effects on hypothalamic dio3 mRNA, which may play a central role in inhibiting maturation of the peripubertal hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. PMID:23295738

  3. Rapid induction of hypothalamic iodothyronine deiodinase expression by photoperiod and melatonin in juvenile Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Prendergast, Brian J; Pyter, Leah M; Kampf-Lassin, August; Patel, Priyesh N; Stevenson, Tyler J

    2013-02-01

    Production of T(3) in the mediobasal hypothalamus is critical for regulation of seasonal reproductive physiology. Type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO2) and DIO3 enzymes catalyze the prohormone T(4) into biologically-active T(3) and biologically-inactive rT(3), respectively. In several seasonally-breeding vertebrates, DIO2 and DIO3 expression is implicated in photoperiod signal transduction in adulthood. These experiments tested the hypothesis that juvenile Siberian hamsters, which are highly responsive to photoperiod at weaning (postnatal day [PND]18), exhibit rapid and sustained changes in hypothalamic dio3 mRNA expression during photoperiod-induced and photoperiod-inhibited puberty. Hypothalamic dio2 and dio3 expression was measured via quantitative PCR in hamsters born and reared in a long-day photoperiod (15L:9D) and weaned on PND18 into short-day photoperiods (9L:15D). In SD males, hypothalamic dio3 mRNA was elevated 2.5-fold within 3 days (PND21) and continued to increase (>20-fold) through PND32; changes in dio3 mRNA preceded inhibition of gonadotropin (FSH) secretion and gonadal regression in SD. Females exhibited comparable dio3 responses to SD. In LD males, dio3 remained low and invariant from PND18-PND32. In contrast, dio2 mRNA rose conspicuously on PND21, independent of photoperiod, returning to basal levels thereafter. In LD, a single afternoon melatonin (MEL) injection on PND18 or PND20 was sufficient to increase hypothalamic dio3 mRNA, and dio3 increased in proportion to the number of successive days of MEL treatment. SD photoperiods and MEL exert rapid, sustained, and additive effects on hypothalamic dio3 mRNA, which may play a central role in inhibiting maturation of the peripubertal hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis.

  4. Changes in photoperiod alter Glut4 expression in skeletal muscle of C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Tashiro, Ayako; Shibata, Satomi; Takai, Yusuke; Uchiwa, Tatsuhiro; Furuse, Mitsuhiro; Yasuo, Shinobu

    2017-03-25

    Seasonal changes in photoperiod influence body weight and metabolism in mice. Here, we examined the effect of changes in photoperiod on the expression of glucose transporter genes in the skeletal muscle and adipose tissue of C57BL/6J mice. Glut4 expression was lower in the gastrocnemius muscle of mice exposed to a short-duration day (SD) than those to a long-duration day (LD), with accompanying changes in GLUT4 protein levels. Although Glut4 expression in the mouse soleus muscle was higher under SD than under LD, GLUT4 protein levels remained unchanged. To confirm the functional significance of photoperiod-induced changes in Glut4 expression, we checked for variations in insulin sensitivity. Blood glucose levels after insulin injection remained high under SD, suggesting that the mice exposed to SD showed lower sensitivity to insulin than those exposed to LD. We also attempted to clarify the relationship between Glut4 expression and physical activity in the mice following changes in photoperiod. Locomotor activity, as detected via infrared beam sensor, was lower under SD than under LD. However, when we facilitated voluntary activity by using running wheels, the rotation of wheels was similar for both groups of mice. Although physical activity levels were enhanced due to running wheels, Glut4 expression in the gastrocnemius muscle remained unchanged. Thus, variations in photoperiod altered Glut4 expression in the mouse skeletal muscle, with subsequent changes in GLUT4 protein levels and insulin sensitivity; these effects might be independent of physical activity.

  5. Photoperiod modulates the reproductive axis of European sea bass through regulation of kiss1 and gnrh2 neuronal expression.

    PubMed

    Espigares, F; Rocha, A; Gómez, A; Carrillo, M; Zanuy, S

    2017-01-01

    The onset of puberty is characterized by activation of the brain-pituitary-gonad axis. However, the molecular and endocrine mechanism involved in the process of puberty and the influence of environmental conditions, such as photoperiod signalling, are not well understood in fish. In this study, 1-year-old male European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) were exposed to photoperiod manipulation in combination with size-sorting. Two treatment groups, a puberty accelerating photoperiod (AP) group and a continuous light (LL) group, were studied from August to February. Our results indicate that AP and LL are able to entrain the rhythms of both kiss1 and gnrh2 mRNA levels in the brain, while kiss2 and gnrh1 mRNA expression does not seem to be directly affected by the photoperiod, at least during testicular growth. It is likely that AP and LL photoperiod regimes affected both plasma Fsh and 11-KT profiles, which might explain, respectively, the phase shift and reduction of testes maturation seen under these conditions. We therefore hypothesize that the unbalanced production of this androgen regulated by circulating Fsh might be limiting the stimulation of germ cell proliferation in European sea bass males. In summary, our study establishes that photoperiod modulates the expression of kiss1 and gnrh2 in the forebrain-midbrain, which may be involved in the translation of the light stimulus to activate the reproductive axis.

  6. Photoperiodic regulation of melatonin membrane receptor (MT1R) expression and steroidogenesis in testis of adult golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Arun; Haldar, Chandana

    2014-11-01

    Photoperiodic modulation of melatonin membrane receptor (MT1R) expression in testis has never been reported for any seasonal breeder. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the expression dynamics of MT1R in testis and its interaction with testicular steroidogenesis in a long-day breeder, Mesocricetus auratus. Hamsters were exposed to different photoperiodic conditions i.e. critical- (CP; 12.5L:11.5D); short-day- (SD; 8L:16D) and long-day- (LD; 16L:8D) for 10 weeks wherein testicular steroidogenesis, local melatonin synthesis and the expression of MT1R were analyzed. SD induced melatonin suppressed testicular steroidogenesis as evident from regressed testicular histoarchitecture, decreased expression of AR, StAR, LH-R, P₄₅₀SCC and enzyme activities of 3β- and 17β-HSD. Differential photoperiodic regulation of MT1R expression in testis suggests its involvement in photoperiodic signal transduction for seasonal adjustment of reproduction. Increased S-NAT (Serotonin N-acetyl transferase) activity and local testicular melatonin under SD condition suggest an inhibitory effect of the local melatonergic system on testicular steroidogenesis. Completely opposite responses were recorded for all the parameters analyzed when hamsters were exposed to CP or LD conditions. In conclusion, we may suggest that photoperiod via regulating circulatory and local melatonin level as well as MT1R expression in testes fine tunes the steroidogenesis and thereby, the reproductive status of male golden hamster.

  7. Effect of exercise on photoperiod-regulated hypothalamic gene expression and peripheral hormones in the seasonal Dwarf Hamster Phodopus sungorus.

    PubMed

    Petri, Ines; Dumbell, Rebecca; Scherbarth, Frank; Steinlechner, Stephan; Barrett, Perry

    2014-01-01

    The Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) is a seasonal mammal responding to the annual cycle in photoperiod with anticipatory physiological adaptations. This includes a reduction in food intake and body weight during the autumn in anticipation of seasonally reduced food availability. In the laboratory, short-day induction of body weight loss can be reversed or prevented by voluntary exercise undertaken when a running wheel is introduced into the home cage. The mechanism by which exercise prevents or reverses body weight reduction is unknown, but one hypothesis is a reversal of short-day photoperiod induced gene expression changes in the hypothalamus that underpin body weight regulation. Alternatively, we postulate an exercise-related anabolic effect involving the growth hormone axis. To test these hypotheses we established photoperiod-running wheel experiments of 8 to 16 weeks duration assessing body weight, food intake, organ mass, lean and fat mass by magnetic resonance, circulating hormones FGF21 and insulin and hypothalamic gene expression. In response to running wheel activity, short-day housed hamsters increased body weight. Compared to short-day housed sedentary hamsters the body weight increase was accompanied by higher food intake, maintenance of tissue mass of key organs such as the liver, maintenance of lean and fat mass and hormonal profiles indicative of long day housed hamsters but there was no overall reversal of hypothalamic gene expression regulated by photoperiod. Therefore the mechanism by which activity induces body weight gain is likely to act largely independently of photoperiod regulated gene expression in the hypothalamus.

  8. Diurnal profiles of hypothalamic energy balance gene expression with photoperiod manipulation in the Siberian hamster, Phodopus sungorus.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Claire; Moar, Kim M; Logie, Tracy J; Ross, Alexander W; Morgan, Peter J; Mercer, Julian G

    2008-04-01

    Hypothalamic energy balance genes have been examined in the context of seasonal body weight regulation in the Siberian hamster. Most of these long photoperiod (LD)/short photoperiod (SD) comparisons have been of tissues collected at a single point in the light-dark cycle. We examined the diurnal expression profile of hypothalamic genes in hamsters killed at 3-h intervals throughout the light-dark cycle after housing in LD or SD for 12 wk. Gene expression of neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide, proopiomelanocortin, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, long-form leptin receptor, suppressor of cytokine signaling-3, melanocortin-3 receptor, melanocortin-4 receptor, and the clock gene Per1 as control were measured by in situ hybridization in hypothalamic nuclei. Effects of photoperiod on gene expression and leptin levels were generally consistent with previous reports. A clear diurnal variation was observed for Per1 in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in both photoperiods. Temporal effects on expression of energy balance genes were restricted to long-form leptin receptor in the arcuate nucleus and ventromedial nucleus, where similar diurnal expression profiles were observed, and melanocortin-4 receptor in the paraventricular nucleus; these effects were only observed in LD hamsters. There was no variation in serum leptin concentration. The 24-h profiles of hypothalamic energy balance gene expression broadly confirm photoperiodic differences that were observed previously, based on single time point comparisons, support the growing consensus that these genes have a limited role in seasonal body weight regulation, and further suggest limited involvement in daily rhythms of food intake.

  9. Effect of Exercise on Photoperiod-Regulated Hypothalamic Gene Expression and Peripheral Hormones in the Seasonal Dwarf Hamster Phodopus sungorus

    PubMed Central

    Petri, Ines; Dumbell, Rebecca; Scherbarth, Frank; Steinlechner, Stephan; Barrett, Perry

    2014-01-01

    The Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) is a seasonal mammal responding to the annual cycle in photoperiod with anticipatory physiological adaptations. This includes a reduction in food intake and body weight during the autumn in anticipation of seasonally reduced food availability. In the laboratory, short-day induction of body weight loss can be reversed or prevented by voluntary exercise undertaken when a running wheel is introduced into the home cage. The mechanism by which exercise prevents or reverses body weight reduction is unknown, but one hypothesis is a reversal of short-day photoperiod induced gene expression changes in the hypothalamus that underpin body weight regulation. Alternatively, we postulate an exercise-related anabolic effect involving the growth hormone axis. To test these hypotheses we established photoperiod-running wheel experiments of 8 to 16 weeks duration assessing body weight, food intake, organ mass, lean and fat mass by magnetic resonance, circulating hormones FGF21 and insulin and hypothalamic gene expression. In response to running wheel activity, short-day housed hamsters increased body weight. Compared to short-day housed sedentary hamsters the body weight increase was accompanied by higher food intake, maintenance of tissue mass of key organs such as the liver, maintenance of lean and fat mass and hormonal profiles indicative of long day housed hamsters but there was no overall reversal of hypothalamic gene expression regulated by photoperiod. Therefore the mechanism by which activity induces body weight gain is likely to act largely independently of photoperiod regulated gene expression in the hypothalamus. PMID:24603871

  10. Differential expression of circadian clock genes in two strains of beetles reveals candidates related to photoperiodic induction of summer diapause.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li; Liu, Wen; Tan, Qian-Qian; Lei, Chao-Liang; Wang, Xiao-Ping

    2017-03-01

    Diapause (also known as dormancy) is a state of arrested development induced by photoperiod or temperature that allows insects to survive adverse environmental conditions. By regulating diapause induction, the circadian clock is involved in short-day-induced winter diapause but whether this is also the case in long-day (LD)-induced summer diapause remains unknown. The cabbage beetle Colaphellus bowringi could enter summer diapause under LD conditions. However, a non-photoperiodic-diapause (NPD) strain of this species, which was developed in our laboratory by artificial selection, could not enter diapause under LD photoperiod. Therefore, we identified circadian clock genes in this species and measured differences in their expression between a high diapause (HD) strain and the NPD strain to investigate the potential relationship between circadian clock genes and summer diapause induction in C. bowringi. We successfully cloned eight circadian clock genes and obtained intact ORFs of four; cryptochrome2, double-time, shaggy and vrille. Phylogenetic trees and sequence alignment analyses indicated that these circadian clock genes were conserved across insect taxa. The quantitative real-time PCR indicated that clock, cycle, period, timeless, cryptochrome2, and vrille were differentially expressed between HD and NPD strains reared under LD photoperiod during the diapause induction phase. These findings suggest the potential relationship between circadian clock genes and LD-regulated summer diapause induction in C. bowringi. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The expression patterns of the clock genes period and timeless are affected by photoperiod in the Mediterranean corn stalk borer, Sesamia nonagrioides.

    PubMed

    Kontogiannatos, Dimitrios; Gkouvitsas, Theodoros; Kourti, Anna

    2017-01-01

    To obtain clues to the link between the molecular mechanism of circadian and photoperiod clocks, we cloned two circadian clock genes, period (per) and timeless (tim) from the moth Sesamia nonagrioides, which undergoes facultative diapause controlled by photoperiod. Sequence analysis revealed a high degree of conservation among the compared insects fοr both genes. We also investigated the expression patterns of per and tim in brains of larvae growing under 16L:8D (long days), constant darkness (DD) and 10L:14D (short days) conditions by qPCR assays. The results showed that mRNA accumulations encoding both genes exhibited diel oscillations under different photoperiods. The oscillation of per and tim mRNA, under short-day photoperiod differed from long-day. The difference between long-day and short-day conditions in the pattern of mRNA levels of per and tim appears to distinguish photoperiodic conditions clearly and both genes were influenced by photoperiod in different ways. We infer that not all photoperiodic clocks of insects interact with circadian clocks in the same fashion. Our results suggest that transcriptional regulations of the both clock genes act in the diapause programing in S. nonagrioides. The expression patterns of these genes are affected by photoperiod but runs with 24 h by entrainment to daily environmental cues.

  12. Photoperiod-induced differential expression of angiogenesis genes in testes of adult Peromyscus leucopus.

    PubMed

    Pyter, Leah M; Hotchkiss, Andrew K; Nelson, Randy J

    2005-02-01

    Non-pathological angiogenesis in adults is rare and is largely thought to be restricted to wound healing and female reproductive cycles. Adult male rodents, however, display seasonal angiogenesis to support seasonal changes in reproductive tissue morphology. Non-tropical rodents use photoperiod (day length) to determine the time of year. During short days, the reproductive system undergoes involution and mating behaviours stop, adaptations which presumably allow energy resources to be shifted to processes necessary for winter survival. We compared the patterns of gene expression involved in angiogenesis in testes of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) following 7, 14, 21 or 34 weeks of long or short day lengths. Short days decreased body mass, reproductive tract mass and seminiferous tubule diameter. Potential genes involved in seasonal angiogenesis were screened by hybridizing testicular RNA from each group to angiogenesis-specific microarrays. Genes that were > or =6-fold different between long- and short-day testes (i.e. hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha(Hif1alpha), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (Serpine1), transforming growth factor beta receptor 3 (Tgfbetar3) and tumour necrosis factor (Tnf )) were sequenced and expression differences were compared throughout gonadal regression and recrudescence using quantitative RT-PCR. Our results suggest that short days trigger expression of Hif1alpha, Serpine1, and Tgfbetar3 to inhibit angiogenesis or promote apoptosis during testicular regression, and also trigger expression of Tnf to promote angiogenesis during testicular recrudescence.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Photoperiod regulates the differential expression of KiSS-1 and GPR54 in various tissues and sexes of striped hamster.

    PubMed

    Li, S N; Xue, H L; Zhang, Q; Xu, J H; Wang, S; Chen, L; Xu, L X

    2015-10-30

    In order to investigate how photoperiod affects the expression of KiSS-1/G-protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54), the hypothalamus, the ovaries and testicles of the striped hamster were studied following photoperiod treatment and melatonin injection. We found that the melatonin concentration in the blood of the striped hamster was consistent with the treated photoperiods and that the photoperiod had significant effects on KiSS-1 expression, but the effect of photoperiod on GPR54 expression differed among tissues and sexes. The relative expression of KiSS-1 in the gonads of the male and female striped hamster was significantly higher than that in the hypothalamus, while the difference in GPR54 between the gonads and hypothalamus was inconsistent between the male and female striped hamster. In the striped hamster injected with melatonin, the expression level of KiSS-1 in the gonads and hypothalamus of the male and female striped hamster was significantly decreased; the expression level of GnRH in the gonads was also significantly decreased; the expression of GPR54 in the hypothalamus was increased. In the hypothalamus, a significant positive correlation existed between KiSS-1 and GnRH expression, while a negative correlation was observed between GPR54 and GnRH expression. These results suggest that the photoperiod-melatonin-KiSS-1-GnRH pathway plays an important role in the seasonal reproduction mechanism of the striped hamster. Additionally, photoperiod or melatonin may not be a direct regulatory factor of GPR54 expression.

  15. Photoperiod and reproductive condition are associated with changes in RFamide-related peptide (RFRP) expression in Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus).

    PubMed

    Mason, Alex O; Duffy, Sean; Zhao, Sheng; Ubuka, Takayoshi; Bentley, George E; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Silver, Rae; Kriegsfeld, Lance J

    2010-06-01

    To conserve scarce energetic resources during winter, seasonal breeders inhibit reproduction and other nonessential behavioral and physiological processes. Reproductive cessation is initiated in response to declining day lengths, a stimulus represented centrally as a long-duration melatonin signal. The melatonin signal is not decoded by the reproductive axis directly, but by an unidentified neurochemical system upstream of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). The dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (DMH) has been implicated in seasonal changes in reproductive function in Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), although the specific-cell phenotype decoding photoperiodic information remains unknown. RFamide-related peptide (RFRP; the mammalian homolog of the gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) gene identified in birds) has emerged as a potent inhibitory regulator of the reproductive axis and, significantly, its expression is localized to cell bodies of the DMH in rodents. In the present study, the authors explored the relationship between RFRP expression, photoperiod exposure, and reproductive condition/hormonal status. In male hamsters that respond to short days with reproductive inhibition, RFRP-ir and mRNA expression are markedly reduced relative to long-day animals. Replacement of testosterone in short-day animals did not affect this response, suggesting that alterations in RFRP expression are not a result of changing sex steroid concentrations. A subset of the hamster population that ignores day length cues and remains reproductively competent in short days (nonresponders) exhibits RFRP-ir expression comparable to long-day hamsters. Analysis of cell body and fiber density suggests a potential interplay between peptide production and release rate in differentially regulating the reproductive axis during early and late stages of reproductive regression. Together, the present findings indicate that photoperiod-induced suppression of reproduction is

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-04-01

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

  17. HVC lesions modify immediate early gene expression in auditory forebrain regions of female songbirds.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Kathleen S; Kleitz-Nelson, Hayley K; Ball, Gregory F

    2013-04-01

    It is well established that auditory forebrain regions of oscine birds are essential for the encoding of species-typical songs and are, therefore, vital for recognition of song during sociosexual interactions. Regions such as the caudal medial nidopallium (NCM) and the caudal medial mesopallium (CMM) are involved in perceptual processing of song and the formation of auditory memories. There is an additional telencephalic nucleus, however, that has also been implicated in species recognition. This nucleus is HVC, a prominent nucleus that sits at the apex of the song system, and is well known for its critical role in song learning and song production in male songbirds. Here, we explore the functional relationship between auditory forebrain regions (i.e., NCM and CMM) and HVC in female canaries (Serinus canaria). We lesion HVC and examine immediate early gene responses to conspecific song presentation within CMM and NCM to explore whether HVC can modulate auditory responses within these forebrain regions. Our results reveal robust deficits in ZENK-ir in CMM and NCM of HVC-lesioned females when compared with control- and sham-lesioned females, indicating that functional connections exists between HVC and NCM/CMM. Although these connected regions have been implicated in song learning and production in males, they likely serve distinct functions in female songbirds that face the task of song recognition rather than song production. Identifying functional connections between HVC and auditory regions involved in song perception is an essential step toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the neural basis of song recognition.

  18. Characterisation, analysis of expression and localisation of circadian clock genes from the perspective of photoperiodism in the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum.

    PubMed

    Barberà, Miquel; Collantes-Alegre, Jorge Mariano; Martínez-Torres, David

    2017-04-01

    Aphids are typical photoperiodic insects that switch from viviparous parthenogenetic reproduction typical of long day seasons to oviparous sexual reproduction triggered by the shortening of photoperiod in autumn yielding an overwintering egg in which an embryonic diapause takes place. While the involvement of the circadian clock genes in photoperiodism in mammals is well established, there is still some controversy on their participation in insects. The availability of the genome of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum places this species as an excellent model to investigate the involvement of the circadian system in the aphid seasonal response. In the present report, we have advanced in the characterisation of the circadian clock genes and showed that these genes display extensive alternative splicing. Moreover, the expression of circadian clock genes, analysed at different moments of the day, showed a robust cycling of central clock genes period and timeless. Furthermore, the rhythmic expression of these genes was shown to be rapidly dampened under DD (continuous darkness conditions), thus supporting the model of a seasonal response based on a heavily dampened circadian oscillator. Additionally, increased expression of some of the circadian clock genes under short-day conditions suggest their involvement in the induction of the aphid seasonal response. Finally, in situ localisation of transcripts of genes period and timeless in the aphid brain revealed the site of clock neurons for the first time in aphids. Two groups of clock cells were identified: the Dorsal Neurons (DN) and the Lateral Neurons (LN), both in the protocerebrum. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Differential expression of the Bombyx mori diapause-termination timer gene Ea4 in diapause-inducing temperature and photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Xu, Li; Liang, Hui; Niu, Yanshan; Wang, Ying; Sima, Yanghu; Xu, Shiqing

    2012-03-01

    Diapause in Bombyx mori eggs is induced by temperature and photoperiod at the stage of embryonic development in the maternal generation. In those diapause eggs, Esterase-A4 is suggested to serve as a diapause-termination timer (TIME-EA4), because its ATPase activity shows an interval-timer elevation after acid treatment or chilling of eggs to break diapause. To clarify whether the timed ATPase activity of TIME-EA4 is related to its gene (Ea4) expression, we analyzed Ea4 mRNA of eggs in diapause-inducing environmental conditions. Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) analysis showed that the level of Ea4 mRNA was lower in 15DD than in 25LL (P < 0.01) or in 20LD (P < 0.01) but did not oscillate when photoperiod and temperature periodically oscillated (P > 0.05). Furthermore, expressed sequence tag profile and gene microarray analysis demonstrated that Ea4 showed stage-specific and tissue-specific expression during postembryonic stages, high Ea4 mRNA in the spinning and eclosion stages, and in integument and head, but low in gonads of fifth-instar day-3 larvae. Then we analyzed the relationship between TIME-EA4 ATPase activities and Ea4 gene expression. The ATPase activities in diapause eggs laid by the resultant adults transiently elevated after treatments to break diapause, that is, at 1.5 h after common-acid treatment and day 13 after chilling at 5°C. However, these elevations of enzyme activities were not accompanied by any increases in Ea4 mRNA levels. In conclusion, the termination of the Bombyx embryonic diapause is related to TIME-EA4 but not to its gene expression. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Long-day photoperiod interacts with vasopressin and food restriction to modulate reproductive status and vasopressin receptor expression of male golden spiny mice.

    PubMed

    Ben-Zaken, Israel; Haim, Abraham; Zubidat, Abed E

    2013-09-15

    We tested the effects of photoperiod, water and food availability on body mass, reproductive status and arginine vasopressin receptor 1A (Avpr1a) mRNA expression in males of desert-adapted golden spiny mice, Acomys russatus. In Experiment 1, males were acclimated to short-day (SD; 8 h:16 h light:dark) or long-day (LD; 16 h:8 h light:dark) photoperiods with either saline (control) or vasopressin treatment for 3 weeks. The results of this experiment revealed that under control conditions, SD mice increased body mass by ~5% while LD mice decreased it by ~4%. SD photoperiod had no effect on reproductive status and leptin levels, whereas LD males increased testes mass and serum testosterone, but the photoperiod had no effect on leptin levels. Vasopressin administration decreased LD-induced reproductive enhancement. Because no consistent effect of SD treatment was found on reproductive status, Experiment 2 was carried out only on LD-acclimated males kept under 75% food restriction (decrease from ad libitum) with saline or leptin treatment. Body mass, testes mass, serum testosterone, leptin concentrations and Avpr1a mRNA expression were measured. Food restriction remarkably decreased body mass, with a more potent effect in leptin-treated males, showing enhanced reproductive status and a significant increase in serum leptin compared with controls. Avpr1a expression was significantly upregulated in LD, vasopressin-treated and food-restricted males, with higher levels in the hypothalamus compared with the testes. We conclude that in A. russatus, LD photoperiod interacts with water and food availability to advance reproductive responses. Avpr1a is suggested to integrate nutritional and osmotic signals to optimize reproduction by modulating reproductive and energetic neuroendocrine axes at the central level. The interaction between photoperiod and other environmental cues is of an adaptive value to desert-adapted small rodents for timing reproduction in unpredictable

  3. Effects of shortened photoperiod on gonadotropin-releasing hormone, gonadotropin, and vitellogenin gene expression associated with ovarian maturation in rainbow trout.

    PubMed

    Choi, Sungchang; Lee, Cheul Ho; Park, Woodong; Kim, Dae-Jung; Sohn, Young Chang

    2010-01-01

    Reproductive activities of salmonids are synchronized by changes in photoperiod, which control the endocrine system via the brain-pituitary-gonadal axis. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in the brain regulates synthesis and release of the pituitary gonadotropins (GTHs; FSH and LH). FSH and LH in turn stimulate the production of sex steroids for oocyte growth and maturation-Inducing steroid hormones for oocyte maturation and ovulation, respectively, in female salmonids. To clarify effects of long-term photoperiod manipulations on the reproductive activity of salmonids from early recrudescence to ovulation, we Investigated the gene expression profiles of GnRH, GTHs, and vitellogenin (VTG), and plasma sex steroids in female rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). In addition, the percentages of eyed embryos and hatched alevins were examined together with the number of ovulated eggs to evaluate the effects of photoperiod regimes on egg quality. During late summer, the mRNA levels of GnRHs, GTHalpha, and LHbeta, and the plasma level of a maturational steroid (17alpha,20beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one; 17,20beta-P) were significantly elevated by a gradually shortened photoperiod under constant temperature, in accordance with accelerated sexual maturation. The percentages of eyed embryos and hatched alevins from fish ovulated in August were comparable to those of control fish observed in December. These results clearly indicate that syntheses of GnRHs, LH, VTG, and 17,20beta-P are effectively accelerated by a programmed long-short photoperiod regime in early recrudescent female rainbow trout, without a marked deterioration in egg quality.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  7. The genome of a songbird

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Photoperiodic modulation of thyroid hormone receptor (TR-α), deiodinase-2 (Dio-2) and glucose transporters (GLUT 1 and GLUT 4) expression in testis of adult golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus.

    PubMed

    Verma, Rakesh; Haldar, Chandana

    2016-12-01

    Phenomenon of seasonal reproduction is being regulated by changes in day length or photoperiod. The molecular mechanism underlying the event of photoperiodic regulation of testis and thyroid functions along with glucose uptake transporters has never been reported for golden hamster, M. auratus. The present study was performed to investigate the effect of photoperiod on the expression of key thyroid hormone receptor (TR-α), deiodinase-2 (Dio-2) and glucose uptake transporters (GLUT-1 & GLUT-4) in testicular germ cell and Leydig cells, and its correlation with the testicular androgen receptor (AR), germ cell proliferation factor (PCNA) and cell survival factor (Bcl-2) in testis of adult golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus. Hamsters were exposed to different photoperiodic regimes i.e. critical photoperiod (CP), short day (SD) and long day (LD) for 10weeks. LD induces upregulation of thyroidal and gonadal activity as evident by active thyroid gland and testicular histoarchitecture, peripheral total thyroid (tT3, tT4) and testosterone hormone profiles when compared with SD exposed hamsters. Further, LD increased the expression of testicular TR-α, Dio-2, GLUT-1, GLUT-4 along with testicular AR and glucose content thereby enhancing germ cell proliferation and survival as reflected by increased PCNA and Bcl-2 expression when compared to SD exposed hamsters. Thus, it can be suggested that testicular thyroid hormone status is being regulated by photoperiod and is possibly involved in seasonal adaptation to reproductive phenomenon of golden hamster.

  9. Photoperiodic flowering: time measurement mechanisms in leaves.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Photoperiodic Flowering: Time Measurement Mechanisms in Leaves

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Auditory-vocal mirroring in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Auditory–vocal mirroring in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Identification and expression analysis of photoreceptor genes in kiwifruit leaves under natural daylength conditions and their relationship with other genes that regulate photoperiodic flowering.

    PubMed

    Ferradás, Yolanda; Martínez, Óscar; Rey, Manuel; González, M Victoria

    2017-06-01

    Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis var. deliciosa (A. Chev) A. Chev.) is a dioecious vine highly dependent on pollination, which is limited by a lack of synchrony of flowering time between male and female plants. In many plant species, the regulation of the timing of flowering depends largely on seasonal cues such as photoperiod, which is detected by photoreceptors. In this report, we determined the full sequences of the PHYB (AcPHYB) and PHYA (AcPHYA) genes and a partial sequence of the CRY2 (AcCRY2) gene in kiwifruit. Next, we monitored the expression patterns of these photoreceptor genes (AcPHYA, AcPHYB and AcCRY2) as well as other genes involved in flowering regulation (AcCO-like and AcFT) in the leaves of kiwifruit plants grown under natural photoperiods in the field. The annual expression patterns of AcPHYB, AcPHYA and AcCRY2 genes showed that they were significantly highly expressed from late flower development until full bloom and fitting with floral evocation, closely matching the peaks of expression detected for the AcFT and AcCO-like genes. In addition, the daily expression patterns of AcPHYB, AcPHYA and AcCRY2 were analyzed in leaves collected under different daylength conditions. Under long-day (LD) conditions, maximum expression levels were detected in the middle of the day in April (before full bloom), while their expression lost their daily rhythmic patterns in June (after full bloom) and were consistently expressed at low levels. Under short-day (SD) conditions, AcPHYB, AcPHYA and AcCRY2 gene expression patterns were the opposite of those observed in April. With respect to AcFT, no expression was detected in SD conditions. In contrast, the AcCO-like gene oscillated for all daylength conditions with the same daily rhythm. Our results seem to indicate the involvement of photoreceptor genes in kiwifruit flowering regulation. The different daily expression patterns detected for AcPHYA, AcPHYB, AcCRY2 and AcFT under different daylength conditions suggest

  14. Arabidopsis DOF transcription factors act redundantly to reduce CONSTANS expression and are essential for a photoperiodic flowering response.

    PubMed

    Fornara, Fabio; Panigrahi, Kishore C S; Gissot, Lionel; Sauerbrunn, Nicolas; Rühl, Mark; Jarillo, José A; Coupland, George

    2009-07-01

    Flowering of Arabidopsis is induced by long summer days (LDs). The transcriptional regulator CONSTANS (CO) promotes flowering, and its transcription is increased under LDs. We systematically misexpressed transcription factors in companion cells and identified several DOF proteins that delay flowering by repressing CO transcription. Combining mutations in four of these, including CYCLING DOF FACTOR 2 (CDF2), caused photoperiod-insensitive early flowering by increasing CO mRNA levels. CO transcription is promoted to differing extents by GIGANTEA (GI) and the F-box protein FKF1. We show that GI stabilizes FKF1, thereby reducing CDF2 abundance and allowing transcription of CO. Despite the crucial function of GI in wild-type plants, introducing mutations in the four DOF-encoding genes into gi mutants restored the diurnal rhythm and light inducibility of CO. Thus, antagonism between GI and DOF transcription factors contributes to photoperiodic flowering by modulating an underlying diurnal rhythm in CO transcript levels.

  15. Intraovarian expression of GnRH-1 and gonadotropin mRNA and protein levels in Siberian hamsters during the estrus cycle and photoperiod induced regression/recrudescence

    PubMed Central

    Shahed, Asha; Young, Kelly A.

    2010-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis is the key reproductive regulator in vertebrates. While gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), follicle stimulating (FSH), and luteinizing (LH) hormones are primarily produced in the hypothalamus and pituitary, they can be synthesized in the gonads, suggesting an intraovarian GnRH-gonadotropin axis. Because these hormones are critical for follicle maturation and steroidogenesis, we hypothesized that this intraovarian axis may be important in photoperiod-induced ovarian regression/recrudescence in seasonal breeders. Thus, we investigated GnRH-1 and gonadotropin mRNA and protein expression in Siberian hamster ovaries during (1) the estrous cycle; where ovaries from cycling long day hamsters (LD;16L:8D) were collected at proestrus, estrus, diestrus I, and diestrus II and (2) during photoperiod induced regression/ recrudescence; where ovaries were collected from hamsters exposed to 14wks of LD, short days (SD;8L:16D), or 8wks post-transfer to LD after 14wks SD (PT). GnRH-1, LHβ, FSHβ, and common α subunit mRNA expression was observed in cycling ovaries. GnRH-1 expression peaked at diestrus I compared to other stages (p<0.05). FSHβ and LHβ mRNA levels peaked at proestrus and diestrus I (p<0.05), with no change in the α subunit across the cycle (p>0.05). SD exposure decreased ovarian mass and plasma estradiol concentrations (p<0.05) and increased GnRH-1, LHβ, FSHβ, and α subunit mRNA expression as compared to LD and, except for LH, compared to PT (p<0.05). GnRH and gonadotropin protein was also dynamically expressed across the estrous cycle and photoperiod exposure. The presence of cycling intraovarian GnRH-1 and gonadotropin mRNA suggests that these hormones may be locally involved in ovarian maintenance during SD regression and/or could potentially serve to prime ovaries for rapid recrudescence. PMID:20955709

  16. Songbird status and roles

    Treesearch

    Linnea S. Hall; Michael L. Morrison; William M. Block

    1997-01-01

    This chapter reviews studies on songbird ecology conducted in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado; studies from outside this region are mentioned when they bear direct relevance to our primary region. The studies were conducted in sites where ponderosa pine occurred at least in equal coverage with other trees. We also include studies conducted in pine-oak (pine...

  17. Expression of B-class MADS-box genes in response to variations in photoperiod is associated with chasmogamous and cleistogamous flower development in Viola philippica.

    PubMed

    Li, Qiaoxia; Huo, Qingdi; Wang, Juan; Zhao, Jing; Sun, Kun; He, Chaoying

    2016-07-07

    Some plants develop a breeding system that produces both chasmogamous (CH) and cleistogamous (CL) flowers. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive. In the present study, we observed that Viola philippica develops CH flowers with short daylight, whereas an extended photoperiod induces the formation of intermediate CL and CL flowers. In response to long daylight, the respective number and size of petals and stamens was lower and smaller than those of normally developed CH flowers, and a minimum of 14-h light induced complete CL flowers that had no petals but developed two stamens of reduced fertility. The floral ABC model indicates that B-class MADS-box genes largely influence the development of the affected two-whorl floral organs; therefore, we focused on characterizing these genes in V. philippica to understand this particular developmental transition. Three such genes were isolated and respectively designated as VpTM6-1, VpTM6-2, and VpPI. These were differentially expressed during floral development (particularly in petals and stamens) and the highest level of expression was observed in CH flowers; significantly low levels were detected in intermediate CL flowers, and the lowest level in CL flowers. The observed variations in the levels of expression after floral induction and organogenesis apparently occurred in response to variations in photoperiod. Therefore, inhibition of the development of petals and stamens might be due to the downregulation of B-class MADS-box gene expression by long daylight, thereby inducing the generation of CL flowers. Our work contributes to the understanding of the adaptive evolutionary formation of dimorphic flowers in plants.

  18. Mate preference of female blue tits varies with experimental photoperiod.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Conserved expression profiles of circadian clock-related genes in two Lemna species showing long-day and short-day photoperiodic flowering responses.

    PubMed

    Miwa, Kumiko; Serikawa, Masayuki; Suzuki, Sayaka; Kondo, Takao; Oyama, Tokitaka

    2006-05-01

    The Lemna genus is a group of monocotyledonous plants with tiny, floating bodies. Lemna gibba G3 and L. paucicostata 6746 were once intensively analyzed for physiological timing systems of photoperiodic flowering and circadian rhythms since they showed obligatory and sensitive photoperiodic responses of a long-day and a short-day plant, respectively. We attempted to approach the divergence of biological timing systems at the molecular level using these plants. We first employed molecular techniques to study their circadian clock systems. We developed a convenient bioluminescent reporter system to monitor the circadian rhythms of Lemna plants. As in Arabidopsis, the Arabidopsis CCA1 promoter produced circadian expression in Lemna plants, though the phases and the sustainability of bioluminescence rhythms were somewhat diverged between them. Lemna homologs of the Arabidopsis clock-related genes LHY/CCA1, GI, ELF3 and PRRs were then isolated as candidates for clock-related genes in these plants. These genes showed rhythmic expression profiles that were basically similar to those of Arabidopsis under light-dark conditions. Results from co-transfection assays using the bioluminescence reporter and overexpression effectors suggested that the LHY and GI homologs of Lemna can function in the circadian clock system like the counterparts of Arabidopsis. All these results suggested that the frame of the circadian clock appeared to be conserved not only between the two Lemna plants but also between monocotyledons and dicotyledons. However, divergence of gene numbers and expression profiles for LHY/CCA1 homologs were found between Lemna, rice and Arabidopsis, suggesting that some modification of clock-related components occurred through their evolution.

  20. 3β-HSD ACTIVATES DHEA IN THE SONGBIRD BRAIN

    PubMed Central

    Schlinger, Barney A.; Pradhan, Devaleena S.; Soma, Kiran K.

    2008-01-01

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an abundant circulating prohormone in humans, with a variety of reported actions on central and peripheral tissues. Despite its abundance, the functions of DHEA are relatively unknown because common animal models (laboratory rats and mice) have very low DHEA levels in the blood. Over the past decade, we have obtained considerable evidence from avian studies demonstrating that (1) DHEA is an important circulating prohormone in songbirds and (2) the enzyme 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/isomerase (3β-HSD), responsible for converting DHEA into a more active androgen, is expressed at high levels in the songbird brain. Here, we first review biochemical and molecular studies demonstrating the widespread activity and expression of 3β-HSD in the adult and developing songbird brain. Studies examining neural 3β-HSD activity show effects of sex, stress, and season that are region-specific. Second, we review studies showing seasonal and stress-related changes in circulating DHEA in captive and wild songbird species. Third, we describe evidence that DHEA treatment can stimulate song behavior and the growth of neural circuits controlling song behavior. Importantly, brain 3β-HSD and aromatase can work in concert to locally metabolize DHEA into active androgens and estrogens, which are critical for controlling behavior and robust adult neuroplasticity in songbirds. DHEA is likely secreted by the avian gonads and/or adrenals, as is the case in humans, but DHEA may also be synthesized de novo in the songbird brain from cholesterol or other precursors. Irrespective of its source, DHEA seems to be an important neurohormone in songbirds, and 3β-HSD is a key enzyme in the songbird brain. PMID:17643555

  1. Seasonal singing of a songbird living near the equator correlates with minimal changes in day length.

    PubMed

    Quispe, Rene; Protazio, João Marcelo Brazão; Gahr, Manfred

    2017-08-22

    Behaving in accordance with natural cycles is essential for survival. Birds in the temperate regions use the changes of day length to time their behavior. However, at equatorial latitudes the photoperiod remains almost constant throughout the year, and it is unclear which cues songbirds use to regulate behaviors, such as singing. Here, we investigated the timing of dawn-song of male silver-beaked tanagers in the equatorial lowland Amazonas over two years. In this region, birds experience around nine minutes of annual day length variation, with sunrise times varying by 32 minutes over the year. We show that the seasonal timing of dawn-song was highly regular between years, and was strongly correlated with slight increases in day length. During the singing season the daily dawn-song onset was precisely aligned to variations in twilight time. Thus, although photoperiodic changes near the equator are minimal, songbirds can use day length variation to time singing.

  2. A separate circadian oscillator controls nocturnal migratory restlessness in the songbird Sylvia borin.

    PubMed

    Bartell, Paul A; Gwinner, Eberhard

    2005-12-01

    When confined to a cage, migratory songbirds exhibit nocturnal migratory restlessness (also called Zugunruhe) during the spring and autumn migratory periods, even though these birds are exclusively diurnal during the remainder of the year. Zugunruhe, which has been demonstrated to be under the direct control of a circannual timer, is characterized by a stereotypic "wing-whirring" behavior while the bird is perched. To elucidate the role played by the circadian system in the regulation of Zugunruhe, the authors studied the activity of garden warblers (Sylvia borin), long-distance nocturnal migrants, under skeleton photoperiods of different lengths and under constant dim light. In 11.5D:1L:10.5D:1L skeleton photoperiods, the authors found that Zugunruhe free-ran in a substantial proportion of birds, while their normal daily activities (e.g., feeding and preening) remained synchronized to 24 h. Some birds expressing Zugunruhe under constant dim light continued to show 2 distinct bouts of activity: one corresponding to daily activities, the other to wing-whirring. In some cases, these 2 bouts crossed while free-running with different periods. Birds expressing Zugunruhe also had significantly longer free-running periods than birds that did not. The study data suggest that the seasonal appearance of Zugunruhe is the result of the interactions of at least 2 circadian oscillators and that it is the phase relationship of these 2 oscillators that determines when nocturnal migratory restlessness is expressed. Furthermore, these data are consistent with the previously proposed internal coincidence hypothesis as a model for the ontogeny of circannual rhythms.

  3. Photoperiod affects the expression of sex and species differences in leukocyte number and leukocyte trafficking in congeneric hamsters.

    PubMed

    Bilbo, S D; Dhabhar, F S; Viswanathan, K; Saul, A; Nelson, R J

    2003-11-01

    Sex differences in immune function are well documented. These sex differences may be modulated by social and environmental factors. Individuals of polygynous species generally exhibit more pronounced sex differences in immune parameters than individuals of monogamous species, often displaying an energetic trade-off between enhanced immunity and high mating success. During winter, animals contend with environmental conditions (e.g. low temperatures and decreased food availability) that evoke energetic-stress responses; many mammals restrict reproduction in response to photoperiod as part of an annual winter coping strategy. To test the hypothesis that extant sex and species differences in immune surveillance may be modulated by photoperiod, we examined leukocyte numbers in males and females of two closely related hamster species (Phodopus). As predicted, uniparental P. sungorus exhibited a robust sex difference, with total white blood cells, total lymphocytes, T cells, and B cells higher in females than males, during long days when reproduction occurs, but not during short days when reproduction usually stops. In contrast, biparental male and female P. campbelli exhibited comparable leukocyte numbers during both long and short days. To study sex differences in stress responses, we also examined immune cell trafficking in response to an acute (2 h) restraint stressor. During stressful challenges, it appears beneficial for immune cells to exit the blood and move to primary immune defense areas such as the skin, in preparation for potential injury or infection. Acute stress moved lymphocytes and monocytes out of the blood in all animals. Blood cortisol concentrations were increased in P. sungorus females compared to males at baseline (52%) and in response to restraint stress (38%), but only in long days. P. campbelli males and females exhibited comparable blood cortisol and stress responses during both long and short days. Our results suggest that interactions among

  4. Insect photoperiodic calendar and circadian clock: independence, cooperation, or unity?

    PubMed

    Koštál, Vladimír

    2011-05-01

    The photoperiodic calendar is a seasonal time measurement system which allows insects to cope with annual cycles of environmental conditions. Seasonal timing of entry into diapause is the most often studied photoperiodic response of insects. Research on insect photoperiodism has an approximately 80-year-old tradition. Despite that long history, the physiological mechanisms underlying functionality of the photoperiodic calendar remain poorly understood. Thus far, a consensus has not been reached on the role of another time measurement system, the biological circadian clock, in the photoperiodic calendar. Are the two systems physically separated and functionally independent, or do they cooperate, or is it a single system with dual output? The relationship between calendar and clock functions are the focus of this review, with particular emphasis on the potential roles of circadian clock genes, and the circadian clock system as a whole, in the transduction pathway for photoperiodic token stimulus to the overt expression of facultative diapause.

