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Sample records for photoperiodic songbird express

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2017-02-22

    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.

  8. Differential Expression of AQP1 and AQP4 in Avascular Chick Retina Exposed to Moderate Light of Variable Photoperiods.

    PubMed

    Jha, Kumar Abhiram; Nag, Tapas Chandra; Kumar, Vivek; Kumar, Pankaj; Kumar, Binit; Wadhwa, Shashi; Roy, Tara Sankar

    2015-11-01

    Aquaporins (AQPs) are integral membrane proteins which maintain cellular water and ion homeostasis. Alterations in AQP expression have been reported in rod-dominated rodent retinas exposed to light. In rodents and also in birds, light of moderate intensities (700-2000 lux) damages the retina, though detailed changes were not examined in birds. The aim of our study was to see if light affects cone dominated retinas, which would be reflected in expression levels of AQPs. We examined AQP1 and AQP4 expressions in chick retina exposed to 2000 lux under 12 h light:12 h dark (12L:12D; normal photoperiod), 18L:6D (prolonged photoperiod) and 24L:0D (constant light). Additionally, morphological changes, apoptosis (by TUNEL) and levels of glutamate and GFAP (a marker of injury) in the retina were examined to correlate these with AQP expressions. Constant light caused damage in outer and inner nuclear layer (ONL, INL) and ganglion cell layer (GCL). Also, there were associated increases in GFAP and glutamate levels in retinal extracts. In normal photoperiod, AQP1 was expressed in GCL, outer part of INL and photoreceptor inner segments of. AQP4 was additionally expressed in nerve fiber layer. Immunohistochemistry and Western blotting revealed over all decreased AQP1 and AQP4 expression in constant light condition compared to those in other two groups. The elevated GFAP and glutamate levels might be involved in the reduction of AQPs in constant light group. Such decreases in AQP expressions are perhaps linked with retinal cell damage seen in constant light condition, while their relatively enhanced expression in two other conditions may help in maintaining a normal retinal architecture, indicating their neuroprotective potential.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Phylogeny and oscillating expression of period and cryptochrome in short and long photoperiods suggest a conserved function in Nasonia vitripennis

    PubMed Central

    van de Zande, Louis; Beukeboom, Leo W.; Beersma, Domien G. M.

    2014-01-01

    Photoperiodism, the ability to respond to seasonal varying day length with suitable life history changes, is a common trait in organisms that live in temperate regions. In most studied organisms, the circadian system appears to be the basis for photoperiodic time measurement. In insects this is still controversial: while some data indicate that the circadian system is causally involved in photoperiodism, others suggest that it may have a marginal or indirect role. Resonance experiments in the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis have revealed a circadian component in photoperiodic time measurement compatible with a mechanism of internal coincidence where a two components oscillator system obtains information from dawn and dusk, respectively. The identity of this oscillator (or oscillators) is still unclear but possible candidates are the oscillating molecules of the auto-regulatory feedback loops in the heart of the circadian system. Here, we show for the first time the circadian oscillation of period and cryptochrome mRNAs in the heads of Nasonia females kept under short and long photoperiods. Period and cryptochrome mRNA levels display a synchronous oscillation in all conditions tested and persist, albeit with reduced amplitude, during the first day in constant light as well as constant darkness. More importantly, the signal for the period and cryptochrome oscillations is set by the light-on signal. These results, together with phylogenetic analyses, indicate that Nasonia’s period and cryptochrome display characteristics of homologous genes in other hymenopteran species. PMID:24758403

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-12

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Photoperiodic plasticity in circadian clock neurons in insects

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23986711

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The clock gene period plays an essential role in photoperiodic control of nymphal development in the cricket Modicogryllus siamensis.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Tomoaki; Uryu, Outa; Tomioka, Kenji

    2009-10-01

    Photoperiodic regulation of development is a common strategy for insects in the temperate zone to adapt to the seasonally changing environment. Although the circadian clock is generally thought to be involved, the underlying time measurement mechanism is still elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the circadian clock gene period (per) plays an essential role in the photoperiodic regulation of nymphal development in the cricket Modicogryllus siamensis. Nymphal development of this cricket depends on photoperiods, being accelerated by long days and slowed down by short days. We examined the role of per in the nymphal photoperiodic response as well as circadian rhythm generation using parental RNA interference (pRNAi). per mRNA levels in nymphal heads showed a rhythmic expression with the pattern dependent on photoperiods, and pRNAi significantly suppressed the per mRNA level with no significant rhythmicity in the early nymphal stage. Irrespective of photoperiods, nymphs treated with per pRNAi showed adult emergence patterns neither of intact nymphs nor of DsRed2 pRNAi nymphs kept under long days or under short days but similar to those kept under constant dark conditions. Most per pRNAi adults showed arrhythmic or aberrant circadian locomotor activity. These results suggest that the photoperiodic time measurement requires the normal circadian clock that is controlled by the per gene.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. RFRP neurons are critical gatekeepers for the photoperiodic control of reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Simonneaux, Valérie; Ancel, Caroline

    2012-01-01

    Seasonally breeding mammals rely on the photoperiodic signal to restrict their fertility to a certain time of the year. The photoperiodic information is translated in the brain via the pineal hormone melatonin, and it is now well-established that it is the variation in the duration of the nocturnal peak of melatonin which synchronizes reproduction with the seasons. The Syrian hamster is a long day breeder, and sexual activity is therefore promoted by exposure to a long day photoperiod and inhibited by exposure to a short day photoperiod. Interestingly, in this species electrolytic lesion of the mediobasal hypothalamus abolishes the short day-induced gonadal regression. We have shown that the expression of a recently discovered neuronal population, namely RFamide-related peptide (rfrp) neurons, present in the mediobasal hypothalamus, is strongly down-regulated by melatonin in short day conditions, but not altered by circulating levels of sex steroids. The role of rfrp and its product RFRP-3 in the regulation of reproductive activity has been extensively studied in mammals, and our recent findings indicate that this peptide is a potent stimulator of the reproductive axis in the Syrian hamster. It induces a marked increase in GnRH neuron activity and gonadotropin secretion, and it is able to rescue reproductive activity in short day sexually inactive hamsters. Little is known about the localization of the RFRP-3 receptor, GPR147, in the rodent brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that RFRP-3 could be acting via two intermediates, the GnRH neurons in the preoptic area and the Kiss1 neurons in the arcuate nucleus, but future studies should aim at describing the localization of Gpr147 in the Syrian hamster brain. Altogether our data indicate that the rfrp neuronal population within the mediobasal hypothalamus might be a serious candidate in mediating the photoperiodic effects of melatonin on the regulation of the reproductive axis. PMID:23264769

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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)

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Photoperiodic modulation of circadian rhythms in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus.

    PubMed

    Koga, Mika; Ushirogawa, Hiroshi; Tomioka, Kenji

    2005-06-01

    The waveform and the free-running period of circadian rhythms in constant conditions are often modulated by preceding lighting conditions. We have examined the modulatory effect of variable length of light phase of a 24h light cycle on the ratio of activity (alpha) and rest phase (rho) as well as on the free-running period of the locomotor rhythm in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. When experienced the longer light phases, the alpha/rho-ratio was smaller and the free-running period was shorter. The magnitude of changes in alpha/rho-ratio was dependent on the number of cycles exposed, while the free-running period was changed by a single exposure, suggesting that there are separate regulatory mechanisms for the waveform and the free-running period. The neuronal activity of the optic lobe showed the alpha/rho-ratio changing with the preceding photoperiod. When different photoperiodic conditions were given to each of the two optic lobe pacemakers, the alpha/rho-ratio of a single pacemaker was rather intermediate between those of animals treated with either of the two conditions. These results suggest that the storage of the photoperiodic information occurs at least in part in the optic lobe pacemaker, and that the mutual interaction between the bilateral optic lobe pacemakers is involved in the photoperiodic modulation.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. The neural dynamics of song syntax in songbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Dezhe

    2010-03-01

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

  13. 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

    2017-02-07

    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, 2017.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koike, Yasuhiko

    2013-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Adaptive numerical competency in a food-hoarding songbird.

    PubMed

    Hunt, Simon; Low, Jason; Burns, K C

    2008-10-22

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Åkesson, Susanne

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Influence of light and photoperiodicity on pig prolificacy.

    PubMed

    Claus, R; Weiler, U

    1985-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Association analysis of photoperiodic flowering genes in West and Central African sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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,…

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Can hedgerow management mitigate the impacts of predation on songbird nest survival?

    PubMed

    Dunn, Jenny C; Gruar, Derek; Stoate, Chris; Szczur, John; Peach, Will J

    2016-12-15

    Nest predators can have significant impacts on songbird reproductive success. These impacts may be amplified by habitat simplification and here we test whether sympathetic management of farmland hedgerows can reduce nest depredation, especially by corvids. We test whether songbirds select nest sites according to structural features of hedgerows (including nest visibility and accessibility), and whether these features influence nest predation risk. Songbirds selected nesting sites affording higher vegetation cover above the nest, increased visibility on the nest-side of the hedgerow and reduced visibility on the far side of the hedge. Nest survival was unrelated to corvid abundance and only weakly related (at the egg stage) to corvid nest proximity. Nest survival at the chick stage was higher where vegetation structure restricted access to corvid-sized predators (averaging 0.78 vs. 0.53), and at nests close to potential vantage points. Overall nest survival was sensitive to hedgerow structure (accessibility) particularly at low exposure to corvid predation, while the overall impact of corvid exposure was dependent on the relationship involving proximity to vantage points. Nest survival over the chick stage was much higher (0.67) in stock-proof, trimmed and mechanically cut hedgerows, (which tended to provide lower side visibility and accessibility) than in recently laid, remnant or leggy hedgerows (0.18). Long-term reductions in the management of British hedgerows may therefore be exposing nesting songbirds to increased predation risk. We recommend regular rotational cutting of hedgerows to maintain a dense woody structure and thereby reduce songbird nest predation.

  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. 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.

  15. Lead exposure and poisoning of songbirds using the Coeur d'Alene River Basin, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hansen, James A.; Audet, Daniel; Spears, Brian L.; Healy, Kate A.; Brazzle, Roy E.; Hoffman, David J.; Dailey, Anne; Beyer, W. Nelson

    2011-01-01

    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 sparrows than in robins and lowest in Swainson's thrushes. More than half of the robins and song sparrows from all contaminated sites and more than half of the Swainson's thrushes from highly contaminated sites showed at least 50% inhibition of the activity of the enzyme δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD), commonly used as a measure of exposure to Pb. The highest hepatic Pb concentration of 61 mg/kg (dry weight) was detected in a song sparrow. Using Al as a marker for soil in songbird ingesta, we estimated average soil ingestion rates as 20% in robins, 17% in song sparrows, and 0.7% in Swainson's thrushes. Soil Pb in ingesta accounted for almost all of the songbirds' exposure to Pb. Based on these results, it is recommended that ecological risk assessments of ground-feeding songbirds at contaminated sites include soil ingestion as a pathway of exposure to Pb.

  16. 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 sparrows than in robins and lowest in Swainson's thrushes. More than half of the robins and song sparrows from all contaminated sites and more than half of the Swainson's thrushes from highly contaminated sites showed at least 50% inhibition of the activity of the enzyme δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD), commonly used as a measure of exposure to Pb. The highest hepatic Pb concentration of 61 mg/kg (dry weight) was detected in a song sparrow. Using Al as a marker for soil in songbird ingesta, we estimated average soil ingestion rates as 20% in robins, 17% in song sparrows, and 0.7% in Swainson's thrushes. Soil Pb in ingesta accounted for almost all of the songbirds' exposure to Pb. Based on these results, it is recommended that ecological risk assessments of ground-feeding songbirds at contaminated sites include soil ingestion as a pathway of exposure to Pb.

  17. Songbirds as sentinels of mercury in terrestrial habitats of eastern North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jackson, Allyson K.; Evers, David C.; Adams, Evan M.; Cristol, Daniel A.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Edmonds, Samuel T.; Gray, Carrie E.; Hoskins, Bart; Lane, Oksana P.; Sauer, Amy; Tear, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    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.

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A GIS modeling method applied to predicting forest songbird habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettmers, Randy; Bart, Jonathan

    1999-01-01

    We have developed an approach for using a??presencea?? data to construct habitat models. Presence data are those that indicate locations where the target organism is observed to occur, but that cannot be used to define locations where the organism does not occur. Surveys of highly mobile vertebrates often yield these kinds of data. Models developed through our approach yield predictions of the amount and the spatial distribution of good-quality habitat for the target species. This approach was developed primarily for use in a GIS context; thus, the models are spatially explicit and have the potential to be applied over large areas. Our method consists of two primary steps. In the first step, we identify an optimal range of values for each habitat variable to be used as a predictor in the model. To find these ranges, we employ the concept of maximizing the difference between cumulative distribution functions of (1) the values of a habitat variable at the observed presence locations of the target organism, and (2) the values of that habitat variable for all locations across a study area. In the second step, multivariate models of good habitat are constructed by combining these ranges of values, using the Boolean operators a??anda?? and a??or.a?? We use an approach similar to forward stepwise regression to select the best overall model. We demonstrate the use of this method by developing species-specific habitat models for nine forest-breeding songbirds (e.g., Cerulean Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush) studied in southern Ohio. These models are based on speciesa?? microhabitat preferences for moisture and vegetation characteristics that can be predicted primarily through the use of abiotic variables. We use slope, land surface morphology, land surface curvature, water flow accumulation downhill, and an integrated moisture index, in conjunction with a land-cover classification that identifies forest/nonforest, to develop these models. The performance of these

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Breeding experience and population density affect the ability of a songbird to respond to future climate variation

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Scott; Norris, D. Ryan; Wilson, Amy G; Arcese, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Predicting how populations respond to climate change requires an understanding of whether individuals or cohorts within populations vary in their response to climate variation. We used mixed-effects models on a song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) population in British Columbia, Canada, to examine differences among females and cohorts in their average breeding date and breeding date plasticity in response to the El Niño Southern Oscillation. Climatic variables, age and population density were strong predictors of timing of breeding, but we also found considerable variation among individual females and cohorts. Within cohorts, females differed markedly in their breeding date and cohorts also differed in their average breeding date and breeding date plasticity. The plasticity of a cohort appeared to be due primarily to an interaction between the environmental conditions (climate and density) experienced at different ages rather than innate inter-cohort differences. Cohorts that expressed higher plasticity in breeding date experienced warmer El Niño springs in their second or third breeding season, suggesting that prior experience affects how well individuals responded to abnormal climatic conditions. Cohorts born into lower density populations also expressed higher plasticity in breeding date. Interactions between age, experience and environmental conditions have been reported previously for long-lived taxa. Our current results indicate that similar effects operate in a short-lived, temperate songbird. PMID:17698488

  13. 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.

  14. Plasma melatonin in the horse: measurements in natural photoperiod and in acutely extended darkness throughout the year.

    PubMed

    Guerin, M V; Deed, J R; Kennaway, D J; Matthews, C D

    1995-08-01

    Plasma melatonin was measured at the winter and summer solstices and the autumn and spring equinoxes in four mares held under natural conditions at 35 degrees S. At all seasons the onset of the nightly elevated melatonin was coincident with or after the time of sunset and the melatonin offset after the time of sunrise. The duration of elevated melatonin was not different from the duration of natural scotophase for each season, with the duration of elevated melatonin longer in winter than the other seasons. Immediately following each 24 hr sampling two mares were resampled in acutely extended darkness to determine the melatonin profile of the endogenous rhythm of the circadian pacemaker, originating from the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). At each season melatonin secretion commenced earlier and decreased later than that measured under the natural photoperiodic condition, suggesting that the expression of the melatonin rhythm is normally gated by natural environmental light both at dusk and dawn. The interval from the onset of melatonin measured under acutely extended darkness to the time of sunset was greater in the spring/summer than the autumn/winter suggesting a possible alternating signal throughout the year. Thus the mare appears to exhibit a similar interaction between endogenous circadian rhythmic activity and the natural photoperiod as the ewe which may underlie the mechanism for timing reproductive activity through the year.

  15. CmFTL2 is involved in the photoperiod- and sucrose-mediated control of flowering time in chrysanthemum

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jing; Wang, Heng; Ren, Liping; Chen, Sumei; Chen, Fadi; Jiang, Jiafu

    2017-01-01

    The chrysanthemum genome harbors three FT-like genes: CmFTL1 and CmFTL3 are thought to act as regulators of floral induction under long-day (LD) and short-day (SD) conditions, respectively, whereas the function of CmFTL2 is currently unclear. The objective of the present research was to explore the function of CmFTL2 in the determination of flowering time of the photo-insensitive chrysanthemum cultivar ‘Floral Yuuka’, both in response to variation in the photoperiod and to the exogenous provision of sucrose. Spraying leaves of ‘Floral Yuuka’ plants with 50 mM sucrose accelerated flowering and increased the level of CmFTL2 transcription in the leaf more strongly than either CmFTL1 or FTL3 under both long and SD conditions. Transcription profiling indicated that all three CmFTL genes were upregulated during floral induction. The relationship of the CmFTL2 sequence with that of other members of the PEBP family suggested that its product contributes to the florigen rather than to the anti-florigen complex. The heterologous expression of CmFTL2 in the Arabidopsis thaliana ft-10 mutant rescued the mutant phenotype, showing that CmFTL2 could compensate for the absence of FT. These results suggest that CmFTL2 acts as a regulator of floral transition and responds to both the photoperiod and sucrose. PMID:28243451

  16. Photoperiodic control of sugar release during the floral transition: What is the role of sugars in the florigenic signal?

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Marchena, M Isabel; Romero, José M; Valverde, Federico

    2015-01-01

    Florigen is a mobile signal released by the leaves that reaching the shoot apical meristem (SAM), changes its developmental program from vegetative to reproductive. The protein FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) constitutes an important element of the florigen, but other components such as sugars, have been also proposed to be part of this signal. (1-5) We have studied the accumulation and composition of starch during the floral transition in Arabidopsis thaliana in order to understand the role of carbon mobilization in this process. In A. thaliana and Antirrhinum majus the gene coding for the Granule-Bound Starch Synthase (GBSS) is regulated by the circadian clock (6,7) while in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii the homolog gene CrGBSS is controlled by photoperiod and circadian signals. (8,9) In a recent paper(10) we described the role of the central photoperiodic factor CONSTANS (CO) in the regulation of GBSS expression in Arabidopsis. This regulation is in the basis of the change in the balance between starch and free sugars observed during the floral transition. We propose that this regulation may contribute to the florigenic signal and to the increase in sugar transport required during the flowering process.

  17. Adaptation of Circadian Neuronal Network to Photoperiod in High-Latitude European Drosophilids.

    PubMed

    Menegazzi, Pamela; Dalla Benetta, Elena; Beauchamp, Marta; Schlichting, Matthias; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Helfrich-Förster, Charlotte

    2017-03-20

    The genus Drosophila contains over 2,000 species that, stemming from a common ancestor in the Old World Tropics, populate today very different environments [1, 2] (reviewed in [3]). We found significant differences in the activity pattern of Drosophila species belonging to the holarctic virilis group, i.e., D. ezoana and D. littoralis, collected in Northern Europe, compared to that of the cosmopolitan D. melanogaster, collected close to the equator. These behavioral differences might have been of adaptive significance for colonizing high-latitude habitats and hence adjust to long photoperiods. Most interestingly, the flies' locomotor activity correlates with the neurochemistry of their circadian clock network, which differs between low and high latitude for the expression pattern of the blue light photopigment cryptochrome (CRY) and the neuropeptide Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) [4-6]. In D. melanogaster, CRY and PDF are known to modulate the timing of activity and to maintain robust rhythmicity under constant conditions [7-11]. We could partly simulate the rhythmic behavior of the high-latitude virilis group species by mimicking their CRY/PDF expression patterns in a laboratory strain of D. melanogaster. We therefore suggest that these alterations in the CRY/PDF clock neurochemistry might have allowed the virilis group species to colonize high-latitude environments.

  18. Widespread dispersal of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks collected from songbirds across Canada.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D; Anderson, John F; Durden, Lance A

    2012-02-01

    Millions of Lyme disease vector ticks are dispersed annually by songbirds across Canada, but often overlooked as the source of infection. For clarity on vector distribution, we sampled 481 ticks (12 species and 3 undetermined ticks) from 211 songbirds (42 species/subspecies) nationwide. Using PCR, 52 (29.5%) of 176 Ixodes ticks tested were positive for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. Immature blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis , collected from infested songbirds had a B. burgdorferi infection prevalence of 36% (larvae, 48%; nymphs, 31%). Notably, Ixodes affinis is reported in Canada for the first time and, similarly, Ixodes auritulus for the initial time in the Yukon. Firsts for bird-parasitizing ticks include I. scapularis in Quebec and Saskatchewan. We provide the first records of 3 tick species cofeeding on passerines (song sparrow, Swainson's thrush). New host records reveal I. scapularis on the blackpoll warbler and Nashville warbler. We furnish the following first Canadian reports of B. burgdorferi-positive ticks: I. scapularis on chipping sparrow, house wren, indigo bunting; I. auritulus on Bewick's wren; and I. spinipalpis on a Bewick's wren and song sparrow. First records of B. burgdorferi-infected ticks on songbirds include the following: the rabbit-associated tick, Ixodes dentatus, in western Canada; I. scapularis in Quebec, Saskatchewan, northern New Brunswick, northern Ontario; and Ixodes spinipalpis (collected in British Columbia). The presence of B. burgdorferi in Ixodes larvae suggests reservoir competency in 9 passerines (Bewick's wren, common yellowthroat, dark-eyed junco, Oregon junco, red-winged blackbird, song sparrow, Swainson's thrush, swamp sparrow, and white-throated sparrow). We report transstadial transmission (larva to nymph) of B. burgdorferi in I. auritulus. Data suggest a possible 4-tick, i.e., I. angustus, I. auritulus, I. pacificus, and I. spinipalpis, enzootic cycle of B. burgdorferi on Vancouver Island

  19. Barley Hv CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED 1 and Hv PHOTOPERIOD H1 Are Circadian Regulators That Can Affect Circadian Rhythms in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Martí, María C.; Laurie, David A.; Greenland, Andy J.; Hall, Anthony; Webb, Alex A. R.

    2015-01-01

    Circadian clocks regulate many aspects of plant physiology and development that contribute to essential agronomic traits. Circadian clocks contain transcriptional feedback loops that are thought to generate circadian timing. There is considerable similarity in the genes that comprise the transcriptional and translational feedback loops of the circadian clock in the plant Kingdom. Functional characterisation of circadian clock genes has been restricted to a few model species. Here we provide a functional characterisation of the Hordeum vulgare (barley) circadian clock genes Hv CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED 1 (HvCCA1) and Hv PHOTOPERIODH1, which are respectively most similar to Arabidopsis thaliana CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED 1 (AtCCA1) and PSEUDO RESPONSE REGULATOR 7 (AtPRR7). This provides insight into the circadian regulation of one of the major crop species of Northern Europe. Through a combination of physiological assays of circadian rhythms in barley and heterologous expression in wild type and mutant strains of A. thaliana we demonstrate that HvCCA1 has a conserved function to AtCCA1. We find that Hv PHOTOPERIOD H1 has AtPRR7-like functionality in A. thaliana and that the effects of the Hv photoperiod h1 mutation on photoperiodism and circadian rhythms are genetically separable. PMID:26076005

  20. Photoperiodic Effects on the Emanation of Volatiles from Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Florets 1

    PubMed Central

    Loper, G. M.; Lapioli, A. M.

    1972-01-01

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plants acclimated to photoperiods of 18 hours light, 6 hour dark in plant growth chambers exhibited a daily cyclic pattern of floret volatile emanation with a maximum emanation of about 6.5 nanograms of hydrocarbons/floret·30 minutes. This maximum was reached about 6 to 8 hours into the light period. After 8 hours of light, emanation of volatiles decreased rapidly to less than 0.1 ng/floret·30 min even though light and temperature remained constant. Under continuous illumination, only a small increase of volatile emanation occurred during the following 24 hours. It appeared that a dark period was necessary to promote floret volatile emanation. Floret volatile emanation was drastically affected for at least 7 days following a photoperiod change. A photoperiod change caused 6-fold concentration oscillations every 2 hours. The results are interpreted on the basis of a very active floral metabolism controlled by photoperiodically induced rhythms. PMID:16658038

  1. The effect of photoperiod on temperature selection in the European green lizard, Lacerta viridis.

    PubMed

    Rismiller, Peggy D; Heldmaier, Gerhard

    1982-01-01

    Voluntary body temperature selection of unrestrained Lacerta viridis revealed consistant photoperiod entrained diel patterns. Each daily cycle was characterized by an elevation in body temperature (T b) to a high level plateau which declined at the onset of scotophase to a low level; both of which were maintained within narrow ranges.Under natural photoperiod in fall, lizards responded to shorter days by sinking low level T b's and expanding the duration of these low levels until no rhythmicity was shown. Subsequent exposure to long day, LD 16:8, induced self-arousal and a slightly altered diel T b selection with significantly higher T b's being chosen at both the elevated and lower daily levels. Changes in the relations of diel T b selection due to shift in photoperiod, suggest that photoperiod acts as a seasonal indicator for thermal adaptation.