  5. Photoperiod throughout the maternal life cycle, not photoperiod during seed imbibition, influences germination in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Imaizumi, Toshiyuki; Auge, Gabriela; Donohue, Kathleen

    2017-04-01

    Plants adjust their phenology in response to seasonal cues experienced both by their parents and by themselves, and coordinating responses to these cues is necessary for expressing adaptive phenology. We investigated how cues are integrated across time to influence an important progeny phenotype, i.e., seed germination. We used Arabidopsis thaliana to investigate how the photoperiod experienced by maternal parents and by progeny influences seed germination. We examined when maternal photoperiod effects on germination are imposed and how long they persist in progeny. The photoperiod experienced by maternal plants more strongly influenced germination than the photoperiod experienced during seed imbibition. In addition, the photoperiod experienced at the prereproductive stage frequently influenced germination as strongly as that experienced during reproduction. In general, seeds from plants grown under short days had higher seed germination percentages than seeds from plants grown in longer days. These maternal effects diminished with after-ripening, but reappeared in seeds induced into secondary dormancy. We found no evidence that the effect of photoperiod systematically attenuates in proportion to the time that elapsed between the cue and the timing of seed germination. Moreover, more recently experienced cues did not override the effects of cues experienced previously. Instead, specific sequences of photoperiods experienced at the prereproductive and reproductive stages appear to influence germination behavior. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  6. Season-dependent effects of photoperiod and temperature on circadian rhythm of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase2 gene expression in pineal organ of an air-breathing catfish, Clarias gariepinus.

    PubMed

    Singh, Kshetrimayum Manisana; Saha, Saurav; Gupta, Braj Bansh Prasad

    2017-08-01

    Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) activity, aanat gene expression and melatonin production have been reported to exhibit prominent circadian rhythm in the pineal organ of most species of fish. Three types of aanat genes are expressed in fish, but the fish pineal organ predominantly expresses aanat2 gene. Increase and decrease in daylength is invariably associated with increase and decrease in temperature, respectively. But so far no attempt has been made to delineate the role of photoperiod and temperature in regulation of the circadian rhythm of aanat2 gene expression in the pineal organ of any fish with special reference to seasons. Therefore, we studied effects of various lighting regimes (12L-12D, 16L-8D, 8L-16D, LL and DD) at a constant temperature (25°C) and effects of different temperatures (15°, 25° and 35°C) under a common photoperiod 12L-12D on circadian rhythm of aanat2 gene expression in the pineal organ of Clarias gariepinus during summer and winter seasons. Aanat2 gene expression in fish pineal organ was studied by measuring aanat2 mRNA levels using Real-Time PCR. Our findings indicate that the pineal organ of C. gariepinus exhibits a prominent circadian rhythm of aanat2 gene expression irrespective of photoperiods, temperatures and seasons, and the circadian rhythm of aanat2 gene expression responds differently to different photoperiods and temperatures in a season-dependent manner. Existence of circadian rhythm of aanat2 gene expression in pineal organs maintained in vitro under 12L-12D and DD conditions as well as a free running rhythm of the gene expression in pineal organ of the fish maintained under LL and DD conditions suggest that the fish pineal organ possesses an endogenous circadian oscillator, which is entrained by light-dark cycle. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Lunar phase-dependent expression of cryptochrome and a photoperiodic mechanism for lunar phase-recognition in a reef fish, goldlined spinefoot.

    PubMed

    Fukushiro, Masato; Takeuchi, Takahiro; Takeuchi, Yuki; Hur, Sung-Pyo; Sugama, Nozomi; Takemura, Akihiro; Kubo, Yoko; Okano, Keiko; Okano, Toshiyuki

    2011-01-01

    Lunar cycle-associated physiology has been found in a wide variety of organisms. Recent study has revealed that mRNA levels of Cryptochrome (Cry), one of the circadian clock genes, were significantly higher on a full moon night than on a new moon night in coral, implying the involvement of a photoreception system in the lunar-synchronized spawning. To better establish the generalities surrounding such a mechanism and explore the underlying molecular mechanism, we focused on the relationship between lunar phase, Cry gene expression, and the spawning behavior in a lunar-synchronized spawner, the goldlined spinefoot (Siganus guttatus), and we identified two kinds of Cry genes in this animal. Their mRNA levels showed lunar cycle-dependent expression in the medial part of the brain (mesencephalon and diencephalon) peaking at the first quarter moon. Since this lunar phase coincided with the reproductive phase of the goldlined spinefoot, Cry gene expression was considered a state variable in the lunar phase recognition system. Based on the expression profiles of SgCrys together with the moonlight's pattern of timing and duration during its nightly lunar cycle, we have further speculated on a model of lunar phase recognition for reproductive control in the goldlined spinefoot, which integrates both moonlight and circadian signals in a manner similar to photoperiodic response.

  8. Innate sex differences in the timing of spring migration in a songbird.

    PubMed

    Maggini, Ivan; Bairlein, Franz

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Neurosteroidogenesis: Insights from Studies of Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Schlinger, Barney A.; Remage-Healey, Luke

    2011-01-01

    The long-held dogma that the brain is a target of steroids produced by peripheral organs has delayed widespread acceptance of the functional importance of neurosteroidogenesis. Comparative studies have been vital for establishing the key actions of gonadal and adrenal hormones on brain and behavior. No doubt, studies across diverse phyla will continue to be crucial for revealing the true significance of neurosteroidogenesis to proper function of the vertebrate brain. Here we review work out of our lab and others highlighting advances to our understanding of brain steroid synthesis and action using songbirds as animal models. These studies show that steroidogenic transporters and enzymes are present in the songbird brain and their expression and/or activities are subject to developmental, seasonal or short-term regulation. Our work in a songbird points to synaptic synthesis of neuroactive steroids and fast, peri-synaptic membrane actions. Combined with evidence for rapid steroidal control of behavior, these studies firmly establish a neuromodulatory role for avian neurosteroids. We hope this work will join with that of other species to embolden acceptance of neurosteroidal signaling as a core property of vertebrate neurobiology. PMID:21535249

  10. [Differential expression of genes related to photoperiod-temperature sensitive genic male sterility in wheat, revealed by mRNA differential display using G-box family primer].

    PubMed

    Cao, Shuang-He; Liu, Dong-Cheng; Liu, Li-Ke; Guo, Xiao-Li; Zhang, Ai-Min

    2003-01-01

    mRNA differential display with G-box family primer was used to analyze the differential expression of genes of the photoperiod-temperature sensitive genic male sterile(PTSGMS) line of wheat, BAU3338, between the sterile and fertile conditions. The result indicated that gene expression was significantly different between the two types of condition during the fertility transformation phase. The twelve qualitatively different DNA bands were identified with reverse Northern blot hybridization and five positive clones, HT1-G10, HT1-G3, HT2-G2, HT1-G4 and HT2-G5 were sequenced. The homology search indicated that HT1-G10 was highly homological (96%) to the partial sequences of Triticum aestivum chloroplast genes, rbcL and atpB, HT1-G3 was also homological (88%) to Triticum aestivum histone H2A gene and the other three gene fragments were new sequences in Gen-Bank. The analysis of the candidate gene fragments supplied some effective evidences to reveal the developmental mechanism of PTSGMS.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  13. Lingual articulation in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Suthers, Roderick A.; Rothgerber, John R.; Jensen, Kenneth Kragh

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Lingual articulation in humans is one of the primary means of vocal tract resonance filtering that produces the characteristic vowel formants of speech. In songbirds, the function of the tongue in song has not been thoroughly examined, although recent research has identified the oropharyngeal–esophageal cavity as a resonance filter that is actively tuned to the frequency of the song. In northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), the volume of this cavity is inversely proportional to the frequency of the song above 2 kHz. However, cardinal song extends below this range, leaving the question of whether and how the vocal tract is tracking these low frequencies. We investigated the possible role of the tongue in vocal tract filtering using X-ray cineradiography of northern cardinals. Below 2 kHz, there was prominent tongue elevation in which the tip of the tongue was raised until it seemed to touch the palate. These results suggest that tongue elevation lowers the resonance frequency below 2 kHz by reducing the area of the passage from the oral cavity into the beak. This is consistent with a computational model of the songbird vocal tract in which resonance frequencies are actively adjusted by both changing the volume of the oropharyngeal–esophageal cavity and constricting the opening into the beak. PMID:26685174

  14. Photoperiodic regulation of the sucrose transporter StSUT4 affects the expression of circadian-regulated genes and ethylene production

    PubMed Central

    Chincinska, Izabela; Gier, Konstanze; Krügel, Undine; Liesche, Johannes; He, Hongxia; Grimm, Bernhard; Harren, Frans J. M.; Cristescu, Simona M.; Kühn, Christina

    2012-01-01

    Several recent publications reported different subcellular localization of the sucrose transporters belonging to the SUT4 subfamily. The physiological function of the SUT4 sucrose transporters requires clarification, because down-regulation of the members of the SUT4 clade had different effects in rice, poplar, and potato. Here, we provide new data for the localization and function of the Solanaceous StSUT4 protein, further elucidating involvement in the onset of flowering, tuberization and in the shade avoidance syndrome of potato plants. Induction of an early flowering and a tuberization in the SUT4-inhibited potato plants correlates with increased sucrose export from leaves and increased sucrose and starch accumulation in terminal sink organs, such as developing tubers. SUT4 affects expression of the enzymes involved in gibberellin and ethylene biosynthesis, as well as the rate of ethylene biosynthesis in potato. In the SUT4-inhibited plants, the ethylene production no longer follows a diurnal rhythm. Thus it was concluded that StSUT4 controls circadian gene expression, potentially by regulating sucrose export from leaves. Furthermore, SUT4 expression affects clock-regulated genes such as StFT, StSOC1, and StCO, which might be also involved in a photoperiod-dependent tuberization. A model is proposed in which StSUT4 controls a phloem-mobile signaling molecule generated in leaves, which together with enhanced sucrose export affects developmental switches in apical meristems. SUT4 seems to link photoreceptor-perceived information about the light quality and day length with phytohormone biosynthesis and the expression of circadian-regulated genes. PMID:23429841

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

    Pituitary mRNA levels of gonadotropin β-subunits and of their cognate receptors in the testis were studied during puberty in Atlantic cod under normal and experimental photoperiod conditions that suppressed, delayed or accelerated testis maturation. Results are discussed in context with changes in testicular histology and plasma androgen levels, considered as end points of gonadotropic regulation. Up-regulation of fshb was closely associated with the onset of puberty, decreased when spermatogenesis was completed and reached minimum levels after spawning. These results demonstrate, for the first time using an experimental approach, that activation of Fsh-dependent signaling is associated with spermatogonial proliferation and formation of spermatogenic cysts. Changes in fshr expression were less prominent and could be explained by changes in the cellular composition and RNA content of cod testis tissue. At more advanced stages of development (spermiogenesis, spermiation and spawning), lhb and, one month later, lhcgr transcript levels increased and reached peak values in spawning fish, in a positive feedback loop involving plasma androgens and Lh/Lhcgr-dependent signaling. This loop was broken by a loss of lhb expression at the end of the spawning season. Continuous light (LL) from summer solstice, ~8 months prior to spawning, suppressed the start of testis maturation and the changes in gonadotropin and receptor mRNA levels, while LL from winter solstice initially up-regulated lhb and lhcgr expression, before resulting in a precocious termination of the spawning season and low expression of all four genes. Our studies provide experimental evidence for a clear functional discrimination of cod gonadotropins. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

  2. Detection ratios of riparian songbirds

    Treesearch

    Susan L. Earnst; Jeannie Heltzel

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents preliminary results from the first year of a two-year study designed to evaluate bias in a typical songbird survey by examining differences in detection ratios among species, cover types, and time of the season. Detection ratios, calculated as number of individuals detected during a 15-25 minute fixed-width transect survey divided by the number of...

  3. Neurogenomic Mechanisms of Aggression in Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Maney, Donna L.; Goodson, James L.

    2017-01-01

    Our understanding of the biological basis of aggression in all vertebrates, including humans, has been built largely upon discoveries first made in birds. A voluminous literature now indicates that hormonal mechanisms are shared between humans and a number of avian species. Research on genetics mechanisms in birds has lagged behind the more typical laboratory species because the necessary tools have been lacking until recently. Over the past 30 years, three major technical advances have propelled forward our understanding of the hormonal, neural, and genetic bases of aggression in birds: (1) the development of assays to measure plasma levels of hormones in free-living individuals, or “field endocrinology”; (2) the immunohistochemical labeling of immediate early gene products to map neural responses to social stimuli; and (3) the sequencing of the zebra finch genome, which makes available a tremendous set of genomic tools for studying gene sequences, expression, and chromosomal structure in species for which we already have large datasets on aggressive behavior. This combination of hormonal, neuroendocrine, and genetic tools has established songbirds as powerful models for understanding the neural basis and evolution of aggression in vertebrates. In this chapter, we discuss the contributions of field endocrinology toward a theoretical framework linking aggression with sex steroids, explore evidence that the neural substrates of aggression are conserved across vertebrate species, and describe a promising new songbird model for studying the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying aggression. PMID:22078478

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  5. Photoperiodic effects on pubertal maturation of spermatogenesis, pituitary responsiveness to exogenous GnRH, and expression of boar taint in crossbred boars.

    PubMed

    Andersson, H; Wallgren, M; Rydhmer, L; Lundström, K; Andersson, K; Forsberg, M

    1998-12-31

    Forty-eight weaned, winter-born crossbred males (average age of 42 days) were exposed to either a natural photoperiod (January-June at 60 degrees N, Control) or one of two artificial photoperiods (1400 lx) in light-sealed rooms. The Spring/Summer group was exposed to an artificial photoperiod simulating conditions from the vernal equinox (mid-March) to August at 60 degrees N and the Autumn/Winter group to a photoperiod, simulating conditions from the autumnal equinox (mid-September) to February at 60 degrees N. Plasma samples were collected biweekly until the pigs were slaughtered, after reaching 115 kg, and analysed for testosterone, estrone sulfate, thyroxine and prolactin. Additionally, three animals per treatment (n = 9) were injected with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and plasma samples were collected every 15 min and analysed for luteinizing hormone and testosterone. Boar taint, carcass composition and reproductive traits were measured at slaughter. Live-weight gain from start to slaughter was lower among the Control animals compared with the Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer animals. There was a peak in plasma testosterone in both the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter groups at 71 days of age, whereas plasma testosterone in the Control group remained at prepubertal levels. At 113 and 127 days of age, the Control group had somewhat higher testosterone levels than the Spring/Summer group, but at 141 days of age and on the day before slaughter, the Autumn/Winter group had a higher mean plasma testosterone concentration. There were no differences between treatments in the endocrine response to the GnRH challenge. Bulbourethral gland weight at slaughter was lower in the Spring/Summer group than in the Autumn/Winter group. The percentage of proximal cytoplasmic droplets was higher in the Spring/Summer group than in both the Control and Autumn/Winter groups. Spermatogenesis at the time of slaughter was clearly more mature in animals in the Autumn/Winter group

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Photoperiod insensitive Ppd-A1a mutations in tetraploid wheat (Triticum durum Desf.).

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Edward P; Turner, Adrian S; Laurie, David A

    2009-01-01

    Variation in photoperiod response plays an important role in adapting crops to agricultural environments. In hexaploid wheat, mutations conferring photoperiod insensitivity (flowering after a similar time in short or long days) have been mapped on the 2B (Ppd-B1) and 2D (Ppd-D1) chromosomes in colinear positions to the 2H Ppd-H1 gene of barley. No A genome mutation is known. On the D genome, photoperiod insensitivity is likely to be caused by deletion of a regulatory region that causes misexpression of a member of the pseudo-response regulator (PRR) gene family and activation of the photoperiod pathway irrespective of day length. Photoperiod insensitivity in tetraploid (durum) wheat is less characterized. We compared pairs of near-isogenic lines that differ in photoperiod response and showed that photoperiod insensitivity is associated with two independent deletions of the A genome PRR gene that cause altered expression. This is associated with induction of the floral regulator FT. The A genome deletions and the previously described D genome deletion of hexaploid wheat remove a common region, suggesting a shared mechanism for photoperiod insensitivity. The identification of the A genome mutations will allow characterization of durum wheat germplasm and the construction of genotypes with novel combinations of photoperiod insensitive alleles.

  8. Thyroid hormone signalling genes are regulated by photoperiod in the hypothalamus of F344 rats.

    PubMed

    Ross, Alexander W; Helfer, Gisela; Russell, Laura; Darras, Veerle M; Morgan, Peter J

    2011-01-01

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

  9. The genomics of memory and learning in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Clayton, David F

    2013-01-01

    Songbirds have unique value as a model for memory and learning. In their natural social life, they communicate through vocalizations that they must learn to produce and recognize. Song communication elicits abrupt changes in gene expression in regions of the forebrain responsible for song perception and production--what is the functional significance of this genomic response? For 20 years, the focus of research was on just a few genes [primarily ZENK, now known as egr1 (early gene response 1)]. Recently, however, DNA microarrays have been developed and applied to songbird behavioral research, and in 2010 the initial draft assembly of the zebra finch genome was published. Together, these new data reveal that the genomic involvement in song processing is far more complex than anticipated. The concepts of neurogenomic computation and biological embedding are introduced as frameworks for future research.

  10. Temporal pattern processing in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Comins, Jordan A; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Night-vision brain area in migratory songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Mouritsen, Henrik; Feenders, Gesa; Liedvogel, Miriam; Wada, Kazuhiro; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2005-01-01

    Twice each year, millions of night-migratory songbirds migrate thousands of kilometers. To find their way, they must process and integrate spatiotemporal information from a variety of cues including the Earth's magnetic field and the night-time starry sky. By using sensory-driven gene expression, we discovered that night-migratory songbirds possess a tight cluster of brain regions highly active only during night vision. This cluster, here named “cluster N,” is located at the dorsal surface of the brain and is adjacent to a known visual pathway. In contrast, neuronal activation of cluster N was not increased in nonmigratory birds during the night, and it disappeared in migrants when both eyes were covered. We suggest that in night-migratory songbirds cluster N is involved in enhanced night vision, and that it could be integrating vision-mediated magnetic and/or star compass information for night-time navigation. Our findings thus represent an anatomical and functional demonstration of a specific night-vision brain area. PMID:15928090

  12. Integration of light and photoperiodic signaling in transcriptional nuclear foci

    PubMed Central

    Kaiserli, Eirini; Paldi, Katalin; O'Donnell, Liz; Batalov, Olga; Pedmale, Ullas V.; Nusinow, Dmitri A.; Kay, Steve A.; Chory, Joanne

    2015-01-01

    Summary Light regulates major plant developmental transitions by orchestrating a series of nuclear events. This study uncovers the molecular function of the natural variant, TZP (Tandem Zinc-finger-Plus3), as a novel signal integrator of light and photoperiodic pathways in transcriptional nuclear foci. We report that TZP acts as a positive regulator of photoperiodic flowering via physical interactions with the red-light receptor phytochrome B (phyB). We demonstrate that TZP localizes in dynamic nuclear domains regulated by light quality and photoperiod. This study shows that phyB is indispensible not only for localizing TZP to transcriptionally active nuclear photobodies, but also for recruiting TZP on the promoter of the floral inducer FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT). Our findings signify a unique transcriptional regulatory role to the highly enigmatic plant nuclear photobodies, where TZP directly activates FT gene expression and promotes flowering. PMID:26555051

  13. What songbirds teach us about learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brainard, Michael S.; Doupe, Allison J.

    2002-05-01

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

  14. FoxP2 in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Wohlgemuth, Sandra; Adam, Iris; Scharff, Constance

    2014-10-01

    Humans with mutations in the transcription factor FOXP2 display a severe speech disorder. Songbirds are a powerful model system to study FoxP2. Like humans, songbirds communicate via vocalizations that are imitatively learned during critical periods and this learning is influenced by social factors and relies on functionally lateralized neural circuits. During the past five years significant progress has been made moving from a descriptive to a more mechanistic understanding of how FoxP2 functions in songbirds. Current evidence from molecular and electrophysiological studies indicates that FoxP2 is important for shaping synaptic plasticity of specific neuron populations. One future goal will be to identify the transcriptional regulation orchestrated by FoxP2 and its associated molecular network that brings about these physiological effects. This will be key to further unravel how FoxP2 influences synaptic function and thereby contributes to auditory guided vocal motor behavior in the songbird model.

  15. Dopamine receptors in a songbird brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Arabidopsis MSI1 functions in photoperiodic flowering time control.

    PubMed

    Steinbach, Yvonne; Hennig, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Appropriate timing of flowering is crucial for crop yield and the reproductive success of plants. Flowering can be induced by a number of molecular pathways that respond to internal and external signals such as photoperiod, vernalization or light quality, ambient temperature and biotic as well as abiotic stresses. The key florigenic signal FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) is regulated by several flowering activators, such as CONSTANS (CO), and repressors, such as FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). Chromatin modifications are essential for regulated gene expression, which often involves the well conserved MULTICOPY SUPRESSOR OF IRA 1 (MSI1)-like protein family. MSI1-like proteins are ubiquitous partners of various complexes, such as POLYCOMB REPRESSIVE COMPLEX2 or CHROMATIN ASSEMBLY FACTOR 1. In Arabidopsis, one of the functions of MSI1 is to control the switch to flowering. Arabidopsis MSI1 is needed for the correct expression of the floral integrator gene SUPPRESSOR OF CO 1 (SOC1). Here, we show that the histone-binding protein MSI1 acts in the photoperiod pathway to regulate normal expression of CO in long day (LD) photoperiods. Reduced expression of CO in msi1-mutants leads to failure of FT and SOC1 activation and to delayed flowering. MSI1 is needed for normal sensitivity of Arabidopsis to photoperiod, because msi1-mutants responded less than wild type to an intermittent LD treatment of plants grown in short days. Finally, genetic analysis demonstrated that MSI1 acts upstream of the CO-FT pathway to enable an efficient photoperiodic response and to induce flowering.

  17. Photoperiodic Regulation of Florigen Function in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Golembeski, Greg S.; Imaizumi, Takato

    2015-01-01

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

  18. EARLY FLOWERING3 Redundancy Fine-Tunes Photoperiod Sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Rubenach, Andrew J S; Hecht, Valérie; Vander Schoor, Jacqueline K; Liew, Lim Chee; Aubert, Gregoire; Burstin, Judith; Weller, James L

    2017-04-01

    Three pea (Pisum sativum) loci controlling photoperiod sensitivity, HIGH RESPONSE (HR), DIE NEUTRALIS (DNE), and STERILE NODES (SN), have recently been shown to correspond to orthologs of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) circadian clock genes EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3), ELF4, and LUX ARRHYTHMO, respectively. A fourth pea locus, PHOTOPERIOD (PPD), also contributes to the photoperiod response in a similar manner to SN and DNE, and recessive ppd mutants on a spring-flowering hr mutant background show early, photoperiod-insensitive flowering. However, the molecular identity of PPD has so far remained elusive. Here, we show that the PPD locus also has a role in maintenance of diurnal and circadian gene expression rhythms and identify PPD as an ELF3 co-ortholog, termed ELF3b Genetic interactions between pea ELF3 genes suggest that loss of PPD function does not affect flowering time in the presence of functional HR, whereas PPD can compensate only partially for the lack of HR These results provide an illustration of how gene duplication and divergence can generate potential for the emergence of more subtle variations in phenotype that may be adaptively significant. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  19. Deciphering time measurement: the role of circadian 'clock' genes and formal experimentation in insect photoperiodism.

    PubMed

    Saunders, D S; Bertossa, R C

    2011-05-01

    This review examines possible role(s) of circadian 'clock' genes in insect photoperiodism against a background of many decades of formal experimentation and model building. Since ovarian diapause in the genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster has proved to be weak and variable, recent attention has been directed to species with more robust photoperiodic responses. However, no obvious consensus on the problem of time measurement in insect photoperiodism has yet to emerge and a variety of mechanisms are indicated. In some species, expression patterns of clock genes and formal experiments based on the canonical properties of the circadian system have suggested that a damped oscillator version of Pittendrigh's external coincidence model is appropriate to explain the measurement of seasonal changes in night length. In other species extreme dampening of constituent oscillators may give rise to apparently hourglass-like photoperiodic responses, and in still others there is evidence for dual oscillator (dawn and dusk) photoperiodic mechanisms of the internal coincidence type. Although the exact role of circadian rhythmicity and of clock genes in photoperiodism is yet to be settled, Bünning's general hypothesis (Bünning, 1936) remains the most persuasive unifying principle. Observed differences between photoperiodic clocks may be reflections of underlying differences in the clock genes in their circadian feedback loops. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    PubMed

    Mishra, Ila; Singh, Devraj; Kumar, Vinod

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Effects of altered photoperiod on circadian clock and lipid metabolism in rats.

    PubMed

    Xie, Xiaoxian; Zhao, Binggong; Huang, Liangfeng; Shen, Qichen; Ma, Lingyan; Chen, Yangyang; Wu, Tao; Fu, Zhengwei

    2017-07-14

    Disruption of circadian clock timekeeping due to changes in the photoperiod enhances the risk of lipid metabolism disorders and metabolic syndrome. However, the effects of altered photoperiods on the circadian clock and lipid metabolism are not well understood. To explore the effects of altered photoperiods, we developed a rat model where rats were exposed to either short-day or long-day conditions. Our findings demonstrated that altered photoperiods mediated circadian clocks by partly disrupting rhythmicity and shifting phase values of clock genes. We also showed that compared to long-day conditions, rats under short-day conditions exhibited more photoperiodic changes in a variety of physiological outputs related to lipid metabolism, such as significant increases in serum triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein, and leptin levels, as well as increased body weight, fat:weight ratio, and hepatic TG levels. These increments were gained possibly through upregulated expression of forkhead box O1 (FoxO1), which partly mediates the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorα (PPARα) to increase the expression of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-g coactivator-1β (PGC1β), and fatty acid synthase (Fasn). In addition, the oscillation rhythms of FoxO1, PEPCK, PGC1β, and Fasn expression levels in the livers of rats exposed to a short-day photoperiod were more robust than those exposed to a long-day photoperiod. These findings suggest that a change in photoperiod can partly disrupt the circadian rhythmcity of clock genes, impair lipid metabolism, and promote obesity.

  2. Food-anticipatory activity in Syrian hamsters: behavioral and molecular responses in the hypothalamus according to photoperiodic conditions.

    PubMed

    Dantas-Ferreira, Rosana F; Dumont, Stéphanie; Gourmelen, Sylviane; Cipolla-Neto, José; Simonneaux, Valérie; Pévet, Paul; Challet, Etienne

    2015-01-01

    When food availability is restricted, animals adjust their behavior according to the timing of food access. Most rodents, such as rats and mice, and a wide number of other animals express before timed food access a bout of activity, defined as food-anticipatory activity (FAA). One notable exception amongst rodents is the Syrian hamster, a photoperiodic species that is not prone to express FAA. The present study was designed to understand the reasons for the low FAA in that species. First, we used both wheel-running activity and general cage activity to assess locomotor behavior. Second, the possible effects of photoperiod was tested by challenging hamsters with restricted feeding under long (LP) or short (SP) photoperiods. Third, because daytime light may inhibit voluntary activity, hamsters were also exposed to successive steps of full and skeleton photoperiods (two 1-h light pulses simulating dawn and dusk). When hamsters were exposed to skeleton photoperiods, not full photoperiod, they expressed FAA in the wheel independently of daylength, indicating that FAA in the wheel is masked by daytime light under full photoperiods. During FAA under skeleton photoperiods, c-Fos expression was increased in the arcuate nuclei independently of the photoperiod, but differentially increased in the ventromedial and dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei according to the photoperiod. FAA in general activity was hardly modulated by daytime light, but was reduced under SP. Together, these findings show that food-restricted Syrian hamsters are not prone to display FAA under common laboratory conditions, because of the presence of light during daytime that suppresses FAA expression in the wheel.

  3. Food-Anticipatory Activity in Syrian Hamsters: Behavioral and Molecular Responses in the Hypothalamus According to Photoperiodic Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Dantas-Ferreira, Rosana F.; Dumont, Stéphanie; Gourmelen, Sylviane; Cipolla-Neto, José; Simonneaux, Valérie; Pévet, Paul; Challet, Etienne

    2015-01-01

    When food availability is restricted, animals adjust their behavior according to the timing of food access. Most rodents, such as rats and mice, and a wide number of other animals express before timed food access a bout of activity, defined as food-anticipatory activity (FAA). One notable exception amongst rodents is the Syrian hamster, a photoperiodic species that is not prone to express FAA. The present study was designed to understand the reasons for the low FAA in that species. First, we used both wheel-running activity and general cage activity to assess locomotor behavior. Second, the possible effects of photoperiod was tested by challenging hamsters with restricted feeding under long (LP) or short (SP) photoperiods. Third, because daytime light may inhibit voluntary activity, hamsters were also exposed to successive steps of full and skeleton photoperiods (two 1-h light pulses simulating dawn and dusk). When hamsters were exposed to skeleton photoperiods, not full photoperiod, they expressed FAA in the wheel independently of daylength, indicating that FAA in the wheel is masked by daytime light under full photoperiods. During FAA under skeleton photoperiods, c-Fos expression was increased in the arcuate nuclei independently of the photoperiod, but differentially increased in the ventromedial and dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei according to the photoperiod. FAA in general activity was hardly modulated by daytime light, but was reduced under SP. Together, these findings show that food-restricted Syrian hamsters are not prone to display FAA under common laboratory conditions, because of the presence of light during daytime that suppresses FAA expression in the wheel. PMID:25970608

  4. Regulatory mechanisms of testosterone-stimulated song in the sensorimotor nucleus HVC of female songbirds.

    PubMed

    Dittrich, Falk; Ramenda, Claudia; Grillitsch, Doris; Frankl-Vilches, Carolina; Ko, Meng-Ching; Hertel, Moritz; Goymann, Wolfgang; ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2014-12-02

    In male birds, influence of the sex steroid hormone testosterone and its estrogenic metabolites on seasonal song behavior has been demonstrated for many species. In contrast, female song was only recently recognized to be widespread among songbird species, and to date, sex hormone effects on singing and brain regions controlling song development and production (song control nuclei) have been studied in females almost exclusively using domesticated canaries (Serinus canaria). However, domesticated female canaries hardly sing at all in normal circumstances and exhibit only very weak, if any, song seasonally under the natural photoperiod. By contrast, adult female European robins (Erithacus rubecula) routinely sing during the winter season, a time when they defend feeding territories and show elevated circulating testosterone levels. We therefore used wild female European robins captured in the fall to examine the effects of testosterone administration on song as well as on the anatomy and the transcriptome of the song control nucleus HVC (sic). The results obtained from female robins were compared to outcomes of a similar experiment done in female domesticated canaries. Testosterone treatment induced abundant song in female robins. Examination of HVC transcriptomes and histological analyses of song control nuclei showed testosterone-induced differentiation processes related to neuron growth and spacing, angiogenesis and neuron projection morphogenesis. Similar effects were found in female canaries treated with testosterone. In contrast, the expression of genes related to synaptic transmission was not enhanced in the HVC of testosterone treated female robins but was strongly up-regulated in female canaries. A comparison of the testosterone-stimulated transcriptomes indicated that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) likely functions as a common mediator of the testosterone effects in HVC. Testosterone-induced singing of female robins correlated with cellular

  5. How Do Songbirds Produce Precise Vocalizations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenside, Henry

    2011-10-01

    Many species of songbirds do not sing instinctively but learn their songs by a process of auditory-guided vocal learning that starts with a kind of babbling that converges over several months and through tens of thousands of iterations to a highly precise adult song. How the neural circuitry of the songbird brain learns, generates, and recognizes temporal sequences related to song are important questions for neurobiologists and also interest an increasing number of physicists with interests in biophysics, statistical mechanics, nonlinear dynamics, and networks. I will discuss some interesting questions posed by recent experiments on songbirds, especially in regard to extremely sparse neuronal firing associated with song production. I will then discuss a theoretical model known as a synfire chain that my group and others have invoked and analyzed to explain some features of the experimental data.

  6. Photoperiodic Influences on Ultradian Rhythms of Male Siberian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Prendergast, Brian J.; Zucker, Irving

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Photoperiod regulates lean mass accretion, but not adiposity, in growing F344 rats fed a high fat diet.

    PubMed

    Ross, Alexander W; Russell, Laura; Helfer, Gisela; Thomson, Lynn M; Dalby, Matthew J; Morgan, Peter J

    2015-01-01

    In this study the effects of photoperiod and diet, and their interaction, were examined for their effects on growth and body composition in juvenile F344 rats over a 4-week period. On long (16L:8D), relative to short (8L:16D), photoperiod food intake and growth rate were increased, but percentage adiposity remained constant (ca 3-4%). On a high fat diet (HFD), containing 22.8% fat (45% energy as fat), food intake was reduced, but energy intake increased on both photoperiods. This led to a small increase in adiposity (up to 10%) without overt change in body weight. These changes were also reflected in plasma leptin and lipid levels. Importantly while both lean and adipose tissue were strongly regulated by photoperiod on a chow diet, this regulation was lost for adipose, but not lean tissue, on HFD. This implies that a primary effect of photoperiod is the regulation of growth and lean mass accretion. Consistent with this both hypothalamic GHRH gene expression and serum IGF-1 levels were photoperiod dependent. As for other animals and humans, there was evidence of central hyposomatotropism in response to obesity, as GHRH gene expression was suppressed by the HFD. Gene expression of hypothalamic AgRP and CRH, but not NPY nor POMC, accorded with the energy balance status on long and short photoperiod. However, there was a general dissociation between plasma leptin levels and expression of these hypothalamic energy balance genes. Similarly there was no interaction between the HFD and photoperiod at the level of the genes involved in thyroid hormone metabolism (Dio2, Dio3, TSHβ or NMU), which are important mediators of the photoperiodic response. These data suggest that photoperiod and HFD influence body weight and body composition through independent mechanisms but in each case the role of the hypothalamic energy balance genes is not predictable based on their known function.

  8. PHYTOCHROME C Is an Essential Light Receptor for Photoperiodic Flowering in the Temperate Grass, Brachypodium distachyon

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  10. Strawberry homologue of terminal flower1 integrates photoperiod and temperature signals to inhibit flowering.

    PubMed

    Rantanen, Marja; Kurokura, Takeshi; Jiang, Panpan; Mouhu, Katriina; Hytönen, Timo

    2015-04-01

    Photoperiod and temperature are major environmental signals affecting flowering in plants. Although molecular pathways mediating these signals have been well characterized in the annual model plant Arabidopsis, much less information is known in perennials. Many perennials including the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca L.) are induced to flower in response to decreasing photoperiod and temperature in autumn and they flower following spring. We showed earlier that, in contrast with Arabidopsis, the photoperiodic induction of flowering in strawberry occurs in short days (SD) when the decrease in FvFT1 (flowering locus T) and FvSOC1 (suppressor of the overexpression of constans1) expression leads to lower mRNA levels of the floral repressor, FvTFL1 (terminal flower1). By using transgenic lines and gene expression analyses, we show evidence that the temperature-mediated changes in the FvTFL1 mRNA expression set critical temperature limits for the photoperiodic flowering in strawberry. At temperatures below 13 °C, low expression level of FvTFL1 in both SD and long days (LD) allows flower induction to occur independently of the photoperiod. Rising temperature gradually increases FvTFL1 mRNA levels under LD, and at temperatures above 13 °C, SD is required for the flower induction that depends on the deactivation of FvSOC1 and FvTFL1. However, an unknown transcriptional activator, which functions independently of FvSOC1, enhances the expression of FvTFL1 at 23 °C preventing photoperiodic flowering. We suggest that the observed effect of the photoperiod × temperature interaction on FvTFL1 mRNA expression may allow strawberry to induce flowers in correct time in different climates.

  11. A Circadian Rhythm Set by Dusk Determines the Expression of FT Homologs and the Short-Day Photoperiodic Flowering Response in Pharbitis[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Hayama, Ryosuke; Agashe, Bhavna; Luley, Elisabeth; King, Rod; Coupland, George

    2007-01-01

    Seasonal control of flowering through responsiveness to daylength shows extreme variation. Different species flower in response to long days or short days (SDs), and this difference evolved several times. The molecular mechanisms conferring these responses have been compared in detail only in Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa) and suggest that a conserved pathway confers daylength responses through regulation of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) transcription by CONSTANS (CO). We studied Pharbitis (Ipomoea nil; formerly, Pharbitis nil), a widely used SD model species and a member of the Convolvulaceae, and showed using transgenic plants together with detailed expression analysis that two putative orthologs of FT (Pn FT1 and Pn FT2) promote flowering specifically under SDs. These genes are expressed only under SDs, and light flashes given during the night reduce their expression and prevent flowering. We demonstrate that in Pharbitis a circadian rhythm set by the light-to-dark transition at dusk regulates Pn FT expression, which rises only when the night is longer than 11 h. Furthermore, Pharbitis accessions that differ in their critical night-length responses express Pn FT at different times after dusk, demonstrating that natural genetic variation influencing the clock regulating Pn FT expression alters the flowering response. In these assays, Pn FT mRNA abundance was not related to Pn CO expression, suggesting that Pn FT may be regulated by a different transcription factor in Pharbitis. We conclude that SD response in Pharbitis is controlled by a dedicated light sensitive clock, set by dusk, that activates Pn FT transcription in darkness, a different mechanism for measuring daylength than described for Arabidopsis and rice. PMID:17965272

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  13. A framework for integrating the songbird brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-12

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

  15. Learning-related brain hemispheric dominance in sleeping songbirds

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  17. Circadian and Plastid Signaling Pathways Are Integrated to Ensure Correct Expression of the CBF and COR Genes during Photoperiodic Growth1

    PubMed Central

    Norén, Louise

    2016-01-01

    The circadian clock synchronizes a wide range of biological processes with the day/night cycle, and correct circadian regulation is essential for photosynthetic activity and plant growth. We describe here a mechanism where a plastid signal converges with the circadian clock to fine-tune the regulation of nuclear gene expression in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Diurnal oscillations of tetrapyrrole levels in the chloroplasts contribute to the regulation of the nucleus-encoded transcription factors C-REPEAT BINDING FACTORS (CBFs). The plastid signal triggered by tetrapyrrole accumulation inhibits the activity of cytosolic HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN90 and, as a consequence, the maturation and stability of the clock component ZEITLUPE (ZTL). ZTL negatively regulates the transcription factor LONG HYPOCOTYL5 (HY5) and PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR5 (PRR5). Thus, low levels of ZTL result in a HY5- and PRR5-mediated repression of CBF3 and PRR5-mediated repression of CBF1 and CBF2 expression. The plastid signal thereby contributes to the rhythm of CBF expression and the downstream COLD RESPONSIVE expression during day/night cycles. These findings provide insight into how plastid signals converge with, and impact upon, the activity of well-defined clock components involved in circadian regulation. PMID:27208227

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Plants use the circadian clock to sense photoperiod length. Seasonal responses like flowering are triggered at a critical photoperiod when a light-sensitive clock output coincides with light or darkness. However, many metabolic processes, like starch turnover, and growth respond progressively to photoperiod duration. We first tested the photoperiod response of 10 core clock genes and two output genes. qRT-PCR analyses of transcript abundance under 6, 8, 12 and 18 h photoperiods revealed 1-4 h earlier peak times under short photoperiods and detailed changes like rising PRR7 expression before dawn. Clock models recapitulated most of these changes. We explored the consequences for global gene expression by performing transcript profiling in 4, 6, 8, 12 and 18 h photoperiods. There were major changes in transcript abundance at dawn, which were as large as those between dawn and dusk in a given photoperiod. Contributing factors included altered timing of the clock relative to dawn, light signalling and changes in carbon availability at night as a result of clock-dependent regulation of starch degradation. Their interaction facilitates coordinated transcriptional regulation of key processes like starch turnover, anthocyanin, flavonoid and glucosinolate biosynthesis and protein synthesis and underpins the response of metabolism and growth to photoperiod. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Photoperiodic time measurement and seasonal immunological plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Tyler J.; Prendergast, Brian J.

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Circadian clock and photoperiodic response in Arabidopsis: from seasonal flowering to redox homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Shim, Jae Sung; Imaizumi, Takato

    2015-01-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Transoceanic migration by a 12 g songbird

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Photoperiodic plasticity in circadian clock neurons in insects.

    PubMed

    Shiga, Sakiko

    2013-01-01

    Since Bünning's observation of circadian rhythms and photoperiodism in the runner bean Phaseolus multiflorus in 1936, many studies have shown that photoperiodism is based on the circadian clock system. In insects, involvement of circadian clock genes or neurons has been recently shown in the photoperiodic control of developmental arrests, diapause. Photoperiod sets peaks of period (per) or timeless (tim) mRNA abundance at lights-off in Sarcophaga crassipalpis, Chymomyza costata and Protophormia terraenovae. Abundance of per and Clock mRNA changes by photoperiod in Pyrrhocoris apterus. Subcellular Per distribution in circadian clock neurons changes with photoperiod in P. terraenovae. Although photoperiodism is not known in Leucophaea maderae, under longer day length, more stomata and longer commissural fibers of circadian clock neurons have been found. These plastic changes in the circadian clock neurons could be an important constituent for photoperiodic clock mechanisms to integrate repetitive photoperiodic information and produce different outputs based on day length.

  5. Genetic regulation of sex differences in songbirds and lizards.

    PubMed

    Wade, Juli

    2016-02-19

    Sex differences in the morphology of neural and peripheral structures related to reproduction often parallel the frequency of particular behaviours displayed by males and females. In a variety of model organisms, these sex differences are organized in development by gonadal steroids, which also act in adulthood to modulate behavioural expression and in some cases to generate parallel anatomical changes on a seasonal basis. Data collected from diverse species, however, suggest that changes in hormone availability are not sufficient to explain sex and seasonal differences in structure and function. This paper pulls together some of this literature from songbirds and lizards and considers the information in the broader context of taking a comparative approach to investigating genetic mechanisms associated with behavioural neuroendocrinology.

  6. Genetic regulation of sex differences in songbirds and lizards

    PubMed Central

    Wade, Juli

    2016-01-01

    Sex differences in the morphology of neural and peripheral structures related to reproduction often parallel the frequency of particular behaviours displayed by males and females. In a variety of model organisms, these sex differences are organized in development by gonadal steroids, which also act in adulthood to modulate behavioural expression and in some cases to generate parallel anatomical changes on a seasonal basis. Data collected from diverse species, however, suggest that changes in hormone availability are not sufficient to explain sex and seasonal differences in structure and function. This paper pulls together some of this literature from songbirds and lizards and considers the information in the broader context of taking a comparative approach to investigating genetic mechanisms associated with behavioural neuroendocrinology. PMID:26833833

  7. LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL regulates photoperiodic flowering via the circadian clock in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Park, Mi-Jeong; Kwon, Young-Ju; Gil, Kyung-Eun; Park, Chung-Mo

    2016-05-20

    Plants constantly monitor changes in photoperiod or day length to trigger the flowering cycle at the most appropriate time of the year. It is well established that photoperiodic flowering is intimately associated with the circadian clock in Arabidopsis. In support of this notion, many clock-defective mutants exhibit altered photoperiodic sensitivity in inducing flowering. LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL (LHY) and its functional paralogue CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED 1 (CCA1) constitute the core of the circadian clock together with TIMING OF CAB EXPRSSION 1 (TOC1). While it is known that TOC1 contributes to the timing of flowering entirely by modulating the clock function, molecular mechanisms by which LHY and CCA1 regulate flowering time have not been explored. We investigated how LHY and CCA1 regulate photoperiodic flowering through molecular genetic and biochemical studies. It was found that LHY-defective mutants (lhy-7 and lhy-20) exhibit accelerated flowering under both long days (LDs) and short days (SDs). Consistent with the accelerated flowering phenotypes, gene expression analysis revealed that expression of the floral integrator FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) is up-regulated in the lhy mutants. In addition, the expression peaks of GIGANTEA (GI) and FLAVIN-BINDING, KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX PROTEIN 1 (FKF1) genes, which constitute the clock output pathway that is linked with photoperiodic flowering, were advanced by approximately 4 h in the mutants. Furthermore, the up-regulation of FT disappeared when the endogenous circadian period is matched to the external light/dark cycles in the lhy-7 mutant. Notably, whereas CCA1 binds strongly to FT gene promoter, LHY does not show such DNA-binding activity. Our data indicate that the advanced expression phases of photoperiodic flowering genes are associated with the clock defects in the lhy mutants and responsible for the reduced photoperiodic sensitivity of the mutant flowering, demonstrating that LHY regulates photoperiodic flowering

  8. A photoperiod-responsive protein compendium and conceptual proteome roadmap outline in maize grown in growth chambers with controlled conditions

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the major staple food crops of the world. However, high photoperiod sensitivity, especially for tropical germplasms, impedes attempts to improve maize agronomical traits by integration of tropical and temperate maize germplasms. Physiological and phenotypic responses of maize to photoperiod have widely been investigated based on multi-site field observations; however, proteome-based responsive mechanisms under controlled photoperiod regimes, nutrient and moisture soils are not yet well understood. In the present study, we sequenced and analyzed six proteomes of tropically-adapted and photoperiod-sensitive M9 inbred line at the vegetative 3 stage and proteomes from tropically-adapted and photoperiod-sensitive Shuang M9 (SM9) inbred line at the vegetative-tasseling stage. All plants were grown in growth chambers with controlled soil and temperature and three photoperiod regimes, a short photoperiod (SP) of 10 h light/14 h dark, a control neutral photoperiod (NP) of 12 h light/12 h dark, and a long photoperiod (LP) of 16 h light/8 h dark for a daily cycle. We identified 4,395 proteins of which 401 and 425 differentially-expressed proteins (DPs) were found in abundance in M9 leaves and in SM9 leaves as per SP/LP vs. NP, respectively. Some DPs showed responses to both SP and LP while some only responded to either SP or LP, depending on M9 or SM9. Our study showed that the photoperiodic response pathway, circadian clock rhythm, and high light density/intensity crosstalk with each other, but apparently differ from dark signaling routes. Photoperiod response involves light-responsive or dark-responsive proteins or both. The DPs positioned on the signaling routes from photoperiod changes to RNA/DNA responses involve the mago nashi homolog and glycine-rich RNA-binding proteins. Moreover, the cell-to-cell movement of ZCN14 through plasmodesmata is likely blocked under a 16-h-light LP. Here, we propose a photoperiodic model based on our findings

  9. A photoperiod-responsive protein compendium and conceptual proteome roadmap outline in maize grown in growth chambers with controlled conditions.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the major staple food crops of the world. However, high photoperiod sensitivity, especially for tropical germplasms, impedes attempts to improve maize agronomical traits by integration of tropical and temperate maize germplasms. Physiological and phenotypic responses of maize to photoperiod have widely been investigated based on multi-site field observations; however, proteome-based responsive mechanisms under controlled photoperiod regimes, nutrient and moisture soils are not yet well understood. In the present study, we sequenced and analyzed six proteomes of tropically-adapted and photoperiod-sensitive M9 inbred line at the vegetative 3 stage and proteomes from tropically-adapted and photoperiod-sensitive Shuang M9 (SM9) inbred line at the vegetative-tasseling stage. All plants were grown in growth chambers with controlled soil and temperature and three photoperiod regimes, a short photoperiod (SP) of 10 h light/14 h dark, a control neutral photoperiod (NP) of 12 h light/12 h dark, and a long photoperiod (LP) of 16 h light/8 h dark for a daily cycle. We identified 4,395 proteins of which 401 and 425 differentially-expressed proteins (DPs) were found in abundance in M9 leaves and in SM9 leaves as per SP/LP vs. NP, respectively. Some DPs showed responses to both SP and LP while some only responded to either SP or LP, depending on M9 or SM9. Our study showed that the photoperiodic response pathway, circadian clock rhythm, and high light density/intensity crosstalk with each other, but apparently differ from dark signaling routes. Photoperiod response involves light-responsive or dark-responsive proteins or both. The DPs positioned on the signaling routes from photoperiod changes to RNA/DNA responses involve the mago nashi homolog and glycine-rich RNA-binding proteins. Moreover, the cell-to-cell movement of ZCN14 through plasmodesmata is likely blocked under a 16-h-light LP. Here, we propose a photoperiodic model based on our findings

  10. Days to heading 7, a major quantitative locus determining photoperiod sensitivity and regional adaptation in rice.

    PubMed

    Gao, He; Jin, Mingna; Zheng, Xiao-Ming; Chen, Jun; Yuan, Dingyang; Xin, Yeyun; Wang, Maoqing; Huang, Dongyi; Zhang, Zhe; Zhou, Kunneng; Sheng, Peike; Ma, Jin; Ma, Weiwei; Deng, Huafeng; Jiang, Ling; Liu, Shijia; Wang, Haiyang; Wu, Chuanyin; Yuan, Longping; Wan, Jianmin

    2014-11-18

    Success of modern agriculture relies heavily on breeding of crops with maximal regional adaptability and yield potentials. A major limiting factor for crop cultivation is their flowering time, which is strongly regulated by day length (photoperiod) and temperature. Here we report identification and characterization of Days to heading 7 (DTH7), a major genetic locus underlying photoperiod sensitivity and grain yield in rice. Map-based cloning reveals that DTH7 encodes a pseudo-response regulator protein and its expression is regulated by photoperiod. We show that in long days DTH7 acts downstream of the photoreceptor phytochrome B to repress the expression of Ehd1, an up-regulator of the "florigen" genes (Hd3a and RFT1), leading to delayed flowering. Further, we find that haplotype combinations of DTH7 with Grain number, plant height, and heading date 7 (Ghd7) and DTH8 correlate well with the heading date and grain yield of rice under different photoperiod conditions. Our data provide not only a macroscopic view of the genetic control of photoperiod sensitivity in rice but also a foundation for breeding of rice cultivars better adapted to the target environments using rational design.

  11. Adrenergic inducibility of AP-1 binding in the rat pineal gland depends on prior photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Guillaumond, F; Becquet, D; Bosler, O; François-Bellan, A M

    2002-10-01

    The main known function of the pineal gland in mammals is the temporal synchronization of physiological rhythms to seasonal changes of day length (photoperiod). In rat, the transcription factor activating protein-1 (AP-1) displays a circadian rhythm in its DNA binding in the pineal gland, which results from the rhythmic expression of Fra-2. We postulated that, if AP-1 is an important component of pineal gland functioning, then variations in photoperiodic conditions should lead to an adaptation of the AP-1 binding rhythm. Here we show that AP-1 binding patterns adapt to variations in lighting conditions, in the same way as the rhythm of arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) activity. This adaptation appeared to result from photoperiodic adaptation of the rhythmic fra-2 gene expression and was reflected by an adapted delay between the onset of night and the acrophase of the nocturnal peak. We further showed that photoperiodic adaptation of both the AP-1 binding and AA-NAT activity rhythms resulted from adapted changes in adrenergic inducibility of both variables at night onset. We finally provided evidence that AP-1 shared with the CREM gene encoding the transcriptional repressor protein inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER) the ability to be hypersensitive or subsensitive to adrenergic stimuli, depending on prior photoperiod.

  12. Feeding habits of songbirds in East Texas clearcuts during winter

    Treesearch

    Donald W. Worthington; R. Montague Jr. Whiting; James G. Dickson

    2004-01-01

    This east Texas study was undertaken to determine the importance of seeds of forbs, grasses, and woody shrubs to songbirds wintering in young pine plantations which had been established utilizing the clearcut regeneration system. The feeding habits and preferences of four species of songbirds, northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), song sparrows...

  13. Photoperiodic response in the male laboratory rat.

    PubMed

    Wallen, E P; DeRosch, M A; Thebert, A; Losee-Olson, S; Turek, F W

    1987-08-01

    Normally photoperiodic laboratory rats can be induced to respond reproductively to a change in the length of the day by various experimental manipulations. One such paradigm that results in significant gonadal regression involves the treatment of rats with exogenous testosterone during exposure to short days. Studies were undertaken to assess various aspects of this model system including 1) the testicular response of testosterone-treated rats exposed to various photoperiods, 2) the time course for testicular regression under a short photoperiod, and 3) the role of the pineal gland as a mediator of the effects of day length on the neuroendocrine-gonadal axis. Photoperiods ranging in length from 2 to 22 h/24 h had no effect on testicular size in untreated rats. In contrast, while near normal testicular weights were maintained in laboratory rats treated with testosterone and exposed to 10 or more h of light per day, testicular regression occurred in rats implanted with testosterone-filled capsules and exposed to photoperiods of 8 or fewer h of light per day. Maximal testicular regression was reached in about 9 wk in testosterone-treated rats exposed to 6L:18D. Removal of the pineal gland totally blocked the inhibitory effects of exposure to short day lengths in testosterone-treated rats. These studies define some of the characteristics of an extant, but dormant, system for photoperiodic time measurement in the common laboratory rat and implicate a role for the pineal gland in this system. These experiments offer evidence that neuroendocrine factors that regulate continuous vs. seasonal reproductive patterns are malleable. Such flexibility in the photoperiodic response may also contribute to the evolution of seasonal to non-seasonal species and vice versa.

  14. Estradiol-dependent Catecholaminergic Innervation of Auditory Areas in a Seasonally Breeding Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Matragrano, Lisa L.; Sanford, Sara E.; Salvante, Katrina G.; Sockman, Keith W.; Maney, Donna L.

    2011-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that gonadal steroids such as estradiol (E2) alter neural responses not only in brain regions associated with reproductive behavior, but also in sensory areas. Because catecholamine systems are involved in sensory processing and selective attention, and because they are sensitive to E2 in many species, they may mediate the neural effects of E2 in sensory areas. Here, we tested the effects of E2 on catecholaminergic innervation, synthesis, and activity in the auditory system of white-throated sparrows, a seasonally breeding songbird in which E2 promotes selective auditory responses to song. Non-breeding females with regressed ovaries were held on a winter-like photoperiod and implanted with silastic capsules containing either no hormone or E2. In one hemisphere of the brain, we used immunohistochemistry to quantify fibers immunoreactive for tyrosine hydroxylase or dopamine beta-hydroxylase in the auditory forebrain, thalamus, and midbrain. E2 treatment increased catecholaminergic innervation in the same areas of the auditory system in which E2 promotes selectivity for song. In the contralateral hemisphere, we quantified dopamine, norepinephrine and their metabolites in tissue punches using HPLC. Norepinephrine increased in the auditory forebrain, but not the midbrain, after E2 treatment. We found evidence of interhemispheric differences, both in immunoreactivity and catecholamine content did not depend on E2 treatment. Overall, our results show that increases in plasma E2 typical of the breeding season enhance catecholaminergic innervation and synthesis in some parts of the auditory system, raising the possibility that catecholamines play a role in E2-dependent auditory plasticity in songbirds. PMID:21714815

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

    PubMed

    Tchernichovski, Ofer; Marcus, Gary

    2014-10-01

    Studies of vocal learning in songbirds typically focus on the acquisition of sensory templates for song imitation and on the consequent process of matching song production to templates. However, functional vocal development also requires the capacity to adaptively diverge from sensory templates, and to flexibly assemble vocal units. Examples of adaptive divergence include the corrective imitation of abnormal songs, and the decreased tendency to copy over-abundant syllables. Such frequency-dependent effects might mirror tradeoffs between the assimilation of group identity (culture) while establishing individual and flexibly expressive songs. Intriguingly, although the requirements for vocal plasticity vary across songbirds, and more so between birdsong and language, the capacity to flexibly assemble vocal sounds develops in a similar, stepwise manner across species. Therefore, universal features of vocal learning go well beyond the capacity to imitate. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Photoperiod and reproduction in female deer mice

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-03-01

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

  18. Photoperiodic regulation of adrenal hormone secretion and aggression in female Syrian hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Gutzler, Stephanie J.; Karom, Mary; Erwin, W. Daniel; Albers, H. Elliott

    2009-01-01

    Seasonal changes in the length of the daily photoperiod induce significant changes in social behavior. Hamsters housed in winter-like short photoperiods (SP) can express significantly higher levels of aggression than hamsters housed in long photoperiods (LP) that mimic summer. The mechanisms responsible for increasing aggressiveness in SP-exposed female hamsters are not well understood but may involve seasonal changes in the endocrine system. In experiment 1, the effects of SP exposure on the circulating levels of three adrenal hormones were determined. Short photoperiod exposure was found to significantly depress the circulating levels of cortisol and the adrenal androgen dehydropiandrosterone (DHEA) but significantly increased the circulating levels of the sulfated form of DHEA, DHEAS. Experiment 2 examined the effects of gonadal hormones on several different measures of aggression including its intensity in females housed in both long and short photoperiod. Exposure to SP resulted in high levels of aggression regardless of the endocrine state of the animal or the measure used to quantify aggression. In contrast, administration of estradiol to hamsters housed in LP significantly reduced aggression. The data of the present study support the hypothesis that SP-housed females are more aggressive than LP-housed females because SP exposure renders females insensitive to the aggression-reducing effects of ovarian hormones. PMID:19716370

  19. Effects of extended photoperiod on sandhill crane reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.F.; Pendleton, G.W.; Wood, Don A.

    1992-01-01

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

  20. Ancestral TSH mechanism signals summer in a photoperiodic mammal.

    PubMed

    Hanon, Elodie A; Lincoln, Gerald A; Fustin, Jean-Michel; Dardente, Hugues; Masson-Pévet, Mireille; Morgan, Peter J; Hazlerigg, David G

    2008-08-05

    In mammals, day-length-sensitive (photoperiodic) seasonal breeding cycles depend on the pineal hormone melatonin, which modulates secretion of reproductive hormones by the anterior pituitary gland [1]. It is thought that melatonin acts in the hypothalamus to control reproduction through the release of neurosecretory signals into the pituitary portal blood supply, where they act on pituitary endocrine cells [2]. Contrastingly, we show here that during the reproductive response of Soay sheep exposed to summer day lengths, the reverse applies: Melatonin acts directly on anterior-pituitary cells, and these then relay the photoperiodic message back into the hypothalamus to control neuroendocrine output. The switch to long days causes melatonin-responsive cells in the pars tuberalis (PT) of the anterior pituitary to increase production of thyrotrophin (TSH). This acts locally on TSH-receptor-expressing cells in the adjacent mediobasal hypothalamus, leading to increased expression of type II thyroid hormone deiodinase (DIO2). DIO2 initiates the summer response by increasing hypothalamic tri-iodothyronine (T3) levels. These data and recent findings in quail [3] indicate that the TSH-expressing cells of the PT play an ancestral role in seasonal reproductive control in vertebrates. In mammals this provides the missing link between the pineal melatonin signal and thyroid-dependent seasonal biology.

  1. Photoperiodic regulation of glycogen metabolism, glycolysis, and glutamine synthesis in tanycytes of the Siberian hamster suggests novel roles of tanycytes in hypothalamic function.

    PubMed

    Nilaweera, Kanishka; Herwig, Annika; Bolborea, Matei; Campbell, Gill; Mayer, Claus D; Morgan, Peter J; Ebling, Francis J P; Barrett, Perry

    2011-11-01

    The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of photoperiod on the temporal and spatial expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism in the brain of the seasonal mammal Phodopus sungorus (Siberian hamster). In situ hybridization was performed on brain sections obtained from male hamsters held in long photoperiod (high body weight and developed testes) or short photoperiod (reduced body weight with testicular regression). This analysis revealed upregulation in expression of genes involved in glycogen and glucose metabolism in short photoperiod and localized to the tanycyte layer of the third ventricle. On the basis of these data and a previously identified photoperiod-dependent increase in activity of neighboring hypothalamic neurons, we hypothesized that the observed expression changes may reflect alteration in either metabolic fuel or precursor neurotransmitter supply to surrounding neurons. Gene expression analysis was performed for genes involved in lactate and glutamate transport. This analysis showed that the gene for the lactate transporter MCT2 and glutamate transporter GLAST was decreased in the tanycyte layer in short photoperiod. Expression of mRNA for glutamine synthetase, the final enzyme in the synthesis of the neuronal neurotransmitter precursor, glutamine, was also decreased in short photoperiod. These data suggest a role for tanycytes in modulating glutamate concentrations and neurotransmitter supply in the hypothalamic environment. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Life at a different pace: annual itineraries are conserved in seasonal songbirds.

    PubMed

    Malik, S; Singh, S; Rani, S; Kumar, V

    2014-06-01

    The duration of life history state (LHS) reflects the adaptive strategy a species has evolved to cope with a changing environment. Inhabitants at different latitudes may thus have significant differences in the rates of metabolic and physiological processes underlying LHSs. Birds, in order to maximize their fitness in the environment in which they live, seasonally switch from one LHS to another during the year. The present study investigated whether an annual itinerary of a species would determine its rate of reaction to inductive long days. We compared the photoinduced cycles of changes in body mass and testes, as indices of migratory and reproductive LHSs, between two long day breeding species, the migratory redheaded bunting and non-migratory Indian weaverbird. Changes in body mass and testis size were measured in photosensitive buntings and weaverbirds (n = 7 each) on short days (LD 8:16) subjected first to 0.5 h weekly light increments until the light period was 13 h per day, and then maintained on LD 13:11 for another 32 weeks. A similar observation was recorded on a group of buntings (n = 14) and weaverbirds (n = 9) maintained on increasing natural day lengths (NDL; Lucknow, 26°55' N, 80°59' E) for 47 weeks. As predicted, the rates of induction of seasonal cycles under an identical inductive photoperiod were significantly faster in temperate buntings with five annual LHSs than in the subtropical weaverbirds with three annual LHSs. This suggests that annual itineraries of songbirds with which they may have evolved with at their breeding latitudes, determine their response to the external photoperiodic environment.

  3. Winter population trends of selected songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Root, T.L.; McDaniel, Larry

    1995-01-01

    For this study we used the CBC data to examine population trends of songbirds with ranges that apparently are limited by lower temperatures in the North. We chose these species to track populations of birds that could be in peril in the future. These birds potentially will be more quickly affected by changing climate than other birds, and we need baseline information on them to document possible consequences of global climatic change. The species that are indeed declining need to be monitored because the possible synergistic effects of declining populations and changing climate could result in local and even regional extinctions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-27

    In many social animals, early exposure to conspecific stimuli is critical for the development of accurate species recognition. Obligate brood parasitic songbirds, however, forego parental care and young are raised by heterospecific hosts in the absence of conspecific stimuli. Having evolved from non-parasitic, parental ancestors, how brood parasites recognize their own species remains unclear. In parental songbirds (e.g. zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata), the primary and secondary auditory forebrain areas are known to be critical in the differential processing of conspecific vs. heterospecific songs. Here we demonstrate that the same auditory brain regions underlie song discrimination in adult brood parasitic pin-tailed whydahs (Vidua macroura), a close relative of the zebra finch lineage. Similar to zebra finches, whydahs showed stronger behavioral responses during conspecific vs. heterospecific song and tone pips as well as increased neural responses within the auditory forebrain, as measured by both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and immediate early gene (IEG) expression. Given parallel behavioral and neuroanatomical patterns of song discrimination, our results suggest that the evolutionary transition to brood parasitism from parental songbirds likely involved an "evolutionary tinkering" of existing proximate mechanisms, rather than the wholesale reworking of the neural substrates of species recognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Photoperiodic flowering regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Photoperiod affects estrogen receptor α, estrogen receptor β and aggressive behavior

    PubMed Central

    Trainor, Brian C.; Rowland, Michael R.; Nelson, Randy J.

    2007-01-01

    Estrogens have important effects on male and female social behavior. Despite growing knowledge of the anatomy and behavioral effects of the two predominant estrogen receptor subtypes in mammals (ERα and ERβ), relatively little is known about how these receptors respond to salient environmental stimuli. Many seasonally breeding species respond to changing photoperiods that predict seasonal changes in resource availability. We characterized the effects of photoperiod on aggressive behavior in two species of Peromyscus that exhibit gonadal regression in short days. P. polionotus (old field mice) were more aggressive than P. maniculatus (deer mice) and both species were more aggressive in short days. We used immunocytochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction to characterize the effects of photoperiod on ERα and ERβ expression. In both species ERα-immunoreactive staining in the posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) was increased in short vs. long days. Both species had reduced ERβ-immunoreactive expression in the posterior BNST in short days. In the medial amygdala ERβ immunoreactivity was increased in long days for both species. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction on punch samples that included the BNST, we observed that ERα mRNA was increased and ERβ mRNA was decreased in short days. These data suggest that the effects of photoperiod on ERα and ERβ expression may thus have important behavioral consequences. PMID:17614949

  8. The wheat TaGI1, involved in photoperiodic flowering, encodes an Arabidopsis GI ortholog.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiang Yu; Liu, Mao Sen; Li, Jia Rui; Guan, Chun Mei; Zhang, Xian Sheng

    2005-05-01

    Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an important crop and requires long day and short night to flower. To study the molecular mechanism of photoperiodic regulation of flowering in this species, we isolated a wheat TaGI1 gene, an ortholog of GIGANTEA (GI) in Arabidopsis. RNA blot hybridization revealed that TaGI1 is expressed in leaves in a rhythmic manner under long day and short day conditions and its rhythmic expression is regulated by photoperiods and circadian clocks. Further study demonstrated that the TaGI1 rhythmic expression in the leaves of seedlings is initiated by photoperiods, implying that TaGI1 does not show circadian regulation until after being entrained in a light/dark cycle. Interestingly, TaGI1 mRNA was detected in adaxial epidermal cells right above the vascular bundles of leaves, suggesting that the localization of TaGI1 transcripts in leaves may function to regulate flowering in response to photoperiods. Since overexpression of TaGI1 altered flowering time in wild type and complemented the gi mutant in Arabidopsis, it confirmed that TaGI1 is an ortholog of GI in Arabidopsis.

  9. Photoperiodic control of germination in the unicell Chlamydomonas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Lena; Johnson, Carl Hirschie

    2002-03-01

    Photoperiodic time measurement is a well-documented adaptation of multicellular plants and animals to seasonal changes in the environment, but it is unclear whether unicellular organisms can exhibit bona fide photoperiodic responses. We demonstrate that the occurrence of zygospore germination of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas is a genuine photoperiodic response. Germination efficiency is enhanced in long days as compared with short days. While the total amount of light exposure influences the efficiency of germination, the photoperiod is a significant cue for germination. The developmental stage that senses the photoperiod is just prior to mating and during the first days of zygospore development, so there may be a critical window of zygospore maturation that is regulated by photoperiod. Because zygospores are resistant to freezing injury, whereas vegetative cells are not, it is likely that the suppression of germination by short days is an adaptive response for overwintering of Chlamydomonas. Therefore, Chlamydomonas is a single-celled organism that is capable of photoperiodic responses.

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

    PubMed

    Woolley, Sarah M N

    2012-09-01

    Songbirds, like humans, are highly accomplished vocal learners. The many parallels between speech and birdsong and conserved features of mammalian and avian auditory systems have led to the emergence of the songbird as a model system for studying the perceptual mechanisms of vocal communication. Laboratory research on songbirds allows the careful control of early life experience and high-resolution analysis of brain function during vocal learning, production, and perception. Here, I review what songbird studies have revealed about the role of early experience in the development of vocal behavior, auditory perception, and the processing of learned vocalizations by auditory neurons. The findings of these studies suggest general principles for how exposure to vocalizations during development and into adulthood influences the perception of learned vocal signals. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

    Woolley, Sarah M. N.

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Acute downregulation of Type II and Type III iodothyronine deiodinases by photoperiod in peripubertal male and female Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Kampf-Lassin, August; Prendergast, Brian J

    2013-11-01

    Availability of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) in the mediobasal hypothalamus plays a central role in seasonal reproductive responses to photoperiod. Across many vertebrates, Type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO2) is elevated under reproductively stimulatory long days (LD) and synthesizes the conversion of thyroxine to T3; Type 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO3) reduces T3 production and signaling, and is upregulated under reproductively-inhibitory short days (SD). In Siberian hamsters, regulation of hypothalamic T3 is dominated by dio3 expression, whereas dio2 expression is less-consistently affected by photoperiod. In adult hamsters, changes in deiodinase mRNA expression typically require several weeks to manifest, but it is not known whether or how quickly these mechanisms are engaged during the rapid responses to photoperiod observed in young, peri-pubertal hamsters. This experiment tested the hypotheses that (1) deiodinase responses to photoperiod are accelerated in juvenile hamsters and (2) photoperiodic downregulation of deiodinase expression occurs more rapidly than upregulation. Hypothalamic dio2 and dio3 mRNA expression was quantified in male and female Siberian hamsters that were weaned on postnatal day 18 (PND 18) into SD or remained in their natal LD, and on PND 31 were exposed to a single long or short day. In SD males and females, a single long day inhibited dio3 mRNA expression, but did not increase dio2 mRNA. In LD males, a single short day rapidly inhibited dio2 mRNA expression, but did not stimulate expression of dio3 mRNA. Downregulation of dio2 and dio3 mRNAs precedes gonadotrophin responses to day length. Rapid photoperiodic inhibition of deiodinase mRNAs may initiate changes in thyroid hormone signaling in advance of longer-term, melatonin-dependent, responses.

  13. Development of Auditory-Vocal Perceptual Skills in Songbirds

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Photoperiod affects the diurnal rhythm of hippocampal neuronal morphology of Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Ikeno, Tomoko; Weil, Zachary M; Nelson, Randy J

    2013-11-01

    Individuals of many species can regulate their physiology, morphology, and behavior in response to annual changes of day length (photoperiod). In mammals, the photoperiodic signal is mediated by a change in the duration of melatonin, leading to alterations in gene expressions, neuronal circuits, and hormonal secretion. The hippocampus is one of the most plastic structures in the adult brain and hippocampal neuronal morphology displays photoperiod-induced differences. Because the hippocampus is important for emotional and cognitive behaviors, photoperiod-driven remodeling of hippocampal neurons is implicated in seasonal differences of affect, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in humans. Because neuronal architecture is also affected by the day-night cycle in several brain areas, we hypothesized that hippocampal neuronal morphology would display a diurnal rhythm and that day length would influence that rhythm. In the present study, we examined diurnal and seasonal differences in hippocampal neuronal morphology, as well as mRNA expression of the neurotrophic factors (i.e., brain-derived neurotrophic factor [Bdnf], tropomyosin receptor kinase B [trkB; a receptor for BDNF], and vascular endothelial growth factor [Vegf]) and a circadian clock gene, Bmal1, in the hippocampus of Siberian hamsters. Diurnal rhythms in total length of dendrites, the number of primary dendrites, dendritic complexity, and distance of the furthest intersection from the cell body were observed only in long-day animals; however, diurnal rhythms in the number of branch points and mean length of segments were observed only in short-day animals. Spine density of dendrites displayed diurnal rhythmicity with different peak times between the CA1 and DG subregions and between long and short days. These results indicate that photoperiod affects daily morphological changes of hippocampal neurons and the daily rhythm of spine density, suggesting the possibility that photoperiod-induced adjustments

  17. Photoperiod Regulates Corticosterone Rhythms by Altered Adrenal Sensitivity via Melatonin-Independent Mechanisms in Fischer 344 Rats and C57BL/6J Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kawai, Misato; Togo, Yuki; Sato, Katsuyoshi; Katoh, Kazuo; Furuse, Mitsuhiro; Yasuo, Shinobu

    2012-01-01

    Most species living in temperate zones adapt their physiology and behavior to seasonal changes in the environment by using the photoperiod as a primary cue. The mechanisms underlying photoperiodic regulation of stress-related functions are not well understood. In this study, we analyzed the effects of photoperiod on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in photoperiod-sensitive Fischer 344 rats. We first examined how photoperiod affects diurnal variations in plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone. ACTH levels did not exhibit diurnal variations under long- and short-day conditions. On the other hand, corticosterone levels exhibited a clear rhythm under short-day condition with a peak during dark phase. This peak was not observed under long-day condition in which a significant rhythm was not detected. To analyze the mechanisms responsible for the photoperiodic regulation of corticosterone rhythms, ACTH was intraperitoneally injected at the onset of the light or dark phase in dexamethasone-treated rats maintained under long- and short-day conditions. ACTH induced higher corticosterone levels in rats examined at dark onset under short-day condition than those maintained under long-day condition. Next, we asked whether melatonin signals are involved in photoperiodic regulation of corticosterone rhythms, and rats were intraperitoneally injected with melatonin at late afternoon under long-day condition for 3 weeks. However, melatonin injections did not affect the corticosterone rhythms. In addition, photoperiodic changes in the amplitude of corticosterone rhythms were also observed in melatonin-deficient C57BL/6J mice, in which expression profiles of several clock genes and steroidgenesis genes in adrenal gland were modified by the photoperiod. Our data suggest that photoperiod regulates corticosterone rhythms by altered adrenal sensitivity through melatonin-independent mechanisms that may involve the adrenal clock. PMID:22720039

  18. Photoperiod regulates corticosterone rhythms by altered adrenal sensitivity via melatonin-independent mechanisms in Fischer 344 rats and C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Otsuka, Tsuyoshi; Goto, Mariko; Kawai, Misato; Togo, Yuki; Sato, Katsuyoshi; Katoh, Kazuo; Furuse, Mitsuhiro; Yasuo, Shinobu

    2012-01-01

    Most species living in temperate zones adapt their physiology and behavior to seasonal changes in the environment by using the photoperiod as a primary cue. The mechanisms underlying photoperiodic regulation of stress-related functions are not well understood. In this study, we analyzed the effects of photoperiod on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in photoperiod-sensitive Fischer 344 rats. We first examined how photoperiod affects diurnal variations in plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone. ACTH levels did not exhibit diurnal variations under long- and short-day conditions. On the other hand, corticosterone levels exhibited a clear rhythm under short-day condition with a peak during dark phase. This peak was not observed under long-day condition in which a significant rhythm was not detected. To analyze the mechanisms responsible for the photoperiodic regulation of corticosterone rhythms, ACTH was intraperitoneally injected at the onset of the light or dark phase in dexamethasone-treated rats maintained under long- and short-day conditions. ACTH induced higher corticosterone levels in rats examined at dark onset under short-day condition than those maintained under long-day condition. Next, we asked whether melatonin signals are involved in photoperiodic regulation of corticosterone rhythms, and rats were intraperitoneally injected with melatonin at late afternoon under long-day condition for 3 weeks. However, melatonin injections did not affect the corticosterone rhythms. In addition, photoperiodic changes in the amplitude of corticosterone rhythms were also observed in melatonin-deficient C57BL/6J mice, in which expression profiles of several clock genes and steroidgenesis genes in adrenal gland were modified by the photoperiod. Our data suggest that photoperiod regulates corticosterone rhythms by altered adrenal sensitivity through melatonin-independent mechanisms that may involve the adrenal clock.

  19. Photoperiod modulation of aggressive behavior is independent of androgens in a tropical cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane; Carvalho, Thaís Billalba; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-10-01

    Photoperiod is a major environmental cue that signals breeding conditions in animals living in temperate climates. Therefore, the activity of the reproductive (i.e. hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal, HPG) axis and of the expression of reproductive behaviors, including territoriality, is responsive to changes in day length. However, at low latitudes the seasonal variation in day length decreases dramatically and photoperiod becomes less reliable as a breeding entraining cue in tropical species. In spite of this, some tropical mammals and birds have been found to still respond to small amplitude changes in photoperiod (e.g. 17min). Here we tested the effect of 2 photoperiod regimes, referred to as long-day (LD: 16L:08D) and short-day (SD: 08L:16D), on the activity of the HPG axis, on aggressive behavior and in the androgen response to social challenges in males of the tropical cichlid fish Tilapia rendalli. For each treatment, fish were transferred from a pre-treatment photoperiod of 12L:12D to their treatment photoperiod (either LD or SD) in which they were kept for 20days on stock tanks. Afterwards, males were isolated for 4days in glass aquaria in order to establish territories and initial androgen levels (testosterone, T; 11-ketotestosterone, KT) were assessed. On the 4th day, territorial intrusions were promoted such that 1/3 of the isolated males acted as residents and another 1/3 as intruders. Territorial intrusions lasted for 1h to test the effects of a social challenge under different photoperiod regimes. Photoperiod treatment (either SD or LD) failed to induce significant changes in the HPG activity, as measured by androgen levels and gonadosomatic index. However, SD increased the intensity of aggressive behaviors and shortened the time to settle a dominance hierarchy in an androgen-independent manner. The androgen responsiveness to the simulated territorial intrusion was only present in KT but not for T. The percent change in KT levels in response to the

  20. Independent effects of song quality and experience with photostimulation on expression of the immediate, early gene ZENK (EGR-1) in the auditory telencephalon of female European starlings.

    PubMed

    Sockman, Keith W; Ball, Gregory F

    2009-05-01

    Age influences behavioral decisions such as reproductive timing and effort. In photoperiodic species, such age effects may be mediated, in part, by the individual's age-accrued experience with photostimulation. In female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that do not differ in age, experimental manipulation of photostimulation experience (photoexperience) affects hypothalamic, pituitary, and gonadal activity associated with reproductive development. Does photoexperience also affect activity in forebrain regions involved in processing a social cue, the song of males, which can influence mate choice and reproductive timing in females? Female starlings prefer long songs over short songs in a mate-choice context, and, like that in other songbird species, their auditory telencephalon plays a major role in processing these signals. We manipulated the photoexperience of female starlings, photostimulated them, briefly exposed them to either long or short songs, and quantified the expression of the immediate-early gene ZENK (EGR-1) in the caudomedial nidopallium as a measure of activity in the auditory telencephalon. Using an information theoretic approach, we found higher ZENK immunoreactivity in females with prior photostimulation experience than in females experiencing photostimulation for the first time. We also found that long songs elicited greater ZENK immunoreactivity than short songs did. We did not find an effect of the interaction between photoexperience and song length, suggesting that photoexperience does not affect forebrain ZENK-responsiveness to song quality. Thus, photoexperience affects activity in an area of the forebrain that processes social signals, an effect that we hypothesize mediates, in part, the effects of age on reproductive decisions in photoperiodic songbirds.

  1. Independent effects of song quality and experience with photostimulation on expression of the immediate, early gene ZENK (EGR-1) in the auditory telencephalon of female European starlings

    PubMed Central

    Sockman, Keith W.; Ball, Gregory F.

    2010-01-01

    Age influences behavioral decisions such as reproductive timing and effort. In photoperiodic species, such age effects may be mediated, in part, by the individual's age-accrued experience with photostimulation. In female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that do not differ in age, experimental manipulation of photostimulation experience (photoexperience) affects hypothalamic, pituitary, and gonadal activity associated with reproductive development. Does photoexperience also affect activity in forebrain regions involved in processing a social cue, the song of males, which can influence mate choice and reproductive timing in females? Female starlings prefer long songs over short songs in a mate-choice context, and, like that in other songbird species, their auditory telencephalon plays a major role in processing these signals. We manipulated the photoexperience of female starlings, photostimulated them, briefly exposed them to either long or short songs, and quantified the expression of the immediate-early gene ZENK (EGR-1) in the caudomedial nidopallium as a measure of activity in the auditory telencephalon. Using an information theoretic approach, we found higher ZENK immunoreactivity in females with prior photostimulation experience than in females experiencing photostimulation for the first time. We also found that long songs elicited greater ZENK immunoreactivity than short song did. We did not find an effect of the interaction between photoexperience and song length, suggesting that photoexperience does not affect forebrain ZENK-responsiveness to song quality. Thus, photoexperience affects activity in an area of the forebrain that processes social signals, an effect that we hypothesize mediates, in part, the effects of age on reproductive decisions in photoperiodic songbirds. PMID:19224564

  2. A productivity model for parasitized, multibrooded songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Olfactory kin recognition in a songbird.

    PubMed

    Krause, E Tobias; Krüger, Oliver; Kohlmeier, Philip; Caspers, Barbara A

    2012-06-23

    The ability to recognize close relatives in order to cooperate or to avoid inbreeding is widespread across all taxa. One accepted mechanism for kin recognition in birds is associative learning of visual or acoustic cues. However, how could individuals ever learn to recognize unfamiliar kin? Here, we provide the first evidence for a novel mechanism of kin recognition in birds. Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) fledglings are able to distinguish between kin and non-kin based on olfactory cues alone. Since olfactory cues are likely to be genetically based, this finding establishes a neglected mechanism of kin recognition in birds, particularly in songbirds, with potentially far-reaching consequences for both kin selection and inbreeding avoidance.

  4. Short photoperiods impair spatial learning and alter hippocampal dendritic morphology in adult male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Pyter, Leah M; Reader, Brenda F; Nelson, Randy J

    2005-05-04

    Although seasonal changes in brain morphology and function are well established in songbirds, seasonal plasticity of brain structure and function remain less well documented in mammals. Nontropical animals display many adaptations to reduce energy use to survive winter, including cessation of reproductive activities. Because of the high energetic costs of brain tissue, we hypothesized that male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) would reduce brain size in response to short days as well as regress their reproductive systems. Because short days may decrease hippocampal volume and impair spatial learning and memory in rodents and because of the potential for seasonal plasticity in the hippocampus, we hypothesized that photoperiod alters hippocampal morphology to affect spatial learning and memory. Mice housed in either long or short days for 10 weeks were examined for performance in a water maze; brains were then removed and weighed, and hippocampal volumes were determined. We also measured dendritic morphology and spine density in the CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus. Short days decreased brain mass and hippocampal volume compared with long days. Short days also impaired long-term spatial learning and memory relative to long days but did not affect sensory discrimination or other types of memory. Short days decreased apical (stratum lacunosum-moleculare) CA1 spine density, as well as increased basilar (stratum oriens) CA3 spine density. Results from this study suggest that photoperiod alters brain size and morphology, as well as cognitive function. Understanding the mechanisms mediating these photoperiod-induced alterations may provide insight for treatment of seasonal cognitive and affective disorders.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-09

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mello, C V; Clayton, D F

    2015-03-01

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

  9. The Pineal and Photoperiodism in Artic Species,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1977-01-01

    systematic periodic signal. As the FOLK 5 bird arrives in the north, it begins nesting , again without the usual types of photoperiodic changes because... birds are apt to fly at night but upon arriving at the nesting grounds they become day active. This is not always the case. There are two common...is nocturnal except when it nests in the continuous light of the Arctic. The biology of the two birds is rather different because the short-eared owl

  10. Conservation of Arabidopsis thaliana photoperiodic flowering time genes in onion (Allium cepa L.).

    PubMed

    Taylor, Andrew; Massiah, Andrea Juliet; Thomas, Brian

    2010-10-01

    The genetics underlying onion development are poorly understood. Here the characterization of onion homologs of Arabidopsis photoperiodic flowering pathway genes is reported with the end goal of accelerating onion breeding programs by understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to different latitudes. The expression of onion GI, FKF1 and ZTL homologs under short day (SD) and long day (LD) conditions was examined using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). The expression of AcGI and AcFKF1 was examined in onion varieties which exhibit different daylength responses. Phylogenetic trees were constructed to confirm the identity of the homologs. AcGI and AcFKF1 showed diurnal expression patterns similar to their Arabidopsis counterparts, while AcZTL was found to be constitutively expressed. AcGI showed similar expression patterns in varieties which exhibit different daylength responses, whereas AcFKF1 showed differences. It is proposed that these differences could contribute to the different daylength responses in these varieties. Phylogenetic analyses showed that all the genes isolated are very closely related to their proposed homologs. The results presented here show that key genes controlling photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis are conserved in onion, and a role for these genes in the photoperiodic control of bulb initiation is predicted. This theory is supported by expression and phylogenetic data.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. EARLY FLOWERING3 Redundancy Fine-Tunes Photoperiod Sensitivity1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Rubenach, Andrew J.S.; Vander Schoor, Jacqueline K.; Aubert, Gregoire; Burstin, Judith

    2017-01-01

    Three pea (Pisum sativum) loci controlling photoperiod sensitivity, HIGH RESPONSE (HR), DIE NEUTRALIS (DNE), and STERILE NODES (SN), have recently been shown to correspond to orthologs of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) circadian clock genes EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3), ELF4, and LUX ARRHYTHMO, respectively. A fourth pea locus, PHOTOPERIOD (PPD), also contributes to the photoperiod response in a similar manner to SN and DNE, and recessive ppd mutants on a spring-flowering hr mutant background show early, photoperiod-insensitive flowering. However, the molecular identity of PPD has so far remained elusive. Here, we show that the PPD locus also has a role in maintenance of diurnal and circadian gene expression rhythms and identify PPD as an ELF3 co-ortholog, termed ELF3b. Genetic interactions between pea ELF3 genes suggest that loss of PPD function does not affect flowering time in the presence of functional HR, whereas PPD can compensate only partially for the lack of HR. These results provide an illustration of how gene duplication and divergence can generate potential for the emergence of more subtle variations in phenotype that may be adaptively significant. PMID:28202598

  14. Sex differences in photoperiodic and stress-induced enhancement of immune function in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Bilbo, Staci D; Nelson, Randy J

    2003-12-01

    Siberian hamsters breed during the long days of spring and summer when environmental conditions (e.g., ambient temperatures, food availability) are favorable for reproduction. Environmental conditions may also influence the onset and severity of infection and disease, and photoperiodic alterations in immune function may comprise part of a repertoire of seasonal adaptations to help survive winter. In order to test the hypothesis that animals use day length to anticipate seasonal stressors and adjust immune function, we measured antigen-specific delayed-type-hypersensitivity (DTH) responses in the skin of male and female hamsters during long, "summer-like," or short, "winter-like" days, at baseline and following acute restraint stress. Sex steroid hormones were lower, and cortisol was higher, in males and females during short days. Baseline DTH was enhanced in short- compared to long-day males, and acute stress augmented this effect. In contrast, photoperiod alone did not influence the DTH response in females. As predicted, female hamsters exhibited significantly higher DTH responses than males during long days, but not during short days. However, this enhancement was observed in acutely stressed females only. Cortisol concentrations were significantly higher at baseline in females, and increased more in response to stress, compared to males in both photoperiods. These results suggest that photoperiod provides a useful cue by which stressors in the environment may be anticipated in order to adjust immune function. Furthermore, interactions among reproductive status and stress responses appear to mediate the expression of sex differences in immune responses in hamsters.