  2. Role of photoperiod on hormone concentrations and adaptive capacity in tree shrews, Tupaia belangeri.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lin; Zhu, Wanlong; Wang, Zhengkun

    2012-11-01

    Environmental factors, such as photoperiod and temperature, play an important role in the regulation of an animal's physiology and behavior. In the present study, we examined the effects of short photoperiod (SD, 8L:16D) on body mass as well as on several physiological, hormonal, and biochemical measures indicative of thermogenic capacity, to test our hypothesis that short photoperiod stimulates increases thermogenic capacity and energy intake in tree shrews. At the end, these tree shrews (SD) had a significant higher body mass, energy intake, cytochrome C oxidase (COX) activity and uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) content, serum tri-iodothyronine (T(3)) and thyroxine (T(4)) compared to LD (16L:8D) tree shrews. However, there were no significant differences in serum leptin and melatonin between the two groups. Together, these data suggest tree shrews employ a strategy of maximizing body growth and increasing energy intake in response to cues associated with short photoperiod.

  3. Photoperiodic inhibition of testicular development is mediated by the pineal gland in white-footed mice

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, P.G.; Boshes, M.; Zucker, I.

    1982-05-01

    White-footed mice were maintained in short or long photoperiods from birth to 60 days of age (10 h vs. 14 h of light per day). Testes weights and spermatogenesis were substantially reduced in short daylengths. Pinealectomy at 5-7 days of age eliminated the suppressive effect of photoperiod on the reproductive system. However, testicular development was not retarded in intact males kept from 25 to 60 days of age in short daylengths. Exposure to short daylengths prior to 25 days of age contributes to photoperiodic inhibition of testicular development. Removal of the pineal gland did not consistently affect gonadal maturation in long photoperiods. The pineal gland transduces the effects of short daylengths on reproductive development. Some effects of long daylengths on the neuroendocrine axis of white-footed mice may also be mediated by the pineal gland.

  4. Effects of photoperiod on wheat growth, development and yield in CELSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yunze, Shen; Shuangsheng, Guo

    2014-12-01

    A Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) is a sealed system used in spaceflight in order to provide astronauts with food and O2 by plants. It is of great significance to increase the energy-using efficiency because energy is extremely deficient in the space. Therefore, the objective of this research was to increase the energy-using efficiency of wheat by regulating the photoperiod. Sixteen treatments were set in total: four photoperiods before flowering (PBF) combined with four photoperiods after flowering (PAF) of 12 h, 16 h, 20 h and 24 h. The light source was red-blue LED (90% red+10% blue). As a result, the growth period of wheat was largely extended by shorter PBF, particularly the number of days from tillering to jointing and from jointing to heading. The period from flowering to maturity was extended by shorter PAF. Shorter PBF and longer PAF could increase not only the yield but also the energy-using efficiency of wheat. As for the nutritional quality, longer photoperiod (both PBF and PAF) increased starch concentration as well as decreased protein concentration of seeds. The effects of PBF and PAF were interactional. The lighting strategy with PBF of 12 h and PAF of 24 h was proved to be the optimum photoperiod for wheat cultivation in CELSS. The mechanisms of photoperiod effect contain two aspects. Firstly, photoperiod is a signal for many processes in plant growth, particularly the process of ear differentiation. Shorter PBF promoted the ear differentiation of wheat, increasing the spikelet number, floret number and seed number and thus enhancing the yield. Secondly, longer photoperiod leads to more light energy input and longer time of photosynthesis, so that longer PAF provided more photosynthate and increased seed yield.

  5. A comparative analysis of auditory perception in humans and songbirds: a modular approach.

    PubMed

    Weisman, Ronald; Hoeschele, Marisa; Sturdy, Christopher B

    2014-05-01

    We propose that a relatively small number of perceptual skills underlie human perception of music and speech. Humans and songbirds share a number of features in the development of their auditory communication systems. These similarities invite comparisons between species in their auditory perceptual skills. Here, we summarized our experimental comparisons between humans (and other mammals) and songbirds (and other birds) in their use of pitch height and pitch chroma perception and discuss similarities and differences in other auditory perceptual abilities of these species. Specifically, we introduced a functional modular view, using pitch chroma and pitch height perception as examples, as a theoretical framework for the comparative study of auditory perception and perhaps all of the study of comparative cognition. We also contrasted phylogeny and adaptation as causal mechanisms in comparative cognition using examples from auditory perception.

  6. Patterns of testosterone in three Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbirds during spring passage.

    PubMed

    Covino, Kristen M; Morris, Sara R; Moore, Frank R

    2015-12-01

    Preparation for breeding may overlap extensively with vernal migration in long-distance migratory songbirds. Testosterone plays a central role in mediating this transition into breeding condition by facilitating changes to physiology and behavior. While changes in testosterone levels are well studied in captive migrants, these changes are less well known in free-living birds. We examined testosterone levels in free-living Nearctic-Neotropical migrants of three species during their vernal migration. Testosterone levels increased during the migratory period in males of all three species but significantly so in only two. Testosterone levels in females remained the same throughout their migration. Our results support the extensive overlap between vernal migration and breeding preparation in male songbirds. The pattern of testosterone changes during vernal migration is far from clear in females.

  7. LIFE HISTORY. Age-related mortality explains life history strategies of tropical and temperate songbirds.

    PubMed

    Martin, Thomas E

    2015-08-28

    Life history theory attempts to explain why species differ in offspring number and quality, growth rate, and parental effort. I show that unappreciated interactions of these traits in response to age-related mortality risk challenge traditional perspectives and explain life history evolution in songbirds. Counter to a long-standing paradigm, tropical songbirds grow at similar overall rates to temperate species but grow wings relatively faster. These growth tactics are favored by predation risk, both in and after leaving the nest, and are facilitated by greater provisioning of individual offspring by parents. Increased provisioning of individual offspring depends on partitioning effort among fewer young because of constraints on effort from adult and nest mortality. These growth and provisioning responses to mortality risk finally explain the conundrum of small clutch sizes of tropical birds.

  8. Male songbirds provide indirect parental care by guarding females during incubation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fedy, B.C.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    Across many taxa, guarding of fertile mates is a widespread tactic that enhances paternity assurance. However, guarding of mates can also occur during the nonfertile period, and the fitness benefits of this behavior are unclear. Male songbirds, for example, sometimes guard nonfertile females during foraging recesses from incubation. We hypothesized that guarding postreproductive mates may have important, but unrecognized, benefits by enhancing female foraging efficiency, thereby increasing time spent incubating eggs. We tested the hypothesis in 2 songbird species by examining female behavior during natural and experimentally induced absences of males. Male absence caused increased vigilance in foraging females that decreased their efficiency and resulted in less time spent incubating eggs. Male guarding of nonfertile females can thus provide a previously unrecognized form of indirect parental care.

  9. Family- and sex-specific vocal traditions in a cooperatively breeding songbird

    PubMed Central

    Price, J. J.

    1998-01-01

    Although songbirds provide well-known examples of cultural transmission of vocalizations, little is known about this process in species that live in stable social groups. Here I describe complex vocal traditions in a cooperatively breeding songbird, the stripe-backed wren (Campylorhynchus nuchalis). Repertoires of stereotyped calls were recorded from individually marked males and females in cooperative family groups. Males in the same patriline, whether in the same group or in different groups, had call repertoires that were nearly identical. Females in the same matriline also had identical call repertoires; however, female calls never matched the calls of males in the same group or in any nearby groups. Unrelated birds almost never shared calls. Call repertoires are apparently learned preferentially from same-sex relatives within family groups, so that call traditions separately follow patrilines and matrilines. This unique pattern of transmission results in vocal cues that reflect both sex and kinship.

  10. Abrupt switch to migratory night flight in a wild migratory songbird

    PubMed Central

    Zúñiga, Daniel; Falconer, Jade; Fudickar, Adam M.; Jensen, Willi; Schmidt, Andreas; Wikelski, Martin; Partecke, Jesko

    2016-01-01

    Every year, billions of wild diurnal songbirds migrate at night. To do so, they shift their daily rhythm from diurnality to nocturnality. In captivity this is observed as a gradual transition of daytime activity developing into nocturnal activity, but how wild birds prepare their daily rhythms for migration remains largely unknown. Using an automated radio-telemetry system, we compared activity patterns of free-living migrant and resident European blackbirds (Turdus merula) in a partially migratory population during the pre-migratory season. We found that activity patterns between migrant and resident birds did not differ during day and night. Migrants did not change their daily rhythm in a progressive manner as has been observed in captivity, but instead abruptly became active during the night of departure. The rapid shift in rhythmicity might be more common across migratory songbird species, but may not have been observed before in wild animals due to a lack of technology. PMID:27666200

  11. DNA methylation changes induced by long and short photoperiods in Nasonia

    PubMed Central

    Pegoraro, Mirko; Bafna, Akanksha; Davies, Nathaniel J.; Shuker, David M.; Tauber, Eran

    2016-01-01

    Many organisms monitor the annual change in day length and use this information for the timing of their seasonal response. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying photoperiodic timing are largely unknown. The wasp Nasonia vitripennis is an emerging model organism that exhibits a strong photoperiodic response: Short autumnal days experienced by females lead to the induction of developmental arrest (diapause) in their progeny, allowing winter survival of the larvae. How female Nasonia control the developmental trajectory of their offspring is unclear. Here, we took advantage of the recent discovery that DNA methylation is pervasive in Nasonia and tested its role in photoperiodism. We used reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) to profile DNA methylation in adult female wasps subjected to different photoperiods and identified substantial differential methylation at the single base level. We also show that knocking down DNA methyltransferase 1a (Dnmt1a), Dnmt3, or blocking DNA methylation pharmacologically, largely disrupts the photoperiodic diapause response of the wasps. To our knowledge, this is the first example for a role of DNA methylation in insect photoperiodic timing. PMID:26672019

  12. Beyond Emotional and Spatial Processes: Cognitive Dysfunction in a Depressive Phenotype Produced by Long Photoperiod Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Abigail K.; Smith, Summer B.

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive dysfunction in depression has recently been given more attention and legitimacy as a core symptom of the disorder. However, animal investigations of depression-related cognitive deficits have generally focused on emotional or spatial memory processing. Additionally, the relationship between the cognitive and affective disturbances that are present in depression remains obscure. Interestingly, sleep disruption is one aspect of depression that can be related both to cognition and affect, and may serve as a link between the two. Previous studies have correlated sleep disruption with negative mood and impaired cognition. The present study investigated whether a long photoperiod-induced depressive phenotype showed cognitive deficits, as measured by novel object recognition, and displayed a cognitive vulnerability to an acute period of total sleep deprivation. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to a long photoperiod (21L:3D) or a normal photoperiod (12L:12D) condition. Our results indicate that our long photoperiod exposed animals showed behaviors in the forced swim test consistent with a depressive phenotype, and showed significant deficits in novel object recognition. Three hours of total sleep deprivation, however, did not significantly change novel object recognition in either group, but the trends suggest that the long photoperiod and normal photoperiod groups had different cognitive responses to total sleep deprivation. Collectively, these results underline the extent of cognitive dysfunction present in depression, and suggest that altered sleep plays a role in generating both the affective and cognitive symptoms of depression. PMID:28060930

  13. Comment on "No evidence of displacement due to wind turbines in breeding grassland songbirds"

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    A recent article published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications by Hale et al. (2014) is entitled, “No evidence of displacement due to wind turbines in breeding grassland songbirds.” The conclusion stated in that title, unfortunately, is based on inappropriate statistical analysis of data collected by the authors. In fact, their data provide evidence of potential displacement by wind turbines in 2 of the 3 species considered.

  14. Epidemiology of a Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium strain associated with a songbird outbreak.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Sonia M; Keel, Kevin; Sanchez, Susan; Trees, Eija; Gerner-Smidt, Peter; Adams, Jennifer K; Cheng, Ying; Ray, Al; Martin, Gordon; Presotto, Andrea; Ruder, Mark G; Brown, Justin; Blehert, David S; Cottrell, Walter; Maurer, John J

    2012-10-01

    Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium is responsible for the majority of salmonellosis cases worldwide. This Salmonella serovar is also responsible for die-offs in songbird populations. In 2009, there was an S. Typhimurium epizootic reported in pine siskins in the eastern United States. At the time, there was also a human outbreak with this serovar that was associated with contaminated peanuts. As peanuts are also used in wild-bird food, it was hypothesized that the pine siskin epizootic was related to this human outbreak. A comparison of songbird and human S. Typhimurium pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns revealed that the epizootic was attributed not to the peanut-associated strain but, rather, to a songbird strain first characterized from an American goldfinch in 1998. This same S. Typhimurium strain (PFGE type A3) was also identified in the PulseNet USA database, accounting for 137 of 77,941 total S. Typhimurium PFGE entries. A second molecular typing method, multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA), confirmed that the same strain was responsible for the pine siskin epizootic in the eastern United States but was distinct from a genetically related strain isolated from pine siskins in Minnesota. The pine siskin A3 strain was first encountered in May 2008 in an American goldfinch and later in a northern cardinal at the start of the pine siskin epizootic. MLVA also confirmed the clonal nature of S. Typhimurium in songbirds and established that the pine siskin epizootic strain was unique to the finch family. For 2009, the distribution of PFGE type A3 in passerines and humans mirrored the highest population density of pine siskins for the East Coast.

  15. Epidemiology of a Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Typhimurium Strain Associated with a Songbird Outbreak

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Sonia M.; Keel, Kevin; Sanchez, Susan; Trees, Eija; Gerner-Smidt, Peter; Adams, Jennifer K.; Cheng, Ying; Ray, Al; Martin, Gordon; Presotto, Andrea; Ruder, Mark G.; Brown, Justin; Blehert, David S.; Cottrell, Walter

    2012-01-01

    Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium is responsible for the majority of salmonellosis cases worldwide. This Salmonella serovar is also responsible for die-offs in songbird populations. In 2009, there was an S. Typhimurium epizootic reported in pine siskins in the eastern United States. At the time, there was also a human outbreak with this serovar that was associated with contaminated peanuts. As peanuts are also used in wild-bird food, it was hypothesized that the pine siskin epizootic was related to this human outbreak. A comparison of songbird and human S. Typhimurium pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns revealed that the epizootic was attributed not to the peanut-associated strain but, rather, to a songbird strain first characterized from an American goldfinch in 1998. This same S. Typhimurium strain (PFGE type A3) was also identified in the PulseNet USA database, accounting for 137 of 77,941 total S. Typhimurium PFGE entries. A second molecular typing method, multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA), confirmed that the same strain was responsible for the pine siskin epizootic in the eastern United States but was distinct from a genetically related strain isolated from pine siskins in Minnesota. The pine siskin A3 strain was first encountered in May 2008 in an American goldfinch and later in a northern cardinal at the start of the pine siskin epizootic. MLVA also confirmed the clonal nature of S. Typhimurium in songbirds and established that the pine siskin epizootic strain was unique to the finch family. For 2009, the distribution of PFGE type A3 in passerines and humans mirrored the highest population density of pine siskins for the East Coast. PMID:22885752

  16. Anesthesia and brain sensory processing: impact on neuronal responses in a female songbird

    PubMed Central

    Karino, G.; George, I.; Loison, L.; Heyraud, C.; De Groof, G.; Hausberger, M.; Cousillas, H.

    2016-01-01

    Whether anesthesia impacts brain sensory processing is a highly debated and important issue. There is a general agreement that anesthesia tends to diminish neuronal activity, but its potential impact on neuronal “tuning” is still an open question. Here we show, based on electrophysiological recordings in the primary auditory area of a female songbird, that anesthesia induces neuronal responses towards biologically irrelevant sounds and prevents the seasonal neuronal tuning towards functionally relevant species-specific song elements. PMID:27966648

  17. Epidemiology of a Salmonella enterica subsp. Enterica serovar Typhimurium strain associated with a songbird outbreak.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blehert, David S.; Hernandez, Sonia M.; Keel, Kevin; Sanchez, Susan; Trees, Eija; ,

    2012-01-01

    Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium is responsible for the majority of salmonellosis cases worldwide. This Salmonella serovar is also responsible for die-offs in songbird populations. In 2009, there was an S. Typhimurium epizootic reported in pine siskins in the eastern United States. At the time, there was also a human outbreak with this serovar that was associated with contaminated peanuts. As peanuts are also used in wild-bird food, it was hypothesized that the pine siskin epizootic was related to this human outbreak. A comparison of songbird and human S. Typhimurium pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns revealed that the epizootic was attributed not to the peanut-associated strain but, rather, to a songbird strain first characterized from an American goldfinch in 1998. This same S. Typhimurium strain (PFGE type A3) was also identified in the PulseNet USA database, accounting for 137 of 77,941 total S. Typhimurium PFGE entries. A second molecular typing method, multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA), confirmed that the same strain was responsible for the pine siskin epizootic in the eastern United States but was distinct from a genetically related strain isolated from pine siskins in Minnesota. The pine siskin A3 strain was first encountered in May 2008 in an American goldfinch and later in a northern cardinal at the start of the pine siskin epizootic. MLVA also confirmed the clonal nature of S. Typhimurium in songbirds and established that the pine siskin epizootic strain was unique to the finch family. For 2009, the distribution of PFGE type A3 in passerines and humans mirrored the highest population density of pine siskins for the East Coast.

  18. A higher sensory brain region is involved in reversing reinforcement-induced vocal changes in a songbird.

    PubMed

    Canopoli, Alessandro; Herbst, Joshua A; Hahnloser, Richard H R

    2014-05-14

    Many animals exhibit flexible behaviors that they can adjust to increase reward or avoid harm (learning by positive or aversive reinforcement). But what neural mechanisms allow them to restore their original behavior (motor program) after reinforcement is withdrawn? One possibility is that motor restoration relies on brain areas that have a role in memorization but no role in either motor production or in sensory processing relevant for expressing the behavior and its refinement. We investigated the role of a higher auditory brain area in the songbird for modifying and restoring the stereotyped adult song. We exposed zebra finches to aversively reinforcing white noise stimuli contingent on the pitch of one of their stereotyped song syllables. In response, birds significantly changed the pitch of that syllable to avoid the aversive reinforcer. After we withdrew reinforcement, birds recovered their original song within a few days. However, we found that large bilateral lesions in the caudal medial nidopallium (NCM, a high auditory area) impaired recovery of the original pitch even several weeks after withdrawal of the reinforcing stimuli. Because NCM lesions spared both successful noise-avoidance behavior and birds' auditory discrimination ability, our results show that NCM is not needed for directed motor changes or for auditory discriminative processing, but is implied in memorizing or recalling the memory of the recent song target.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Redefining reproductive success in songbirds: Moving beyond the nest success paradigm

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Streby, Henry M.; Refsnider, Jeanine M.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    One of the most commonly estimated parameters in studies of songbird ecology is reproductive success, as a measure of either individual fitness or population productivity. Traditionally, the “success” in reproductive success refers to whether, or how many, nestlings leave nests. Here, we advocate that “reproductive success” in songbirds be redefined as full-season productivity, orthe number of young raised to independence from adult care in a breeding season. A growing body of evidence demonstrates interdependence between nest success and fledgling survival, and emphasizes that data from either life stage alone can produce misleading measures of individual fitness and population productivity. Nest success, therefore, is an insufficient measure of reproductive success, and songbird ecology needs to progress beyond this long-standing paradigm. Full-season productivity, an evolutionarily rational measure of reproductive success, provides the framework for appropriately addressing unresolved questions about the adaptive significance of many breeding behaviors and within which effective breeding-grounds conservation and management can be designed.

  1. Seasonal change in tropical habitat quality and body condition for a declining migratory songbird.

    PubMed

    McKinnon, Emily A; Rotenberg, James A; Stutchbury, Bridget J M

    2015-10-01

    Many migratory songbirds spend their non-breeding season in tropical humid forests, where climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of droughts and decrease rainfall. For conservation of these songbirds, it is critical to understand how resources during the non-breeding season are affected by seasonal patterns of drying, and thereby predict potential long-term effects of climate change. We studied habitat quality for a declining tropical forest-dwelling songbird, the wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), and tested the hypothesis that habitat moisture and arthropod abundance are drivers of body condition during the overwintering period. We examined habitat moisture, abundance of arthropods and fruit, and condition of individual birds (n = 418) in three habitat types--mature forest, mature forest with increased presence of human activity, and riparian scrub--from October to April. We found a strong pattern of habitat drying from October (wet season) to March (prior to spring migration) in all habitats, with concurrent declines in arthropod and fruit abundance. Body condition of birds also declined (estimated ~5 % decline over the wintering period), with no significant difference by habitat. Relatively poor condition (low body condition index, low fat and pectoral muscles scores) was equally apparent in all habitat types in March. Climate change is predicted to increase the severity of dry seasons in Central America, and our results suggest that this could negatively affect the condition of individual wood thrushes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Songbird chemosignals: volatile compounds in preen gland secretions vary among individuals, sexes, and populations

    PubMed Central

    Soini, Helena A.; Atwell, Jonathan W.; Hollars, Craig; Novotny, Milos V.; Ketterson, Ellen D.

    2010-01-01

    Chemical signaling has been documented in many animals, but its potential importance in avian species, particularly songbirds, has received far less attention. We tested whether volatile compounds in the preen oil of a songbird (Junco hyemalis) contain reliable information about individual identity, sex, or population of origin by repeated sampling from captive male and female juncos originating from 2 recently diverged junco populations in southern California. One of the populations recently colonized an urban environment; the other resides in a species-typical montane environment. The birds were field-caught as juveniles, housed under identical conditions, and fed the same diet for 10 months prior to sampling. We used capillary gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to quantify the relative abundance of 19 volatile compounds previously shown to vary seasonally in this species. We found individual repeatability as well as significant sex and population differences in volatile profiles. The persistence of population differences in a common environment suggests that preen oil chemistry likely has a genetic basis and may thus evolve rapidly in response to environmental change. These finding suggest that songbird preen oil odors have the potential to function as chemosignals associated with mate recognition or reproductive isolation. PMID:22475692

  4. Maintenance of MHC Class IIB diversity in a recently established songbird population

    PubMed Central

    Whittaker, Danielle J.; Dapper, Amy L.; Peterson, Mark P.; Atwell, Jonathan W.; Ketterson, Ellen D.

    2012-01-01

    We examined variation at MHC Class IIB genes in a recently established population of dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis) in a coastal urban environment in southern California, USA relative to an ancestral-range population from a nearby species-typical montane environment. The founding population is estimated to have been quite small, but we predicted that variation at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) among the founders would nevertheless be preserved owing to the high functional significance of MHC. Previous studies of MHC in songbirds have had varying degrees of success in isolating loci, as passerines show extensive MHC gene duplication. In order to compare diversity in the two populations, we employed two published approaches to sequencing MHC Class II exon 2: direct sequencing with exon-based primers, and traditional cloning and sequencing with intron-based primers. Results from both methods show that the colonist population has maintained high levels of variation. Our results also indicate varying numbers of alleles across individuals, corroborating evidence for gene duplication in songbird MHC. While future studies in songbirds may need to take a genomic approach to fully understand the structure of MHC in this lineage, our results show that it is possible to use traditional methods to reveal functional variation across populations. PMID:22685370

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. A model to predict breeding-season productivity for multibrooded songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, L.A.; Conroy, M.J.; Krementz, D.G.; Lang, J.D.

    1999-01-01

    Breeding-season productivity (the per capita number of offspring surviving to the end of the breeding season) is seldom estimated for multibrooded songbirds because of cost and logistical constraints. However, this parameter is critical for predictions of population growth rates and comparisons of seasonal productivity across geographic or temporal scales. We constructed a dynamic, stochastic, individual-based model of breeding-season productivity using demographic data from Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) in central Georgia from 1993 to 1996. The model predicts breeding-season productivity as a function of adult survival, juvenile survival, nesting success, season length, renesting interval, and juvenile-care intervals. The model predicted that seasonal fecundity (number of fledglings produced) was 3.04, but only 2.04 juveniles per female survived to the end of the breeding season. Sensitivity analyses showed that differences in renesting interval, nesting success, fledglings per successful nest, and adult and juvenile survival caused variation in breeding-season productivity. Contrary to commonly held notions, season length and fledg-ling-care interval length did not cause variation in breeding-season productivity. This modeling exercise emphasizes the need for demographic data for songbird species, and we encourage biologists to use similar models to evaluate productivity in songbird populations.

  7. Effects of bridge construction on songbirds and small mammals at Blennerhassett Island, Ohio River, USA.

    PubMed

    Vance, Joshua A; Angus, Norse B; Anderson, James T

    2013-09-01

    Construction of man-made objects such as roads and bridges may have impacts on wildlife depending on species or location. We investigated songbirds and small mammals along the Ohio River, WV, USA at a new bridge both before and after construction and at a bridge crossing that was present throughout the study. Comparisons were made at each site over three time periods (1985-1987 [Phase I] and 1998-2000 [Phase II] [pre-construction], 2007-2009 [Phase III] [post-construction]) and at three distances (0, 100, 300 m) from the bridge or proposed bridge location. Overall, 70 songbirds and 10 small mammals were detected during the study. Cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and rock pigeons (Columba livia) showed high affinity for bridges (P < 0.05). Combined small mammal abundances increased between Phases I and II (P < 0.05), but did not differ between Phases II and III (P > 0.05). Species richness and diversity for songbirds and small mammals did not differ before and after bridge construction (P > 0.05). We found that most species sampled did not respond to the bridge crossing, and believe that the bridge is not causing any measurable negative density impacts to the species we investigated. The new bridge does provide habitat for exotic rock pigeons that are adjusted to man-made structures for nesting.