  15. Social modulation during songbird courtship potentiates midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ya-Chun; Hessler, Neal A

    2008-10-01

    Synaptic transmission onto dopaminergic neurons of the mammalian ventral tegmental area (VTA) can be potentiated by acute or chronic exposure to addictive drugs. Because rewarding behavior, such as social affiliation, can activate the same neural circuitry as addictive drugs, we tested whether the intense social interaction of songbird courtship may also potentiate VTA synaptic function. We recorded glutamatergic synaptic currents from VTA of male zebra finches who had experienced distinct social and behavioral conditions during the previous hour. The level of synaptic transmission to VTA neurons, as assayed by the ratio of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) to N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) glutamate receptor mediated synaptic currents, was increased after males sang to females, and also after they saw females without singing, but not after they sang while alone. Potentiation after female exposure alone did not appear to result from stress, as it was not blocked by inhibition of glucocorticoid receptors. This potentiation was restricted to synapses of dopaminergic projection neurons, and appeared to be expressed postsynaptically. This study supports a model in which VTA dopaminergic neurons are more strongly activated during singing used for courtship than during non-courtship singing, and thus can provide social context-dependent modulation to forebrain areas. More generally, these results demonstrate that an intense social encounter can trigger the same pathways of neuronal plasticity as addictive drugs.

  16. FKF1 is essential for photoperiodic-specific light signalling in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Imaizumi, Takato; Tran, Hien G; Swartz, Trevor E; Briggs, Winslow R; Kay, Steve A

    2003-11-20

    Adaptation to seasonal change is a crucial component of an organism's survival strategy. To monitor seasonal variation, organisms have developed the capacity to measure day length (photoperiodism). Day-length assessment involves the photoperiodic control of flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana, whereby the coincidence of light and high expression of CONSTANS (CO) induces the expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), leading to flowering in long-day conditions. Although controlling CO expression is clearly a key step in day-length discrimination, the mechanism that generates day-length-dependent CO expression remains unknown. Here we show that the clock-controlled FLAVIN-BINDING, KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX (FKF1) protein has an essential role in generating the diurnal CO peak and that this function is dependent on light. We show that a recombinant FKF1 LIGHT, OXYGEN OR VOLTAGE (LOV) domain binds the chromophore flavin mononucleotide and undergoes light-induced photochemistry, indicating that FKF1 may function as a photoperiodic blue-light receptor. It is likely that the circadian control of FKF1 expression and the light regulation of FKF1 function coincide to control the daytime CO waveform precisely, which in turn is crucial for day-length discrimination by Arabidopsis.

  17. Gibberellin A1 Metabolism Contributes to the Control of Photoperiod-Mediated Tuberization in Potato

    PubMed Central

    Bou-Torrent, Jordi; Martínez-García, Jaime F.; García-Martínez, José Luis; Prat, Salomé

    2011-01-01

    Some potato species require a short-day (SD) photoperiod for tuberization, a process that is negatively affected by gibberellins (GAs). Here we report the isolation of StGA3ox2, a gene encoding a GA 3-oxidase, whose expression is increased in the aerial parts and is repressed in the stolons after transfer of photoperiod-dependent potato plants to SD conditions. Over-expression of StGA3ox2 under control of constitutive or leaf-specific promoters results in taller plants which, in contrast to StGA20ox1 over-expressers previously reported, tuberize earlier under SD conditions than the controls. By contrast, StGA3ox2 tuber-specific over-expression results in non-elongated plants with slightly delayed tuber induction. Together, our experiments support that StGA3ox2 expression and gibberellin metabolism significantly contribute to the tuberization time in strictly photoperiod-dependent potato plants. PMID:21961036

  18. Genetic shift in photoperiodic response correlated with global warming

    PubMed Central

    Bradshaw, William E.; Holzapfel, Christina M.

    2001-01-01

    To date, all altered patterns of seasonal interactions observed in insects, birds, amphibians, and plants associated with global warming during the latter half of the 20th century are explicable as variable expressions of plastic phenotypes. Over the last 30 years, the genetically controlled photoperiodic response of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii, has shifted toward shorter, more southern daylengths as growing seasons have become longer. This shift is detectable over a time interval as short as 5 years. Faster evolutionary response has occurred in northern populations where selection is stronger and genetic variation is greater than in southern populations. W. smithii represents an example of actual genetic differentiation of a seasonality trait that is consistent with an adaptive evolutionary response to recent global warming. PMID:11698659

  19. Determinants and Significance of Corticosterone Regulation in the Songbird Brain

    PubMed Central

    Rensel, Michelle A.; Schlinger, Barney A.

    2015-01-01

    Songbirds exhibit significant adult neuroplasticity that, together with other neural specializations, makes them an important model system for neurobiological studies. A large body of work also points to the songbird brain as a significant target of steroid hormones, including corticosterone (CORT), the primary avian glucocorticoid. Whereas CORT positively signals the brain for many functions, excess CORT may interfere with natural neuroplasticity. Consequently, mechanisms may exist to locally regulate CORT levels in brain to ensure optimal concentrations. However, most studies in songbirds measure plasma CORT as a proxy for levels at target tissues. In this paper, we review literature concerning circulating CORT and its effects on behavior in songbirds, and discuss recent work suggesting that brain CORT levels are regulated independently of changes in adrenal secretion. We review possible mechanisms for CORT regulation in the avian brain, including corticosteroid-binding globulins, p-glycoprotein activity in the blood-brain-barrier, and CORT metabolism by the 11β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases. Data supporting a role for CORT regulation within the songbird brain have only recently begun to emerge, suggesting that this is an avenue for important future research. PMID:26141145

  20. Maternal transfer of mercury to songbird eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Josh; Hartman, C. Alex; Herzog, Mark

    2017-01-01

    We evaluated the maternal transfer of mercury to eggs in songbirds, determined whether this relationship differed between songbird species, and developed equations for predicting mercury concentrations in eggs from maternal blood. We sampled blood and feathers from 44 house wren (Troglodytes aedon) and 34 tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) mothers and collected their full clutches (n = 476 eggs) within 3 days of clutch completion. Additionally, we sampled blood and feathers from 53 tree swallow mothers and randomly collected one egg from their clutches (n = 53 eggs) during mid to late incubation (6–10 days incubated) to evaluate whether the relationship varied with the timing of sampling the mother's blood. Mercury concentrations in eggs were positively correlated with mercury concentrations in maternal blood sampled at (1) the time of clutch completion for both house wrens (R2 = 0.97) and tree swallows (R2 = 0.97) and (2) during mid to late incubation for tree swallows (R2 = 0.71). The relationship between mercury concentrations in eggs and maternal blood did not differ with the stage of incubation when maternal blood was sampled. Importantly, the proportion of mercury transferred from mothers to their eggs decreased substantially with increasing blood mercury concentrations in tree swallows, but increased slightly with increasing blood mercury concentrations in house wrens. Additionally, the proportion of mercury transferred to eggs at the same maternal blood mercury concentration differed between species. Specifically, tree swallow mothers transferred 17%–107% more mercury to their eggs than house wren mothers over the observed mercury concentrations in maternal blood (0.15–1.92 μg/g ww). In contrast, mercury concentrations in eggs were not correlated with those in maternal feathers and, likewise, mercury concentrations in maternal blood were not correlated with those in feathers (all R2 < 0.01). We provide equations to translate mercury

  1. Photoperiod regulates lung-associated immunological parameters and melatonin receptor (Mel1a and Mel1b) in lungs of a tropical bird, Perdicula asiatica.

    PubMed

    Kharwar, Rajesh Kumar; Haldar, Chandana

    2011-01-01

    We accessed the effects of different photoperiodic regimes, i.e. long (LP; 20L:4D), short (SP; 4L:20D) and natural day photoperiod during reproductively inactive and reproductively active phase on immune parameters of lungs and general immunity of Perdicula asiatica. SP increased bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) and non-BALT nodule size, total leukocyte count, lymphocyte count, plasma melatonin level, percent stimulation ratio of lymphocytes and decreased testicular activity (weight and testosterone level). LP during both the reproductive phases decreased the above-mentioned immune parameters suggesting that photoperiod might be regulating lung-associated immune system (LAIS) via melatonin. We also extended our study to note the expression of melatonin receptor types Mel(1a) and Mel(1b) in lung tissue to support our above statement. Western blot analysis showed significant increase in expression of Mel(1a) and Mel(1b) receptor types under SP conditions and decreased expression under LP condition when compared with control group of both reproductive phases. This suggests the probable involvement of Mel(1a) and Mel(1b) receptors in mediation of photoperiodic signals to LAIS. P. asiatica is a photoperiodic bird hence photoperiodically regulated melatonin hormone and its receptors in the lung might be responsible for modulation of lung-associated immunity.

  2. Incomplete and inaccurate vocal imitation after knockdown of FoxP2 in songbird basal ganglia nucleus Area X.

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  3. Female song is widespread and ancestral in songbirds.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-04

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

  4. Memory in the making: localized brain activation related to song learning in young songbirds.

    PubMed

    Gobes, Sharon M H; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2010-11-07

    Songbird males learn to sing their songs from an adult 'tutor' early in life, much like human infants learn to speak. Similar to humans, in the songbird brain there are separate neural substrates for vocal production and for auditory memory. In adult songbirds, the caudal pallium, the avian equivalent of the auditory association cortex, has been proposed to contain the neural substrate of tutor song memory, while the song system is involved in song production as well as sensorimotor learning. If this hypothesis is correct, there should be neuronal activation in the caudal pallium, and not in the song system, while the young bird is hearing the tutor song. We found increased song-induced molecular neuronal activation, measured as the expression of an immediate early gene, in the caudal pallium of juvenile zebra finch males that were in the process of learning to sing their songs. No such activation was found in the song system. Molecular neuronal activation was significantly greater in response to tutor song than to novel song or silence in the medial part of the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). In the caudomedial mesopallium, there was significantly greater molecular neuronal activation in response to tutor song than to silence. In addition, in the NCM there was a significant positive correlation between spontaneous molecular neuronal activation and the strength of song learning during sleep. These results suggest that the caudal pallium contains the neural substrate for tutor song memory, which is activated during sleep when the young bird is in the process of learning its song. The findings provide insight into the formation of auditory memories that guide vocal production learning, a process fundamental for human speech acquisition.

  5. Mutation in TERMINAL FLOWER1 Reverses the Photoperiodic Requirement for Flowering in the Wild Strawberry Fragaria vesca1[W

    PubMed Central

    Koskela, Elli A.; Mouhu, Katriina; Albani, Maria C.; Kurokura, Takeshi; Rantanen, Marja; Sargent, Daniel J.; Battey, Nicholas H.; Coupland, George; Elomaa, Paula; Hytönen, Timo

    2012-01-01

    Photoperiodic flowering has been extensively studied in the annual short-day and long-day plants rice (Oryza sativa) and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), whereas less is known about the control of flowering in perennials. In the perennial wild strawberry, Fragaria vesca (Rosaceae), short-day and perpetual flowering long-day accessions occur. Genetic analyses showed that differences in their flowering responses are caused by a single gene, SEASONAL FLOWERING LOCUS, which may encode the F. vesca homolog of TERMINAL FLOWER1 (FvTFL1). We show through high-resolution mapping and transgenic approaches that FvTFL1 is the basis of this change in flowering behavior and demonstrate that FvTFL1 acts as a photoperiodically regulated repressor. In short-day F. vesca, long photoperiods activate FvTFL1 mRNA expression and short days suppress it, promoting flower induction. These seasonal cycles in FvTFL1 mRNA level confer seasonal cycling of vegetative and reproductive development. Mutations in FvTFL1 prevent long-day suppression of flowering, and the early flowering that then occurs under long days is dependent on the F. vesca homolog of FLOWERING LOCUS T. This photoperiodic response mechanism differs from those described in model annual plants. We suggest that this mechanism controls flowering within the perennial growth cycle in F. vesca and demonstrate that a change in a single gene reverses the photoperiodic requirements for flowering. PMID:22566495

  6. Mutation in TERMINAL FLOWER1 reverses the photoperiodic requirement for flowering in the wild strawberry Fragaria vesca.

    PubMed

    Koskela, Elli A; Mouhu, Katriina; Albani, Maria C; Kurokura, Takeshi; Rantanen, Marja; Sargent, Daniel J; Battey, Nicholas H; Coupland, George; Elomaa, Paula; Hytönen, Timo

    2012-07-01

    Photoperiodic flowering has been extensively studied in the annual short-day and long-day plants rice (Oryza sativa) and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), whereas less is known about the control of flowering in perennials. In the perennial wild strawberry, Fragaria vesca (Rosaceae), short-day and perpetual flowering long-day accessions occur. Genetic analyses showed that differences in their flowering responses are caused by a single gene, SEASONAL FLOWERING LOCUS, which may encode the F. vesca homolog of TERMINAL FLOWER1 (FvTFL1). We show through high-resolution mapping and transgenic approaches that FvTFL1 is the basis of this change in flowering behavior and demonstrate that FvTFL1 acts as a photoperiodically regulated repressor. In short-day F. vesca, long photoperiods activate FvTFL1 mRNA expression and short days suppress it, promoting flower induction. These seasonal cycles in FvTFL1 mRNA level confer seasonal cycling of vegetative and reproductive development. Mutations in FvTFL1 prevent long-day suppression of flowering, and the early flowering that then occurs under long days is dependent on the F. vesca homolog of FLOWERING LOCUS T. This photoperiodic response mechanism differs from those described in model annual plants. We suggest that this mechanism controls flowering within the perennial growth cycle in F. vesca and demonstrate that a change in a single gene reverses the photoperiodic requirements for flowering.

  7. Photoperiodic growth control in perennial trees.

    PubMed

    Azeez, Abdul; Sane, Aniruddha P

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Photoperiodic growth control in perennial trees

    PubMed Central

    Azeez, Abdul; Sane, Aniruddha P

    2015-01-01

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

  9. The impact of photoperiod insensitive Ppd-1a mutations on the photoperiod pathway across the three genomes of hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum).

    PubMed

    Shaw, Lindsay M; Turner, Adrian S; Laurie, David A

    2012-07-01

    Flowering time is a trait that has been extensively altered during wheat domestication, enabling it to be highly productive in diverse environments and providing a rich source of variation for studying adaptation mechanisms. Hexaploid wheat is ancestrally a long-day plant, but many environments require varieties with photoperiod insensitivity (PI) that can flower in short days. PI results from mutations in the Ppd-1 gene on the A, B or D genomes, with individual mutations conferring different degrees of earliness. The basis of this is poorly understood. Using a common genetic background, the effects of A, B and D genome PI mutations on genes of the circadian clock and photoperiod pathway were studied using genome-specific expression assays. Ppd-1 PI mutations did not affect the clock or immediate clock outputs, but affected TaCO1 and TaFT1, with a reduction in TaCO1 expression as TaFT1 expression increased. Therefore, although Ppd-1 is related to PRR genes of the Arabidopsis circadian clock, Ppd-1 affects flowering by an alternative route, most likely by upregulating TaFT1 with a feedback effect that reduces TaCO1 expression. Individual genes in the circadian clock and photoperiod pathway were predominantly expressed from one genome, and there was no genome specificity in Ppd-1 action. Lines combining PI mutations on two or three genomes had enhanced earliness with higher levels, but not earlier induction, of TaFT1, showing that there is a direct quantitative relationship between Ppd-1 mutations, TaFT1 expression and flowering.

  10. Polarized light cues underlie compass calibration in migratory songbirds.

    PubMed

    Muheim, Rachel; Phillips, John B; Akesson, Susanne

    2006-08-11

    Migratory songbirds use the geomagnetic field, stars, the Sun, and polarized light patterns to determine their migratory direction. To prevent navigational errors, it is necessary to calibrate all of these compass systems to a common reference. We show that migratory Savannah sparrows use polarized light cues from the region of sky near the horizon to recalibrate the magnetic compass at both sunrise and sunset. We suggest that skylight polarization patterns are used to derive an absolute (i.e., geographic) directional system that provides the primary calibration reference for all of the compasses of migratory songbirds.

  11. Migrating songbirds recalibrate their magnetic compass daily from twilight cues.

    PubMed

    Cochran, William W; Mouritsen, Henrik; Wikelski, Martin

    2004-04-16

    Night migratory songbirds can use stars, sun, geomagnetic field, and polarized light for orientation when tested in captivity. We studied the interaction of magnetic, stellar, and twilight orientation cues in free-flying songbirds. We exposed Catharus thrushes to eastward-turned magnetic fields during the twilight period before takeoff and then followed them for up to 1100 kilometers. Instead of heading north, experimental birds flew westward. On subsequent nights, the same individuals migrated northward again. We suggest that birds orient with a magnetic compass calibrated daily from twilight cues. This could explain how birds cross the magnetic equator and deal with declination.

  12. Migrating Songbirds Recalibrate Their Magnetic Compass Daily from Twilight Cues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, William W.; Mouritsen, Henrik; Wikelski, Martin

    2004-04-01

    Night migratory songbirds can use stars, sun, geomagnetic field, and polarized light for orientation when tested in captivity. We studied the interaction of magnetic, stellar, and twilight orientation cues in free-flying songbirds. We exposed Catharus thrushes to eastward-turned magnetic fields during the twilight period before takeoff and then followed them for up to 1100 kilometers. Instead of heading north, experimental birds flew westward. On subsequent nights, the same individuals migrated northward again. We suggest that birds orient with a magnetic compass calibrated daily from twilight cues. This could explain how birds cross the magnetic equator and deal with declination.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The response to daylength is a crucial process that evolved very early in plant evolution, entitling the early green eukaryote to predict seasonal variability and attune its physiological responses to the environment. The photoperiod responses evolved into the complex signaling pathways that govern the angiosperm floral transition today. The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii DNA-Binding with One Finger (CrDOF) gene controls transcription in a photoperiod-dependent manner, and its misexpression influences algal growth and viability. In short days, CrDOF enhances CrCO expression, a homolog of plant CONSTANS (CO), by direct binding to its promoter, while it reduces the expression of cell division genes in long days independently of CrCO. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), transgenic plants overexpressing CrDOF show floral delay and reduced expression of the photoperiodic genes CO and FLOWERING LOCUS T. The conservation of the DOF-CO module during plant evolution could be an important clue to understanding diversification by the inheritance of conserved gene toolkits in key developmental programs. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  17. Identification of LATE BLOOMER2 as a CYCLING DOF FACTOR Homolog Reveals Conserved and Divergent Features of the Flowering Response to Photoperiod in Pea.

    PubMed

    Ridge, Stephen; Sussmilch, Frances C; Hecht, Valérie; Vander Schoor, Jacqueline K; Lee, Robyn; Aubert, Gregoire; Burstin, Judith; Macknight, Richard C; Weller, James L

    2016-10-01

    The molecular pathways responsible for the flowering response to photoperiod have been extensively studied in Arabidopsis thaliana and cereals but remain poorly understood in other major plant groups. Here, we describe a dominant mutant at the LATE BLOOMER2 (LATE2) locus in pea (Pisum sativum) that is late-flowering with a reduced response to photoperiod. LATE2 acts downstream of light signaling and the circadian clock to control expression of the main photoperiod-regulated FT gene, FTb2, implying that it plays a primary role in photoperiod measurement. Mapping identified the CYCLING DOF FACTOR gene CDFc1 as a strong candidate for LATE2, and the late2-1D mutant was found to carry a missense mutation in CDFc1 that impairs its capacity to bind to the blue-light photoreceptor FKF1 in yeast two-hybrid assays and delays flowering in Arabidopsis when overexpressed. Arabidopsis CDF genes are important negative regulators of CONSTANS (CO) transcription, but we found no effect of LATE2 on the transcription of pea CO-LIKE genes, nor on genes in any other families previously implicated in the activation of FT in Arabidopsis. Our results reveal an important component of the pea photoperiod response pathway and support the view that regulation of FTb2 expression by photoperiod occurs via a CO-independent mechanism.

  18. Transcription factor dynamics in pineal gland and liver of the Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) adapts to prevailing photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Maronde, Erik; Pfeffer, Martina; Glass, Yuri; Stehle, Jörg H

    2007-08-01

    The anticipation of day length and duration of darkness is necessary and advantageous for animals to survive and requires a photoperiodic memory. In the Syrian hamster this adaptation to photoperiod is mirrored by seasonal changes in the animal's reproductive state and its liver metabolism. Both events are linked to season-dependent alterations of the nocturnally elevated synthesis of the pineal hormone melatonin. To decipher molecules that are involved in this temporal gating, hamsters were exposed to long photoperiod (16 hr light:8 hr darkness; LP), or short photoperiod (8 hr light:16 hr darkness; SP). Dynamics in gene expression was investigated in the pineal gland [inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER)], and in the liver (ICER; C/EBPdelta; clock genes) using immunochemistry and reverse transcriptase PCR. While in the pineal, ICER rhythms tightly follow the prior duration of light and dark with decreasing levels at the beginning of the dark period in both LP and SP, ICER is not rhythmic in liver. In the liver, clock genes and their protein products reflect differences in photoperiodic history, with enhanced rhythm amplitudes of PER, CRY, CLOCK, and BMAL1 under SP conditions. Thus, in the Syrian hamster transcription factor expression patterns lock onto the prevailing photoperiod in two peripheral oscillators, the pineal gland and the liver, to function as mediators of suprachiasmatic nucleus-derived information on environmental light and dark. This tissue-specific gating in gene transcription represents a strategy to ameliorate consequences of altering environmental lighting conditions on endocrine and metabolic parameters that endow a strong circadian bias.

  19. Photoperiodicity in the male albino laboratory rat.

    PubMed

    Wallen, E P; Turek, F W

    1981-01-29

    Animals inhabiting areas where there are drastic changes in the environment often reproduce only during limited time periods to ensure that young are raised in optimal environmental conditions. The lack of a well defined breeding season in many domesticated animals, presumably because the selective pressures for seasonal breeding have been minimized, suggests that the neuroendocrine events controlling seasonal cyclicity have been bred out of these animals. Little is known about the underlying neuroendocrine changes which may occur during the evolution of a species from a seasonal to a nonseasonal breeder. Whereas the changing photoperiod is the primary environmental cue which initiates and/or terminates the reproductive season in many animals, this is not so in the albino rat Rattus norvegicus, a model nonseasonal breeder. Nevertheless, daylength can influence various reproductive parameters in laboratory rats, suggesting that some of the neuroendocrine components that controlled seasonal breeding previously are still extant in this species. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effect of daylength on the responsiveness of the neuroendocrine--gonadal axis to the negative-feedback effects of testosterone. This paradigm was chosen because of the important role played by photic-induced changes in steroid feedback sensitivity in the control of seasonal reproduction. We report here that although daylength has very little effect on neuroendocrine--gonadal function in the intact male laboratory rat, it seems that some component(s) of a photoperiodic system involving the pineal gland has been preserved.

  20. Mammalian photoperiodic system: formal properties and neuroendocrine mechanisms of photoperiodic time measurement.

    PubMed

    Goldman, B D

    2001-08-01

    Photoperiodism is a process whereby organisms are able to use both absolute measures of day length and the direction of day length change as a basis for regulating seasonal changes in physiology and behavior. The use of day length cues allows organisms to essentially track time-of-year and to "anticipate" relatively predictable annual variations in important environmental parameters. Thus, adaptive types of seasonal biological changes can be molded through evolution to fit annual environmental cycles. Studies of the formal properties of photoperiodic mechanisms have revealed that most organisms use circadian oscillators to measure day length. Two types of paradigms, designated as the external and internal coincidence models, have been proposed to account for photoperiodic time measurement by a circadian mechanism. Both models postulate that the timing of light exposure, rather than the total amount of light, is critical to the organism's perception of day length. In mammals, a circadian oscillator(s) in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus receives photic stimuli via the retinohypothalamic tract. The circadian system regulates the rhythmic secretion of the pineal hormone, melatonin. Melatonin is secreted at night, and the duration of secretion varies in inverse relation to day length; thus, photoperiod information is "encoded" in the melatonin signal. The melatonin signal is presumably "decoded" in melatonin target tissues that are involved in the regulation of a variety of seasonal responses. Variations in photoperiodic response are seen not only between species but also between breeding populations within a species and between individuals within single breeding populations. Sometimes these variations appear to be the result of differences in responsiveness to melatonin; in other cases, variations in photoperiod responsiveness may depend on differences in patterns of melatonin secretion related to circadian variation. Sites of action for melatonin in

  1. Negotiation of territorial boundaries in a songbird

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Neural mechanisms of sequence generation in songbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langford, Bruce

    Animal models in research are useful for studying more complex behavior. For example, motor sequence generation of actions requiring good muscle coordination such as writing with a pen, playing an instrument, or speaking, may involve the interaction of many areas in the brain, each a complex system in itself; thus it can be difficult to determine causal relationships between neural behavior and the behavior being studied. Birdsong, however, provides an excellent model behavior for motor sequence learning, memory, and generation. The song consists of learned sequences of notes that are spectrographically stereotyped over multiple renditions of the song, similar to syllables in human speech. The main areas of the songbird brain involve in singing are known, however, the mechanisms by which these systems store and produce song are not well understood. We used a custom built, head-mounted, miniature motorized microdrive to chronically record the neural firing patterns of identified neurons in HVC, a pre-motor cortical nucleus which has been shown to be important in song timing. These were done in Bengalese finch which generate a song made up of stereotyped notes but variable note sequences. We observed song related bursting in neurons projecting to Area X, a homologue to basal ganglia, and tonic firing in HVC interneurons. Interneuron had firing rate patterns that were consistent over multiple renditions of the same note sequence. We also designed and built a light-weight, low-powered wireless programmable neural stimulator using Bluetooth Low Energy Protocol. It was able to generate perturbations in the song when current pulses were administered to RA, which projects to the brainstem nucleus responsible for syringeal muscle control.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Songbird ecology in southwestern ponderosa pine forests: A literature review

    Treesearch

    William M. Block; Deborah M. Finch

    1997-01-01

    This publication reviews and synthesizes the literature about ponderosa pine forests of the Southwest, with emphasis on the biology, ecology, and conservation of songbirds. Critical bird-habitat management issues related to succession, snags, old growth, fire, logging, grazing, recreation, and landscape scale are addressed. Overviews of the ecology, current use, and...

  5. SONGBIRD COMMUNITIES INDICATE ECOLOGICAL CONDITION OF THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    During the spring breeding season, more than a hundred songbird species conduct a birds-eye assessment of the Mid-Atlantic highlands to determine suitable habitat for mating and raising young. Different bird species require different habitats for food, shelter and breeding. Some ...

  6. Behavioral development and habitat structure affect postfledging movements of songbirds

    Treesearch

    Julianna M. A. Jenkins; Frank R., III Thompson; John Faaborg

    2016-01-01

    Postfledging survival of neotropical migrant songbirds has been linked to seasonal and annual changes in the environment and to individual condition. Understanding what influences variation in postfledging movements may provide insight into the differential value of habitat across life-history stages. We conducted a radio-telemetry study of postfledging ovenbirds (

  7. Management implications of cowbird parasitism on neotropical migrant songbirds

    Treesearch

    Scott K. Robinson; Joseph A. Grzybowski; Stephen I. Rothstein; Margaret C. Brittingham; Lisa J. Petit; Frank R. Thompson

    1993-01-01

    Populations of brood parasitic Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molofhrus afer) have increased to the point where they pose a potential threat to populations of many neotropical migrant songbirds. Because cowbirds mostly feed in short grass (e.g., pastures and lawns) or on bare ground (e.g., row crops), they benefit directly from human activities. Cowbirds...

  8. Conventional oil and gas development alters forest songbird communities

    Treesearch

    Emily H. Thomas; Margaret C. Brittingham; Scott H. Stoleson

    2014-01-01

    Energy extraction within forest habitat is increasing at a rapid rate throughout eastern North America from the combined presence of conventional oil and gas, shale gas, and wind energy. We examined the effects of conventional oil and gas development on forest habitat including amounts of core and edge forest, the abundance of songbird species and guilds, species...

  9. TCP4-dependent induction of CONSTANS transcription requires GIGANTEA in photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Shim, Jae Sung; Song, Yong Hun; Laboy Cintrón, Dianne; Koyama, Tomotsugu; Ohme-Takagi, Masaru; Pruneda-Paz, Jose L.; Kay, Steve A.; MacCoss, Michael J.

    2017-01-01

    Photoperiod is one of the most reliable environmental cues for plants to regulate flowering timing. In Arabidopsis thaliana, CONSTANS (CO) transcription factor plays a central role in regulating photoperiodic flowering. In contrast to posttranslational regulation of CO protein, still little was known about CO transcriptional regulation. Here we show that the CINCINNATA (CIN) clade of class II TEOSINTE BRANCHED 1/ CYCLOIDEA/ PROLIFERATING CELL NUCLEAR ANTIGEN FACTOR (TCP) proteins act as CO activators. Our yeast one-hybrid analysis revealed that class II CIN-TCPs, including TCP4, bind to the CO promoter. TCP4 induces CO expression around dusk by directly associating with the CO promoter in vivo. In addition, TCP4 binds to another flowering regulator, GIGANTEA (GI), in the nucleus, and induces CO expression in a GI-dependent manner. The physical association of TCP4 with the CO promoter was reduced in the gi mutant, suggesting that GI may enhance the DNA-binding ability of TCP4. Our tandem affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry (TAP-MS) analysis identified all class II CIN-TCPs as the components of the in vivo TCP4 complex, and the gi mutant did not alter the composition of the TCP4 complex. Taken together, our results demonstrate a novel function of CIN-TCPs as photoperiodic flowering regulators, which may contribute to coordinating plant development with flowering regulation. PMID:28628608

  10. Circadian perinatal photoperiod has enduring effects on retinal dopamine and visual function.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Chad R; Capozzi, Megan; Dai, Heng; McMahon, Douglas G

    2014-03-26

    Visual system development depends on neural activity, driven by intrinsic and light-sensitive mechanisms. Here, we examined the effects on retinal function due to exposure to summer- and winter-like circadian light cycles during development and adulthood. Retinal light responses, visual behaviors, dopamine content, retinal morphology, and gene expression were assessed in mice reared in seasonal photoperiods consisting of light/dark cycles of 8:16, 16:8, and 12:12 h, respectively. Mice exposed to short, winter-like, light cycles showed enduring deficits in photopic retinal light responses and visual contrast sensitivity, but only transient changes were observed for scotopic measures. Dopamine levels were significantly lower in short photoperiod mice, and dopaminergic agonist treatment rescued the photopic light response deficits. Tyrosine hydroxylase and Early Growth Response factor-1 mRNA expression were reduced in short photoperiod retinas. Therefore, seasonal light cycles experienced during retinal development and maturation have lasting influence on retinal and visual function, likely through developmental programming of retinal dopamine.

  11. Short photoperiods reduce vascular endothelial growth factor in the testes of Peromyscus leucopus.

    PubMed

    Young, K A; Nelson, R J

    2000-09-01

    Testicular regression in rodents occurs after short-day exposure. Vascular support is withdrawn during regression, and, presumably, new angiogenesis is inhibited. Blood vessel growth and maintenance are regulated by paracrine factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Reduced angiogenesis may contribute to the onset of photoperiod-induced regression; i.e., reduction of VEGF protein would be detected early during gonadal atrophy. Alternatively, loss of blood vessel maintenance may reflect reduced testicular volume. If true, VEGF would not be expected to decline until significant regression occurred. To discriminate between these hypotheses, white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) were maintained in either long (LD 16:8) or short (LD 8:16) photoperiod. Immunohistochemical and Western analyses revealed high VEGF expression in Leydig and Sertoli cells in long-day housed males and reduced VEGF expression in short-day housed males. Reductions in VEGF preceded decreases in both seminiferous tubule diameter and spermatogenic activity by 6 wk and reduced testis mass by 8 wk, suggesting that changes in VEGF are not a consequence of gonadal regression and that VEGF may play a critical role in photoperiodic regulation of testicular function.

  12. Short photoperiod inhibits winter growth of subtropical grasses.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, T R; Mislevy, P; Ray, J D

    2001-07-01

    Grass development is influenced by length of photoperiod, but no direct measurements under natural conditions exist on mass accumulation in response to photoperiod by subtropical grass species. Grasslands of the subtropics are a major resource, but their growth is inhibited substantially during the short-photoperiod months. This research was designed to examine the consequences on grass production under field conditions when the limitation of short photoperiod is artificially removed. Lights, which extended the daylength to 15 h, were placed over plots of four subtropical forage grasses representing three species (Paspalum notatum Flugge; Cynodon dactylon L.; Cynodon nlemfuensis Vanderyst) to measure their mass accumulation in response to extended photoperiod in a 2-year experiment. Forage yields in all grasses at 5-week harvests during the time of shortest daylength were increased up to 6.2-fold more than the yield under the natural daylength. For the 4.5-month period of shortest daylength in each year, forage yields were increased for all grasses with one grass having a yield increase of 3.6-fold under the extended photoperiod as compared to natural daylength. These results demonstrated that selection of grasses that are insensitive to photoperiod could substantially increase forage yield of subtropical grasslands to benefit animal production and enhance carbon sequestration.

  13. Evolutionary links between circadian clocks and photoperiodic diapause in insects.

    PubMed

    Meuti, Megan E; Denlinger, David L

    2013-07-01

    In this article, we explore links between circadian clocks and the clock involved in photoperiodic regulation of diapause in insects. Classical resonance (Nanda-Hamner) and night interruption (Bünsow) experiments suggest a circadian basis for the diapause response in nearly all insects that have been studied. Neuroanatomical studies reveal physical connections between circadian clock cells and centers controlling the photoperiodic diapause response, and both mutations and knockdown of clock genes with RNA interference (RNAi) point to a connection between the clock genes and photoperiodic induction of diapause. We discuss the challenges of determining whether the clock, as a functioning module, or individual clock genes acting pleiotropically are responsible for the photoperiodic regulation of diapause, and how a stable, central circadian clock could be linked to plastic photoperiodic responses without compromising the clock's essential functions. Although we still lack an understanding of the exact mechanisms whereby insects measure day/night length, continued classical and neuroanatomical approaches, as well as forward and reverse genetic experiments, are highly complementary and should enable us to decipher the diverse ways in which circadian clocks have been involved in the evolution of photoperiodic induction of diapause in insects. The components of circadian clocks vary among insect species, and diapause appears to have evolved independently numerous times, thus, we anticipate that not all photoperiodic clocks of insects will interact with circadian clocks in the same fashion.

  14. Evolutionary Links Between Circadian Clocks and Photoperiodic Diapause in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Meuti, Megan E.; Denlinger, David L.

    2013-01-01

    In this article, we explore links between circadian clocks and the clock involved in photoperiodic regulation of diapause in insects. Classical resonance (Nanda–Hamner) and night interruption (Bünsow) experiments suggest a circadian basis for the diapause response in nearly all insects that have been studied. Neuroanatomical studies reveal physical connections between circadian clock cells and centers controlling the photoperiodic diapause response, and both mutations and knockdown of clock genes with RNA interference (RNAi) point to a connection between the clock genes and photoperiodic induction of diapause. We discuss the challenges of determining whether the clock, as a functioning module, or individual clock genes acting pleiotropically are responsible for the photoperiodic regulation of diapause, and how a stable, central circadian clock could be linked to plastic photoperiodic responses without compromising the clock’s essential functions. Although we still lack an understanding of the exact mechanisms whereby insects measure day/night length, continued classical and neuroanatomical approaches, as well as forward and reverse genetic experiments, are highly complementary and should enable us to decipher the diverse ways in which circadian clocks have been involved in the evolution of photoperiodic induction of diapause in insects. The components of circadian clocks vary among insect species, and diapause appears to have evolved independently numerous times, thus, we anticipate that not all photoperiodic clocks of insects will interact with circadian clocks in the same fashion. PMID:23615363

  15. Photoperiodic regulation of behavior: Peromyscus as a model system.

    PubMed

    Borniger, Jeremy C; Nelson, Randy J

    2017-01-01

    Winter and summer present vastly different challenges to animals living outside of the tropics. To survive and reproduce, individuals must anticipate seasonal environmental changes and adjust physiology and behavior accordingly. Photoperiod (day length) offers a relatively 'noise free' environmental signal that non-tropical animals use to tell the time of year, and whether winter is approaching or receding. In some cases, photoperiodic signals may be fine-tuned by other proximate cues such as food availability or temperature. The pineal hormone, melatonin, is a primary physiological transducer of the photoperiodic signal. It tracks night length and provokes changes in physiology and behavior at appropriate times of the year. Because of their wide latitudinal distribution, Peromyscus has been well studied in the context of photoperiodic regulation of physiology and behavior. Here, we discuss how photoperiodic signals are transduced by pineal melatonin, how melatonin acts on target tissues, and subsequent consequences for behavior. Using a life-history paradigm involving trade-offs between the immune and reproductive systems, specific emphasis is placed on aggression, metabolism, and cognition. We discuss future directions including examining the effects of light pollution on photoperiodism, genetic manipulations to test the role of specific genes in the photoperiodic response, and using Peromyscus to test evolutionary theories of aging.

  16. Effect of Photoperiod On Permethrin Resistance In Aedes aegypti.

    PubMed

    Villanueva, O Karina; Ponce, Gustavo; Lopez, Beatriz; Gutierrez, Selene M; Rodriguez, Iram P; Reyes, Guadalupe; Saavedra, Karla J; Black, William C; Garcia, Julian; Beaty, Barry; Eisen, Lars; Flores, Adriana E

    2016-12-01

    Living organisms have been exposed to light-dark cycles that allowed them to adapt to different ecological niches. Circadian cycles affect hormone release, metabolism, and response to xenobiotic compounds. Current studies have shown that insect susceptibility to toxic agents depends on circadian cycles, mainly because the biochemical processes involved in detoxification and responses to oxidative stress are modulated by this process. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of photoperiod on resistance to permethrin in Aedes aegypti . Collections of Ae. aegypti from 4 locations in Yucatan, southern Mexico, were subjected to 2 different photoperiod schemes: dark (0 h light:24 h dark) and natural photoperiod (12 h light:12 h dark). The comparison of both photoperiods was evaluated with respect to permethrin resistance using bottle bioassays and by monitoring the possible mechanism related such as enzymatic activity and by the frequency of 2 knockdown resistance mutations in the voltage-dependent sodium channel gene (V1016I and F1534C). The susceptible strain was used as a reference. The mosquitoes in dark photoperiod showed a reduction in resistance to the pyrethroid. The α-esterases and glutathione S-transferase enzymatic activities showed lower levels in the dark photoperiod, and the frequencies of V1016I knockdown resistance mutation showed significant difference between photoperiod schemes.

  17. A pseudo-response regulator is misexpressed in the photoperiod insensitive Ppd-D1a mutant of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Beales, James; Turner, Adrian; Griffiths, Simon; Snape, John W; Laurie, David A

    2007-09-01

    Ppd-D1 on chromosome 2D is the major photoperiod response locus in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum). A semi-dominant mutation widely used in the "green revolution" converts wheat from a long day (LD) to a photoperiod insensitive (day neutral) plant, providing adaptation to a broad range of environments. Comparative mapping shows Ppd-D1 to be colinear with the Ppd-H1 gene of barley (Hordeum vulgare) which is a member of the pseudo-response regulator (PRR) gene family. To investigate the relationship between wheat and barley photoperiod genes we isolated homologues of Ppd-H1 from a 'Chinese Spring' wheat BAC library and compared them to sequences from other wheat varieties with known Ppd alleles. Varieties with the photoperiod insensitive Ppd-D1a allele which causes early flowering in short (SD) or LDs had a 2 kb deletion upstream of the coding region. This was associated with misexpression of the 2D PRR gene and expression of the key floral regulator FT in SDs, showing that photoperiod insensitivity is due to activation of a known photoperiod pathway irrespective of day length. Five Ppd-D1 alleles were found but only the 2 kb deletion was associated with photoperiod insensitivity. Photoperiod insensitivity can also be conferred by mutation at a homoeologous locus on chromosome 2B (Ppd-B1). No candidate mutation was found in the 2B PRR gene but polymorphism within the 2B PRR gene cosegregated with the Ppd-B1 locus in a doubled haploid population, suggesting that insensitivity on 2B is due to a mutation outside the sequenced region or to a closely linked gene.

  18. Using bioacoustics to examine shifts in songbird phenology.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  19. Inhibition of reproductive maturation and somatic growth of Fischer 344 rats by photoperiods shorter than L14:D10 and by gradually decreasing photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Heideman, P D; Bierl, C K; Galvez, M E

    2000-11-01

    Photoperiod is the major regulator of reproduction in temperate-zone mammals. Laboratory rats are generally considered to be nonphotoresponsive, but young male Fischer 344 (F344) rats have a uniquely robust response to short photoperiods of 8 h of light. Rats transferred at weaning from a photoperiod of 16 h to photoperiods of < 14 h of light slowed in both reproductive development and somatic growth rate. Those in photoperiods < 13 h of light underwent the strongest responses. The critical photoperiod of F344 rats can be defined as 13.5 h of light, but photoperiods of photoperiod that is standard in some laboratory colonies would have significant effects on reproductive maturation and growth rate of this common rat strain. Young F344 rats in decreasing photoperiods that mimic natural change experienced delayed reproductive development and decreased growth rate to a greater extent and for a longer duration than those transferred at birth to a short photoperiod. The effects of gradual changes in photoperiod persisted for at least 12 wk after weaning. This indicates that young male F344 rats possess responses to photoperiod that would result in functional photoperiodism in a wild mammal.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. Pleistocene effects on North American songbird evolution

    PubMed Central

    Klicka, J.; Zink, R. M.

    1999-01-01

    Recent studies have used comparisons of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence divergence among populations and species to test existing hypotheses about avian evolution during the Pleistocene epoch. In 1998, Avise and Walker concluded that the Pleistocene was an important time for avian evolution, including the initiation of phylogeographic separations and the completion of speciation events that began in the Pliocene. The study implied that these conclusions conflicted with the study, in 1997, by Klicka and Zink, which concluded that most species pairs previously thought to have originated in the past 250 000 years were much older. The two studies are complementary in the sense that Avise and Walker dealt primarily with phylogeographic (intraspecific) separations. Furthermore, Klicka and Zink concentrated on the inception of divergences whereas the Avise and Walker focused on the timing of the completion of speciation. To accomplish this, Avise and Walker analysed 'phylogroups', geographically coherent subsets of biological species in which mtDNA haplotypes exhibit reciprocal monophyly. The study used the average interphylogroup mtDNA distance (0.027), calibrated at 2% per million years, to conclude that speciation required on average one million years to complete. Hence, speciation events begun in the Late Pliocene would have been completed in the mid- to late Pleistocene. Although we appreciate the extended nature of the speciation process and Avise and Walker's insightful attempt to estimate its duration, we conclude that their value was an overestimate by a factor of two. In particular we question whether phylogroups can be used in the novel evolutionary role that Avise and Walker envisioned, because of the vagaries of taxonomic practices and lack of consensus regarding species concepts. To extend their analysis of intraspecific, phylogeographic separations, we compiled previously analysed and newly available data for divergence times for North American songbird

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-18

    Songbirds hold great promise for biomedical, environmental and evolutionary research. A complete draft sequence of the zebra finch genome is imminent, yet a need remains for application of genomic resources within a research community traditionally focused on ethology and neurobiological methods. In response, we developed a core set of genomic tools and a novel collaborative strategy to probe gene expression in diverse songbird species and natural contexts. We end-sequenced cDNAs from zebra finch brain and incorporated additional sequences from community sources into a database of 86,784 high quality reads. These assembled into 31,658 non-redundant contigs and singletons, which we annotated via BLAST search of chicken and human databases. The results are publicly available in the ESTIMA:Songbird database. We produced a spotted cDNA microarray with 20,160 addresses representing 17,214 non-redundant products of an estimated 11,500-15,000 genes, validating it by analysis of immediate-early gene (zenk) gene activation following song exposure and by demonstrating effective cross hybridization to genomic DNAs of other songbird species in the Passerida Parvorder. Our assembly was also used in the design of the "Lund-zfa" Affymetrix array representing approximately 22,000 non-redundant sequences. When the two arrays were hybridized to cDNAs from the same set of male and female zebra finch brain samples, both arrays detected a common set of regulated transcripts with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.895. To stimulate use of these resources by the songbird research community and to maintain consistent technical standards, we devised a "Community Collaboration" mechanism whereby individual birdsong researchers develop experiments and provide tissues, but a single individual in the community is responsible for all RNA extractions, labelling and microarray hybridizations. Immediately, these results set the foundation for a coordinated set of 25 planned experiments by 16

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-15

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

  6. Ubiquitin-specific proteases UBP12 and UBP13 act in circadian clock and photoperiodic flowering regulation in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. A proposed model for the flowering signaling pathway of sugarcane under photoperiodic control.

    PubMed

    Coelho, C P; Costa Netto, A P; Colasanti, J; Chalfun-Júnior, A

    2013-04-25

    Molecular analysis of floral induction in Arabidopsis has identified several flowering time genes related to 4 response networks defined by the autonomous, gibberellin, photoperiod, and vernalization pathways. Although grass flowering processes include ancestral functions shared by both mono- and dicots, they have developed their own mechanisms to transmit floral induction signals. Despite its high production capacity and its important role in biofuel production, almost no information is available about the flowering process in sugarcane. We searched the Sugarcane Expressed Sequence Tags database to look for elements of the flowering signaling pathway under photoperiodic control. Sequences showing significant similarity to flowering time genes of other species were clustered, annotated, and analyzed for conserved domains. Multiple alignments comparing the sequences found in the sugarcane database and those from other species were performed and their phylogenetic relationship assessed using the MEGA 4.0 software. Electronic Northerns were run with Cluster and TreeView programs, allowing us to identify putative members of the photoperiod-controlled flowering pathway of sugarcane.

  9. The DELLA-CONSTANS Transcription Factor Cascade Integrates Gibberellic Acid and Photoperiod Signaling to Regulate Flowering.

    PubMed

    Wang, Houping; Pan, Jinjing; Li, Yang; Lou, Dengji; Hu, Yanru; Yu, Diqiu

    2016-09-01

    Gibberellin (GA) and photoperiod pathways have recently been demonstrated to collaboratively modulate flowering under long days (LDs). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this collaboration remain largely unclear. In this study, we found that GA-induced expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) under LDs was dependent on CONSTANS (CO), a critical transcription factor positively involved in photoperiod signaling. Mechanistic investigation revealed that DELLA proteins, a group of crucial repressors in GA signaling, physically interacted with CO. The DELLA-CO interactions repressed the transcriptional function of CO protein. Genetic analysis demonstrated that CO acts downstream of DELLA proteins to regulate flowering. Disruption of CO rescued the earlier flowering phenotype of the gai-t6 rga-t2 rgl1-1 rgl2-1 mutant (dellap), while a gain-of-function mutation in GA INSENSITIVE (GAI, a member of the DELLA gene) repressed the earlier flowering phenotype of CO-overexpressing plants. In addition, the accumulation of DELLA proteins and mRNAs was rhythmic, and REPRESSOR OF GA1-3 protein was noticeably decreased in the long-day afternoon, a time when CO protein is abundant. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the DELLA-CO cascade inhibits CO/FT-mediated flowering under LDs, which thus provide evidence to directly integrate GA and photoperiod signaling to synergistically modulate flowering under LDs. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

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

  11. Reproductive status of overwintering potato psyllid: absence of photoperiod effects

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We examined the effects of photoperiod on reproductive diapause of three haplotypes of potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae), collected from three geographic locations: south Texas (Central haplotype), California (Western haplotype), and Washington State (Northwestern haploty...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1978-01-01

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

  14. Neuroendocrine control of photoperiodic changes in immune function

    PubMed Central

    Weil, Zachary M.; Borniger, Jeremy C.; Cisse, Yasmine M.; Abi Salloum, Bachir A.; Nelson, Randy J.

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal variation in immune function putatively maximizes survival and reproductive success. Day length (photoperiod) is the most potent signal for time of year. Animals typically organize breeding, growth, and behavior to adapt to spatial and temporal niches. Outside the tropics individuals monitor photoperiod to support adaptations favoring survival and reproductive success. Changes in day length allow anticipation of seasonal changes in temperature and food availability that are critical for reproductive success. Immune function is typically bolstered during winter, whereas reproduction and growth are favored during summer. We provide an overview of how photoperiod influences neuronal function and melatonin secretion, how melatonin acts directly and indirectly to govern seasonal changes in immune function, and the manner by which other neuroendocrine effectors such as glucocorticoids, prolactin, thyroid, and sex steroid hormones modulate seasonal variations in immune function. Potential future research avenues include commensal gut microbiota and light pollution influences on photoperiodic responses. PMID:25456047

  15. Salinity and photoperiod modulate pubertal development in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Melo, Michelle C; Andersson, Eva; Fjelldal, Per Gunnar; Bogerd, Jan; França, Luiz R; Taranger, Geir Lasse; Schulz, Rüdiger W

    2014-03-01

    The Atlantic salmon shows substantial life cycle plasticity, which also applies to the timing of puberty. While it is characterized by the activation of the brain-pituitary-gonad axis, many morphophysiological aspects of puberty and the influence of environmental conditions, such as water salinity, are not well understood in fish. Here, 12-month-old Atlantic salmon coming from an out-of-season smoltification regime in December were exposed to freshwater (FW) or seawater (SW) at 16 °C to stimulate puberty under a 24-h constant light (LL) or 12 h light:12 h darkness (LD) photoperiod. These four treatment groups (FWLL, SWLL, FWLD, and SWLD) were studied from January to March. Next to 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) plasma levels, the expression of pituitary genes (gnrhr4, fshb, and lhb) and spermatogenesis was quantified. When spermatogonial proliferation started, fshb mRNA levels increased steeply and began to decrease when spermatogonial mitosis approached completion and most germ cells had reached meiotic or post-meiotic stages. Conversely, lhb mRNA levels increased progressively during spermatogenesis. Most males in all treatment groups matured, but exposure to SW resulted in the strongest stimulation of the onset of spermatogenesis and elevation of pituitary gnrhr4 and fshb mRNA levels. Later on, the LD photoperiod accelerated, irrespective of the salinity, the completion of spermatogenesis, associated with higher lhb mRNA and 11-KT plasma levels than in the LL groups. We find that both salinity and photoperiod modulated different aspects of spermatogenesis, and resulted in a differential activation of pituitary and testis functions; SW stimulating the onset and the shorter photoperiod the completion of spermatogenesis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Photoperiodic and thermosensory pathways interact through CONSTANS to promote flowering at high temperature under short days.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Virginia; Takahashi, Yasuyuki; Le Gourrierec, José; Coupland, George

    2016-06-01

    Plants detect changes in day length to induce seasonal patterns of flowering. The photoperiodic pathway accelerates the flowering of Arabidopsis thaliana under long days (LDs) whereas it is inactive under short days (SDs), resulting in delayed flowering. This delay is overcome by exposure of plants to high temperature (27°C) under SDs (27°C-SD). Previously, the high-temperature flowering response was proposed to involve either the impaired activity of MADS-box transcription factor (TF) floral repressors or PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4) TF-mediated activation of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), which encodes the output signal of the photoperiodic pathway. We integrate these observations by studying several PIFs, the MADS-box SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) and the photoperiodic pathway under 27°C-SD. We find that the mRNAs of FT and its paralogue TWIN SISTER OF FT (TSF) are increased at dusk under 27°C-SD compared with 21°C-SD, and that this requires PIF4 and PIF5 as well as CONSTANS (CO), a TF that promotes flowering under LDs. The CO and PIF4 proteins are present at dusk under 27°C-SD, and they physically interact. Although Col-0 plants flower at similar times under 27°C-SD and 21°C-LD the expression level of FT is approximately 10-fold higher under 21°C-LD, suggesting that responsiveness to FT is also increased under 27°C-SD, perhaps as a result of the reduced activity of SVP in the meristem. Accordingly, only svp-41 ft-10 tsf-1 plants flowered at the same time under 21°C-SD and 27°C-SD. Thus, we propose that under non-inductive SDs, elevated temperatures increase the activity and sensitize the response to the photoperiod pathway.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Photoperiodicity and increasing salinity as environmental cues for reproduction in desert adapted rodents.

    PubMed

    Bukovetzky, Elena; Schwimmer, Hagit; Fares, Fuad; Haim, Abraham

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the ways environmental signals, regulate reproduction and reproductive behavior of desert adapted rodents is a major gap in our knowledge. In this study, we assessed the roles of photoperiod and diet salinity, as signals for reproduction. We challenged desert adapted common spiny mice, Acomys cahirinus, males and females with osmotic stress, by gradually increasing salinity in their water source - from 0.9% to 5% NaCl under short and long days (SD and LD, respectively). Photoperiodicity affected testosterone levels, as under LD-acclimation, levels were significantly (p<0.05) higher than under SD-acclimation. Salinity treatment (ST) significantly reduced SD-acclimated male body mass (W(b)) and testis mass (p<0.005; normalized to W(b)). ST-LD-females significantly (p<0.005) decreased progesterone levels and the numbers of estrous cycles. A reduction in white adipose tissue (WAT) to an undetectable level was noted in ST-mice of both sexes under both photoperiod regimes. Receptors for vasopressin (VP) and aldosterone were revealed on testes of all male groups and on WAT in control groups. Our results suggest that photoperiod serves as an initial signal while water availability, expressed by increased salinity in the water source, is an ultimate cue for regulation of reproduction, in both sexes of desert-adapted A. cahirinus. We assume that environmental changes also affect behavior, as water seeking behavior by selecting food items, or locomotor activity may change in extreme environment, and thus indirectly affect reproduction and reproductive behavior. The existence of VP and aldosterone receptors in the gonads and WAT suggests the involvement of osmoregulatory hormones in reproductive control of desert adapted rodents.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Photic sensitivity for circadian response to light varies with photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Glickman, Gena; Webb, Ian C; Elliott, Jeffrey A; Baltazar, Ricardo M; Reale, Meghan E; Lehman, Michael N; Gorman, Michael R

    2012-08-01

    The response of the circadian system to light varies markedly depending on photic history. Under short day lengths, hamsters exhibit larger maximal light-induced phase shifts as compared with those under longer photoperiods. However, effects of photoperiod length on sensitivity to subsaturating light remain unknown. Here, Syrian hamsters were entrained to long or short photoperiods and subsequently exposed to a 15-min light pulse across a range of irradiances (0-68.03 µW/cm(2)) to phase shift activity rhythms. Phase advances exhibited a dose response, with increasing irradiances eliciting greater phase resetting in both conditions. Photic sensitivity, as measured by the half-saturation constant, was increased 40-fold in the short photoperiod condition. In addition, irradiances that generated similar phase advances under short and long days produced equivalent phase delays, and equal photon doses produced larger delays in the short photoperiod condition. Mechanistically, equivalent light exposure induced greater pERK, PER1, and cFOS immunoreactivity in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of animals under shorter days. Patterns of immunoreactivity in all 3 proteins were related to the size of the phase shift rather than the intensity of the photic stimulus, suggesting that photoperiod modulation of light sensitivity lies upstream of these events within the signal transduction cascade. This modulation of light sensitivity by photoperiod means that considerably less light is necessary to elicit a circadian response under the relatively shorter days of winter, extending upon the known seasonal changes in sensitivity of sensory systems. Further characterizing the mechanisms by which photoperiod alters photic response may provide a potent tool for optimizing light treatment for circadian and affective disorders in humans.

  2. How photoperiod influences body temperature selection in Lacerta viridis.

    PubMed

    Rismiller, P D; Heldmaier, G

    1988-02-01

    European green lizards, Lacerta viridis, show a distinct annual cycle in their day and nighttime selected body temperature (T b) levels when monitored under natural photoperiod. The amplitude between daily photophase and scotophase temperatures varies throughout the year. Highest body temperatures with smallest day/night variation are selected from May through July. Throughout fall, the difference between day and nighttime selected T b levels increases. Lizards inevitably enter a state of winter dormancy which terminates daily rhythmicity patterns. Under natural photoperiodic conditions, cessation of dormancy occurs spontaneously by mid-March, regardless whether high temperatures are available or not. Lacerta viridis respond to an artificial long photoperiod (16 h light, 8 h dark) at all times of the year with modifications in both diel patterns and levels of selected T b to summer-like conditions. When, however, the natural photoperiod at different phases in the annual cycle is held constant for six to eight weeks, T b selection of Lacerta viridis also remains stable at the level corresponding to the prevailing photoperiod. These results implicate that the photoperiod is a more prominent Zeitgeber for seasonal cueing of temperature selection than has been surmised in the past. Further, we suggest that the large variations recorded in daily T b cycles do not imply that this lizard is an "imprecise" thermoregulator, but rather indicates an important integral process necessary for seasonal acclimatization.

  3. Time to flower: interplay between photoperiod and the circadian clock.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Mikael; Staiger, Dorothee

    2015-02-01

    Plants precisely time the onset of flowering to ensure reproductive success. A major factor in seasonal control of flowering time is the photoperiod. The length of the daily light period is measured by the circadian clock in leaves, and a signal is conveyed to the shoot apex to initiate floral transition accordingly. In the last two decades, the molecular players in the photoperiodic pathway have been identified in Arabidopsis thaliana. Moreover, the intricate connections between the circadian clockwork and components of the photoperiodic pathway have been unravelled. In particular, the molecular basis of time-of-day-dependent sensitivity to floral stimuli, as predicted by Bünning and Pittendrigh, has been elucidated. This review covers recent insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying clock regulation of photoperiodic responses and the integration of the photoperiodic pathway into the flowering time network in Arabidopsis. Furthermore, examples of conservation and divergence in photoperiodic flower induction in other plant species are discussed. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Photoperiodic diapause under the control of circadian clock genes in an insect

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Most organisms have evolved a circadian clock in order to anticipate daily environmental changes and many of these organisms are also capable of sophisticated measurement of daylength (photoperiodism) that is used to regulate seasonal events such as diapause, migration and polymorphism. It has been generally accepted that the same elements are involved in both circadian (daily) and seasonal (annual) rhythms because both rely upon daily light-dark cycles. However, as reasonable as this sounds, there remains no conclusive evidence of such a molecular machinery in insects. We have approached this issue by using RNA interference (RNAi) in Riptortus pedestris. Results The cuticle deposition rhythm exhibited the major properties of circadian rhythms, indicating that the rhythm is regulated by a circadian clock. RNAi directed against the circadian clock genes of period and cycle, which are negative and positive regulators in the circadian clock, respectively, disrupted the cuticle deposition rhythm and distinct cuticle layers were produced by these RNAi. Simultaneously, period RNAi caused the insect to avert diapause under a diapause-inducing photoperiod whereas cycle RNAi induced diapause under a diapause-averting photoperiod. The expression patterns of juvenile hormone-regulated genes and the application of juvenile hormone analogue suggested that neither ovarian development itself nor a downstream cascade of juvenile hormone secretion, were disturbed by period and cycle RNAi. Conclusions This study revealed that the circadian clock genes are crucial not only for daily rhythms but also for photoperiodic diapause. RNAi directed against period and cycle had opposite effects not only in the circadian cuticle deposition rhythm but also in the photoperiodic diapause. These RNAi also had opposite effects on juvenile hormone-regulated gene expression. It is still possible that the circadian clock genes pleiotropically affect ovarian development but, based on these

  5. Shared developmental programme strongly constrains beak shape diversity in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Joerg A; Brancale, Joseph; Tokita, Masayoshi; Burns, Kevin J; Hawkins, M Brent; Abzhanov, Arhat; Brenner, Michael P

    2014-04-16

    The striking diversity of bird beak shapes is an outcome of natural selection, yet the relative importance of the limitations imposed by the process of beak development on generating such variation is unclear. Untangling these factors requires mapping developmental mechanisms over a phylogeny far exceeding model systems studied thus far. We address this issue with a comparative morphometric analysis of beak shape in a diverse group of songbirds. Here we show that the dynamics of the proliferative growth zone must follow restrictive rules to explain the observed variation, with beak diversity constrained to a three parameter family of shapes, parameterized by length, depth and the degree of shear. We experimentally verify these predictions by analysing cell proliferation in the developing embryonic beaks of the zebra finch. Our findings indicate that beak shape variability in many songbirds is strongly constrained by shared properties of the developmental programme controlling the growth zone.

  6. Changes in Testicular Interstitial Connective Tissue of Hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) During Ageing and After Exposure to Short Photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Beltrán-Frutos, E; Seco-Rovira, V; Ferrer, C; Martínez-Hernández, J; Madrid, J F; Sáez, F J; Canteras, M; Pastor, L M

    2016-02-01

    The testicular interstitium of Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) was studied during ageing and in testicular regression after exposure to a short photoperiod, in relation to the interstitial cells and their connective tissue. This tissue was assessed histochemically using Masson's trichrome technique and the expression of Heat Shock Protein 47 (HSP-47) and collagen IV (α5) was assessed in Leydig cells. Finally, an ultrastructural analysis of some cells of the testicular interstitium was made. Leydig cells were positive for HSP-47 and collagen IV (α5). Ageing did not change the parameters studied while the short photoperiod altered the synthetic activity of Leydig cells. The positivity index of these cells for HSP-47 was significantly higher in the regressed testis, but was lower for collagen IV (α5). During ageing no change were observed. Ultrastructural Leydig cells showed a discontinuous basal lamina that did not change during ageing. The basal lamina was not identified in Leydig cells regressed by exposure to a short photoperiod. In conclusion; the intertubular connective tissue suffers little change with age. By contrast, in the testis regressed after exposure to a short photoperiod the studied parameters related to the intertubular connective tissue were altered. These changes are probably related with the low synthetic activity of regressed Leydig cell.

  7. Nongenomic effects of estradiol on aggression under short day photoperiods

    PubMed Central

    Laredo, Sarah A.; Landeros, Rosalina Villalon; Dooley, James C.; Steinman, Michael Q.; Orr, Veronica; Silva, Andrea L.; Crean, Katie K.; Robles, Cindee F.; Trainor, Brian C.

    2013-01-01

    In several vertebrate species, the effects of estrogens on male aggressive behavior can be modulated by environmental cues. In song sparrows and rodents, estrogens modulate aggression in the nonbreeding season or winter-like short days, respectively. The behavioral effects of estrogens are rapid, which generally is considered indicative of nongenomic processes. The current study further examined the hypothesis that estradiol acts nongenomically under short days by utilizing a protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide (CX). Mice were housed in either short or long day photoperiods, and treated with an aromatase inhibitor. One hour before resident-intruder testing mice were injected with either CX or saline vehicle, and 30 minutes later were treated orally with either cyclodextrin conjugated estradiol or vehicle. Under short days, mice treated with estradiol showed a rapid decrease in aggressive behavior, independent of CX administration. CX alone had no effect on aggression. These results show that protein synthesis is not required for the rapid effects of estradiol on aggression, strongly suggesting that these effects are mediated by nongenomic processes. We also showed that estradiol suppressed c-fosimmunoreactivity in the caudal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis under short days. No effects of estradiol on behavior or c-fos expression were observed in mice housed under long days. Previously we had also demonstrated that cage beddinginfluenced the directional effects of estrogens on aggression. Here, we show that the phenomenon of rapid action of estradiol on aggression under short days is a robust result that generalizes to different bedding conditions. PMID:23763907

  8. Estradiol-dependent modulation of auditory processing and selectivity in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Maney, Donna; Pinaud, Raphael

    2011-01-01

    The steroid hormone estradiol plays an important role in reproductive development and behavior and modulates a wide array of physiological and cognitive processes. Recently, reports from several research groups have converged to show that estradiol also powerfully modulates sensory processing, specifically, the physiology of central auditory circuits in songbirds. These investigators have discovered that (1) behaviorally-relevant auditory experience rapidly increases estradiol levels in the auditory forebrain; (2) estradiol instantaneously enhances the responsiveness and coding efficiency of auditory neurons; (3) these changes are mediated by a non-genomic effect of brain-generated estradiol on the strength of inhibitory neurotransmission; and (4) estradiol regulates biochemical cascades that induce the expression of genes involved in synaptic plasticity. Together, these findings have established estradiol as a central regulator of auditory function and intensified the need to consider brain-based mechanisms, in addition to peripheral organ dysfunction, in hearing pathologies associated with estrogen deficiency. PMID:21146556

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-09

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Songbirds tradeoff auditory frequency resolution and temporal resolution.

    PubMed

    Henry, Kenneth S; Gall, Megan D; Bidelman, Gavin M; Lucas, Jeffrey R

    2011-04-01

    Physical tradeoffs may in some cases constrain the evolution of sensory systems. The peripheral auditory system, for example, performs a spectral decomposition of sound that should result in a tradeoff between frequency resolution and temporal resolution. We assessed temporal resolution in three songbird species using auditory brainstem responses to paired click stimuli. Temporal resolution was greater in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) than Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) and white-breasted nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis), as predicted based on previous observations of broader auditory filters (lower frequency resolution) in house sparrows. Furthermore, within chickadees, individuals with broader auditory filters had greater temporal resolution. In contrast to predictions however, temporal resolution was similar between chickadees and nuthatches despite broader auditory filters in chickadees. These results and the results of a model simulation exploring the effect of broadened auditory filter bandwidth on temporal resolution in the auditory periphery strongly suggest that frequency resolution constrains temporal resolution in songbirds. Furthermore, our results suggest that songbirds have greater temporal resolution than some mammals, in agreement with recent behavioral studies. Species differences in temporal resolution may reflect adaptations for efficient processing of species-specific vocalizations, while individual differences within species may reflect experience-based developmental plasticity or hormonal effects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Induction of out-of-season egg laying by artificial photoperiod in Yangzhou geese and the associated endocrine and molecular regulation mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Huanxi; Shao, Xibing; Chen, Zhe; Wei, Chuankun; Lei, Mingming; Ying, Shijia; Yu, Jianning; Shi, Zhendan

    2017-03-18

    This study was carried out to induce out-of-season breeding, in the summer, and to achieve high reproductive performance using artificial photoperiod manipulation in the long-day breeding Yangzhou goose. Young geese were subject to a two-phase short-to-long (group A) or a three-phase (long-short-long; group B) photoperiod program February through October. Egg-laying was induced to start similarly in both groups in May, increased to a peak level in July, and then decreased gradually through to October. The peak and post-peak laying rates were higher with the three-phase than with the two-phase program. Plasma progesterone concentrations changed similarly in the two groups, increasing from low levels during the pre-lay periods until the peak laying stage, then decreasing with decline in the egg-laying rate. Plasma T3 concentrations increased from the beginning of the experiment to form the first peak under a short photoperiod, declined to a trough at peak lay and then progressively increased to high levels towards the end of the experiment. Plasma T4 concentrations increased throughout the experiment, showing little response to changes in photoperiod. GnIH mRNA expression level in the hypothalamus steadily decreased from high levels under the short photoperiod to a nadir at peak of lay, but was abruptly up-regulated by over a thousand-fold thereafter. This mRNA expression pattern was also shared by GnIHR, VIPR, TRHR, TSH, and PRL genes in the pituitary gland, and to lesser extent, by GnRH, VIP, and TRH genes in the hypothalamus. Pituitary GnRHR mRNA expression levels changed in a similar manner to that of reproductive activities of geese in both groups. FSH beta subunits mRNA expression levels increased to high levels after day 11 of the long photoperiod, and were higher in group B than in group A at peak laying. LH beta gene expression level was similarly upregulated by photoperiod and was higher in group B than in group A when used the multivariable and two

  15. The effect of day-neutral mutations in barley and wheat on the interaction between photoperiod and vernalization.

    PubMed

    Turner, Adrian S; Faure, Sébastien; Zhang, Yang; Laurie, David A

    2013-09-01

    Vernalization-2 (Vrn-2) is the major flowering repressor in temperate cereals. It is only expressed under long days in wild-type plants. We used two day-neutral (photoperiod insensitive) mutations that allow rapid flowering in short or long days to investigate the day length control of Vrn-2. The barley (Hordeum vulgare) early maturity8 (eam8) mutation affects the barley ELF3 gene. eam8 mutants disrupt the circadian clock resulting in elevated expression of Ppd-H1 and the floral activator HvFT1 under short or long days. When eam8 was crossed into a genetic background with a vernalization requirement Vrn-2 was expressed under all photoperiods and the early flowering phenotype was partially repressed in unvernalized (UV) plants, likely due to competition between the constitutively active photoperiod pathway and the repressing effect of Vrn-2. We also investigated the wheat (Triticum aestivum) Ppd-D1a mutation. This differs from eam8 in causing elevated levels of Ppd-1 and TaFT1 expression without affecting the circadian clock. We used genotypes that differed in "short-day vernalization". Short days were effective in promoting flowering in individuals wild type at Ppd-D1, but not in individuals that carry the Ppd-D1a mutation. The latter showed Vrn-2 expression in short days. In summary, eam8 and Ppd-D1a mimic long days in terms of photoperiod response, causing Vrn-2 to become aberrantly expressed (in short days). As Ppd-D1a does not affect the circadian clock, this also shows that clock regulation of Vrn-2 operates indirectly through one or more downstream genes, one of which may be Ppd-1.

  16. Effect of white-tailed deer on songbirds within managed forests in Pennsylvania

    Treesearch

    David S. deCalesta

    1994-01-01

    White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations have been maintained at high densities in Pennsylvania for several decades with unknown effects on songbirds and their habitats. I evaluated effects of white-tailed deer density on songbird species richness, abundance, and habitat. I simulated 4 deer densities (3.7, 7.9, 14.9, and 24.9 deer/km...

  17. Factors affecting songbird nest survival in riparian forests in a Midwestern agricultural landscape

    Treesearch

    Rebecca G. Peak; Frank R. Thompson; Terry L. Shaffer

    2004-01-01

    We investigated factors affecting nest success of songbirds in riparian forest and buffers in northeastern Missouri. We used an information-theoretic approach to determine support for hypotheses concerning effects of nest-site, habitat-patch, edge, and temporal factors on nest success of songbirds in three narrow (55-95 m) and three wide (400-530 m) riparian forests...

  18. Common, but Commonly Overlooked: Red-bellied Woodpeckers as Songbird Nest Predators

    Treesearch

    Kirsten R. Hazler; Dawn E.W. Drumtra; Matthew R. Marshall; Robert J. Cooper; Paul B. Hamel

    2004-01-01

    Woodpeckers in North America are not widely recognized as nest predators. In this paper, we describe several eyewitness accounts of songbird nest predation by Red-bellied Woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus), document evidence that songbirds recognize woodpeckers as nest predators, and show that our observations are consistent with previously published...

  19. Impacts of invasive plants on songbirds: Using song structure as an indicator of habitat quality

    Treesearch

    Yvette Ortega

    2007-01-01

    Invasive species can alter habitat quality over broad scales, so they pose a severe threat to songbird populations. Through our long-term research program supported by BEMRP, we have found that changes in habitat quality induced by exotic plants like spotted knapweed can lead to subtle yet profound changes in songbird populations. For example, in knapweed-invaded...

  20. Night-Break Experiments Shed Light on the Photoperiod1-Mediated Flowering1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Lindsay M.; Cotter, Jennifer D.; Li, Chengxia

    2017-01-01

    Plants utilize variation in day length (photoperiod) to anticipate seasonal changes. They respond by modulating their growth and development to maximize seed production, which in cereal crops is directly related to yield. In wheat (Triticum aestivum), the acceleration of flowering under long days (LD) is dependent on the light induction of PHOTOPERIOD1 (PPD1) by phytochromes. Under LD, PPD1 activates FLOWERING LOCUS T1 (FT1), a mobile signaling protein that travels from the leaves to the shoot apical meristem to promote flowering. Here, we show that the interruption of long nights by short pulses of light (“night-break” [NB]) accelerates wheat flowering, suggesting that the duration of the night is critical for wheat photoperiodic response. PPD1 transcription was rapidly upregulated by NBs, and the magnitude of this induction increased with the length of darkness preceding the NB. Cycloheximide abolished the NB up-regulation of PPD1, suggesting that this process is dependent on active protein synthesis during darkness. While one NB was sufficient to induce PPD1, more than 15 NBs were required to induce high levels of FT1 expression and a strong acceleration of flowering. Multiple NBs did not affect the expression of core circadian clock genes. The acceleration of flowering by NB disappeared in ppd1-null mutants, demonstrating that this response is mediated by PPD1. The acceleration of flowering was strongest when NBs were applied in the middle of the night, suggesting that in addition to PPD1, other circadian-controlled factors are required for the up-regulation of FT1 expression and the acceleration of flowering. PMID:28408541

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  2. A Photoperiod-Regulating Gene CONSTANS Is Correlated to Lipid Biosynthesis in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Xiaodong; Fan, Xinzhao; Li, Ping; Fei, Xiaowen

    2015-01-01

    Background. The regulation of lipid biosynthesis is essential in photosynthetic eukaryotic cells. Thus far, no regulatory genes have been reported in the lipid metabolism pathway. Plant CONSTANS (CO) gene regulates blooming by participating in photoperiod and biological clock. Apart from regulating photoperiod, the Chlamydomonas CO gene also regulates starch content. Results. In this study, the results showed that, under HSM-S condition, cells accumulated more lipids at short-day conditions than at long-day conditions. The silencing of the CrCO gene via RNA interference resulted in an increase in lipid content and an increase in triacylglyceride (TAG) level by 24.5%. CrCO RNAi strains accumulated more lipids at short-day conditions than at long-day conditions. The decrease in CrCO expression resulted in the increased expression of TAG biosynthesis-related genes, such as DGAT2, PAP2, and PDAT3, whereas CIS and FBP1 genes showed a decrease in their mRNA when the CrCO expression was suppressed. On the other hand, the overexpression of CrCO resulted in the decrease in lipid content and TAG level. Conclusions. The results of this study revealed a relationship between CrCO gene and lipid metabolism in Chlamydomonas, suggesting that increasing oil by suppressing CrCO expression in microalgae is feasible. PMID:25654119

  3. Effects of short photoperiod on codling moth diapause and survival.

    PubMed

    Neven, Lisa G

    2013-02-01

    The potential presence of codling moth, Cydia pomonella L., in apples shipped to countries within the 30th latitudes has raised concerns that this pest could establish and spread in these countries. Previous research demonstrated that codling moth in apples handled under simulated commercial cold storage conditions and held under short day lengths could not break diapause and emerge in sufficient numbers to establish a minimum viable population. This study expands the in-fruit work by examining the ability of codling moth to establish a laboratory population under a short photoperiod of 12:12 (L:D) h, as compared with a long photoperiod of 16:8 (L:D) h. Codling moth larvae were collected from field infested fruits in 2010 and 2011. Moths were collected from the infested fruits and separated into two groups representing the two daylength conditions. In total, 1,004 larvae were monitored for adult emergence and ability to generate a subsequent population. Larvae held under the photoperiod of 12:12 (L:D) h generated only one moth in the 2 yr period, whereas larvae held under the photoperiod of 16:8 (L:D) h generated 186 females and 179 males, that sustained subsequent generations on artificial diet under laboratory conditions. These results indicate that under controlled environmental conditions, codling moth cannot complete diapause and emerge in sufficient numbers to sustain a viable population when held under a short photoperiod.

  4. Seasonal variation of vocal behaviour in a temperate songbird: assessing the effects of laboratory housing on wild-caught, seasonally breeding birds.

    PubMed

    Avey, Marc T; Rodriguez, Alejandra; Sturdy, Christopher B

    2011-11-01

    Many laboratories are conducting research using songbirds as their animal model. In particular, songbirds are widely used for studying the behavioural and neural mechanisms underlying vocal learning. Many researchers use wild-caught birds to conduct this research, although few studies of behaviour have been conducted to determine the effects of captive housing on these species. We investigated the vocal production pattern of wild-caught black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) over an entire season in laboratory housing. We documented the frequency of production of four vocalizations (fee-bee song, chick-a-dee calls, dee calls, and gargle calls) across seasons and diurnal pattern and compared the observed pattern of laboratory vocalizations to those previously observed and reported in the wild. Laboratory-housed chickadees had seasonal and diurnal vocal production shifts that were related to both photoperiodic changes (season) and diurnal pattern. For instance, there was significantly more fee-bee song in the spring than summer, autumn, and winter with the most fee-bee song occurring at spring dawn as seen in the wild. Our results also confirmed that the general pattern of vocalizations was consistent between wild and laboratory populations, with no significant differences for either the seasonal or diurnal pattern of fee-bee song production between populations. Differences between settings were observed in the pattern of chick-a-dee calls at dawn and sunset between field and laboratory populations. However, differences in the quantity of vocalization types between laboratory and wild populations suggest that housing conditions are influencing the normal vocal behavioural patterns.

  5. Competitive females are successful females; phenotype, mechanism and selection in a common songbird

    PubMed Central

    Cain, Kristal E.; Ketterson, Ellen D.

    2011-01-01

    In a variety of taxa, male reproductive success is positively related to expression of costly traits such as large body size, ornaments, armaments, and aggression. These traits are thought to improve male competitive ability, and thus access to limited reproductive resources. Females of many species also express competitive traits. However, we know very little about the consequences of individual variation in competitive traits and the mechanisms that regulate their expression in females. Consequently, it is currently unclear whether females express competitive traits owing to direct selection or as an indirect result of selection on males. Here we examine females of a mildly dimorphic songbird (Junco hyemalis) to determine whether females, show positive covariance in traits (morphology and behavior) that may be important in a competition. We also examine whether trait expression relates either to testosterone (T) in terms of mechanism or to reproductive success in terms of function. We found that larger females were more aggressive and that greater ability to produce T in response to a physiological challenge consisting of a standardized injection of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) predicted some measures of female body size and aggression. Finally, we found that aggressive females had greater reproductive success. We conclude that testosterone may influence female phenotype and that females may benefit from expressing a competitive phenotype. We also suggest that the mild dimorphism observed in many species may be due in part to direct selection on females rather than simply a correlated response to selection in males. PMID:22345899

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hershey, David R.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hershey, David R.

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Beneficial Effects of Exogenous Melatonin in Acute Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli Infection-Induced Inflammation and Associated Behavioral Response in Mice After Exposure to Short Photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Bishayi, Biswadev; Adhikary, Rana; Nandi, Ajeya; Sultana, Sahin

    2016-12-01

    The administration of melatonin during acute bacterial infection was evaluated in this study. Mice pre-exposed to normal photoperiodic (NP), short photoperiodic (SP), and long photoperiodic (LP) day lengths were infected separately with live Staphylococcus aureus (5 × 10(6) cells/ml) or Escherichia coli (2.5 × 10(7) colony-forming units/ml) and treated with melatonin (10 mg/kg body weight). Behavioral studies were performed before bacterial infection and after melatonin administration. In mice pre-exposed to SP, exogenous melatonin administration resulted in better clearance of bacteria from blood and behavioral improvement. Reduced glutathione content and superoxide dismutase activities were increased, with concomitant decrease in lipid peroxidation content and catalase activities in the liver, brain, and spleen after exogenous melatonin administration. The overproduction of tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, and interleukin-6 during acute bacterial infection in mice exposed to different photoperiods was probably regulated by the administration of exogenous melatonin, by reducing neutrophil recruitment to spleen, expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 in hypothalamus, and C-reactive protein in the serum, and was also associated with improved behavioral response. Photoperiodic variations in inflammatory and oxidative stress markers might be correlated to serum melatonin and corticosterone levels. This study suggests that the administration of melatonin during SP exposure is protective in infection-induced inflammation than NP and LP exposure.

  9. Prediction of photoperiodic regulators from quantitative gene circuit models.

    PubMed

    Salazar, José Domingo; Saithong, Treenut; Brown, Paul E; Foreman, Julia; Locke, James C W; Halliday, Karen J; Carré, Isabelle A; Rand, David A; Millar, Andrew J

    2009-12-11

    Photoperiod sensors allow physiological adaptation to the changing seasons. The prevalent hypothesis is that day length perception is mediated through coupling of an endogenous rhythm with an external light signal. Sufficient molecular data are available to test this quantitatively in plants, though not yet in mammals. In Arabidopsis, the clock-regulated genes CONSTANS (CO) and FLAVIN, KELCH, F-BOX (FKF1) and their light-sensitive proteins are thought to form an external coincidence sensor. Here, we model the integration of light and timing information by CO, its target gene FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), and the circadian clock. Among other predictions, our models show that FKF1 activates FT. We demonstrate experimentally that this effect is independent of the known activation of CO by FKF1, thus we locate a major, novel controller of photoperiodism. External coincidence is part of a complex photoperiod sensor: modeling makes this complexity explicit and may thus contribute to crop improvement.

  10. The hormonal and circadian basis for insect photoperiodic timing.

    PubMed

    Schiesari, Luca; Kyriacou, Charalambos P; Costa, Rodolfo

    2011-05-20

    Daylength perception in temperate zones is a critical feature of insect life histories, and leads to developmental changes for resisting unfavourable seasons. The role of the neuroendocrine axis in the photoperiodic response of insects is discussed in relation to the key organs and molecules that are involved. We also discuss the controversial issue of the possible involvement of the circadian clock in photoperiodicity. Drosophila melanogaster has a shallow photoperiodic response that leads to reproductive arrest in adults, yet the unrivalled molecular genetic toolkit available for this model insect should allow the systematic molecular and neurobiological dissection of this complex phenotype. Copyright © 2011 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Seasonal and photoperiodic regulation of reproductive hormones and related genes in Yangzhou geese.

    PubMed

    Yang, H M; Wang, Y; Wang, Z Y; Wang, X X

    2017-02-01

    This study aimed at the reproductive endocrine profile under a natural photoperiod in Yangzhou female geese. Geese in the breeding industry were exposed to a natural photoperiod and the results showed the breeding season of Yangzhou geese initiated in autumn, reached peak in February and March, and terminated in June. Fifteen female geese were randomly selected for blood collection samples monthly. The results showed serum luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations in female geese were higher in the breeding season than in the non-breeding season. The concentrations of Prolactin (PRL) were also high in the breeding season. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations were high from March to May and decreased to low levels in other periods. Furthermore, 6 female birds were selected randomly monthly, sacrificed, and the hypothalamus and pituitary isolated. The expressions of FSH were also high in the breeding season, while the expressions of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) fluctuated. These results indicated that the reproductive hormones and their transcript expressions were closely related to the reproductive activities in Yangzhou geese. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  12. The Influence of Light Quality, Circadian Rhythm, and Photoperiod on the CBF-Mediated Freezing Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Maibam, Punyakishore; Nawkar, Ganesh M.; Park, Joung Hun; Sahi, Vaidurya Pratap; Lee, Sang Yeol; Kang, Chang Ho

    2013-01-01

    Low temperature adversely affects crop yields by restraining plant growth and productivity. Most temperate plants have the potential to increase their freezing tolerance upon exposure to low but nonfreezing temperatures, a process known as cold acclimation. Various physiological, molecular, and metabolic changes occur during cold acclimation, which suggests that the plant cold stress response is a complex, vital phenomenon that involves more than one pathway. The C-Repeat Binding Factor (CBF) pathway is the most important and well-studied cold regulatory pathway that imparts freezing tolerance to plants. The regulation of freezing tolerance involves the action of phytochromes, which play an important role in light-mediated signalling to activate cold-induced gene expression through the CBF pathway. Under normal temperature conditions, CBF expression is regulated by the circadian clock through the action of a central oscillator and also day length (photoperiod). The phytochrome and phytochrome interacting factor are involved in the repression of the CBF expression under long day (LD) conditions. Apart from the CBF regulon, a novel pathway involving the Z-box element also mediates the cold acclimation response in a light-dependent manner. This review provides insights into the progress of cold acclimation in relation to light quality, circadian regulation, and photoperiodic regulation and also explains the underlying molecular mechanisms of cold acclimation for introducing the engineering of economically important, cold-tolerant plants. PMID:23722661

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

    PubMed

    Grevstad, Fritzi S; Coop, Leonard B

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Mapping-by-Sequencing Identifies HvPHYTOCHROME C as a Candidate Gene for the early maturity 5 Locus Modulating the Circadian Clock and Photoperiodic Flowering in Barley

    PubMed Central

    Pankin, Artem; Campoli, Chiara; Dong, Xue; Kilian, Benjamin; Sharma, Rajiv; Himmelbach, Axel; Saini, Reena; Davis, Seth J; Stein, Nils; Schneeberger, Korbinian; von Korff, Maria

    2014-01-01

    Phytochromes play an important role in light signaling and photoperiodic control of flowering time in plants. Here we propose that the red/far-red light photoreceptor HvPHYTOCHROME C (HvPHYC), carrying a mutation in a conserved region of the GAF domain, is a candidate underlying the early maturity 5 locus in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). We fine mapped the gene using a mapping-by-sequencing approach applied on the whole-exome capture data from bulked early flowering segregants derived from a backcross of the Bowman(eam5) introgression line. We demonstrate that eam5 disrupts circadian expression of clock genes. Moreover, it interacts with the major photoperiod response gene Ppd-H1 to accelerate flowering under noninductive short days. Our results suggest that HvPHYC participates in transmission of light signals to the circadian clock and thus modulates light-dependent processes such as photoperiodic regulation of flowering. PMID:24996910

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Photoperiodic induction of synchronous flowering near the Equator.

    PubMed

    Borchert, Rolf; Renner, Susanne S; Calle, Zoraida; Navarrete, Diego; Tye, Alan; Gautier, Laurent; Spichiger, Rodolphe; von Hildebrand, Patricio

    2005-02-10

    In tropical rainforests, 30-65% of tree species grow at densities of less than one individual per hectare. At these low population densities, successful cross-pollination relies on synchronous flowering. In rainforests with low climatic seasonality, photoperiodic control is the only reliable mechanism for inducing synchronous flowering. This poses a problem because there is no variation in day length at the Equator. Here we propose a new mechanism of photoperiodic timekeeping based on the perception of variation in sunrise or sunset time, which explains and predicts the annually repeated, staggered, synchronous and bimodal flowering of many tree species in Amazonian rainforests near the Equator.