  8. Morphological response of songbirds to 100 years of landscape change in North America.

    PubMed

    Desrochers, A

    2010-06-01

    Major landscape changes caused by humans may create strong selection pressures and induce rapid evolution in natural populations. In the last 100 years, eastern North America has experienced extensive clear-cutting in boreal areas, while afforestation has occurred in most temperate areas. Based on museum specimens, I show that wings of several boreal forest songbirds and temperate songbirds of non-forest habitats have become more pointed over the last 100 years. In contrast, wings of most temperate forest and early-successional boreal forests species have become less pointed over the same period. In contrast to wing shape, the bill length of most species did not change significantly through time. These results are consistent with the "habitat isolation hypothesis", i.e., songbirds evolved in response to recent changes in the amount of available habitat and associated implications for mobility. Rapid morphological evolution may mitigate, without necessarily preventing, negative consequences of habitat loss caused by humans through direct exploitation or climate change.

  9. Chemosignaling diversity in songbirds: chromatographic profiling of preen oil volatiles in different species.

    PubMed

    Soini, Helena A; Whittaker, Danielle J; Wiesler, Donald; Ketterson, Ellen D; Novotny, Milos V

    2013-11-22

    Large foraging seabirds are known to navigate to food sources using their excellent sense of smell, but much less is known about the use of olfaction by the songbirds (passerine birds). Some evidence of individual recognition based on the bird preen oil volatile organic compound (VOC) compositions, which is the main odor source in birds, have been reported for dark-eyed junco and house finch. In this study we have investigated preen oil VOCs in 16 different songbird species and two other small bird species in order to determine whether the VOC compositions follow phylogenetic and evolutionary relatedness. We have used the stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) methodology followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine preen oil VOCs during the long light summer conditions for mostly wild caught birds. Large diversity among the VOC compositions was observed, while some compound classes were found in almost all species. The divergent VOC profiles did not follow the phylogenetic family lines among the bird species. This suggests that songbirds may use VOC odors as a mate recognition cue.

  10. Environmental variability and acoustic signals: a multi-level approach in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Medina, Iliana; Francis, Clinton D

    2012-12-23

    Among songbirds, growing evidence suggests that acoustic adaptation of song traits occurs in response to habitat features. Despite extensive study, most research supporting acoustic adaptation has only considered acoustic traits averaged for species or populations, overlooking intraindividual variation of song traits, which may facilitate effective communication in heterogeneous and variable environments. Fewer studies have explicitly incorporated sexual selection, which, if strong, may favour variation across environments. Here, we evaluate the prevalence of acoustic adaptation among 44 species of songbirds by determining how environmental variability and sexual selection intensity are associated with song variability (intraindividual and intraspecific) and short-term song complexity. We show that variability in precipitation can explain short-term song complexity among taxonomically diverse songbirds, and that precipitation seasonality and the intensity of sexual selection are related to intraindividual song variation. Our results link song complexity to environmental variability, something previously found for mockingbirds (Family Mimidae). Perhaps more importantly, our results illustrate that individual variation in song traits may be shaped by both environmental variability and strength of sexual selection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-07

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

  12. A hypothesis for basal ganglia-dependent reinforcement learning in the songbird

    PubMed Central

    Fee, Michale S.; Goldberg, Jesse H.

    2011-01-01

    Most of our motor skills are not innately programmed, but are learned by a combination of motor exploration and performance evaluation, suggesting that they proceed through a reinforcement learning (RL) mechanism. Songbirds have emerged as a model system to study how a complex behavioral sequence can be learned through an RL-like strategy. Interestingly, like motor sequence learning in mammals, song learning in birds requires a basal ganglia (BG)-thalamocortical loop, suggesting common neural mechanisms. Here we outline a specific working hypothesis for how BG-forebrain circuits could utilize an internally computed reinforcement signal to direct song learning. Our model includes a number of general concepts borrowed from the mammalian BG literature, including a dopaminergic reward prediction error and dopamine mediated plasticity at corticostriatal synapses. We also invoke a number of conceptual advances arising from recent observations in the songbird. Specifically, there is evidence for a specialized cortical circuit that adds trial-to-trial variability to stereotyped cortical motor programs, and a role for the BG in ‘biasing’ this variability to improve behavioral performance. This BG-dependent ‘premotor bias’ may in turn guide plasticity in downstream cortical synapses to consolidate recently-learned song changes. Given the similarity between mammalian and songbird BG-thalamocortical circuits, our model for the role of the BG in this process may have broader relevance to mammalian BG function. PMID:22015923

  13. The Effects of Pitch Shifts on Delay-Induced Changes in Vocal Sequencing in a Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Conor W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Like human speech, vocal behavior in songbirds depends critically on auditory feedback. In both humans and songbirds, vocal skills are acquired by a process of imitation whereby current vocal production is compared to an acoustic target. Similarly, performance in adulthood relies strongly on auditory feedback, and online manipulations of auditory signals can dramatically alter acoustic production even after vocalizations have been well learned. Artificially delaying auditory feedback can disrupt both speech and birdsong, and internal delays in auditory feedback have been hypothesized as a cause of vocal dysfluency in persons who stutter. Furthermore, in both song and speech, online shifts of the pitch (fundamental frequency) of auditory feedback lead to compensatory changes in vocal pitch for small perturbations, but larger pitch shifts produce smaller changes in vocal output. Intriguingly, large pitch shifts can partially restore normal speech in some dysfluent speakers, suggesting that the effects of auditory feedback delays might be ameliorated by online pitch manipulations. Although birdsong provides a promising model system for understanding speech production, the interactions between sensory feedback delays and pitch shifts have not yet been assessed in songbirds. To investigate this, we asked whether the addition of a pitch shift modulates delay-induced changes in Bengalese finch song, hypothesizing that pitch shifts would reduce the effects of feedback delays. Compared with the effects of delays alone, combined delays and pitch shifts resulted in a significant reduction in behavioral changes in one type of sequencing (branch points) but not another (distribution of repeated syllables). PMID:28144622

  14. Inefficient co-feeding transmission of Borrelia afzelii in two common European songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Heylen, Dieter J. A.; Sprong, Hein; Krawczyk, Aleksandra; Van Houtte, Natalie; Genné, Dolores; Gomez-Chamorro, Andrea; van Oers, Kees; Voordouw, Maarten J.

    2017-01-01

    The spirochete bacterium Borrelia afzelii is the most common cause of Lyme borreliosis in Europe. This tick-borne pathogen can establish systemic infections in rodents but not in birds. However, several field studies have recovered larval Ixodes ricinus ticks infected with B. afzelii from songbirds suggesting successful transmission of B. afzelii. We reviewed the literature to determine which songbird species were the most frequent carriers of B. afzelii-infected I. ricinus larvae and nymphs. We tested experimentally whether B. afzelii is capable of co-feeding transmission on two common European bird species, the blackbird (Turdus merula) and the great tit (Parus major). For each bird species, four naïve individuals were infested with B. afzelii-infected I. ricinus nymphal ticks and pathogen-free larval ticks. None of the co-feeding larvae tested positive for B. afzelii in blackbirds, but a low percentage of infected larvae (3.33%) was observed in great tits. Transstadial transmission of B. afzelii DNA from the engorged nymphs to the adult ticks was observed in both bird species. However, BSK culture found that these spirochetes were not viable. Our study suggests that co-feeding transmission of B. afzelii is not efficient in these two songbird species. PMID:28054584

  15. Convergent evolution of Hawaiian and Australo-Pacific honeyeaters from distant songbird ancestors.

    PubMed

    Fleischer, Robert C; James, Helen F; Olson, Storrs L

    2008-12-23

    The Hawaiian "honeyeaters," five endemic species of recently extinct, nectar-feeding songbirds in the genera Moho and Chaetoptila, looked and acted like Australasian honeyeaters (Meliphagidae), and no taxonomist since their discovery on James Cook's third voyage has classified them as anything else. We obtained DNA sequences from museum specimens of Moho and Chaetoptila collected in Hawaii 115-158 years ago. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences supports monophyly of the two Hawaiian genera but, surprisingly, reveals that neither taxon is a meliphagid honeyeater, nor even in the same part of the songbird radiation as meliphagids. Instead, the Hawaiian species are divergent members of a passeridan group that includes deceptively dissimilar families of songbirds (Holarctic waxwings, neotropical silky flycatchers, and palm chats). Here we designate them as a new family, the Mohoidae. A nuclear-DNA rate calibration suggests that mohoids diverged from their closest living ancestor 14-17 mya, coincident with the estimated earliest arrival in Hawaii of a bird-pollinated plant lineage. Convergent evolution, the evolution of similar traits in distantly related taxa because of common selective pressures, is illustrated well by nectar-feeding birds, but the morphological, behavioral, and ecological similarity of the mohoids to the Australasian honeyeaters makes them a particularly striking example of the phenomenon.

  16. Population dependent effects of photoperiod on diapause related physiological traits in an invasive beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata).

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Philipp; Lyytinen, Anne; Sinisalo, Tuula; Lindström, Leena

    2012-08-01

    Organisms undergoing latitudinal range expansion face a change in the photoperiod which can lead to a mismatch between the timing of seasonal changes in physiological and life history traits with seasonal environmental changes. This mismatch can lead to lowered survival, for example, due to unsynchronized diapause timing. Successful range expansion even in recent introductions requires that organisms which use the photoperiod for seasonal predictions should show interpopulational differences in photoperiodic responses at different latitudes, as the photoperiod is a function of latitude. We investigated among population differences in photoperiodic responses of life history and physiological traits linked to diapause in the invasive beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Beetles from a northern marginal and a southern European population were reared under short day (12:12L:D) and long day (18:6L:D) photoperiods. Both populations reacted similarly to the short day photoperiod. Their abdominal total lipid content increased and water content decreased which suggests that the beetles prepared for diapause. This was also indicated by low mortality during diapause. In the long day photoperiod large interpopulational differences were found, the southern population ceased lipid accumulation after 5 days, while the northern population continued lipid accumulation as beetles in the short day photoperiod. This indicates that the northern population has a longer critical photoperiod than the southern one. Abdominal total lipid stores in 10 day old beetles were shown to be predominantly composed of neutral lipids (85%), most likely representing storage triacylglycerols. Fatty acid profiles of both the neutral lipids and the phospholipids showed large shifts during the first 10 day of adult life, predominantly in the fractions of 18:0, 18:1ω9, 18:2ω6 and 18:3ω3. Although the degree of unsaturation increased with age, it was not higher in diapausing than non-diapausing beetles. This

  17. Allelic variation at the vernalization and photoperiod sensitivity loci in Chinese winter wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiangfen; Gao, Manxia; Wang, Shasha; Chen, Feng; Cui, Dangqun

    2015-01-01

    A total of 205 wheat cultivars from the Yellow and Huai valley of China were used to identify allelic variations of vernalization and photoperiod response genes, as well as the copy number variations (CNVs) of Ppd-B1 and Vrn-A1 genes. A novel Vrn-D1 allele with 174-bp insertion in the promoter region of the recessive allele vrn-D1 was discovered in three Chinese wheat cultivars and designated as Vrn-D1c. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction showed that cultivars with the Vrn-D1c allele exhibited significantly higher expression of the Vrn-D1 gene than that in cultivars with the recessive allele vrn-D1, indicating that the 174-bp insertion of Vrn-D1c contributed to the increase in Vrn-D1 gene expression and caused early heading and flowering. The five new cis-elements (Box II-like, 3-AF1 binding site, TC-rich repeats, Box-W1 and CAT-box) in the 174-bp insertion possibly promoted the basal activity level of Vrn-D1 gene. Two new polymorphism combinations of photoperiod genes were identified and designated as Ppd-D1_Hapl-IX and Ppd-D1_Hapl-X. Association of the CNV of Ppd-B1 gene with the heading and flowering days showed that the cultivars with Ppd-B1_Hapl-VI demonstrated the earliest heading and flowering times, and those with Ppd-B1_Hapl-IV presented the latest heading and flowering times in three cropping seasons. Distribution of the vernalization and photoperiod response genes indicated that all recessive alleles at the four vernalization response loci, Ppd-B1_Hapl-I at Ppd-B1 locus, and Ppd-D1_Hapl-I at the Ppd-D1 locus were predominant in Chinese winter wheat cultivars. This study can provide useful information for wheat breeding programs to screen wheat cultivars with relatively superior adaptability and maturity.

  18. Allelic variation at the vernalization and photoperiod sensitivity loci in Chinese winter wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiangfen; Gao, Manxia; Wang, Shasha; Chen, Feng; Cui, Dangqun

    2015-01-01

    A total of 205 wheat cultivars from the Yellow and Huai valley of China were used to identify allelic variations of vernalization and photoperiod response genes, as well as the copy number variations (CNVs) of Ppd-B1 and Vrn-A1 genes. A novel Vrn-D1 allele with 174-bp insertion in the promoter region of the recessive allele vrn-D1 was discovered in three Chinese wheat cultivars and designated as Vrn-D1c. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction showed that cultivars with the Vrn-D1c allele exhibited significantly higher expression of the Vrn-D1 gene than that in cultivars with the recessive allele vrn-D1, indicating that the 174-bp insertion of Vrn-D1c contributed to the increase in Vrn-D1 gene expression and caused early heading and flowering. The five new cis-elements (Box II-like, 3-AF1 binding site, TC-rich repeats, Box-W1 and CAT-box) in the 174-bp insertion possibly promoted the basal activity level of Vrn-D1 gene. Two new polymorphism combinations of photoperiod genes were identified and designated as Ppd-D1_Hapl-IX and Ppd-D1_Hapl-X. Association of the CNV of Ppd-B1 gene with the heading and flowering days showed that the cultivars with Ppd-B1_Hapl-VI demonstrated the earliest heading and flowering times, and those with Ppd-B1_Hapl-IV presented the latest heading and flowering times in three cropping seasons. Distribution of the vernalization and photoperiod response genes indicated that all recessive alleles at the four vernalization response loci, Ppd-B1_Hapl-I at Ppd-B1 locus, and Ppd-D1_Hapl-I at the Ppd-D1 locus were predominant in Chinese winter wheat cultivars. This study can provide useful information for wheat breeding programs to screen wheat cultivars with relatively superior adaptability and maturity. PMID:26191066

  19. A lightweight, headphones-based system for manipulating auditory feedback in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Lukas A; Kelly, Conor W; Nicholson, David A; Sober, Samuel J

    2012-11-26

    Experimental manipulations of sensory feedback during complex behavior have provided valuable insights into the computations underlying motor control and sensorimotor plasticity(1). Consistent sensory perturbations result in compensatory changes in motor output, reflecting changes in feedforward motor control that reduce the experienced feedback error. By quantifying how different sensory feedback errors affect human behavior, prior studies have explored how visual signals are used to recalibrate arm movements(2,3) and auditory feedback is used to modify speech production(4-7). The strength of this approach rests on the ability to mimic naturalistic errors in behavior, allowing the experimenter to observe how experienced errors in production are used to recalibrate motor output. Songbirds provide an excellent animal model for investigating the neural basis of sensorimotor control and plasticity(8,9). The songbird brain provides a well-defined circuit in which the areas necessary for song learning are spatially separated from those required for song production, and neural recording and lesion studies have made significant advances in understanding how different brain areas contribute to vocal behavior(9-12). However, the lack of a naturalistic error-correction paradigm - in which a known acoustic parameter is perturbed by the experimenter and then corrected by the songbird - has made it difficult to understand the computations underlying vocal learning or how different elements of the neural circuit contribute to the correction of vocal errors(13). The technique described here gives the experimenter precise control over auditory feedback errors in singing birds, allowing the introduction of arbitrary sensory errors that can be used to drive vocal learning. Online sound-processing equipment is used to introduce a known perturbation to the acoustics of song, and a miniaturized headphones apparatus is used to replace a songbird's natural auditory feedback with the

  20. Effect of photoperiod on gibberellin biosynthetic enzymes in spinach

    SciTech Connect

    Gilmour, S.J.; Bleecker, A.B.; Zeevaart, J.A.D.

    1986-04-01

    The photoperiodic control of stem elongation in spinach, a long day (LD) rosette plant, is mediated by gibberellins (GAs). The early 13-hydroxylated GA biosynthetic pathway from GA/sub 12/ to GA/sub 20/ operates in spinach: GA/sub 12/ ..-->.. GA/sub 53/ ..-->.. GA/sub 44/ ..-->.. GA/sub 19/ ..-->.. GA/sub 20/. Two enzymes of this pathway, those converting GA/sub 53/ to GA/sub 44/ (GA/sub 53/ oxidase) and GA/sub 19/ to GA/sub 20/ (GA/sub 19/ oxidase), are regulated by light. The enzyme converting GA/sub 44/ to GA/sub 19/ (GA/sub 44/ oxidase) is not light-regulated. In the light GA/sub 53/ and GA/sub 18/ oxidase activities are increased, therefore causing the GA biosynthetic pathway to be turned on. This leads to the production of an active GA in LD, which causes an increase in stem elongation. Two the enzymes, GA/sub 44/ and GA/sub 53/ oxidases, can be separated from one another by anion exchange HPLC. Estimates of the molecular weights of these two enzymes based on gel filtration HPLC will be reported.

  1. Variability in action: Contributions of a songbird cortical-basal ganglia circuit to vocal motor learning and control.

    PubMed

    Woolley, S C; Kao, M H

    2015-06-18

    Many motor behaviors, from walking to speaking, are acquired through experience, in particular, through trial-and-error learning. The acquisition and maintenance of such motor behaviors in a wide range of species, including humans, appear to depend on cortical-basal ganglia circuits. In this review, we discuss recent studies in songbirds that have been pivotal in informing our current understanding of motor learning and cortical-basal ganglia function. Songbirds are important ethological model systems for the study of motor learning because young songbirds naturally develop and refine their songs through trial-and-error learning. In addition, reinforcement mechanisms are hypothesized to be important for the maintenance and plasticity of structured adult song. Computational and experimental studies highlight the importance of vocal motor variability as the substrate upon which reinforcement mechanisms could operate to shape developing song and to maintain adult song. Recent studies in songbirds indicate that this vocal motor variability is actively generated and modulated by a highly specialized cortical-basal ganglia circuit evolved for a single behavior, song. We argue that these and other recent findings illustrate how the tight association between a specialized neural circuit and a natural behavior make songbirds a unique and powerful model in which to investigate the neural substrates of motor learning and plasticity.

  2. Spatiotemporal properties of the BOLD response in the songbirds' auditory circuit during a variety of listening tasks.

    PubMed

    Van Meir, Vincent; Boumans, Tiny; De Groof, Geert; Van Audekerke, Johan; Smolders, Alain; Scheunders, Paul; Sijbers, Jan; Verhoye, Marleen; Balthazart, Jacques; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2005-05-01

    Auditory fMRI in humans has recently received increasing attention from cognitive neuroscientists as a tool to understand mental processing of learned acoustic sequences and analyzing speech recognition and development of musical skills. The present study introduces this tool in a well-documented animal model for vocal learning, the songbird, and provides fundamental insight in the main technical issues associated with auditory fMRI in these songbirds. Stimulation protocols with various listening tasks lead to appropriate activation of successive relays in the songbirds' auditory pathway. The elicited BOLD response is also region and stimulus specific, and its temporal aspects provide accurate measures of the changes in brain physiology induced by the acoustic stimuli. Extensive repetition of an identical stimulus does not lead to habituation of the response in the primary or secondary telencephalic auditory regions of anesthetized subjects. The BOLD signal intensity changes during a stimulation and subsequent rest period have a very specific time course which shows a remarkable resemblance to auditory evoked BOLD responses commonly observed in human subjects. This observation indicates that auditory fMRI in the songbird may establish a link between auditory related neuro-imaging studies done in humans and the large body of neuro-ethological research on song learning and neuro-plasticity performed in songbirds.

  3. Effect of reverse photoperiod on in vitro regeneration and piperine production in Piper nigrum L.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Nisar; Abbasi, Bilal Haider; Fazal, Hina; Khan, Mubarak Ali; Afridi, Muhammad Siddique

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a novel approach for in vitro regeneration of Piper nigrum L. has been applied in order to increase healthy biomass, phytochemicals and piperine production via reverse photoperiod (16hD/8hL). Leaf portions of the seed-derived plants were placed on an MS-medium fortified with different PGRs. Under 16hD/8hL, thidiazuron (TDZ; 4.0 mg L⁻¹) and BA (1.5 mg L⁻¹) was found to be the most effective (<90%) in callus induction. Two concentrations (1.5, 2.0 mg L⁻¹) of the IBA produced>80% shoots from callus cultures. Healthy shoots were transferred to rooting medium and higher percentage of rooting (<90%) was observed on IBA (1.5 mg L⁻¹). These in vitro tissues were subjected to amino acid analysis, spectrophotometry, and HPLC. ARG, SER, THR, and TYR were the most abundant components out of 17 amino acids. Higher amino acid production was observed under normal photoperiod (16hL/8hD) than under reverse photoperiod (16hD/8hL). The highest total phenolic content (TPC; 9.91 mg/g-DW) and flavonoid content (7.38 mg/g-DW) were observed in callus cultures incubated under 16hL/8hD than other tissues incubated under 16hD/8hL photoperiod. Higher DPPH and PoMo activities were observed in tissues incubated under 16hL/8hD photoperiod, while ABTS and Fe²⁺ chelating activities were found higher in tissues incubated under reverse photoperiod. Significant quantities of piperine content were observed in all tissues except callus cultures. These results suggest that reverse photoperiod is a promising approach for callus induction, phytochemicals and piperine production for commercial applications.

  4. Effects of Photoperiod and Temperature on Growth and Development in Clouded Salamander (Hynobius nebulosus) Larvae.

    PubMed

    Kukita, Sayuri; Gouda, Mika; Ikeda, Sakiko; Ishibashi, Sakiko; Furuya, Tatsunori; Nakamura, Keiji

    2015-06-01

    Day length is one of the most important factors that organisms use to predict seasonal changes in their environment. Several amphibians regulate their growth and development in response to photoperiod. However, many studies have not focused on the ecological effects of the photoperiodic response on growth and development because they use tropical animals, animals from a commercial source or from unknown localities, or extreme light regimens for experiments. In the present study, we examined the effects of photoperiod on growth and development in the clouded salamander (Hynobius nebulosus) by raising larvae under different photoperiods and at different temperatures in the laboratory. The average larval period under a long-day photoperiod of L16:D8 was longer than that under L12:D12 at 15°C or 20°C, although the difference between the photoperiods was only significant for 15°C. Juveniles weighed more at metamorphosis under L16:D8 than those under L12:D12, irrespective of temperature, suggesting that a longer developmental period results in a heavier body weight. The head width of juveniles did not differ for different photoperiods at either temperature. However, the growth rate of the head width under L12:D12 was faster than that under L16:D8 at 15°C. Long day length appears to produce larger H. nebulosus juveniles in a relatively stable aquatic environment with a low population density. Thus, development may be accelerated when the day length becomes shorter as winter approaches, and larvae may have increased the growth rate of their head widths to compensate for the shorter growing period under shorter day lengths.

  5. Photoperiod and temperature responses of bud swelling and bud burst in four temperate forest tree species.

    PubMed

    Basler, David; Körner, Christian

    2014-04-01

    Spring phenology of temperate forest trees is optimized to maximize the length of the growing season while minimizing the risk of freezing damage. The release from winter dormancy is environmentally mediated by species-specific responses to temperature and photoperiod. We investigated the response of early spring phenology to temperature and photoperiod at different stages of dormancy release in cuttings from four temperate tree species in controlled environments. By tracking bud development, we were able to identify the onset of bud swelling and bud growth in Acer pseudoplatanus L., Fagus sylvatica L., Quercus petraea (Mattuschka) Liebl. and Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. At a given early stage of dormancy release, the onset and duration of the bud swelling prior to bud burst are driven by concurrent temperature and photoperiod, while the maximum growth rate is temperature dependent only, except for Fagus, where long photoperiods also increased bud growth rates. Similarly, the later bud burst was controlled by temperature and photoperiod (in the photoperiod sensitive species Fagus, Quercus and Picea). We conclude that photoperiod is involved in the release of dormancy during the ecodormancy phase and may influence bud burst in trees that have experienced sufficient chilling. This study explored and documented the early bud swelling period that precedes and defines later phenological stages such as canopy greening in conventional phenological works. It is the early bud growth resumption that needs to be understood in order to arrive at a causal interpretation and modelling of tree phenology at a large scale. Classic spring phenology events mark visible endpoints of a cascade of processes as evidenced here.

  6. Spermatogonial morphology, kinetics and niches in hamsters exposed to short- and long-photoperiod.

    PubMed

    do Nascimento, H F; Drumond, A L; de França, L R; Chiarini-Garcia, H

    2009-10-01

    Previous studies have shown that under short photoperiod exposure spermatogenesis in golden hamster regresses leading to sexual inactivity. It is known that this regression is related to changes in somatic and germ cells (spermatocytes and spermatids). However, the photoperiod effects on spermatogonial biology have not been studied in detail yet. In this regard, this study was carried out to investigate the morphology, kinetics and niches of different spermatogonial types in golden hamsters under long- and short-photoperiod. Six spermatogonial generations such as type A undifferentiated (A(und)), type A differentiating (A(1), A(2), A(3)), intermediate (In) and type B spermatogonia were characterized, and were morphologically similar irrespective of the photoperiod exposure. The short photoperiod was inhibitory to A(und) spermatogonia and preleptotene but had no effect on the number of differentiating (A(1) to B) spermatogonia. In golden hamsters exposed to stimulatory-photoperiod, the interstitial components were positioned mainly in triangular areas around the seminiferous tubules and, in this situation, the A(und) spermatogonia were clearly positioned in niches (p < 0.05) in all stages studied. On the other hand, during the inhibitory-photoperiod where the seminiferous tubules have smaller diameter, the interstitial components were more homogenously distributed and the triangular areas were not clearly observed. In this case, the niches were identified only at stage VII (p < 0.05), although there was a trend of being positioned in niches area in all the stages studied. Thus, these findings suggest that the A(und) spermatogonia location in the seminiferous epithelium and the niche position are directly related to the position of the interstitial components.

  7. Regulation of antifreeze protein messenger RNA and a female-specific messenger RNA in winter flounder: Evidence for temperature and photoperiod effects

    SciTech Connect

    Price, J.L.

    1988-01-01

    Northern blot hybridizations showed that mRNA{sub f} is female-specific, and that both mRNAs are liver-specific and expressed at high levels only during the fall and winter in the wild. When warm-acclimated flounder (18C) were acclimated over 2 days to low temperature (4 C) and short photoperiod in July and October, high levels of AF mRNA accumulated within 4-10 days. Low levels were found in fish at high temperature at any time, on long photoperiod after acclimation to low temperature in July, or continuously at 4 C from March until September. A temperature increase in January resulted in a dramatic decrease in the levels of AF mRNA within 5 days. Beta actin mRNA, mRNA{sub f} and most mRNAs translated in a reticulocyte lysate did not change in abundance after temperature increases or decreases. Synthesis of AF mRNA in liver slices was investigated by Northern blot hybridization and hybridization of {sup 32}P-labeled RNA to AF cDNA. Liver slices from cold-acclimated January fish expressed high levels of AF mRNA initially at 4 C and lower levels at 18 C. AF mRNA expression was turned off in tissue from warm-acclimated fish but was progressively induced after long 4 C incubations in vitro in livers from fall fish but not from spring fish. Temperature and photoperiod act either as zeitgebers, which set the phase of an endogenous rhythm, or as more direct signals that stimulate a transient accumulation of AF mRNA.

  8. Low-temperature tolerance and genetic potential in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.): response to photoperiod, vernalization, and plant development.

    PubMed

    Limin, Allen E; Fowler, D Brian

    2006-07-01

    It is frequently observed that winter habit types are more low-temperature (LT) tolerant than spring habit types. This raises the question of whether this is due to pleiotropic effects of the vernalization loci or to the linkage of LT-tolerance genes to these vernalization loci. Reciprocal near-isogenic lines (NILs) for alleles at the Vrn-A1 locus, Vrn-A1 and vrn-A1, determining spring and winter habit respectively, in two diverse genetic backgrounds of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were used to separate the effects of vernalization, photoperiod, and development on identical, or near identical, genetic backgrounds. The vrn-A1 allele in the winter lines allowed full expression of genotype dependent LT tolerance potential. The winter allele (vrn-A1) in a very cold tolerant genetic background resulted in 11 degrees C, or a 2.4-fold, greater LT tolerance compared to the spring allele. Similarly, the delay in development caused by short-day (SD) versus long-day (LD) photoperiod in the identical spring habit NIL resulted in an 8.5 degrees C or 2.1-fold, increase in LT tolerance. The duration of time in early developmental stages was shown to underlie full expression of genetic LT-tolerance potential. Therefore, pleiotropic effects of the vernalization loci can explain the association of LT tolerance and winter habit irrespective of either the proposed closely linked Fr-A1 or the more distant Fr-A2 LT-tolerance QTLs. Plant development progressively reduced LT-acclimation ability, particularly after the main shoot meristem had advanced to the double ridge reproductive growth stage. The Vrn-1 genes, or other members of the flowering induction pathway, are discussed as possible candidates for involvement in LT-tolerance repression.

  9. Inheritance of the photoperiodic response controlling larval diapause in the blow fly, Calliphora vicina.

    PubMed

    Saunders, D S.; McWatters, H G.

    1997-08-01

    Larvae of the blow fly Calliphora vicina R-D. (Diptera: Calliphoridae) display a diapause in response to the exposure of their parents to short photoperiods. Due to geographic variation in photoperiodic response, flies from a southern, English population show a long-day response to the fixed photoperiod of L:D 15.5:8.5 whilst flies from a northern population from Finland show a short-day response to the same photoperiod. Crosses between these strains have shown previously that diapause incidence is a maternal characteristic; here we demonstrate that the hybrid female offspring of such crosses are not intermediate between the two parental strains but show a photoperiodic response biased towards their maternal line. Thus not only are males unable to influence directly the diapause incidence among their offspring but the indirect effects of inheritance down the male line are weaker than down the female. Diapause duration, in contrast, is influenced by each parent in a similar manner. Diapause lasts longer in larvae with a greater admixture of northern genes regardless of whether they were maternal or paternal.

  10. Identification of photoperiod-regulated gene in soybean and functional analysis in Nicotiana benthamiana.

    PubMed

    Ai-Hua, Sha; Yin-Hua, Chen; Zhi-Hui, Shan; Xiao-Juan, Zhang; Xue-Jun, Wu; De-Zheng, Qiu; Xin-An, Zhou

    2014-04-01

    Soybean (Glycine max) is a short-day crop and the photoperiod is a crucial factor regulating its flowering time. To investigate the molecular mechanism controlling the flowering time by photoperiod in soybean, cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) was used to identify photoperiod-regulated genes in leaves of soybean growing under short-day length, neutral photoperiod and long-day length. A total of 36 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) were identified to be regulated by photoperiod. Among them, 26 TDFs were homologues of genes with known function. These genes are involved in secondary metabolism, cellular metabolism, cell wall components metabolism, ion transport and hormone signalling. Silencing of the homologue genes in Nicotiana benthamiana for 14 TDFs was conducted by virus-induced gene silencing. The flowering time was delayed by silencing of the genes encoding rhodanese and 40S ribosomal protein S4 (RPS4). The results indicated that rhodanese and RPS4 probably play important roles in regulating flowering time.

  11. [Effects of photoperiod on photosynthesis and PSII performance in peach during dormancy induction].

    PubMed

    Li, Dong-Mei; Tan, Qiu-Ping; Gao, Dong-Sheng; Chen, Xiu-De; Li, Ling

    2014-07-01

    Long-day and short-day photoperiods were set artificially, with natural condition as the control, to examine photosynthetic parameters and chlorophyll fluorescence transient kinetics of 6-year-old 'Chunjie' peach cultivar (Prunus persica cv. Chunjie), and to investigate the effects of photoperiod on photosynthesis of the northern deciduous fruit trees. The tree advanced into the dormancy induction period under the short-day condition, and delayed under the long-day condition. In the dormancy induction period, the leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn) and stomatal conductance (g(s)) decreased, and the intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) increased, suggesting that the Pn decreased because of non-stomatal limitation. Maximum quantum yield for primary photochemistry (PhiPo, or Fv/Fm), potential activity (Fv/Fo), probability that a trapped exciton moved an electron into the electron transport chain beyond Q(A)-(Psi(o)) and performance index on absorption basis (Pl(ABS)) decreased in the dormancy induction period, suggesting that the electron transport capacity of photosynthetic electron transport chain was inhibited, possibly due to the damage to downstream electron transport chain (after Q(A)- acceptor) of PS II reaction center. Long-day photoperiod improved Pn in the dormancy induction period, and reduced the range of decline in PI(ABS) and the injured degree of photosystem. Short-day photoperiod deepened and accelerated the damage to photosynthetic apparatus significantly. The induced effect of photoperiod was associated with the dormancy processes.

  12. [Growth and development of cucumber Cucumis sativus L. in the prereproductive period under long photoperiods].

    PubMed

    Shibaeva, T G; Markovskaia, E F

    2013-01-01

    When plants are grown in a greenhouse, an increase in the photoperiod, as well as continuous lighting, is one of the ways to improve plant productivity and energy savings. However, a number of crops under long photoperiods develop signs of light damage to leaves, and productivity is reduced. We studied the effect of the photoperiod (8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 h) and photon flux densities (60, 120, and 160 micromol/m2 with PAR) on cucumber plants Cucumis sativus L. in a prereproductive period. We show that the response of the cucumber plants to a photoperiod duration of more than 20 h, including continuous lighting, depending on the plant age and lighting conditions, may include epinastic reaction of the leaves, activation of a mechanism of nonphotochemical chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, and/or reversible photoinhibition of a reaction center of photosystem II, development of reversible chlorosis, reduction of a light-harvesting complex, and increase in the content of carotenoids. Reaction of immature and virginile plants to long photoperiods was different, which highlights the need for experimental separation of the prereproductive period of development in terms of age states and consideration of this when preparing programs of cultivation.

  13. The role of photoperiods on photobioreactors - A potential strategy to reduce costs.

    PubMed

    Maroneze, Mariana Manzoni; Siqueira, Stefania Fortes; Vendruscolo, Raquel Guidetti; Wagner, Roger; de Menezes, Cristiano Ragagnin; Zepka, Leila Queiroz; Jacob-Lopes, Eduardo

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this work was evaluate the role of photoperiods (long-term, frequencies and short) on the growth and lipid content of microalgae Scenedesmus obliquus CPCC05. The results showed that Scenedesmus obliquus can store sufficient energy to sustain cell growth for continuous periods of up to 2h in the dark, without affecting the photosynthetic rate. The values for maximum biomass (9.58mg/Lh) and lipid productivities (2.56mg/Lh) were obtained at photoperiod of 0.91:0.09s (light:dark) and 48 t/d, respectively. Moreover, the best trade-offs between biomass productivity and light energy economy occurred in photoperiods of 0.5:0.5s and 0.91:0.09s (light:dark), and those between lipid productivity and light energy economy occurred in the frequency photoperiod of 24 and 48 t/d. Thus, the use of the photoperiods are an effective strategy for reducing costs of microalgal biomass production.

  14. Coupling Developmental Physiology, Photoperiod, and Temperature to Model Phenology and Dynamics of an Invasive Heteropteran, Halyomorpha halys

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Anne L.; Chen, Shi; Fleischer, Shelby J.

    2016-01-01

    We developed an agent-based stochastic model expressing stage-specific phenology and population dynamics for an insect species across geographic regions. We used the invasive pentatomid, Halyomorpha halys, as the model organism because gaps in knowledge exist regarding its developmental physiology, it is expanding its global distribution, and it is of significant economic importance. Model predictions were compared against field observations over 3 years, and the parameter set that enables the largest population growth was applied to eight locations over 10 years, capturing the variation in temperature and photoperiod profiles of significant horticultural crop production that could be affected by H. halys in the US. As a species that overwinters as adults, critical photoperiod significantly impacted H. halys seasonality and population size through its influence on diapause termination and induction, and this may impact other insects with similar life-histories. Photoperiod and temperature interactions influenced life stage synchrony among years, resulting in an order of magnitude difference, for occurrence of key life stages. At all locations, there was a high degree of overlap among life stages and generation. Although all populations produced F2 adults and thus could be characterized as bivoltine, the size and relative contribution of each generation to the total, or overwintering, adult population also varied dramatically. In about half of the years in two locations (Geneva, NY and Salem, OR), F1 adults comprised half or more of the adult population at the end of the year. Yearly degree-day accumulation was a significant covariate influencing variation in population growth, and average maximum adult population size varied by 10-fold among locations. Average final population growth was positive (Asheville, NC, Homestead, FL, Davis, CA) or marginal (Geneva, NY, Bridgeton, NJ, Salem, OR, Riverside, CA), but was negative in one location (Wenatchee WA) due to cooler

  15. Coupling Developmental Physiology, Photoperiod, and Temperature to Model Phenology and Dynamics of an Invasive Heteropteran, Halyomorpha halys.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Anne L; Chen, Shi; Fleischer, Shelby J

    2016-01-01

    We developed an agent-based stochastic model expressing stage-specific phenology and population dynamics for an insect species across geographic regions. We used the invasive pentatomid, Halyomorpha halys, as the model organism because gaps in knowledge exist regarding its developmental physiology, it is expanding its global distribution, and it is of significant economic importance. Model predictions were compared against field observations over 3 years, and the parameter set that enables the largest population growth was applied to eight locations over 10 years, capturing the variation in temperature and photoperiod profiles of significant horticultural crop production that could be affected by H. halys in the US. As a species that overwinters as adults, critical photoperiod significantly impacted H. halys seasonality and population size through its influence on diapause termination and induction, and this may impact other insects with similar life-histories. Photoperiod and temperature interactions influenced life stage synchrony among years, resulting in an order of magnitude difference, for occurrence of key life stages. At all locations, there was a high degree of overlap among life stages and generation. Although all populations produced F2 adults and thus could be characterized as bivoltine, the size and relative contribution of each generation to the total, or overwintering, adult population also varied dramatically. In about half of the years in two locations (Geneva, NY and Salem, OR), F1 adults comprised half or more of the adult population at the end of the year. Yearly degree-day accumulation was a significant covariate influencing variation in population growth, and average maximum adult population size varied by 10-fold among locations. Average final population growth was positive (Asheville, NC, Homestead, FL, Davis, CA) or marginal (Geneva, NY, Bridgeton, NJ, Salem, OR, Riverside, CA), but was negative in one location (Wenatchee WA) due to cooler

  16. Effect of photoperiod on the feline adipose transcriptome as assessed by RNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Photoperiod is known to cause physiological changes in seasonal mammals, including changes in body weight, physical activity, reproductive status, and adipose tissue gene expression in several species. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of day length on the adipose transcriptome of cats as assessed by RNA sequencing. Ten healthy adult neutered male domestic shorthair cats were used in a randomized crossover design study. During two 12-wk periods, cats were exposed to either short days (8 hr light:16 hr dark) or long days (16 hr light:8 hr dark). Cats were fed a commercial diet to maintain baseline body weight to avoid weight-related bias. Subcutaneous adipose biopsies were collected at wk 12 of each period for RNA isolation and sequencing. Results A total of 578 million sequences (28.9 million/sample) were generated by Illumina sequencing. A total of 170 mRNA transcripts were differentially expressed between short day- and long day-housed cats. 89 annotated transcripts were up-regulated by short days, while 24 annotated transcripts were down-regulated by short days. Another 57 un-annotated transcripts were also different between groups. Adipose tissue of short day-housed cats had greater expression of genes involved with cell growth and differentiation (e.g., myostatin; frizzled-related protein), cell development and structure (e.g., cytokeratins), and protein processing and ubiquitination (e.g., kelch-like proteins). In contrast, short day-housed cats had decreased expression of genes involved with immune function (e.g., plasminogen activator inhibitor 1; chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2; C-C motif chemokine 5; T-cell activators), and altered expression of genes associated with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Conclusions Collectively, these gene expression changes suggest that short day housing may promote adipogenesis, minimize inflammation and oxidative stress, and alter nutrient metabolism in feline adipose tissue, even

  17. Revealing a circadian clock in captive arctic-breeding songbirds, lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus), under constant illumination.

    PubMed

    Ashley, Noah T; Ubuka, Takayoshi; Schwabl, Ingrid; Goymann, Wolfgang; Salli, Brady M; Bentley, George E; Buck, C Loren

    2014-12-01

    Most organisms in temperate or tropic regions employ the light-dark (LD) cycle as the primary Zeitgeber to synchronize circadian rhythms. At higher latitudes (>66°33'), continuous illumination during the summer presents a significant time-keeping dilemma for polar-adapted species. Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus), arctic-breeding migratory songbirds, are one of the few recorded species maintaining an intact diel rhythm in activity and plasma melatonin titers during polar summer. However, it is unknown whether rhythms are endogenous and entrain to low-amplitude polar Zeitgeber signals, such as daily variations in light intensity and the spectral composition of the sun (as measured by color temperature). Wild-caught male and female longspurs were brought into captivity, and locomotor activity was assessed using infrared detection. To examine if rhythms were endogenous, birds were exposed to constant bright light (LL; 1300 lux) or constant darkness (DD; 0.1 lux). All birds exhibited free-running activity rhythms in LL and DD, suggesting the presence of a functional circadian clock. Mean periods in LL (22.86 h) were significantly shorter than those in DD (23.5 h), in accordance with Aschoff's rule. No birds entrained to diel changes in light intensity, color temperature, or both. To examine endogenous molecular clock function, the Per2 gene was partially cloned in longspurs (llPer2) and transcripts were measured in hypothalamic tissue punches, eye, and liver using competitive polymerase chain reaction. Ocular llPer2 gene expression was periodic in LL and elevated at ZT24 (CT24) for LD or constant conditions (LL and DD), but llPer2 rhythmicity was not detected in hypothalamus or liver. Plasma melatonin was significantly lower in LL compared with LD or DD. In conclusion, rhythmic ocular Per2 expression and melatonin secretion may maintain the circadian activity rhythm across the polar day.

  18. Singing modulates parvalbumin interneurons throughout songbird forebrain vocal control circuitry

    PubMed Central

    Zengin-Toktas, Yildiz

    2017-01-01

    Across species, the performance of vocal signals can be modulated by the social environment. Zebra finches, for example, adjust their song performance when singing to females (‘female-directed’ or FD song) compared to when singing in isolation (‘undirected’ or UD song). These changes are salient, as females prefer the FD song over the UD song. Despite the importance of these performance changes, the neural mechanisms underlying this social modulation remain poorly understood. Previous work in finches has established that expression of the immediate early gene EGR1 is increased during singing and modulated by social context within the vocal control circuitry. Here, we examined whether particular neural subpopulations within those vocal control regions exhibit similar modulations of EGR1 expression. We compared EGR1 expression in neurons expressing parvalbumin (PV), a calcium buffer that modulates network plasticity and homeostasis, among males that performed FD song, males that produced UD song, or males that did not sing. We found that, overall, singing but not social context significantly affected EGR1 expression in PV neurons throughout the vocal control nuclei. We observed differences in EGR1 expression between two classes of PV interneurons in the basal ganglia nucleus Area X. Additionally, we found that singing altered the amount of PV expression in neurons in HVC and Area X and that distinct PV interneuron types in Area X exhibited different patterns of modulation by singing. These data indicate that throughout the vocal control circuitry the singing-related regulation of EGR1 expression in PV neurons may be less influenced by social context than in other neuron types and raise the possibility of cell-type specific differences in plasticity and calcium buffering. PMID:28235074

  19. The role of the pineal gland in the photoperiodic control of bird song frequency and repertoire in the house sparrow, Passer domesticus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gang; Harpole, Clifford E; Paulose, Jiffin; Cassone, Vincent M

    2014-04-01

    Temperate zone birds are highly seasonal in many aspects of their physiology. In mammals, but not in birds, the pineal gland is an important component regulating seasonal patterns of primary gonadal functions. Pineal melatonin in birds instead affects seasonal changes in brain song control structures, suggesting the pineal gland regulates seasonal song behavior. The present study tests the hypothesis that the pineal gland transduces photoperiodic information to the control of seasonal song behavior to synchronize this important behavior to the appropriate phenology. House sparrows, Passer domesticus, expressed a rich array of vocalizations ranging from calls to multisyllabic songs and motifs of songs that varied under a regimen of different photoperiodic conditions that were simulated at different times of year. Control (SHAM) birds exhibited increases in song behavior when they were experimentally transferred from short days, simulating winter, to equinoctial and long days, simulating summer, and decreased vocalization when they were transferred back to short days. When maintained in long days for longer periods, the birds became reproductively photorefractory as measured by the yellowing of the birds' bills; however, song behavior persisted in the SHAM birds, suggesting a dissociation of reproduction from the song functions. Pinealectomized (PINX) birds expressed larger, more rapid increases in daily vocal rate and song repertoire size than did the SHAM birds during the long summer days. These increases gradually declined upon the extension of the long days and did not respond to the transfer to short days as was observed in the SHAM birds, suggesting that the pineal gland conveys photoperiodic information to the vocal control system, which in turn regulates song behavior.

  20. Molecular evolution and phylogenetic analysis of eight COL superfamily genes in group I related to photoperiodic regulation of flowering time in wild and domesticated cotton (Gossypium) species.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Ding, Jian; Liu, Chunxiao; Cai, Caiping; Zhou, Baoliang; Zhang, Tianzhen; Guo, Wangzhen

    2015-01-01

    Flowering time is an important ecological trait that determines the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth. Flowering time in cotton is controlled by short-day photoperiods, with strict photoperiod sensitivity. As the CO-FT (CONSTANS-FLOWER LOCUS T) module regulates photoperiodic flowering in several plants, we selected eight CONSTANS genes (COL) in group I to detect their expression patterns in long-day and short-day conditions. Further, we individually cloned and sequenced their homologs from 25 different cotton accessions and one outgroup. Finally, we studied their structures, phylogenetic relationship, and molecular evolution in both coding region and three characteristic domains. All the eight COLs in group I show diurnal expression. In the orthologous and homeologous loci, each gene structure in different cotton species is highly conserved, while length variation has occurred due to insertions/deletions in intron and/or exon regions. Six genes, COL2 to COL5, COL7 and COL8, exhibit higher nucleotide diversity in the D-subgenome than in the A-subgenome. The Ks values of 98.37% in all allotetraploid cotton species examined were higher in the A-D and At-Dt comparison than in the A-At and D-Dt comparisons, and the Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) of Ks between A vs. D and At vs. Dt also showed positive, high correlations, with a correlation coefficient of at least 0.797. The nucleotide polymorphism in wild species is significantly higher compared to G. hirsutum and G. barbadense, indicating a genetic bottleneck associated with the domesticated cotton species. Three characteristic domains in eight COLs exhibit different evolutionary rates, with the CCT domain highly conserved, while the B-box and Var domain much more variable in allotetraploid species. Taken together, COL1, COL2 and COL8 endured greater selective pressures during the domestication process. The study improves our understanding of the domestication-related genes/traits during cotton

  1. Effect of 2-deoxy-D-glucose induced metabolic stress on testicular steroidogenesis and antioxidant status in golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus: Role of photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Arun; Haldar, Chandana

    2015-12-01

    The driving force underlying the evolution of reproductive seasonality is the marked seasonal fluctuation in energy availability. It is well established that photoperiod regulates testicular steroidogenesis through modulation of circulatory and local melatonin levels and MT1R expression in golden hamster. However, photoperiodic variation in energy availability and its impact on testicular steroidogenesis and antioxidant status has never been investigated for any seasonal breeder. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to elucidate the role of photoperiod in modulation of metabolic stress induced variation in steroidogenesis and antioxidant status in testes. We experimentally reduced energy availability via administration of 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG), a synthetic glucose analog, in critical- (CP), long- (LD) and short-day (SD) exposed golden hamsters, Mesocricetus auratus and examined testicular steroidogenesis and antioxidant status. Administration of 2-DG decreased testicular steroidogenesis and antioxidant enzyme activity in CP and LD experienced hamsters as compared to CP- and LD-control groups. Moreover, a decrease in the plasma- and local-melatonin level and MT1R expression in testes with a simultaneous increase in plasma corticosterone level was noted following 2-DG administration in CP and LD exposed hamsters. In contrast, no significant effect of 2-DG administration was observed on the parameters investigated under SD condition. Therefore, it can be suggested that the reduction in energy availability under CP and LD condition suppressed testicular steroidogenesis and increased oxidative damage in testis whereas SD induced melatonin might have buffered the 2-DG induced suppression of testicular steroidogenesis and maintained testicular antioxidant status.

  2. Heading date QTL in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) coincide with major developmental genes Vernalization-1 and Photoperiod-1

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), time from planting to spike emergence is influenced by genes controlling vernalization requirement and photoperiod response. Characterizing the available genetic diversity of known and novel alleles of Vernalization-1 (Vrn-1) and Photoperiod-1 (Ppd-1) in winter wheat...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    CONSTANS (CO) plays a central role in photoperiodic flowering control of plants. However, much remains unknown about the function of the CO gene family in soybean and the molecular mechanisms underlying the short-day photoperiodic flowering of soybean. We identified 26 CO homologs (GmCOLs) in the so...