  17. Sex versus parthenogenesis: a transcriptomic approach of photoperiod response in the model aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

    PubMed

    Cortés, T; Tagu, D; Simon, J C; Moya, A; Martínez-Torres, D

    2008-01-31

    Most aphids develop a cyclic parthenogenesis life-cycle. After several generations of viviparous parthenogenetic females, it follows a single annual generation of sexual individuals, usually in autumn, that mate and lay the sexual eggs. Shortening of photoperiod at the end of the summer is a key factor inducing the sexual response. With the survey here reported we aimed at identifying a collection of candidate genes to participate at some point in the cascade of events that lead to the sexual phenotypes. Following a suppression subtractive hybridization methodology (SSH) on the model aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, we built and characterised two reciprocal cDNA libraries (SDU and SDD) enriched respectively in genes up-regulated or down-regulated by short photoperiod conditions that lead to the sexual response in this aphid species. A total of 557 ESTs were obtained altogether representing 223 non-overlapping contigs. 29% of these were new sequences not present in previous aphid EST libraries. BLAST searches allowed putative identification of about 54% of the contigs present in both libraries. Relative quantification of expression through real-time quantitative PCR demonstrated the differential expression in relation with the photoperiod of 6 genes (3 up-regulated and 3 down-regulated by shortening the day length). Among these, expression of a tubulin gene, two cuticular proteins and a yet unidentified sequence along the day-night cycle was further investigated. Implications for current studies on gene regulation of the dichotomy sex vs. parthenogenesis in aphids are discussed.

  18. Photoperiod sensitivity of the Arabidopsis circadian clock is tissue-specific.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Hanako; Araki, Takashi; Endo, Motomu

    2015-01-01

    Tissue-specific functions of the circadian clock in Arabidopsis have recently been revealed. The vasculature clock shows distinctive gene expression profiles compared to the clock in other tissues under light-dark cycles. However, it has not yet been established whether the vasculature clock also shows unique gene expression patterns that correlate with temperature cycles, another important environmental cue. Here, we detected diel phase of TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION 1 (TOC1) expression in the vasculature and whole leaf under long-day light-dark cycles and temperature cycles. We found that the vasculature clock had advanced TOC1 phase under light-dark cycles but not under temperature cycles, suggesting that the vasculature clock has lower sensitivity against temperature signals. Furthermore, the phase advancement of TOC1 was seen only under long-day condition but not under short-day condition. These results support our previous conclusion that the circadian clock in vasculature preferentially senses photoperiodic signals.

  19. Photoperiodic regulation of cellular retinol binding protein, CRBP1 [corrected] and nestin in tanycytes of the third ventricle ependymal layer of the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Perry; Ivanova, Elena; Graham, E Scott; Ross, Alexander W; Wilson, Dana; Plé, Helene; Mercer, Julian G; Ebling, Francis J; Schuhler, Sandrine; Dupré, Sandrine M; Loudon, Andrew; Morgan, Peter J

    2006-12-01

    Tanycytes in the ependymal layer of the third ventricle act both as a barrier and a communication gateway between the cerebrospinal fluid, brain and portal blood supply to the pituitary gland. However, the range, importance and mechanisms involved in the function of tanycytes remain to be explored. In this study, we have utilized a photoperiodic animal to examine the expression of three unrelated gene sequences in relation to photoperiod-induced changes in seasonal physiology and behaviour. We demonstrate that cellular retinol binding protein [corrected] (CRBP1), a retinoic acid transport protein, GPR50, an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor and nestin, an intermediate filament protein, are down-regulated in short-day photoperiods. The distribution of the three sequences is very similar, with expression located in cells with tanycyte morphology in the region of the ependymal layer where tanycytes are located. Furthermore, CRBP1 expression in the ependymal layer is shown to be independent of a circadian clock and altered testosterone levels associated with testicular regression in short photo-period. Pinealectomy of Siberian hamsters demonstrates CRBP1 expression is likely to be dependent on melatonin output from the pineal gland. This provides evidence that tanycytes are seasonally responsive cells and are likely to be an important part of the mechanism to facilitate seasonal physiology and behaviour in the Siberian hamster.

  20. Regional population viability of grassland songbirds: Effects of agricultural management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perlut, N.G.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Buckley, N.J.

    2008-01-01

    Although population declines of grassland songbirds in North America and Europe are well-documented, the effect of local processes on regional population persistence is unclear. To assess population viability of grassland songbirds at a regional scale (???150,000 ha), we quantified Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis and Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus annual productivity, adult apparent survival, habitat selection, and density in the four most (regionally) common grassland treatments. We applied these data to a female-based, stochastic, pre-breeding population model to examine whether current grassland management practices can sustain viable populations of breeding songbirds. Additionally, we evaluated six conservation strategies to determine which would most effectively increase population trends. Given baseline conditions, over 10 years, simulations showed a slightly declining or stable Savannah Sparrow population (mean bootstrap ?? = 0.99; 95% CI = 1.00-0.989) and severely declining Bobolink population (mean bootstrap ?? = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.753-0.747). Savannah Sparrow populations were sensitive to increases in all demographic parameters, particularly adult survival. However for Bobolinks, increasing adult apparent survival, juvenile apparent survival, or preference by changing habitat selection cues for late-hayed fields (highest quality) only slightly decreased the rate of decline. For both species, increasing the amount of high-quality habitat (late- and middle-hayed) marginally slowed population declines; increasing the amount of low-quality habitat (early-hayed and grazed) marginally increased population declines. Both species were most sensitive to low productivity and survival on early-hayed fields, despite the fact that this habitat comprised only 18% of the landscape. Management plans for all agricultural regions should increase quality on both low- and high-quality fields by balancing habitat needs, nesting phenology, and species' response to

  1. N-acetyltransferase (nat) is a critical conjunct of photoperiodism between the circadian system and endocrine axis in Antheraea pernyi.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Ahmed A M; Wang, Qiushi; Bembenek, Jadwiga; Ichihara, Naoyuki; Hiragaki, Susumu; Suzuki, Takeshi; Takeda, Makio

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. Drought in Africa caused delayed arrival of European songbirds.

    PubMed

    Tøttrup, A P; Klaassen, R H G; Kristensen, M W; Strandberg, R; Vardanis, Y; Lindström, Å; Rahbek, C; Alerstam, T; Thorup, K

    2012-12-07

    Despite an overall advancement in breeding area arrival, one of the latest spring arrivals in northwest Europe since 1950 of several trans-Saharan songbird species occurred in 2011. Year-round tracking of red-backed shrikes and thrush nightingales revealed that the cause of the delay was a prolongation of stopover time during spring migration at the Horn of Africa, which was affected by extreme drought. Our results help to establish a direct link at the individual level between changes in local climate during migration and arrival and breeding condition in Europe thousands of kilometers further north.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Plasma melatonin profiles of Romney Marsh sheep in natural photoperiod and in acutely extended darkness.

    PubMed

    Matthews, C D; Seamark, R F; Guerin, M V

    1992-08-01

    Plasma melatonin was measured at the summer and winter solstices and the autumn and spring equinoxes in Romney Marsh sheep held under natural conditions in South Australia (35 degrees S). The amount of melatonin detected was generally related to the extent of natural darkness, though the melatonin onset was particularly delayed after dusk in winter compared with other seasons. The duration of detectable melatonin was shorter in summer than at any other season. After each initial 24 h sampling, the sheep were resampled for a further 24 h in acutely extended darkness to mark the phase and duration of suprachiasmatic nuclei activity which is believed to be the source of the melatonin signal. The onset of high plasma melatonin was earlier than the time of natural sunset in spring and summer, but not different from the time of natural sunset in autumn and winter. The offset of high plasma melatonin was later than the time of natural sunrise at all times of year and particularly so in summer. Under the extended dark conditions, the duration of detectable melatonin was longer than that under natural photoperiod at all seasons of the year and the duration of melatonin was again shorter in summer than winter. If melatonin measurements under the conditions of extended darkness do reflect the phase and duration of suprachiasmatic nuclei function then the natural light of the photoperiod can, particularly during long photoperiod conditions, mask the expression of the pacemaker. The findings may have implications for the timing of the breeding season in Romney Marsh sheep.

  6. Robust and flexible response of the Ostreococcus tauri circadian clock to light/dark cycles of varying photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Thommen, Quentin; Pfeuty, Benjamin; Corellou, Florence; Bouget, François-Yves; Lefranc, Marc

    2012-09-01

    The green microscopic alga Ostreococcus tauri has recently emerged as a promising model for understanding how circadian clocks, which drive the daily biological rhythms of many organisms, synchronize to the day/night cycle in changing weather and seasons. Here, we analyze translational reporter time series data for the central clock genes CCA1 and TOC1 for a wide range of daylight durations (photoperiods). The variation of temporal expression profiles with day duration is complex, with the two protein peaks tracking different times of the day. Nevertheless, all profiles are accurately reproduced by a simple two-gene transcriptional loop model whose parameters depend on light only through the photoperiod value. We show that this non-intuitive behavior allows the circadian clock to combine flexibility and robustness with respect to daylight fluctuations.

  7. The Response of Honduras Pine to Various Photoperiods

    Treesearch

    J. A. Vozzo; C. B. Briscoe

    1963-01-01

    Height growth of Honduras pine (P. caribaea. v. hondurensis) seedllng'S 18 shown to be significantly influenced by photoperiod. Maximum initial effect was obtained by the longest period tested, 16 hours; but by 7 weeks, greatest growth was obtained by an interrupted 11 (8+3) hours.

  8. Photoperiod-induced geographic variation in plant defense chemistry.

    PubMed

    Reudler, J H; Elzinga, Jelmer A

    2015-02-01

    Spatial variation in chemical defense of plants can be caused by genetic, biotic, and abiotic factors. For example, many plants exhibit a latitudinal cline in chemical defense, potentially due to latitudinal variation in abiotic environmental factors such as the light regime during the growing season. In the worldwide distributed Plantago lanceolata, the levels of deterrent iridoid glycosides (IGs), aucubin and catalpol, vary geographically, including latitudinally. To examine whether latitudinal variation in photoperiod can explain part of this geographic variation, plants from the Netherlands and Finland were exposed to two different photoperiods, simulating the Dutch (middle European) and Finnish (northern European) light period during the growing season. The experiment showed that although most variation in IG content was genetic, plants from both Dutch and Finnish origin produce relatively more catalpol under a northern European than under a middle European photoperiod. Our results confirm that latitudinal effects on photoperiod can contribute to geographic variation in plant defense chemistry, which should be considered when studying latitudinal clines in plant-enemy interactions.

  9. Photoperiodic control of reproduction in olfactory-bulbectomized rats.

    PubMed

    Nelson, R J; Zucker, I

    1981-05-01

    30-day-old male rats were (1) sham-operated or subjected to (2) removal of the olfactory bulbs, (3) olfactory bulbectomy and blinding (4) olfactory bulbectomy and pinealectomy or (5) olfactory bulbectomy, blinding and pinealectomy. Animals were exposed from 30 to 110 days of age to long-day (14 h of light per day) or short-day (8 h of light per day) photoperiods. The reproductive system of neurologically-intact rats was not affected by exposure to short days. Nor did bulbectomy affect the reproductive system of rats exposed to long days. However, bulbectomized, short-day rats had significantly lower body weights, reduced testicular and seminal vesicle weights and lower plasma testosterone levels than did bulbectomized, long-day rats. The effects of short-day exposure on bulbectomized rats were prevented by pinealectomy. Short-day exposure and blinding exerted similar effects in bulbectomized rats. The testes of rats from all groups contained elongated spermatids; blinding and short-day treatment had no effect on spermatogenesis. Neither mating behavior nor the number of young sired was influenced by photoperiod in bulbectomized or intact rats. Removal of the olfactory bulbs unmasks photoperiodic responsiveness in rats; the antigonadal effects of short-day exposure are mediated by the pineal gland in bulbectomized rats as in species traditionally designated photoperiodic. The mechanisms by which bulbectomy renders rats responsive to short days are considered.

  10. Establishment and persistence of photoperiodic memory in hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Prendergast, Brian J.; Gorman, Michael R.; Zucker, Irving

    2000-01-01

    Long summer days unequivocally stimulate, and short winter days inhibit reproduction in Siberian hamsters. By contrast, intermediate-duration day lengths (12.5–14 h long) either accelerate reproductive development or initiate regression of the reproductive apparatus. Which of these outcomes transpires depends on an animal's photoperiodic history, suggesting that hamsters must encode a representation of prior photoperiods. The duration of nocturnal melatonin secretion is the endocrine representation of day length, but nothing is known about how long it takes to establish photoperiodic histories or how long they endure. Hamsters exposed for 2 or more weeks to long summer day lengths acquired a long-day photoperiodic history that determined subsequent reproductive responses to intermediate-duration day lengths and melatonin signals. The memory for long-day lengths persisted in pinealectomized hamsters for 6.5 weeks, faded significantly after 13 weeks, and was functionally absent after 20 weeks. These findings indicate that hamsters are influenced only by relatively recent day lengths and melatonin signals and ignore earlier ones that might cause them to misinterpret the salience of current day lengths. PMID:10792054

  11. Sweetgum Dormancy Release: Effects of Chilling, Photoperiod, and Genotype

    Treesearch

    Robert E. Farmer

    1968-01-01

    In L., 1200 to 1600 hours of chilling (3 D C) resulted in rapid resumption of growth under greenhouse forcing conditions. Long photoperiods were effective substitutes for chilling. Plants from southern Alabama (Lat. 31°) had a lower chilling requirement than those from western Tennessee (Lat. 36°). Growth rate of plants under...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Serotonin levels in the dorsal raphe nuclei of both chipmunks and mice are enhanced by long photoperiod, but brain dopamine level response to photoperiod is species-specific.

    PubMed

    Goda, Ryosei; Otsuka, Tsuyoshi; Iwamoto, Ayaka; Kawai, Misato; Shibata, Satomi; Furuse, Mitsuhiro; Yasuo, Shinobu

    2015-04-23

    Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a subtype of major depressive or bipolar disorders associated with the shortened photoperiod in winter. This depressive disorder is integrally tied to the seasonal regulation of the brain's serotonergic system. Recently, we found that C57BL/6J mice subjected to a forced-swim test exhibited immobility, a photoperiod-dependent depression-associated behavior, and suppression of brain serotonin levels. However, mice are nocturnal animals, and it is unclear whether the brain serotonergic system responds similarly to photoperiod in nocturnal and diurnal species. This study compared the responses of brain serotonergic and dopaminergic systems to photoperiod in diurnal chipmunks and nocturnal C57BL/6J mice. In both species, serotonin levels in the dorsal raphe nuclei were higher under long-day conditions than short-day conditions, suggesting a similarity in the photoperiod responses of the serotonergic systems. However, photoperiod affected dopamine levels in various brain regions differently in the two species. Some chipmunk brain regions exhibited stronger photoperiod-induced changes in dopamine levels than those of C57BL/6J mice, and the direction of the changes in the hypothalamus was opposite. In conclusion, photoperiod may regulate the brain serotonergic system through similar mechanisms, regardless of whether the animals are diurnal or nocturnal, but photoperiod-dependent regulation of brain dopamine is species-specific.

  14. Artificial selection for responsiveness to photoperiodic change alters the response to stationary photoperiods in maternal induction of egg diapause in the rice leaf bug Trigonotylus caelestialium.

    PubMed

    Shintani, Yoshinori

    2009-09-01

    Female adults of the rice leaf bug Trigonotylus caelestialium (Kirkaldy) (Heteroptera: Miridae) produce non-diapause eggs under long-day conditions, whereas they produce diapause eggs under short-day conditions. These egg-production modes change following a photoperiodic change from long-day to short-day conditions or vice versa, with individual variations in responsiveness shown in the time from the photoperiodic change to the mode change. Strains of this insect with higher or lower responsiveness to photoperiodic change were established after several generations of selection, indicating that the individual variation has a genetic basis. The selected strains that were more responsive and less responsive to one photoperiodic change were found to be less responsive and more responsive to the opposite photoperiodic change, respectively, indicating a significant negative correlation between responsiveness to reciprocal photoperiodic changes. The selected strains also had a significantly different incidence of diapause-egg producers in stationary photoperiods compared to a non-selected strain, showing that selections for responsiveness to photoperiodic change were essentially the same as selections for a higher or lower incidence of diapause-egg producers. These results indicate that responsiveness to photoperiodic change is one aspect of the tendency to produce diapause or non-diapause eggs.

  15. Divergent regulation of hypothalamic neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein by photoperiod in F344 rats with differential food intake and growth.

    PubMed

    Ross, A W; Johnson, C E; Bell, L M; Reilly, L; Duncan, J S; Barrett, P; Heideman, P D; Morgan, P J

    2009-07-01

    Hypothalamic genes involved in food intake and growth regulation were studied in F344 rats in response to photoperiod. Two sub-strains were identified: F344/NHsd (F344/N) and F344/NCrHsd (F344/NCr); sensitive and relatively insensitive to photoperiod respectively. In F344/N rats, marked, but opposite, changes in the genes for neuropeptide Y (NPY) (+97.5%) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) (-39.3%) expression in the arcuate nucleus were observed in response to short (8 : 16 h light/dark cycle, SD) relative to long (16 : 8 h light/dark cycle, LD) day photoperiods. Changes were associated with both reduced food intake and growth. Expression of the genes for cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) in the arcuate nucleus was unchanged by photoperiod. POMC in the ependymal layer around the third ventricle was markedly inhibited by SD. Parallel decreases in the genes for growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and somatostatin (Somatostatin) mRNA in the arcuate nucleus and Somatostatin in the periventricular nucleus were observed in SD. Serum levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and insulin were lower in F344/N rats in SD, whereas neither leptin nor corticosterone levels were affected. By contrast, F344/NCr rats that show only minor food intake and growth rate changes showed minimal responses in these genes and hormones. Thus, NPY/AgRP neurones may be pivotal to the photoperiodic regulation of food intake and growth. Potentially, the SD increase in NPY expression may inhibit growth by decreasing GHRH and Somatostatin expression, whereas the decrease in AgRP expression probably leads to reduced food intake. The present study reveals an atypical and divergent regulation of NPY and AgRP, which may relate to their separate roles with respect to growth and food intake, respectively.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  19. Testosterone and photoperiod interact to affect spatial learning and memory in adult male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Pyter, Leah M; Trainor, Brian C; Nelson, Randy J

    2006-06-01

    Gonadal hormones affect spatial learning and memory in mammals and circulating gonadal hormone concentrations fluctuate by season. Most nontropical rodents are spring/summer breeders and males display higher testosterone concentrations during the breeding season compared with the nonbreeding season (fall/winter). Seasonal patterns of testosterone concentration (as well as many other seasonal modifications of physiology, morphology, and behaviour) are induced by manipulation of photoperiod (day length; i.e. short or long days) in the laboratory. Coincident with reducing testosterone concentration, short days also impair spatial learning and memory performance in male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) compared with long days. We hypothesized that short-day-induced reduction of testosterone concentrations inhibits spatial learning and memory performance compared with long days. Adult male white-footed mice were maintained in long (16 h light/day) or short (8 h light/day) days for 14 weeks following sham-castration, castration plus saline implant, or castration plus testosterone implant treatment. Spatial learning and memory was assessed using a water maze, and photoperiod-evoked changes in gene expression of sex steroid receptors within the hippocampus were also examined. Castrated, short-day mice with testosterone replacement displayed enhanced water maze performance compared with other short-day mice, but no differences among testosterone treatments were observed in long-day mice. Photoperiod did not affect hippocampal androgen, oestrogen alpha, or oestrogen beta receptor gene expression. These results suggest that photoperiod modulates the effects of testosterone on spatial learning performance by mechanisms indirect of the hippocampus.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kuebrich, B D; Sober, S J

    2015-06-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-14

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

  3. A mechanism for frequency modulation in songbirds shared with humans.

    PubMed

    Amador, Ana; Margoliash, Daniel

    2013-07-03

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

  4. Migration and the evolution of duetting in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Logue, David M; Hall, Michelle L

    2014-05-07

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

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

    PubMed

    Martin, Thomas E

    2014-03-01

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

  6. How the songbird brain listens to its own songs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahnloser, Richard

    2010-03-01

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

  7. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. A conceptual framework for clutch size evolution in songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Migration and the evolution of duetting in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Logue, David M.; Hall, Michelle L.

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Cross-hemisphere migration of a 25 g songbird.

    PubMed

    Bairlein, Franz; Norris, D Ryan; Nagel, Rolf; Bulte, Marc; Voigt, Christian C; Fox, James W; Hussell, David J T; Schmaljohann, Heiko

    2012-08-23

    The northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) is a small (approx. 25 g), insectivorous migrant with one of the largest ranges of any songbird in the world, breeding from the eastern Canadian Arctic across Greenland, Eurasia and into Alaska (AK). However, there is no evidence that breeding populations in the New World have established overwintering sites in the Western Hemisphere. Using light-level geolocators, we demonstrate that individuals from these New World regions overwinter in northern sub-Sahara Africa, with Alaskan birds travelling approximately 14 500 km each way and an eastern Canadian Arctic bird crossing a wide stretch of the North Atlantic (approx. 3500 km). These remarkable journeys, particularly for a bird of this size, last between one to three months depending on breeding location and season (autumn/spring) and result in mean overall migration speeds of up to 290 km d(-1). Stable-hydrogen isotope analysis of winter-grown feathers sampled from breeding birds generally support the notion that Alaskan birds overwinter primarily in eastern Africa and eastern Canadian Arctic birds overwinter mainly in western Africa. Our results provide the first evidence of a migratory songbird capable of linking African ecosystems of the Old World with Arctic regions of the New World.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-06

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

  12. Chewing lice (Phthiraptera) found on songbirds (Passeriformes) in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Dik, Bilal; Kirpik, Mehmet Ali; Sekercioğlu, Cağan; Saşmaz, Yakup

    2011-01-01

    This study was performed to detect chewing lice species found on the songbirds at Lake Kuyucuk bird ringing station in the Kars province located in eastern Turkey. Chewing lice were collected from songbirds captured between September and October 2009. Fifty-one birds belonging to 22 species and 16 genera from 10 families were examined for the louse. Eleven of 51 birds (21.57%) belonging to 7 species; were infested with at least one chewing louse species. The collected lice were identified as Menacanthus chrysophaeus (Kellogg, 1896) on Reed Bunting, Menacanthus pusillus (Nitzsch,1866) on Water Pipits, Calandra Lark and Yellow Wagtail, Myrsidea rustica (Giebel,1874) on Swallow, Brueelia cruciata (Burmeister,1838) on Red-backed Shrike, and Penenirmus rarus (Zlotorzycka,1976) on Chiffchaff. All four Reed Bunting specimens were infested with Menacanthus chrysophaeus. The rate of infestation was 100% in Reed Bunting, Red-backed Shrike and Swallow; 66.7% in Yellow Wagtail; 50% in Calandra Lark and Chiffchaff and 11.1% in Water Pipits. No louse infestation was found in the birds belonging to Paridae, Passeridae, Sylviidae, and Muscipapidae families. Menacanthus chrysophaeus on Reed Bunting and Menacanthus pusillus on Calandra Lark are new hosts for these lice species. All the louse species determined in the present study are first records for Turkey.

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

    PubMed Central

    Margoliash, Daniel

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Bridging of cryptic Borrelia cycles in European songbirds.

    PubMed

    Heylen, Dieter; Krawczyk, Aleksandra; Lopes de Carvalho, Isabel; Núncio, Maria Sofia; Sprong, Hein; Norte, Ana Cláudia

    2017-02-02

    The principal European vector for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., the causative agents of Lyme disease, is the host-generalist tick Ixodes ricinus. Almost all terrestrial host-specialist ticks have been supposed not to contribute to the terrestrial Borrelia transmission cycles. Through an experiment with blackbirds, we show successful transmission by the widespread I. frontalis, an abundant bird-specialized tick that infests a broad range of songbirds. In the first phase of the experiment, we obtained Borrelia-infected I. frontalis (infection rate: 19%) and I. ricinus (17%) nymphs by exposing larvae to wild blackbirds that carried several genospecies (Borrelia turdi, B. valaisiana, B. burgdorferi s.s.). In the second phase, pathogen-free blackbirds were exposed to these infected nymphs. Both tick species were able to infect the birds, as indicated by the analysis of xenodiagnostic I. ricinus larvae which provided evidence for both co-feeding and systemic transmission (infection rates: 10%-60%). Ixodes frontalis was shown to transmit B. turdi spirochetes, while I. ricinus transmitted both B. turdi and B. valaisiana. Neither species transmitted B. burgdorferi s.s. European enzootic cycles of Borrelia between songbirds and their ornithophilic ticks do exist, with I. ricinus potentially acting as a bridging vector towards mammals, including man.

  15. Photoperiodic controls on ecosystem-level photosynthetic capacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoy, P. C.; Trowbridge, A. M.; Bauerle, W.

    2012-12-01

    Most models of photosynthesis at the leaf or canopy level assume that temperature is the dominant control on the variability of photosynthetic parameters. Recent studies, however, have found that photoperiod is a better descriptor of the seasonal variability of photosynthetic function at the leaf and plant scale, and that spectral indices of leaf functionality are poor descriptors of this seasonality. We explored the variability of photosynthesic parameters at the ecosystem scale using over 100 site-years of air temperature and gross primary productivity (GPP) data from non-tropical forested sites in the Free/Fair Use LaThuille FLUXNET database (www.fluxdata.org), excluding sites that were classified as dry and/or with savanna vegetation, where we expected GPP to be driven by moisture availability. Both GPP and GPP normalized by daily photosynthetic photon flux density (GPPn) were considered, and photoperiod was calculated from eddy covariance tower coordinates. We performed a Granger causality analysis, a method based on the understanding that causes precede effects, on both the GPP and GPPn. Photoperiod Granger-caused GPP (GPPn) in 95% (87%) of all site-years. While temperature Granger-caused GPP in a mere 23% of site years, it Granger-caused GPPn 73% of the time. Both temperature values are significantly less than the percent of cases in which day length Granger-caused GPP (p<0.05, Student's t-test). An inverse analysis was performed for completeness, and it was found that GPP Granger-caused photoperiod (temperature) in 39% (78%) of all site years. Results demonstrate that incorporating simple photoperiod controls may be a logical step in improving ecosystem and global model output.

  16. Afferents from vocal motor and respiratory effectors are recruited during vocal production in juvenile songbirds.

    PubMed

    Bottjer, Sarah W; To, Michelle

    2012-08-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bottjer, Sarah W.; To, Michelle

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Teplitsky, Seth

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Light responses in Photoperiodism in Arabidopsis thaliana

    SciTech Connect

    Anthony R. Cashmore

    2006-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Lateralized activation of Cluster N in the brains of migratory songbirds.

    PubMed

    Liedvogel, Miriam; Feenders, Gesa; Wada, Kazuhiro; Troje, Nikolaus F; Jarvis, Erich D; Mouritsen, Henrik

    2007-02-01

    Cluster N is a cluster of forebrain regions found in night-migratory songbirds that shows high activation of activity-dependent gene expression during night-time vision. We have suggested that Cluster N may function as a specialized night-vision area in night-migratory birds and that it may be involved in processing light-mediated magnetic compass information. Here, we investigated these ideas. We found a significant lateralized dominance of Cluster N activation in the right hemisphere of European robins (Erithacus rubecula). Activation predominantly originated from the contralateral (left) eye. Garden warblers (Sylvia borin) tested under different magnetic field conditions and under monochromatic red light did not show significant differences in Cluster N activation. In the fairly sedentary Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), which belongs to the same phyolgenetic clade, Cluster N showed prominent activation levels, similar to that observed in garden warblers and European robins. Thus, it seems that Cluster N activation occurs at night in all species within predominantly migratory groups of birds, probably because such birds have the capability of switching between migratory and sedentary life styles. The activation studies suggest that although Cluster N is lateralized, as is the dependence on magnetic compass orientation, either Cluster N is not involved in magnetic processing or the magnetic modulations of the primary visual signal, forming the basis for the currently supported light-dependent magnetic compass mechanism, are relatively small such that activity-dependent gene expression changes are not sensitive enough to pick them up.

  8. Lateralized activation of Cluster N in the brains of migratory songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Liedvogel, Miriam; Feenders, Gesa; Wada, Kazuhiro; Troje, Nikolaus F.; Jarvis, Erich D.; Mouritsen, Henrik

    2008-01-01

    Cluster N is a cluster of forebrain regions found in night-migratory songbirds that shows high activation of activity-dependent gene expression during night-time vision. We have suggested that Cluster N may function as a specialized night-vision area in night-migratory birds and that it may be involved in processing light-mediated magnetic compass information. Here, we investigated these ideas. We found a significant lateralized dominance of Cluster N activation in the right hemisphere of European robins (Erithacus rubecula). Activation predominantly originated from the contralateral (left) eye. Garden warblers (Sylvia borin) tested under different magnetic field conditions and under monochromatic red light did not show significant differences in Cluster N activation. In the fairly sedentary Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), which belongs to the same phyolgenetic clade, Cluster N showed prominent activation levels, similar to that observed in garden warblers and European robins. Thus, it seems that Cluster N activation occurs at night in all species within predominantly migratory groups of birds, probably because such birds have the capability of switching between migratory and sedentary life styles. The activation studies suggest that although Cluster N is lateralized, as is the dependence on magnetic compass orientation, either Cluster N is not involved in magnetic processing or the magnetic modulations of the primary visual signal, forming the basis for the currently supported light-dependent magnetic compass mechanism, are relatively small such that activity-dependent gene expression changes are not sensitive enough to pick them up. PMID:17331212

  9. Mechanisms and time course of vocal learning and consolidation in the adult songbird.

    PubMed

    Warren, Timothy L; Tumer, Evren C; Charlesworth, Jonathan D; Brainard, Michael S

    2011-10-01

    In songbirds, the basal ganglia outflow nucleus LMAN is a cortical analog that is required for several forms of song plasticity and learning. Moreover, in adults, inactivating LMAN can reverse the initial expression of learning driven via aversive reinforcement. In the present study, we investigated how LMAN contributes to both reinforcement-driven learning and a self-driven recovery process in adult Bengalese finches. We first drove changes in the fundamental frequency of targeted song syllables and compared the effects of inactivating LMAN with the effects of interfering with N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent transmission from LMAN to one of its principal targets, the song premotor nucleus RA. Inactivating LMAN and blocking NMDA receptors in RA caused indistinguishable reversions in the expression of learning, indicating that LMAN contributes to learning through NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission to RA. We next assessed how LMAN's role evolves over time by maintaining learned changes to song while periodically inactivating LMAN. The expression of learning consolidated to become LMAN independent over multiple days, indicating that this form of consolidation is not completed over one night, as previously suggested, and instead may occur gradually during singing. Subsequent cessation of reinforcement was followed by a gradual self-driven recovery of original song structure, indicating that consolidation does not correspond with the lasting retention of changes to song. Finally, for self-driven recovery, as for reinforcement-driven learning, LMAN was required for the expression of initial, but not later, changes to song. Our results indicate that NMDA receptor-dependent transmission from LMAN to RA plays an essential role in the initial expression of two distinct forms of vocal learning and that this role gradually wanes over a multiday process of consolidation. The results support an emerging view that cortical-basal ganglia circuits can

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Influence of photoperiod on hormones, behavior, and immune function.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

    Photoperiodism is the ability of plants and animals to measure environmental day length to ascertain time of year. Central to the evolution of photoperiodism in animals is the adaptive distribution of energetically challenging activities across the year to optimize reproductive fitness while balancing the energetic tradeoffs necessary for seasonally-appropriate survival strategies. The ability to accurately predict future events requires endogenous mechanisms to permit physiological anticipation of annual conditions. Day length provides a virtually noise free environmental signal to monitor and accurately predict time of the year. In mammals, melatonin provides the hormonal signal transducing day length. Duration of pineal melatonin is inversely related to day length and its secretion drives enduring changes in many physiological systems, including the HPA, HPG, and brain-gut axes, the autonomic nervous system, and the immune system. Thus, melatonin is the fulcrum mediating redistribution of energetic investment among physiological processes to maximize fitness and survival. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Similarities in the circadian clock and photoperiodism in plants

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Similarities in the circadian clock and photoperiodism in plants.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    Plants utilize circadian clocks to synchronize their physiological and developmental events with daily and yearly changes in the environment. Recent advances in Arabidopsis research have provided a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the circadian clock and photoperiodism. One of the most important questions is whether the mechanisms discovered in Arabidopsis are conserved in other plant species. Through the identification of many Arabidopsis clock gene homologs and the characterization of some gene functions, a strong resemblance between the circadian clocks in plants has been observed. On the contrary, based on our recent increased knowledge of photoperiodic flowering mechanisms in cereals and other plants, the day-length sensing mechanisms appear to have diverged more between long-day plants and short-day plants. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Winter temperatures limit population growth rate of a migratory songbird

    PubMed Central

    Woodworth, Bradley K.; Wheelwright, Nathaniel T.; Newman, Amy E.; Schaub, Michael; Norris, D. Ryan

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the factors that limit and regulate wildlife populations requires insight into demographic and environmental processes acting throughout the annual cycle. Here, we combine multi-year tracking data of individual birds with a 26-year demographic study of a migratory songbird to evaluate the relative effects of density and weather at the breeding and wintering grounds on population growth rate. Our results reveal clear support for opposing forces of winter temperature and breeding density driving population dynamics. Above-average temperatures at the wintering grounds lead to higher population growth, primarily through their strong positive effects on survival. However, population growth is regulated over the long term by strong negative effects of breeding density on both fecundity and adult male survival. Such knowledge of how year-round factors influence population growth, and the demographic mechanisms through which they act, will vastly improve our ability to predict species responses to environmental change and develop effective conservation strategies for migratory animals. PMID:28317843

  15. 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.

  16. The Origin of Time in the Songbird Motor Pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Michael

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  18. Mesoscopic Patterns of Neural Activity Support Songbird Cortical Sequences

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Response to nestling throat ligatures by three songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robinson, G.L.; Conway, C.J.; Kirkpatrick, C.; Laroche, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    We attempted to collect diet samples using throat ligatures from nestlings of three songbird species in a riparian woodland in southeastern Arizona from May to August 2009. We had success with Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia), observed adult Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) reclaim food from nestlings, and discontinued the use of throat ligatures when we observed an adult Abert's Towhee (Pipilo aberti) remove two, 34-day-old ligatured nestlings from its nest. Previous studies have reported problems (e.g., aggression toward nestlings by adults) with throat ligatures, but we are the first to document removal (and subsequent nestling mortality) in response to this technique. We urge investigators to exercise caution when using throat ligatures on species for which evidence of the safety and efficacy of this method are lacking, especially when nestlings are small in size relative to adults. ?? 2010 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  1. Effects of exogenous melatonin and photoperiod on sexual maturation in pullets.

    PubMed

    Chen, H; Di, K-Q; Hao, E-Y; Ye, M; Zha, Q-C; Li, L-H; Bai, K; Huang, R-L

    2016-02-01

    Hy-Line Gray commercial pullets were maintained under 8-h photoperiods, 16-h photoperiods and 16-h photoperiods supplemented with a diet containing 20 or 200 mg/kg melatonin (MEL) to investigate the role of MEL in sexual development. A total of 256 Hy-Line Gray commercial pullets were placed, four birds to a cage, in four similar light-proof rooms (8-h photoperiod) at 6 weeks of age. At 70 day, three rooms containing a total of 192 birds were transferred to a 16-h photoperiod, whereas 64 birds were maintained under the 8-h photoperiod. Diets containing MEL at 20 and 200 mg/kg were fed to birds in two of the rooms under 16-h photoperiods. Birds maintained under an 8-h photoperiod matured 11.25 day later than those maintained under a 16-h photoperiod (p < 0.05). The group of birds receiving 20 mg/kg MEL matured 1.19 day later than those maintained under the 16-h photoperiod and 10.06 day earlier than those maintained under the 8-h photoperiod. The group of birds receiving 200 mg/kg MEL matured 3.13 day later than those maintained under a 16-h photoperiod and 8.12 day earlier than those maintained under an 8-h photoperiod. The average body weight of birds maintained under the 8-h photoperiod was greater than that of birds maintained under the 16-h photoperiod (p < 0.05) and was similar between the different MEL groups. The abdominal fat weight was lower in 16L:8D group compared with 8L:16D group (p < 0.05). The concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, oestrogen and insulin did not differ significantly among the groups. The melatonin concentration in 200 mg/kg melatonin group was higher than that observed in the other groups; however, this concentration did not differ significantly (p > 0.05). These data suggest that the birds did not perceive the final 8-h photoperiod as being part of the night when they were given the MEL diets; continuously high plasma MEL was not observed in birds that responded as if they were in constant darkness

  2. The neural dynamics of song syntax in songbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Dezhe

    2010-03-01

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

  3. Feather growth influences blood mercury level of young songbirds.

    PubMed

    Condon, Anne M; Cristol, Daniel A

    2009-02-01

    Dynamics of mercury in feathers and blood of free-living songbirds is poorly understood. Nestling eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) living along the mercury-contaminated South River (Virginia, USA) had blood mercury levels an order of magnitude lower than their parents (nestling: 0.09 +/- 0.06 mg/kg [mean +/- standard deviation], n = 156; adult: 1.21 +/- 0.57 mg/kg, n = 86). To test whether this low blood mercury was the result of mercury sequestration in rapidly growing feathers, we repeatedly sampled free-living juveniles throughout the period of feather growth and molt. Mean blood mercury concentrations increased to 0.52 +/- 0.36 mg/kg (n = 44) after the completion of feather growth. Some individuals had reached adult blood mercury levels within three months of leaving the nest, but levels dropped to 0.20 +/- 0.09 mg/kg (n = 11) once the autumn molt had begun. Most studies of mercury contamination in juvenile birds have focused on recently hatched young with thousands of rapidly growing feathers. However, the highest risk period for mercury intoxication in young birds may be during the vulnerable period after fledging, when feathers no longer serve as a buffer against dietary mercury. We found that nestling blood mercury levels were not indicative of the extent of contamination because a large portion of the ingested mercury ended up in feathers. The present study demonstrates unequivocally that in songbirds blood mercury level is influenced strongly by the growth and molt of feathers.

  4. Mercury concentrations in tropical resident and migrant songbirds on Hispaniola.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Jason M; Rimmer, Christopher C; Driscoll, Charles T; McFarland, Kent P; Iñigo-Elias, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    Despite growing concerns over mercury (Hg) exposure to humans and wildlife on a global scale, little is known about Hg bioaccumulation in the New World tropics. From 2005 to 2011, we monitored Hg concentrations in blood of nine avian species occupying a geographic range of tropical wet broadleaf sites on the island of Hispaniola, including eight passerines (two Nearctic-Neotropical migrant and six resident species) and one top order predatory accipiter. Invertivorous songbirds were further differentiated by foraging guild, with six species of ground-foragers and two species of foliage-gleaners. Blood Hg concentrations were orders of magnitude higher in birds sampled in central and southern cloud forest sites (1,000-1,800 m elevation) than in northern and northeastern rainforest sites (50-500 m elevation), with migratory and resident species both showing 2-20× greater blood Hg concentrations in cloud forests than in rainforests. Within cloud forest sites, ground-foraging species had higher Hg concentrations than foliage-gleaning species. Top order predatory sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus) had the highest blood Hg concentrations among all species, suggesting that Hg biomagnification is occurring in terrestrial forests of Hispaniola. Two migrant songbird species overwintering on the island had higher blood Hg concentrations than have been recorded on their North American breeding grounds. Future studies should seek to elucidate sources of variation in atmospheric Hg deposition on Hispaniola and to quantify the dynamics of Hg cycling in tropical forest ecosystems, which may differ in important ways from patterns documented in temperate forest ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Photoperiod shift effects on yield characteristics of rice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Photoperiod shift effects on yield characteristics of rice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  9. Effect of photoperiodic pretreatments on symptom development in plants exposed to ozone

    SciTech Connect

    Godish, T.

    1980-01-01

    Results presented in this report on the effects of photoperiodic pretreatment on ozone sensitivity of plants are significantly different from the lone previous report on this subject. Juhren et al (5) studied the effects of photoperiodic pretreatments on sensitivity of pinto beans exposed to oxidants (presumably ozone). They reported that pinto bean plants were most sensitive to oxidants under short photoperiods (8 hours) and least sensitive to long photoperiods (16 hours). In studies of tomato and peas presented in this report, minimum sensitivity for tomato was observed under the 8 hour pretreatment; for peas minimum sensitivity was observed for the 8 and 10 hour pretreatments. Maximum sensitivity for tomato was observed for the 12-hour photoperiodic pretreatment; peas showed maximum sensitivity under the 14-hour photoperiod. 7 references, 1 table.

  10. Perineuronal nets and vocal plasticity in songbirds: A proposed mechanism to explain the difference between closed-ended and open-ended learning.

    PubMed

    Cornez, Gilles; Madison, Farrah N; Van der Linden, Annemie; Cornil, Charlotte; Yoder, Kathleen M; Ball, Gregory F; Balthazart, Jacques

    2017-09-01

    Perineuronal nets (PNN) are aggregations of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans surrounding the soma and proximal processes of neurons, mostly GABAergic interneurons expressing parvalbumin. They limit the plasticity of their afferent synaptic connections. In zebra finches PNN develop in an experience-dependent manner in the song control nuclei HVC and RA (nucleus robustus arcopallialis) when young birds crystallize their song. Because songbird species that are open-ended learners tend to recapitulate each year the different phases of song learning until their song crystallizes at the beginning of the breeding season, we tested whether seasonal changes in PNN expression would be found in the song control nuclei of a seasonally breeding species such as the European starling. Only minimal changes in PNN densities and total number of cells surrounded by PNN were detected. However, comparison of the density of PNN and of PNN surrounding parvalbumin-positive cells revealed that these structures are far less numerous in starlings that show extensive adult vocal plasticity, including learning of new songs throughout the year, than in the closed-ended learner zebra finches. Canaries that also display some vocal plasticity across season but were never formally shown to learn new songs in adulthood were intermediate in this respect. Together these data suggest that establishment of PNN around parvalbumin-positive neurons in song control nuclei has diverged during evolution to control the different learning capacities observed in songbird species. This differential expression of PNN in different songbird species could represent a key cellular mechanism mediating species variation between closed-ended and open-ended learning strategies. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 975-994, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Temperature and photoperiod as environmental cues affect body mass and thermoregulation in Chinese bulbuls, Pycnonotus sinensis.

    PubMed

    Hu, Shi-Nan; Zhu, Ying-Yang; Lin, Lin; Zheng, Wei-Hong; Liu, Jin-Song

    2017-03-01

    Seasonal changes in temperature and photoperiod are important environmental cues used by small birds to adjust their body mass (Mb) and thermogenesis. However, the relative importance of these cues with respect to seasonal adjustments in Mb and thermogenesis is difficult to distinguish. In particular, the effects of temperature and photoperiod on energy metabolism and thermoregulation are not well known in many passerines. To address this problem, we measured the effects of temperature and photoperiod on Mb, energy intake, resting metabolic rate (RMR), organ mass and physiological and biochemical markers of metabolic activity in the Chinese bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis). Groups of Chinese bulbuls were acclimated in a laboratory to the following conditions: (1) warm and long photoperiod, (2) warm and short photoperiod, (3) cold and long photoperiod, and (4) cold and short photoperiod, for 4 weeks. The results indicate that Chinese bulbuls exhibit adaptive physiological regulation when exposed to different temperatures and photoperiods. Mb, RMR, gross energy intake and digestible energy intake were higher in cold-acclimated than in warm-acclimated bulbuls, and in the short photoperiod than in the long photoperiod. The resultant flexibility in energy intake and RMR allows Chinese bulbuls exposed to different temperatures and photoperiods to adjust their energy balance and thermogenesis accordingly. Cold-acclimated birds had heightened state-4 respiration and cytochrome c oxidase activity in their liver and muscle tissue compared with warm-acclimated birds indicating the cellular mechanisms underlying their adaptive thermogenesis. Temperature appears to be a primary cue for adjusting energy budget and thermogenic ability in Chinese bulbuls; photoperiod appears to intensify temperature-induced changes in energy metabolism and thermoregulation. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Somatostatin Agonist Pasireotide Promotes a Physiological State Resembling Short-Day Acclimation in the Photoperiodic Male Siberian Hamster (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Dumbell, R A; Scherbarth, F; Diedrich, V; Schmid, H A; Steinlechner, S; Barrett, P

    2015-07-01

    The timing of growth in seasonal mammals is inextricably linked to food availability. This is exemplified in the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus), which uses the annual cycle of photoperiod to optimally programme energy expenditure in anticipation of seasonal fluctuations in food resources. During the autumn, energy expenditure is progressively minimised by physiological adaptations, including a 30% reduction in body mass, comprising a reduction in both fat and lean tissues. However, the mechanistic basis of this adaptation is still unexplained. We hypothesised that growth hormone (GH) was a likely candidate to underpin these reversible changes in body mass. Administration of pasireotide, a long-acting somatostatin receptor agonist developed for the treatment of acromegaly, to male hamsters under a long-day (LD) photoperiod produced a body weight loss. This comprised a reduction in lean and fat mass, including kidneys, testes and brown adipose tissue, typically found in short-day (SD) housed hamsters. Furthermore, when administered to hamsters switched from SD to LD, pasireotide retarded the body weight increase compared to vehicle-treated hamsters. Pasireotide did not alter photoperiod-mediated changes in hypothalamic energy balance gene expression but altered the expression of Srif mRNA expression in the periventricular nucleus and Ghrh mRNA expression in the arcuate nucleus consistent with a reduction in GH feedback and concurrent with reduced serum insulin-like growth factor-1. Conversely, GH treatment of SD hamsters increased body mass, which included increased mass of liver and kidneys. Together, these data indicate a role for the GH axis in the determination of seasonal body mass of the Siberian hamster.

  13. Epigenomic and functional analyses reveal roles of epialleles in the loss of photoperiod sensitivity during domestication of allotetraploid cottons.

    PubMed

    Song, Qingxin; Zhang, Tianzhen; Stelly, David M; Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2017-05-31

    Polyploidy is a pervasive evolutionary feature of all flowering plants and some animals, leading to genetic and epigenetic changes that affect gene expression and morphology. DNA methylation changes can produce meiotically stable epialleles, which are transmissible through selection and breeding. However, the relationship between DNA methylation and polyploid plant domestication remains elusive. We report comprehensive epigenomic and functional analyses, including ~12 million differentially methylated cytosines in domesticated allotetraploid cottons and their tetraploid and diploid relatives. Methylated genes evolve faster than unmethylated genes; DNA methylation changes between homoeologous loci are associated with homoeolog-expression bias in the allotetraploids. Significantly, methylation changes induced in the interspecific hybrids are largely maintained in the allotetraploids. Among 519 differentially methylated genes identified between wild and cultivated cottons, some contribute to domestication traits, including flowering time and seed dormancy. CONSTANS (CO) and CO-LIKE (COL) genes regulate photoperiodicity in Arabidopsis. COL2 is an epiallele in allotetraploid cottons. COL2A is hypermethylated and silenced, while COL2D is repressed in wild cottons but highly expressed due to methylation loss in all domesticated cottons tested. Inhibiting DNA methylation activates COL2 expression, and repressing COL2 in cultivated cotton delays flowering. We uncover epigenomic signatures of domestication traits during cotton evolution. Demethylation of COL2 increases its expression, inducing photoperiodic flowering, which could have contributed to the suitability of cotton for cultivation worldwide. These resources should facilitate epigenetic engineering, breeding, and improvement of polyploid crops.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koike, Yasuhiko

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  17. Effects of photoperiod on secretory patterns of growth hormone in adult male goats.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jin; Sawai, Ken; Hashizume, Tsutomu

    2013-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to clarify the effect of photoperiod on secretory patterns of growth hormone (GH) in male goats. Adult male goats were kept at 20°C with an 8-h or 16-h light photoperiod, and secretory patterns of GH secretion were compared. In addition, plasma profiles of prolactin (PRL), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and testosterone (T) were also examined to characterize GH secretion. GH was secreted in a pulsatile manner. There was no significant difference in pulse frequency between the 8-h and 16-h photoperiods. However, GH pulse amplitude tended to be greater in the group with the 16-h photoperiod (P = 0.1), and mean GH concentrations were significantly greater in the 16-h photoperiod (P < 0.05). The GH-releasing response to GH releasing hormone was greater in the 16-h than 8-h photoperiod (P < 0.05). Plasma PRL and IGF-I levels were higher in the 16-h than 8-h photoperiod (P < 0.05). In contrast, plasma T levels were lower in the 16-h photoperiod (P < 0.05). These results show that a long light photoperiod enhances the secretion of GH as well as PRL and IGF-I, but reduces plasma T concentrations in male goats.

  18. Effects of photoperiod on the secretion of growth hormone and prolactin during nighttime in female goats.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jin; Yaegashi, Tomoyoshi; Hashizume, Tsutomu

    2013-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to clarify the effect of photoperiod on nighttime secretion of growth hormone (GH) in goats. Adult female goats were kept at 20°C with an 8 h or 16 h dark photoperiod, and secretory patterns of GH for 8 h in the dark period were examined with the profile of prolactin (PRL) secretion. GH was secreted in a pulsatile manner in the dark period. There were no significant differences in pulse frequency between the 8- and 16-h dark photoperiods; however, pulse amplitude tended to be greater in the group with the 16-h dark photoperiod (P = 0.1), and mean GH concentrations were significantly greater in the same photoperiod (P < 0.05). PRL secretion increased quickly after lights off under both photoperiods. The PRL-releasing responses were weaker in the 8-h than 16-h dark photoperiod. The secretory response to photoperiod was more obvious for PRL than GH. The present results show that a long dark photoperiod enhances the nighttime secretion of GH in female goats, although the response is not as obvious as that for PRL.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oishi, T.; Konishi, T.

    1983-04-01

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

  1. In the eye of the beholder: visual mate choice lateralization in a polymorphic songbird.

    PubMed

    Templeton, Jennifer J; Mountjoy, D James; Pryke, Sarah R; Griffith, Simon C

    2012-12-23

    Birds choose mates on the basis of colour, song and body size, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying these mating decisions. Reports that zebra finches prefer to view mates with the right eye during courtship, and that immediate early gene expression associated with courtship behaviour is lateralized in their left hemisphere suggest that visual mate choice itself may be lateralized. To test this hypothesis, we used the Gouldian finch, a polymorphic species in which individuals exhibit strong, adaptive visual preferences for mates of their own head colour. Black males were tested in a mate-choice apparatus under three eye conditions: left-monocular, right-monocular and binocular. We found that black male preference for black females is so strongly lateralized in the right-eye/left-hemisphere system that if the right eye is unavailable, males are unable to respond preferentially, not only to males and females of the same morph, but also to the strikingly dissimilar female morphs. Courtship singing is consistent with these lateralized mate preferences; more black males sing to black females when using their right eye than when using their left. Beauty, therefore, is in the right eye of the beholder for these songbirds, providing, to our knowledge, the first demonstration of visual mate choice lateralization.

  2. In the eye of the beholder: visual mate choice lateralization in a polymorphic songbird

    PubMed Central

    Templeton, Jennifer J.; Mountjoy, D. James; Pryke, Sarah R.; Griffith, Simon C.

    2012-01-01

    Birds choose mates on the basis of colour, song and body size, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying these mating decisions. Reports that zebra finches prefer to view mates with the right eye during courtship, and that immediate early gene expression associated with courtship behaviour is lateralized in their left hemisphere suggest that visual mate choice itself may be lateralized. To test this hypothesis, we used the Gouldian finch, a polymorphic species in which individuals exhibit strong, adaptive visual preferences for mates of their own head colour. Black males were tested in a mate-choice apparatus under three eye conditions: left-monocular, right-monocular and binocular. We found that black male preference for black females is so strongly lateralized in the right-eye/left-hemisphere system that if the right eye is unavailable, males are unable to respond preferentially, not only to males and females of the same morph, but also to the strikingly dissimilar female morphs. Courtship singing is consistent with these lateralized mate preferences; more black males sing to black females when using their right eye than when using their left. Beauty, therefore, is in the right eye of the beholder for these songbirds, providing, to our knowledge, the first demonstration of visual mate choice lateralization. PMID:23034172

  3. Response of melatonin receptor MT1 in spleen of a tropical Indian rodent, Funambulus pennanti, to natural solar insolation and different photoperiodic conditions.

    PubMed

    Lahiri, Sanjukta; Haldar, Chandana

    2009-12-01

    We analyzed the effect of natural solar insolation and artificial photoperiodic conditions on melatonin MT1 receptor expression of a tropical rodent, Funambulus pennanti. Melatonin mediates reproductive and circadian responses and regulates the production of a large number of cytokines, including interleukin-2 (IL-2), via modulation of MT1 receptor expression. Maximum pineal activity, resulting in high melatonin level, low melatonin receptor expression, and increased splenic mass, was noted in the winter months, while an opposite effect was noted during the summer months. Further, constant light exposure mimicked an "enhanced summer"-like condition with significant hyposplenia, and an opposite effect was observed with constant dark exposure with significant splenomegaly in F. pennanti. In the annual study, a slight increase in melatonin level was noted during the monsoon period, when the duration of photoperiod was the same but the amount of solar insolation and direct radiation decreased. The present study found that not only the duration of natural sunlight (i.e., photoperiod) but the intensity of sunlight expressed by solar insolation affects the circulatory level of melatonin and melatonin receptor expression in this wild tropical rodent. An increase in the circulatory level of melatonin induced a decrease in its receptor subtype MT1 expression in splenic cells, both at the transcriptional and translational levels, thus reflecting autoregulatory down-regulation of melatonin receptors. Therefore, in our animal model, F. pennanti melatonin may be suggested as a molecular messenger of photoperiodic signals (duration and intensity) directly acting via MT1 receptor regulation to adapt the immune system of animals residing in the tropical zone.

  4. Photoperiod-dependent modulation of anti-Müllerian hormone in female Siberian hamsters, Phodopus sungorus.

    PubMed

    Kabithe, Esther W; Place, Ned J

    2008-03-01

    Fertility and fecundity decline with advancing age in female mammals, but reproductive aging was decelerated in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) raised in a short-day (SD) photoperiod. Litter success was significantly improved in older hamsters when reared in SD and the number of primordial follicles was twice that of females held in long days (LD). Because anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) appears to inhibit the recruitment of primordial follicles in mice, we sought to determine whether the expression patterns of AMH differ in the ovaries and serum of hamsters raised in SD versus LD. Ovaries of SD female hamsters are characterized by a paucity of follicular development beyond the secondary stage and are endowed with an abundance of large eosinophilic cells, which may derive from granulosa cells of oocyte-depleted follicles. In ovaries from 10-week-old SD hamsters, we found that the so-called 'hypertrophied granulosa cells' were immunoreactive for AMH, as were granulosa cells within healthy-appearing primary and secondary follicles. Conversely, ovaries from age-matched LD animals lack the highly eosinophilic cells present in SD ovaries. Therefore, AMH staining in LD was limited to primary and secondary follicles that are comparable in number to those found in SD ovaries. The substantially greater AMH expression in SD ovaries probably reflects the abundance of hypertrophied granulosa cells in SD ovaries and their relative absence in LD ovaries. The modulation of ovarian AMH by day length is a strong mechanistic candidate for the preservation of primordial follicles in female hamsters raised in a SD photoperiod.

  5. Evidence of a molecular clock in the ovine ovary and the influence of photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Murphy, B A; Blake, C M; Brown, J A; Martin, A-M; Forde, N; Sweeney, L M; Evans, A C O

    2015-07-15

    The influence of the central circadian clock on reproductive timing is well established. Much less is known about the role of peripheral oscillators such as those in the ovary. We investigated the influence of photoperiod and timing of the LH surge on expression of circadian clock genes and genes involved in steroidogenesis in ovine ovarian stroma. Seventy-two Suffolk cross ewes were divided into two groups, and their estrous cycles were synchronized. Progestagen sponge removal was staggered by 12 hours between the groups such that expected LH peak would occur midway through either the light or dark phase of the photoperiodic cycle. Four animals from each group were killed, and their ovaries were harvested beginning 36 hours after sponge removal, at 6-hour intervals for 48 hours. Blood was sampled every 3 hours for the period 24 to 48 hours after sponge removal to detect the LH surge. The interval to peak LH did not differ between the groups (36.2 ± 1.2 and 35.6 ± 1.1 hours, respectively). There was an interaction between group and the time of sponge removal on the expression of the core clock genes ARNTL, PER1, CRY1, CLOCK, and DBP (P < 0.01, P < 0.05, P < 0.01, P < 0.01, and P < 0.01, respectively). As no significant interaction between group and time of day was detected, the datasets were combined. Statistically significant rhythmic oscillation was observed for ARNTL, CLOCK, CRY1 (P < 0.01, respectively), PTGS2, DBP, PTGER2, and CYP17A1 (P < 0.05, respectively), confirming the existence of a time-sensitive functionality within the ovary, which may influence steroidogenesis and is independent of the ovulatory cycle.

  6. Geminivirus-Mediated Delivery of Florigen Promotes Determinate Growth in Aerial Organs and Uncouples Flowering from Photoperiod in Cotton

    PubMed Central

    McGarry, Roisin C.; Ayre, Brian G.

    2012-01-01

    Background Plant architecture and the timing and distribution of reproductive structures are fundamental agronomic traits shaped by patterns of determinate and indeterminate growth. Florigen, encoded by FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) in Arabidopsis and SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS (SFT) in tomato, acts as a general growth hormone, advancing determinate growth. Domestication of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) converted it from a lanky photoperiodic perennial to a highly inbred, compact day-neutral plant that is managed as an annual row-crop. This dramatic change in plant architecture provides a unique opportunity to analyze the transition from perennial to annual growth. Methodology/Principal Findings To explore these architectural changes, we addressed the role of day-length upon flowering in an ancestral, perennial accession and in a domesticated variety of cotton. Using a disarmed Cotton leaf crumple virus (CLCrV) as a transient expression system, we delivered FT to both cotton accessions. Ectopic expression of FT in ancestral cotton mimicked the effects of day-length, promoting photoperiod-independent flowering, precocious determinate architecture, and lanceolate leaf shape. Domesticated cotton infected with FT demonstrated more synchronized fruiting and enhanced “annualization”. Transient expression of FT also facilitated simple crosses between wild photoperiodic and domesticated day-neutral accessions, effectively demonstrating a mechanism to increase genetic diversity among cultivated lines of cotton. Virus was not detected in the F1 progeny, indicating that crosses made by this approach do not harbor recombinant DNA molecules. Conclusions These findings extend our understanding of FT as a general growth hormone that regulates shoot architecture by advancing organ-specific and age-related determinate growth. Judicious manipulation of FT could benefit cotton architecture to improve crop management. PMID:22615805

  7. Photoperiod regulate gonad development via kisspeptin/kissr in hypothalamus and saccus vasculosus of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Chi, Liang; Li, Xian; Liu, Qinghua; Liu, Ying

    2017-01-01

    Atlantic salmon exhibit seasonal reproduction. However, the mechanisms governing this are still unclear. Generally speaking, kisspeptin has been recognized as a regulator of reproduction. Here, we report a relationship between kisspeptin, GnRH and photoperiod in Atlantic salmon. The results demonstrated that the expression of the Atlantic salmon kisspeptin-receptor (skissr) was not always consistent with the expression pattern of Atlantic salmon GnRH3 (sGnRH3) during all developmental processes. Kisspeptin may exert its influence primarily in the early and later stages of gonad development by promoting the secretion of sGnRH3. Meanwhile, the expression levels of kissr were higher in fish with gonads at stage II and stage V under the long-day photoperiod regime than under the short-day regime. In addition, both skissr and sGnRH3 were also expressed in the saccus vasculosus (SV), an organ only found in fish. The SV might be a seasonal sensor regulating reproduction in addition to the hypothalamus (Hyp).

  8. Photoperiod regulate gonad development via kisspeptin/kissr in hypothalamus and saccus vasculosus of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

    PubMed Central

    Chi, Liang; Li, Xian; Liu, Qinghua; Liu, Ying

    2017-01-01

    Atlantic salmon exhibit seasonal reproduction. However, the mechanisms governing this are still unclear. Generally speaking, kisspeptin has been recognized as a regulator of reproduction. Here, we report a relationship between kisspeptin, GnRH and photoperiod in Atlantic salmon. The results demonstrated that the expression of the Atlantic salmon kisspeptin-receptor (skissr) was not always consistent with the expression pattern of Atlantic salmon GnRH3 (sGnRH3) during all developmental processes. Kisspeptin may exert its influence primarily in the early and later stages of gonad development by promoting the secretion of sGnRH3. Meanwhile, the expression levels of kissr were higher in fish with gonads at stage II and stage V under the long-day photoperiod regime than under the short-day regime. In addition, both skissr and sGnRH3 were also expressed in the saccus vasculosus (SV), an organ only found in fish. The SV might be a seasonal sensor regulating reproduction in addition to the hypothalamus (Hyp). PMID:28199332

  9. Circadian clock- and PIF4-controlled plant growth: a coincidence mechanism directly integrates a hormone signaling network into the photoperiodic control of plant architectures in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Nomoto, Yuji; Nomoto, Yuichi; Kubozono, Saori; Yamashino, Takafumi; Nakamichi, Norihito; Mizuno, Takeshi

    2012-11-01

    The plant circadian clock generates rhythms with a period close to 24 h, and it controls a wide variety of physiological and developmental events, enabling plants to adapt to ever-changing environmental light conditions. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the clock regulates the diurnal and photoperiodic plant growth including the elongation of hypocotyls and petioles in a time-of-day-specific and short-day (SD)-specific manner. In this mechanism, the clock-regulated PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 gene encoding a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, together with phytochromes (mainly phyB), plays crucial roles. This diurnal and photoperiodic control of plant growth is best explained by the accumulation of the PIF4 protein at the end of the night-time specifically under SDs, due to coincidence between the internal (circadian rhythm) and external (photoperiod) cues. In this model, however, the PIF4-controlled downstream factors are not fully identified, although it has been generally proposed that the auxin-mediated signal transduction is crucially implicated. Here, we identified a set of hormone-associated genes as the specific PIF4 targets implicated in the photoperiodic control of plant growth. They include not only auxin-associated genes (GH3.5, IAA19 and IAA29), but also genes associated with other growth-regulating hormones such as brassinosteroids (BR6ox2), gibberellic acids (GAI), ethylene (ACS8) and cytokinin (CKX5). The dawn- and SD-specific expression profiles of these genes are modified in a set of phyB and clock mutants, both of which compromise the coincidence mechanism. The results of this study suggest that the circadian clock orchestrates a variety of hormone signaling pathways to regulate the photoperiod-dependent morphogenesis in A. thaliana.

  10. Adaptive latitudinal cline of photoperiodic diapause induction in the parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis in Europe.

    PubMed

    Paolucci, S; van de Zande, L; Beukeboom, L W

    2013-04-01

    Living in seasonally changing environments requires adaptation to seasonal cycles. Many insects use the change in day length as a reliable cue for upcoming winter and respond to shortened photoperiod through diapause. In this study, we report the clinal variation in photoperiodic diapause induction in populations of the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis collected along a latitudinal gradient in Europe. In this species, diapause occurs in the larval stage and is maternally induced. Adult Nasonia females were exposed to different photoperiodic cycles and lifetime production of diapausing offspring was scored. Females switched to the production of diapausing offspring after exposure to a threshold number of photoperiodic cycles. A latitudinal cline was found in the proportion of diapausing offspring, the switch point for diapause induction measured as the maternal age at which the female starts to produce diapausing larvae, and the critical photoperiod for diapause induction. Populations at northern latitudes show an earlier switch point, higher proportions of diapausing individuals and longer critical photoperiods. Since the photoperiodic response was measured under the same laboratory conditions, the observed differences between populations most likely reflect genetic differences in sensitivity to photoperiodic cues, resulting from local adaptation to environmental cycles. The observed variability in diapause response combined with the availability of genomic tools for N. vitripennis represent a good opportunity to further investigate the genetic basis of this adaptive trait.

  11. Chronic photoperiod disruption does not increase vulnerability to focal cerebral ischemia in young normotensive rats.

    PubMed

    Ku Mohd Noor, Ku Mastura; Wyse, Cathy; Roy, Lisa A; Biello, Stephany M; McCabe, Christopher; Dewar, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Photoperiod disruption, which occurs during shift work, is associated with changes in metabolism or physiology (e.g. hypertension and hyperglycaemia) that have the potential to adversely affect stroke outcome. We sought to investigate if photoperiod disruption affects vulnerability to stroke by determining the impact of photoperiod disruption on infarct size following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion. Adult male Wistar rats (210-290 g) were housed singly under two different light/dark cycle conditions ( n = 12 each). Controls were maintained on a standard 12:12 light/dark cycle for nine weeks. For rats exposed to photoperiod disruption, every three days for nine weeks, the lights were switched on 6 h earlier than in the previous photoperiod. T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was performed at 48 h after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Disruption of photoperiod in young healthy rats for nine weeks did not alter key physiological variables that can impact on ischaemic damage, e.g. blood pressure and blood glucose immediately prior to middle cerebral artery occlusion. There was no effect of photoperiod disruption on infarct size after middle cerebral artery occlusion. We conclude that any potentially adverse effect of photoperiod disruption on stroke outcome may require additional factors such as high fat/high sugar diet or pre-existing co-morbidities.

  12. Effects of photoperiod on the secretion of growth hormone in female goats.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jin; Yaegashi, Tomoyoshi; Sawai, Ken; Hashizume, Tsutomu

    2012-08-01

    The aim of the present study was to clarify the effect of photoperiod on the secretion of growth hormone (GH) in goats. Adult female goats were kept at 20°C with an 8-h or 16-h photoperiod, and secretory patterns of GH for 4 h (12.00 to 16.00 hours) were compared. In addition, the goats were kept under a 16-h photoperiod and orally administered saline (controls) or melatonin, and the effects of melatonin on the secretion of GH were examined. GH was secreted in a pulsatile manner. There were no significant differences in pulse frequency between the 8- and 16-h photoperiods; however, GH pulse amplitude tended to be greater in the group with the 16-h photoperiod (P = 0.1), and mean GH concentrations were significantly greater in the 16-h photoperiod (P < 0.05). The GH-releasing response to GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) was also significantly greater for the 16-h photoperiod (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in GH pulse frequency between the saline- and melatonin-treated groups. However, GH pulse amplitude and mean GH concentrations were significantly greater in the saline-treated group (P < 0.05). The present results show that a long photoperiod enhances the secretion of GH, and melatonin modifies GH secretion in female goats.

  13. Association analysis of photoperiodic flowering genes in West and Central African sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Photoperiod-sensitive flowering is a key adaptive trait for sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in West and Central Africa. In this study we performed an association analysis to investigate the effect of polymorphisms within the genes putatively related to variation in flowering time on photoperiod sensitive ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinlechner, S.; Heldmaier, G.

    1982-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1982-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-05-01

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

  18. Relicts from Tertiary Australasia: undescribed families and subfamilies of songbirds (Passeriformes) and their zoogeographic signal.

    PubMed

    Schodde, Richard; Christidis, Les

    2014-04-14

    A number of hitherto unrecognized, deeply divergent taxa of Australasian songbirds have been revealed by DNA sequence studies in the last decade. Differentiation among them is at levels equivalent to family and subfamily rank among songbirds generally. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to name and describe eleven of them formally under Articles 13.1, 13.2, 16.1 and 16.2 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature so that they are made available for use in zoology. The taxa are: families Oreoicidae, Eulacestomatidae, Rhagologidae, Ifritidae and Melampittidae, and subfamilies Pachycareinae, Oreoscopinae, Toxorhamphinae, Oedistomatinae, Peltopsinae and Lamproliinae. The families to which the subfamilies belong are documented. Morphological and behavioural traits of the new family-group taxa are discussed; reasons for taxonomic rankings are summarized; and grounds for the geographic origin of corvoid songbirds, to which all the new families belong, are briefly addressed. One new genus,Megalampitta in Melampittidae, is also described.

  19. Translating birdsong: songbirds as a model for basic and applied medical research.

    PubMed

    Brainard, Michael S; Doupe, Allison J

    2013-07-08

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

  20. Sexual dimorphism in striatal dopaminergic responses promotes monogamy in social songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Hyland Bruno, Julia; Ljubičić, Iva; Kothari, Paresh J; Helekar, Santosh A; Tchernichovski, Ofer; Voss, Henning U

    2017-01-01

    In many songbird species, males sing to attract females and repel rivals. How can gregarious, non-territorial songbirds such as zebra finches, where females have access to numerous males, sustain monogamy? We found that the dopaminergic reward circuitry of zebra finches can simultaneously promote social cohesion and breeding boundaries. Surprisingly, in unmated males but not in females, striatal dopamine neurotransmission was elevated after hearing songs. Behaviorally too, unmated males but not females persistently exchanged mild punishments in return for songs. Song reinforcement diminished when dopamine receptors were blocked. In females, we observed song reinforcement exclusively to the mate’s song, although their striatal dopamine neurotransmission was only slightly elevated. These findings suggest that song-triggered dopaminergic activation serves a dual function in social songbirds: as low-threshold social reinforcement in males and as ultra-selective sexual reinforcement in females. Co-evolution of sexually dimorphic reinforcement systems can explain the coexistence of gregariousness and monogamy. PMID:28826502

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

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Marc F.

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Sexual dimorphism in striatal dopaminergic responses promotes monogamy in social songbirds.

    PubMed

    Tokarev, Kirill; Hyland Bruno, Julia; Ljubičić, Iva; Kothari, Paresh J; Helekar, Santosh A; Tchernichovski, Ofer; Voss, Henning U

    2017-08-11

    In many songbird species, males sing to attract females and repel rivals. How can gregarious, non-territorial songbirds such as zebra finches, where females have access to numerous males, sustain monogamy? We found that the dopaminergic reward circuitry of zebra finches can simultaneously promote social cohesion and breeding boundaries. Surprisingly, in unmated males but not in females, striatal dopamine neurotransmission was elevated after hearing songs. Behaviorally too, unmated males but not females persistently exchanged mild punishments in return for songs. Song reinforcement diminished when dopamine receptors were blocked. In females, we observed song reinforcement exclusively to the mate's song, although their striatal dopamine neurotransmission was only slightly elevated. These findings suggest that song-triggered dopaminergic activation serves a dual function in social songbirds: as low-threshold social reinforcement in males and as ultra-selective sexual reinforcement in females. Co-evolution of sexually dimorphic reinforcement systems can explain the coexistence of gregariousness and monogamy.

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

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Kentaro; Matsui, Sumiko; Watanabe, Dai

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bradley, Sean P; Prendergast, Brian J

    2014-06-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Energy Balance". Both the light-dark cycle and the timing of food intake can entrain circadian rhythms. Entrainment to food is mediated by a food entrainable circadian oscillator (FEO) that is formally and mechanistically separable from the hypothalamic light-entrainable oscillator. This experiment examined whether seasonal changes in day length affect the function of the FEO in male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Hamsters housed in long (LD; 15 h light/day) or short (SD; 9h light/day) photoperiods were subjected to a timed-feeding schedule for 10 days, during which food was available only during a 5h interval of the light phase. Running wheel activity occurring within a 3h window immediately prior to actual or anticipated food delivery was operationally-defined as food anticipatory activity (FAA). After the timed-feeding interval, hamsters were fed ad libitum, and FAA was assessed 2 and 7 days later via probe trials of total food deprivation. During timed-feeding, all hamsters exhibited increases FAA, but FAA emerged more rapidly in SD; in probe trials, FAA was greater in magnitude and persistence in SD. Gonadectomy in LD did not induce the SD-like FAA phenotype, indicating that withdrawal of gonadal hormones is not sufficient to mediate the effects of photoperiod on FAA. Entrainment of the circadian system to light markedly affects the functional output of the FEO via gonadal hormone-independent mechanisms. Rapid emergence and persistent expression of FAA in SD may reflect a seasonal adaptation that directs behavior toward sources of nutrition with high temporal precision at times of year when food is scarce. © 2013.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Sean P.; Prendergast, Brian J.

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Niche filling slows the diversification of Himalayan songbirds.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Westkott, Maren; Pawelzik, Klaus R.

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Interspecific social networks promote information transmission in wild songbirds

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Natural selection on testosterone production in a wild songbird population.

    PubMed

    McGlothlin, Joel W; Whittaker, Danielle J; Schrock, Sara E; Gerlach, Nicole M; Jawor, Jodie M; Snajdr, Eric A; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2010-06-01

    Because of their role in mediating life-history trade-offs, hormones are expected to be strongly associated with components of fitness; however, few studies have examined how natural selection acts on hormonal variation in the wild. In a songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), field experiments have shown that exogenous testosterone alters individuals' resolution of the survival-reproduction trade-off, enhancing reproduction at the expense of survival. Here we used standardized injections of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to assay variation in the testosterone production of males. Using measurements of annual survival and reproduction, we found evidence of strong natural selection acting on GnRH-induced increases in testosterone. Opposite to what would be predicted from the survival-reproduction trade-off, patterns of selection via survival and reproduction were remarkably similar. Males with GnRH-induced testosterone production levels that were slightly above the population mean were more likely to survive and also produced more offspring, leading to strong stabilizing selection. Partitioning reproduction into separate components revealed positive directional selection via within-pair siring success and stabilizing selection via extrapair mating success. Our data represent the most complete demonstration of natural selection on hormones via multiple fitness components, and they complement previous experiments to illuminate testosterone's role in the evolution of life-history trade-offs.

  12. Adaptive numerical competency in a food-hoarding songbird

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Simon; Low, Jason; Burns, K.C

    2008-01-01

    Most animals can distinguish between small quantities (less than four) innately. Many animals can also distinguish between larger quantities after extensive training. However, the adaptive significance of numerical discriminations in wild animals is almost completely unknown. We conducted a series of experiments to test whether a food-hoarding songbird, the New Zealand robin Petroica australis, uses numerical judgements when retrieving and pilfering cached food. Different numbers of mealworms were presented sequentially to wild birds in a pair of artificial cache sites, which were then obscured from view. Robins frequently chose the site containing more prey, and the accuracy of their number discriminations declined linearly with the total number of prey concealed, rising above-chance expectations in trials containing up to 12 prey items. A series of complementary experiments showed that these results could not be explained by time, volume, orientation, order or sensory confounds. Lastly, a violation of expectancy experiment, in which birds were allowed to retrieve a fraction of the prey they were originally offered, showed that birds searched for longer when they expected to retrieve more prey. Overall results indicate that New Zealand robins use a sophisticated numerical sense to retrieve and pilfer stored food, thus providing a critical link in understanding the evolution of numerical competency. PMID:18611847

  13. Nocturnal life of young songbirds well before migration

    PubMed Central

    Mukhin, Andrey; Kosarev, Vlad; Ktitorov, Pavel

    2005-01-01

    In songbirds, nocturnal activity is believed to be a characteristic feature of migration. However, unlike experimental conditions where the onset of nocturnal restlessness is defined as a shift of activity leading up to the dark period, this behaviour has, until now, not been observed in natural conditions. Here we studied the nocturnal behaviour of radio-tagged juvenile Eurasian reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) during the pre-migratory period. The birds started nocturnal flights at the age of 38 days, whereas migration did not commence until they were at least 50 days old. The birds left their natal site by nocturnal flights and repeatedly returned to it. Such shuttle movements suggest the existence of a previously unknown period of nocturnal activity. Motivation to perform such night flights gradually increases with age. We relate the function of these nocturnal pre-migratory flights to the development of a stellar compass, necessary for detecting the compass direction towards winter quarters and for the formation of a navigational target, which will be used during return (spring) migration. PMID:16048767

  14. Climatic patterns predict the elaboration of song displays in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Botero, Carlos A.; Boogert, Neeltje J.; Vehrencamp, Sandra L.; Lovette, Irby J.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Climatic variability and unpredictability [1] affect the distribution and abundance of resources and the timing and duration of breeding opportunities. In vertebrates, climatic variability selects for enhanced cognition when organisms compensate for environmental changes through learning and innovation [2–5]. This hypothesis is supported by larger brain sizes [6], higher foraging innovation rates [7–9], higher reproductive flexibility [10–12], and higher sociality [13] in species living in more variable climates. Male songbirds sing to attract females and repel rivals [14]. Given the reliance of these displays on learning and innovation, we hypothesized that they could also be affected by climatic patterns. Here we show that in the mockingbird family (Aves: Mimidae), species subject to more variable and unpredictable climates have more elaborate song displays. We discuss two potential mechanisms for this result, both of which acknowledge that the complexity of song displays is largely driven by sexual selection [15, 16]. First, stronger selection in more variable and unpredictable climates could lead to the elaboration of signals of quality [14, 17–20]. Alternatively, selection for enhanced learning and innovation in more variable and unpredictable climates might lead to the evolution of signals of intelligence in the context of mate attraction [14, 21–23]. PMID:19464180

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.

    1962-01-01

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

  17. Ahemeral light regimens test the photoperiodic threshold of the european starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, R. G.

    1980-03-01

    Male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were held for three consecutive photoperiod oscillations (ahemeral years) composed of 30-h day lengths, i.e., the “daily” light and dark each lasted three hours longer than under the natural daily photoperiod at latitude 38°N. These starlings had no gonad metamorphosis during the 45 actual months necessary to complete the three ahemeral photoperiod oscillations; nor did subsequent exposure to continuous illumination elicit gonad response. It is concluded that the daily duration of light and darkness (although certainly operant in controlling starling sexual cycles under temperate-zone photoperiod oscillations) is not the critical factor establishing a sexual cycle under the ahemeral regimen. Rather, it appears that this species must experience a daily duration of light of 12 hours or less (a definitive photoperiodic threshold) before photo-induction of a sexual cycle is possible.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Åkesson, Susanne

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  2. The Pea GIGAS Gene Is a FLOWERING LOCUS T Homolog Necessary for Graft-Transmissible Specification of Flowering but Not for Responsiveness to Photoperiod[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Hecht, Valérie; Laurie, Rebecca E.; Vander Schoor, Jacqueline K.; Ridge, Stephen; Knowles, Claire L.; Liew, Lim Chee; Sussmilch, Frances C.; Murfet, Ian C.; Macknight, Richard C.; Weller, James L.

    2011-01-01

    Garden pea (Pisum sativum) was prominent in early studies investigating the genetic control of flowering and the role of mobile flowering signals. In view of recent evidence that genes in the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) family play an important role in generating mobile flowering signals, we isolated the FT gene family in pea and examined the regulation and function of its members. Comparison with Medicago truncatula and soybean (Glycine max) provides evidence of three ancient subclades (FTa, FTb, and FTc) likely to be common to most crop and model legumes. Pea FT genes show distinctly different expression patterns with respect to developmental timing, tissue specificity, and response to photoperiod and differ in their activity in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana, suggesting they may have different functions. We show that the pea FTa1 gene corresponds to the GIGAS locus, which is essential for flowering under long-day conditions and promotes flowering under short-day conditions but is not required for photoperiod responsiveness. Grafting, expression, and double mutant analyses show that GIGAS/FTa1 regulates a mobile flowering stimulus but also provide clear evidence for a second mobile flowering stimulus that is correlated with expression of FTb2 in leaf tissue. These results suggest that induction of flowering by photoperiod in pea results from interactions among several members of a diversified FT family. PMID:21282524

  3. Emlen funnel experiments revisited: methods update for studying compass orientation in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Bianco, Giuseppe; Ilieva, Mihaela; Veibäck, Clas; Öfjäll, Kristoffer; Gadomska, Alicja; Hendeby, Gustaf; Felsberg, Michael; Gustafsson, Fredrik; Åkesson, Susanne

    2016-10-01

    Migratory songbirds carry an inherited capacity to migrate several thousand kilometers each year crossing continental landmasses and barriers between distant breeding sites and wintering areas. How individual songbirds manage with extreme precision to find their way is still largely unknown. The functional characteristics of biological compasses used by songbird migrants has mainly been investigated by recording the birds directed migratory activity in circular cages, so-called Emlen funnels. This method is 50 years old and has not received major updates over the past decades. The aim of this work was to compare the results from newly developed digital methods with the established manual methods to evaluate songbird migratory activity and orientation in circular cages.We performed orientation experiments using the European robin (Erithacus rubecula) using modified Emlen funnels equipped with thermal paper and simultaneously recorded the songbird movements from above. We evaluated and compared the results obtained with five different methods. Two methods have been commonly used in songbirds' orientation experiments; the other three methods were developed for this study and were based either on evaluation of the thermal paper using automated image analysis, or on the analysis of videos recorded during the experiment.The methods used to evaluate scratches produced by the claws of birds on the thermal papers presented some differences compared with the video analyses. These differences were caused mainly by differences in scatter, as any movement of the bird along the sloping walls of the funnel was recorded on the thermal paper, whereas video evaluations allowed us to detect single takeoff attempts by the birds and to consider only this behavior in the orientation analyses. Using computer vision, we were also able to identify and separately evaluate different behaviors that were impossible to record by the thermal paper.The traditional Emlen funnel is still the most

  4. Photoperiod effects on ethanol hypothermia in behaviorally thermoregulating mice

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, C.S.; Crawshaw, L.I. )

    1989-02-09

    Male mice, maintained on a 12:12 L:D photoperiod (lights on at 7:00, off at 19:00) were injected with 2.6g 7.5% E+OH (in 0.9% NaCl) per kg, or with an equivalent volume of 0.9% NaCl at 24:00, 4:00, 8:00, 12:00, 16:00, and 20:00 hours. Nine mice at each condition were run in tubular temperature gradients (9-40C). Temperature preferences were monitored with an imaging system, and internal temperatures were monitored with implanted telemetry devices. Mean internal temperatures at all 6 times of day for the 40 min period after injection of E+OH (36.0 {plus minus} .1C, range 35.8-36.1C) or NaCl (37.2 {plus minus} .1C, range 37.0-37.4C), an well as mean preferred temperatures for the same 6 times after E+OH (30.6 {plus minus} .2C, range 29.8-31.0C) or NaCl (31.3 {plus minus} .3C, range 30.7-32.1C) showed little difference. This indicates that, in our system, photoperiod exerts but a small effect on the response of behaviorally thermoregulating mice to moderate doses of E+OH.

  5. Photoperiodic regulation of seasonal reproduction in higher vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2014-05-01

    Long-lived animals such as birds and mammals adapt readily to seasonal changes in their environment. They integrate environmental cues with their internal clocks to prepare and time seasonal physiological changes. This is reflected in several seasonal phenotypes, particularly in those linked with migration, hibernation, pelage growth, reproduction and molt. The two endocrine secretions that play key roles in regulating the seasonal physiology are melatonin and thyroid hormone. Whereas, melatonin is used as an endocrine index of day length (and consequently duration of night), the seasonal up- and down-regulation of thyroid hormone affects the physiology, perhaps by influencing different pathways. Both of these hormones are shown to act via a 'photoperiodic axis' constituted by the photoreceptors, hypothalamus and pituitary. Recent studies have revealed that the pars tuberalis that connects hypothalamus and pituitary, locally synthesizes the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in response to light (birds) or melatonin (mammals). The levels of TSH regulate the DIO2 and DIO3 synthesis in the ependymal cells in hypothalamus, and in turn affect the release of gonadotropin releasing hormone. This review mainly focuses on the current understanding of the mechanisms of photoperiodic regulation of seasonal responses in the higher vertebrates.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. High irradiance responses involving photoreversible multiple photoreceptors as related to photoperiodic induction of cell division in Euglena.

    PubMed

    Bolige, Aoen; Goto, Ken

    2007-02-01

    Little is known about the photoreceptors involved in the photoperiodism of unicellular organisms, which we elucidated by deriving their action spectra. The flagellated alga Euglena gracilis exhibits photoperiodism, with a long-day response in cell reproduction. The underlying clock is a circadian rhythm with photoinductive capability, peaking at subjective dusk and occurring at the 26th hour in continuous darkness (DD) when transferred from continuous light (LL); it regulates photoinduction, a high-irradiance response (HIR), of a dark-capability of progressing through cell division. We derived the action spectra by irradiating E. gracilis with monochromatic light for 3h at around the 26th hour; the action maxima occurred at 380, 450-460, 480, 610, 640, 660, 680, and 740nm. Except for the maximum at 450-460nm, which was always a major maximum, the maxima greatly depended on the red (R)/far-red (FR) ratio of the prior LL. The high R/FR ratio resulted in a dominant major peak at 640nm and minor peaks at 480 and 680nm, whereas the low ratio resulted in dominant major peaks at 610 and 740nm and minor peaks at 380 and 660nm; the critical fluence was minimally about 60mmolm(-2). These HIRs resulted from the accumulation of corresponding low-fluence responses (LFRs) because we found that repetition of a 3-min light/dark cycle, with critical fluences of 1mmolm(-2), lasting for 3h resulted in the same photoinduction as the continuous 3-h irradiation. Moreover, these LFRs expressed photoreversibility. Thus, photoperiodic photoinduction involves Euglena-phytochrome (640 and 740nm) and blue photoreceptor (460nm). Although 380, 480, 610, 660, and 680nm may also represent Euglena-phytochrome, a definite conclusion awaits further study.

  9. Neural imaging in songbirds using fiber optic fluorescence microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    Increased temperatures and more extreme weather patterns associated with global climate change can interact with other factors that regulate animal populations, but many climate change studies do not incorporate other threats to wildlife in their analyses. We used 20 years of nest-monitoring data from study sites across a gradient of habitat fragmentation in Missouri, USA, to investigate the relative influence of weather variables (temperature and precipitation) and landscape factors (forest cover and edge density) on the number of young produced per nest attempt (i.e., productivity) for three species of songbirds. We detected a strong forest cover × temperature interaction for the Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) on productivity. Greater forest cover resulted in greater productivity because of reduced brood parasitism and increased nest survival, whereas greater temperatures reduced productivity in highly forested landscapes because of increased nest predation but had no effect in less forested landscapes. The Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) exhibited a similar pattern, albeit with a marginal forest cover × temperature interaction. By contrast, productivity of the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was not influenced by landscape effects or temperature. Our results highlight a potential difficulty of managing wildlife in response to global change such as habitat fragmentation and climate warming, as the habitat associated with the greatest productivity for flycatchers was also that most negatively influenced by high temperatures. The influence of high temperatures on nest predation (and therefore, nest predators) underscores the need to acknowledge the potential complexity of species' responses to climate change by incorporating a more thorough consideration of community ecology in the development of models of climate impacts on wildlife. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Vegetation characteristics important to common songbirds in east Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conner, Richard N.; Dickson, James G.; Locke, Brian A.; Segelquist, Charles A.

    1983-01-01

    Multivariate studies of breeding bird communities have used principal component analysis (PCA) or several-group (three or more groups) discriminant function analysis (DFA) to ordinate bird species on vegetational continua (Cody 1968, James 1971, Whitmore 1975). In community studies, high resolution of habitat requirements for individual species is not always possible with either PCA or several-group DFA. When habitat characteristics of several species are examined with a DFA the resultant axes optimally discriminate among all species simultaneously. Hence, the characteristics assigned to a particular species reflect in part the presence of other species in the analyses. A better resolution of each species' habitat requirements may be obtained from a two-group DFA, wherein habitats selected by a species are discriminated from all other available habitats. Analyses using two-group DFAs to compare habitat used by a species with habitat unused by the same species have the potential to provide an optimal frame of reference from which to examine habitat variables (Martinka 1972, Conner and Adkisson 1976, Whitmore 1981). Mathematically (DFA) it is possible to maximally separate two groups of multivariate observations with a single axis (Harner and whitmore 1977). A line drawn in three or n-dimensional space can easily be positioned to intersect two multivariate means (centroids). If three or more centroids for species are analyzed simultaneously, a single line can no longer intersect all centroids unless a perfectly linear relationship exists for the species being examined. The probability of such an occurrence is extremely low. Thus, a high degree of resolution can be realized when a two-group DFA is used to determine habitat parameters important to individual species. We have used two-group DFA to identify vegetation variable important to 12 common species of songbirds in East Texas.