  4. Effect of photoperiod change on chronobiology of cercarial emergence of Schistosoma japonicum derived from hilly and marshy regions of China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Su-Rong; Zhu, Yuan-Jian; Ge, Qing-Peng; Yang, Meng-Jia; Huang, Ji-Lei; Huang, Wen-Qiao; Zhuge, Hong-Xiang; Lu, Da-Bing

    2015-12-01

    The chronobiology of cercarial emergence appeared to be a genetically controlled behavior, adapted to definitive host species, for schistosome. However, a few physiological and ecological factors, for example the change of photoperiod, were reported to affect the rhythmic emergence of cercariae. Therefore, the effect of photoperiod change on cercarial emergence of two Schistosoma japonicum isolates, the hilly and the marshland, was investigated. Four shedding experiments each under a different photoperiod were conducted. Under a natural photoperiod, two distinct shedding modes, one from the hilly region and one from the marshland, were observed. Under a reversed photoperiod, the regular pattern (i.e. under a natural photoperiod) of S. japonicum cercarial emergence was reversed for the marshland isolate and disappeared for the hilly isolate. With an input of a 2 h darkness from 7am to 9am, the cercarial emergence peak were delayed for the two isolates; whereas with an input of a 2 h darkness from 5pm to 7pm, neither effect on the cercarial emergence rhythm was observed. The total cercariae emerged for both parasite isolates varied with a different photoperiod. The results indicate that the change of photoperiod could affect the chronobiology of S japonicum cercarial emergence.

  5. Autumn photosynthetic decline and growth cessation in seedlings of white spruce are decoupled under warming and photoperiod manipulations.

    PubMed

    Stinziano, Joseph R; Way, Danielle A

    2017-01-19

    Climate warming is expected to increase the seasonal duration of photosynthetic carbon fixation and tree growth in high-latitude forests. However, photoperiod, a crucial cue for seasonality, will remain constant, which may constrain tree responses to warming. We investigated the effects of temperature and photoperiod on weekly changes in photosynthetic capacity, leaf biochemistry and growth in seedlings of a boreal evergreen conifer, white spruce [Picea glauca (Moench) Voss]. Warming delayed autumn declines in photosynthetic capacity, extending the period when seedlings had high carbon uptake. While photoperiod was correlated with photosynthetic capacity, short photoperiods did not constrain the maintenance of high photosynthetic capacity under warming. Rubisco concentration dynamics were affected by temperature but not photoperiod, while leaf pigment concentrations were unaffected by treatments. Respiration rates at 25 °C were stimulated by photoperiod, although respiration at the growth temperatures was increased in warming treatments. Seedling growth was stimulated by increased photoperiod and suppressed by warming. We demonstrate that temperature is a stronger control on the seasonal timing of photosynthetic down-regulation than is photoperiod. Thus, while warming can stimulate carbon uptake in boreal conifers, the extra carbon may be directed towards respiration rather than biomass, potentially limiting carbon sequestration under climate change.

  6. The role of photoperiod and temperature in diapause induction of the endoparasitoid wasp, Microplitis mediator (Haliday) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diapause in Microplitis mediator is manifested during the pupal stage and normally occurs during the winter season because of a photoperiodic response which is highly dependant on temperature. In the reported study, diapause was determine by photoperiod and mediated by temperature, which supports th...

  7. Carbon dioxide effects on potato growth under different photoperiods and irradiance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, Raymond M.; Tibbitts, Theodore W.; Fitzpatrick, Ann H.

    1991-01-01

    The effects of atmospheric CO2 concentration, photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), and the length of the photoperiod on the tuber yield were investigated for three potato cultivars (Norland, Russet Burbank, and Denali), by growing these cultivars for 90 days in atmospheres containing 350 or 1000 micromol/mol CO2, at photoperiods of 12- or 24-hr, and at PPFs of 400 or 800 micromol/sq m per sec. Air temperatures and relative humidity were kept at 16 C and 70 percent, respectively. It was found that the tuber yield of Denali potatoes showed the greatest increase (21 percent) in response to increased CO2 across all irradiance treatments, while the tuber yields of Russet and Norland were increased 18 and 9 percent, respectively. Greater plant growth from CO2 enrichment was observed under lower PPF and the shorter (12 hr) photoperiod.

  8. Photoperiod and temperature effects on in vitro growth and flowering of P. pusilla, an epiphytic orchid.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Ana Paula A; Figueiredo-Ribeiro Rd, Rita de Cássia L; Kerbauy, Gilberto B

    2004-05-01

    Psygmorchis pusilla Dodson and Dressler, an epiphytic orchid, has been shown to be an interesting model to study in vitro flower formation. In the present study, the effects of photoperiod and temperature on vegetative and reproductive development were investigated. Although photoperiod had limited effects on leaf number, an etiolating process was verified in darkness and a higher growth was detected under long days. A positive relationship was observed between long days and floral spike formation. However, plant incubation under 20 h photoperiod or longer days negatively affected floral bud development, inhibiting anthesis and reducing flower longevity. Higher soluble sugar and starch levels were detected in plants cultivated under long days, while chlorophyll and carotenoids contents were negatively affected under these conditions. Plants showed great sensitivity to temperature variations; 27 degrees C being the most adequate for growth, leaf and floral spike formation. Temperatures of 22 and 32 degrees C were not appropriate for in vitro development of P. pusilla.

  9. Effects of photoperiod, growth temperature and cold acclimatisation on glucosinolates, sugars and fatty acids in kale.

    PubMed

    Steindal, Anne Linn Hykkerud; Rødven, Rolf; Hansen, Espen; Mølmann, Jørgen

    2015-05-01

    Curly kale is a robust, cold tolerant plant with a high content of health-promoting compounds, grown at a range of latitudes. To assess the effects of temperature, photoperiod and cold acclimatisation on levels of glucosinolates, fatty acids and soluble sugars in kale, an experiment was set up under controlled conditions. Treatments consisted of combinations of the temperatures 15/9 or 21/15 °C, and photoperiods of 12 or 24h, followed by a cold acclimatisation period. Levels of glucosinolates and fatty acid types in leaves were affected by growth conditions and cold acclimatisation, being generally highest before acclimatisation. The effects of growth temperature and photoperiod on freezing tolerance were most pronounced in plants grown without cold acclimatisation. The results indicate that cold acclimatisation can increase the content of soluble sugar and can thereby improve the taste, whilst the content of unsaturated fatty and glucosinolates acids may decrease.

  10. Attitudes of Vermont dairy farmers regarding adoption of management practices for grassland songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Troy, A.B.; Strong, A.M.; Bosworth, S.C.; Donovan, T.M.; Buckley, N.J.; Wilson, M.L.

    2005-01-01

    In the northeastern United States, most populations of grassland songbirds occur on private lands. However, little information exists about the attitudes of farmers toward habitat management for this guild. To address this information gap, we surveyed 131 dairy farmers in Vermont's Champlain Valley to assess current hayfield management practices and farmers' willingness to adopt more "bird-friendly" practices. Our results showed a clear trend toward earlier and more frequent hayfield cuts. Farmers indicated they have little flexibility to alter the timing of their cuts on most of their land. However, many farmers (49%) indicated a willingness to adopt alternative management practices on at least a small portion of their land. Combined with the fact that many farmers characterized parts of their land as "wasteland," or economically unproductive land, this result suggests that some leeway exists for increasing songbird habitat quality on at least portions of dairy farms. Although significant differences existed in the amount of land for which farmers were willing to adopt alternative management based on herd size, acreage, and experience, the directionality of these relationships could not be established except tentatively for herd size, in which case it appeared that farmers with smaller herds were more likely to dedicate a greater percentage of their land to alternative management. The results of this study likely have relevance to dairy farms throughout the northern-tier dairy states. Given the increasing trend for agricultural land to be converted into housing, we recommend that extension and education efforts target farmers with large hayfield acreages, encouraging the maintenance of high-quality habitat for grassland songbirds.

  11. Can Nocturnal Flight Calls of the Migrating Songbird, American Redstart, Encode Sexual Dimorphism and Individual Identity?

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Emily T; Keen, Sara C; Lanzone, Michael; Farnsworth, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Bird species often use flight calls to engage in social behavior, for instance maintain group cohesion and to signal individual identity, kin or social associations, or breeding status of the caller. Additional uses also exist, in particular among migrating songbirds for communication during nocturnal migration. However, our understanding of the information that these vocalizations convey is incomplete, especially in nocturnal scenarios. To examine whether information about signaler traits could be encoded in flight calls we quantified several acoustic characteristics from calls of a nocturnally migrating songbird, the American Redstart. We recorded calls from temporarily captured wild specimens during mist-netting at the Powdermill Avian Research Center in Rector, PA. We measured call similarity among and within individuals, genders, and age groups. Calls from the same individual were significantly more similar to one another than to the calls of other individuals, and calls were significantly more similar among individuals of the same sex than between sexes. Flight calls from hatching-year and after hatching-year individuals were not significantly different. Our results suggest that American Redstart flight calls may carry identifiers of gender and individual identity. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of individuality or sexual dimorphism in the flight calls of a migratory songbird. Furthermore, our results suggest that flight calls may have more explicit functions beyond simple group contact and cohesion. Nocturnal migration may require coordination among numerous individuals, and the use of flight calls to transmit information among intra- and conspecifics could be advantageous. Applying approaches that account for such individual and gender information may enable more advanced research using acoustic monitoring.

  12. Can Nocturnal Flight Calls of the Migrating Songbird, American Redstart, Encode Sexual Dimorphism and Individual Identity?

    PubMed Central

    Lanzone, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Bird species often use flight calls to engage in social behavior, for instance maintain group cohesion and to signal individual identity, kin or social associations, or breeding status of the caller. Additional uses also exist, in particular among migrating songbirds for communication during nocturnal migration. However, our understanding of the information that these vocalizations convey is incomplete, especially in nocturnal scenarios. To examine whether information about signaler traits could be encoded in flight calls we quantified several acoustic characteristics from calls of a nocturnally migrating songbird, the American Redstart. We recorded calls from temporarily captured wild specimens during mist-netting at the Powdermill Avian Research Center in Rector, PA. We measured call similarity among and within individuals, genders, and age groups. Calls from the same individual were significantly more similar to one another than to the calls of other individuals, and calls were significantly more similar among individuals of the same sex than between sexes. Flight calls from hatching-year and after hatching-year individuals were not significantly different. Our results suggest that American Redstart flight calls may carry identifiers of gender and individual identity. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of individuality or sexual dimorphism in the flight calls of a migratory songbird. Furthermore, our results suggest that flight calls may have more explicit functions beyond simple group contact and cohesion. Nocturnal migration may require coordination among numerous individuals, and the use of flight calls to transmit information among intra- and conspecifics could be advantageous. Applying approaches that account for such individual and gender information may enable more advanced research using acoustic monitoring. PMID:27284697

  13. Seasonal Patterns in Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Antibody in Songbirds in Southern Maine.

    PubMed

    Elias, Susan P; Keenan, Patrick; Kenney, Joan L; Morris, Sara R; Covino, Kristen M; Robinson, Sara; Foss, Kimberly A; Rand, Peter W; Lubelczyk, Charles; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Mutebi, John-Paul; Evers, David; Smith, Robert P

    2017-03-13

    The intent of this study was to assess passerine eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEv) seroprevalence during the breeding season in southern Maine by testing songbird species identified in the literature as amplifying hosts of this virus. In 2013 and 2014, we collected serum samples from songbirds at a mainland site and an offshore island migratory stopover site, and screened samples for EEEv antibodies using plaque reduction neutralization tests. We compared seasonal changes in EEEv antibody seroprevalence in young (hatched in year of capture) and adult birds at the mainland site, and also compared early season seroprevalence in mainland versus offshore adult birds. EEEv seroprevalence did not differ significantly between years at either site. During the early season (May), EEEv antibody seroprevalence was substantially lower (9.6%) in the island migrant adults than in mainland adults (42.9%), 2013-2014. On the mainland, EEEv antibody seroprevalence in young birds increased from 12.9% in midseason (June-August) to 45.6% in late season (September/October), 2013-2014. Seroprevalence in adult birds did not differ between seasons (48.8% vs. 53.3%). EEEv activity in Maine has increased in the past decade as measured by increased virus detection in mosquitoes and veterinary cases. High EEEv seroprevalence in young birds-as compared to that of young birds in other studies-corresponded with two consecutive active EEEv years in Maine. We suggest that young, locally hatched songbirds be sampled as a part of long-term EEEv surveillance, and provide a list of suggested species to sample, including EEEv "superspreaders."

  14. Effects of landscape composition and configuration on migrating songbirds: inference from an individual-based model.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Emily B; Pearson, Scott M; Moore, Frank R

    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 of landscape composition and configuration on fuel deposition rates (FDR [g/d]), the currency of migration, has not been tested empirically. Our objectives were to understand the effects of heterogeneous landscapes on FDR of forest-dwelling songbirds during spring migration. The results of field experiments were used to parameterize a spatially explicit, individual-based model of forest songbird movement and resulting FDR. Further field experiments were used to validate the results from the individual-based model. In simulation experiments, we altered a Gulf South landscape in a factorial design to predict the effects of future patterns under different scenarios of land use change in which the abundance of high-quality hardwood habitat and the spatial aggregation of habitat varied. Simulated FDR decreased as the amount of hardwood in the landscape decreased from 41% to 22% to 12%. Further, migrants that arrived in higher-quality habitat types gained more mass. Counter to our expectations, FDR was higher with lower spatial aggregation of habitat. Differences in refueling rates may be most influenced by whether or not an individual experiences an initial searching cost after landing in poor-quality habitat. Therefore, quickly locating habitat with sufficient food resources at each stopover may be the most important factor determining a successful migration. Our findings provide empirical evidence for the argument that hardwood forest cover is a primary determinant of the quality of a stopover site in this region. This study represents the first effort to empirically quantify FDRs based on the

  15. Photoperiod Extension Enhances Sexual Megaspore Formation and Triggers Metabolic Reprogramming in Facultative Apomictic Ranunculus auricomus.

    PubMed

    Klatt, Simone; Hadacek, Franz; Hodač, Ladislav; Brinkmann, Gina; Eilerts, Marius; Hojsgaard, Diego; Hörandl, Elvira

    2016-01-01

    Meiosis, the key step of sexual reproduction, persists in facultative apomictic plants functional to some extent. However, it still remains unclear how and why proportions of reproductive pathways vary under different environmental stress conditions. We hypothesized that oxidative stress mediates alterations of developmental pathways. In apomictic plants we expected that megasporogenesis, the stage directly after meiosis, would be more affected than later stages of seed development. To simulate moderate stress conditions we subjected clone-mates of facultative apomictic Ranunculus auricomus to 10 h photoperiods, reflecting natural conditions, and extended ones (16.5 h). Reproduction mode was screened directly after megasporogenesis (microscope) and at seed stage (flow cytometric seed screening). Targeted metabolite profiles were performed with HPLC-DAD to explore if and which metabolic reprogramming was caused by the extended photoperiod. Prolonged photoperiods resulted in increased frequencies of sexual vs. aposporous initials directly after meiosis, but did not affect frequencies of sexual vs. asexual seed formation. Changes in secondary metabolite profiles under extended photoperiods affected all classes of compounds, and c. 20% of these changes separated the two treatments. Unexpectedly, the renowned antioxidant phenylpropanoids and flavonoids added more to clone-mate variation than to treatment differentiation. Among others, chlorophyll degradation products, non-assigned phenolic compounds and more lipophilic metabolites also contributed to the dissimilarity of the metabolic profiles of plants that had been exposed to the two different photoperiods. The hypothesis of moderate light stress effects was supported by increased proportions of sexual megaspore development at the expense of aposporous initial formation. The lack of effects at the seed stage confirms the basic assumption that only meiosis and sporogenesis would be sensitive to light stress. The

  16. Simulating the Influence of Vernalization, Photoperiod and Optimum Temperature on Wheat Developmental Rates

    PubMed Central

    McMaster, Gregory S.; White, Jeffrey W.; Hunt, L. A.; Jamieson, P. D.; Dhillon, S. S.; Ortiz-Monasterio, J. I.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Accurately representing development is essential for applying crop simulations to investigate the effects of climate, genotypes or crop management. Development in wheat (Triticum aestivum, T. durum) is primarily driven by temperature, but affected by vernalization and photoperiod, and is often simulated by reducing thermal-time accumulation using vernalization or photoperiod factors or limiting accumulation when a lower optimum temperature (Toptl) is exceeded. In this study Toptl and methods for representing effects of vernalization and photoperiod on anthesis were examined using a range of planting dates and genotypes. Methods An examination was made of Toptl values of 15, 20, 25 and 50 °C, and either the most limiting or the multiplicative value of the vernalization and photoperiod development rate factors for simulating anthesis. Field data were from replicated trials at Ludhiana, Punjab, India with July through to December planting dates and seven cultivars varying in vernalization response. Key Results Simulations of anthesis were similar for Toptl values of 20, 25 and 50 °C, but a Toptl of 15 °C resulted in a consistent bias towards predicting anthesis late for early planting dates. Results for Toptl above 15 °C may have occurred because mean temperatures rarely exceeded 20 °C before anthesis for many planting dates. For cultivars having a strong vernalization response, anthesis was more accurately simulated when vernalization and photoperiod factors were multiplied rather than using the most limiting of the two factors. Conclusions Setting Toptl to a high value (30 °C) and multiplying the vernalization and photoperiod factors resulted in accurately simulating anthesis for a wide range of planting dates and genotypes. However, for environments where average temperatures exceed 20 °C for much of the pre-anthesis period, a lower Toptl (23 °C) might be appropriate. These results highlight the value of testing a model over a wide range

  17. Photoperiod Modulates Fast Delayed Rectifier Potassium Currents in the Mammalian Circadian Clock

    PubMed Central

    Meijer, Johanna H.; Michel, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    One feature of the mammalian circadian clock, situated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), is its ability to measure day length and thereby contribute to the seasonal adaptation of physiology and behavior. The timing signal from the SCN, namely the 24 hr pattern of electrical activity, is adjusted according to the photoperiod being broader in long days and narrower in short days. Vasoactive intestinal peptide and gamma-aminobutyric acid play a crucial role in intercellular communication within the SCN and contribute to the seasonal changes in phase distribution. However, little is known about the underlying ionic mechanisms of synchronization. The present study was aimed to identify cellular mechanisms involved in seasonal encoding by the SCN. Mice were adapted to long-day (light–dark 16:8) and short-day (light–dark 8:16) photoperiods and membrane properties as well as K+ currents activity of SCN neurons were measured using patch-clamp recordings in acute slices. Remarkably, we found evidence for a photoperiodic effect on the fast delayed rectifier K+ current, that is, the circadian modulation of this ion channel’s activation reversed in long days resulting in 50% higher peak values during the night compared with the unaltered day values. Consistent with fast delayed rectifier enhancement, duration of action potentials during the night was shortened and afterhyperpolarization potentials increased in amplitude and duration. The slow delayed rectifier, transient K+ currents, and membrane excitability were not affected by photoperiod. We conclude that photoperiod can change intrinsic ion channel properties of the SCN neurons, which may influence cellular communication and contribute to photoperiodic phase adjustment. PMID:27697884

  18. Temperature and photoperiod interactions with phosphorus-limited growth and competition of two diatoms.

    PubMed

    Shatwell, Tom; Köhler, Jan; Nicklisch, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    In lakes, trophic change and climate change shift the relationship between nutrients and physical factors, like temperature and photoperiod, and interactions between these factors should affect the growth of phytoplankton species differently. We therefore determined the relationship between P-limited specific growth rates and P-quota (biovolume basis) of Stephanodiscus minutulus and Nitzschia acicularis (diatoms) at or near light saturation in axenic, semi-continuous culture at 10, 15 and 20 °C and at 6, 9 and 12 h d(-1) photoperiod. Photoperiod treatments were performed at constant daily light exposure to allow comparison. Under these conditions, we also performed competition experiments and estimated relative P-uptake rates of the species. Temperature strongly affected P-limited growth rates and relative P uptake rates, whereas photoperiod only affected maximum growth rates. S. minutulus used internal P more efficiently than N. acicularis. N. acicularis was the superior competitor for P due to a higher relative uptake rate and its superiority increased with increasing temperature and photoperiod. S. minutulus conformed to the Droop relationship but N. acicularis did not. A model with a temperature-dependent normalised half-saturation coefficient adequately described the factor interactions of both species. The temperature dependence of the quota model reflected each species' specific adaptation to its ecological niche. The results demonstrate that increases in temperature or photoperiod can partially compensate for a decrease in P-quota under moderately limiting conditions, like during spring in temperate lakes. Thus warming may counteract de-eutrophication to some degree and a relative shift in growth factors can influence the phytoplankton species composition.

  19. Effects of photoperiod and temperature on diapause induction in Conogethes punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).

    PubMed

    Xu, Li-Rong; Ni, Xinzhi; Wang, Zhen-Ying; He, Kang-Lai

    2014-10-01

    The yellow peach moth, Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée), a multivoltine species that overwinters as diapausing larvae, is one of the most serious insect pests on maize in China. Effect of photoperiod and temperature on larval diapause was examined under empirical laboratory conditions. Short-day treatments caused larval diapause at 25°C, and the critical photoperiod was between 12 and 13 h (or 12 h 51 min) light per day. No sensitive instar was identified for diapause induction under alternated short- (L : D 11 : 13 h) and long-day (L : D 14 : 10 h) treatments at different larval stages. However, accumulative treatment of three instars and 10 d under short-day treatment was required for the induction of 50% larval diapause. All larvae entered diapause at 20°C, whereas less than 3% did so at 30°C, irrespective of the long- or short-day treatment. Furthermore, under the short-day treatment, more than 90% of larvae went into diapause with temperatures ≤ 25°C, but less than 17% did so at 28°C. In contrast, under the long-day treatment, less than 19% of larvae went into diapause with temperatures ≥ 23°C. The forward shift (5°C) of critical temperature under the long-day regime demonstrated the compensatory effect of temperature and photoperiod on diapause induction. In conclusion, C. punctiferalis had a temperature-dependent type I photoperiodic diapause response; there was no sensitive instar for diapause determination, but the photoperiodic accumulation time countermeasures both of the short-day cycles and the number of instars exposed, and the photoperiodic diapause response, was a temperature-compensated phenomenon.

  20. Photoperiod Extension Enhances Sexual Megaspore Formation and Triggers Metabolic Reprogramming in Facultative Apomictic Ranunculus auricomus

    PubMed Central

    Klatt, Simone; Hadacek, Franz; Hodač, Ladislav; Brinkmann, Gina; Eilerts, Marius; Hojsgaard, Diego; Hörandl, Elvira

    2016-01-01

    Meiosis, the key step of sexual reproduction, persists in facultative apomictic plants functional to some extent. However, it still remains unclear how and why proportions of reproductive pathways vary under different environmental stress conditions. We hypothesized that oxidative stress mediates alterations of developmental pathways. In apomictic plants we expected that megasporogenesis, the stage directly after meiosis, would be more affected than later stages of seed development. To simulate moderate stress conditions we subjected clone-mates of facultative apomictic Ranunculus auricomus to 10 h photoperiods, reflecting natural conditions, and extended ones (16.5 h). Reproduction mode was screened directly after megasporogenesis (microscope) and at seed stage (flow cytometric seed screening). Targeted metabolite profiles were performed with HPLC–DAD to explore if and which metabolic reprogramming was caused by the extended photoperiod. Prolonged photoperiods resulted in increased frequencies of sexual vs. aposporous initials directly after meiosis, but did not affect frequencies of sexual vs. asexual seed formation. Changes in secondary metabolite profiles under extended photoperiods affected all classes of compounds, and c. 20% of these changes separated the two treatments. Unexpectedly, the renowned antioxidant phenylpropanoids and flavonoids added more to clone-mate variation than to treatment differentiation. Among others, chlorophyll degradation products, non-assigned phenolic compounds and more lipophilic metabolites also contributed to the dissimilarity of the metabolic profiles of plants that had been exposed to the two different photoperiods. The hypothesis of moderate light stress effects was supported by increased proportions of sexual megaspore development at the expense of aposporous initial formation. The lack of effects at the seed stage confirms the basic assumption that only meiosis and sporogenesis would be sensitive to light stress. The

  1. Photoperiod Modulates Fast Delayed Rectifier Potassium Currents in the Mammalian Circadian Clock.

    PubMed

    Farajnia, Sahar; Meijer, Johanna H; Michel, Stephan

    2016-10-01

    One feature of the mammalian circadian clock, situated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), is its ability to measure day length and thereby contribute to the seasonal adaptation of physiology and behavior. The timing signal from the SCN, namely the 24 hr pattern of electrical activity, is adjusted according to the photoperiod being broader in long days and narrower in short days. Vasoactive intestinal peptide and gamma-aminobutyric acid play a crucial role in intercellular communication within the SCN and contribute to the seasonal changes in phase distribution. However, little is known about the underlying ionic mechanisms of synchronization. The present study was aimed to identify cellular mechanisms involved in seasonal encoding by the SCN. Mice were adapted to long-day (light-dark 16:8) and short-day (light-dark 8:16) photoperiods and membrane properties as well as K(+) currents activity of SCN neurons were measured using patch-clamp recordings in acute slices. Remarkably, we found evidence for a photoperiodic effect on the fast delayed rectifier K(+) current, that is, the circadian modulation of this ion channel's activation reversed in long days resulting in 50% higher peak values during the night compared with the unaltered day values. Consistent with fast delayed rectifier enhancement, duration of action potentials during the night was shortened and afterhyperpolarization potentials increased in amplitude and duration. The slow delayed rectifier, transient K(+) currents, and membrane excitability were not affected by photoperiod. We conclude that photoperiod can change intrinsic ion channel properties of the SCN neurons, which may influence cellular communication and contribute to photoperiodic phase adjustment.