  12. Pattern-induced covert category learning in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Comins, Jordan A.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Language is uniquely human, but its acquisition may involve cognitive capacities shared with other species [1-5]. During development, language experience alters speech sound (phoneme) categorization [6-8]. Newborn infants distinguish the phonemes in all languages, but by 10 months show adult-like greater sensitivity to native language phonemic contrasts than non-native contrasts [8, 9]. Distributional theories account for phonetic learning by positing that infants infer category boundaries from modal distributions of speech sounds along acoustic continua [10, 11]. For example, tokens of the sounds /b/ and /p/ cluster around different mean voice onset times. To disambiguate overlapping distributions, contextual theories propose that phonetic category learning is informed by higher-level patterns (e.g. words) in which phonemes normally occur [12-15]. For example, the vowel sounds /I/ and /e/ can occupy similar perceptual spaces, but can be distinguished in the context of “with” and “well”. Both distributional and contextual cues appear to function in speech acquisition [10-12, 16-21]. Non-human species also benefit from distributional cues for category learning [22-24], but whether category learning benefits from contextual information in non-human animals is unknown. The use of higher-level patterns to guide lower-level category learning may reflect uniquely human capacities tied to language acquisition, or more general learning abilities reflecting shared neurobiological mechanisms. Using songbirds, European starlings, we show that higher-level pattern learning covertly enhances categorization of the natural communication sounds. This observation mirrors the support for contextual theories of phonemic category learning in humans, and demonstrates a general form of learning not unique to humans or language. PMID:26119748

  13. The effect of latitude on photoperiodic control of gonadal maturation, regression and molt in birds.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Alistair

    2013-09-01

    Photoperiod is the major cue used by birds to time breeding seasons and molt. However, the annual cycle in photoperiod changes with latitude. Within species, for temperate and high latitude species, gonadal maturation and breeding start earlier at lower latitudes but regression and molt both occur at similar times at different latitudes. Earlier gonadal maturation can be explained simply by the fact that considerable maturation occurs before the equinox when photoperiod is longer at lower latitudes - genetic differences between populations are not necessary to explain earlier breeding at lower latitudes. Gonadal regression is caused either by absolute photorefractoriness or, in some species with long breeding seasons, relative photorefractoriness. In either case, the timing of regression and molt cannot be explained by absolute prevailing photoperiod or rate of change in photoperiod - birds appear to be using more subtle cues from the pattern of change in photoperiod. However, there may be no difference between absolute and relative photorefractory species in how they utilise the annual cycle in photoperiod to time regression.

  14. Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jia-Qi; Wang, Jia-Jia; Wu, Xu-Jian; Zheng, Wei-Hong; Liu, Jin-Song

    2016-03-18

    Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal's physiology and behavior. One such cue, photoperiod, plays an important role in the seasonal acclimatization of birds. It has been demonstrated that an animal's body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and energy intake, are all affected by photoperiod. The present study was designed to examine photoperiod induced changes in the body mass, metabolism and metabolic organs of the silky starling, Sturnus sericeus. Captive silky starlings increased their body mass and BMR during four weeks of acclimation to a short photoperiod. Birds acclimated to a short photoperiod also increased the mass of certain organs (liver, gizzard and small intestine), and both gross energy intake (GEI) and digestible energy intake (DEI), relative to those acclimated to a long photoperiod. Furthermore, BMR was positively correlated with body mass, liver mass, GEI and DEI. These results suggest that silky starlings increase metabolic thermogenesis when exposed to a short photoperiod by increasing their body and metabolic organ mass, and their GEI and DEI. These findings support the hypothesis that bird species from temperate climates typically display high phenotypic flexibility in thermogenic capacity.

  15. A neotropical forest bird can measure the slight changes in tropical photoperiod

    PubMed Central

    Hau, M.; Wikelski, M.; Wingfield, J. C.

    1998-01-01

    Many tropical birds breed seasonally, but it is largely unknown which environmental cues they use to time reproduction. Changes in tropical photoperiod have been regarded as too small to be used as a proximate environmental cue. This hypothesis, however, has never been rigorously tested. Here, we report on experimental evidence that photoperiodic changes characteristic of tropical latitudes stimulate reproductive activity in a neotropical bird from the forest understory. In the central Republic of Panam (9 degrees N), photoperiod varies annually between 12 hours (December) and 13 hours (June). Free-living spotted antbirds (Hylophylax n. naevioides) had regressed gonads in December, but increased gonads ahead of the rainy (the breeding) season in May. Captive spotted antbirds exposed to a 'long' photoperiod of 13 hours increased gonadal size eight-fold and song activity six-fold over that of control birds remaining on a simulated 'short' photoperiod of 12 hours of daylight. Moreover, even a photoperiod of 12 hours 17 minutes was sufficient to stimulate gonadal growth in photostimulated birds over that of controls. The dramatic changes in gonadal development were not accompanied by similar changes in hormone titres such as luteinizing hormone and testosterone as expected from temperate zone birds. We propose a more general role of the tropical photoperiod in the regulation of seasonal events in tropical organisms, or in temperate zone species migrating to the tropics.

  16. Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus

    PubMed Central

    WANG, Jia-Qi; WANG, Jia-Jia; WU, Xu-Jian; ZHENG, Wei-Hong; LIU, Jin-Song

    2016-01-01

    Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal’s physiology and behavior. One such cue, photoperiod, plays an important role in the seasonal acclimatization of birds. It has been demonstrated that an animal’s body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and energy intake, are all affected by photoperiod. The present study was designed to examine photoperiod induced changes in the body mass, metabolism and metabolic organs of the silky starling, Sturnus sericeus. Captive silky starlings increased their body mass and BMR during four weeks of acclimation to a short photoperiod. Birds acclimated to a short photoperiod also increased the mass of certain organs (liver, gizzard and small intestine), and both gross energy intake (GEI) and digestible energy intake (DEI), relative to those acclimated to a long photoperiod. Furthermore, BMR was positively correlated with body mass, liver mass, GEI and DEI. These results suggest that silky starlings increase metabolic thermogenesis when exposed to a short photoperiod by increasing their body and metabolic organ mass, and their GEI and DEI. These findings support the hypothesis that bird species from temperate climates typically display high phenotypic flexibility in thermogenic capacity. PMID:27029864

  17. Photoperiod and temperature influence cadmium's effects on photosynthesis-related gene transcription in Chlorella vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Qian, Haifeng; Li, Jingjing; Pan, Xiangjie; Jiang, Haiyan; Sun, Liwei; Fu, Zhengwei

    2010-09-01

    Routine metal compound toxicity tests are performed at one constant photoperiod and temperature. There is little knowledge about the interactions between metal compound toxicity and photoperiod or temperature. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of photoperiod and temperature on cadmium (Cd) toxicity in the fresh alga, Chlorella vulgaris, both singly and in combination. Exposure to 2 or 4 microM Cd alone significantly decreased the transcription of the photosynthesis-related genes psbA, psaB and rbcL. Three-way ANOVA analysis showed that both temperature and photoperiod interacted with the dosage of Cd to influence the abundance of psbA and psaB, but not rbcL. Specifically, psbA transcription was more sensitive to Cd under long photoperiods or high temperatures than under short photoperiods or low temperatures. Because photoperiod and temperature have certain impacts on the toxicity of metal compounds, these two environmental factors should be given more attention in laboratory research. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Tropical photoperiods affect reproductive development in the musk shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed

    Wayne, N L; Rissman, E F

    1991-09-01

    The purpose of the present studies was to determine whether reproductive development in male musk shrews (original stock from Guam Island, 13 degrees N latitude) could be altered by small, ecologically relevant changes in photoperiod. In the first experiment, effects of changes in photoperiod equivalent to those seen between the 2 solstices on Guam Island (90 min) on reproductive maturation were investigated. The results showed that a 90-min difference in photoperiod had a significant effect on weights of various androgen-sensitive target tissues. Furthermore, there was little evidence that the preweaning photoperiod had an effect on the response to the postweaning photoperiod. In the second experiment, effects of changes in photoperiod equivalent to those seen between the equinoxes and solstices on Guam Island (45 min) on reproductive maturation were investigated. The results showed that both a decrease and an increase in photoperiod by 45 min had a significant effect on weights of various androgen-sensitive target tissues. Overall, these results suggest that animals living close to the equator can potentially use small changes in day length to alter or time reproductive function.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Effects of the Nordic photoperiod on ozone sensitivity and repair in different clover species studied using infrared imaging.

    PubMed

    Futsaether, Cecilia M; Vollsnes, Ane V; Kruse, Ole Mathis Opstad; Otterholt, Eli; Kvaal, Knut; Eriksen, Aud B

    2009-12-01

    Plants in Nordic regions can be more ozone sensitive at a given ozone concentration than plants at lower latitudes. A recent study shows that the Nordic summer photoperiod, particularly the dim nighttime light, can increase visible foliar injury and alter leaf transpiration in subterranean clover. Effects of photoperiod on the ozone sensitivity of white and red clover cultivars adapted to Nordic conditions were investigated. Although ozone induced visible foliar injury and leaf transpirational changes in white clover, the effects were independent of photoperiod. In red clover, ozone combined with a long photoperiod with dim nights (8 nights) induced more severe visible injuries than with a short photoperiod. Furthermore, transpirational changes in red clover depended on photoperiod. Thus, a long photoperiod can increase ozone sensitivity differently in clover cultivars with different degrees of adaptation to northern conditions, suggesting that ozone indices used in risk analysis should take this effect into account.

  1. Reproductive responses to photoperiod persist in olfactory bulbectomized Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Prendergast, Brian J; Pyter, Leah M; Galang, Jerome; Kay, Leslie M

    2009-03-02

    In reproductively photoperiodic Syrian hamsters, removal of the olfactory bulbs (OBx) leads to a marked and sustained increase in gonadotrophin secretion which prevents normal testicular regression in short photoperiods. In contrast, among reproductively nonphotoperiodic laboratory strains of rats and mice, bulbectomy unmasks reproductive responses to photoperiod. The role of the olfactory bulbs has been proposed to have opposite effects on responsiveness to photoperiod, depending on the photoperiodicity of the reproductive system; however, Syrian hamsters are the only reproductively photoperiodic rodent species for which the role of the olfactory bulb in reproductive endocrinology has been assessed. This experiment evaluated the role of the olfactory bulbs in the photoperiodic control of reproduction in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus), an established model species for the study of neural substrates mediating seasonality. Relative to control hamsters housed in long days (15 h light/day), exposure of adult male hamsters to short days (9h light/day) for 8 weeks led to a temporal expansion of the pattern of nocturnal locomotor activity, testicular regression, decreases in testosterone (T) production, and undetectable levels of plasma follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Bilateral olfactory bulbectomy failed to affect any of these responses to short days. The patterns of entrainment to long and short days suggests that pre-pineal mechanisms involved in photoperiodic timekeeping are functioning normally in OBx hamsters. The absence of increases in FSH following bulbectomy in long days is incompatible with the hypothesis that the olfactory bulbs provide tonic inhibition of the HPG axis in this species. In marked contrast to Syrian hamsters, the olfactory bulbs of Siberian hamsters play essentially no role in the modulation of tonic gonadotrophin production or gonadotrophin responses to photoperiod.

  2. Effects of photoperiod on salsolinol-induced prolactin secretion in goats.

    PubMed

    Yaegashi, Tomoyoshi; Jin, Jin; Sawada, Tatsuru; Saito, Hayato; Fülöp, Ferenc; Nagy, György Miklos; Hashizume, Tsutomu

    2012-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to clarify the relation between salsolinol (SAL)-induced prolactin (PRL) release and photoperiod in goats. A single intravenous (i.v.) injection of SAL was given to adult female goats under short (8 h light, 16 h dark) or long (16 h light, 8 h dark) photoperiod conditions at two different ambient temperatures (20°C or 5°C), and the PRL-releasing response to SAL was compared to that of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) or a dopamine (DA) receptor antagonist, sulpiride. SAL, as well as TRH or sulpiride, stimulated the release of PRL promptly after each injection in both 8- and 16-h daily photoperiods at 20°C (P<0.05). The area under the response curve (AUC) of PRL for the 60-min period after injections of saline (controls), SAL, TRH and sulpiride in the 16-h daily photoperiod group was greater than each corresponding value in the 8-h daily photoperiod group (P<0.05). There were no significant differences in the AUC of PRL among the values produced after the injection of SAL, TRH and sulpiride in 16-h daily photoperiod group; however, the values produced after the injection of TRH were smallest among the three in the 8-h daily photoperiod group (P<0.05). The PRL-releasing responses to SAL, TRH and sulpiride under a short and long photoperiod condition at 5°C resembled those at 20°C. These results show that a long photoperiod highly enhances the PRL-releasing response to SAL as well as TRH or sulpiride in either medium or low ambient temperature in goats.

  3. Persistent impairments in hippocampal, dorsal striatal, and prefrontal cortical function following repeated photoperiod shifts in rats.

    PubMed

    Zelinski, Erin L; Tyndall, Amanda V; Hong, Nancy S; McDonald, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive impairments are observed when learned associations are being acquired or retrieved during a period of circadian disruption. However, the extent of the functional impacts on previously acquired associations following circadian rhythm re-entrainment is unknown. The impacts of repeated photoperiod shifts on learning and memory in male and female rats were examined. For these experiments, rats were trained on a spatial version of the Morris water task (MWT) and a visual discrimination task designed for the 8-arm radial maze. Following asymptotic performance on these tasks, rats experienced a repeating photoperiod shift procedure and were then re-entrained. Following circadian re-entrainment, retention of pre-photoperiod-shift-acquired associations was tested. In addition, an extra-dimensional set shift was performed using the 8-arm radial maze. Impaired retention of the MWT platform location was observed in photoperiod-shifted subjects relative to subjects with stable, unmanipulated photoperiods. Repeated photoperiod shifts negatively impacted retention in males and females compared with subjects with stable photoperiods. Retention and the ability to detect extra-dimensional shifts on the visual discrimination task were also impaired, though not consistently by sex or photoperiod condition. Running wheel availability was also included in the analyses to determine whether exercise influenced the effects of photoperiod shifting. The absence of a running wheel produced significant declines in memory retention on both MWT and the visual discrimination task, but only for male rats. The observed impairments indicate that multiple neural systems supporting different learning and memory functions are susceptible to circadian disruption, even if the association is acquired prior to rhythm fragmentation and tested following rhythm re-entrainment.

  4. Identifying yield-optimizing environments for two cowpea breeding lines by manipulating photoperiod and harvest scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ohler, T. A.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1996-01-01

    Photoperiod and harvest scenario of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) canopies were manipulated to optimize productivity for use in future controlled ecological life-support systems. Productivity was measured by edible yield rate (EYR:g m-2 day-1), shoot harvest index (SHI: g edible biomass [g total shoot dry weight]), and yield-efficiency rate (YER:g edible biomass m-2 day-1 per[g nonedible shoot dry weight]). Breeding lines 'IT84S-2246' (S-2246) and "IT82D-889' (D-889) were grown in a greenhouse under 8-, 12-, or 24-h photoperiods. S-2246 was short-day and D-889 was day-neutral for flowering. Under each photoperiod, cowpeas were harvested either for leaves only, seeds only, or leaves plus seeds (mixed harvest). Photoperiod did not affect EYR of either breeding line for any harvest scenario tested. Averaged over both breeding lines, seed harvest gave the highest EYR at 6.7 g m-2 day-1. The highest SHI (65%) and YER (94 mg m-2 day-1 g-1) were achieved for leaf-only harvest of D-889 under an 8-h photoperiod. For leaf-only harvest of S-2246, both SHI and YER increased with increasing photoperiod, but declined for seed-only and mixed harvests. However, photoperiod had no effect on SHI or YER for D-889 for any harvest scenario. A second experiment utilized the short-day cowpea breeding line 'IT89KD-288' (D-288) and the day-neutral breeding line 'IT87D-941-1' (D-941) to compare yield parameters using photoperiod extension under differing lamp types. This experiment confirmed the photoperiod responses of D-889 and S-2246 to a mixed-harvest scenario and indicated that daylength extension with higher irradiance from high pressure sodium lamps further suppressed EYR, SHI, and YER of the short-day breeding line D-288.

  5. Identifying yield-optimizing environments for two cowpea breeding lines by manipulating photoperiod and harvest scenario.

    PubMed

    Ohler, T A; Mitchell, C A

    1996-05-01

    Photoperiod and harvest scenario of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) canopies were manipulated to optimize productivity for use in future controlled ecological life-support systems. Productivity was measured by edible yield rate (EYR:g m-2 day-1), shoot harvest index (SHI: g edible biomass [g total shoot dry weight]), and yield-efficiency rate (YER:g edible biomass m-2 day-1 per[g nonedible shoot dry weight]). Breeding lines 'IT84S-2246' (S-2246) and "IT82D-889' (D-889) were grown in a greenhouse under 8-, 12-, or 24-h photoperiods. S-2246 was short-day and D-889 was day-neutral for flowering. Under each photoperiod, cowpeas were harvested either for leaves only, seeds only, or leaves plus seeds (mixed harvest). Photoperiod did not affect EYR of either breeding line for any harvest scenario tested. Averaged over both breeding lines, seed harvest gave the highest EYR at 6.7 g m-2 day-1. The highest SHI (65%) and YER (94 mg m-2 day-1 g-1) were achieved for leaf-only harvest of D-889 under an 8-h photoperiod. For leaf-only harvest of S-2246, both SHI and YER increased with increasing photoperiod, but declined for seed-only and mixed harvests. However, photoperiod had no effect on SHI or YER for D-889 for any harvest scenario. A second experiment utilized the short-day cowpea breeding line 'IT89KD-288' (D-288) and the day-neutral breeding line 'IT87D-941-1' (D-941) to compare yield parameters using photoperiod extension under differing lamp types. This experiment confirmed the photoperiod responses of D-889 and S-2246 to a mixed-harvest scenario and indicated that daylength extension with higher irradiance from high pressure sodium lamps further suppressed EYR, SHI, and YER of the short-day breeding line D-288.

  6. Identifying yield-optimizing environments for two cowpea breeding lines by manipulating photoperiod and harvest scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ohler, T. A.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1996-01-01

    Photoperiod and harvest scenario of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) canopies were manipulated to optimize productivity for use in future controlled ecological life-support systems. Productivity was measured by edible yield rate (EYR:g m-2 day-1), shoot harvest index (SHI: g edible biomass [g total shoot dry weight]), and yield-efficiency rate (YER:g edible biomass m-2 day-1 per[g nonedible shoot dry weight]). Breeding lines 'IT84S-2246' (S-2246) and "IT82D-889' (D-889) were grown in a greenhouse under 8-, 12-, or 24-h photoperiods. S-2246 was short-day and D-889 was day-neutral for flowering. Under each photoperiod, cowpeas were harvested either for leaves only, seeds only, or leaves plus seeds (mixed harvest). Photoperiod did not affect EYR of either breeding line for any harvest scenario tested. Averaged over both breeding lines, seed harvest gave the highest EYR at 6.7 g m-2 day-1. The highest SHI (65%) and YER (94 mg m-2 day-1 g-1) were achieved for leaf-only harvest of D-889 under an 8-h photoperiod. For leaf-only harvest of S-2246, both SHI and YER increased with increasing photoperiod, but declined for seed-only and mixed harvests. However, photoperiod had no effect on SHI or YER for D-889 for any harvest scenario. A second experiment utilized the short-day cowpea breeding line 'IT89KD-288' (D-288) and the day-neutral breeding line 'IT87D-941-1' (D-941) to compare yield parameters using photoperiod extension under differing lamp types. This experiment confirmed the photoperiod responses of D-889 and S-2246 to a mixed-harvest scenario and indicated that daylength extension with higher irradiance from high pressure sodium lamps further suppressed EYR, SHI, and YER of the short-day breeding line D-288.

  7. Transfer from long to short photoperiods affects production efficiency of day-neutral rice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldman, K. R.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1999-01-01

    The day-neutral, semidwarf rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivar Ai-Nan-Tsao was grown in a greenhouse under summer conditions using high-pressure sodium lamps to extend the natural photoperiod. After allowing 2 weeks for germination, stand establishment, and thinning to a consistent planting density of 212 plants/m2, stands were maintained under continuous lighting for 35 or 49 days before shifting to 8- or 12-h photoperiods until harvest 76 days after planting. Non-shifted control treatments consisting of 8-, 12-, or 24-h photoperiods also were maintained throughout production. Tiller number increased as duration of exposure to continuous light increased before shifting to shorter photoperiods. However, shoot harvest index and yield efficiency rate were lower for all plants receiving continuous light than for those under the 8- or 12-h photoperiods. Stands receiving 12-h photoperiods throughout production had the highest grain yield per plant and equaled the 8-h-photoperiod control plants for the lowest tiller number per plant. As long as stands were exposed to continuous light, tiller formation continued. Shifting to shorter photoperiods late in the cropping cycle resulted in newly formed tillers that were either sterile or unable to mature grain before harvest. Late-forming tillers also suppressed yield of grain in early-forming tillers, presumably by competing for photosynthate or for remobilized assimilate during senescence. Stands receiving 12-h photoperiods throughout production not only produced the highest grain yield at harvest but had the highest shoot harvest index, which is important for resource-recovery strategies in advanced life-support systems proposed for space.

  8. Songbirds as Sentinels of Mercury in Terrestrial Foodwebs of Eastern North America

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mercury is a globally distributed environmental contaminant with a variety of deleterious effects in fish, wildlife, and humans. Breeding songbirds may be useful sentinels for mercury because they are relatively easy to sample, have well-defined and small territories, and integra...

  9. Advantages of Comparative Studies in Songbirds to Understand the Neural Basis of Sensorimotor Integration.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Karagh; James, Logan S; Sakata, Jon T; Prather, Jonathan F

    2017-03-22

    Sensorimotor integration is the process through which the nervous system creates a link between motor commands and associated sensory feedback. This process allows for the acquisition and refinement of many behaviors, including learned communication behaviors like speech and birdsong. Consequently, it is important to understand fundamental mechanisms of sensorimotor integration, and comparative analyses of this process can provide vital insight. Songbirds offer a powerful comparative model system to study how the nervous system links motor and sensory information for learning and control. This is because the acquisition, maintenance, and control of birdsong critically depend on sensory feedback. Furthermore, there is an incredible diversity of song organizations across songbird species, ranging from songs with simple, stereotyped sequences to songs with complex sequencing of vocal gestures, as well as a wide diversity of song repertoire sizes. Despite this diversity, the neural circuitry for song learning, control, and maintenance remains highly similar across species. Here, we highlight the utility of songbirds for the analysis of sensorimotor integration and the insights about mechanisms of sensorimotor integration gained by comparing different songbird species. Key conclusions from this comparative analysis are that variation in song sequence complexity seems to covary with the strength of feedback signals in sensorimotor circuits, and that sensorimotor circuits contain distinct representations of elements in the vocal repertoire, possibly enabling evolutionary variation in repertoire sizes. We conclude our review by highlighting important areas of research that could benefit from increased comparative focus, with particular emphasis on the integration of new technologies.

  10. Reducing impacts of brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds on riparian-nesting migratory songbirds

    Treesearch

    Sara H. Schweitzer; Deborah M. Finch; David M. Leslie

    1996-01-01

    Riparian habitats throughout the Southwest have been altered directly and indirectly by human activities. Many migrant songbird species specific to riparian communities during the breeding season are experiencing population declines. Conversely, the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) benefits from fragmentation of, and livestock grazing in and near riparian habitat...

  11. Relative influence of male and female care in determining nestling mass in a migratory songbird

    Treesearch

    Kirk Stodola; Eric Linder; David A. Buehler; Kathlee Franzreb; Daniel Kim; Robert Cooper

    2010-01-01

    Biparental care is common in birds with the allocation of effort being highly variable between the sexes. In most songbird species, the female typically provides the most care in the breeding cycle with both parents providing care when provisioning young. Food provisioning should be directly related to offspring quality; however, the relative influence each parent has...

  12. Songbird nest survival is invariant to early-successional restoration treatments in a large river floodplain

    Treesearch

    Dirk E. Burhans; Brian G. Root; Terry L. Shaffer; Daniel C. Dey

    2010-01-01

    We monitored songbird nest survival in two reforesting, ∼50-ha former cropland sites along the Missouri River in central Missouri from 2001 to 2003. Sites were partitioned into three experimental units, each receiving one of three tree planting treatments. Nest densities varied among restoration treatments for four of five species, but overall nest survival...

  13. The nest predator assemblage for songbirds in Mono Lake basin riparian habitats

    Treesearch

    Quresh S. Latif; Sacha K. Heath; Grant Ballard

    2012-01-01

    Because nest predation strongly limits avian fitness, ornithologists identify nest predators to inform ecological research and conservation. During 2002–2008, we used both video-monitoring of natural nests and direct observations of predation to identify nest predators of open-cup nesting riparian songbirds along tributaries of Mono Lake, California. Video cameras at...

  14. Songbird Community Variation Among Five Levels of Overstory Retention in Northern Alabama

    Treesearch

    Adrian A. Lesak; Yong Wang; Callie Jo Schweitzer

    2004-01-01

    We compared songbird communities among varying degrees of overstory tree retention in the oak-hickory forest of the southern Mid-Cumberland Plateau region. Three 20-ha complete block replicates of 5 experimental treatments (15 treatment units, 4 ha per unit) were used. The five treatments were operational shelterwood stands with target overstory retention levels of...

  15. Vocal experimentation in the juvenile songbird requires a basal ganglia circuit.

    PubMed

    Olveczky, Bence P; Andalman, Aaron S; Fee, Michale S

    2005-05-01

    Songbirds learn their songs by trial-and-error experimentation, producing highly variable vocal output as juveniles. By comparing their own sounds to the song of a tutor, young songbirds gradually converge to a stable song that can be a remarkably good copy of the tutor song. Here we show that vocal variability in the learning songbird is induced by a basal-ganglia-related circuit, the output of which projects to the motor pathway via the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium (LMAN). We found that pharmacological inactivation of LMAN dramatically reduced acoustic and sequence variability in the songs of juvenile zebra finches, doing so in a rapid and reversible manner. In addition, recordings from LMAN neurons projecting to the motor pathway revealed highly variable spiking activity across song renditions, showing that LMAN may act as a source of variability. Lastly, pharmacological blockade of synaptic inputs from LMAN to its target premotor area also reduced song variability. Our results establish that, in the juvenile songbird, the exploratory motor behavior required to learn a complex motor sequence is dependent on a dedicated neural circuit homologous to cortico-basal ganglia circuits in mammals.

  16. Species-specific variation in nesting and postfledging resource selection for two forest breeding migrant songbirds

    Treesearch

    Julianna M. A. Jenkins; Frank R. Thompson; John Faaborg; Andrew J. Kroll

    2017-01-01

    Habitat selection is a fundamental component of community ecology, population ecology, and evolutionary biology and can be especially important to species with complex annual habitat requirements, such as migratory birds. Resource preferences on the breeding grounds may change during the postfledging period for migrant songbirds, however, the degree to which selection...

  17. Predation of Songbird Nests Differs By Predator and Between Field and Forest Habitats

    Treesearch

    Frank R., III Thompson; Dirk E. Burhans

    2003-01-01

    Our understanding of factors affecting nest predation and ability to mitigate high nest predation rates is hampered by a lack of information on the importance of various nest predator species in different habitats and landscapes. We identified predators of songbird nests in old-field and forest habitats in central Missouri, USA, with miniature video cameras. We used an...

  18. Songbird response to group selection harvests and clearcuts in a New Hampshire northern hardwood forest

    Treesearch

    Christine A. Costello; Mariko Yamasaki; Peter J. Pekins; William B. Leak; Christopher D. Neefus

    2000-01-01

    Clearcutting creates habitat for many species of early successional songbirds; however, little information is available on bird use of small forest openings created by group selection harvests. Group selection harvests are increasing on the White Mountain National Forest due to negative public response to clearcutting. The objective of this study was to determine if...

  19. Songbirds and Birds of Prey, Unit 6, Colorado Division of Wildlife.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooper, Jon K.; Smith, Dwight R.

    This booklet on songbirds and birds of prey is part of a series developed to encourage youth to pursue environmental projects. The manual explains bird anatomy and physiology, bird watching, types of feeders and shelter, and bird identification. Descriptions of feeding, hunting, and nesting habits are given for many species of birds. Also,…

  20. Invasion of an exotic forb impacts reproductive success and site fidelity of a migratory songbird

    Treesearch

    Yvette Katina Ortega; Kevin Scot McKelvey; Diana Lee Six

    2006-01-01

    Although exotic plant invasions threaten natural systems worldwide, we know little about the specific ecological impacts of invaders, including the magnitude of effects and underlying mechanisms. Exotic plants are likely to impact higher trophic levels when they overrun native plant communities, affecting habitat quality for breeding songbirds by altering food...

  1. Songbirds and Birds of Prey, Unit 6, Colorado Division of Wildlife.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooper, Jon K.; Smith, Dwight R.

    This booklet on songbirds and birds of prey is part of a series developed to encourage youth to pursue environmental projects. The manual explains bird anatomy and physiology, bird watching, types of feeders and shelter, and bird identification. Descriptions of feeding, hunting, and nesting habits are given for many species of birds. Also,…

  2. Are Forest Songbirds Declining? Status Assessment from the Southern Appalachians and Northeastern Forests

    Treesearch

    Kathleen E. Franzreb; Kenneth V. Rosenberg

    1997-01-01

    Reported declines in populations of migratory songbirds in the eastern United States (Robbins et al. 1989, Askins et al. 1990, Hagan and Johnston 1992) have created a great deal of concern among researchers, land managers and conservationists, resulting in the formation of the large bird-conservation consortium, Partners In Flight. Among the causes implicated in these...

  3. Riparian Songbird Abundance a Decade after Cattle Removal on Hart Mountain and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuges

    Treesearch

    Susan L. Earnst; Jennifer A. Ballard; David S. Dobkin

    2005-01-01

    Cattle were removed from the high desert riparian habitats of Hart Mountain and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuges in 1990. This study compares songbird abundance in 2000-2001 to that in 1991-1993 on 69 permanent plots. Of the 51 species for which detections were sufficient to calculate changes in abundance, 71 percent (36/51) exhibited a positive trend and 76 percent (...

  4. Using Songbird Monitoring to Guide and Evaluate Riparian Restoration in Salmonid-Focused Stream Rehabilitation Projects

    Treesearch

    Ryan D. Burnett; Thomas Gardali; Geoffrey R. Geupel

    2005-01-01

    A restoration effort, primarily focused on reducing stranding and improving passage of anadromous fish, has been undertaken along sections of lower Clear Creek, Shasta County, California. Similar projects are occurring throughout California and, indeed, all of North America. To monitor the effects of these efforts at Clear Creek we implemented a multi-faceted songbird...

  5. Effects of landscape composition and configuration on migrating songbirds: inference from and individual-based model

    Treesearch

    Emily Cohen; Scott Pearson; Frank Moore

    2014-01-01

    The behavior of long-distance migrants during stopover is constrained by the need to quickly and safely replenish energetic reserves. Replenishing fuel stores at stopover sites requires adjusting to unfamiliar landscapes with little to no information about the distribution of resources. Despite their critical importance to the success of songbird migration, the effects...

  6. Songbirds as Sentinels of Mercury in Terrestrial Foodwebs of Eastern North America

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mercury is a globally distributed environmental contaminant with a variety of deleterious effects in fish, wildlife, and humans. Breeding songbirds may be useful sentinels for mercury because they are relatively easy to sample, have well-defined and small territories, and integra...

  7. Effect of photoperiod on developmental fitness in Ophraella communa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhong-Shi; Luo, Min; Guo, Jian-Ying; Chen, Hong-Song; Wan, Fang-Hao

    2014-10-01

    Ophraella communa LeSage (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is an important biological control agent of the common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., in China. Development and fecundity of O. communa, and hatch rate of progeny eggs were studied at five photoperiods (8:16, 10:14, 12:12, 14:10, and 16:8 [L:D] h). The highest survival rate of eggs was 92% at the photoperiod of 16:8 (L:D) h, and those of both larvae and pupae were observed at the photoperiod of 14:10 (L:D) h (85 and 96%). The shortest developmental durations of larvae and pupae were observed at photoperiods of 14:10 and 16:8 (L:D) h. Fecundity was 1,159-1,976 eggs per female from photoperiods of 8:16 to 16:8 (L:D) h. The hatch rates of progeny eggs were 67-92% from photoperiods of 8:16 to 16:8 (L:D) h, and photoperiods did not affect developmental duration of progeny eggs. The intrinsic rate for increase (r), the net reproductive rate (r0), and the finite rate of increase (λ) reached the maximum values at 16:8 (L:D) h (0.2219 d(-1), 721 hatched eggs and 1.2484 d(-1), respectively) and 14:10 (L:D) h (0.2133 d(-1), 605.6 hatched eggs and 1.2378 d(-1), respectively). Their minimum values were observed at the photoperiod of 8:16 (L:D) h, which were 0.1731 d(-1), 212.2 hatched eggs and 0.1890 d(-1), respectively. The shortest T value was 29.7 d at a photoperiod of 16:8 (L:D) h and the longest was 31.4 d at a photoperiod of 12:12 (L:D) h. Our study shows that O. communa could survive and reproduce successfully at different photoperiods, thus may expand its distribution to regions with different photoperiods.

  8. Photoperiodic growth enhancement in a tropical batch spawning atherinopsid, pike silverside Chirostoma estor.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Chávez, C C; Tello-Ballinas, A; Fonseca-Madrigal, J; Ross, L G; Martínez-Palacios, C A

    2014-08-01

    The effect of photoperiod on growth and survival in early life was determined in the tropical batch spawning atherinopsid, pike silverside Chirostoma estor. The results demonstrate high sensitivity of newly hatched C. estor to photoperiod treatments up to 90 days post hatch shown by improved growth in mass (43%) under continuous illumination. This is accompanied by increased fat deposition, which suggests a critical interaction between different photoperiod-mediated mechanisms. A thorough understanding of these mechanisms can help to optimize the development of aquaculture of C. estor and similar species.

  9. Influence of Photoperiod and Temperature on Migrations of Meloidogyne Juveniles

    PubMed Central

    Prot, Jean-Claude; Van Gundy, S. D.

    1981-01-01

    Photoperiod influences the migration of M. incognita juveniles toward tomato roots. Approximately 33% migrated vertically 20 cm in 7 days to roots when 12 h dark were alternated with 12 h light. Only 7% migrated when light was constant for 24 h. Vertical migration of M. incognita juveniles was studied at 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22 C. The migration of M. incognita juveniles begins at about 18 C and reaches its maximum at 22 C. The migration of M. hapla and M. incognita juveniles were compared at 14, 18, and 22 C. Juveniles of M. hapla were able to migrate at a lower temperature than those of M. incognita. With M. hapla, there was no significant difference in migration between 18 and 22 C. PMID:19300748

  10. Physiological responses to photoperiod in three cardueline finch species.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Thomas P; Pereyra, Maria E; Sharbaugh, Susan M; Bentley, George E

    2004-05-15

    Cardueline finches (canaries, goldfinches, and rosefinches, etc.) vary widely in the degree to which their natural reproductive schedules track seasonal changes in photoperiod. In this study, we tested for photo-induction of reproductive development and photorefractoriness in males of three cardueline finch species: pine siskins (Carduelis pinus), common redpolls (Carduelis flammea), and white-winged crossbills (Loxia leucoptera). Exposure to long days (20L:4D) in winter induced gonadal growth and elevation of circulating luteinizing hormone (LH) in all three species. After 4.5 months on constant long days, gonadal regression was complete in redpolls and siskins, but only partial in crossbills. Feather molt was most advanced in redpolls, slightly less advanced in siskins, and least advanced in crossbills. These results indicate that the reproductive systems of all three species were stimulated by long days, but that the crossbills, which are temporal opportunists, either did not become absolutely photorefractory, or developed refractoriness more slowly than did the other two species. Reproductive development of controls held for 4.5 months on constant short days (5L:19D) was negligible in redpolls and crossbills, but substantial in siskins, suggesting that of the three species, pine siskins may be the least dependent on long days for reproductive development. Changes in fat deposition and body mass also differed among species. Short day redpolls tended to be fatter and heavier than long day redpolls, and long day crossbills tended to be fatter and heavier than short day crossbills. Body mass and fat depot of siskins remained high irrespective of photoperiod. These results illustrate substantial variation among these close relatives, and are consistent with the idea that differences in apparent reproductive flexibility among cardueline taxa relate to interspecific differences in responsiveness to environmental cues, not simply to differences in the environments

  11. Photoperiod Affects the Phenotype of Mitochondrial Complex I Mutants.

    PubMed

    Pétriacq, Pierre; de Bont, Linda; Genestout, Lucie; Hao, Jingfang; Laureau, Constance; Florez-Sarasa, Igor; Rzigui, Touhami; Queval, Guillaume; Gilard, Françoise; Mauve, Caroline; Guérard, Florence; Lamothe-Sibold, Marlène; Marion, Jessica; Fresneau, Chantal; Brown, Spencer; Danon, Antoine; Krieger-Liszkay, Anja; Berthomé, Richard; Ribas-Carbo, Miquel; Tcherkez, Guillaume; Cornic, Gabriel; Pineau, Bernard; Gakière, Bertrand; De Paepe, Rosine

    2017-01-01

    Plant mutants for genes encoding subunits of mitochondrial complex I (CI; NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), the first enzyme of the respiratory chain, display various phenotypes depending on growth conditions. Here, we examined the impact of photoperiod, a major environmental factor controlling plant development, on two Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) CI mutants: a new insertion mutant interrupted in both ndufs8.1 and ndufs8.2 genes encoding the NDUFS8 subunit and the previously characterized ndufs4 CI mutant. In the long day (LD) condition, both ndufs8.1 and ndufs8.2 single mutants were indistinguishable from Columbia-0 at phenotypic and biochemical levels, whereas the ndufs8.1 ndufs8.2 double mutant was devoid of detectable holo-CI assembly/activity, showed higher alternative oxidase content/activity, and displayed a growth retardation phenotype similar to that of the ndufs4 mutant. Although growth was more affected in ndufs4 than in ndufs8.1 ndufs8.2 under the short day (SD) condition, both mutants displayed a similar impairment of growth acceleration after transfer to LD compared with the wild type. Untargeted and targeted metabolomics showed that overall metabolism was less responsive to the SD-to-LD transition in mutants than in the wild type. The typical LD acclimation of carbon and nitrogen assimilation as well as redox-related parameters was not observed in ndufs8.1 ndufs8 Similarly, NAD(H) content, which was higher in the SD condition in both mutants than in Columbia-0, did not adjust under LD We propose that altered redox homeostasis and NAD(H) content/redox state control the phenotype of CI mutants and photoperiod acclimation in Arabidopsis.

  12. Songbird - AN Innovative Uas Combining the Advantages of Fixed Wing and Multi Rotor Uas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thamm, F.-P.; Brieger, N.; Neitzke, K.-P.; Meyer, M.; Jansen, R.; Mönninghof, M.

    2015-08-01

    This paper describes a family of innovative fixed wing UAS with can vertical take off and land - the SONGBIRD family. With nominal payloads starting from 0.5 kg they can take off and land safely like a multi-rotor UAV, removing the need for an airstrip for the critical phases of operation. A specially designed flight controller allows stable flight at every point of the transition phase between VTOL and fixed wing mode. Because of this smooth process with a all time stable flight, very expensive payload like hyperspectral sensors or advanced optical cameras can be used. Due to their design all airplanes of the SONGBIRD family have excellent horizontal flight properties, a maximum speed of over 110 km/h, good gliding properties and long flight times of up to 1 h. Missions were flown in wind speeds up to 18 m/s. At every time of the flight it is possible to interrupt the mission and hover over a point of interest for detail investigations. The complete flight, including take-off and landing can be performed by autopilot. Designed for daily use in professional environments, SONGBIRDs are built out of glass-fibre and carbon composites for a long service life. For safe operations comprehensive security features are implemented, for example redundant flight controllers and sensors, advanced power management system and mature fail safe procedures. The aircraft can be dismantled into small parts for transportation. SONGBIRDS are available for different pay loads, from 500 g to 2 kg. The SONGBIRD family are interesting tools combining the advantages of multi-copter and fixed wing UAS.

  13. Songbirds as sentinels of mercury in terrestrial habitats of eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Allyson K; Evers, David C; Adams, Evan M; Cristol, Daniel A; Eagles-Smith, Collin; Edmonds, Samuel T; Gray, Carrie E; Hoskins, Bart; Lane, Oksana P; Sauer, Amy; Tear, Timothy

    2015-03-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a globally distributed environmental contaminant with a variety of deleterious effects in fish, wildlife, and humans. Breeding songbirds may be useful sentinels for Hg across diverse habitats because they can be effectively sampled, have well-defined and small territories, and can integrate pollutant exposure over time and space. We analyzed blood total Hg concentrations from 8,446 individuals of 102 species of songbirds, sampled on their breeding territories across 161 sites in eastern North America [geometric mean Hg concentration = 0.25 μg/g wet weight (ww), range <0.01-14.60 μg/g ww]. Our records span an important time period-the decade leading up to implementation of the USEPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which will reduce Hg emissions from coal-fired power plants by over 90 %. Mixed-effects modeling indicated that habitat, foraging guild, and age were important predictors of blood Hg concentrations across species and sites. Blood Hg concentrations in adult invertebrate-eating songbirds were consistently higher in wetland habitats (freshwater or estuarine) than upland forests. Generally, adults exhibited higher blood Hg concentrations than juveniles within each habitat type. We used model results to examine species-specific differences in blood Hg concentrations during this time period, identifying potential Hg sentinels in each region and habitat type. Our results present the most comprehensive assessment of blood Hg concentrations in eastern songbirds to date, and thereby provide a valuable framework for designing and evaluating risk assessment schemes using sentinel songbird species in the time after implementation of the new atmospheric Hg standards.

  14. Lead exposure and poisoning of songbirds using the Coeur d'Alene River Basin, Idaho, USA.

    PubMed

    Hansen, James A; Audet, Daniel; Spears, Brian L; Healy, Kate A; Brazzle, Roy E; Hoffman, David J; Dailey, Anne; Beyer, W Nelson

    2011-10-01

    Previous studies have found widespread Pb poisoning of waterfowl in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin in northern Idaho, USA, which has been contaminated by mining and smelting activities. We studied the exposure of ground-feeding songbirds to Pb, sampling 204 American robins (Turdus migratorius), song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), and Swainson's thrushes (Catharus ustulatus) throughout the basin. These songbirds had mean blood Pb concentrations (mg/kg, dry weight) of less than 0.19 at a reference area (25 mg Pb/kg soil), 1.09 at moderately contaminated sites (170 to 1300 mg Pb/kg soil), and 2.06 at highly contaminated sites (2000 to 5000 mg Pb/kg soil). Based on guidelines for evaluating blood Pb in birds, 6% of robins from the highly contaminated sites had background concentrations, 24% were subclinically poisoned, 52% were clinically poisoned, and 18% were severely clinically poisoned with Pb. Blood Pb concentrations were lower in song