  2. Discussion of Yellow Starthistle Response to Irradiance, Photoperiod, and CO2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David L.

    2016-01-01

    Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) is a native annual weed of Eurasia and since introduction into the US has become an invasive and noxious weed. It grows in a rosette habit during the vegetative state and usually bolts in summer to produce a large and branched flowering stem. Time to flowering in Yellow Starthistle has been attributed to photoperiod, nitrogen nutrition, temperature, and water stress. We executed a series of studies to investigate the role of light, both photoperiod and photosynthetic photon flux, on flowering and development in Yellow Starthistle. Treatments were presented in 4 ways: (1) Varying day length with constant photosynthetic photon flus (PPF) - providing increasing daily integrated Photosynthetic Photon (PP) exposure with longer day lengths, (2) Varying day length while adjusting PPF to maintain daily PP exposure for all treatments, (3) Extending photoperiod treatments beyond common 12-h photosynthetic period with low light levels to maintain both PPF and daily PP across all treatments; and (4) Reciprocal exchange of plant among photoperiod treatments. Yellow Starthistle appears to be a long-day plant with a critical day length requirement between 14-h and 16-h to induce transition from vegetative to floral stages in development. PPF and daily absorbed photons did not affect time to vegetative / floral stage transition, but did affect factors such as biomass accumulation and canopy parameters such as specific leaf mass. Reciprocal exchange of plants between floral inducing and inhibiting photoperiod treatments, starting at 2-weeks post germination, had no effect on to flower. Flowering was determined by photoperiod experienced during the first 2-weeks (or less) post germination. Yellow Starthistle net photosynthetic response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations over a range of photosynthetically active radiation flux rates and temperatures will also be presented and discussed.

  3. Temperature rather than photoperiod controls growth cessation and dormancy in Sorbus species

    PubMed Central

    Heide, Ola M.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental regulation of growth and dormancy of four Sorbus genotypes was studied in controlled environments. Emphasis was placed on assessment of the presence and nature of the deficient photoperiodic dormancy regulation system that has previously been reported for some woody Rosaceae species. Two genotypes of Sorbus aucuparia L. maintained indeterminate growth for 8 weeks and 9 weeks at temperatures of 15 °C and 21 °C in both 20 h and 10 h photoperiods, while at 9 °C, in the same photoperiodic conditions, they immediately ceased growing. At the higher temperatures, initiation of new leaves (nodes) was unaffected by photoperiod, while internode elongation was significantly enhanced by long days (LD). However, even after prolonged exposure to 9 °C, most plants resumed growth when moved to high temperature and LD, indicating a shallow state of dormancy. Seedlings of Sorbus intermedia (J. F. Ehrh.) Pers. and micro-propagated plantlets of S. commixta Hedl. ‘Dodong’ were also unaffected by photoperiod during primary growth, but failed to elongate and gradually became dormant regardless of temperature and day-length conditions. However, after chilling and breaking of dormancy, the plants elongated vigorously but changed to a determinate mode of growth. Furthermore, a temperature of 9 °C was found to be fully effective for breaking dormancy in S. intermedia plants. It is concluded that deficient photoperiodic dormancy control seems widespread in the Rosaceae and that, in such plants, both dormancy induction and release is brought about by low temperature. The potential impacts of climate change on such trees are discussed. PMID:21862485

  4. Biological Manipulation of Migration Rate: The Use of Advanced Photoperiod to Accelerate Smoltification in Yearling Chinook Salmon, Annual Report 1989.

    SciTech Connect

    Giorgi, Albert E.; Muir, William D.; Zaugg, Waldo S.

    1991-01-01

    Research was conducted to assess the feasibility of biologically manipulating physiological development and migratory behavior of yearling spring chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. At Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, treatment groups were exposed to a variety of advanced photoperiod cycles preceding release to accelerate smolt development. Physiological development and migratory performance were described for all groups. The treatments included a 14-week exposure to a 3-month advanced photoperiod cycle, an 18-week exposure to a 3-month advanced photoperiod cycle, and an 18-week exposure to a 4-month advanced photoperiod cycle. Two additional groups, an 18-week exposure to a 3-month advanced photoperiod and a control equivalent, were reared at an elevated water temperature (11{degrees}C) for 2 weeks prior to release. Results indicated that the treated fish which were the most physiologically advanced at release were detected in the highest proportion at collector dams and also migrated fastest downstream. 26 refs., 10 figs., 5 tabs.

  5. Notes and Discussion: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) predation on grassland songbird nestlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pietz, P.J.; Granfors, D.A.

    2000-01-01

    White-tailed deer (odocoileus virginianus) were videotaped depredating four songbird nests in grassland habitats in southeastern and northcentral North Dakota, 1996-1999. Deer ate two Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), two grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), one clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), one red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) and three brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) nestlings. Deer removed nestlings quickly (5-19 sec/nest) at night (22:00 to 05:17 Central Daylight Time) and left no evidence of predation. Although probably opportunistic, deer predations clearly were deliberate and likely are more common than generally believed.

  6. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) predation on grassland songbird nestlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pietz, Pamela J.; Granfors, Diane A.

    2000-01-01

    White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were videotaped depredating four songbird nests in grassland habitats in southeastern and northcentral North Dakota, 1996-1999. Deer ate two Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), two grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), one clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), one red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) and three brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) nestlings. Deer removed nestlings quickly (5-19 sec/nest) at night (22:00 to 05:17 Central Daylight Time) and left no evidence of predation. Although probably opportunistic, deer predations clearly were deliberate and likely are more common than generally believed.

  7. PHOTOPERIOD RESPONSE 1 (PHOR1)-like genes regulate shoot/root growth, starch accumulation, and wood formation in Populus.

    PubMed

    Zawaski, Christine; Ma, Cathleen; Strauss, Steven H; French, Darla; Meilan, Richard; Busov, Victor B

    2012-09-01

    This study describes functional characterization of two putative poplar PHOTOPERIOD RESPONSE 1 (PHOR1) orthologues. The expression and sequence analyses indicate that the two poplar genes diverged, at least partially, in function. PtPHOR1_1 is most highly expressed in roots and induced by short days, while PtPHOR1_2 is more uniformly expressed throughout plant tissues and is not responsive to short days. The two PHOR1 genes also had distinct effects on shoot and root growth when their expression was up- and downregulated transgenically. PtPHOR1_1 effects were restricted to roots while PtPHOR1_2 had similar effects on aerial and below-ground development. Nevertheless, both genes seemed to be upregulated in transgenic poplars that are gibberellin-deficient and gibberellin-insensitive, suggesting interplay with gibberellin signalling. PHOR1 suppression led to increased starch accumulation in both roots and stems. The effect of PHOR1 suppression on starch accumulation was coupled with growth-inhibiting effects in both roots and shoots, suggesting that PHOR1 is part of a mechanism that regulates the allocation of carbohydrate to growth or storage in poplar. PHOR1 downregulation led to significant reduction of xylem formation caused by smaller fibres and vessels suggesting that PHOR1 likely plays a role in the growth of xylem cells.

  8. Effect of photoperiod and 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) on the reproduction of male Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii).

    PubMed

    Dai, Xin; Shi, Jia; Han, Mei; Wang, Ai Qin; Wei, Wan Hong; Yang, Sheng Mei

    2017-03-06

    Plant secondary metabolite 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) has been suggested to stimulate animal reproduction. 6-MBOA is detected in Leymus chinensis, a main diet of Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii). We have previously reported a stimulatory effect of 6-MBOA on reproduction of male Brandt's voles under a short-day photoperiod. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of 6-MBOA on reproductive physiology of male Brandt's voles under a long-day photoperiod and examine if 6-MBOA under this photoperiodic regime altered the reproductive status of male Brandt's voles differently than the short-day photoperiod. Under the long-day photoperiod, a high dose of 6-MBOA decreased KiSS-1 mRNA in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), and we also saw a decrease in circulating levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone (T). Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and cytochrome P45011a1 (CYP11a1) in the testes, and relative testis weight also decreased with 6-MBOA administration. Compared to the short-day photoperiod, animals under the long-day photoperiod exhibited increased body weight as well as all other reproductive parameters. Our results showed that 6-MBOA inhibited the reproduction of male Brandt's vole under a long-day photoperiod, a stark contrast from its stimulatory effects under a short-day photoperiod. The paradoxical effects of 6-MBOA suggest it may act as a partial agonist of melatonin. These results provide insight into the complex interactions between environmental factors such as photoperiod and diet in the control of Brandt's vole reproduction.

  9. Short, natural, and extended photoperiod response in BC2F4 lines of bread wheat with different photoperiod-1 (Ppd-1) alleles.

    PubMed

    Bentley, A R; Horsnell, R; Werner, C P; Turner, A S; Rose, G A; Bedard, C; Howell, P; Wilhelm, E P; Mackay, I J; Howells, R M; Greenland, A; Laurie, D A; Gosman, N

    2013-04-01

    Flowering is a critical period in the life cycle of flowering plant species, resulting in an irreversible commitment of significant resources. Wheat is photoperiod sensitive, flowering only when daylength surpasses a critical length; however, photoperiod insensitivity (PI) has been selected by plant breeders for >40 years to enhance yield in certain environments. Control of flowering time has been greatly facilitated by the development of molecular markers for the Photoperiod-1 (Ppd-1) homeoloci, on the group 2 chromosomes. In the current study, an allelic series of BC2F4 lines in the winter wheat cultivars 'Robigus' and 'Alchemy' was developed to elucidate the influence on flowering of eight gene variants from the B- and D-genomes of bread wheat and the A-genome of durum wheat. Allele effects were tested in short, natural, and extended photoperiods in the field and controlled environments. Across genetic background and treatment, the D-genome PI allele, Ppd-D1a, had a more potent effect on reducing flowering time than Ppd-B1a. However, there was significant donor allele effect for both Ppd-D1a and Ppd-B1a, suggesting the presence of linked modifier genes and/or additional sources of latent sensitivity. Development of Ppd-A1a BC2F4 lines derived from synthetic hexaploid wheat provided an opportunity to compare directly the flowering time effect of the A-genome allele from durum with the B- and D-genome variants from bread wheat for the first time. Analyses indicated that the reducing effect of Ppd-A1a is comparable with that of Ppd-D1a, confirming it as a useful alternative source of PI.

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

    PubMed

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-06-01

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

  11. Effect of constant-release melatonin implants and prolonged exposure to a long day photoperiod on prolactin secretion and hair growth in mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon).

    PubMed

    Santiago-Moreno, J; López-Sebastián, A; del Campo, A; González-Bulnes, A; Picazo, R; Gómez-Brunet, A

    2004-05-01

    The aims of this study were to examine whether mouflons exposed to constant long and short day photoperiods are able to exhibit an annual cycle of hair growth and moult, and prolactin (PRL) secretion. Mouflon ewes were assigned to three groups of treatment. Ewes were maintained, either under natural photoperiod (control, n = 9), or received a series of subcutaneous melatonin implants from December to April (n = 8), or were exposed to a constant long day photoperiod (16-h light:8-h dark; 16L:8D) during 18 months (n = 7). Blood was collected weekly to determine PRL concentrations, and hair samples were clipped weekly from the base of the neck to measure the length of predominant hair. Under constant long days and with melatonin implants, mouflons expressed an annual rhythm of PRL secretion, even though these treatments modified the times of rise or falling of PRL concentrations throughout the year. Hair growth initiation was almost coincident with the summer solstice in both control and melatonin-implanted mouflons but occurred two months earlier in long day hold mouflons (P < 0.001). Long day hold mouflons had a lower hair growth rate than control and melatonin-implanted mouflons (P < 0.001), and at the end of the experiment, a shorter hair length (3.4 +/- 0.24 cm; P < 0.01) than control (4.3 +/- 0.17 cm), and melatonin-implanted mouflons (4.2 +/- 0.12 cm). Our data support the conclusion that in mouflon, an endogenous circannual rhythm of PRL secretion exists, and that the seasonal cycle of hair growth and moult appears to depend, at least in part, on circulating levels of PRL.

  12. Effects of shallow natural gas well structures and associated roads on grassland songbird reproductive success in Alberta, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Koper, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    Grassland songbird populations across North America have experienced dramatic population declines due to habitat loss and degradation. In Canada, energy development continues to fragment and disturb prairie habitat, but effects of oil and gas development on reproductive success of songbirds in North American mixed-grass prairies remains largely unknown. From 2010–2012, in southeastern Alberta, Canada, we monitored 257 nests of two ground-nesting grassland songbird species, Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) and chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus). Nest locations varied with proximity to and density of conventional shallow gas well structures and associated roads in forty-two 258-ha mixed-grass prairie sites. We estimated the probabilities of nest success and clutch size relative to gas well structures and roads. There was little effect of distance to or density of gas well structure on nest success; however, Savannah sparrow experienced lower nest success near roads. Clutch sizes were lower near gas well structures and cattle water sources. Minimizing habitat disturbance surrounding gas well structures, and reducing abundance of roads and trails, would help minimize impacts on reproductive success for some grassland songbirds. PMID:28355241

  13. Effects of shallow natural gas well structures and associated roads on grassland songbird reproductive success in Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Jenny; Koper, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    Grassland songbird populations across North America have experienced dramatic population declines due to habitat loss and degradation. In Canada, energy development continues to fragment and disturb prairie habitat, but effects of oil and gas development on reproductive success of songbirds in North American mixed-grass prairies remains largely unknown. From 2010-2012, in southeastern Alberta, Canada, we monitored 257 nests of two ground-nesting grassland songbird species, Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) and chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus). Nest locations varied with proximity to and density of conventional shallow gas well structures and associated roads in forty-two 258-ha mixed-grass prairie sites. We estimated the probabilities of nest success and clutch size relative to gas well structures and roads. There was little effect of distance to or density of gas well structure on nest success; however, Savannah sparrow experienced lower nest success near roads. Clutch sizes were lower near gas well structures and cattle water sources. Minimizing habitat disturbance surrounding gas well structures, and reducing abundance of roads and trails, would help minimize impacts on reproductive success for some grassland songbirds.

  14. Do digestive contents confound body mass as a measure of relative condition in nestling songbirds?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Streby, Henry M.; Peterson, Sean M.; Lehman, Justin A.; Kramer, Gunnar R.; Vernasco, Ben J.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    Relative nestling condition, typically measured as nestling mass or as an index including nestling mass, is commonly purported to correlate with fledgling songbird survival. However, most studies directly investigating fledgling survival have found no such relationship. We weighed feces and stomach contents of nestling golden-winged warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) to investigate the potential contribution of variation in digestive contents to differences in nestling mass. We estimated that the mass of a seventh-day (near fledging) nestling golden-winged warbler varies by 0.65 g (approx. 9% of mean nestling mass) depending on the contents of the nestling's digestive system at the time of weighing, and that digestive contents are dissimilar among nestlings at any moment the brood is removed from the nest for weighing. Our conservative estimate of within-individual variation in digestive contents equals 72% and 24% of the mean within-brood and population-wide range in nestling mass, respectively. Based on our results, a substantive but typically unknown amount of the variation in body mass among nestlings is confounded by differences in digestive contents. We conclude that short-term variation in digestive contents likely precludes the use of body mass, and therefore any mass-dependent index, as a measure of relative nestling condition or as a predictor of survival in golden-winged warblers and likely in many other songbirds of similar size.

  15. Conserved mechanisms of vocalization coding in mammalian and songbird auditory midbrain

    PubMed Central

    Portfors, Christine V.

    2013-01-01

    The ubiquity of social vocalization among animals provides the opportunity to identify conserved mechanisms of auditory processing that subserve vocal communication. Identifying auditory coding properties that are shared across vocal communicators will provide insight into how human auditory processing leads to speech perception. Here, we compare auditory response properties and neural coding of social vocalizations in auditory midbrain neurons of mammalian and avian vocal communicators. The auditory midbrain is a nexus of auditory processing because it receives and integrates information from multiple parallel pathways and provides the ascending auditory input to the thalamus. The auditory midbrain is also the first region in the ascending auditory system where neurons show complex tuning properties that are correlated with the acoustics of social vocalizations. Single unit studies in mice, bats and zebra finches reveal shared principles of auditory coding including tonotopy, excitatory and inhibitory interactions that shape responses to vocal signals, nonlinear response properties that are important for auditory coding of social vocalizations and modulation tuning. Additionally, single neuron responses in the mouse and songbird midbrain are reliable, selective for specific syllables, and rely on spike timing for neural discrimination of distinct vocalizations. We propose that future research on auditory coding of vocalizations in mouse and songbird midbrain neurons adopt similar experimental and analytical approaches so that conserved principles of vocalization coding may be distinguished from those that are specialized for each species. PMID:23726970

  16. Nocturnal migratory songbirds adjust their travelling direction aloft: evidence from a radiotelemetry and radar study.

    PubMed

    Sjöberg, Sissel; Nilsson, Cecilia

    2015-06-01

    In order to fully understand the orientation behaviour of migrating birds, it is important to understand when birds set their travel direction. Departure directions of migratory passerines leaving stopover sites are often assumed to reflect the birds' intended travel directions, but this assumption has not been critically tested. We used data from an automated radiotelemetry system and a tracking radar at Falsterbo peninsula, Sweden, to compare the initial orientation of departing songbirds (recorded by radiotelemetry) with the orientation of songbird migrants in climbing and level flight (recorded by radar). We found that the track directions of birds at high altitudes and in level flight were more concentrated than the directions of departing birds and birds in climbing flight, which indicates that the birds adjust their travelling direction once aloft. This was further supported by a wide scatter of vanishing bearings in a subsample of radio-tracked birds that later passed an offshore radio receiver station 50 km southeast of Falsterbo. Track directions seemed to be more affected by winds in climbing compared with level flights, which may be explained by birds not starting to partially compensate for wind drift until they have reached cruising altitudes.

  17. Statistical learning in songbirds: from self-tutoring to song culture

    PubMed Central

    Fehér, Olga; Ljubičić, Iva; Suzuki, Kenta; Okanoya, Kazuo; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2017-01-01

    At the onset of vocal development, both songbirds and humans produce variable vocal babbling with broadly distributed acoustic features. Over development, these vocalizations differentiate into the well-defined, categorical signals that characterize adult vocal behaviour. A broadly distributed signal is ideal for vocal exploration, that is, for matching vocal production to the statistics of the sensory input. The developmental transition to categorical signals is a gradual process during which the vocal output becomes differentiated and stable. But does it require categorical input? We trained juvenile zebra finches with playbacks of their own developing song, produced just a few moments earlier, updated continuously over development. Although the vocalizations of these self-tutored (ST) birds were initially broadly distributed, birds quickly developed categorical signals, as fast as birds that were trained with a categorical, adult song template. By contrast, siblings of those birds that received no training (isolates) developed phonological categories much more slowly and never reached the same level of category differentiation as their ST brothers. Therefore, instead of simply mirroring the statistical properties of their sensory input, songbirds actively transform it into distinct categories. We suggest that the early self-generation of phonological categories facilitates the establishment of vocal culture by making the song easier to transmit at the micro level, while promoting stability of shared vocabulary at the group level over generations. This article is part of the themed issue ‘New frontiers for statistical learning in the cognitive sciences’. PMID:27872371

  18. Norepinephrine Modulates Coding of Complex Vocalizations in the Songbird Auditory Cortex Independent of Local Neuroestrogen Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Maaya Z; Jeon, Sung David; Cowell, Rosemary A; Remage-Healey, Luke

    2015-06-24

    The catecholamine norepinephrine plays a significant role in auditory processing. Most studies to date have examined the effects of norepinephrine on the neuronal response to relatively simple stimuli, such as tones and calls. It is less clear how norepinephrine shapes the detection of complex syntactical sounds, as well as the coding properties of sensory neurons. Songbirds provide an opportunity to understand how auditory neurons encode complex, learned vocalizations, and the potential role of norepinephrine in modulating the neuronal computations for acoustic communication. Here, we infused norepinephrine into the zebra finch auditory cortex and performed extracellular recordings to study the modulation of song representations in single neurons. Consistent with its proposed role in enhancing signal detection, norepinephrine decreased spontaneous activity and firing during stimuli, yet it significantly enhanced the auditory signal-to-noise ratio. These effects were all mimicked by clonidine, an α-2 receptor agonist. Moreover, a pattern classifier analysis indicated that norepinephrine enhanced the ability of single neurons to accurately encode complex auditory stimuli. Because neuroestrogens are also known to enhance auditory processing in the songbird brain, we tested the hypothesis that norepinephrine actions depend on local estrogen synthesis. Neither norepinephrine nor adrenergic receptor antagonist infusion into the auditory cortex had detectable effects on local estradiol levels. Moreover, pretreatment with fadrozole, a specific aromatase inhibitor, did not block norepinephrine's neuromodulatory effects. Together, these findings indicate that norepinephrine enhances signal detection and information encoding for complex auditory stimuli by suppressing spontaneous "noise" activity and that these actions are independent of local neuroestrogen synthesis.

  19. Limitations of a habituation task to demonstrate discrimination of natural signals in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Ono, Satoko; Kagawa, Hiroko; Takahasi, Miki; Seki, Yoshimasa; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2015-06-01

    The habituation-dishabituation (HDH) paradigm is a common method used to examine animal cognition. Recent studies reported that spontaneous vocalizations could be used as an index of song familiarity and novelty in songbirds. However, these studies assigned only a few stimulus sets for all subjects, which might cause pseudoreplication. Therefore, we examined universality and general applicability of this method in Bengalese finches using a variety of stimulus sets. Seven unfamiliar conspecific songs were collected as a stimulus pool and a habituation song was randomly chosen for each subject. The subject was exposed to the habituation song repeatedly over 2h. During the test phase, the habituation song and a novel song randomly chosen from the stimulus pool were presented. We compared the degree of increase in call production during playback of those two songs. Although the degree was greater for the novel song compared with the habituation song in some birds, the trend was not consistent across all stimulus sets tested in these birds. Our results show that the HDH paradigm is not suitable to test song discrimination in songbirds unless precautions are taken to increase external validity by utilizing a variety of stimulus sets for each subject.

  20. Night-time neuronal activation of Cluster N in a day- and night-migrating songbird.

    PubMed

    Zapka, Manuela; Heyers, Dominik; Liedvogel, Miriam; Jarvis, Erich D; Mouritsen, Henrik

    2010-08-01

    Magnetic compass orientation in a night-migratory songbird requires that Cluster N, a cluster of forebrain regions, is functional. Cluster N, which receives input from the eyes via the thalamofugal pathway, shows high neuronal activity in night-migrants performing magnetic compass-guided behaviour at night, whereas no activation is observed during the day, and covering up the birds' eyes strongly reduces neuronal activation. These findings suggest that Cluster N processes light-dependent magnetic compass information in night-migrating songbirds. The aim of this study was to test if Cluster N is active during daytime migration. We used behavioural molecular mapping based on ZENK activation to investigate if Cluster N is active in the meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis), a day- and night-migratory species. We found that Cluster N of meadow pipits shows high neuronal activity under dim-light at night, but not under full room-light conditions during the day. These data suggest that, in day- and night-migratory meadow pipits, the light-dependent magnetic compass, which requires an active Cluster N, may only be used during night-time, whereas another magnetosensory mechanism and/or other reference system(s), like the sun or polarized light, may be used as primary orientation cues during the day.

  1. The respiratory-vocal system of songbirds: Anatomy, physiology, and neural control

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Marc F.; Wild, J. Martin

    2015-01-01

    This wide-ranging review presents an overview of the respiratory-vocal system in songbirds, which are the only other vertebrate group known to display a degree of respiratory control during song rivalling that of humans during speech; this despite the fact that the peripheral components of both the respiratory and vocal systems differ substantially in the two groups. We first provide a brief description of these peripheral components in songbirds (lungs, air sacs and respiratory muscles, vocal organ (syrinx), upper vocal tract) and then proceed to a review of the organization of central respiratory-related neurons in the spinal cord and brainstem, the latter having an organization fundamentally similar to that of the ventral respiratory group of mammals. The second half of the review describes the nature of the motor commands generated in a specialized “cortical” song control circuit and how these might engage brainstem respiratory networks to shape the temporal structure of song. We also discuss a bilaterally projecting “respiratory-thalamic” pathway that links the respiratory system to “cortical” song control nuclei. This necessary pathway for song originates in the brainstem’s primary inspiratory center and is hypothesized to play a vital role in synchronizing song motor commands both within and across hemispheres. PMID:25194204

  2. Cortisol and corticosterone in the songbird immune and nervous systems: local vs. systemic levels during development.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Kim L; Soma, Kiran K

    2008-07-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) have profound effects on the immune and nervous systems during development. However, circulating GC levels are low neonatally and show little response to stressors. This paradox could be resolved if immune and neural tissues locally synthesize GCs. Here, we measured baseline corticosterone and cortisol levels in plasma, immune organs, and brain regions of developing zebra finches. Steroids were extracted using solid phase-extraction and quantified using specific immunoassays. As expected, corticosterone was the predominant GC in plasma and increased with age. In contrast, cortisol was the predominant GC in immune tissues (bursa of Fabricius, thymus, spleen) and decreased with age. Cortisol levels in immune tissues were higher than cortisol levels in plasma. In the brain, corticosterone and cortisol levels were similarly low, providing little evidence for local synthesis of GCs in the brain. This is the first study to measure 1) cortisol in the plasma of songbirds, 2) corticosterone or cortisol in the brain of songbirds, and 3) corticosterone or cortisol in the immune system of any species. Despite the prevailing dogma that corticosterone is the primary GC in birds, these results indicate that cortisol is the predominant GC in the immune system of developing zebra finches. These results raise the hypothesis that cortisol is synthesized de novo from cholesterol in the immune system as an "immunosteroid," analogous to neurosteroids synthesized in the brain. Local production of GCs in immune tissues may allow GCs to regulate lymphocyte selection while avoiding the costs of high systemic GCs during development.

  3. Conserved mechanisms of vocalization coding in mammalian and songbird auditory midbrain.

    PubMed

    Woolley, Sarah M N; Portfors, Christine V

    2013-11-01

    The ubiquity of social vocalizations among animals provides the opportunity to identify conserved mechanisms of auditory processing that subserve communication. Identifying auditory coding properties that are shared across vocal communicators will provide insight into how human auditory processing leads to speech perception. Here, we compare auditory response properties and neural coding of social vocalizations in auditory midbrain neurons of mammalian and avian vocal communicators. The auditory midbrain is a nexus of auditory processing because it receives and integrates information from multiple parallel pathways and provides the ascending auditory input to the thalamus. The auditory midbrain is also the first region in the ascending auditory system where neurons show complex tuning properties that are correlated with the acoustics of social vocalizations. Single unit studies in mice, bats and zebra finches reveal shared principles of auditory coding including tonotopy, excitatory and inhibitory interactions that shape responses to vocal signals, nonlinear response properties that are important for auditory coding of social vocalizations and modulation tuning. Additionally, single neuron responses in the mouse and songbird midbrain are reliable, selective for specific syllables, and rely on spike timing for neural discrimination of distinct vocalizations. We propose that future research on auditory coding of vocalizations in mouse and songbird midbrain neurons adopt similar experimental and analytical approaches so that conserved principles of vocalization coding may be distinguished from those that are specialized for each species. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Communication Sounds and the Brain: New Directions and Perspectives".

  4. Food Provisioning and Parental Status in Songbirds: Can Occupancy Models Be Used to Estimate Nesting Performance?

    PubMed Central

    Corbani, Aude Catherine; Hachey, Marie-Hélène; Desrochers, André

    2014-01-01

    Indirect methods to estimate parental status, such as the observation of parental provisioning, have been problematic due to potential biases associated with imperfect detection. We developed a method to evaluate parental status based on a novel combination of parental provisioning observations and hierarchical modeling. In the summers of 2009 to 2011, we surveyed 393 sites, each on three to four consecutive days at Forêt Montmorency, Québec, Canada. We assessed parental status of 2331 adult songbirds based on parental food provisioning. To account for imperfect detection of parental status, we applied MacKenzie et al.'s (2002) two-state hierarchical model to obtain unbiased estimates of the proportion of sites with successfully nesting birds, and the proportion of adults with offspring. To obtain an independent evaluation of detection probability, we monitored 16 active nests in 2010 and conducted parental provisioning observations away from them. The probability of detecting food provisioning was 0.31 when using nest monitoring, a value within the 0.11 to 0.38 range that was estimated by two-state models. The proportion of adults or sites with broods approached 0.90 and varied depending on date during the sampling season and year, exemplifying the role of eastern boreal forests as highly productive nesting grounds for songbirds. This study offers a simple and effective sampling design for studying avian reproductive performance that could be implemented in national surveys such as breeding bird atlases. PMID:24999969

  5. Assessing habitat quality for a migratory songbird wintering in natural and agricultural habitats.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew D; Sherry, Thomas W; Holmes, Richard T; Marra, Peter P

    2006-10-01

    As tropical forests are cleared, a greater proportion of migratory songbirds are forced to winter in agricultural and disturbed habitats, which, if poorer in quality than natural forests, could contribute to population declines. We compared demographic indicators of habitat quality for a focal species, the American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), wintering in Jamaican citrus orchards and shade coffee plantations with those in four natural habitats: mangrove, coastal scrub, coastal palm, and dry limestone forests. Demographic measures of habitat quality included density, age and sex ratio, apparent survival, and changes in body mass. Measures of habitat quality for redstarts in citrus and coffee habitats were generally intermediate between the highest (mangrove) and lowest (dry limestone) measurements from natural habitats. The decline in mean body mass over the winter period was a strong predictor of annual survival rate among habitats, and we suggest that measures of body condition coupled with survival data provide the best measures of habitat quality for nonbreeding songbirds. Density, which is far easier to estimate, was correlated with these more labor-intensive measures, particularly in the late winter when food is likely most limiting. Thus, local density may be useful as an approximation of habitat quality for wintering migrant warblers. Our findings bolster those of previous studies based on bird abundance that suggest arboreal agricultural habitats in the tropics can be useful for the conservation of generalist, insectivorous birds, including many migratory passerines such as redstarts.

  6. The respiratory-vocal system of songbirds: anatomy, physiology, and neural control.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Marc F; Martin Wild, J

    2014-01-01

    This wide-ranging review presents an overview of the respiratory-vocal system in songbirds, which are the only other vertebrate group known to display a degree of respiratory control during song rivalling that of humans during speech; this despite the fact that the peripheral components of both the respiratory and vocal systems differ substantially in the two groups. We first provide a brief description of these peripheral components in songbirds (lungs, air sacs and respiratory muscles, vocal organ (syrinx), upper vocal tract) and then proceed to a review of the organization of central respiratory-related neurons in the spinal cord and brainstem, the latter having an organization fundamentally similar to that of the ventral respiratory group of mammals. The second half of the review describes the nature of the motor commands generated in a specialized "cortical" song control circuit and how these might engage brainstem respiratory networks to shape the temporal structure of song. We also discuss a bilaterally projecting "respiratory-thalamic" pathway that links the respiratory system to "cortical" song control nuclei. This necessary pathway for song originates in the brainstem's primary inspiratory center and is hypothesized to play a vital role in synchronizing song motor commands both within and across hemispheres.

  7. Food provisioning and parental status in songbirds: can occupancy models be used to estimate nesting performance?

    PubMed

    Corbani, Aude Catherine; Hachey, Marie-Hélène; Desrochers, André

    2014-01-01

    Indirect methods to estimate parental status, such as the observation of parental provisioning, have been problematic due to potential biases associated with imperfect detection. We developed a method to evaluate parental status based on a novel combination of parental provisioning observations and hierarchical modeling. In the summers of 2009 to 2011, we surveyed 393 sites, each on three to four consecutive days at Forêt Montmorency, Québec, Canada. We assessed parental status of 2331 adult songbirds based on parental food provisioning. To account for imperfect detection of parental status, we applied MacKenzie et al.'s (2002) two-state hierarchical model to obtain unbiased estimates of the proportion of sites with successfully nesting birds, and the proportion of adults with offspring. To obtain an independent evaluation of detection probability, we monitored 16 active nests in 2010 and conducted parental provisioning observations away from them. The probability of detecting food provisioning was 0.31 when using nest monitoring, a value within the 0.11 to 0.38 range that was estimated by two-state models. The proportion of adults or sites with broods approached 0.90 and varied depending on date during the sampling season and year, exemplifying the role of eastern boreal forests as highly productive nesting grounds for songbirds. This study offers a simple and effective sampling design for studying avian reproductive performance that could be implemented in national surveys such as breeding bird atlases.

  8. Movement of feeder-using songbirds: the influence of urban features

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Daniel T. C.; Inger, Richard; Hancock, Steven; Anderson, Karen; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2016-01-01

    Private gardens provide vital opportunities for people to interact with nature. The most popular form of interaction is through garden bird feeding. Understanding how landscape features and seasons determine patterns of movement of feeder-using songbirds is key to maximising the well-being benefits they provide. To determine these patterns we established three networks of automated data loggers along a gradient of greenspace fragmentation. Over a 12-month period we tracked 452 tagged blue tits Cyantistes caeruleus and great tits Parus major moving between feeder pairs 9,848 times, to address two questions: (i) Do urban features within different forms, and season, influence structural (presence-absence of connections between feeders by birds) and functional (frequency of these connections) connectivity? (ii) Are there general patterns of structural and functional connectivity across forms? Vegetation cover increased connectivity in all three networks, whereas the presence of road gaps negatively affected functional but not structural connectivity. Across networks structural connectivity was lowest in the summer when birds maintain breeding territories, however patterns of functional connectivity appeared to vary with habitat fragmentation. Using empirical data this study shows how key urban features and season influence movement of feeder-using songbirds, and we provide evidence that this is related to greenspace fragmentation. PMID:27876884

  9. Nocturnal migratory songbirds adjust their travelling direction aloft: evidence from a radiotelemetry and radar study

    PubMed Central

    Sjöberg, Sissel; Nilsson, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    In order to fully understand the orientation behaviour of migrating birds, it is important to understand when birds set their travel direction. Departure directions of migratory passerines leaving stopover sites are often assumed to reflect the birds' intended travel directions, but this assumption has not been critically tested. We used data from an automated radiotelemetry system and a tracking radar at Falsterbo peninsula, Sweden, to compare the initial orientation of departing songbirds (recorded by radiotelemetry) with the orientation of songbird migrants in climbing and level flight (recorded by radar). We found that the track directions of birds at high altitudes and in level flight were more concentrated than the directions of departing birds and birds in climbing flight, which indicates that the birds adjust their travelling direction once aloft. This was further supported by a wide scatter of vanishing bearings in a subsample of radio-tracked birds that later passed an offshore radio receiver station 50 km southeast of Falsterbo. Track directions seemed to be more affected by winds in climbing compared with level flights, which may be explained by birds not starting to partially compensate for wind drift until they have reached cruising altitudes. PMID:26085501

  10. Retirement investment theory explains patterns in songbird nest-site choice

    PubMed Central

    Streby, Henry M.; Refsnider, Jeanine M.; Peterson, Sean M.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    When opposing evolutionary selection pressures act on a behavioural trait, the result is often stabilizing selection for an intermediate optimal phenotype, with deviations from the predicted optimum attributed to tracking a moving target, development of behavioural syndromes or shifts in riskiness over an individual's lifetime. We investigated nest-site choice by female golden-winged warblers, and the selection pressures acting on that choice by two fitness components, nest success and fledgling survival. We observed strong and consistent opposing selection pressures on nest-site choice for maximizing these two fitness components, and an abrupt, within-season switch in the fitness component birds prioritize via nest-site choice, dependent on the time remaining for additional nesting attempts. We found that females consistently deviated from the predicted optimal behaviour when choosing nest sites because they can make multiple attempts at one fitness component, nest success, but only one attempt at the subsequent component, fledgling survival. Our results demonstrate a unique natural strategy for balancing opposing selection pressures to maximize total fitness. This time-dependent switch from high to low risk tolerance in nest-site choice maximizes songbird fitness in the same way a well-timed switch in human investor risk tolerance can maximize one's nest egg at retirement. Our results also provide strong evidence for the adaptive nature of songbird nest-site choice, which we suggest has been elusive primarily due to a lack of consideration for fledgling survival. PMID:24403320

  11. Rapid estrogen regulation of DHEA metabolism in the male and female songbird brain

    PubMed Central

    Pradhan, Devaleena S.; Yu, Yan; Soma, Kiran K.

    2010-01-01

    In the songbird brain, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is metabolized to the active and aromatizable androgen androstenedione (AE) by 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ5-Δ4 isomerase (3β-HSD). Thus, brain 3β-HSD plays a key role in regulating the steroidal milieu of the nervous system. Previous studies have shown that stress rapidly regulates brain 3β-HSD activity in a sex-specific manner. To elucidate endocrine regulation of brain 3β-HSD, we asked whether 17β-estradiol (E2) regulates DHEA metabolism in adult zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and whether there are sex-specific effects. Brain tissue was homogenized and centrifuged to obtain supernatant lacking whole cells and cell nuclei. Supernatant was incubated with [3H]DHEA and radioinert E2 in vitro. Within only 10 min, E2 significantly reduced 3β-HSD activity in both male and female brain. Interestingly, the rapid effects of E2 were more pronounced in females than males. These are the first data to show a rapid effect of estrogens on the songbird brain and suggest that rapid estrogen effects differ between male and female brains. PMID:17949414

  12. A bird community on the edge: habitat use of forest songbirds In eastern Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cavalieri, Vincent S.; O'Connell, Timothy J.; Leslie,, David M.

    2008-01-01

    Several species of forest songbirds reach a western limit of their respective distributions in eastern Oklahoma. The relative infl uence of various habitat variables on patterns of occurrence in this region may differ from those same infl uences in the core of species’ ranges. We examined the infl uence of 16 habitat variables on the occurrence and density of a suite of forest songbirds. We sampled breeding birds with four, fi xed-radius point counts along 1-km transects at 75 forested sites in eastern Oklahoma in 2006. Forest cover at fi ne scales varied by numerous structural characteristics (e.g., canopy cover) as well as species composition (e.g., pines vs. hardwoods). We performed both Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) ordinations using 16 environmental variables and 37 bird species to examine bird habitat relationships. Forward Selection in CCA indicated that the most important environmental variables affecting bird habitat relationships were the amount of forest cover in the surrounding landscape matrix, and at a local scale, canopy height and elevation.

  13. Night-time neuronal activation of Cluster N in a day- and night-migrating songbird

    PubMed Central

    Zapka, Manuela; Heyers, Dominik; Liedvogel, Miriam; Jarvis, Erich D; Mouritsen, Henrik

    2010-01-01

    Magnetic compass orientation in a night-migratory songbird requires that Cluster N, a cluster of forebrain regions, is functional. Cluster N, which receives input from the eyes via the thalamofugal pathway, shows high neuronal activity in night-migrants performing magnetic compass-guided behaviour at night, whereas no activation is observed during the day, and covering up the birds’ eyes strongly reduces neuronal activation. These findings suggest that Cluster N processes light-dependent magnetic compass information in night-migrating songbirds. The aim of this study was to test if Cluster N is active during daytime migration. We used behavioural molecular mapping based on ZENK activation to investigate if Cluster N is active in the meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis), a day- and night-migratory species. We found that Cluster N of meadow pipits shows high neuronal activity under dim-light at night, but not under full room-light conditions during the day. These data suggest that, in day- and night-migratory meadow pipits, the light-dependent magnetic compass, which requires an active Cluster N, may only be used during night-time, whereas another magnetosensory mechanism and/or other reference system(s), like the sun or polarized light, may be used as primary orientation cues during the day. PMID:20618826

  14. Movement of feeder-using songbirds: the influence of urban features.

    PubMed

    Cox, Daniel T C; Inger, Richard; Hancock, Steven; Anderson, Karen; Gaston, Kevin J

    2016-11-23

    Private gardens provide vital opportunities for people to interact with nature. The most popular form of interaction is through garden bird feeding. Understanding how landscape features and seasons determine patterns of movement of feeder-using songbirds is key to maximising the well-being benefits they provide. To determine these patterns we established three networks of automated data loggers along a gradient of greenspace fragmentation. Over a 12-month period we tracked 452 tagged blue tits Cyantistes caeruleus and great tits Parus major moving between feeder pairs 9,848 times, to address two questions: (i) Do urban features within different forms, and season, influence structural (presence-absence of connections between feeders by birds) and functional (frequency of these connections) connectivity? (ii) Are there general patterns of structural and functional connectivity across forms? Vegetation cover increased connectivity in all three networks, whereas the presence of road gaps negatively affected functional but not structural connectivity. Across networks structural connectivity was lowest in the summer when birds maintain breeding territories, however patterns of functional connectivity appeared to vary with habitat fragmentation. Using empirical data this study shows how key urban features and season influence movement of feeder-using songbirds, and we provide evidence that this is related to greenspace fragmentation.

  15. Major histocompatibility complex class I evolution in songbirds: universal primers, rapid evolution and base compositional shifts in exon 3

    PubMed Central

    Alcaide, Miguel; Liu, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) have become an important marker for the investigation of adaptive genetic variation in vertebrates because of their critical role in pathogen resistance. However, despite significant advances in the last few years the characterization of MHC variation in non-model species still remains a challenging task due to the redundancy and high variation of this gene complex. Here we report the utility of a single pair of primers for the cross-amplification of the third exon of MHC class I genes, which encodes the more polymorphic half of the peptide-binding region (PBR), in oscine passerines (songbirds; Aves: Passeriformes), a group especially challenging for MHC characterization due to the presence of large and complex MHC multigene families. In our survey, although the primers failed to amplify exon 3 from two suboscine passerine birds, they amplified exon 3 of multiple MHC class I genes in all 16 species of oscine songbirds tested, yielding a total of 120 sequences. The 16 songbird species belong to 14 different families, primarily within the Passerida, but also in the Corvida. Using a conservative approach based on the analysis of cloned amplicons (n = 16) from each species, we found between 3 and 10 MHC sequences per individual. Each allele repertoire was highly divergent, with the overall number of polymorphic sites per species ranging from 33 to 108 (out of 264 sites) and the average number of nucleotide differences between alleles ranging from 14.67 to 43.67. Our survey in songbirds allowed us to compare macroevolutionary dynamics of exon 3 between songbirds and non-passerine birds. We found compelling evidence of positive selection acting specifically upon peptide-binding codons across birds, and we estimate the strength of diversifying selection in songbirds to be about twice that in non-passerines. Analysis using comparative methods suggest weaker evidence for a higher GC content in the 3rd codon position of

  16. [Temperature and photoperiodic control of diapause induction in the ant Lepisiota semenovi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Turkmenistan].

    PubMed

    Kipiatkov, V E; Lopatina, E B

    2009-01-01

    The ant L. semenovi has been found to belong to species with endogenous-heterodynamic seasonal life cycles with the obligate diapause induced predominantly by factors internal for a colony, whereas external ecological factors (photoperiods and temperature) produce merely modifying effects by accelerating or delaying the diapause onset. The photoperiodic and temperature regulation of diapause induction in larvae and queens is shown. Under effect of short days and low temperature the periods of larval pupation and queen oviposition in a colony are shortened markedly, i. e., the periods of larvae and queens occurs earlier. The daily rhythms of temperature 15/25 degrees C and particularly 20/30 degrees C as compared with constant temperatures 20 and 25 degrees C that correspond to the mean daily temperatures of the thermorhythm, inhibit manifestations of the short day effects by stimulating the non-diapause development and increasing duration of the seasonal development cycle of ant colonies. The L. semenovi photoperiodic reaction is quantitative, as development and pupation of larvae and egg-laying of queens cease sooner or later under both the short and the long days, but in the latter case significantly later. Thus, L. semenovi is one more example among very rare ant species that are revealed to have the photoperiodic regulation of the colony development seasonal cycle.

  17. Effects of photoperiod and temperature on diapause induction in Conogethes punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The yellow peach moth, Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée), a multivoltine species that overwinters as diapausing larvae, is one of the most serious insect pests on maize in China. Effect of photoperiod and temperature on larval diapause was examined under empirical laboratory conditions. Short-day ...

  18. The effect of photoperiod on tuberization in cultivated x wild potato species hybrids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wild Solanum species offer a valuable source of genetic diversity for potato improvement. Most of these species are found in equatorial South and Central America and they do not tuberize under long day photoperiods typical of those in the major potato production areas of North America, Europe and As...

  19. Yield and nutritive value of photoperiod-sensitive sorghum and sorghum-sudangrass in central Wisconsin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A study was conducted to evaluate the yield and nutrient composition of photoperiod sensitive (PS) and non-PS forage sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass, and sudangrass compared to corn planted on 2 dates and harvested using single or multiple-cut harvest strategies at 2 research stations (Marshfield and Ha...

  20. Effects of short photoperiod on energy intake, thermogenesis, and reproduction in desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xueying; Zhao, Zhijun; Vasilieva, Nina; Khrushchova, Anastasia; Wang, Dehua

    2015-03-01

    Desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii) are the least known species in the genus Phodopus with respect to ecology and physiology, and deserve scientific attention, particularly because of their small body size. Here, the responses of energy metabolism and reproductive function to short photoperiods in desert hamsters were investigated. Male and female desert hamsters were acclimated to either long day (LD) (L:D 16:8 h) or short day (SD) photoperiods (L:D 8:16 h) for three months, and then the females were transferred back to an LD photoperiod for a further five months, while at the end of the SD acclimation the males were killed and measurements were taken for serum leptin as well as molecular markers for thermogenesis. We found that like the other two species from the genus Phodopus, the desert hamsters under SD decreased body mass, increased adaptive thermogenesis as indicated by elevated mitochondrial protein content and uncoupling protein-1 content in brown adipose tissue, and suppressed reproduction compared to those under LD. However, different from the other two species, desert hamsters did not show any differences in energy intake or serum leptin concentration between LD and SD. These data suggest that different species from the same genus respond in different ways to the environmental signals, and the desert adapted species are not as sensitive to change in photoperiod as the other two species.

  1. Patterns of nucleotide diversity at photoperiod related genes in Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst].

    PubMed

    Källman, Thomas; De Mita, Stéphane; Larsson, Hanna; Gyllenstrand, Niclas; Heuertz, Myriam; Parducci, Laura; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Lagercrantz, Ulf; Lascoux, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The ability of plants to track seasonal changes is largely dependent on genes assigned to the photoperiod pathway, and variation in those genes is thereby important for adaptation to local day length conditions. Extensive physiological data in several temperate conifer species suggest that populations are adapted to local light conditions, but data on the genes underlying this adaptation are more limited. Here we present nucleotide diversity data from 19 genes putatively involved in photoperiodic response in Norway spruce (Picea abies). Based on similarity to model plants the genes were grouped into three categories according to their presumed position in the photoperiod pathway: photoreceptors, circadian clock genes, and downstream targets. An HKA (Hudson, Kreitman and Aquade) test showed a significant excess of diversity at photoreceptor genes, but no departure from neutrality at circadian genes and downstream targets. Departures from neutrality were also tested with Tajima's D and Fay and Wu's H statistics under three demographic scenarios: the standard neutral model, a population expansion model, and a more complex population split model. Only one gene, the circadian clock gene PaPRR3 with a highly positive Tajima's D value, deviates significantly from all tested demographic scenarios. As the PaPRR3 gene harbours multiple non-synonymous variants it appears as an excellent candidate gene for control of photoperiod response in Norway spruce.

  2. Photoperiod and growing degree days effect on dry matter partitioning in Jerusalem artichoke

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effect of photoperiod and growing degree days (GDD) on dry matter and dry partitioning in Jerusalem artichoke was investigated during 2008-09 and 2009-10. Three Jerusalem artichoke genotypes (CN-52867, JA-89 and HEL-65) were planted in 15 day-intervals between with thirteen different dates (Sep...

  3. A conserved molecular basis for photoperiod adaptation in two temperate legumes.

    PubMed

    Weller, James L; Liew, Lim Chee; Hecht, Valérie F G; Rajandran, Vinodan; Laurie, Rebecca E; Ridge, Stephen; Wenden, Bénédicte; Vander Schoor, Jacqueline K; Jaminon, Odile; Blassiau, Christelle; Dalmais, Marion; Rameau, Catherine; Bendahmane, Abdelhafid; Macknight, Richard C; Lejeune-Hénaut, Isabelle

    2012-12-18

    Legumes were among the first plant species to be domesticated, and accompanied cereals in expansion of agriculture from the Fertile Crescent into diverse environments across the Mediterranean basin, Europe, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Although several recent studies have outlined the molecular basis for domestication and eco-geographic adaptation in the two main cereals from this region, wheat and barley, similar questions remain largely unexplored in their legume counterparts. Here we identify two major loci controlling differences in photoperiod response between wild and domesticated pea, and show that one of these, high response to photoperiod (HR), is an ortholog of early flowering 3 (ELF3), a gene involved in circadian clock function. We found that a significant proportion of flowering time variation in global pea germplasm is controlled by HR, with a single, widespread functional variant conferring altered circadian rhythms and the reduced photoperiod response associated with the spring habit. We also present evidence that ELF3 has a similar role in lentil, another major legume crop, with a distinct functional variant contributing to reduced photoperiod response in cultivars widely deployed in short-season environments. Our results identify the factor likely to have permitted the successful prehistoric expansion of legume cultivation to Northern Europe, and define a conserved genetic basis for major adaptive changes in flowering phenology and growth habit in an important crop group.

  4. Photoperiod and vernalization effect on anthesis date in winter-sown spring wheat regions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate prediction of phenology is required to guide crop management decisions and to predict crop growth and yield. However, the relative importance of photoperiod and vernalization in predicting anthesis dates for spring bread and durum wheat (Triticum aestivum L. and T. durum Desf.) grown as a w...

  5. Photoperiod is associated with hippocampal volume in a large community sample.

    PubMed

    Miller, Megan A; Leckie, Regina L; Donofry, Shannon D; Gianaros, Peter J; Erickson, Kirk I; Manuck, Stephen B; Roecklein, Kathryn A

    2015-04-01

    Although animal research has demonstrated seasonal changes in hippocampal volume, reflecting seasonal neuroplasticity, seasonal differences in human hippocampal volume have yet to be documented. Hippocampal volume has also been linked to depressed mood, a seasonally varying phenotype. Therefore, we hypothesized that seasonal differences in day-length (i.e., photoperiod) would predict differences in hippocampal volume, and that this association would be linked to low mood. Healthy participants aged 30-54 (M=43; SD=7.32) from the University of Pittsburgh Adult Health and Behavior II project (n=404; 53% female) were scanned in a 3T MRI scanner. Hippocampal volumes were determined using an automated segmentation algorithm using FreeSurfer. A mediation model tested whether hippocampal volume mediated the relationship between photoperiod and mood. Secondary analyses included seasonally fluctuating variables (i.e., sleep and physical activity) which have been shown to influence hippocampal volume. Shorter photoperiods were significantly associated with higher BDI scores (R(2)=0.01, β=-0.12, P=0.02) and smaller hippocampal volumes (R(2)=0.40, β=0.08, P=0.04). However, due to the lack of an association between hippocampal volume and Beck Depression Inventory scores in the current sample, the mediation hypothesis was not supported. This study is the first to demonstrate an association between season and hippocampal volume. These data offer preliminary evidence that human hippocampal plasticity could be associated with photoperiod and indicates a need for longitudinal studies.

  6. Photoperiod constraints on tree phenology, performance and migration in a warming world.

    PubMed

    Way, Danielle A; Montgomery, Rebecca A

    2015-09-01

    Increasing temperatures should facilitate the poleward movement of species distributions through a variety of processes, including increasing the growing season length. However, in temperate and boreal latitudes, temperature is not the only cue used by trees to determine seasonality, as changes in photoperiod provide a more consistent, reliable annual signal of seasonality than temperature. Here, we discuss how day length may limit the ability of tree species to respond to climate warming in situ, focusing on the implications of photoperiodic sensing for extending the growing season and affecting plant phenology and growth, as well as the potential role of photoperiod in controlling carbon uptake and water fluxes in forests. We also review whether there are patterns across plant functional types (based on successional strategy, xylem anatomy and leaf morphology) in their sensitivity to photoperiod that we can use to predict which species or groups might be more successful in migrating as the climate warms, or may be more successfully used for forestry and agriculture through assisted migration schemes.

  7. Short photoperiod condition increases susceptibility to stress in adolescent male rats.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ling-Zhi; Liu, Li-Jing; Yuan, Ming; Li, Su-Xia; Yue, Xiao-Dong; Lai, Ju-Lian; Lu, Lin

    2016-03-01

    The seasonality of depressive symptoms is prevalent in children and adolescents. However, the mechanisms that underlie such susceptibility to seasonal influences on mood disorders are unclear. We examined the effects of a short photoperiod condition on the susceptibility to subchronic unpredictable mild stress (SCUS) and rhythmic alterations of plasma corticosterone (CORT), melatonin, and neuropeptide Y (NPY) in adolescent male rats. Compared with the 12h/12h light/dark photoperiod control (CON) rats, the 8h/16h photoperiod SCUS rats exhibited significant anhedonia, a core symptom of human depression, together with a blunted diurnal rhythm and elevation of 24h CORT, melatonin, and NPY levels. The 8h/16h photoperiod condition also blunted the rhythmicity of CORT, caused a phase inversion of melatonin, and caused a phase delay of NPY compared with 12h/12h CON rats. Such abnormalities of plasma CORT, NPY, and melatonin might cause adolescent individuals to present higher stress reactivity and greater vulnerability to stress over their lifetimes. The present study provides evidence of the susceptibility to the seasonality of stress-related disorders in adolescence.

  8. Photoperiod and temperature effects on the adult eclosion and mating rhythms in Pseudopidorus fasciata (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae).

    PubMed

    Wu, Shaohui; Refinetti, Roberto; Kok, Loke T; Youngman, Roger R; Reddy, Gadi V P; Xue, Fang-Sen

    2014-12-01

    Daily distributions of eclosion and mating activities of Pseudopidorus fasciata Walker (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae) were recorded under natural and various laboratory conditions. Eclosion of this insect exhibited circadian gating in constant darkness (DD) but not in constant light (LL) at 28°C. Under natural conditions, the majority of adults emerged in midmorning with an eclosion peak around 1000 hours. The eclosion distribution was significantly affected by ambient temperature but not by photoperiod under laboratory conditions. Eclosion was more spread out at 22°C than at higher temperatures, and peak eclosion times were advanced at higher temperatures up to 30°C. Under natural and laboratory diurnal cycles, adults of P. fasciata preferred to mate at dusk, within a few hours before the start of the scotophase. Photoperiod and ambient temperature interacted in regulating the mating distribution in P. fasciata. Mating rhythmicity disappeared under DD and LL, under which the insect either mated arrhythmically (DD) or barely mated (LL). Overall, eclosion rhythm in this insect was predominantly regulated by temperature rather than photoperiod, whereas photoperiod appeared to be more influential than temperature in rhythmic gate of mating patterns.

  9. Photoperiod and aggression induce changes in ventral gland compounds exclusively in male Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Rendon, Nikki M; Soini, Helena A; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Weigel, Ellen R; Novotny, Milos V; Demas, Gregory E

    2016-05-01

    Chemical communication is a critical component of social behavior as it facilitates social encounters, allows for evaluation of the social partner, defines territories and resources, and advertises information such as sex and physiological state of an animal. Odors provide a key source of information about the social environment to rodents; however, studies identifying chemical compounds have thus far focused primarily on few species, particularly the house mouse. Moreover, considerably less attention has been focused on how environmental factors, reproductive phenotype, and behavioral context alter these compounds outside of reproduction. We examined the effects of photoperiod, sex, and social context on chemical communication in the seasonally breeding Siberian hamster. We sampled ventral gland secretions in both male and female hamsters before and after an aggressive encounter and identified changes in a range of volatile compounds. Next, we investigated how photoperiod, reproductive phenotype, and aggression altered ventral gland volatile compound composition across the sexes. Males exhibited a more diverse chemical composition, more sex-specific volatiles, and showed higher levels of excretion compared to females. Individual volatiles were also differentially excreted across photoperiod and reproductive phenotype, as well as differentially altered in response to an aggressive encounter. Female volatile compound composition, in contrast, did not differ across photoperiods or in response to aggression. Collectively, these data contribute to a greater understanding of context-dependent changes in chemical communication in a seasonally breeding rodent.

  10. A conserved molecular basis for photoperiod adaptation in two temperate legumes

    PubMed Central

    Weller, James L.; Liew, Lim Chee; Hecht, Valérie F. G.; Rajandran, Vinodan; Laurie, Rebecca E.; Ridge, Stephen; Wenden, Bénédicte; Vander Schoor, Jacqueline K.; Jaminon, Odile; Blassiau, Christelle; Dalmais, Marion; Rameau, Catherine; Bendahmane, Abdelhafid; Macknight, Richard C.; Lejeune-Hénaut, Isabelle

    2012-01-01

    Legumes were among the first plant species to be domesticated, and accompanied cereals in expansion of agriculture from the Fertile Crescent into diverse environments across the Mediterranean basin, Europe, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Although several recent studies have outlined the molecular basis for domestication and eco-geographic adaptation in the two main cereals from this region, wheat and barley, similar questions remain largely unexplored in their legume counterparts. Here we identify two major loci controlling differences in photoperiod response between wild and domesticated pea, and show that one of these, HIGH RESPONSE TO PHOTOPERIOD (HR), is an ortholog of EARLY FLOWERING 3 (ELF3), a gene involved in circadian clock function. We found that a significant proportion of flowering time variation in global pea germplasm is controlled by HR, with a single, widespread functional variant conferring altered circadian rhythms and the reduced photoperiod response associated with the spring habit. We also present evidence that ELF3 has a similar role in lentil, another major legume crop, with a distinct functional variant contributing to reduced photoperiod response in cultivars widely deployed in short-season environments. Our results identify the factor likely to have permitted the successful prehistoric expansion of legume cultivation to Northern Europe, and define a conserved genetic basis for major adaptive changes in flowering phenology and growth habit in an important crop group. PMID:23213200

  11. Photoperiod and E-genes Directly Influence the Duration of Soybean Reproductive Development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Duration of the reproductive phase (DRP) is critical for soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] yield. Manipulation of this phase may benefit breeding for higher yield. The soybean E-gene series control time to flowering and maturity through a photoperiod-mediated response. It is possible that E-genes and...

  12. Diapause response to photoperiod in an Arizona population of Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The western tarnished plant bug (Lygus hesperus Knight) is an important crop pest in the western U.S. that overwinters in an adult diapause. However, knowledge of L. hesperus diapause is incomplete. Eggs from field-collected adults were reared under photoperiods of 10:14, 11:13, 12:12, and 13:10 (L:...

  13. Effects of photoperiod on broodiness, egg-laying and endocrine responses in native laying hens.

    PubMed

    Geng, A L; Xu, S F; Zhang, Y; Zhang, J; Chu, Q; Liu, H G

    2014-01-01

    1. The effects of photoperiod on broodiness, egg-laying and endocrine responses in native laying hens were investigated. A total of 648, 18-week-old native laying hens (Beijing You Chicken, BYC) were randomly allocated to 6 groups with 3 replicates. The birds were exposed to 1 of 6 different photoperiods, including 16L:8D (06:00 to 22:00 h) for group 1; 12L:2D:4L:6D for group 2; 8L:4D:4L:8D for group 3; 16L:8D (03:00 to 19:00 h) for group 4; 14L:10D for group 5; and 18L:6D for group 6. 2. The broodiness rate and egg-laying rate for weeks 20-26, 27-33, 34-40, 41-47, 48-54 and 55-61 were calculated, and serum prolactin (PRL), luteinising hormone (LH), 17-beta-oestradiol (E2), melatonin (Mel) and progesterone (P4) concentrations were measured at the end of each stage. 3. Significant effects were observed on the rate of broodiness by the photoperiod and stage, but the interaction of photoperiod and stage was not significant. The rate of broodiness for group 3 (5.9%) was significantly higher than other groups, with group 2 being the lowest (2.8%). Broodiness rate was the highest for weeks 41-47 (9.9%). Significant effects were observed on average egg-laying rate by photoperiod and stage: the rate of egg-laying of groups 2 and 5 were significantly higher than groups 1, 4 and 6. 4. There were no significant effects of photoperiod on PRL, LH and Mel concentrations at 26, 33, 40 and 54 weeks of age (P > 0.05), but at 47 weeks of age, PRL and LH concentrations of group 1 were significantly lower than those in other groups. 5. The study suggests that the photoperiod of group 2 (12L:2D:4L:6D) is optimal for the birds' performance to give the lowest broodiness rate and the highest egg-laying rate during the whole laying period, and 41-47 weeks may be a key stage for the photomodulation of broodiness.

  14. Further evidence for the influence of photoperiod at birth on chronotype in a sample of German adolescents.

    PubMed

    Vollmer, Christian; Randler, Christoph; Di Milia, Lee

    2012-12-01

    Individuals differ in their circadian preferences (chronotype). There is evidence in the literature to support a season-of-birth effect on chronotype but the evidence is not convincing. In part, the relationship is obscured by a number of methodological differences between studies, including the measures used to define morningness, the way in which the seasons were categorized, and the sample size. This study adds to the literature in several ways. First, we adopt a new approach to categorizing the photoperiod rather than the calendar season; thus we prefer to use the term photoperiod at birth. Second, we used two measures of morningness. Third, we used a large and homogeneous German sample. The results show that adolescents (n = 2905) born during the increasing photoperiod (Feb-Apr) had a significantly later midpoint of sleep (MSFsc) than those born during the decreasing photoperiod (Aug-Oct). A similar pattern was found for the Composite Scale of Morningness (CSM). Furthermore, both measures of chronotype demonstrated a significant quadratic function over a 1-yr cycle. When looking at each of six consecutive years separately, the Composite Scale of Morningness suggests a cosine rhythm linked to increasing and decreasing photoperiods that becomes weaker in amplitude with increasing age. Despite the strengths in our study, the effect of photoperiod at birth on chronotype remains small. Future studies may require larger sample sizes, may need to explore how neonatal light exposure modulates chronotype, and may need to track how puberty and adolescent lifestyle habits mask the photoperiod effect.

  15. Influence of photoperiod on growth for three desert CAM species. [Agave deserti, Ferocactus acanthodes, Opuntia ficus-indica

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S. )

    1989-03-01

    Agave deserti, Ferocactus acanthodes, and Opuntia ficus-indica were maintained in environmental growth chambers under a constant total daily photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) for 1 yr to investigate the effects of photoperiod on growth of these Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species. As the photoperiod was increased from 6 h to 18 h, growth increased 33% for A. deserti, 81% for F. acanthodes, and 50% for O. ficus-indica. Such increases were explained based on PAR saturation of the C{sub 3} photosynthetic carbon reduction cycle utilized by CAM plants during the daytime. In particular, the highest instantaneous PAR occurred for the shortest photoperiod and led to less growth for the same total daily PAR. Also, the total daily net CO{sub 2} uptake which occurred primarily at night, increased 53% as the photoperiod was increased from 6 to 18 h for O. ficus-indica, even though the accompanying night length decreased. The only other observed morphological effect was the sevenfold increase in the number of new cladodes initiated as the photoperiod was increased from 6 h to 18 h for O. ficus-indica. The influence of photoperiod on the daily pattern of net CO{sub 2} uptake and lack of effect of drought on plant survival under long photoperiods for O. ficus-indica differ from previous reports on this and other CAM species.

  16. Transcriptome Analysis Identifies Candidate Genes Related to Triacylglycerol and Pigment Biosynthesis and Photoperiodic Flowering in the Ornamental and Oil-Producing Plant, Camellia reticulata (Theaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Qiu-Yang; Huang, Hui; Tong, Yan; Xia, En-Hua; Gao, Li-Zhi

    2016-01-01

    Camellia reticulata, which is native to Southwest China, is famous for its ornamental flowers and high-quality seed oil. However, the lack of genomic information for this species has largely hampered our understanding of its key pathways related to oil production, photoperiodic flowering process and pigment biosynthesis. Here, we first sequenced and characterized the transcriptome of a diploid C. reticulata in an attempt to identify genes potentially involved in triacylglycerol biosynthesis (TAGBS), photoperiodic flowering, flavonoid biosynthesis (FlaBS), carotenoid biosynthesis (CrtBS) pathways. De novo assembly of the transcriptome provided a catalog of 141,460 unigenes with a total length of ~96.1 million nucleotides (Mnt) and an N50 of 1080 nt. Of them, 22,229 unigenes were defined as differentially expressed genes (DEGs) across five sequenced tissues. A large number of annotated genes in C. reticulata were found to have been duplicated, and differential expression patterns of these duplicated genes were commonly observed across tissues, such as the differential expression of SOC1_a, SOC1_b, and SOC1_c in the photoperiodic flowering pathway. Up-regulation of SAD_a and FATA genes and down-regulation of FAD2_a gene in the TAGBS pathway in seeds may be relevant to the ratio of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFAs) to polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) in seed oil. MYBF1, a transcription regulator gene of the FlaBS pathway, was found with great sequence variation and alteration of expression patterns, probably resulting in functionally evolutionary differentiation in C. reticulata. MYBA1_a and some anthocyanin-specific biosynthetic genes in the FlaBS pathway were highly expressed in both flower buds and flowers, suggesting important roles of anthocyanin biosynthesis in flower development. Besides, a total of 40,823 expressed sequence tag simple sequence repeats (EST-SSRs) were identified in the C. reticulata transcriptome, providing valuable marker resources for

  17. Evidence for Weakened Intercellular Coupling in the Mammalian Circadian Clock under Long Photoperiod

    PubMed Central

    Buijink, M. Renate; Almog, Assaf; Wit, Charlotte B.; Roethler, Ori; Olde Engberink, Anneke H. O.; Meijer, Johanna H.; Garlaschelli, Diego; Rohling, Jos H. T.; Michel, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    For animals living in temperate latitudes, seasonal changes in day length are an important cue for adaptations of their physiology and behavior to the altered environmental conditions. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is known as the central circadian clock in mammals, but may also play an important role in adaptations to different photoperiods. The SCN receives direct light input from the retina and is able to encode day-length by approximating the waveform of the electrical activity rhythm to the duration of daylight. Changing the overall waveform requires a reorganization of the neuronal network within the SCN with a change in the degree of synchrony between the neurons; however, the underlying mechanisms are yet unknown. In the present study we used PER2::LUC bioluminescence imaging in cultured SCN slices to characterize network dynamics on the single-cell level and we aimed to provide evidence for a role of modulations in coupling strength in the photoperiodic-induced phase dispersal. Exposure to long photoperiod (LP) induced a larger distribution of peak times of the single-cell PER2::LUC rhythms in the anterior SCN, compared to short photoperiod. Interestingly, the cycle-to-cycle variability in single-cell period of PER2::LUC rhythms is also higher in the anterior SCN in LP, and is positively correlated with peak time dispersal. Applying a new, impartial community detection method on the time series data of the PER2::LUC rhythm revealed two clusters of cells with a specific spatial distribution, which we define as dorsolateral and ventromedial SCN. Post hoc analysis of rhythm characteristics of these clusters showed larger cycle-to-cycle single-cell period variability in the dorsolateral compared to the ventromedial cluster in the anterior SCN. We conclude that a change in coupling strength within the SCN network is a plausible explanation to the observed changes in single-cell period variability, which can contribute to the photoperiod-induced phase

  18. Long photoperiods sustain high pH in Arctic kelp forests.

    PubMed

    Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Marbà, Núria; Sanz-Martin, Marina; Hendriks, Iris E; Thyrring, Jakob; Carstensen, Jacob; Sejr, Mikael Kristian; Duarte, Carlos M

    2016-12-01

    Concern on the impacts of ocean acidification on calcifiers, such as bivalves, sea urchins, and foraminifers, has led to efforts to understand the controls on pH in their habitats, which include kelp forests and seagrass meadows. The metabolism of these habitats can lead to diel fluctuation in pH with increases during the day and declines at night, suggesting no net effect on pH at time scales longer than daily. We examined the capacity of subarctic and Arctic kelps to up-regulate pH in situ and experimentally tested the role of photoperiod in determining the capacity of Arctic macrophytes to up-regulate pH. Field observations at photoperiods of 15 and 24 hours in Greenland combined with experimental manipulations of photoperiod show that photoperiods longer than 21 hours, characteristic of Arctic summers, are conducive to sustained up-regulation of pH by kelp photosynthesis. We report a gradual increase in pH of 0.15 units and a parallel decline in pCO2 of 100 parts per million over a 10-day period in an Arctic kelp forest over midsummer, with ample scope for continued pH increase during the months of continuous daylight. Experimental increase in CO2 concentration further stimulated the capacity of macrophytes to deplete CO2 and increase pH. We conclude that long photoperiods in Arctic summers support sustained up-regulation of pH in kelp forests, with potential benefits for calcifiers, and propose that this mechanism may increase with the projected expansion of Arctic vegetation in response to warming and loss of sea ice.

  19. Effects of photoperiod on food intake, activity and metabolic rate in adult neutered male cats.

    PubMed

    Kappen, K L; Garner, L M; Kerr, K R; Swanson, K S

    2014-10-01

    With the continued rise in feline obesity, novel weight management strategies are needed. To date, strategies aimed at altering physical activity, an important factor in weight maintenance, have been lacking. Photoperiod is known to cause physiological changes in seasonal mammals, including changes in body weight (BW) and reproductive status. Thus, our objective was to determine the effect of increased photoperiod (longer days) on voluntary physical activity levels, resting metabolic rate (RMR), food intake required to maintain BW, and fasting serum leptin and ghrelin concentrations in adult cats. Eleven healthy, adult, neutered, male domestic shorthair cats were used in a randomized crossover design study. During two 12-week periods, cats were exposed to either a short-day (SD) photoperiod of 8 h light: 16 h dark or a long-day (LD) photoperiod of 16 h light: 8 h dark. Cats were fed a commercial diet to maintain baseline BW. In addition to daily food intake and twice-weekly BW, RMR (via indirect calorimetry), body composition [via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)] and physical activity (via Actical activity monitors) were measured at week 0 and 12 of each period. Fasting serum leptin and ghrelin concentrations were measured at week 0, 6 and 12 of each period. Average hourly physical activity was greater (p = 0.008) in LD vs. SD cats (3770 vs. 3129 activity counts/h), which was primarily due to increased (p < 0.001) dark period activity (1188 vs. 710 activity counts/h). This corresponded to higher (p < 0.0001) daily metabolizable energy intake (mean over 12-week period: 196 vs. 187 kcal/day), and increased (p = 0.048) RMR in LD cats (9.02 vs. 8.37 kcal/h). Body composition, serum leptin and serum ghrelin were not altered by photoperiod. More research is needed to determine potential mechanisms by which these physiological changes occurred and how they may apply to weight management strategies.

  20. Relative roles of temperature and photoperiod as drivers of metabolic flexibility in dark-eyed juncos.

    PubMed

    Swanson, David; Zhang, Yufeng; Liu, Jin-Song; Merkord, Christopher L; King, Marisa O

    2014-03-15

    Seasonal phenotypic flexibility in small birds produces a winter phenotype with elevated maximum cold-induced metabolic rates (=summit metabolism, Msum). Temperature and photoperiod are candidates for drivers of seasonal phenotypes, but their relative impacts on metabolic variation are unknown. We examined photoperiod and temperature effects on Msum, muscle masses and activities of key catabolic enzymes in winter dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis). We randomly assigned birds to four treatment groups varying in temperature (cold=3°C; warm=24°C) and photoperiod [short day (SD)=8 h:16 h light:dark; long day (LD)=16 h:8 h light:dark] in a two-by-two design. We measured body mass (Mb), flight muscle width and Msum before and after 3 and 6 weeks of acclimation, and flight muscle and heart masses after 6 weeks. Msum increased for cold-exposed, but not for warm-exposed, birds. LD birds gained more Mb than SD birds, irrespective of temperature. Flight muscle size and mass did not differ significantly among groups, but heart mass was larger in cold-exposed birds. Citrate synthase, carnitine palmitoyl transferase and β-hydroxyacyl Co-A dehydrogenase activities in the pectoralis were generally higher for LD and cold groups. The cold-induced changes in Msum and heart mass parallel winter changes for small birds, but the larger Mb and higher catabolic enzyme activities in LD birds suggest photoperiod-induced changes associated with migratory disposition. Temperature appears to be a primary driver of flexibility in Msum in juncos, but photoperiod-induced changes in Mb and catabolic enzyme activities, likely associated with migratory disposition, interact with temperature to contribute to seasonal phenotypes.

  1. Influence of photoperiod on Orius thyestes Herring (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) reproduction and longevity.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Alessandra R; Bueno, Vanda H P; Pedroso, Elizabeth C; Kon, Leonardo I; Diniz, Alexandre J F; Silva, Robson J

    2006-01-01

    Several species of Orius Wolff are used in biological control of thrips in protected cultivations in temperate regions, but some of them show reproductive diapause, compromising the efficiency of these agents of biological control. There are no reports on the biology of the neotropical species Orius thyestes Herring under different environmental conditions. The purpose of this work was to investigate the influence of photoperiod on reproduction and longevity of this predator. Nymphs were kept in petri dishes in climatic chambers at 28+/-1 degree C, 70+/-10% RH and under the photoperiods of 12L:12D, 11L:13D, 10 L:14D e 09L:15D. The mating adults were kept in petri dishes with Bidens pilosa L. Asteraceae inflorescences as oviposition substracts and eggs of Anagasta kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) as food. The pre-oviposition and oviposition periods, fecundity and longevity were evaluated and O. thyestes did not show reprodutive diapause in all photoperiod conditions established. The mean number of eggs obtained per female decreased with the reduction of the photophase, with a difference (P < 0.05) between the values obtained in 12h and 9h of photophase. Longevity of females and males under 9h photophase was shorter (P < 0.05) than in all other photoperiods tested. The knowledge of the biology of the natural enemy under different conditions allows to optimise the mass rearing and to predict the performance of the predator in different photoperiods which may occur along the year and in greenhouses.

  2. Long photoperiods sustain high pH in Arctic kelp forests

    PubMed Central

    Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Marbà, Núria; Sanz-Martin, Marina; Hendriks, Iris E.; Thyrring, Jakob; Carstensen, Jacob; Sejr, Mikael Kristian; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2016-01-01

    Concern on the impacts of ocean acidification on calcifiers, such as bivalves, sea urchins, and foraminifers, has led to efforts to understand the controls on pH in their habitats, which include kelp forests and seagrass meadows. The metabolism of these habitats can lead to diel fluctuation in pH with increases during the day and declines at night, suggesting no net effect on pH at time scales longer than daily. We examined the capacity of subarctic and Arctic kelps to up-regulate pH in situ and experimentally tested the role of photoperiod in determining the capacity of Arctic macrophytes to up-regulate pH. Field observations at photoperiods of 15 and 24 hours in Greenland combined with experimental manipulations of photoperiod show that photoperiods longer than 21 hours, characteristic of Arctic summers, are conducive to sustained up-regulation of pH by kelp photosynthesis. We report a gradual increase in